Wednesday 27 July 2016

This aint on party, this aint no disco, this aint no foolin' around

So, I’m sitting at the bar of the Café Royal with a pint of Guinness , half a dozen oysters, and a Colin Parsons Scotsman crossword. During the course of the morning I have brief or extended conversation with a a variety of teachers, journalists, petty criminals, and the occasional serious criminal. Around 2.30 I step outside into the watery Edinburgh sunshine, smell the breweries and ……”oh,  that magic feeling – nowhere to go “

But that was then – this is now. Memories tend to flood back when your nurse practitioner has filled in a form, in writing, in black and white, officially, saying that you are not expected to live for more than 6 months. Max. Everything is in hand. Will, kids briefed, blue badge , wheelchair, non-funeral arranged. I believe Mrs. OM has also booked her cruise for month 7. They even offered to show me round the hospice, but I told them to fuck off –  one has to maintain  one’s standards.

Will this be the last post ?  Exciting, isn’t it.

Abraxas was a good album that stood the test of time for me


  1. Titus Lucretius Carus (c.99-55 BC)

    No single thing abides; but all things flow.
    Fragment to fragment clings-the things thus grow
    Until we know and name them. By degrees
    They melt, and are no more the things we know.
    Globed from the atoms falling slow or swift
    I see the suns, I see the systems lift
    Their forms; and even the systems and the suns
    Shall go back slowly to the eternal drift.
    You too, oh earth-your empires, lands, and seas -
    Least with your stars, of all the galaxies,
    Globed from the drift like these, like these you too
    Shalt go. You are going, hour by hour, like these.
    Nothing abides. The seas in delicate haze
    Go off; those mooned sands forsake their place;
    And where they are, shall other seas in turn
    Mow with their scythes of whiteness other bays.
    The seeds that once were we take flight and fly,
    Winnowed to earth, or whirled along the sky,
    Not lost but disunited. Life lives on.
    It is the lives, the lives, the lives, that die.
    They go beyond recapture and recall,
    Lost in the all-indissoluble All:-
    Gone like the rainbow from the fountain's foam,
    Gone like the spindrift shuddering down the squall.
    Flakes of the water, on the waters cease!
    Soul of the body, melt and sleep like these.
    Atoms to atoms-weariness to rest -
    Ashes to ashes-hopes and fears to peace!
    O Science, lift aloud your voice that stills
    The pulse of fear, and through the conscience thrills -
    Thrills through the conscience with the news of peace -
    How beautiful your feet are on the hills!

    1. The Internet is a wondrous thing which allows old men who have never met, but have led interesting lives, exchange Epicurean poetry.
      Thanks, Danny. I've printed that and pinned it up over my desk.

    2. Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo

  2. I think I've been to three or four Rolling Stones concerts, each time in the belief that this would be their last tour.
    Please keep up this tradition Sir in the very best Keith Richards style.

    1. That must have cost you a few bob ! the last time I saw the Stones I think it cost me 10DM.
      Having had a previously documented all- night head-to-head sesh with Charlie, and having wondered fro afar at the pharmaceutical experiment that is Keef, I must admit to a twinge of jealousy that these guys obviously have access to medical resources way beyond what's available on the NHS

  3. Len is (always was) better than most at this sort of thing...

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows...

    Posting in the face of adversity: you're a better man than me. On the subject of music King Crimson's Cirkus popped into my head a few day's ago and seems to have lodged there has permanent earworm. Odd, considering I hadn't heard it for about thirty years.

    Who knows where the time goes, eh?

    I wasn't joking, by the way; you really are a better man than me.


    1. Thanks Dave. Forget the "better man" stuff - we're all different and who knows how we are going to react to any future situation.
      The King Crimson riff that sometimes comes back to me is 21st Century Schizoid Man. Very Assertive.

    2. If you forget yourself - as I often do - and sing out loud the line "Bareback ladies have fish", you don't half get some odd looks. People tend to gather up their children; and belongings.

  4. Sorry to hear the news OM...I can only hope things take the path of my hillwalking retirals...never ending.

    1. Thanks for that Ken. And for everything. Without the likes of you and a few others, the blog would never have got off the ground. I miss the early Fat dog blog, which I described as hillwalking in the real world. Happy Trails

  5. I'm almost speechless - but I have to say that it was really nice; a privilege I should say, to meet you at Cairngorm footbridge a couple of years ago on my café akto jaunt - and sup/sip the rather lovely whisky you arrived with, although the dog didn't live long enough to enjoy all the chewsticks. I do know that you made a serious effort to get up to Aviemore and to walk in to wherever I was, and back again. And I was touched, although being a rufty-tufty Yorkshireman, all I could say about it was that it was "fair to middlin' and not so bad as you'd mither I suppose..." We have to grab the moments, innit??

    1. Yes, Mike. One of the good days. After I had the pleasure of meeting you in that “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” moment at the bridge, and ticking off another” good guy met” in a world seemingly packed with wankers and arseholes, I had a relaxed stroll back through the Rothiemurchus forest. I watched the dragonflies on the lochan. I got a decent fish supper in Aviemore. I got the coach home. Thanks for being the focus for me doing it, seize the day indeed.
      And thanks for being one of the early supporters of a blog that seemed a wee bit different. I just hope I don’t go before I finish my chews !

  6. Just checking in to say "hello".
    Hope this finds you okay, Sir.
    All the best.

    1. All,

      Not being a blogger or as good a wordsmith as OM, I will try to do this justice.

      OM, or as my brother and sister call him, Dad, passed away on the 4th Aug. Deciding not to fester in a hospice, he gave out at home clutching a copy of Private Eye - for us, twas rather fitting!

      We didn't know about this blog and only found it after some digging - the printed poem was indeed on his wall which gave lead to this spot. It has been a tough read and I am not finished, but am grateful he had you all and an outlet.
      Unfortunately 3 kids under 8 do not appreciate Boxing Day on the side of a hill with a trangia stove and a force 10 - cold tomato cuppa soups did not inspire his passion in us.

      He did however leave us with a weird and wonderful music collection - a passion for sure.... Only tempered by the teenage cry "who?". This would result in a tape, cd or in latter years you tube link to broaden our knowledge.
      My IT skills are far from good so can only leave you with the title of a song he spoke of a lot in the last few weeks. He didn't say why this was in his mind but I am sure we can all imagine....

      " play the train song" by Tom Snyder

      Mrs OM is off on her holiday as predicted so we must help her pack!

      One last step taken!! Xx

    2. Dave,
      You are most welcome...

      I appear to have given him one last laugh although I rather assume it would be through a gritted mumble that I should always check my sisters facts....
      I went back to you tube to discover my foxes pass (faux pas for the proper posh ones) - it would appear it was Todd Snider that sang the track!
      My humble apologies with various expletives deleted...


    3. I thoroughly enjoyed OM's pieces. I never met him, but he came across as a splendid man; funny, bright, with a magnificent taste in music, and a life that sounded like it had been lived to the maximum.

      I'll keep the link to his blog on my "Better places to visit" list as from time to time I'll nip over there to cheer myself up.

      My condolences to OM's family and friends.

  7. Many condolences on your loss. I never got to meet OM in person - and therein lies my loss - I only knew him as an online presence. I wish I'd commented more, but I read plenty, smiled, laughed out loud sometimes, nodded in agreement regularly.

    I hope you don't mind if I borrow a phrase from OM's own final comment on this post - "a good guy in a world seemingly packed with wankers and arseholes". I shall leave the link to this blog on mine and click on it now and again; I hope it endures.


  8. Sad to learn of his passing. A euphemism I think he'd have enjoyed. I've not been doing bloggy things for a few years so missed out on this tragic news. I never met, like many here, but always enjoyed his odd rants, humour and a taste in music that mostly mirrored my own. Thanks for the memory! And give 'em Hell, wherever you might now be.

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