Sunday, 30 July 2017

with Mad People in Power

How polished and efficient it all is,
How trimmed the lawns are,
How lumberingly efficient the big bureaucracy is (well at least its there),
but how thin this veneer of civilisation is.
Is it sturdy? could it all just crumble?
What if just stopped working?

30th July 645 am Sunday. oh what a beautiful morning! What should I do? If I had chickens I would give them a nice chlorine bath in the sun and sell them to a gullible country! Things to do on a Sunday morn!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Visiting Grenfell. No Photos

Although I live near, less than 2miles from Grenfell Tower and though I remember hearing about it at 4.30am when I awoke, while it was happening, I have never had an inclination to go there. I remember that morning wondering whether to go down and help, and deciding not to when I heard they were swamped with helpers. I had no idea of the enormity of the event, but knew there was going to be big reverberations about it. Today, 28th July, was the first time I had wanted to go near Grenfell. I had seen enough images of the burnt out tower. It was in the news again today -the police reckon they now have enough evidence to sue Kensington and Chelsea Council for ‘corporate manslaughter.' Today,for the first time I felt the urge to go there. 
I caught the tube from Edgware Road and travelled the 4stops to Latimer Road station. It only took a few minutes and I thought of my few encounters with out of control fire and fear.

I remember when I was 15 the church a few doors up caught fire in the early morning  and although I couldn’t see the window there was a red glow on the wall and my father shouting get up and get out the house!
I remember when I was a young boy being near a heathfire at Blackbushe Aerodrome  watching these wild flames consuming land and I remember being scared whether to watch or move as the wind blew the wild flames unpredictably.
I remember sitting by the warm fireside and hearth at home, staring into the flames of burning logs and learning  from my father how to build fires.
I remember  as an 11 year-old as schoolboy prank starting a small fire that got out of hand, setting fire to about 100 yards of railway embankment.
I remembered the last time of being in NYC in July 2001 and from the roof of our place on 2nd Avenue between 4th and 5th and seeing the top of the Empire StateBuilding  in midtown round to the two towers of the World Trade Centre and couldn’t imagine that those towers has less than 2 months left.

And now heading to Grenfell I had that same sick feeling only fire and tragedy can arouse. 
Coming out of the tube station at Latimer Road and looking up at the burnt out block, a familiar image but its always small in a newspaper or on a screen and it does not prepare you for the enormity of the looming dark presence towering above you and I couldn’t look without imagining the hell what was now such a still shel. That area will not beging to recover until it is demolished
The eerie quiet in the streets around, a lot of flowers, (some old, some fresh) yellow ribands tied round trees, railings, candles and lanterns in pavement corners knitted tributes everywhere, shop windows had hurriedlly printed pictures of people missing. the area had obviously been inundated with visitors who trampled and gawped - a sign saying ‘Please keep off- we’re growing a garden here’ the residents resigned sad and resentful with that tired knowing slow look. A couple of police officers walking slowly around. On a deserted street corner with the burnt out block behind them a tv crew and besuited reporter stuck out like an inevitable sore thumb. A man came up to me and complained that he couldn’t get close enough to get a good picture ‘I bet there were many good pics on the night’ he said not realising how gross he sounded  he used to work in the area he said. The sadness of the place was bigger than his sickness. I couldn't judge him. What was I doing there?I didn’t want to stay long, but I needed to witness this, I needed to  be there. I was glad to leave the area. It's sad and suffocating. I  returned to the tube to get out and directed a woman with a big bunch of flowers to where other had laid theirs.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

No Difference, I just have to be Better

 I realised this morning I have always been mildly Ataxic and unbalanced by others or drawn into their world and lost touch with my own world. 
Become disorientated, a bit clumsy, out of step.  
"That's just who you are"
The only difference is now I have  been diagnosed  with Ataxia and it is developing and visible. 
I cannot deny it, so have to be more conscious of my every move and how I survive as it becomes more obvious, as  I become clumsier, iller. 
In other words, carry on as before, but more intensely, less reactive more proactive, I just have to be better.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Feeling and Rationality

Even though it can't admit it,
  to be effective, strong and sane, 
rational thought and logic are a tool 
at the service of the  
warmth kindness and connectivity of the heart

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Imaginary performance 1

What if …
 Everyone developed a syndrome where everyone thought everyone else was mad so they  moved away from everone else,
 refused to acknowledge anyone and became increasingly isolated. 
They felt better than anyone around them. 
Everyone thought they were obviously right and everyone else was obviously wrong
There were no conversations in public places. 
No strangers met, no chance encounters. 
The world of people was increasingly predictable. 
Whenever anyone said anything or did anything they were thought weird and insensitive for disturbing the quiet status quo
Loud voices, big gestures were sure signs of madness. 
What if …
Into this world came a man with a wobbly walk, a stutter, and involuntary twitches, a man who talked to strangers
What if  …
They all wore hats and veils and dark glasses, except the outsider ...

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Warm Ground

I witnessed a weird climate phenomenon: the air was a  cooler this morning, I wondered why I was wearing a T-shirt- there were goose pimples on my arms but  in the park  it felt warmer. I felt the ground, it was warmer than the air above it - the ground must have absorbed so much from hot weather over past few days- nachrul thermal heating

Friday, 7 July 2017


From diary in April ;
So I can suspend ego and be all holier than thou when learning something but when I achieve a certain level of competence, ego kicks in and I start playing to and finding any audience I can. Ay Ay Ay! the trials and tribulations of being a performer! where handling unruly ego is bound up in PRACTISING YOUR CRAFT, because your craft is training your body and becoming adept at communicating with an audience.

After  you've been trying and trying again and not getting better, the anxious thought comes in ' what a waste of time! Why not just give up you are obviously not meant for this others are much better but the only thing that makes you continue is ego determination ' now will ignore the anxiety and  carry on ...'

When I allow anxiety to reach me  I am unbalanced mentally, and that unbalances me physically, so I work physically on improving my balance. work on breath, mental focus on weight and movement There is no barrier between mental and physical. why is it so obvious to anyone who works with their body but 'woo woo' and hard to test to convince scientists and rational types. And so I  get calm. (Er yes but that don't do anything about my rent arrears.)

Thursday, 6 July 2017


Once you get to know them

Everyone is mad 

only some manage it better than others

or rather, everyone has their little madnesses, 

which with varying degrees of success and invisibility

they weave into their day to day living.

Sunday, 2 July 2017


It's the story about potential perceived but never quite realised,
A story of people, place and love
A story of frayed edges and bright ideas,
Initially  embraced,initially energetic but without the critical mass to push it through to transformation.
A story of love  that was right for them for their time and place
They created much, but who knows where their  creations may flower- elsewhere elsewhere
the world is big
Maybe there was always too much this, to little that;
who cares- it was what it was,
post-mortems make no sense the energy went,
and so I move on ...

Cheat or Real?

I go into a pound shop with my daughter and say ‘you can have anything you want’
Am I being magnanimous on a low budget or mean?
well its true that she can have anything in the shop and its true I’m poor.and its true that most of the stuff in there is er not great.,
and then Re acting: is is just  cheating and pretending? while others see it as a craft to perceive and  act as if there are other realities?
Other realities than the prevailing norm?
I am remembering years ago being introduced to this: '

Chuang Tsu dreamt he was a butterfly and when he woke up he didn’t know whether he was Chuang Tsu or a butterfly  dreaming he was Chuang Tsu'

and so is the creation of other realities and working out the steps, the whys the wheres the when, the how to get there, to be there - craft or cheating? Behaving ‘as if’?
Now in a world where everyone think there is an idea of ’Normal’, this act of imagining is more likely to be seen as cheating, shifty. Hence the phrase ‘be abit creative’.
The rich have always been able to create and live their own dream: that is what everyone aspires to- (but according to the prevailing norm) you have got to earn the right, (ie makes stacks of moolah) to live your own reality. Only the rich can live their own reality. Everyone else is dysfunctional.

In the na├»ve ‘safe western world, pre 9-11 world,  it was possible for blurred realities and for performance/theatre to be interested in it and make a craft of it. And it saw increased security as very big brotherish, but in a world of terrorism and increasing random acts of violence against the public, the horror of public beheadings and graphic new reporting, fears of any disrupting of the norm blurred realities are not wanted,;theatre reverts to entertainment, unreality, fantasy safe escapes in safe places, it retreats from public spaces into the safe boundaries of theatres where the audience knows the contract, while the public outside don’t have their feathers ruffled. Blurred realities and looking at how they are created is seen  as underhand; shifty and not trusted or wanted.
The prevailing norm is for clear lines. I cannot knock that - it is the world we live in: a more dangerous world, a more orthodox world, a more ‘normal’ world. 
As an idealistic young theatre student I believed that theatre was reality and could trigger people into wakefulness, nudge the world into changing
As an older person I know that theatre in this society, no matter how seriously it takes itself, is entertainment., and this world, this dangerous, serious world doesn’t like being tricked. Society wants to creats sureness of ground underfoot.
The expression ‘as if’,ican be taken two ways, serious or cynical -
Serious: ’act as if what you do makes a difference. It does’ (William James),. 

Cynical: It has become  ‘a slang expression used by unimpressed teenagers implying that something is far fetched or never going to happen’(www,your -said sarcastically with a tut or roll of the eyes,’as if’


I can't hide the fact that I have been diagnosed with genetic Ataxia. Thats why I walk funny. It is such a part of my life now.
my day to day existence whether I die this year or in 20 years is determined by it.I  can only do what I can do. Obviously, but have been pretending otherwise for too long. Denial is not an option. I have to admit it to get past it
from April diary

So I can suspend ego and be all holier than thou when learning something but when I achieve a certain level of competence, ego kicks in and I start playing to and finding any audience I can. Ay Ay Ay! the trials and tribulations of being a performer! where handling unruly ego is bound up in PRACTISING , because my craft is training your body and becoming adept at communicating with an audience.

But then... what if all human endeavour all scientific discovery achievement of any sort, empire building that requires big concentration and attention is a monumental act of egomania? where you somehow delude yourself that  what you want to do  is somehow for the common good?  Is anything you do,  an  assumption of power, duty, responsibility, is it inevitably a deluded egotistical act? Or are you recognising other people's helplessness and a desire to help? What a fine line.This is why I am in rent arrears and in danger of losing my home. This is  the path that relearning to juggle takes me down.

After a certain kind of failure, when you've been trying and trying again and not getting better the anxious thought comes in ' what a waste of time! Why not just give up you are obviously not meant for this, others are much better' but the only thing that makes you continue is ego determination ' no, I  will ignore the anxiety ,and carry on ...'
Yes when I allow anxiety to reach me, or events unsettle me, I am unbalanced mentally, and that unbalances me physically, so I work physically on improving my balance. No separation between the mental and physical obvious to anyone who works with their body - work on one and it works on the other but 'woo woo' and hard to test to convince scientists and rational types. And so I  get calm physically. This is my future. (Er yes but that don't do anything about my rent arrears. No not yet...)

Did I develop this in 2002? I had cramps and seizures in bed and didn't think anything of it, and didn't go to a doctor.  - according to something about SCA 17 there is lif expectancy of between five and twenty years after onset so if my  onset was 2002, twenty years would take us up to 2022- t years from now. This realisation has taken the wind out of my sails. I want to find out more.  I

Easter Monday.4.30am awake worried about mortality and notice to quit- how to convert my fear into a simple request for a bailout to cover rent arrears dental work, water cred cards, website
Shit hits the fan. I want family to unite

930 pm I am wanting sleep and bed more and more. My bed is comfy I like being here
I prefer it to facing the world and doing what I need to do . I don't want to be alone

April 18
The joke this disease is playing on me is that I don't know if will get bad tomorrow or in 25 years when i am old anyway. Ataxia- loss of control, yes in more ways than one. Common sense says carry on as normal, but I cannot with the knowledge of what I have got - it is increasingly going to determine my choices. Do I really go for performing and music while I have use of my limbs? and what kind of music. Now it makes sense for me of being in interested in music and healing - why I was drawn to the story of Tarantism, why I did Opal Lorbin, way way, many years before I knew why.

Yes Ive joined the Ataxia club; got my Ataxia UK club card but have just left the bigger club of everyone else able bodied.

Financially managing but on a precipice

I don't know if I just attach more significance to every symptom now but I worry it's getting worse; I had 2 small pinpricks in my left foot that made me jump and I think the numbness in my toes has spread. I used to just shrug these things of in a cloud of unknowing.

Watch when relentless optimism swamps clarity and reality and you end up accepting the bad when you could improve your situation

21 April

I feel I am in a dream where the world around me is the same, the street outside, the flat inside, the sky, the sounds of the city, but I am changed;