Poetry – They are armed!

They are armed!

 

They have a lot of weapons in their armoury.

They have the money to employ the best.

They use unemployment as a threat

And deploy it as a warning,

To demonstrate their power and control.

They use the media to disperse their lies,

To provide the spin, spread the fog and obfuscate

The issues.

They use the media to undermine, to destroy

And ridicule.

They use the media for propaganda.

The tactic is to divide and rule.

They use their privilege to gain advantage.

They buy people.

They subvert rebellion by incorporating it.

They rely on deference.

Their lies are deployed in volleys –

A bombardment of fear.

They had established an establishment,

Set in concrete.

The police are in their pockets.

The army follow their instructions.

They use their power to confuse and subjugate.

They are not restricted by nation.

Theirs is network spread throughout the world.

They know who they are.

 

Opher – 20.11.2019

 

 

Every election, every law, every representative, every move, is subject to their interference.

Their fingers are in every pie.

Through lobbying, bribes, corruption, donations and threats they control the world.

Money doesn’t speak – it shouts!

Who are they?

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Poetry – Life Goes On

Poetry – Life Goes On

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Life goes on

I was struck by the absence of life as I travelled around South America. Sailing days through seas devoid of life. There were no dolphins, whales or porpoises. There were a handful of seabirds. Days would go by without a single booby or frigate bird.

On land it was the insects that were missing. Apart from the flies at Cape Verde, everywhere else was quiet. I was used to the chirping of cicadas, crickets and grasshoppers, but thye Amazon forest seemed quiet. There was no profusion of life. Without insects there are not the animals that feed on insects, there are not the pollinated plants.

It felt as if I was witnessing the slow death of a planet. The buzzing meadows of my youth had turned silent. Now the rainforests were following suit. The seas were becoming wildernesses.

Everywhere we went there was poverty, people sleeping rough on the streets, in shacks and shanties, desperate for work, food or shelter. Teeming millions reaching out into the wilderness and consuming anything that moves, clearing and creating garbage filled wasteland out of pristine jungle.

Too many people; too few of the rest of life.

It did not need to be projected far into the future.

 

Life Goes On

The sea is all around

Without a single speck of life.

No dolphins frolic in these bow-waves.

The forests are silent

Without the buzz of insect

Rustle of creatures

Or chirp of bird.

All is garbage,

Rubbish and desolate wasteland

Baking in the heat.

Towns overflow with poverty and despair.

Life is sucked dry

By the sheer weight of numbers.

What teemed is now sterile.

What sang is now silent.

What lived is now barren.

What they call life goes on.

 

Opher 23.1.2016

 

 

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

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Anecdote – Steamed and trained

Anecdote – Steamed and trained

anecdotes BookCoverImage

Steamed and trained

My home backed on to a railway embankment so I was used to trains. Old steam trains like the Mallard and Brighton Belle used to charge past my house all the time. I did not notice them.

Things were easier back then. There wasn’t the same frenzied pace, obsession with health and safety and personal indifference. Back then people were friendly. The older men would stop and chat, give you a sweet or show you how to throw a hoop and make it come back to you without being suspected of being paedophiles. People were friendly and kids had freedom. That worked both ways. When we were seven or eight Jeff and I used to climb over the back fence and play on the railway embankment. We didn’t go up to the rails and were perfectly safe. But a train driver must have noticed us there and actually stopped the train to shout at us to get off.

Our road was equidistant to two railway stations. Jeff and I would go along to the station at Hersham and chat to the engine drivers. They were very friendly. They let us go on the engine and do all sorts. They would even take us along on the footplate and drop us off at Walton station where we’d walk home. We were allowed to shovel coal into the furnace and pull various levers. When we went past our houses we were allowed to hoot the steam whistles. They made a hell of a din. So technical, at the age of eight I suppose I could say I had driven a steam engine. I am sure that Jeff and I were a great help.

My mum bought me a train spotting book. It was basically a list of engine numbers. All the trains had their own number. When you see it you underlined it. I played in the back garden and tried to note the numbers as the engines went past. But that was useless. I was so used to them that I didn’t notice them coming.

There were a keen group of train spotters at school. I joined in for a bit. I liked the bit where we went along to the footbridge across the line. We’d stand on there as the trains went by and become enveloped in the smoke and steam. That was great fun. I also enjoyed going through the tunnel at Hersham. We’d shout and get echoes and wait for a train to thunder through overhead and deafen us.

The culmination of my brief flirtation with train spotting was a trip up to London. A little group of us ten year olds went up to the big train sheds. I don’t know how we got into the place but we spent the day wandering around the sheds underlining numbers to our hearts content. We climbed up onto footplates and went from train to train. It was wonderful. There were lots of people around but nobody seemed to pay us any attention as we walked across the tracks and watched engines shunting around. There were hundreds of them. I had pages of underlined numbers.

I lost interest after that. Trains were OK but I preferred animals. Looking back it seems amazing that things were so free and easy. Nowadays our children are strangled with safety. They don’t live.

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

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Poetry – Each Moment – the second humanist poem for a secular ritual.

Poetry – Each Moment – the second humanist poem for a secular ritual.

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Each Moment

This is the second of my secular ritual poems I talked about with Dave Kingsbury. I think the balls in his court now. He’s got to devise the rituals that aren’t too cheesy and silly to go with them. Best of luck.

To give thanks for life and to be grateful that we have evolved eyes to see and senses with which to witness something of the majesty of the universe – to be thankful that the universe exists.

There are mysteries all around us and we use our senses and the instruments we devise with our intelligence to understand and marvel.

Each moment here is heaven. We have no need for more.

Intelligence is rare. Life might be so rare we will never contact another race. But we can imagine, feel and experience the enormity of infinite possibility.

That is exalting in itself.

We should have rituals for each and every sunset. They are precious.

 

Each Moment

 

Each moment is precious –

Each and every moment.

Each moment is a great gift from fate,

Born of chance.

We are thankful for this great opportunity to breathe,

This chance to soak

In the dreams of life.

For what we have is more precious

Than we can imagine.

We are thankful

For the opportunity

To see oceans,

Sunsets,

Mountains

And sky.

We are thankful

For plants, animals

Moors and forests.

We are fortunate;

We have the great fortune to live.

 

Opher 14.3.2016

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

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Rhyme and Reason – just £3.98 for the paperback or free on Kindle

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Photography – Giant petrels in the Falklands

Photography – Giant petrels in the Falklands

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These birds have a wingspan just short of seven feet!

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

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Or a book of poetry and comment:

Rhyme and Reason – just £3.98 for the paperback or free on Kindle

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Anecdote – How I passed my Religious Studies exam due to divine intervention.

Anecdote – How I passed my Religious Studies exam due to divine intervention.

anecdotes BookCoverImage Poems & Peons BookCoverImage

How I passed my Religious Studies exam due to divine intervention.

Religion and I have never got along. I think I was born a heretic. Either that or I am a blasphemous pagan at heart.

Through school I suffered the excruciating assemblies with their hymns, prayers and bible readings. I abhorred them. I also despised the RE lessons with all their bible bashing and indoctrinating rhetoric. My brain was impervious to religion. It bounced off.

Then when I was fourteen I discovered I did not have to do it at all. I could get a dispensation on religious grounds. All I had to do was induce my parents to sign the relevant form or write a short note to the effect that they wanted me out of all religious practice. Problem solved.

Except it wasn’t. For some obscure reason, that I do not understand to this day, my parents, who brought me up with a liberal, unindoctrinated perspective, and respected my views, refused to write the note.

That made it even worse. So I dug my heels in. I went to see the RE teacher and explained to him that I was categorically not going to do the RE. He could do what he liked. I was not going to budge. After a lengthy argument we came to a compromise. I would attend the lessons and give out the bibles. Then I would sit quietly at the front and read. That suited me fine.

So while the rest of the class filled exercise book after exercise book of boring comparisons between the four gospels I read great Science Fiction by Arthur C Clarke, Robert Sheckly, Asimov, John Wyndham, Philip K Dick and Robert Heinlein. I reckoned the content of fiction in my books was superior to the fiction in theirs.

RE was a subject that was sat earlier than the other subjects. We took our O Level at Christmas. I was surprised to find that my name was included. I went to see the RE teacher to point out the error. I had not done any RE; I should not have my name down for the exam. He huffed and puffed and did not like to admit his mistake. He told me that it was easier for me to just go through with it rather than trying to scrub me from the exam at this stage. I shrugged. I wasn’t bothered.

The night before the exam I borrowed a bible. My mum found me looking through it.

‘What are you doing?’

I explained that I had my RE O Level the next day. I had been intrigued by a couple of things. I looked up to find out what the Transfiguration was all about and I checked out what Jesus said on the cross. – ‘My father why has thou forsaken me?’

I always thought that was a strange thing to say. It seemed to suggest to me that at the last minute he was having doubts and had realised that it was all bollocks.

After ten minutes I became bored, which amused my mum no end. She knew what felt about the bible.

The next day I took my exam. We had to answer four questions out of five. Question one was about the Transfiguration. Question two was about the words Jesus had said on the cross. Question three was about a psalm I knew well from assemblies. Question four was a parable that I was familiar with. It was easy.

The next term the results came out. Only a third of the class had passed. I was one of them.

I have a qualification in Religious Education. I bet my RE teacher was as pleased as Punch.

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

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Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

Dear amazing Avaazers,If you ever doubt that our efforts together are worth it, or if you’re just needing a bit of hope and light in your day, read on.

Bet you won’t be able to stop :).

Avaaz Movement Wins 

Fin whales swim free

For years, Icelandic millionaire badboy Kristjan Loftsson has massacred hundreds of endangered giant fin whales. But no more!! Working with allies, a million of us pressed the Dutch government to close their ports to him, then German Avaazers helped to block ports there too. Then we caused a media and political storm in the Caribbean where Loftsson’s ship was registered. After years of pressure, he’s called off the hunt!

“The global pressure brought by the Avaaz community has no doubt played a big role in Loftsson’s welcome decision.”
– Vanessa Williams-Grey, Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Saudi Arabia: No More Weapons For You

Saudi Arabia is a human rights nightmare, but after they bombed schools and hospitals in Yemen, calls rose in Europe for an arms embargo. When EU politicians started to waver under the pressure of powerful Saudi lobbyists, 740,000 Avaazers weighed in, flooding members of parliament with messages and calls. And we won — for the first time in history, a Western parliament voted to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia! Now the pressure is on for governments to follow the European lead.

“We’ve received calls from Scotland to France to Yemen calling for action, Avaaz played a major role to bring this message to the European Parliament.”
– Alyn Smith, Member of European Parliament
Blocking Monsanto's most profitable poison

Monsanto’s glyphosate weedkiller is everywhere, providing much of the mega-corporation’s revenue. So when UN experts said it likely causes cancer, 1.5 million of us called to ban it! With Europe set to re-approve its licence for 15 years, Avaaz delivered our petition and thousands of us sent urgent messages to our governments. In the final hour, support collapsed, and the EU commission was forced to postpone the vote! We’ll keep the pressure up until we get the ban our planet needs.

“The Avaaz campaign helped to raise awareness and concern of the general public about glyphosate. This helped me as a parliamentarian to work on this issue… Stay with us in this fight”
– Pavel Poc, MEP and Vice Chair of the Environment, Health and Food Safety Committee for the European Parliament.
Winning for Palestine

After horrendous civilian death in Gaza, almost 2 million of us called on 6 major companies to stop profiting from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Our movement sent messages to CEOs, held rallies from London to Ramallah, met with government and corporate officials, and lobbied other countries to cut ties with those companies. And as of last month, 3 of the 6 have pulled out!! It’s a tactic that’s having impact in the struggle for freedom and peace.

“The 1.8 million signature Avaaz petition was powerful, and we hope that Avaaz members will continue campaigning.”
– Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDS Civil Society Coordinator in Palestine
Saving the lost Refugee Children

Thousands of Syrian children seeking refuge are lost in Europe, without their parents and preyed upon by child traffickers. That’s why 40,000 of us donated to fund lawyers to find them, provide legal support, and get them to safety. Dozens of children are already being helped. And just this week, three boys arrived in London and were reunited with their families for the first time in months!

“Nothing I could say could convey how grateful I truly am to all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
– One of the boys on arriving in the UK
Somalia ban FGM

The Prime Minister of Somalia just joined over a million of us by signing our petition to support a full ban on female genital mutilation! Somali women’s rights experts told us that global pressure could help them outlaw female genital mutilation — but we never imagined that the Somali Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and dynamic Minister for Women and Human Rights would respond by signing the petition, too! Working with these leaders, UNICEF and survivors, it’s now likely that FGM, done to 98% of Somali women, will become illegal!

“I am committed to outlaw FGM in Somalia through legislation, advocacy, education, and community engagement.”
– Somali Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmark, as he signed our petition.

Shining Our Light in 2016

These battles are part of deeper struggles — between forces of love and fear, hope and despair, ignorance and understanding. Sometimes Avaaz campaigns are about shining our movement’s light into these struggles, to help shift our culture and politics. Here’s some awesome light-shining examples from the last few months:

Celebrating Greek Heros

Inspired by Greek fishermen and pensioners who have saved and cared for thousands of desperate refugee families, Avaaz member, Alkmini, started a petition to nominate these unsung heroes for the Nobel Peace Prize. Then more than 600,000 of us backed the request, and Desmond Tutu endorsed an official submission by 230 academics to the Nobel Committee.This moving story of humanity triumphing over fear captured the world’s media from CNN to the BBC.

“In times when fear and racism are threatening our societies and Europe is raising fences, the big mobilisation of Avaaz members made the voice of humanity echo loudly around the world.”
– Co-Founder of the Leros Solidarity Network, Matina Katsiveli
Guatemala Slavery

After decades of silence, 14 brave women just went to court to confront the Guatemalan generals who kept them as sex slaves. As they entered the courtroom we surrounded them with love, delivering messages from over 40,000 Avaaz members across Latin America. The women’s courage prevailed and for the first time ever these generals were convicted of crimes against humanity!

“I was happy to hear the messages of support. I know I’m not alone, and I wanted to uncover my face when I heard that there are people all around the world that support me.”
– One of the women, Doña Rosa
Cologne

After women were attacked on New Year’s Eve in Germany, a flood of racism and xenophobia spread. Refugee men responded by handing out flowers to women on the streets as a show of respect. To return the gesture and show solidarity and welcome, a hundred female Avaaz members went out to hand flowers back to refugees in Cologne, the site of the attacks. Their video went viral!

“Refugee men handed out flowers to women as a sign of peace. As Avaaz members we wanted to reciprocate this courageous gesture to show that we counter hate with humanity.”
– Maresa, Avaaz member

Achh, that stuff just lifts your heart doesn’t it?

The really crazy part is, those stories are a small fraction of our movement’s work together over the last few months!

What we’re doing matters, we’re winning, and we’re winning in a way that is building the kind of world we dream of for our children. There is much to do, but this is a moment for gratitude for the 43 million scrumptiously wonderful people in this beautiful movement. What a joy it is to do this together.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

With love and gratitude,

Ricken, Alice, Ben, Maria Paz, Emily, Risalat, Mike, Lisa, and the whole Avaaz team.

PS — a big reason Avaaz can do all this is we are 100% funded by small individual donations — no corporate, government, foundation, or large donor money. To keep it all going, click here:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/reportback_fr_16mar/?bCAwEjb&v=74381&cl=9707409141

Poetry – How wondrous – for a secular, humanist ritual

Poetry – How wondrous – for a secular, humanist ritual

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Secular Rituals

Human beings have a great need for rituals. We go in for uniforms and pageant. Our rituals tend to be militaristic or religious. Dave Kingsbury (of the great blog – A nomad in cyberspace) thought that it would be a great idea to write some secular rituals that acknowledged the wonder of life; rituals that did not require belief, religion or celebrate violence.

It sent me thinking.

This is what came out. I’m not sure if it’s a poem or a secular psalm. I see it as part of a humanist ritual.

 

How Wondrous

Wondrous it is to open your eyes into this universe of beauty.

Wondrous it is to behold the splendour of the stars, sun, rocks and trees.

Wondrous is the ecstasy of life.

For with our eyes we see,

Our ears we hear,

As all our senses penetrate

The mysteries that surround us.

 

The wonder of moon and sun,

Of sunset over sea,

Of grass rippling in the breeze,

The splash of stars

Across a velvet heaven,

The sigh of love,

The thud of drums,

Vibration of strings,

The tinkle of water over rocks,

The crash of waves,

Skeletons of trees against an orange sky,

Shapes of clouds against an agonising blue;

The oranges, yellow, reds and greens

That flood the eyes with beauty –

The wonder of life.

 

Opher 14.3.2016 (For Dave)

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457515636&sr=1-3&keywords=opher+goodwin

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Rhyme and Reason – just £3.98 for the paperback or free on Kindle

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Opher’s World Roll of Rock honours

Opher’s World Roll of Rock honours

Opher’s World Roll of Rock honours

Well it seems that every day another luminary bites the dust.

I thought it about time to do a list of all the great Rockers who are no longer with us. I use the term Rocker in its widest possible context. These are the guys I’ve loved. If I didn’t like them they don’t feature.

They don’t have to be good. They merely have to have impacted on me at some time in my life.

They are not in any order and I’ve probably repeated or missed out lots. Just let me know who and I’ll put them in.

 

Opher’s Roll of Rock Honours

 

Jimi Hendrix

John Lennon

Brian Jones

Elvis Presley

Bo Diddley

Duster Bennett

Jim Morrison

Paul Kantner

Lou Reed

Buddy Holly

George Harrison

Muddy Waters

Son House

Hank Williams

Robert Johnson

Jackson C Frank

Tommy Tucker

Slim Harpo

Eddie Cochran

Gene Vincent

Esquirita

Otis Redding

Bessie Smith

John Cipollina

Junior Kimbrough

Jimmy Reed

Bo Carter

Bert Jansch

John Renbourn

Keith Emmerson

David Bowie

Ian Dury

Syd Barrett

Nick Drake

Phil Ochs

Woody Guthrie

Don Van Vliet

Rick Wright

Jack Bruce

Keith Moon

Paul Kossof

Keith Relf

Ronnie Lane

Joe Strummer

Pete Seeger

John Peel

Johnny Thunders

Joey Ramone

Nico

Albert King

Kokomo Arnold

Alexis Korner

Graham Bond

Elmore James

Ray Manzarek

Willie Dixon

Johnny Kidd

Sonny Burgess

Billy Lee Riley

Etta James

Hound Dog Taylor

Big Mama Thornton

Screaming Jay Hawkins

Sandy Denny

Janis Joplin

John Lee Hooker

Billy Boy Arnold

Memphis Minnie

Carl Perkins

Billy Fury

Jet Harris

Adam Faith

Bill Monroe

Bill Haley

Louis Jordan

Ben E King

BB King

Davy Graham

Sonny Boy Williamson

Sonny Terry

Leadbelly

Lonnie Donnegan

Ken Colyer

RL Burnside

Professor Longhair

Richard Farina

Arthur Lee

Bryan Maclean

Alan Freed

Little Walter

Sid Vicious

John Bonham

Bob Hite

Bob Marley

Roy Brown

Chris Wood

Marvin Gaye

Dennis Wilson

Freddie King

T-Model Ford

Ian Stewart

Big Joe Williams

Steve Marriott

Rick Grech

Kurt Cobain

Nicky Hopkins

Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith

Rory Gallagher

Jerry Garcia

Jeff Buckley

Cozy Powell

Gene Autry

Heinz

Kirsty Macoll

Joey Ramone

Rufus Thomas

John Entwhistle

Noel Redding

Mitch Mitchell

Edwin Starr

Johnny Cash

Ray Charles

Jim Capaldi

Long John Baldry

James Brown

Ruth Brown

Ike Turner

Dewey Msartin

Snooks Eaglin

Andy Fraser

Frankie Ford

Mick Green

Dale Hawkins

Gregory Isaacs

Peter Tosh

Michael Smith

Poly Styrene

Amy Winehouse

Hubert Sumlin

Johnny Otis

Levon Helm

Paul Butterfield

Mike Bloomfield

Percy Sledge

George Martin

John Lord

Kevin Ayers

Alvin Lee

Trevor Bolder

JJ Cale

Bobby Womack

Tommy Ramone

Johnny Winter

Bobby Keys

Cilla Black

Allen Toussaint

Johnny Gustafson

Phil Everly

Doc Watson

Sky Saxon

Lux Interior

Boz Burrell

Alex St Claire

Hank Ballard

Chuck Willis

Skip Spence

Screaming Lord Sutch

Lee Brilleaux

Mick Ronson

Albert Collins

Peter Tosh

Joe Tex

Tim Hardin

Steve Peregrine Took

Marc Bolan

Bon Scott

Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan

Clyde McPhatter

Junior Parker

Duane Allman

Al Wilson

Sam Cooke

Cyril Davies

Cliff Gallup

Elmore James

Ray Manzarek

Willie Dixon

Johnny Kidd

Sonny Burgess

Billy Lee Riley

Etta James

Dusty Springfield

Hound Dog Taylor

Big Mama Thornton

Big Maybelle

Sandy Denny

Janis Joplin

John Lee Hooker

Billy Boy Arnold

Memphis Minnie

Carl Perkins

Billy Fury

Adam Faith

Bill Monroe

Bill Haley

Louis Jordan

Ben E King

Davy Graham

Sonny Boy Williamson

Sonny Terry

Leadbelly

Lonnie Donnegan

Ken Colyer

Brownie McGhee

Professor Longhair

Richard Farina

Peter Lafarge

Arthur Lee

Bryan Maclean

Otis Spann

James Cotton

Anecdote – Thrown out of my O Levels

Anecdote – Thrown out of my O Levels

anecdotes BookCoverImage

Thrown out of my O Levels

The O Level exams were the big exams at the end of the Fifth Form (Year 11). They were the important ones, as important as A Levels. Universities used the grades you achieved at sixteen as an indicator of your future potential.

I’m not sure they were any indication of my potential. I was in an extremely difficult class where learning was not anywhere near as important as fighting or as much fun as winding the teacher up. I had made it a religion not to do homework and had not produced a shred for three years. I’d found that as long as I kept my head down I went unnoticed. The teachers had enough on their plate trying to keep order in the classroom. My twin interests were girls and Rock Music. I hadn’t yet discovered Beat poetry or serious literature. My world revolved around discussing Rock and Blues, chatting up the girls and deciding which party to go to at the weekend. Peripheral to that were my hair, beard and clothes. I liked to look right. Unfortunately these preoccupations tended to bring me into conflict with a numbers of teachers and the school hierarchy. They were busy trying to hold back the tide with a flood barrier and I was making waves. The school thought that my carefully nurtured appearance was a scruffy mess. I thought it was a triumph of individuality and expression of my underlying ethos.

My parents were in despair they thought my long hair, anti-establishment attitude and casual attitude towards my studies were going to prove detrimental to my future career. They were right. I seemed to enjoy making it difficult for myself. I despised fitting in. I always have and always will.

Even so I managed to achieve. I always did enough to get by and that infuriated some of the teachers no end. They liked the ones who played the game and worked hard. They thought I did not deserve any success. Once again they were probably right.

On the first day of my O Level exams I thought I’d try it on. Instead of donning the requisite school uniform I put on my black hipsters, and Cuban heeled Chelsea boots. I fluffed up my shoulder length hair and wore my denim shirt with button-down collars. There were a few young ladies I was out to impress. I can’t say my mind was fully focussed on the forthcoming maths exam.

The basis of my mind-set was that the O Levels were too important for them to kick up much of a fuss. I might get bawled at but they’d let it go.

I was not taking Mr Morrell into account. He hated my guts. His ethos and my ethos snarled at each other whenever we met. He hated seeing me hanging around with the prettiest girls. He hated my long hair. He hated the fact that I always came top in his Biology exams despite the fact that he knew that I did no work at all. It was personal. We did not exactly see eye to eye.

It was just my luck that he happened to be on duty that day when I walked in. He was a bit of a coward. Rather than confront me himself he called the Headteacher over and complained, pointing out the rules and regulations. The Head was left with no choice but to send me home to get changed. I missed half an hour of my Maths exam.

I scraped through. I managed seven passes, all grade C with just one B in Biology.

I bet that rankled. I would have loved to have gone back as a Headteacher to meet up with Mr Morrell. I’m sure he would have loved to see that I had turned out successful after all. I’m certain he would.

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