Today’s Music to keep me SSSaaaannnnEEEE in Isolation – Billie Holiday

What a voice. She sends chills through me. Another tragic lady. That version of Strange Fruit is chilling.

Today I’ll immerse myself in Billie.


Stupidity in these times.

It seems to me that the world was going along sweetly – the same old problems, the same aggravations, some war, destruction of nature and general malaise – then we had 9/11 and Muslim extremism and everything went apeshit.

Wars in the Middle East, refugees, terrorism and the fear and hate kicked in.

It lumbered us with Brexit, Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson as the world knee-jerked to the right.

The populists, riding the wave of fear and hate stoked it up – promising walls, an end to immigration, to stamp out terrorism and easy violent solutions.

Isn’t it obvious – these snake-oil salesmen don’t have the answers. They want power and wealth at any costs. They have been actively stoking up hatred and division for their own ends. The more the better. The sad thing is that stupid people are falling for it.

Sri Lanka – The park and trees

We asked our driver to drop us off in the park miles away from the centre and told him we’d make our own way back. After walking around for hours we set about finding a local bus to take us back. The busses were so full people were hanging off them. They didn’t stop, they just slowed down. You grabbed hold and jumped on. I found myself hanging on, out over the road on the outside as the bus careered through the streets. It was quite a hairy ride.

Fabulous trees.


Poetry – Going to War – by John Phillips

I do like John’s poems (have a look at his book ‘Shorts and Shots’.

Going to war


We’re going to war, we’re going to war,

We’re going to war again.

Parliament has been recalled

And Cameron will explain.

We’re going to war, we’re going to war,

We’re going to fight the foe.

America’s President says we must,

So it’s off to war we go.


We’re going to war, we’re going to war,

We see the enemy’s game.

But nobody says who armed him,

Or even from where he came.

We’re going to war, were going to war,

The enemy’s plans to foil.

We’ll degrade his capabilities

And inflate the price of oil.


We’re going to war, we’re going to war,

Isil will be destroyed

If it takes too long we’ll change the law

And conscript the unemployed.

If it’s All in the National interest,

Will somebody please explain;

Why we knock them down just to build them up

And do it all again?



The Corona Diaries – Day 185

‘ Right, arf arf, jolly good. Yuk. Yes, yes well I’ve bloody well managed to sneak away and grab a – a – a few minutes without that er er godawful teleprompter. Righto!’

‘Good old Dom tells me that, er er, yaaah, some of you blighters don’t, er er understand what you’re jolly well meant to be doing, by Jove.’

‘Don’t you worry, I’m here arf arf. Can’t bally trust that bloody Raab to yuk yuk explain things.’

‘Who needs a bally teleprompter anyway??’

‘So, er er, I’m going to aaah, have to be quick, before Dom tracks me down.’

‘Firstly, we are in great er er peril. We have been, ya, forced to temporarilly take some er er drastic arf arf action. It’s um um not what I want. But we do, absolutely, need to shut pubs by ten o clock. Absolutely – no bones about it. Terra firma. So, by ten o clock, the country needs you home and errrrr safe. Desperatum.’

‘Just you bally-well remember, yuk arf, the rule of um um aah yes – six. That should bally do it. you can meet up with, with, err, your chums in the pub. You er should have time to get six pints down you by then, what! But er er only meet in groups of six per table. Right! But hundreds of you can er arf meet up at the pub – if it’s jolly well big enough and has lots of tables.’

‘Now, weddingsand funerals. Arf arf, splutter, well no more than six. Unless you want to hold errrrrr them in pubs. Then you er er can have as many as you like!’

‘So back to work. Gosh and golly, it’s safe. They’ve put lots of those hand jobbies in – er  you know, save you having to er wash. And eat for Britain but starve for Covid! Work at home and, er awww use the busses and trains. Don’t bust the um ummmm NHS and all those, what, starving nurses.’

‘Now, umm, masks. Bally things. Dooh must be worn in emmm shops, unless you’re uhh eating. Splutter. So I suggest that err you arf arf do like me and aaah eat a jolly good British err sausage roll, delicious, bally cornish pasty or aaah something, every time you go in a shop. That wards off the jolly virus.’

‘Social distance. I bloody am. Not even my own blinking cabinet will er er come near me!’

‘Ooooh, aaah, while I remember! We’ve got a world-beating App out today! It turns red or er er something, when there’s a a um virus around! Something um like that.’

‘Oh, and er while I’m aaah at it, don’t believe all those bally rumours about Brexit. You’re not, chuckle, all going to um lose your jobs. They’ll still, er be some jobs left. And the M whatever it is, er um, is not going to be a bloody twenty er five mile carpark. We’re building a huge, massive new carpark for all those lorries. It’ll have um facilities for the drivers so um they er can can live there er er quite happily.’

‘Look, I know, erm erm that in many er places, like Germany and er Australia, you can erm errr just nip round the corner for a test, and errrrmmm get the bally results ten er minutes later. But, who errr want to live in Germany or Australia! I tell you, errr my butler certainly doesn’t!’

‘Oh gazooks, there’s bloody Dom looking for me. Got to be off!’

It must be tough at the top! Making all those decisions that stop us having the worst death rate in the world. What? We have got the worst death rate! Well, at least the economy isn’t too bad. What?? We’re the worst at that too!

World beating and invisible!

Today it was cold and it rained all morning so I played my Fela Kuti and wrote my Harper book. It’s slow progress. I waited in for my BT engineer who never showed up. Now I’m waiting for a BT phone call from the BT manager – which also seems not to be happening. I’m beginning to think that BT is an arm of the Tory party.

Here in the UK it looks dire. New cases up zooming – up to 6,634 yesterday. The deaths, which lag behind are up to 40 and hospital cases are rising fast! What’s the betting on a circuit breaking lockdown??? I’ll put a thousand or two on it!

So great to have a government that knows what it’s doing – roll on winter!

In the States it’s another 42,917 new cases and 885 deaths – but it’s still a democratic hoax! Keep taking the bleach!

In Brazil, try as he may, Bolsonaro can’t quite catch up – another 32,817 new cases with 831 deaths – not too far behind.

Perhaps Johnson should ask Vietnam how it’s done??? They had no new cases yesterday and have only had a total of 1069 cases and 35 deaths since all this began. The USA exceeds that every 40 minutes!

Anyway – stay safe! Isolate, wash and stay out of pubs!!

Poetry – John Phillips – Syrian Rondeau

Syrian Rondeau


With veiled hypocrisy, our cries

For Syria’s agony disguise

A national interest, which demands

Licence to plunder and to stand

In judgement, as we seek the prize.


Our history falsely justifies

Superior worth, which testifies

That all should bow, as we command

With veiled hypocrisy.


By politics we legalise

Our case to feed the screaming skies,

The killing-fields and smoking sands.

Whilst tearfully wringing bloodstained hands

We pontify and moralize

With veiled hypocrisy


Check out his poetry book – Shorts and Shots



Sri Lanka – Colombo – Buddhist Sambodhi Chaithya Temple

The Buddhist temple was quite near the docks. It was a big Stupa on stilts. A very interesting structure unlike anything I’d ever seen.

When the sun was setting it stood out on the skyline. Lots of women in white robes were heading off to worship.