The Corona Diaries – Day 102

The main problem is that this has become real. I cannot remember actually interacting normally. For nearly a third of a year, I’ve been isolating. No gigs, friends of touching other people. It takes its toll. I’m beginning to feel lethargic and numb. Not good.

Outside, the world is starting up but I am very wary. Being in a vulnerable group I can see the implications. The virus is still there. The government is desperate to restart the economy; they are taking a risk. It’s not one I’m yet prepared to take.

The Corona Virus hits a new peak worldwide, America and Brazil are surging, and we still have 829 new cases a day. It doesn’t take much for that to go mad. If people don’t social distance it could go exponential. I’m staying in. The worst place to be is inside with strangers!

Trump stupidly holds rallies. Bolsonaro stays in denial, and Johnson acts like an enthusiastic fool with no strategy. Where’s the clear advice? Where the test and trace? This is bloody July!! We’ve had since January!! Now the stupid Brexiteers are holding back from joining the EU vaccine scheme. They’ve already missed out on PPE and ventilators. These guys are nuts – ideology before people!!

After yesterday’s frenetic Dead Kennedys I cooled it down with some Booker T and the MGs while I decorated the front room.

Cheers To Matt Krueger for publishing his magazine on Bukowski – It has one of my poems in it! Grab a copy quick. It’s a limited edition!

I went for my daily walk up my hill with a brooding sky and threat of violence. It was sultry. I thought that suited the day. The pubs are open. Trouble is brewing

Stay safe.

Arriving in Manilla – the reception – Photos

I think they’d made a mistake. They had mistaken our little ship for one of those massive cruise liners. We slipped into the harbour with three fire tugs spurting water! There were stilt-walkers, musicians and dancers – all in elaborate costumes (some obviously bought from the local pound store). We’d never received such an elaborate welcome.

Looking back I suppose they were employed by the port to welcome a string of cruise ships. We just happened to arrive when no others were there and so received the full works.

It was fun and bemusing.

There were a number of musical instruments that I’d never even seen before. It was great to hear and see, even if it wasn’t exactly my thing.

God’s Bolt and Reawakening – the Character Helen Southcote.

The initial idea was to attempt to write a novel with just one character. The character, my heroine, was Helen Southcote.

I had to have a setting for her to be stranded on her own and so I chose the Space Station. This was the future and the world had been brought back from the brink of environmental disaster. The population had been reduced to four billion and nature, conserved in huge swathes of pristine habitat, now thrived.

Helen was raised in the countryside is what had been England. She ran wild with her two brothers and developed a love of nature. Her parents were extremely gifted. Her father being a biologist working for the food agency and her mother a biochemist who worked from her laboratory at home legally creating recreational drugs.

Helen was a vibrant, inquisitive girl. I based a lot of her early experiences on my own childhood. The caterpillars, snakes and wildlife were my experiences. The competition with her brothers and her dare-devil tree-climbing was my daughter.

I made her compassionate, highly intelligent, studious, a completer-finisher and problem-solver, but with a reckless, fun-loving nature. She was very able and obsessively hard-working but also knew how to party. She was sexually active (necessary as part of the plot) and indulged in the psychoactive drugs her mother produced (all safe and legal). Her personality was warm and extrovert. She fell in love easily and developed close relationships with all sexes and ages. She was very gregarious.

Helen was a communicator, exceedingly self-confident and charismatic, able to charm a large audience in a symposium or perform successfully within a small team.

Instead of becoming a biologist, as might have been predicted from her early life, she was turned on to Physics by one of those inspiring teachers that turn up to change the course of one’s life. She became interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Carl Sagan became her hero. It was through this that she entered into a career in SETI – the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. That is what had taken her to the Space Station.

At the time of the destruction of the Earth Helen was still a young girl. She found herself alone, the last surviving human being. I wanted to examine how such a terrible event and horrendous future, with its certainty of being completely alone, with no purpose in sight, might impact on the psychology of such a person.

Available in both paperback and kindle from Amazon.

In the UK:

Buy the book Click here

In the USA:

Click here to buy the book

In India:

Buy the book – click here

In Canada:

Buy the book – click here

In Germany:

Buy the book – click here

In Australia

Buy the book – click here

Or from your local Amazon Store.

The Corona Diaries – Day 101

Well, today is the last day before everything opens – pubs, restaurants. hotels and hairdressers. Tomorrow it’s back to normal. The flights are back and the schools are opening. It’ll be like Coronaq never happened!

Or will it?

Well, we’ve seen in Texas, where the Trump minions are in denial and social distancing ios a commie plot – the virus is going through the roof. Even Trump is beginning to advocate facemasks. He’s so behind in the polls there is talk of him not standing. That would be interesting. It looks like Corona, and his own ineptitude has burst his bubble. They’ll take the Republicans down with him. What a shame about all those religious nutters.

Will we follow the same pattern once our own brand of loonies is out and about? I reckon so.

Johnson is taking a risk. I hope he’ll do the right thing and resign if it goes pear-shaped. But then he’s got Dominic Cummings as a role model. His father galivants off to Greece in defiance of the rules. But then we all know the rules are only intended for us peasants. That bunch of privileged wankers are exempt.

So I continue in isolation. Over a hundred days of solitude. Didn’t Gabriel García Márquez write about that? Oh no – it was a hundred years – let’s hope not!

Today I painted the front room and played Dead Kennedys. Then I walked my ten kilometres up my hill. I haven’t done much writing but the ideas are flowing. This solitude takes its toll on your disposition.

So stay safe! Don’t go to the pub – leave that to the loonies.

Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – The Dead Kennedy’s

I think I need perking up with a bit of American Punk. I also need a bit of Jello Biafra’s hard-hitting poetry. This was a band with attitude. I like that!

So today I am decorating and playing it loud!!

I just love the piss-take of Thatcher and the US WAR Department:


Borneo – volcanoes and sunsets. Photos.

Sailing along the coast of Borneo in the evening as majestic volcanoes poke through the cloud layer. The sun slowly sets to bathe sea and land with orange, purple and yellow.

I stared at the landscape as we sailed by and imagined all the creatures living in those rainforests, creatures now under great threat. Within the beauty is a great sadness.

Poetry – No Lives Matter

No Lives Matter


This is the West

All that matters is the loot.

We’re pawns in a game,

Under the master’s boot.

The masters happen to be white.

Their rule is absolute.

There’s a pyramid

Of priority.

At the bottom are all the creatures.

A hierarchy of importance,

Where, if you’re human,

You’ve got to have the right features.

I have white privilege

On account of my skin.

Equality is a rude word,

In fact, it’s a sin.

Racism’s a tool they use

To divide and rule.

To give privilege to one race

While treating us all like fools.

All that really matters

Are the wealthy elite.

They’ll blast us, poison us

Brainwash us

Til we fall down at their feet.

If you want to change the system

You’re just commie loons.

They’ll allow you to protest

And then send in the goons.

They foster division.

If we’re at each other’s throat

They’ll go unnoticed,

So they can rake it in

And gloat.

No lives really matter.

As long as we purchase all their tat.

As long as the cash rolls in

That’s the end of that.


Opher – 2.7.2020

Poetry – The Train – a poem by John Phillips



Come to the station and get on the train

Queue for your ticket and get on the train

Follow your leader and get on the train

This is the train, this is the train

Follow your leader and get on the train

Brexit is Brexit, cancels Remain

Cancels Remain, this is the train

Kick out the immigrants, blacken their names

Blacken their names, this is the train

Rampant austerity, swallow your pain

Swallow your pain, this is the train

Privatise everything, this is the game

This is the game, this is the train

Even the media s riding our train

Riding our train, this is the train

Something for nothing, someone to blame

Someone to blame, this is the train

Follow your leader and get on the train

This is the train, this is the train

Follow your leader and get on the train


The Corona Diaries – Day 100

Well, we’ve got Leicester shut down and we have thirty-six other boroughs with a rising number of cases. That doesn’t sound like good news to me – particularly just before they plan to open all the pubs and restaurants. Six hundred and eighty-nine new cases with heaven knows how many cases undetected. I think I’ll be steering clear of anywhere!

This looks like a time to be wary. Johnson and his crew are ready to pounce – any way they can screw more money out of any given situation for themselves and their profiteering friends (how much is Rees Mogg looking to get out of Brexit?? a cool two million?). Under the guise of opening up the economy and getting new jobs, we could see a lot of protection and rights disappearing. This relaxing of planning is a good example. This is when we end up with massive environmental damage and worse pollution and working conditions. All that matters is the cash – right? No way!

There are record cases in the USA and Brazil. It looks completely out of control over there. But that’s what you get when you put obnoxious buffoons in charge. These snake-oil salesmen are incompetent. Elsewhere in the world, there are fresh outbreaks and countries are struggling to contain it.

This is not something that is going away any time soon!

I thought I’d soothe my troubled mind with a bit of Sandy Denny. What a beautiful voice from such a troubled songstress. She was one of the very best. Brilliant live in Fairport. Who knows where the time goes? It’s been a hundred days in lockdown today! It might be a good few hundred more before this is over!

I worked on my photobooks and prepared to do a bit more decorating. It’s a busy lockdown and has been extremely productive so far – but I’m running out of enthusiasm!

It was a gloomy day but when it stopped raining I ventured out for my 10 Kilometre walk up my hill and along the lane. It helps keep me sane. I’m so glad we’ve still got most of the summer and autumn to go before the weather gets cold and wet. Without my walks, I think I might go nuts. At least I’m keeping fit!

So you all stay fit and keep safe!