Arrr! See CONTENTS for links to the 125 chapters of The Monstaville Memoirs plus introductions, conclusions, postscripts and appendices. This treasure trove also includes a collection of articles offering further insights into the themes explored in the trilogy. Namely, managing suffering and conflict (dealing with hostile people if you are nervous, sensitive or shy) and learning not to react
“Well, what did you expect in an
opera? A happy ending?”
- Bugs Bunny (Warner Brothers).
Neighbour Notes March to April 2011.
1 March. Evening. El Phaba came home about
quarter to twelve and stomped around in shoes, and then again at half twelve.
The Dude (Jeff Bridges): Look, we all know
what’s involved here. What the fuck are you talking about, huh?
Walter (John Goodman): Dude, the Chinaman
is not the issue here…They pee’d on your fucking rug?
The Dude: They pee’d on my fucking rug.
Walter: That’s right Dude, they pee’d on
your fucking rug.
The Big Lebrowski (directed by Ethan
and Joel Coen, 1998).
I now have
active hostility with Pakistanis living next door, above me and across the
road. Crazy warrior shit, man! I mean, I’m just doing the best I can within the
law but can you imagine what I’d be driven to if I was free to in a more
primitive society? Well, of course, they
all belonged to the same tribe and probably respected each other, a little bit
at least! But, here, it’s like I am in prison (or a mental home) with inmates
who belong to the same tribe outnumbering me and doing what the hell they want
at my expense.
On 1 March,
I got home at 4.30 p.m. and, at 5 p.m. they started working on a car in the
driveway next door to me just as I was intending to relax for the evening. I
simply went outside and complained, saying something like, ‘You’re not starting
that at this hour are you?’ Interestingly, when I spoke to him this time, the
guy turned round and complained about my having asked his mechanic to go away
previously. Two days later, the mechanic sat in his van for ages with the
window down, chatting away on his mobile phone. [A week later: however, he has
not been back since I wrote down this vehicle registration number while he was
sitting in his car shortly afterwards]. I listened to him intently, realising
that he really is not capable of considering my point of view, and then said,
simply, ‘Ok, this is the last day.’ To which he grumbled and turned away.
Agreeing as though agreeing to disagree, or being bitterly sarcastic. So, I am
now writing a letter to the council to see if anything can be done about the
situation. Although I am now officially battling against three sets of
Pakistani neighbours, which has caused my mood to drop somewhat, I also feel
more hopeful now that I am actually doing something about it and not just
putting up with the noise. It also helps to calm my fury and latent desire to
go out and do some damage. There is no need for violence, ever!
There is a
Spike Milligan sketch titled ‘Pakistani Daleks’ which portrays life at home
with the Daleks. Daddy Dalek (Spike) comes home from work wearing a white
handkerchief on his ‘head’ and crashes into the dinner table several times as
his human wife attempts to lay out the cutlery (almost as if he is drunk). The
dalek eventually pushes the crockery onto the floor and she attempts to lay the
table with what remains on it. “I’m sorry I’m late,” says the dalek. “The tubes
were full of commuters.” When his wife asks how he got on (the train) he
explains that he exterminated them. She makes him a cup of tea and asks how Mr.
Banaji is. The dalek replies, “HE’S-NOT-VERY-WELL.” “Why?” asks his wife.
“I-EXTERMINATED-HIM.” The dalek then exterminates the dog when it barks and
says, “PUT-HIM-IN-THE-CURRY.” He then exterminates granny who is sitting in an
armchair. Then a smaller dalek enters from another door. It’s their son.
“Johnny, have you finished your homework?” asks the mother. The son replies, “YES-I-HAVE-DESTROYED-IT.”
She then says, “Someone has exterminated granny!” To this, daddy dalek responds
predictably, “YES-PUT-HER-IN-THE-CURRY-AS-WELL.” A bird in a cage then starts
talking: “Hello sailor. Hello sailor.” And is promptly exterminated! “PUT-HIM-IN-THE-CURRY,”
says the dalek. His wife then ends the sketch, telling the audience, “Now you
know what’s wrong with the country.” Daddy dalek continues firing randomly
around the room and says, “PUT-IT-ALL-IN-THE-CURRY.” His wife adds: “Now you
know what’s wrong with the curry!”
on YouTube: “The sketch is in fact mocking the social attitudes to mixed
relationships in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Spike Milligan wasn’t racist
but would often take racial stereotypes and make them so absurd as to be
ridiculous.” In view of the title, the main dalek is clearly meant to be a
portrayal of a Pakistani man who is married to an English wife. The association
being so absurd, Spike Milligan, who was born in Pune, India, is showing us how
blaming immigrants for everything is equally absurd. In the 70s, there were a large
number of bigots who had never even met a coloured person and regarded them as
aliens and less-than-human and harboured many false beliefs about how they
lived. It is as though it were daleks who ‘come over here, take all the jobs
and breed like rabbits.’ Then we might have something to complain about.
Ordinary Asian people, however, are just human beings. And, it is not as if we
have anything to fear such as them destroying everything and killing everyone
in sight – and putting it in the curry! (Because, of course, another popular
myth has been that Asian people put ‘goodness knows what’ in the curry - a new
phenomenon for many Brits at the time – possibly even dogs).
5 March. From about 12.45 a.m. the noise
coming from a silver PSV parked next door kept me awake. It belongs to the guy
over the road. The noise sounded like a loud fan. I went outside to see what it
was and the lights in his house, upstairs and downstairs, were on. This has
never happened before so I am assuming that it is deliberate after our exchange
the other day. The noise lasted about an hour and I couldn’t sleep until it
stopped although I kept telling myself it was not too loud to prevent me from
surrounded by bandits from the same country who have come to this town expecting
to do whatever they want. It is like living in a hornet’s nest! I feel like I
have been ambushed by the Japs during WWII and they are closing in and want to
take over and throw me in a POW camp. I do feel like I am out of my depth here.
It’s starting to get to me again, to be honest.
I feel a
bit like Rango the chameleon in the children’s cartoon film that has just come
out in the cinema. According to a description in a local newspaper, Rango is “a new twist on the classic
Western legend of the outside who saves a town – and himself in the process.”
(Depp) accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt – plagues
by bandits – the less-than-courageous lizard finds he stands out. Welcomes as
the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to
play his new role to the hilt until, in a blaze of action-packed situations and
encounters with outrageous characters, Rango starts to become the hero he once
only pretended to be.”
There's a new sheriff in town
6 March. Oh, my favourite pastime: being
woken up at 7 a.m. on a Sunday and listening to Fabala stomping around and
dropping things on the floor for half-an-hour before going out! As I have
already pointed out, the stomping and dropping things often go hand-in-hand.
They either occur at the same time or there is some stomping followed
immediately by objects being dropped on the floor. This is usually just for a
minute or two, morning and evening (often more than once), but sometimes
longer. If she is off work - at the weekends, for example - she makes sure she
drops things on the floor periodically. During the evening, the Ha Chus were
knocking on my wall with a solid object for 5 or 10 minutes at 10.15 p.m. this
was followed by noise off and on for an hour.
7 March. In the morning, of course, I
received my daily dose of torture from upstairs! In fact, I ended up going to
bed very late again and, being woken up early, appears to have triggered this
cold that has been lingering in my body for the past month or more. At least
it’s all coming out now but I did feel like a total wreck all day today!
10 March. I have a cold at the moment and I
am receiving the same treatment as last year. It has not been so noisy this
year, however, so Fabala only learned about it yesterday. She let out a loud
fake sneeze last night and again this morning along with a whole circus show of
dropping items on the floor for ages. She definitely earned her sugar lumps!
12 March. Saturday. I have no idea what El
Phaba was doing upstairs this afternoon but it was unbearably loud and I hope
it is a one-off rather than a regular act in the circus. It sounded like a
rowing machine or similar exercise apparatus. I heard a sliding sound followed
by a loud thud on the floor repeated over and over and over again. I happened
to watch a comedy programme afterwards and I was killing myself with laughter.
As a result, El Phaba dropped something on the floor that was the loudest noise
to date, I swear! She also did another fake ‘sneeze’ as loudly as possible a
little while later.
13 March. Very loud knocking on the wall with
a solid object next door at 10.25 in the evening. I got up and went over to the
wall and shouted, ‘You do NOT want to do that, fucker!’ I doubt if they could
hear the words but, hopefully, they got the message anyway!
14 March. Evening. El Phaba put some music on
when she got home in the evening which was just loud enough to be annoying. She
then tried her new exercise machine at 7.30 which is ludicrously loud! I put
some loud-ish music on. She stopped but then started again. I stood on the bed
and shouted up, ‘Shut the fuck up!!’ She stepped again and put the radio on in
her bedroom. It was loud but not earth-shattering like the other times.
15 March. Ha Chu, a grown man, let out a fake
sneeze at 4.10 p.m. I’m pretty sure it was the most fake-sounding one to date!
He is out of practice! In fact, he did it three times in a row perhaps to make
up for his blunder. The third one was much better. Haha.
March, at 1.07 a.m., I had a fleeting but powerful vision of wearing a white
robe (with some purple on) and being some kind of priest on a higher dimension
(perhaps with M and co?). There was a faint feeling of joy and fulfilment
associated with this plane of who I am. If I could raise my self-awareness to
this level and then relate to my earthly life from there I might have more
self-love and faith as well as a deeper sense of purpose and interest in living
on this planet.
16 March. El Phaba is just very noisy every
morning and today she, too, tried a couple of fake sneezes whilst dropping
things on the floor at the same time. Then, at 6.05 p.m., Ha Chu followed suit with
another loud ‘sneeze.’ And again at 9.26. Getting some practice in.
17 March. I got home early and Ha Chu let rip
a really, really loud ‘achoo’ right by the wall at exactly 4 p.m. So, it was
worth all the practice after all! lol.
Rattlesnake Jake from Rango
love with all your heart and accept the unlovable side of others...For anyone
can love a rose, but only a great heart can include the thorns.” – Unknown.
19 March. Someone next door heard me turn the
light off when I went to bed at 12.40 am (I’m usually quieter just in case) and
knocked on a wooden cabinet or something for about 40 seconds. At 11.08 a.m.,
there were three sneezes in succession upstairs which actually sounded real
even though I’m sure they weren’t! Perhaps she has been taking lessons from Ha
Chu! This was followed swiftly by solid objects being dropped on the lino
floor. She then put on some loud dance music at 11.30 which she then turned up
six minutes later. It is the radio as usual. She turned it down at 12.40. This
was inevitably her response to the full moon. Sad! Loud knocking on the wall
next door at 11.17 p.m.
can only handle loud music for an hour and even then she just listens to any
old crap on the radio! People who are not really into music cannot go the
distance. I could listen to loud music (of my choice) all day if I wanted to.
There is so much music I love. I was talking to two black guys once and they
got on to the subject of rap music, at which point my interest in the
conversation started to decline until I eventually offered an opinion. One of
the guys asked me what music I’m into and, when I told him, he smiled and his
eyes lit up. He told me he couldn’t relate to anyone who was not passionate
about music in one form or another, as though he were suggesting they had no
20 March. El Phaba arrived home just as the
neighbours’ 4x4 was pulling into the driveway at 5.32 p.m. Maybe there is a
sneezing training centre I am unaware of.
21 March. 4 or 5 young Asian guys parked
outside at 2.50. They must have stopped for a fag I think. They were talking
and laughing loudly right outside my window. Having been woken up by the
assault, I got out of bed and banged on the window. I was too tired to go out
and tell them to fuck off. One of them asked what I wanted and I replied,
‘Sleep!’ which he heard and understood immediately. They drove off after that.
I was unable to get back to sleep, however. In the evening, El Phaba had her TV
on fairly loud and then used that rowing/exercise machine around 8.30 p.m. My
God! It’s louder than I remembered. Response: very loud Motorhead for an hour. No Sleep Til Hammersmith. An all-round
war is kicking off here again. I swear the Ha Chus made a young child cry purposefully at 11.20 p.m. in an effort to
piss me off! They also knocked on the wall off and on until 12.30 a.m.
22 March. A loud fake ‘sneeze’ from Hachu
Hichu at 11.35 a.m.
23 March. I came home for lunch and some Asian
men were building a brick wall down at the end of the road. They were playing
Asian music full blast! On my way out again, I went and talked to them. I was
just going to write down their company name and telephone number but there was
no sign on their PSV so I asked one guy for a business card. I was going to
explain that I intended to ring the company to complain about the noise if they
asked (albeit after they had given me
a card). It turned out that it was a local family helping relatives so I simply
told him that if they didn’t turn the music down I would call the council out.
He smiled and turned it off asking me if that was alright, by which time I was
walking away and simply turned round and nodded. Actually, I don’t think I
nodded because I had not asked him to turn the music off. I just warned him
what would happen if he didn’t turn it down. It was more like a subtle shrug. I
was bluffing on this occasion anyway although partly because I was not at home.
and He will enable you to love others even when they disappoint you.” -
26 March. El Phaba came home with some people,
including children, and immediately used the ‘rowing machine’ for five minutes.
It IS incredibly loud! And just as I was about to meditate!! I was tempted to
go and ask what the noise was but I was scared of losing my temper. Such is the
impotence of English men in our time. I don’t seem to have recorded the other
instances of this noise. I have just played loud music in response each time.
28 March. I got home at 11.30 p.m. and her
boyfriend’s car was parked in the street outside. My path was blocked in the
dark hallway. I bumped into something and couldn’t seem to move it out of the
way. So, I switched the light on to see what it was. There were two sections of
a retail clothing rail and the one that was in my way I simply lifted up and
threw on the stairs with the other part. After a few minutes of being in my
flat Elphie’s boyfriend rushed down and took the contraption out to his car. I
am wondering if that is what she was rolling around the floor!! Very strange
behaviour though. And what was the loud clunk on the floor at the end of each
lap? Perhaps she was using it purely as some kind of torture device!
29 March. El Phaba appears to have a week off
work and, foolishly, she is making more noise than ever: last night and this
evening. And, this evening, whilst I meditated, she walked around and crashed
about for the whole hour!
30 March. El Phaba got home just after 9 p.m.
and again spent quite some time dropping things on the floor to try and annoy
me. I just put Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor on loud enough to
prevent it from affecting me. I can just about deal with the idea that someone
is being that nasty towards me it if does not do any other harm. These are
people who want to ruin my quality of life, not that it is in tip top condition
anyway! Late in the evening, the Ha Chus were knocking on the wall. I said to
myself that if they did it once more I would get up and do something about it
(I hadn’t yet gone to bed). They knocked much louder than before so I got up,
banged two metal trays together in the air in the other room to wake El Phaba
up and shouted ‘Fuck off!’ Force being the only language these lowlife idiots
meditation has to become a strength in you, not a weakness. It has to make you
so strong that you can sit in the marketplace and yet be meditative.” – Osho.
that you do in meditation, spiritual practices, with your intentions and loving
actions throughout the day influences those around you as well as enhancing
your own spiritual growth. When you meditate you are not only meditating for
yourself but for all of humanity, for all that is the Creator on the Earth and
inner planes. Know that you are being of service at all times through your
simple desire to connect with the Creator. Many people ask us what their
purpose is. We say to you that you are already living your purpose now you are
already being of service; you just have to realise and believe this.” – The
Ascended Masters (channelled through Natalie Glasson,‘Being of Service, Part 3,’ 28 March 2011, www.omna.org).
31 March. Yes, things have turned nasty here!
Some as yesterday: in the evening, El Phaba spent a good deal of her time walking
around in shoes and, not so much ‘dropping’ things as throwing things at the
floor and just whacking it with something. At one point, this was
excruciatingly loud. I meditated through it all again but I did not enter a
deep meditation so there was some unpleasantness to experience. This lasted for
an hour or so but there was a bit more to come before she went to bed. At 10.45
p.m., I stood on a chair and made some noise of my own for a minute or so in
close proximity to where she sleeps. After that, the cat wanted more food and,
as I bent down to place it in his bowl, I felt a sneeze coming. Consequently, I
stood up and let rip!
been no repeat of that awful noise so I guess it must have been the clothes
rail and not a rowing machine! Crazy! Thank God for Motorhead and Mendelssohn!
minutes after writing up this week’s notes the phone rang. I paused to see if
anyone spoke, which they did not, and then said ‘Hello’ and they hung up].
in to hate. That leads to the dark side.” – Obi Wan Knobe.
As for the
guy over the road, he has resumed business again but in a less conspicuous way
which includes not working on vehicles in the driveway next door. In fact, he
has removed the empty bottles of oil, dirty rags and so on, and moved the car
bumper to his own driveway. I took some photos of the mechanic and a couple of
their customers while they worked in the street which was quite amusing. Just
in case I need to provide any evidence of what they have been doing here. The
mechanic is seriously worried about this for some reason and has pretty much
stopped coming here. Interestingly, as I passed a newsagent’s on the bus one
afternoon (23 March), I saw a headline advertising a local newspaper which read
‘Death In Unlicensed Garage Home.’
3 April. The Ha Chus have a couple of their
daughters and their friend over for the weekend. One of them ‘coughed’ loudly
as they always do now before they start such a get-together. I find this
behaviour quite stupid because that is more likely to make me angry than
anything. They started talking about ten minutes later and El Phaba magically
arrived him at that precise moment. Part of me (my ego) wanted to play some
loud music in protest but I simply was not in the mood and did not allow this
reaction to take over although, the usual plan, is to deter them from doing
this kind of thing in the future.
5 April. A guy from the Noise Abatement team
at the council called today in response to my second enquiry and reminder that
it was three weeks since I wrote to them and no one had contacted me (they said
someone would call within 5 days). He claims to have called me a few times and
also visited the street to check the situation, hoping to get lucky. In fact,
he reckons he was here yesterday morning. I told him it’s a shame I didn’t have
his number because the mechanics were working on a vehicle for about 6 hours
yesterday afternoon and only finished at 7.15 p.m. I pointed out that there are
often two or three cars parked there which slows the traffic down and could
cause an accident one day. We agreed that there are many issues besides the
noise at stake here and he said he can notify the appropriate departments
(Trading Standards, street cleaning and parking) once he has observed things
firsthand. He gave me the numbers for his office and told me to call them out
when they are working in the street again. He implied that this situation is
not so unusual and that Asians sometimes prefer to repair vehicles in the
street for cash in hand than rent somewhere purpose-built which they could
10 April. Sunday. There must be some kind of
wedding or something because the Hachoos have being going out and coming back
for little parties for the last couple of days. I stayed up on Friday night and
was lucky that the noise ceased not long after I had gone to bed. Last night, I
wore ear plugs but woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to
sleep again. One thing I have noticed whenever the Ha Chus have people over for
a Friday/Saturday night party, El Phaba always stays in and is mysteriously quiet for the whole evening. I crashed around
when I got up not long after 8 a.m. I am aware of having lost the battle with
El Phaba who is now going all out and abusing her power exuberantly, making as
much noise as possible, dropping things on the floor for half-an-hour in the
mornings and frequently dropping things on the floor throughout the weekends
when she is at home. I have no real deterrent anymore. Only extremes will work.
All I can do is show her that there are still some consequences of her destructive actions at least in the hope
of reducing the number of ‘bombs’ dropped in my direction! Damage control, in
good thing about fb is if you wake up in the middle of the night…you always
have someone to talk to ;) Love you all! xoxo
Her friend: Yeah all is good here. So have you
just got in from a night out??
Facebook friend: Ha! No..I wish..my life isn't that
exiting these days..I just woke up because the neighbour has been roaring up
and down the road on his bike...
Me [later in the morning]: We should all have our own
sweet little community somewhere peaceful and sunny. Cities are for visiting
not living in. I woke up at 3.30 a.m. because my neighbours had another party
and I find ear plugs uncomfortable. In fact, I had a dream that I met an old
friend who was telling me he drives diggers and bulldozers for a living and he
has trouble with his ears from wearing ear plugs all day. LOL.
13 April. 16.50 p.m. An Asian man has been
walking up and down the pavement outside my house talking so loudly on his mobile. I eventually went out and told him, ‘Oi,
mate, if you’re going to walk around shouting would you mind doing it outside
your own house?’ After ignoring me initially he signalled ‘OK’ with his arm
when I turned round again. The truth is, many people living round here now are
loud and ignorant. I often hear Asian men talking loudly as they walk past late
in the evening or in the early hours of the morning which just never happened
at all until the last year or two really.
must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the
power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the
worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less
prone to hate our enemies."- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am not,
of course, as stated previously, including a record of every time the woman
upstairs made my life hell by dropping things frequently and repeatedly as well
as ten times more loudly than she used to in the past. It would just be
ridiculous because she did it practically every day ever since that week when
she got the landlord to stop me playing loud music in the mornings. This period
was sheer mayhem and surpassed any period of such length in the past in terms
17 April. Sunday. El Phaba had her sister’s
kids to stay overnight. This morning at 9.10 a.m. she made that phenomenally
loud noise again with whatever the contraption is that she has acquired. It is
not a rowing machine or the clothes rail. There was much less of a rhythm on
this occasion. Less sliding and more clunking!
24 April. Easter Sunday. During sunny weather
the quality of life should increase! Often, however, it doesn’t because
selfish, ignorant and aggressive people pollute the atmosphere with loud noise
from the stereos in their cars and homes and ruin it for everybody.
Consequently, despite the sunshine, there was no tai chi or relaxing in the
garden this afternoon. Ruined. What gives you the right to ruin everyone’s
Sunday afternoon - or Easter? Jamaica: coming to a garden near you!
27 April. A young child was making a lot of
noise in the front room near my bed from 11 p.m. onwards. Ha Chu then made a
loud, fake sneeze at 11.30 p.m. I was in bed trying to get to sleep.
28 April. When I went out to do tai chi in
the garden around midday the neighbours came outside and made a lot of noise
just for 15 minutes or so to disturb me. Then, in the evening, Maltesers did
some fake coughing. Oh yeah, because I also released a loud shout and rattled a
few pans in the kitchen this afternoon when I heard someone in the toilet next
door. So I played a Motorhead album loud in both rooms. El Phaba must have come
home after a couple of songs and fuck her too! At 6.36 p.m., I heard lots of
shouting in the street and climbed up onto the table to look over the hedge,
out the window, to see what was going on. A well-built Asian guy had stopped
his 4x4 (Land Rover, I think) and he was furious with a black youth who must
have kicked or thrown something at his vehicle I guess. He kept repeating, ‘Why
did you do that?’ And went for him a couple of times but there were a few other
black youths with him. I am not sure if they were all together because they
went off in different directions afterwards (in pairs). A Bengali man in a
smart light-grey suit, in his 30s, who happened to be around at the time was
bravely distracting a couple of the youths and deterring them from possibly
attacking the driver. Kind of weird because I just cut the hedge on the other
side today after breaking a two-day fast (i.e. I was BEAT!). So, it would have
been much easier to see over. I wanted to know what the trouble was and if
anyone was getting a rough deal and may need help. Later, at 10.45 p.m.,
Maltesers’ loud, fake cough was met with me dropping the cat’s metal tray on
the floor in the other room beneath El Phaba’s bed. I also slammed the kitchen
door handle against the metal filing cabinet a couple times.
PLAY: ‘One of Those Days in England by Roy
Harper’ (1977). Why? Cuz this ain’t England!
“If you love unconditionally, does this mean you
Should you not condemn a hurtful act? Let us unpack
this so that it becomes clearer.
When you harm another, you harm yourself. How are you best to be helped
from this behaviour? Let us consider why you might bring harm to another. The
only reason is that some part of you is crying out for love; that part feels so
bad about itself that it lashes out in despair. It believes it cannot be loved.
So your unconditional love for that part or that person who brings harm is the
beginning of a healing process.
Does this mean that you must stand aside when harm is done? No, for you
are free to act from love also. Your love may prompt you to step in and do whatever
you may to stop further harm and to heal
what has already happened. You can do this most effectively without recourse to
blame, for blame begins to create a separation of one from another that
unconditional love seeks to dissolve.
Above all be kind to yourself, for in kindness to yourself you model the
love of the Source of All.”
(Graham Chapman): [After Arthur's cut
off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid Bastard.
You've got no arms left. Black
Yes I have. King Arthur: *Look*! Black
It's just a flesh wound.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones,
“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in
jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going
no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to
die, I’ll die right here, right now, fighting you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer
when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice.” -Muhammad Ali
"I read more in the
winter, write more, think more, sleep more. I don’t plan any of this –
rather I don’t resist the seductions of darkness."
So the evenings are drawing in? Jeanette Winterson couldn't be more delighted. Darkness is the time to think, to dream, to love...
It's human to want light and warmth. Our pagan ancestors had a calendar of fire festivals, and God's first recorded words, according to the Hebrew Bible, were: "Let there be light." Night belongs to the dark side, literally and metaphorically: ghosts, scary monsters, robbers, the unknown. Electricity's triumph over the night keeps us safer as well as busier.
But whatever extends the day loses us the dark.
We now live in a fast-moving, fully lit world where night still happens, but is optional to experience. Our 24/7 culture has phased out the night. In fact we treat the night like failed daylight. Yet slowness and silence – the different rhythm of the night – are a necessary correction to the day.
I think we should stop being night-resisters, and learn to celebrate the changes of the seasons, and realign ourselves to autumn and winter, not just turn up the heating, leave the lights on and moan a lot.
Night and dark are good for us. As the nights lengthen, it's time to reopen the dreaming space. Have you ever spent an evening without electric light?
It doesn't matter whether you are in the city or the country, as long as you can control your own little pod. Make it a weekend, get in plenty of candles, and lay the fire if you have one. Prepare dinner ahead, and plan a walk so that you will be heading for home in that lovely liminal time where light and dark are hinged against each other.
City or country, that sundown hour is strange and exhilarating, as ordinary spatial relations are altered: trees rear up in their own shadows, buildings bulk out, pavements stretch forward, the red wrapper of brake lights turns a road into a lava flow.
Inside, the lights are going on. Outside, it's getting dark. You, as a dark shape in a darkening world, want to hold that intimacy, just for one night. Go home. Leave the lights off.
We have all experienced negative darkness – those long stretches of the night when we can't sleep, and worry about everything, and so we know that "dark time" can seem interminably long, compared with daytime. Yet this slowing of time can be the most relaxing and beautiful experience. Spending the evening in candlelight, and maybe by the fire – with no TV – talking, telling stories, letting the lit-up world go by without us, expands the hours, and alters the thoughts and conversations we have.
I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing – their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are longer pauses.
To sit alone without any electric light is curiously creative. I have my best ideas at dawn or at nightfall, but not if I switch on the lights – then I start thinking about projects, deadlines, demands, and the shadows and shapes of the house become objects, not suggestions, things that need to done, not a background to thought.
The famous "sleep on it" when we have a dilemma we can't solve is an indication of how important dream time is to human wellbeing. The night allows this dream time, and the heavier, thicker dark of winter gives us a chance to dream a little while we are awake – a kind of reverie or meditation, the constellation of slowness, silence and darkness that sits under the winter stars.
I live in a wood in deep country, so inevitably light and dark keep their natural, non-city qualities for me, and I find myself responding to the changes in the light, and adjusting my ways from outdoors to indoors. I read more in the winter, write more, think more, sleep more. I don't plan any of this – rather I don't resist the seductions of darkness.
And what could be better, on a winter afternoon, than getting into bed with someone you love? Then the darkness is complicit. Bed is where you should be. If it rains outside, that only adds to the pleasure. And don't put the lights on. The Shakespearean bed trick, where it is so dark that somebody ends up making love to the wrong somebody (or as it happens, ultimately the right somebody), could never happen in our bright bedrooms, but the soft velvet of darkness turns even a familiar lover into an unknown encounter.
Making love in the afternoon is completely different in summer and winter. To begin as the afternoon light is fading, to wake up, warm and heavy, when it is completely dark, to kiss and stroke the shared invisible body, to leave the person you love half asleep while you go and open wine … then the moment of standing barefoot in the kitchen, just a candle and two glasses to take back to bed, and a feeling of content like no other.
It may be an illusion, it may be the bonding hormone called oxytocin, but it is a gift of darkness too, and the slow extended time of love and night.
I like the slowness of night.
When friends from London arrive, high on electric light, like hamsters on a 24/7 wheel, I slow them down by feeding them food with darkness sealed in it: deep red venison stewed in claret, carp from the bottom of the river, root vegetables grown in rich black earth.
Just as our bodies use the sun to store up vitamin D for the winter, so the root vegetables common to autumn and winter have used their summer foliage to lock in the sun. There is a wonderful alchemical image of a black sun – dark, not radiating outwards but inwards – and that packed-in power is what you get in the autumn root vegetables. Little red turnips and ruby-black beetroot, small rough brown swede and deep orange rounds of carrot are dark suns.
Eating seasonally is not a green fad; it is way of connecting the body to what is really happening out there. We are seasonal creatures – the over-ride button is scarcely 100 years old. Give the body back its seasons and the mind is saner.
I believe in pleasure – but not the same pleasure all the time. Seasonal pleasure prevents boredom and cynicism.
There is great pleasure to be had from coming home on a wild night when the weather is vile, and pouring a glass of good red wine, and cooking dark food, such as mushroom risotto or braised beef and turnips served with dark green cabbage and truffle mash. If you have only 15 minutes to cook, make it mushrooms on toast with chopped parsley, and a chicory and endive salad. But keep the good red wine … This kind of cooking and eating cheers you up in winter, because it is what the body needs.
If you want to be depressed, spend the long winter nights eating out-of-season food. This is not the time for caesar salads or anything with the words "slim" or "diet" or "low calorie" on the label. After a day in the office, a brisk walk home – even if takes an hour – followed by real winter food, will give you good spirits of the kind not to be found in the over-lit-overheated-bus-in-a-traffic-jam situation, followed by a ready meal.
In the autumn, make the bedroom cooler, not warmer. In winter, keep it slightly chilly, so that there is pleasure in that tingle of cold before you leap into bed with a hot water bottle, a good book and a glass of whisky.
It is a mistake to fight the cold and the dark. We're not freezing or starving in a cave, so we can enjoy what autumn and winter bring, instead of trying to live in a perpetual climate-controlled fluorescent world with the same day-in, day-out processed, packaged, flown-in food.
I have a tiny woodburning stove on my girlfriend's balcony in London. She thinks I'm crazy, but I like to sit in front of it with the lights of the city elsewhere, heating a pan of soup or roasting chestnuts, and yes, I could do that on her fancy Falcon cooker, but I wouldn't be where I like to be in my mind – which is dark without being melancholy, brooding without being depressed.
Food, fire, walks, dreams, cold, sleep, love, slowness, time, quiet, books, seasons – all these things, which are not really things, but moments of life – take on a different quality at night-time, where the moon reflects the light of the sun, and we have time to reflect what life is to us, knowing that it passes, and that every bit of it, in its change and its difference, is the here and now of what we have.
Life is too short to be all daylight. Night is not less; it's more.
El Phaba is
back to dropping things in the same fashion as she was before she went away
(and no longer coughing of course either); that is, not OTT like the first week
she was back because then I have to put music on to cover it up. There is
simply no choice. In fact, I am really enjoying spending the Winter evenings
listening to all my old KISS FM dance tapes. Some seriously amazing music on
these cassettes! I’m loving it. So, whenever she does decide to make a lot of
noise in the evenings I am already protected from it by this buffer. Sometimes
I listen to music all evening. Sometimes just from 8 or 9 p.m. if she comes
home late I also have the option to turn it up but I don’t. I’m only interested
in enjoying the sounds and covering up the elephant dance upstairs. She stomps
and crashes about as much as possible in the mornings but I just put up with
it. I’m really into the energy of forgiveness at the moment so I send that. Oh
yeah, on 12 December, El Phaba dropped something on the lino that was SO loud
it went right through me! Kind of like a knife through butter. It was as though
every cell in my body had a momentarily disorienting bounce and then landed
gently back on their feet again.
11 December. I came home in the afternoon and El
Phaba was standing in the hall preparing to go out. I expect I must have given
her a bit of a fright since we rarely pass each other. I said, ‘We meet again!’
to which she replied, ‘We do.’ Kind of like two enemy secret agents keeping the
exchange to a minimal level of acknowledgement. As I approached my front door,
I added, ‘I’ll leave the door open for you then.’ We had met the day before. I
am still including the request for ‘protection and guidance throughout my day’
in my morning decrees. I have been finding myself looking at the time when it’s
11, 22 and 33 past the hour for a few weeks now, and particularly times like
11:11, 12:11, 11:22, 11:33, 21:12, 12:22, 13:33, 14:44, 00:11, 21:12, etc. It’s
kind of cool. Just a sign that I’m being protected and guided of course.
According to Commander Ashtar, many of us are feeling a stronger connection to
our guides at this time anyway.
Monday 13 December to Wednesday 15th.
around 10.30 to 11 a.m. each day. Possibly on Sunday as well, I can’t remember.
So, I figured this was more proof of the conspiracy with El Phaba until…
15 December. Ha Chu ‘sneezed’ at 7.46 p.m. So
the Sheriff of Pantomine is back and wants me to know it. Too funny.
16 December. 12.30 p.m. ‘Hammering’ on the wall
for a few minutes. Sick. Haha.
18 December. Saturday. El Phaba played loud music
during the afternoon. At 19.14, she dropped something so heavy on the floor
that it felt like a psychic bomb. I imagine she has a lot of anger in her.
This is an
abusive environment. What to do?!
19 December. At 11.05 a.m., El Phaba dropped
another extremely loud noise bomb! Then Maltesers ‘coughed’ a minute after I
had noticed the time was 11.11!
20 December. 2.05 a.m. Maltesers strikes again
with her loud fake ‘coughing.’
21 December. Lots of rubbish has been thrown
into the front garden again. Empty plastic bags strewn all over as well as tea
towels that have been cut up and an empty coke can. Could have been a fox. No
food though. The Sun is aligned with the Galactic Centre and there’s also a
Full Moon and total Lunar Eclipse.
only use my powers to annoy.” – Bart Simpson.
22 December. The phone rang at about 11.30 a.m.
The person hung up quickly without speaking. Those guys over the road were
working on a car from early this morning and only packed up for the night
around midnight (they were making that loud, ugly sound of the electric [or
air] tool that loosens and tightens the bolts on the hubcaps at 12.25 a.m.).
[They were still working on this car on Christmas Day!].
El Phaba is
continuing to make a lot of noise here and there when she’s at home, on and on,
every day, forever! She also left one of those ab toners in the hallway, right
in front of the door for about a week before I moved it to the stairs. The
first time I moved it, she moved it back. But then she just left it propped up
on the stairs. It’s been in the hallway for at least two weeks now! Originally,
it seemed obvious that she believed this was causing me some inconvenience.
However, I now suspect that there is a deeper message in there; that is, she is
teasing me about being overweight (perhaps even her boyfriend’s idea and
apparatus). Again, if (like them) I cared what other people think I might feel
hurt by that statement! Instead, it just reminds me how thick she is. I mean,
the ab toner is blocking her way, not
mine now so it is only an obstacle for her. [Hence, she eventually moved it.
1 January 2010. I got home at about 11.15 p.m. The
next-door neighbours were talking and started talking so loudly from 11.25 that
it sounded more like yelling. Then at 11.56 there was loud laughter.
2 January. Ha Chu ‘coughed’ loudly. Loud
talking late at night.
3 January. Both Ha Chu and Maltesers coughed
just before and just after 11 p.m.
So, how do
you love something you don’t like? Are we expected to show love to our
torturers? Am I supposed to simply express gratitude and forgiveness the whole
time my neighbours are making a racket late at night? How so? That is not
authentic. Yet, perhaps this is the way to tap into one’s higher self and,
through one’s intent, set in motion a different energy pattern and allow the
situation to change rather than preserving the density and difficulty by
resisting it. That way, one is not paying attention to the illusion, the world
of appearances, but placing faith in God. That’s a big ‘perhaps’! Because how
long would one be required to endure such persecution, or sustain a state of
unconditional surrender? But the answer, I know, is a convincing, invincible,
23 January. 12.55. The guy over the road was
yelling across the street for ages and then Maltesers ‘coughed’ loudly plus El
Phaba then dropped something heavy on the floor in a veritable, perfectly-timed
circus performance. Oh. I just remembered: I blew my nose a few minutes
beforehand. Gosh! This incident did actually get to me a bit. I felt myself
sucked in and wanting to take revenge because they are both being a menace
every day. However, I didn’t want to go there. It is better to focus on what
makes me feel good. Otherwise, I’ll never get out of here alive! But,
generally, when either El Phaba or the neighbours try to annoy me I just shrug
it off and think it’s sad for someone to feel that they need to behave in that
"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor
24 January. Well, the neighbours are a problem
again, talking very loudly until gone midnight each night this week. Ever since
I started going out to work again I have had to put up with loud noise late at
night from next door and then being woken up by the bulldozer in the mornings!
25 January. Well, it’s been Bulldozer Bonnie
throwing invisible bricks at me morning and night, daily, all month. This
evening, at 8.30 p.m., however, I was subjected to a tumultuous barrage of very
loud noises caused by various hard items being dropped on the lino upstairs,
one after the other after short pauses.
28 January. I was trying to meditate earlier in
the evening. The mechanic who works over the road with the bearded foghorn was
sitting in his car with the window down talking to someone on his mobile phone
for nearly half-an-hour. It was loud enough to interfere with my focus. I said
(still sitting in my chair), ‘You don’t even live here, man! Fuck off home!’
Then, finally, I went over to talk to him. I wasn’t terribly friendly towards
him, I admit. He agreed to stop. I walked back into the house and he just
ignored me. So, 5 minutes later, I put some shoes on to go out and talk to him
again. I asked if he had finished work and he said yes so I said, ‘Go home! You
don’t live here. I’ve told you before, this is a quiet street and you’re
causing a problem.’ After a pause, he said, ‘OK, I’ll move.’ 11.34 p.m.: a
loud, fake ‘sneeze’ from Ha Chu.
29 January. Elphie’s boyfriend came round for
her at 6.35 a.m. (my alarm is set for 9 these days!).
are distressed and stressed My Beloveds your energy vibrations fall. When your
energy vibrations fall you are then attracting those into your energy fields
with lower vibrations which in fact helps draw more of those negative events
and people into your lives.” - Archangel Michael (channelled
through Carolyn Ann O'Riley, ‘The Whirl Wind,’ 1 February 2011,
2 February. It’s completely insane here at the
moment really! Like a zoo! I am being exceedingly tolerant. I often consider
retaliating when it starts to get to me but then think better of it and shrug
it off somehow even though lie really sucks at the moment and my vibration is
not as high as it was previously. I am tired of all the games. Nothing really
works anyway and, now that I have lost my semi-effective deterrent, I only
strike back by banging on the wardrobe as she is leaving the house when her
attempts to disturb me succeed and I really want to release the tension and/or
want her to know what I could be doing if I was so inclined. Most of the time I
find that I am able to endure the assault and brush it off with forgiveness,
often saying out loud, ‘Bless you,’ still. This little slice of positive intent
appears to do the job and also reinforces my new orientation in the heart. This
day was midweek and just before a New Moon. The Ha Chus talked until gone 2
a.m. (they have been doing this regularly this year although not quite as late
as that). Holy fuck! As I am writing this, Ha Chu just let out a wild ‘sneeze.’
It’s sooo loud, man! I am chuckling but only because part of me would like run
the bastard through with a sword (which, for all I know, I already did in a
past life)! And, of course, it’s funny because I just decided to record this
other incident because the next morning El Phaba was much louder than usual and
at a much earlier time. Anyway…’Bless you.’ A little delayed on this occasion.
It is actually 6 February today, 22:55 as I look at the time (naturally!). In
fact, this morning, after waking up, I added to my invocation, ‘I ask for
protection and guidance throughout my day,’ something like ‘and not just fancy
numbers in the time!’
6 February. El Phaba was simply a nightmare
today after I chose to react to her single, loud, timely noise bomb yesterday
before she went out (I banged on the wardrobe as she was leaving). I put up
with it gracefully. Ha Chu let out two loud ‘sneezes’ at exactly midnight as I
was struggling to get to sleep. I don’t know, I’m a bit chesty at the moment as
I’m coming down with a cold and I have a sore throat but I don’t know if it is
related to the issue with my back tooth and nerves that my dentist is currently
assessing! So, I had coughed a couple of times not long before that but I would
have thought they were way too quiet for the neighbours to pick up. It is
7 February. 9.23 p.m. Ha Chu ‘sneezed’ loudly.
Then again at 9.47 p.m.
8 February. El Phaba really went for it this
morning just like she did all day on Sunday, walking around in shoes on the
lino and dropping heavy objects on the floor. It was torture but I was also
very tired and kind of delirious because I have had trouble sleeping for the
past two nights. I have been in pain and also took a couple of painkillers
halfway through the night. What I need are neighbourkillers! Haha. On the way
to work an African lady was standing by the stairs on the bus while her young
daughter was standing in the corner on the larger stair. It was a squeeze to
get past them both so I asked the mother very gently and politely if she could
please move. She refused. So I asked her a few times and explained that the
stairs are for walking up and down on and that there was insufficient space for
me to pass. She just wasn’t having any of it. In the end, since she wouldn’t
listen to reason, I decided to raise my voice and tell her to get out of the
way. ‘Get the fuck off the stairs!’ I asserted. ‘You people are so rude,’ she
replied, reluctantly fetching her daughter and making room for me. I was,
naturally, a bit angry (I think because I was aware of holding up the people
behind me who boarded after me), but I regret swearing. Well, damn it, it’s
rude to stand on the stairs on a bus, rude to listen to your personal stereo
loudly and talk on mobile phones on public transport. Actually, I have never,
to my knowledge, complained about this before although I have certainly given
people grumpy looks for standing on the stairs of a bus before. Usually,
however, there is at least just enough space to pass. On this occasion,
however, it was the fact that the mother, although not on the stairs, refused
to leave or remove her daughter from there. Consequently, her torso and arm were
in the gangway blocking my path. On another bus journey today I had to put up
with two people listening to loud music in their headphones: an Asian guy at
the front and a black girl at the back. It is usually one or the other so there
is at least some distance from selfish people like them. I just smiled at the
black girl on the two occasions I passed her.
When I got
home in the evening I decided to do tai chi in the garden because it was unusually
warm and sunny today. At first, I had to put up with an Asian mother yelling at
her daughter over the back (a few houses along) with the window wide open. It
was so loud that I had to stop for a while until she had settled down. Oddly,
as I resumed practice, or about halfway through, her young daughter made
strange, piercing and very irritating noises for a few minutes. I had my back
to her and I was not sure if they were aimed at me or not. When I finally
turned around, however, she was hanging out of the window looking at me, quite
clearly doing her best to get my attention. Since my turn had been a natural
part of the form and not for her benefit, she quickly disappeared and shut the
window! Really annoying.
22.10. Kids screaming for a while. Now Maltesers turn: fake cough. The
neighbours were noisy until gone midnight. I had trouble getting to sleep again
9 February. 8.13 a.m. El Phaba dropped
something on the lino, then at 8.32 walked on it wearing shoes. Yesterday and
today, I shouted and made a racket with pots and pans in the kitchen as a
warning to Ha Chu to quit the sneezing tyranny. 19.22. There you go: El Phaba
let out a loud fake ‘sneeze’ and dropped some stuff on the floor immediately
afterwards. Why would she be doing this? I have done nothing for her to respond
to. 20.14. Fabala dropped something on the lino’d floorboards and it was
shockingly loud! She then put some very loud dance music on (radio) 5 minutes
later. I listened to The Cure but could hear the thumping drum beats upstairs.
She turned the music off at 20.54.
12 February.Ha Chu ‘sneezed’ loudly around 11 a.m. and
Maltesers ‘coughed’ at 8.41 p.m.
13 February. Crazy evening! I meditated for over
an hour-and-a-half and for most of that time El Phaba walked around in shoes
and dropped things on the floor. The noise grew louder and louder but none of
it reached me only because I was enveloped in God’s embrace. The noise bombs
eventually reached a crescendo and I felt the sound waves hit my aura but they
did not penetrate to reach my nerves. I heard, sensed and observed the chaos
from within a cocoon of Light. Otherwise, I’d have had to stop meditating and
put some music on!
poisonous darts thrown in my direction. El Phaba has to have her bouts of noise
invasion a few times a day every weekend as though it’s a military operation. I
am not recording all of it. It’s the same old same old. Dropping things mostly.
This weekend she has ‘coughed’ loudly a few times, including once as Ha Chu was
pulling away in his 4x4, but it’s only some evil reaction to my own genuine
coughing I expect. It is not loud enough to affect me and simply reminds me how
childish these people are.
love the man that can smile in troubles - that can gather strength from
distress, and grow brave by reflection. It is the business of little minds to
shrink; but he, whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct,
will pursue his principles unto death." - Thomas Paine (American Crisis I).
Valentine’s Day! El Phaba dropped something loudly
on the floor at 8.21 a.m. and Ha Chu came outside just as I was ending the tai
chi set, talking and then gobbing! Haha. My neighbours love me really!
16 February. El Phaba’s ferocity resumed this
morning and the Ha Chus were talking very loudly (‘not quite yelling’!) from
about 11.15 p.m. onwards as I was trying to get to sleep. Furious, I got up at
11.30 and put wax ear plugs in my ears which were uncomfortable but I managed
to fall asleep and they did not feel so uncomfortable when I awoke in the
morning. The guidance I received from the Angel Cards was Tenderness and, in the morning, I read in a book by White Eagle,
“…when illumination comes there is only one way in which it is possible to
live, and that is by spontaneous love, kindness, gentleness, not only to
brother man, or to the sister of your spirit, but to all creation.” (The Light Bringer, The White Eagle
Publishing Trust, Hants., U.K., 2001, p.24). Even the nasty neighbours!
It’s a game
of cat and mouse as always in this house!
17 February. I put the radio on in the kitchen
for a couple of hours in the morning. I also banged around here and there and
shouted when I heard someone in the toilet next door. In addition, I ‘coughed
and spluttered’ when Fabala left the house this morning and returned in the
evening, banging on the wardrobe again tonight. I guess I do not feel much
tenderness toward my neighbours right now! I also, somehow, managed to knock a
pan off the stove which contained some dirty water and had to clean the whole
area, including the portable stereo and power cable reel. Bad vibes! Still a
worthwhile price to pay for standing up for myself and deterring the noise
terrorists though. I cleared away some rubbish that had been thrown into the
garden today which, disgustingly, included a used condom!
19 February. Saturday. There is a used condom
hanging over one of the thin stems of the lavender bush which is strewn over
the wall of the front garden so it is dangling over the pavement! Eww! I’m just
leaving it there, sorry! In the evening, the Ha Chus were noisy and disruptive
again. They have the youngest daughter and her child staying for the weekend. I
went to bed at midnight, hoping that they would quieten down but, by 12.30, I
had to wear ear plugs again.
20 February. I put the radio on for a few hours
in the morning. In the evening, they were loud from 10.30 p.m. and also banged
on the wall with a solid object and again at 11.10, really loudly. Kids
screaming loudly again. I went to bed after they had quietened down, around
21 February. The next-door neighbours started
making lots of noise from 9 a.m., deliberately talking loudly near the wall
mostly, like a planned campaign. I reacted to their malicious intent and turned
the radio on. I switched it off at about 12.30 p.m. but put it on again shortly
afterwards when there was further loud talking accompanied by Muslim religious
singing playing on a stereo! My worst nightmare! Haha. I discovered afterwards
that a whole group of Pakistani women had arrived for the party (that is, I saw
them all leaving at the end). Actually, Michael Jackson appeared to me last
night prior to sleeping. He was wearing black and grey, smart but with an
‘Indian’ shirt. When I turned the radio on this morning, the second track was
from Off The Wall and I found myself
singing along to it as I made my breakfast. It did feel very supportive in the
light of my vision last night, I have to say. In fact, even while the
neighbours were noisy again in the evening, I enjoyed a very special
Ascension-related connection online. There was an uplifting energy between the
three of us which we felt very tangibly.
22 February. The Ha Chus and children were noisy
again from around 11 p.m. (the same as yesterday). I had to wait half-an-hour
before going to bed. However, they started up again at 11.40. Then, there was
so much running and jumping around by the children, shaking the floor, as the
adults egged them on really loudly. I eventually conceded and wore ear plugs at
12.03 but they’re not very comfortable and I awoke at 4 a.m. and couldn’t get
back to sleep again.
fool can criticise, condemn
and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and
- Dale Carnegie.
assures us that control of the emotions is important and that human beings find
true happiness when they give themselves totally to the universe and to God. We
eventually relinquish control of our four lower bodies to our Christ Self which
is our True Self, the Christ. (Intermediate
Studies in Alchemy, Summit University Press, CA., U.S., p.56). “And so,” he
explains, “it is that we develop in the students those same christlike
qualities that will make them pillars in the temple of God that cannot be moved
by human emotions, no matter what their guise: criticism, condemnation,
judgement, self-pity, gossip, treachery, tyranny or human deceit. The alchemist
must be oblivious to all human conduct yet not unaware of worldly thought to
the point where he plays the fop. To him the fulfilment of the fiat, ‘Be wise as
serpents and harmless as doves!’ is the order of every day.” (ibid. p.57-58).
23 February. El Phaba dropped something on the
floor which was excruciatingly loud before she went out at 8.30 a.m. I was
still in bed. I had the radio on all morning.
24 February. El Phaba was very loud this morning,
dropping things on the floor so I played loudish music for a while. Three of
the daughters (well, including Maltesers, whom I don’t believe is their
daughter) are round there with all of their kids. Around 11 p.m., they talked
loudly and knocked on the wall for a while. It all kicked off with a few fake
coughs. This time, however, the kids screaming and jumping around preceded
rather than followed the adult symphony so they fell silent by 11.30 p.m. Just
after that, I suddenly sneezed when I was in the other room near to them and
beneath Fabala’s bedroom. I was on a bus this afternoon and a black guy sat
down in the seat across the aisle to me with music blaring out of his
headphones. If he wanted attention he certainly got it. I looked at him a few
times and then, after a few minutes, I got up and trod on his foot as I made my
way to the back of the bus. Man, I was angry. He was a big guy but I was going
to lose it big time if he complained. No, that is not love, but it’s not
violence either! It could be worse. This is not a violent area. Someone was
telling me recently that they watched a guy being seriously beaten up on a bus
once. What is the solution? Just
putting up with people’s shit?! I still don’t know! Haha. But, at least I am
not allowing people to get to me. I am dealing with them in whatever way I feel
I have to in order not to sink into a negative frame of mind or feel completely
depressed and powerless.
25 February. 20.11. One of the daughters
shouted, ‘Yeah, whoo hoo!’ and I could feel that it was directed at me. It was
the start of a noisy evening! I didn’t tolerate it for that long, however. I
played louder music than usual (still not very loud though) and, later, shouted
when someone was in the toilet next door. Loud talking and kids yelling late at
night so I stayed up until ten-to-midnight. I still had to put up with some
noise for a short while before they retired, however. The neighbours also
knocked on the wall with a hard object several times until midnight which was
the loudest one.
27 February. The Ha Chus were deliberately
laughing loudly at 11.35 p.m.
28 February. A loud ‘ah choo’ from Ha Chu (who
else?) at 11.27 p.m. Yeah, I’m a tough cookie! (as a Canadian lady who’s an
online friend suggested tonight).
You have to
believe – and see – that you’re on top of everything. You are powerful and what
you will shall manifest. Do the wizard thing and exercise your imagination each
Cleese): We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril. Sir
I don't think I was. Sir Lancelot: Yes, you were. You
were in terrible peril. Sir
Look, let me go back in there and face the peril. Sir Lancelot: No, it's too perilous.
Look, it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can. Sir Lancelot: No, we've got to find
the Holy Grail. Come on. Sir
Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril? Sir Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy. Sir
I bet you're gay. Sir Lancelot: Am not.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones,