The God of metal

How interpret actions that seem mad
And how do Syrians “live” in their cruel  state
Will these missiles change the vile Assad?

It’s paranoid to see just good and bad
A mix of feelings of both love and hate
How interpret actions that seem mad?

Should we pray to God to send his flood?
The God of copper,iron and steel breastplate
Will holy missive change the cruel Assad?

Copper in the kitchen,there  it’s good
But metal’s used in weapons by the State
How interpret usage that seem mad?

If the war ends,Syria soaked in blood
Who is left to think and  to reshape?
Can any missiles educate  Assad?

When we’ve finished death,destruction,rape
What will spring up from that mute landscape?
How interpret thinking that seems mad?
No human act  can  make this world be good

The unusual life of J G Ballard



“I came to live in Shepperton in 1960. I thought: the future isn’t in the metropolitan areas of London. I want to go out to the new suburbs, near the film studios. This was the England I wanted to write about, because this was the new world that was emerging. No one in a novel by Virginia Woolf ever filled up the petrol tank of their car.” The proximity of Shepperton film studios was important. “They were why I picked this place. The entertainment medium of film is particularly tuned to the present imaginations of people at large. A lot of fiction is intensely nostalgic.”

Ballard claims that he has “always treated England as a strange fiction”. The real world, in which he was formed, was Shanghai, where he was born in 1930 and brought up as a typical privileged expatriate boy in the city’s International Settlement, without learning Chinese or tasting a morsel of native cuisine. “I didn’t have a Chinese meal until I returned to England.” In 1943, his world flipped upside down when he was incarcerated with his parents in the Lunghua detention camp. In his collection of memoirs, Miracles of Life, published earlier this year, Ballard writes that he was “largely happy” in Lunghua, finding there “a relaxed and easygoing world” that he had not known in everyday life. He claims that he thrived during his two and a half years in detention, “even when food rations fell to near zero, skin infections covered my legs, “

I carry a  knife and fork in my handbag

IMG_0114.jpgDear Aunt Aggie

I am worried about dating.I am not concerned with whether they want sex on the first date as I carry a  knife and fork in my handbag.No,I worry about whether they will want to get married and expect me to boil their hankies every week.My reason is,it’s hard to feel sensual when you have seen their oil stained,inky,damp and mouldy  100% pure cotton hankies.We were taught in the convent how to iron men’s hankies but I can’t see anything in St Paul’s letters about it; nor in the Gospels.And actually I no longer call myself religious.
Ever yours,


Dear Cecilia

You seem a rather violent lady.Are you sure you can develop empathy for anyone.There is no need to stab men with a fork if you are not feeling sexual.A few words will suffice like,maybe when you have bought me a diamond ring and taken me to Harrods for a handbag.Or whatever turns you on.A new  novel, a pair of shoes….
You seem obsessed with hankies.Just be grateful someone invented sanitary towels.Come to think of it,Tissues! Why don’t real men like tissues? Are their noses going to need blowing so hard that the tissue will tear? Or is it because tissues are no good for cleaning bicycles with?
Tell them blowing your nose hard is dangerous [It’s true[
In particular,  don’t blow your nose hard after Moh’s surgery.My late husband did and it took me a week to clean the bathroom let alone his handkerchief.

Your ruminations will end if and only if you truly love someone and by good luck, he/she loves you.You are using these thoughts to get away from others./
Most men can use a washing machine and some Oxydol detergent.But maybe he will polish your shoes while you iron his tie and his hanky.Be careful.Sometimes it’s safer just to daydream

Good luck,Aggie

Britain and chemical weapons

pexels-photo-929382.jpegFrom wikipedia

Post-World War II

From 1939 to 1989 experiments on chemical weapons including nerve agents and countermeasures were carried out at the Porton Down research establishment. Although volunteers were used, many ex-servicemencomplained about suffering long term illnesses after taking part in the tests. It was alleged that before volunteering they were not provided with adequate information about the experiments and the risk, in breach of the Nuremberg Code of 1947. This became the subject of a lengthy police investigation called Operation Antler.

From 1950, a Chemical Defence Establishment was established as CDE Nancekuke for small-scale chemical agent production. A pilot production facility for Sarin was built, which produced about 20 tons of the nerve agent from 1954 until 1956. A full-scale production plant was planned, but with the 1956 decision to end UK’s offensive chemical weapons programme it was never built. Nancekuke was mothballed, but was maintained through the 1960s and 1970s in a state whereby production of chemical weapons could easily re-commence if required.[19]

In the early 1980s the government took the view that the lack of a European chemical weapons retaliatory capability was a “major gap in NATO’s armoury”. However the political difficulties of addressing this prevented any redevelopment of a British chemical weapons capability.[20]

An inquest was opened on 5 May 2004 into the death on 6 May 1953 of a serviceman, Ronald Maddison, during an experiment using sarin. His death had earlier been found by a private MoD inquest to have been as a result of “misadventure” but this was quashed by the High Court in 2002. The 2004 hearing closed on 15 November, after a jury found that the cause of Maddison’s death was “application of a nerve agent in a non-therapeutic experiment”.

Can mindfulness drive you mad?



“Research suggests her experience might not be unique. Internet forums abound with people seeking advice after experiencing panic attacks, hearing voices or finding that meditation has deepened their depression after some initial respite. In their recent book, The Buddha Pill, psychologists Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm voice concern about the lack of research into the adverse effects of meditation and the “dark side” of mindfulness. “Since the book’s been published, we’ve had a number of emails from people wanting to tell us about adverse effects they have experienced,” Wikholm says. “Often, people have thought they were alone with this, or they blamed themselves, thinking they somehow did it wrong, when actually it doesn’t seem it’s all that uncommon.””