Saturday, 14 May 2011


I suppose it is because I am 82 on Monday (I took quiet pride in getting TWO birthday cards from Gordon's Gin PLC and an invitation to sky dive from my gorilla charity), HIM UPSTAIRS didn't think there would be any harm in letting slip a few secrets. So I woke this morning having heard Him answer the age old problem. “Is there any proof we have an immortal soul?”

It is a lot to take in with the morning tea bag but it seemed pretty simple the way He explained it. “You just tell your brain to count to the limit of numbers and then go on counting..............”

How long will that take ?

“Time is an artificial concept.”

It gave me quite a boost on the way to the bathroom to realise I had achieved Enlightenment effortlessly and it was only on the way back that I hit a snag. How do I go on counting when I have reached the limit of numbers?

I tried asking Him but as usual when there are awkward questions – it was the same when I asked him the reason He appears in some religions as an elephant - He copped a deaf 'un. Mumbled something about some chap called Yorrick and dreams and philosophy. He did, however, let slip something about counting beyond numbers being possible beyond time which I have still to work out. He did saytime was artificial and how can you go beyond something that isn't there, especially when you are counting non-existent numbers? I have got nothing to worry about anyway. I have just come across the fragments which are all that are left of the teachings of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, who, as you know, is the citizen who taught Socrates:

“All things were together, infinite both in numbers and in smallness, for the small too was infinite and when all things were together none of them could be distinguished for their smallness....”

Pick the bones out of that. All I can say is, it's a funny sort of fragment to leave lying about for later generations to trip over. I mean, he did say ALL things were infinite ….........?

Naturally when you get Stable info from the Elephant's Mouth, as 'twere, you like to share it. So when I got to the clinic to have the most recent stitches removed, I told the pretty nurse about counting beyond numbers.

I forgot how the Head Ferret likes to be part of the audience when someone is inflicting pain on me and she was kibbutzing. “If you were constantly counting in your head how would you carry on a conversation?” she wanted to know.

I ask you?

I replied with icy dignity that some of us can count under our breath. And I made up my mind I was not going to tell her about Elephants and God, not if Hell had me.

“Counting away in your head, you'd never BE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE PLOT IN SPIRAL,” she countered, a touch smugly, I thought.

She had me there. It's bad enough trying to keep up on the corpse tally and wondering if the lady detective ever took a shower. It was like in “The Killing” wondering if that detective was ever going to change her jersey and what sort of state was her underwear in? Never did find out who did it.

The Swedish Wallander was OK. A relief to discover Sweden has even less scenery than the Fens and that not all Swedish women are fanciable. But Branagh's version had me banjaxed. For some reason he replaced activity with the lengthy pause. I know it's a great help not having to learn as many lines but it is confusing to some poor devil who is trying to keep up a corpse count whilst going up to several million in his head trying to communicate with his immortal soul.

So anyway, I have told Him to lay off answering any more questions before they are asked. I'll be meeting Him soon enough and he can tell me everything all at once......But if he could see his way clear to making sure Branagh has a shave before he goes to work........

I gave myself a special birthday gift. I resigned from Facebook and Twitter. I have always felt uneasy about being part of those networks. It was like watching TV in the daytime, which offends one's Protestant work ethic long after one's working life is over. The nosey networks offended some deep sense of being grown up. The catalyst came for me when I found myself seeking to identify those shabby men who have taken out super injunctions. It is nearly half a century since I enjoyed an adulterous association but I remember how the enjoyment was diluted by the feeling of shame. I do not expect actors and professional sportsmen to behave like grown ups: their choice of occupation maroons them in childhood. The knowledge that one has been adulterated against hurts, I would imagine, but for that you have to be Grown Up. The act itself verges on the absurd. If I knew the identity of those shabby injunction men I would not be any the wiser and, anyway, they should be judged by their on-stage prowess. Beyond that they do not exist in an adult world.

I am constantly surprised at the number of my friends who are happily married, despite the adverse publicity, and I believe that it is broken relationships that have produced our feral young. That doesn't mean that I think the act of marriage is important. If one feels able to betray the trust of someone who is important to one then the contract is void anyway. What I object to is that the guardians of our law and our freedom are prepared to corrupt that law if the price is high enough.

I am heartened by the number of my readers who have praised me for casting off the need to tweet and be two Faced-book.


Closing the 'news' programme on Friday evening, ITV Wales anchor Jonathan Hill said: 'The end of an historic day for Wales.'
Another hung Assembly, another washout for Plaid, little harm to the Tories, the referendum on AV means nothing changes and more than 50 per cent of Welsh voters couldn't be bothered to turn out.

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ALMOST half of people living in an area of Rhyl can’t read or write well enough to function properly in every day life. Teenage pregnancy, unemployment, low birth weight babies, alcoholism, poor sexual health, obesity and suicides amongst men are also among the issues that need to be tackled, a report into the levels of deprivation and ill health across Denbighshire claims.

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Champion runner Roger Bannister has achieved a knighthood, was the first Sports Council chairman, and is a famous neurologist. Two contestants on Friday's The Million Pound Drop ,Andrew and Vanessa were asked; “In 1954, did he go into space, run a sub-four minute mile or become the first man ever to put the toilet seat down?” Andrew shouted, "I think I've seen 'Bannister' written on a toilet!"

A new guide book has ruffled feathers across Wales after describing Cardiff as a “prodigious drinking town” and Bangor as “soulless”.
The latest edition of Lonely Planet suggests weekends in Wales’s capital see it invaded by “hordes” of “lads and ladettes”, who go “tottering from bar, to club to kebab shop whatever the weather”.
The book is equally critical of Bangor, saying the North Wales city’s “glory days have long since faded”.

Can we trust our government with custody of our national language?

Heard today: "It's up to drivers to upskill themselves..." - Philip Hammond, MP, Transport Secretary

.LOCAL Newspaper Report

Reported in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle:

A lady died in September, and MBNA bank billed her for October and November for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance that had been £0.00, now was somewhere around £60.00.

A family member placed a call to the MBNA Bank:

Family Member:
'I am calling to tell you that she died in September.'

'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member:
'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member:
So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

'Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to The credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member:
'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

'Excuse me?'

Family Member:
Did you just get what I was telling you . .. 
The part about her Being dead?'

'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member:
'I'm calling to tell you, she died in September.'

'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member:
'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

(Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member:
'No, I'm her grandson'
(Lawyer info given)

'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member:
( fax number is given )

After they get the fax:

'Our system just isn't set up for death.
I don't know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member:
'Well, if you figure it out, great!
If not, you could just keep billing her.
I don't think she will care.'

'Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.'

Family Member:
'Would you like her new billing address? 

'That might help.'

Family Member:
'Heaton Cemetery, Heaton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne Plot 1049.'

'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member:
'Well, what the **** do you do with dead people on your planet?'

MBNA were not available for comment when a reporter from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle rang.