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For grown-ups only!


Dishonored Lady ( 1947 ) Full Movie

It’s interesting to note that Anais Nin, as she mentions in her journal, was friendly with Hedy Lamarr around this time. What a sight those two must’ve made wandering around town!
The heroine of this little picture is also sensitive, intelligent and attractively neurotic.
The plot is as good as an episode of ‘Law and Order’ if you like that sort of thing (I do!), with a murder and courtroom revelations!
Directed by Robert Stevenson, with some of the soundtrack music by Wagner, I think.
Beware, this film is for adults only, and advocates absolute honesty. It also illustrates the value of leaving a chap a nice note before flying off.

The Vote for Scotland

The Prime Minister has demonstrated his grasp of the language of the common people, as he would doubtlessly describe the citizens of Scotland, by begging them not to vote in favour of Scottish Independence, “just to give the f-ing Tories a good kicking.”

So the question arises: would a yes vote give the Tories a good kicking, and would it be worth it?

Mr Cameron has already indicated that he will not resign if he ends up presiding over the breaking up of the United Kingdom. However, if he does end up doing that resignation would surely be his only honourable course of action. Disgust at the present government and Westminster regime must surely be a major factor in the recent swing towards a Yes vote.

The shock of such a radical change (and you know how we hate change here in England!) might begin to make people down South think hard about what our country has become. Or shall we just allow the present Westminster government to provide its usual generous support to any banks and businesses that flee a newly independent Scotland to come closer to their benefactor, who has so much money to spare thanks to its ruthless savings on benefits, education, free health care etc – the sort of thing that such a newly liberated Scotland might be tempted to squander its wealth upon?

Choosing whether to vote Yes or No remains a very complex decision, so the prospect of an extremely high turn out for this vote is truly heartening. Either way, people will be reminded that democratic elections can sometimes make a real difference.

I’m only a quarter Scots myself, and more England based, so I don’t get a vote, but will watch how things unfold with sympathetic interest, concern and my usual hopefulness for the future.

After three hundred years of suffering the consequences of allowing England to poach its royal head of state, this might be an opportunity to renegotiate that deal.

And if our plucky friends North of the border end up feeling isolated by the continuing hostility of Westminster, they may be consoled by cementing ties with Europe and establishing their country as an independent member of a more generous, modern and widespread family of nations.

As for giving the aforementioned Tories (not forgetting their coalition allies the Lib Dems) a good kicking, well those of us that remain and survive can at least look forward to the impending General Election.

A Poem without any Words

One day I want to make a poem without any words

No similes or metaphors to hide behind

Not showing off or attempting to justify myself

An honest moment of communication with the world

Something that helps people see with fresh eyes

That in some subtle way changes lives.


One day I want to make a poem without any words

No metre or rhyme to lull the senses

Not a parody or a satire or a moral tract,

A living monumental composition or bit of work

Something different for each person that finds it

That helps to clarify some thought.


One day I want to make a poem without any words

No observations or stories you’ve heard before

Not a plea for understanding or love

A simple moment from anybody’s life

Something like a memory but stronger

That can overcome the tyrannies of time.


I say I want to make a poem without any words

And you say, quite reasonably, “But a poem must have words

So why not make a piece of music or some other wordless form of art?”

Well, as a poet I have to make things out of Words

And one day, instead of hearing or reading what I’ve written

I want you to feel and understand what shouldn’t be forgotten

Every Day

All these days when I do seem to’ve done nothing

I have, at least, been loving you

As I have ever since I first saw you

And thought, yes, that’s who I’ve been looking for all this time

There she is, all done and dusted, forget about it!

As I continue to attempt to do

While you do your best to surprise and bemuse me

Amuse me and elude me, for now,

Till I’m driven sufficiently wild enough to cast aside all caution,

Or, excitement worn down, dust settled

Ready to get on with it in some sensible way,

Whatever that life we make together is.

Meanwhile, loving you continues as simply as breathing

And is, thankfully, for much of the time, rather more interesting.

Fear of the Future

The past is a bottomless treasure trove

Of makings and doings and endless natural processes

When I look back I see the lives of which I’m a part

But the future, the future is only death.


I can connect with the past

Things that have happened have affected me

I can see where I have come from

But where I’m going is all dark.


Days gone by were sweet or cruel

Memories and histories can be revised, renewed.

One tries to learn from the past

But what comes next is just a blank.


When I think of the past I feel bigger

Stronger for having survived it

But to think of the future

Is waiting for the axe to fall.

Another mistresspiece from Mae West I’ve often enjoyed your Weekend movie slot, so here’s a classic movie you may not have seen:

Klondike Annie  another mistresspiece from Mae West.
(also on my tumblr

Been waiting ages to find this on the tube. Thanks so much, Classic film channel for sharing this, based on her stage play. Mae is the most self confident woman you’ll ever see on screen. She’s well supported by Director Raol Walsh and costars Victor McLaglen and  Reed, and Annie, of course.
West is perfectly in control of her film, as always, and gives a superb performance, dreadful but compelling, and plays demure charmingly here as well.
The most I know about Mae West comes from Jill Watts biography ‘Mae West An Icon in Black and White’ (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Favourite tweets


Busted for Muttering

So I got to the wrong end of the vegetable aisle at Asda

When a formidable young mum blocked the way, I couldn’t get past her

With her kid, her pram and what, for the sake of the rhyme and the narrative

I shall describe as a truculent looking elderly relative.

Perhaps telling her child off for requesting some fruit

Or similarly engaged, she stayed obstructing my route

While I stood discreetly by, a model of restraint

Tolerating her boorish behaviour with the patience of a saint

Merely remarking, more to myself than to her

“Take your time, don’t worry, I can wait here forever!”

However, she not only heard what I’d said but addressed me

With that admirable Southampton manner of speaking extremely directly

“Just ask if you want me to move, I aint psychic,”

She said aggressively, nudging her sidekick

“What’s the matter? Don’t you know what to say?

Just ask me politely to get out of the way.”

Yet somehow I couldn’t and backed away silently

Droll monologue crushed, heart beating violently

Exchanging one last, not unsympathetic glance

With the child of the woman who’d stopped my advance.

Usually accustomed to being ignored

My witty soliloquies prevent my getting bored

But, though I often yearn to share my wit

On this occasion I didn’t enjoy it one bit

The woman was right, I had no reason to sneer

She had her business and I must’ve looked queer

A miserable old man, muttering under his breath

Unfit for anything but loneliness and death

If I’d been nicer about it we may

Have become friends at the end of the day

Instead of which I was left, alone and full of shame

With nobody but myself upon whom to heap blame.

After that I have tried to keep my thoughts to myself

To remember that muttering aloud shows poor mental health

But still, one cannot help thinking one’s thoughts

It seems that people constantly demand observations and retorts

Which, when you try to keep them silently in your head

Compel you to pull extravagant facial expressions instead

And that’s even more ageing so, I think quite rightly

I’ll carry on making smart remarks, but really really quietly.

[Can't come up with anything new yet, but I don't think I've blogged this before; if I have, I apologise, but it must've been a while. And it's a reminder of a bad habit of mine that has been getting me into trouble lately, again!]

Introducing John Bruce

Talented film maker and poet and a good friend, John has added enormously to my life with his friendship and practical assistance that has, for example, enabled me to keep this blog going for another year (despite recent paid employment induced lapses) by replacing and fine tuning my hardware.

Not an in your face kind of poet, John delivers his verse in a quiet style, that contrasts pleasantly with the way he rabbits and raves on the telephone, but even then he is interesting and witty, or enthusiastic at least. Like many an artist before him, John has his vices, chief of which may be photography, but he has skills, no doubt.

The first piece here, made during the Apples and Snakes / City Eye Poetry Film Workshop Weekend 5 & 6th July 2014, strikes me as a masterly piece of film making

Almost a Poem

And he’s allowed me to share two more pieces.

In This Poem

Music and pictures prominent. But there are some very finely chosen words here.

The Beast of Burnley

Yes, that’ s really him speaking!  Showing his Essex roots. However, I suspect that the sculpture was crafted by another, and that John will give details in a comment when he has a moment.

Along with his work John’s attitude to it is something to admire – he’s not in it for the money, but to share the love, man, and other stuff, obviously. So enjoy this special guest poet and I’ll be back to suck the enjoyment right out of you, perhaps as soon as next Friday – I’ve got the weekend off!

As every Schoolkid knows


As every schoolkid knows

Racism can be fun

But it’s always wrong

Just another kind of name calling

Bullying, picking a fight for no good reason.

Name calling is of course essential

To the educational process

As we learn to call things by their right names

And try to find the answers to all those important questions

While avoiding becoming a show off and/or a bore.

No question has only one correct answer

Context is all, so give an answer appropriate to the occasion

With a suitable amount of detail, no less nor more

And a tone that matches that of the questioner.

Try to follow the best examples when you have questions of your own.


Not providing an answer can seem neglectful or rude

So if you find yourself unable to respond immediately or appropriately

You may be able to gain time by promising to do so at some definite future date

Just don’t expect anyone to wait indefinitely for your response, however great

And keep in mind what has come to be expected of you.

Giving unbidden answers may be welcomed

But, just as questions can provoke a surprising response from you

So the opinions you share may be surprisingly responded to;

Take great care when asserting that an opinion you have is true,

You may think you’re speaking the truth, but where’s your proof?

It’s grand and important to give things a name

To remember where the name is from.

The object, subject or person you name is rarely the same to everyone

So try to be understood and to understand

How best to represent that thing, yourself, who you are and where you’re from.


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