The Seaside Cafe

Posted in Blogging, life and modern times, poetry, satire and humour on April 3, 2014 by leovineknight

Down the cliff path, overgrown,
Around the lawns rarely mown,
Towards a gold globe on top of the bandstand,
Victorian echoes of sweet England

Summer sweat and old people talking,
Prodigious farts and tramps hawking,
Scruffy young men eat crisps and sweets,
Their world is now, they talk in tweets

A social addict stares at the weary,
His stories endless and breath beery,
An ancient lady sips her tea,
She’ll still be there at half past three

The expensive new door traps another child,
Operation unfathomable, a mother goes wild,
Dogs bark at a man with dropped trousers,
While absent parents ignore kids on brousers,

Silent couples watch those with loud voices,
They mingle together as a bingo winner rejoices,
Curling sandwiches vie with cakes,
But it’s the backs of necks which the sun bakes

It’s winter now, and a gale is blowing,
The room is empty, high tide flowing,
Staff still have a friendly word,
But in the toilet – floats a lonely turd

It’s Catching

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, jobs, careers and work, mental health with tags , on April 1, 2014 by leovineknight

Seeing a staircase, I walked up it and searched around for something familiar I could pin my rather confused senses to. I spotted Richard’s office and pulled open the door, seeing before me a massive wall of bulging filing cabinets totally blocking the way in. From his perch on the top cabinet, Richard looked down on me, and grinned.
“Ah, hello old boy. We’ve finally cracked it. Everything that’s ever happened in this unit in the last fifteen years has been documented on these forms. There’s even a file for how many times staff have farted since their contracts commenced. The inspectors should be absolutely thrilled.”
“Yes, things are well in hand here alright” I agreed, as I carefully pushed over the nearest cabinet and watched the whole lot fall like a house of cards, burying Richard up to his crimson neck.
Taking a coloured divider out of one of the files, I marked it ‘ Waste of Space’ and popped it neatly between Richard’s trembling jaws, pressing the top of his head like a hole-puncher, before closing the door quietly as I left.
“I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough” I said.
More than enough.
And with adrenaline flowing through my veins like rocket fuel, I suddenly realised that I had somehow been given the power to overturn this insane world, and trample its vacuous conventions into the dust. I could turn my thoughts into instantaneous action, impose my will on every situation, and imagine the wildest scenario and see it happen. I was imbued with supernatural strengths and transcendental powers. I even had the ability to make something vaguely sensible happen for once.

Individualism: Query

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, mental health, satire and humour with tags , on March 17, 2014 by leovineknight

Nearly there, I passed the house with the ’his and hers’ matching BMW’s, went a bit further, and almost turned in at the wrong gate. The next-door neighbours were so fascinated by our trail blazing consumerist tastes that they had spent the last three years unconsciously echoing them. We had finished up with similar black cars, similar gravel paths, similar house paint jobs, similar fences, and even similar house names. His wife had an identical hairstyle to my wife’s, their kids changed bikes precisely one week after ours, and they appeared to be equally interested in ‘Next’ catalogue clothes.
There was certainly no need to bother with genetic cloning in our street because we achieved the same ends by cultural means, and I toyed again with the idea of equipping our family with yellow plastic Macs and top hats to see if the neighbours would start copying that too.
This was cuckoo clock culture, where every social action was repeated through the weeks with fiercely guarded pinpoint accuracy. Cars were washed on Saturday, gardens tended on Sunday, wheelie bins emptied on Tuesday, dogs walked at 0600 and 1800 hours, nights out were arranged for midweek, houses and cars were changed every two years, and people always died five years after retirement. I could already feel the invisible wooden rod pushing me out through the tiny door as the clock struck nine, and I prepared for conjugal warfare.


Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, mental health with tags , , on March 11, 2014 by leovineknight

The street was like a building site as usual, with people constantly competing to distort their homes with as many horrendous extensions as possible, apparently aiming to swallow up their entire gardens and meet in the middle. In another ten years the place would be like some Fritz Lang megalopolis, with every ‘detached’ house linked by a series of arches and tunnels, and every window within a metre of somebody else’s; the owners glaring at each other like fighting cocks, and their children wondering what ‘green’ used to look like. Everybody in the estate seemed to be basing their lives on a series of glossy magazine articles which helpfully told them what to want, and then led them down the main shopping street with Saturday metronome regularity. On average, each household now had one and a half children, three cars and a permanent skip.

Conspicuous Consumption (Cough)

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, mental health, satire and humour with tags , , on March 5, 2014 by leovineknight

Most of the houses had their downstairs lights on with curtains well drawn back so that casual observers on the street could admire the latest chain store colour schemes and prominent recent acquisitions. It was probably only a matter of time before the retired Major at number 7 would jump to his feet when he heard footsteps outside, and use his Malacca cane to point out treasured objects to interested parties in the garden:
“Pay attention you chaps next to the elm tree. On a recent reconnaissance operation to British Home Stores we secured these highly prized objects (wafting the Malacca cane about the lounge). We have now put the enemy next door at a serious strategic disadvantage….”
To one half of the population, society had become a collection of audiences, and to the other half, a collection of charities.

The Dormitory

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, mental health with tags , , on February 24, 2014 by leovineknight

I strode on towards our house, and the drizzle seemed marginally warmer. A firework went off somewhere to my left, reminding me of Bonfire Night two weeks ago, and my thoughts wheeled on to Christmas. ‘Money’ automatically sprang to mind, and I looked across at a nearby £350,000 villa which was just five years old and had already received three new bathrooms and two new kitchens from three different owners. The house was currently owned by two very busy professional people who spent 85% of their time working, sleeping or on holiday, and only 15% of their time actually awake in the house. Spending so little free time in their home, they had to pay a gardener £25 a week to do the lawns, hedges and weeding, a ‘morning’ lady £30 a week to do the washing and ironing, a nanny £150 a week to look after the children, and an odd job man £20 a week to do the small household repairs and walk the dog. Once, in a rash moment, I’d told the owner that for £50 a week I would occupy his house during the evenings and save him the trouble of living there at all.
He thought for a while and smilingly offered me £40.
Yet, it wasn’t a happy marriage (if that’s what you’d call a big business deal on the skids) and tonight I couldn’t help noticing a pterodactyl fastened to someone’s neck in the kitchen. Or that’s what it sounded like.


Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, jobs, careers and work, mental health with tags , , on February 18, 2014 by leovineknight

It was really getting too dangerous to walk home at night, and I breathed a sigh of relief when the blue glow faded, and I entered respectable suburbia. The first telephone box was smashed to pieces as usual, and every garden wall had spray paint running along the top like a child’s railway line. Broken conifer branches lay about, while traffic cones had been removed from the nearby road works and redistributed on peoples’ front lawns. It was clear that the hooliganism was growing relentlessly beyond its original borders, and that I needed to calculate how long it would take to reach our cul-de-sac a mile further on. Given that some of our new neighbours managed to communicate by stringing four-letter words into sentences, and their kids made cannibals look like urbane lounge lizards, I estimated about one year to removal time.
At last the rows of brown dog kennels and silver German cars which comprised our estate appeared, and I could smell sanctuary. Like Quasimodo dodging the whips, I broke into a loping gait and made for the furthest reaches of the sprawling mass before me. It wasn’t Enid Blyton or John Constable, but it would do, and as I looked over the roofs towards the outline of an escarpment, and the moors beyond it, I breathed a sigh of relief. Some of my favourite walks lay in that direction, and for a few moments a montage of pleasant memories filled my mind; bike rides with the kids, tea rooms in historic places, quiet strolls in sylvan settings, and collecting shells on breezy beaches. Life wasn’t all bad, and the prospect of a few days off began to thaw my frozen sensibilities and lift my affect. A little freedom was in sight, and I would savour every atom of it.


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