Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The muse with a Borderline Personality Disorder.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote: “All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”

For the muse her secret life makes a mockery of both her public and private lives which are nothing more than a facade created in order to conceal the real person.

What follows is a sad tale of how mental health problems can cause profound misery to all who come into contact with one individual who is probably unaware of her illness.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner

Interesting article in the Guardian:
Divorcing parents could be denied contact with their children if they try to turn them against their former partner, under a “groundbreaking” process being trialled by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).
The phenomenon where one parent poisons their child against the other is known as parental alienation, the ultimate aim of which is to persuade the child to permanently exclude that parent from their life.
Cafcass said it had recently realised parental alienation occured in significant numbers of the 125,000 cases it dealt with each year. 
Sarah Parsons, the assistant director of Cafcass, said: “We are increasingly recognising that parental alienation is a feature in many of our cases and have realised that it’s absolutely vital that we take the initiative. Our new approach is groundbreaking.”
The new approach will initially give parents the chance to change their behaviour with the help of intense therapy. Alienating parents who do not respond will not be allowed to have their children live with them. 
In addition, contact between the parent and child could be restricted or refused for a number of months. In the most extreme cases, the alienating parent will be permanently banned from any contact with their child.
Read on HERE

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Amanda Palmer - Mother.




I've taken the following from Amanda Palmers Facebook. Worth a read:

i've need to share a thread that i just wrote on twitter. listen.
first of all, i’ve never seen a more overwhelmingly emotional & respectful high-five reaction & from my community for *anything* i’ve made. so thank you. but something is really freaking me out:
in my entire career, i’ve never heard such silence from the press. a few of my personal allies covered this video (thanks to Xeni Jardin at boing boing and Holly Cara Price at huffington post) but despite doing my usualpress-release to the US and UK the day this video came out, the non-response has been deafening. not one single major press outlet will cover it.
i’m like: is it me? am i old and irrelevant? is it the video too hard for people? are there really *no journalists* anymore, like some of my writer friends have been telling me? is it really possible to make a project so massive and not even get a mention from a single music blog? it’s so WEIRD.
and i find myself thinking: what if i didn’t have the patreon? i would be SO FUCKED. i have never believed more than NOW that my community is becoming the Media Itself and that i have to turn my fragile-ego-self away from the idea that the press is going to validate my hard work.
and how ironic, given my vide & all of trump’s hatred of the Fake News Media. but maybe it’s like the death of anything dear. maybe we have to collectively grieve the death of Old Media and celebrate whatever is taking its place, and make that thing work.
in closing: this platform you are reading right now is strangling my reach, the media won’t alert you, i’m not on a record label. so if you want to support me, there is only one channel left to assure i can still work and connect and survive, and it’s the patreon. please, join. the end.
it looks like i'm going to need you more than i thought.
and fuck it.
we can do this ourselves, it's always better that way anyway.
i'm pro-webcasting tonight from a super-sold-out show at london's union chapel, start time is 7:15 and i'll post here. come join me and the rest of the weirdos.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Obese children to be banned from 'Trick or treating' on Halloween.

It was announced today that obese children will be barred from the annual begging and gorging festival.

Extra police officers will be on duty on Saturday evening checking the BMI's of all suspect kids. Those who are seen to be overweight will be sent home with a stern warning to their parents.

It has been suggested by health experts that appetite suppressants such as cigarettes or amphetamines should be provided as an alternative to sweets.

Many parents are furious, especially those who have spent a fortune on 'Fat Donald Trump' costumes for their thin children. They fear that their children will be wrongly penalised and may turn to donuts as a means of relieving stress.

Boris Johnson failed to comment.




Disappointment at Halloween.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

HOPE.




The bottom line is hope.

Without hope there is nothing; no ambition, no desire, nothing.

Hope is an horizon painted on a sheet of glass and seemingly forever out of reach; something to aim for, a goal...

Until you find yourself forced up against that sheet of glass.

There is nothing beyond it.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Living with COPD



Photo: David Petch.

This should really be titled: Dying with COPD.  I'm desperately trying to find humour in this situation but there is none.

When I was a child I would, when in the bath, cover my face with a wet flannel. For some reason I got pleasure from this until breathing became difficult. I now spend 24 hours a day sucking air through that wet flannel and I cannot remove it. I cannot fill my lungs. All I can do is reminisce.

My GP has given up. The regime of drugs no longer brings much relief. I have been told that I must call an ambulance should things worsen. I'm pretty much house bound except for wheezing struggles to the local supermarket or an occasional pint at the nearest pub.  I spend my days wondering if it is now time to call that ambulance.

I've been considering the blogs and what I should, or should not, delete. I have decided to delete all save Pre-Pentimento and the poetry blog which may be of interest to a child in time. The rest is going including the video's on youtube apart from one, for the same reason. I shall be adding video diaries while I can.

I am collating letters, emails, statements and photographs relating to the past 5 years prior to publication. This is being done in order that I might have a say in explaining the shitty mess that the past couple of years have been.

More later...





Thursday, September 28, 2017

And finally.

Due to ill health and more pressing matters I have decided to end this blog... I will continue to record daily events, or lack of events, here but nothing more.

I am concentrating on recording the past 5 years which will, in time, be posted HERE

Friday, September 1, 2017

Nightmare.

There is an island, at least I think it is an island, it may well be a peninsula or a land locked continental state; I crossed no borders to get there, nor any sea that I can recall, one minute I was not there and then I was there and once there I thought of it as an island but one without any sea views or any boat to escape by not that I or any-one else on that island thought of escape for there was no-where to escape to that we knew of. We often inspected an unreliable bright place in the sky that constantly changed shape or position and sometimes vanished completely leaving us with little doubt that it offered no reliable refuge and what should happen if we arrived there on a day when it chose not to be there. How silly we would feel and how silly we should look to anyone who happened to be casually glancing that way at that time. And there was not a sea between us and that bright place upon which we could launch our hastily constructed balsa wood rafts necessary for an escape. And anyway none of us could swim and what should happen to us if some tsunami chanced our way and tossed us from our rafts and caused us to regret our foolish actions.
The island is a republic, or at least I imagine it is a republic for it has as absolute ruler a fraudulently elected despot of unimaginable cruelty and sublime poor taste. 
We live in crude dwellings while the Emperor lives in a palace constructed from the bones of our dead ancestors, the chandeliers that illuminate his grand rooms are formed from the delicate skeletons of stillborn children, we light our hovels with crude oil lamps that hardly light our hovels at all.
These oil lamps are each contained in a small pink cube manufactured from some strangely terrible material that reeks of fear and whimpers. Each cube, on one facet carries a cameo of the emperor in full regalia astride an unknown beast of his own design.
We have no beasts on this island, the emperors ate them long ago so we are resigned to imagining strange beasts, invariably forged in our nightmares.
We are each responsible for our own pink cube, we must tend the lamp and trim the wick. We must ensure the lamp never falls from it single strand of silk that rots in this tropical climate and must be replaced every hour on the hour, we have no clocks so must estimate the passing of each hour, we are natural comedians in that we have an innate sense of timing. We are not permitted to laugh under any circumstances. We take our comedy very seriously indeed!
The only law that we can rely on states that should one lamp go out or should one pink cube fall and smash on the packed earth floor below then the entire population of the island (save the Emperor) will be put to death. Put to death by whom we do not know but the threat alone is enough to keep us constantly tending our pink cubes (snatching cat-naps and meals (we have no sex lives to speak of) between re-stringing and wick-trimming) to ensure that they remain aloft and alight.


Fuck this for a game of soldiers. We are all going to die anyway, is it not better to die a free man and with dignity rather than tending the pink vanity of a bully and a tyrant.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grenfell Tower one month on. Notes on a vigil.

Lost for words.


Despite living for a while in the shadow of the tower and having witnessed the unbelievable made horrifically real I felt like an intruder.

A community glued in grief came together in silence. A deafening silence. A numbing silence.

The emotional exhaustion is palpable, one senses that it is collective adrenaline alone that is holding things together. In a sense the local authorities inability to deal with the tragedy and the need for the community to take control meant that many were too busy to fall apart in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

RBKC demonstrated that it is not fit for purpose when it comes to 'Local Authority'. It has no authority here now. The only valid authority is in the collective hands of the community.

The fire insulted every sense:  Smell, touch, taste, sight, hearing and fear as well as those arcane, primeval, intangible senses that cannot even be named. As the fire died, an ember, a spark, ignited another sense: A sense that has been smouldering for centuries... A sense of injustice and enough IS enough.

At the vigil I sensed an almighty presence,  a collective ghost. Not here to haunt but to demand justice and change.

Shhhhhh.  Give it time to think and work out a plan.



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Lowkey, Grenfell Tower and Portobello Radio.

A rough cut of Lowkey's Grenfell thing first aired here on Portobello Radio. At 46.30 if you cannot be arsed to listen to the entire show. Gang of Four a little later.

Listen and weep and then rage.

https://www.mixcloud.com/Portobello_Radio/portobello-radio-radio-show-ep-111-with-piers-thompson-greg-weir-love-is-the-conqueror/

Friday, July 7, 2017

Shit was the jackals last thought.

There once was a jackal, a lazy, greedy jackal who wandered the forest taking what he could find in
way of sustenance; small mammals, unwary birds and especially eggs stolen from unattended nests. It was a living but rather too much like hard work for his liking.

One afternoon the jackal came upon a peacock preening beside a pool, comparing himself favourably to Narcissus and Brad Pitt.

'Hello'. Said the jackal. 'Ding dong the dinner bell rings'.

'Hold your horses'. Said the peacock. 'I'm all feathers and sinew, all gong and no dinner, you'd find more meat on a petit four.'

'But I'm hungry'. Said the jackal. 'And I am partial to a canapé .

I have a plan said the peacock. and he explained: Let us enter the forest and while I mesmerise the beasts and the birds with my fabulous feathered fan you shall have free range of their nests and their burrows and eat to your fill.

And that is what they did, the peacock preened and recited Pam Ayers and Shelley whilst the jackal gorged.The jackal promised to look after the peacock in return.

That night the Jackal lay down with the peacock and they entertained each other with congratulations and fabulous tales of cowardice and treachery.

They carried on their symbiotic relationship for some months until one day the creatures of the forrest went to the peacock to complain about the thefts from their nests and burrows. Unbeknown to the peacock the jackal was listening from behind a bush as the peacock firmly laid the blame on the jackal.

That night the peacock lay down with the jackal. The jackal ate the peacock... Sure enough all gristle and pomp,  before choking to death on the wishbone.

'Shit'. Was the cock wielding felon's last thought.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My 'post Grenfell' Utopian dream.

One result of the Grenfell disaster must be a complete change in attitude to social housing and the people living within it. Grenfell has opened a can of worms, the can is labelled Grenfell Tower but now opened we find the contents be, not the occupants but RBKC, successive governments and a privileged elite. For decades we have been miss sold the notion that poor people are the problem. It is time to turn that notion on its head.

A tower block is a village.

Villages traditionally grew organically in places that were not accidental or random but because of a natural resource or a social need: it may have been a river crossing, a water source, geological or agricultural resources, a major crossroad, a castle, a church, a need for a staging post for weary horses and travellers... The list is endless. As villages grew in size elements arrived to support the needs of the people...  The village pump or well, the pub, the baker, the village store, the village hall, the church, the village bobby. These services were provided by enterprising villagers or incomers who themselves became part of the community. Modern transport systems and the out of town superstore have put paid to much of the self sufficiency of small communities but much is still there, most importantly the village green which is sacred.

A tower block is a village.

Through careless planning, disregard for the inhabitants and thoughtlessness over the past 70 years or so these 'villages' have been erected throughout Britain. Villages intentionally created without the infrastructure that would allow soul or character to flourish. Multi story carcass parks.

My Utopian vision:

In my tower block there is:

A village green on the roof, planted with wild flowers, a children's garden, bee hives.

Within the building on a mid level floor that is open plan, a cafe and small kids play area by day then a peaceful meeting place in the evening, perhaps a gallery space too,  a place for  children birthday parties and the like. A social place, a village pump. This must not be stigmatised by the patronising title of 'community centre'. Multi purpose spaces can work, Westbank Gallery under the Westway is a good example.

A floor for teenagers with a pool table perhaps, a pinball machine, sounds,  a soundproofed practice room for the Joe Strummers of the future... Ask them what they want and, within reason, give it to them.

A shop or two.

A women only space, a refuge from men.This is not a modern concept, the W.I has existed for generations.

Four lifts, two stairwells, one built into a central concrete core to act as fire escape.

At ground level, a double height entrance lobby, lots of plate glass to break down the barrier that exists presently in such buildings with their steel doors and blank walls. A 24 hour concierge. A seating/meeting area (in an hotel this would be called the lobby lounge and would be considered essential).  Perhaps a small cafe  also catering for a seating area outside the building.  A lavatory/washroom.  I could go on.

My tower will not be clad. It will be painted on a 5 year cycle. The design/colour scheme will be decided by a competition open to all. It will be as dazzling as a honey coloured Cotswold village in its way.

The cost and practicalities. Where is the money going to come from?

Ring fence the council tax and rental income and plough it back into the building and its occupants. Put in place additional subsidies. Scrap Trident.

The services created within the building create jobs. Give those jobs to residents and provide them with training and support if needed.

Treat people with respect and they will invariable reciprocate. Treat people with respect and they will invariably respect their environment.

Regeneration should apply to the occupants as well as the real estate. This applies to all social housing schemes, not just high rise.

Trust me... I'm a dreamer.














Friday, June 30, 2017

Sick humour.

As I am now kept alive by a cocktail of drugs should I want to end it all I would simply underdose.


Boom boom.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Stronger than the wood... Grenfell glue. Bravery and Post Traumatic Stress.

WARNING: Throughout the history of this blog I have endeavoured to speak my mind and as a result have alienated people. What follows is the contents of my mind right now. It will offend but it is not designed to offend. It is the contents of my mind.

I was informed today that I am displaying signs of post traumatic stress. I had already worked that out when I found myself walking in the middle of Ladbroke Grove defying the traffic to hit me.

I then thought of that definition of bravery: 'Grace under fire'.  

Hemingway used that definition.

Was that what he was thinking when he put the twelve bore to his head?

Grace under fire...

NO. He was thinking: 'I cannot cope'.


So I wrote this, but not to offend:


As a schoolboy in woodwork
melting unwanted bovine body parts in a crucible
to make glue
glue that bonded my shoddy magazine rack formed from raped-forest mahogany

Stronger than the wood that glue

In the crucible that was Grenfell
unwanted human body parts melted
to make glue
glue that now bonds a community

Stronger than the wood that glue.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What to do with Grenfell Tower now.

SATIRE ALERT



OPTION 1. Keep it standing, a blackened rotting tooth in this denticured gob called London... Once the horrendous task facing the counters has finished leave exactly as it is, leave the detritus, the ashes, the echoes of screams and the silhouettes of ghosts burned into the walls.

Keep it as it is save two things. Two entrances:

One marked 'The rich door' leading to an express lift to a viewing platform planted with wild flowers in memory of the dead on the roof, from where the whole of this 'fair city' and its injustices may be viewed save the tower itself. No one who is wealthy, greedy, bigoted or all three should be allowed access to this door.

The other, marked 'the poor door' leading to the single blackened stairwell that provided the only means of escape from the inferno and then into each flat, one by one and then finally to a vacant window hole on the 24th floor where there is one choice: either throw yourself from the window or throw your entire wealth save that you realistically need to live on to the good of the people. Only the wealthy, greedy and the bigoted will be granted access to this door and it will be compulsory to all.


Option 2. I lied about two options.

Justice for Grenfell. Official website.



I have cut and pasted this from Ishmahil Blagrove's Facebook post.


Thank you Mohammad Hamza for designing the Justice 4 Grenfell logo. A couple of other websites have appeared, however, the official website for the campaign is: justice4grenfell.org please share and circulate this information so that people are aware of the official site: justice4grenfell.org


Schrodinger's Nightmare. A post Grenfell Tower dream.

I don't sleep much these days... Haunted by a recurring dream:



I am standing beside a concrete structure, it is black and featureless, there are no doors or windows.  There are two tubes sprouting from it, one has a label 'IN' and the other 'OUT', a rubber bung hangs from a chain between them.

From this structure come the terrified screams of people in total distress,  I know who they are. It is unbearable to listen to but I am somehow rooted to the spot.

I have a choice, two options:

1. I can bung up the out tube in order to mute the screams from within. Condemning the occupants to eternal suffering in silence.

2: I can bung up the in tube in order to cut off the air supply. It will most certainly mean death to the occupants but it will put an end to their screams, their suffering, My suffering.

Thus far I have woken before a decision is made.

Awake now, 4.00 am, it occurs to me that I should toss a coin to determine my actions when next confronted by this nightmare and stick with that.

After all. I know that it is not real, no one will suffer. It is merely a subconscious philosophical exercise.

My inner child is shouting: 'Toss the coin'... His name is Kurtz and he is presently playing dominoes with Freud.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Scientology and Tragedy and other Grenfell Tower stories.

There was an extraordinary event yesterday under the Westway. I'll write about it later.

What I want to write about now is this:

As I walked to the event I spotted a bright yellow, high viz van parked adjacent to the flyover. The van informed me that it was the Church of Scientology.


Later as I sat in the garden of the Maxilla centre I noticed that same high viz yellow, this time on T shirts dotted among the crowds adorning those apparently part of the organisation.



The organisers of the event were wearing tags around their necks, one such man was also wearing a high viz yellow cap. I approached him, inspected his tag and asked if he was an organiser of the event. He replied to the positive. I then asked who was behind it all. He pointed to his companion's T shirt, you guessed it, high viz yellow emblazoned with the words: 'Scientology Volunteer Minister'.

I asked him to confirm that. He did.

I went back to my seat and my companion who was carrying a  professional video camera. We then sat and watched as the entire Scientology presence evaporated within seconds. They vanished.

I find this highly disturbing. The Church of Scientology is the last presence one needs in such a situation. They prey on victims, they prey on the marginalised, they prey on the weak, they prey on the confused and all they offer is the impossible. The implausibly sick impossible.

Why were they allowed anywhere near here?

To be continued

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A white black man on Ladbroke Grove.

This evening, hungry, I walked to Ladbroke Grove. I milked my card at Sainsbury's machine then bought beer at a local store. I walked on to the chippie for dinner.

A saxophonist my age and most certainly more colourful, busking by Ladbroke Grove station said, as I passed: You look like Gil Scott Heron.

I stopped for a moment and we did some reverential shit about Gil.

On my way back with cod and chips, extra salt I saw him again as he was packing up his stuff. I stopped and asked if he was doing this for money. He said no he was doing what he loved but if people wanted to give him something he wasn't going to stop them.

I offered him the contents of my pockets. He said: 'Shit, that is too much man'.. I said: 'No it is exactly the right amount.'We parted, each agreeing we would meet again, both sure but uncertain.

His last words to me were: ' I knew you were a poet'.

The first time I have smiled for days.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Masque of Anarchy in full. Percy Bysshe Shelly. Rise like Lions.





The poem quoted by Jeremy Corbyn today at Glastonbury is not a call to arms or violence. 



"Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.
And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there;
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;
What they like, that let them do.
With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay,
Till their rage has died away:
Then they will return with shame,
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek:
Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!"[3

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sarong and sable.

Theresa May's new defining soundbite.

Cocaine for Grenfell. An intentionally sensational headline.

A few years ago I had the temerity to suggest that the well heeled of Notting Hill, instead of buying that next gram of coke, give the money to orphaned children in eastern Europe. I was pilloried and shut down. I was shut down by Facebook who did not even read my post. I use satire frequently, I hope that readers will look beyond my headlines. They don't.

Once again, will the well heeled, the faux well heeled,  the wannabe's, the addicts in denial I meet every day on the streets of Notting Hill in the Cow, in E&O, in the Electric, the closet Tories claiming to have voted otherwise, those coming to Grenfell for 'a look', Please just give the cost of that next gram to the legitimate appeal fund and help. Perhaps Cameron and his cronies will do the same.

What most of you are buying is not cocaine anyway, it is synthesised snake oil. It will not get you anywhere other than denial and if you want to get high I suggest you climb to the top of Grenfell because the only place you are not going to feel guilt from is there. The only place Grenfell is not visible from is Grenfell itself.



The intention of my sensational headline is to get this read by the people who need to read it.

The money spent in Notting Hill  on cocaine in a few months would buy homes for all the victims.

So shoot me.






Inflammatory. Theresa May.

Theresa May Clinging on to power with the tenacity of the Grenfell Tower cladding and equally as flammable. Or do I mean Inflammatory.


Grenfell Tower. The latest post from Grenfell Action Group.

Please follow the link below and read. Grenfell Action Group to my mind is one of the few reliable sources of truth right now. They are the people who have been trying to warn RBKC that the tragedy would happen. they have been vilified and suppressed and threatened with legal action should they continue their actions.

They are not loony radicals, not trouble makers, just the voice of a community desperate to make themselves and their serious concerns heard and understood.


https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/grenfell-tower-fire-the-forgotten-forgotten-victims/

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Grenfell Tower. Those who need to keep away.

This is far from a comprehensive list but these are examples of what this community does not need:


  • The tabloid press.
  • Tory politicians blaming the victims.
  • The disaster tourists.

Never miss a selfie opportunity.
  • The scientologists and all the other fake Shamen, emotional snake oil salesmen and spiritual con merchants.
 s

Church of Scientology tent set up under the west way.
  • The Anarchists and activists attempting to hijack the disaster for the furtherment of their own agenda.
  • The conspiracy theorists
  • The leaders of RBKC until they hand themselves in to the police.
  • The well heeled beneficiaries of the 'Gentrification' of the area who wander down to take a look.
  • The 'young Lions' demanding a riot.
  • Anyone who is not directly affected by this tragedy but feels it is all about themselves.
  • The Just giving web site making a fortune out of misfortune. Boycott them now.
  • Those people attempting to turn this into some kind of ghoulish Carnival.
  • The fake 'documentary' makers.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fielding Mellen: Partying as Grenfell Tower burned.

A very reliable source informs me that, on Friday evening while Grenfell still smouldered and the fire fighters were continuing their work Rock Fielding Mellen, Deputy Head of RBKC and head of housing held a lavish champagne and coke party at his family pile Stanway House in Gloucestershire.




Stanway House.



Grenfell Tower.

Whether Feilding Mellen was in attendance cannot be confirmed at this time.

I do know however that a number of his wealthy set found the concept of a party more than  even they could stomach. It seems that he is being deserted. I wonder why?




Rock Feilding Mellen.


Grenfell Tower. BBC should be ashamed.

Shortly after the fire started a helicopter appeared. Naturally I assumed it was there to attempt rescue of the residents who had somehow made it to the roof.

NO.

It was the BBC gawking. Shame on them.

How many trapped residents heard hope in that helicopters rotors?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Grenfell Tower fire. Some truths.



I was not going to write about this yet, it is all too much but in the light of some people criticising me for naming the Council leaders many feel responsible for the disaster it now becomes necessary.

I live, temporarily, within metres of the tower, it looms over the garden in which I have a small cabin. I was woken on Wednesday morning at 1.00 am by a neighbour screaming 'get out of the building'. From the garden I saw the fire beginning to creep and then rocket vertically up the entire tower. The fire was external and it was evident that it was the cladding that was burning. As the fire reached windows they popped and the fire entered the building on every single floor simultaneously. The fire then raced around the tower, engulfing it.

I sat and watched in helpless horror. I listened to the cries of those trapped inside. I watched them waving and flashing lights from every floor. People jumped.

What is worse, far worse, is that I sat with the 13 year old daughter of the house who had friends in the building.

We watched this for the entirety of the horror. The screaming went on until daybreak and beyond, the figures in the windows disappeared one by one as the fire engulfed them. How does one comfort a child in that situation?

FACTS:

1. RBKC had been warned about the likelihood of this happening for some time but chose to ignore the warnings.

2. RBKC threatened legal action when the Grenfell Action Group published their concerns about the buildings safety.

3. The cladding, non fireproofed to save money, was there to prettify the building for the incoming gentry. It had nothing to do with the needs or benefit of the residents.

4. It is well know that the same cladding was implicated in similar disasters around the world. It should never have been installed. Had the building not been clad the likelihood is that the fire would have been contained to one apartment and none of this would have occurred.

4. There are grave concerns over other 'renovation' issues regarding the integrity of the building.

5. RBKC have current plans to redevelop the entire estate and gentrify it.

6. Both Fielding Mellen, head of housing and Paget Brown, council leader are culpable and should be brought to book. Fielding Mellen owns a house in the shadow of the tower yet he refuses to show his face. In his one televised interview he looked dry mouthed and scared. He could answer no questions coherently.

All of the above are true facts with evidence to back them up. It is not gossip and rumour. I have previously published the RBKC legal threat to the action group on this blog and am happy to share other evidence.

Is there any wonder that there is anger here.

As things stand. We have been warned that the house may have to be evacuated. The tube trains have been stopped out of fear of the tower collapsing. We are behind the no-go cordon and getting in and out is a nightmare. The area is full of gawking disaster tourists who have no place here and most importantly of all the authorities are so scared of the public reaction that they will not release the true death toll. IT IS MASSIVE.There is the constant threat of a full scale riot. Van lots of riot police dot the area.

And a gutless Theresa May is demonstrating that this government has no care for these people because they are the poorest of the poor in the wealthiest borough in the UK.



so shoot me for naming names.

I know this post is a rambling mess but that is how it is at present.

UPDATE. Sunday: Community notices being posted stating that the true death toll is 150 - 200. Something the authorities will not admit, fearing the reaction.




Grenfell Tower. MISSING.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?

This is Rock Fielding Mellen, Deputy leader of RBKC and head of housing. He has been conspicuously missing since the tragedy occurred. The community would very much like to find him.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grenfell Tower fire. Ghosts in the windows.

I will not be posting images of the fire, there are enough of those already.


This is the image I now live with constantly. The tower is perhaps 100 metre away, it looms over the area and will now be a constant reminder of the horrors that created it. The garden is still being showered with charred remnants of cladding and insulation; what many of us believe to be the fatal factor in the inferno. The air is corrupt.

I cannot help but relive Wednesdays events each time I look at the blackened tower. I see ghosts waving lights in the window openings, I hear the screams of those poor trapped souls. I sat  watching the fire, unable to do a thing as it ripped through the building. A nightmare made real.

For the families of the victims this must be an awful sight and there is no escaping it. My heart bleeds for them.

The fatality numbers, presently 17, will rise dramatically and only when that is known will the full horror of the disaster be realised.

The community is devastated but in that devastation is coming together to do whatever it can to help in the aftermath.

No one will forget this. Let us hope that the Government will act upon it.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hacked.

It appears that this blog has been hacked. Emails are being sent maliciously by others purporting to be me.

Please ignore all emails from this site and unsubscribe. I had closed the email facility on the blog some days ago.

sorry about this.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The end of the local. Gentrification and social cleansing in West London and empty speech bubbles.



Further to my last post.

QED: On an evening stroll to the KPH for a well earned pint I notice that the gentrified boozers on the manor are all empty. The KPH, although not rammed, had  local customers and was welcoming. UKAI (once the Market Bar) and the Italian Job (once the Pelican/Red Lemon) were completely empty and soulless.

The photo is of the Italian Job on All Saint's Road, taken through the window at 9.30 pm on a Thursday night.. The white orbs in the photograph the empty speech bubbles of a non existent clientele. This neighbourhood was once vibrant, varied and multicultural. It is now being sedated into morbidity by the 'pills' pushing gentrification and social cleansing..

All Saint's Road is, to many, the heart of the community. RBKC seem determined to replace that heart with a wind up toy that the locals are financially excluded from and the wealthy incomers are bored with already.

I suspect that it is hoped that All Saint's Road will become another Kensington Park Road, appealing to and catering for the wealthy alone.




Theresa May and the last remnant of democracy.

Oh dear. 
The tories will not be defeated by posting slogans on Facebook to be read by the like minded. The people who could possibly make a difference are the ill informed self disenfranchised who have been bullied and cowed into believing that it is not worth voting; the delusional working class conned into aspirations that are pure fantasy fuelled by the snake oil purveyed by Tory tub thumpers and the press and those who simply cannot be arsed to register to vote let alone vote.
Sheep have no free will, they abide by the law of the dog. The mandarins of Weaith are the shepherds whistling to the dogs. Theresa May is the Alpha bitch among those dogs. At the end of the day you will find her lying at the feet of her Masters gnawing on the bone she has been thrown.
That bone is the last remnant of democracy.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fencing off the 'Village pump'. 'DOG in the MANGER'. Why the KPH is important and Why I won't be reviewing the 'Italian Job'.

Years ago before the arrival mains water and domestic plumbing the village pump or well was a hub within the community. It is where ordinary people met on a daily basis; where the lonely found some company, where gossip or news was shared. It was where linen, both dirty and clean, was aired. It was where 'Care in the community' existed before the term was hijacked by politicians in order to justify a lack of care or concern or an unwillingness to spend taxpayers money on the needs of the taxpayers.

After the plumbing arrived the pump or well, although still symbolic, ceased to be that hub. What was left was the village pub which served the same purpose.

Not only was the pub a hub, the good pub landlord was a marriage counsellor, a referee, a psychotherapist, a keeper of the peace, a short term loan provider and a friend. Very little violence occurs within the walls of a well run pub. To be barred from the village pub was a fate to be feared, it was exclusion from the community, it was ostracism.

The wealthy landowners and gentry did not need the village pub save for occasional visits for purposes of condescension, a leer and a grope at a pretty barmaid or to buy a secret bottle.

In this part of West London these hubs are vanishing to be replaced by hipster gastro pubs, Vodka breweries, estate agents offices and expensive apartments. The local working class community is being deprived of one of its focal points and is being offered no alternative. All the 'gentrifiers' see is a need to make a profit and a need to, in order to make themselves feel comfortable with their consciences, remove hoi polo from sight.

By 'gentrifying' the last remaining pub, the working class local community is in essence being told that their needs are in no way to be considered... Fuck off!

The re-imagination of the 'Red Lemon' on All Saints Road as an expensive Italian, hipster, artisanal, craft beer 'pub'/restaurant is a perfect example of this.


Red Lemon before and after being turned into a hipster fish shop



RBKC do not help in any way by allowing this sort of thing to take place because RBKC decision makers aspire to the same elevated personal Utopia as the gentrifiers themselves. No consideration is given to the discrimination against and displacement of the local community.

The only place for a reasonably priced beer now is either at home or on the street. Gone is the only refuge for the working class man wanting a beer or two on his way home or an escape from a potential domestic crisis.  No one cares, just 'KEEP OFF MY LAND'.

Gentrification often wraps itself in terms such as: 'Exclusive'.... To exclude; 'Discriminating'..... To discriminate against,  'Artisan'..... Pretentiously expensive in order to exclude poor people.

The village pump has been fenced off by people who only drink bottled water and champagne.

All the Gastro pubs and hipster bars should be forced to call themselves: The DOG in the MANGER'.

All of the above is why the KPH on Ladbroke Grove should remain an honest local boozer.

 It is the last one. If RBKC had any sense, care or imagination they would tax the gentrifiers a bit more and spend the money on buying the KPH freehold and giving it to the community to ensure the continuing existence of our village pump.












Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lowkey Silcherster Estate development protest.

Popped in to look at the Silchester Estate development proposal exhibition this morning. Residents were out to protest the proposals.

I'll be writing about the development plans at length at a later time.



Got to say hello to 'Lowkey', someone previously not on my radar, an interesting man. Check out the video below.






And then read this: http://www.mintpressnews.com/MyMPN/after-being-targeted-by-the-uk-govt-british-rapper-lowkey-returns/

Friday, March 31, 2017

Vinyl Cafe reopens on Portobello Road.

Like 'Coffee Plant' down the road Vinyl Cafe has as its origin a market stall.  This is the kind of thing we need to retain the identity of the road. Not Starbucks nor any of its ilk.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Westway Development Trust, yurts and RBKC.

From my mole in Portobello Green.

Many of us have wondered at the small yurts appearing in Portobello Green.



























Perhaps this snippet of a conversation ( between a blonde woman in heels and a curly haired man of elfin grace ) overheard today in the spring sunshine will help explain:

Him; What's with the yurts?
Her: We are preparing accommodation for the refugees who will be arriving soon.
Him: Where from, Syria?
Her: No! The Silchester estate when you turf the residents out in order to gentrify it.
Him: Now now, no need to be sarky. we are simply improving the quality of opportunities for some local residents to make some real improvements to their bank balances.
Her. That is what I thought. To that end I felt that by assisting with the temporary re-housing of what you call scum before you renege on your promises (in order to facilitate the lining of crony pockets) I hoped you might turn a blind eye to our similar plans for the Portobello Green area when it comes to planning consent.
Him: I love it when you talk dirty.


Editors note: This is obviously fake news and should be treated as such. The use of 'fake news' in satire is as old as the hills. The use of satire to take a poke at abusers of position or wealth is even older.

There are plans afoot however to 'socially cleanse' and 'gentrify' the Silchester Estate area. More on that another day.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sex education in the sixties. A red herring.

As a six year old my entire knowledge of things sexual was obtained from eight year old boys in the school playground, they having been informed at six years old themselves. In the same fashion this information had been passed down, year on year, since Edward first confessed in 1066. This information was of course to be believed because it came with the declaration: It's true. Cross my heart and hope to die in a cellar full of rats'.

At age 11 my mother tried to disabuse me of my illicitly gained knowledge by placing on my pillow  a booklet on the reproductive cycle of fruit flies ,which I assumed, was where she got her knowledge from.

How on earth, I wondered, could a grown woman with six children (there was nothing in the publication about contraception.) think that fruit flies were anything to do with sex stuff. And furthermore the booklet did not contain the declaration: Cross my heart and hope to die.....

It could only be a lie or a red herring at best.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Arc of a diver

This is from the archives. first posted on the poetry blog in 2009.


I am aware that I am being most horribly punished for my actions and there is nothing I can do because I have already gone too far. This is unequivocal.

My assumption was; when my life flashed through my minds eye as I fell to my death, that it would contain itself to my past!

Such is the speed at which the human brain can work when pressed that I am allowed the luxury of this consideration as I watch both the wall of the multistory slip by and my future (or what future I would have had, had I not decided to take this final action) flash forward.

So now I know! For one nano-second I am enlightened and it has taken my own snuffing of the candle to illuminate me; what a paradox and surely one that only people such as me have ever been aware of… For if one dies a natural death at the moment specified in our timelines there would be no future life left to taunt us!

In this split second as I plummet headlong to the concrete below I am allowed the horror of seeing the Cancer misdiagnosed and good health regained. I witness the love and patience of my wife as she supports me through the trials of becoming successful as an artist, as she bears me a beautiful daughter who burgeons into an even more beautiful woman who brings two delightful grandchildren into my no longer possible life. I witness the retrospective at the Tate and the accolades that that itself would bring. I kneel before the King and humbly accept my Knighthood. I die peacefully at home, aged 92, surrounded by the people I would have loved!

It occurs to me that my punishment, though harsh, ends now.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A stolen kiss.

I stole my first kiss
I did not know but
a kiss given freely

A kiss signalled by a
clumsily assembled pout
from carelessly painted lips
in a country bus shelter

Sheltered from buses perhaps
but not from a determined girl

nor from

the public transportation
of that first stolen kiss.


A short poem about longevity.

The older I get
the farther I go back
into memory

I imagine that

with my last breath
I will reach back to my first

and set eyes upon my mother again.

The 1940 'Leave the Allies' Referendum plan.




Neville Chamberlain delivering Fake News.



By September 1940, 2 months into the blitz it was feared that the RAF and and British air defenses could not cope with the relentless bombing. Things looked bad for this beleaguered island but Chamberlain had a plan.

The prime minister informed his cabinet that Britain was to hold a referendum on the question 'Should we leave the Allies and join the Axis union?' "It is a win, win situation". He told them. "If we win we become masters of the Planet once more and relive our days of Empire. If we lose we will benefit from massive reparation which will enable us to grow into the most powerful nation in Europe".

"On top of that". He added. "The 350,000.00 we are currently spending on air defence can be spent on cottage hospitals and stuff like that".

When asked about German atrocities he replied: "We have been turning a blind eye to Russian atrocities quite happily up until now I can see no problem in simply changing the direction in which we cast that blind eye".

"We'll be slaughtered by the Americans". Another cabinet member opined.

"Au contraire". Chamberlain retorted. "I have been reliably informed by my cleaning lady that Japan is about to piss off the Americans greatly by attacking Pearl Harbour which will embroil America in a war of it's own along with a new found obsession with building it's 'Pacific Wall'.

A muttering of: 'Who is Pearl Harbour?". Chinese whispered it's way around the Cabinet table.

At this point Churchill stood up, necked his tumbled of brandy and bellowed: "This is bollocks. We shall defend our right to fight, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never stop fighting among ourselves. How on earth can we agree on a referendum result".

The rest is not history.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

END OF THE UNION.


In triggering article 50
she shot herself in the foot
he had custody of the first aid kit
and the orthopaedic boot.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Theresa May's political clitoris.

As Winston Smith dies.

In neo-totalitarian America
May walks hand in hand with Trump
stroking Churchill's pate
for a photo op.

May; an uncertain
politically horny woman
of a certain age
Chasing the bad boy the mad boy
in hope of a trade shag
beneath the bleachers.

A shag he will deny but crow about
with
with a smirk
on the bleachers.

For all Churchill's shortcomings
he fought for Britain
not for himself.

Churchill stroked no-ones head
for appeasement.

For all of Theresa's longcomings
she fights for her self
her ego
her political mojo
She has no idea who we are
or what we want
She has no idea who she is
or
what she wants

Other than Trump
tickling her political clitoris.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fake news

How do we know that the news about fake news is not fake?
If the fake news is real
and the news about fake news is fake
what should we do about the fake news
about real (albeit fake) news
about fake news
about fake real news?...

No news is good news.

Real or fake.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Laundry.


She asked: 'Do you have anything dark to wash?'
I could not admit to my longings
but brought down some history
that might benefit from 60 degrees.

She is asleep now as I empty the machine
drape history on radiators
dark things are still dark

clean but dark

She is asleep now

lit.