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Blue or Black, Black and Blue, Bluey black.

Why does blue ink seem so transitory, lack the authority of funereal black. Surely the blue reading experience should be as, if not more, enjoyable. The colour of summer sky's, the paradise seas and majestic in life should please and intrigue, seduce and entice. But does the levity and seriousness of authoritarian black, the ink of birth and death, marriage & divorce, freedom and confinement; officialdom, not improve and increase the power and meaning of the written word? Are you truly weak of mind for being attracted to green ink? Is it not just a more pleasant writing experience? Or is it the literary equivalent of the winking tic? Worn with pride by the terminally annoying, the office “joker”. That pitifully persistent people pleaser, them middle aged “still with parents” domiciled.

...Or my dog is dead and Nanny is a cripple.

A classic self parody is the Johnny Cash track "The man who couldn't cry". Conforming to the accepted with it's suffering & hardships, uplifting in it's ultimately (thou' final) outcome, yet radical in it's retribution payback for his persecutors. A truer illustration of the humour underlying the C&W song, in this case illustrated in the forefront, could be hard to find. A counterpoint and personal response to the perfect illustration of the suffering of the country song writer, "Hurt". Encompassing in that single word tittle every possible combination of circumstances and driving forces, descriptions and reasons for the country song.

How to write a country song.

There are certain fundamentals to the country song, as in Country & Western (C&W). They often deal with love; the loss of, celebration of, longing for, unrequited or disappointment concurrent with; the passion and violence. But by far it is the loss of love that is the “mal amour” of the country ballad, with some notable exceptions. Love can be lost in many ways in "Country", but often it is violence or abandonment, violent because of acts of or sudden brutal death, essentially stories of domestic and matrimonial disharmony. The story of the "wronged" woman is predominantly abandonment and those of the men the act of abandoning because of numerous factors, often jailing or authoritarian conflict whilst trying to "Do the right thing". Providing for the family, protecting the innocent, extracting revenge; or defence, of oneself, the family and the object of love. It is in essence a lament of despair, but of despair passed, of progress and remembrance. They could be regarded as pleas of justification, of cries of innocence and justifiable reasoning, for the living, for continued life and possible new found love, made to the departed. Equally as often a memorial to the love lost that could never be replaced, a lament of questioning confusion. Proof of veracity of love held, longing and loss. Not always for the wife/lover/child, commonly for the maternal figure, sibling or way of life, a longing to return to happier times, a celebration of suffering. Always personal, biographical, lived and experienced the hard way, usually from childhood, resonating over the years, terminal bad luck and hardship. Almost by definition C&W classics cannot be uplifting in the usual sense, thou hopeful in their yearning and positive in their message, but only because of the beauty of grief, in all it's aspects and causes, it is managed and dealt with, reasoned and accepted, grudgingly and with difficulty, but ultimately revelled and glorified, in celebration and to do justice to the memory of those departed or left behind. Safe in the knowledge that one day, somehow, reconciliation awaits.

Rattle Rattle

The joys of late night rail travel will never cease to amaze and baffle me. The almost magical scything through the landscape, this fallen lighthouse hurtling ever onwards to home and away. The animal instincts of travellers for ever protecting their temporary burrow, safe behind their seat walls from the horrors of eye contact and interaction with strangers. Anxious for the arrival of that knight of the wheeled rocket, the ticket inspector. Imbued with the dark arts, to diffuse conflict, protect the innocent and spirit away the safely stored ticket from it's last resting place to some Area 51 of luggage interior (and in extreme cases, exterior) pocket, never before encountered in years of use and since that first exploration determining suitability and practicality, true capacity and robustness.

Solitude of the Nightshift

The night shift is more productive than the “superior” day shift. The loneliness of the enforced solitude increases the concentration and attention, to focus singularly on the job in hand. Free from distraction and enquiry, bother & strife; a release and abstention from the demands of consultation, advice and the constant waiting for the end of shift & the happiness of home.

The 21st Century Train Spotter

Due to the ever increasing speed of the domestic train system, some would say miraculously, the train spotter has to evolve. Reactions have to increase, eyesight to sharpen, stamina and physiology to adapt to cope with long periods of inactivity, interspersed with sudden, explosive & vigorous activity. An amalgamation of the hibernators dormancy & the stealth hunters bursts of hard edged, razor sharp reflexes. Kind of like and sleepy & neurotic obese panther.

“The acceptable face of violence”. Retribution for honour.

The gentlemen of old accepted and thrived on what the modern world deems violence. Yet the Edwardian era was conceivably a safer place, on the streets, in & of the home. Maybe the tradition of the duel should be revived, perhaps even promoted for the modern dispute, to ease the path to settlement. With today’s technological advances and level playing field of personal armament, the worker, read poorer, need not be at the disadvantage of those privileged elitists, the once rich only gun owners essentially. Would the blame/claim culture, “justice for all” trends, be satiated with this Biblical style of retribution, the “eye for and eye” ethos, but then are we just one stop from the Gladiatorial spectacle entertainment? Somewhere and something for the high street mercenary to prove his prowess, justified and legitimatised.

The addiction of Blogging...

I have a blog, I blog what I think I can, and try hard to make it worthwhile. But why do my posts seems less interesting than everyone else’s? Do interesting blog posts have to have explanations/story’s attached to idea generating pictures? Does the picture come first & then the blog, or does it illustrate only and exist as a bonus? Do they each lead to the other, exist in symbiosis, would the constant use of and thinking photographically lead to a better blog?

The Short Nosed Shovelled Bill Tunnel Duck…

A very rare sight on the lake shores and riverbanks of Great Britain. Due mainly to its depletion in recent years coinciding with the rise in popularity of thick cut bread. A problem to the tunnel duck due mainly to its small ingress bill being far too narrow to allow the consumption of thick cut slices.

“The town centre Gladiator”

The highly trained curb side pugilist, roused and cheered into battle by the cries and alcohol storm of the modern centurion, those leaders of the drunken legions of stiletto sirens. Sirens that lure the binge drinking, dreaming sailors afloat their promoted ships of revelry to the proving ground rocks of modern man for one more proof of superiority before the inevitable reproaches and recriminations from the mini-skirted temptress.