Ah, blessed relief. After a couple of weeks of rising anxiety doctor told me yesterday that scan was clear and all seemed well. I dared to tell him of my recent encounter with my crabby comrade and his assertion of the imminent return of my cancer, doctor said that my cancer was eminently treatable, that talk of imminent return was rubbish and without sounding too cocky as far as they’re concerned I’m cured. So, until the next check up in 10 weeks I’ll carry on in my haphazard way.

And now I’m experiencing my first cold since well before the crabby episode.

On walking to the outpatients department yesterday I noticed a large poster advertising private treatment, on the first line in bold letters it highlighted convenience and comfort. This obviously invites the corollary that for everyone else who can’t afford or chooses not to ‘go private’ their treatment is ‘inconvenient and uncomfortable’ in relation. I feel that we are now so inured to inequality and injustice that the forces of evil are increasingly brazen. One hopes that this presages a fall.

Reading young Owen Jones’ book ‘The Establishment’ and his chapter on the ‘mediaocracy’ and how they are now such an inbred, insular group that so many are even less aware of how most people live than MPs. Partly explains why there is so little outrage at our egregious inequality and injustice. Listening to a radio discussion yesterday about the care home crisis and that the average annual costs of care home now exceed eton’s annual fees. Why choose this comparison? And maybe in the interests of saving money throw out all the pampered rich brats and turn eton into a care home for the elderly who’ve paid their fair share of taxes all their working lives (Kate’s idea).

And on Friday we’re going to a recording of Any Questions and I’ll witness in the flesh a bastion of the BBC establishment, dimblebore junior. Time both dimblebores were retired to allow fresh new blood to chair so-called political debates, I’m available. Kate has said if I start my muttering she’ll sit away from me. I’m working on a killer question, any suggestions?

So I go downstairs to get my supremely healthy breakfast and there’s a play on the radio about a woman who’s cancer has just returned. Writing it like that makes it sound as if we have our very own personal cancers, maybe we do.

I’ve never liked tescos, I’ve always disliked the feel and look of their stores, shirley porter is the daughter of jack cohen who founded tescos and she was a very dodgy leader of tory westminster council who oversaw the removal of poor folk from council housing in the “homes for votes scandal” and when found guilty of gerrymandering refused to pay her fine and ran away to Israel. She did eventually came to ‘an agreement’ and paid a fraction of the original fine. Much the same way tescos has been operating for a long time with regard to it’s criminal and appalling treatment of suppliers. And the masses keep on shopping there much as they keep voting for the criminal and appalling tts. And their much publicised election bribe of childcare for all is already being shown up for the sham it actually is. Still, s&m slug osborne has conjured a magnificent victory for the British taxpayer with google and already he is facing 3 inquiries into the deal, they’re so economically competent these tts.

And I’m going to boycott University Challenge until they replace paxman, his bias towards oxbridge colleges is sickening to witness. Maybe Ade Edmonson as Vivian to replace him?

Oh you pretty things keep on keeping on, love Duncan.




Paint your door red.

In the recurring discussion of what Englishness of Britishness might be we often hear the word tolerance, maybe the phrase ‘fair play’ and yet this jars somewhat with me. But then who am I?; some white, bleeding heart, middle class, liberal Grauniad reading shiraz socialist who doesn’t live in the ‘real world’. Thinking briefly about the appalling term ‘real world’ I think it simply means that you don’t live in the world of the speaker, otherwise known as the accuser. For I suspect there is a strong correlation between those who use the term and intolerance of the other. As condom features singles out non-English speaking Muslim women in Bradford, asylum seekers in Middlesborough are housed behind red doors and those in Cardiff wear red wrist bands it is increasingly clear that intolerance and racism course through English and British veins. That perhaps our view of ourselves as tolerant is at least questionable. Maybe a more apt trait of englanders might be ‘real worlders’. We have had a red door for a while, our new one is red, I’m starting a petition for people to paint their doors red and wear red wristbands.

Loads of stuff about opinion polls lately, especially as a result of the last general election. Nice reversal in a letter today suggesting that maybe the polls were right but the election results wrong. Apparently polls have been significantly wrong 3 times in the last 50 years, and far be it from me to suggest any sort of conspiracy, the years were 1970, 1992 and 2015, all years when polls indicated a Labour win but they didn’t. And the only Labour win after Wilson was with the arch socialist bliar.

And I’m not the pleasantest person to be with currently, anxiety and anger are a toxic cocktail. Check-up tomorrow and results of scan. Need distraction so I’ve been doing heavy labour levelling our small lawn, surprising how much earth, gravel and old bits of stuff can exist in such a small area.

And we had another wonderful time in Stratford for Kate’s birthday and I did my best to try and spoil it on our return and I’m pretty pathetic really. Anyway Kate had lots of lovely presents, loads of cards , texts and visits from friends and she’s very excited about Jaike’s impending return from downunder.

And Swanage Town FC need a new manager jose.

Off to distract myself some more. And here’s another Kliban to make me smile:

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.





Am still feeling discombobulated after last week’s crabby lunch and my crabby friend’s comment that those of us with virally caused throat cancer can expect it’s return sooner or later. This is anxiously compounded by having an MRI scan a few days ago and awaiting the result next Tuesday.

One of the many side effects of treatment and possibly the actualness of having/had cancer is anger. And as I laid upon my bed not contemplating writing a blog irascible popped into my head. It sounded good, obviously not good in it’s meaning and essence but good in terms of how it sounded and how it captured my present state. I’ve been getting angry quickly and frequently: with others, with things and stuff and mainly with myself. I wondered not only why, even though the reasons seem clear, but the nature of this anger and how too often I seem to actively seek things to be angry about. Hence the appositeness of irascible; ira from the Latin meaning anger (gives us ire) and the -sc which means becoming. This gives the word some action and my ‘looking for a fight’.

Now those who know me know that I am very placid, understanding, calm, conciliatory, and insouciant (what a brilliant word). Unfortunately it is the actual case that from an early age I was a contrarian and would actively seek confrontation, though often with a smile (and this often pissed others off even more although I didn’t mean it to). One of the earlier examples of this somewhat negative side of my character was at a disco at a local village hall in a small village called Stansted on the North Downs of Kent. One of my best mates at the time, another farmer’s boy called Dave, asked me what I’d been doing as we were getting a lot of angry looks from a number of local lads. I admitted that I might have been dancing in a provocative way that may have been misinterpreted. Our party decided to leave, as we quickly clambered into Dave’s car a large number from the disco had gathered outside and suddenly ran towards us, we drove off quickly. This would become a pattern in terms of my provoking others but never actually getting hit. Perhaps if someone had hit me and hurt me at any time I would have stopped.

Anyway, not really sure that all this is connected to my current irascibility. Perhaps finally this crabby bollocks is the accumulation of all those situations hitting me at once? In the immortal words of the song from Frozen I should ‘let it go’. But what is it?

Anyway as I’ve too often said, ‘so what?’

So, we’re off to Stratford-upon-Avon again tomorrow to celebrate Kate’s birthday, and she of all people doesn’t deserve any of my irascibility. We will be going to the theatre on Saturday night to see the last performance of Queen Anne and hopefully some distraction and relaxation and fun.

And as many of our exercise/diet related resolutions disappear into the sands of time know that reading a book for 50 minutes burns off the same calories as jogging for 19 minutes. So reading for a couple of hours whilst enjoying a glass of wine and a small snack is energy neutral.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Bread and Circuses

What bothers me, probably to an unhealthy degree, is how what has happened over the last 40 years or so is not understood nor apparent to so many people. I can hear the cynics, the apologists and those with the loudest opinions grinding their particular axes. I can also hear so many of us, sangiovese socialists such as myself included, saying “I know but……………”. But the last 40 years we have lived through, are living through, the most egregious kleptomania in human history, neoliberal globalism is it’s name. Capitalism is probably the most efficient method yet devised for ‘creating wealth’ and these current klepto incarnates are hoovering up the loot at at ever increasing rates. Statistical shit notwithstanding and if you can be arsed watch this clip (for those digital immigrants like me just highlight following address, right click search and play) and just gaze and wonder at the early chart:

Love the line from John Fugelsang towards the end where he talks about recent figures showing the top 1% getting 95% of ‘new wealth’ so why don’t we ask them for 95% of the taxes? Bread and circuses as the Roman leaders were so adept with. Example: last week at my weekly intensive exercise regime with The Globe pool B team I asked a Geordie team mate what he thought of ashley (Newcastle FC and sports direct owner) naively expecting an answer about his appalling exploitation of workers instead came the reply “aye, he’s a canny business man and bought some good players”.

The failure of ‘the american dream’ of course applies to dear old blighty, just that our wealth entrenchment is underpinned by all our class bollocks: royal benefit cheats, private educational stitch up, old etonian tts running the government, slaver drax my local mp ad infinfuckingitum. (weird, last word not highlighted!)

And so many absurdities to choose from, but my current favourite that the tts are redefining poverty to not mean lacking money.

Still, one can look forward to s&m osborne’s machinations blaming others for the looming financial crash. Trouble is we’ll probably end up with someone like trump or some sort of right wing coup d’etat. Funny parliament debated banning trump from entering our country, I think we should just ban his hair from entering. And palin’s just swung it for him.

And conversing with Mr Hector during our damp January about how our cultural peers are popping off lately at earlier ages: Lemmy 70, Bowie and Rickman 69 and now Frey at 67. All horribly close to our ages.

Also like Mr Greaves letter today that now we’ve sorted Iran’s nuclear dalliance we can now move on to ending ours.

Plus ca change:


What have the Romans ever given us?

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


pm jism flavouring

The sporting world was rocked to it’s already shaky foundations today as corruption has been revealed in the Swanage Pool League. A player with The Globe B team has admitted to receiving a bribe to throw his match against the conservative club c team (this club is known locally as the con club, an apposite name which can be applied more generally). He said he’d taken payment in the form of a couple of pints and a bag of pork scratchings (jizzingly flavoured with essence of  prime ministerial ejaculate, what a tosser). lord twat coe has said he’s the man to clean up this messy business. Tomorrow night’s game is still planned to take place but storm clouds are gathering over Swanage Bay.

Just returned from my MRI scan, as I’ve written before it is a very weird experience lying in this enormous white electromagnetic which makes a succession of strange, somewhat unsettling noises. Like other procedures like CT scans and X-rays there can be some DNA damage and perhaps the slight possibility of causing cancer, a little irony there. But iron would definitely cause damage to the machine and possibly the patient being it’s magnetic material in an enormous electromagnet.

I wore my *ankers T-shirt, not to deliberately display it as I wore a jumper over it, but forgot you have to take outer clothing off. So there on display was a Venn diagram composed of 3 circles with w*****s in one, t****s in the second and c****s in the third. Where they all overlap is the word bankers.

As the film The Big Short based on the admirable Michael Lewis’ book is released and clearly shows how a number of ‘short sellers’ saw the 2007 crash coming, and made a fortune out of it. I am still totally flabbergasted that not only has hardly anyone been brought to account but that it continues and another  crash looms. The whole financial edifice is entirely man made (it is almost exclusively a male thing) and yet it is treated as somehow sacrosanct, that the institutions are ‘too big to fail’. And the klepto funded media mouthpieces have the absolute audacity to suggest that junior doctors are holding the country to ransom, that Mr Jeremy’s latest proposals about unions will also hold the country to ransom and that anything that smacks of anything like fairness and justice is smacked down as self-serving greed or envy of these fucking greedy, actual ransom demanders and the 62 richest kleptos have more loot than half the world’s population and we enter the anthropocene age which will be but a blip of the Earth’s history as those who really hold the world to ransom bring about …………………….

And irony on the radio (could be a song line) as I was MRI bound with the sun shitpaper’s editor writing about the pro-eu folk using fear to get people to vote to stay in. Because the sun would never dream of using fear in any way, would it?

And I had my most viewings last week for many months, can’t decide whether it was just having fuck in the title or that it was a Bowie track title.

Oh were Kliban still around to poke more fun at our increasingly absurd world:

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.





Shock and Aww

A distinctly unpleasant and unsettling experience yesterday which I’m still thinking about. Went to meet my crabby chums for lunch and Eric was talking about getting onto a trial for a vaccine which might prevent the cancer recurring as it was definitely coming back. He confirmed that myself and Colin also had viral cancers and that ours would probably return. I’ve asked very little about the possibility of recurrence nor searched on the internet about this so this came as a bit of a shock. I went silent then experienced what I can only surmise was a shock reaction; I felt a massive wavelike feeling descend through my body and thought I’d collapse. I managed to ask where the toilets were, and just about managed to walk away, on the way I knocked my glasses off and keeled over as I bent to pick them up. Wasn’t a full blown falling over and managed to stand up feeling very disorientated. Walked back to table and sat quietly down. I was cold and sweaty and thought about a heart attack but there was no arm or chest pain and it was unlike my Wilfred Hyde White heart episodes (I have something called Wolff-Parkinson White syndrome).

Slowly I returned to ‘normal’, none of the others seemed to notice anything and I slowly returned to the conversation. I didn’t talk about my ‘episode’ and the food was distinctly underwhelming. After we parted I managed to blow some more money at Waitrose, return home and cook dinner. I told Kate and remained disturbed, wine helped although the recent headlines about booze increasing chances of cancer danced around my fevered brain.

Just received delivery of my first case of wine from the Wine Society.

Think I’ve been in a certain amount of denial, but it does seem to have been a reasonable coping mechanism. Still feeling a bit shaky and scared. I have an MRI scan on Monday and my next check-up is the following week, so I might brave a few questions, and my anxiety levels always rise around these times. I’ve also been affected by Bowie and more recently Alan Rickman’s deaths from cancer.

During the lunch I naively asked why none of us had surgery on the cancer, because it’s in a part of the body surrounded by lots of nerves, blood vessels, airways and makes any surgery distinctly hazardous came back the answer. Although Eric did say that he’d been told about having his tongue removed as a last option!

Anyway viewings of my blog have shot up this week, sadly not because of any interest in my writing but mainly from Monday’s title of ‘Where the fuck did Monday go?’

Well for fans of TV detection, murder and the like such as Kate and myself we are currently blessed with a plethora of programmes: Silent Witness, Endeavour, Death in Paradise, Montalbano, the Scottish noir of Shetland, and good old Midsomer Murders. Now for those of us who have a slightly guilty pleasure watching what was a distinctly ‘middle England’ Midsomer Murders change is afoot. At the rate of increase of black actors over the first two episodes of the current series only a white Barnaby will be left by the end. And in last week’s episode there wasn’t even a murder!

Spain appeals, their drink guidelines are 35 units a week. Kate gently spoke to me yesterday about how our alcohol intake has reduced significantly but maybe it could be a little more. I replied that I’d continue to reduce intake but also continue to increase quality as my joining of the Wine Society attests to.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.



An epidemic of NMF sweeps the land

Annoyed again with myself yesterday as I couldn’t find a small sheaf of papers with my appointment letters and blood test form. Kate and I were in the process of sorting a couple of rooms out and moving a lot of furniture and stuff in a fairly confined space so when I first realised I didn’t know where the papers were I became angry about the process. This soon transferred to anger about my basic inability to keep paperwork in any sensible order (Kate and many of my former teaching assistants will attest to this).

What I did do, though, was apportion responsibility where it resiled i.e. with me. This, I humbly think, is at odds with what is happening elsewhere in the land. I dub this an epidemic of Not My Faultitis (NMF). I have written about and long known that the likes of ceos are apparently recompensed with wealth and power because they have responsibility. Seems to me that there’s been an inverse relationship as their wealth increases their responsibility decreases.

Now this NMF is reaching epidemic levels across all peoples. I’m sure many parents will be used to hearing the almost constant refrain from their offspring of “it’s not my fault”. The same childish approach is used by so many in positions of power. When things go tits up or corruption is exposed they use the equivalent of “it’s not my fault” by claiming they were unaware of what was happening. For example sebastian tt coe, despite being among the senior echelons of the iaaf, had “no idea of the scale of corruption”. So he joins the lengthening list of the supposed leaders of banks, parliament, church, media, police, corporations who “didn’t know”. Well what the fuck were you doing? If you weren’t actually part of the corruption and were actually unaware you are actually incompetent and not fit for purpose.

Now s&m osborne is taking NMF to a more absurd level as stuff hasn’t even happened and yet he’s getting in his NMF excuses before the impending economic crash. He was very quick to blame the 2007/8 financial crash on Labour and obviously he has no responsibility for the next one despite the fact he’s been in charge for quite a while. And he’s been an absolute disaster at managing the economy and most certainly hasn’t fixed anything whilst the sun has been shining out of his arse. And people think the tts can be trusted with ‘economic management’? Bollocks.

Apparently one of the biggest concerns of all these twats is what is called ‘reputational risk’ and in another glaring example of ‘cognitive dissonance’ their NMF only serves to lower their reputations.

Interestingly alongside the rise of NMF has been a concomitant rise in what I think is called the ‘blame culture’. Whenever something bad happens there is an immediate media clamour to find someone or something to blame. This immediacy leads very quickly to simplistic responses which are typically ignorant and soon lead to or reinforce particular narratives which drown out other possibilities at the expense of understanding or proper appreciation.

There are daily examples and many of them are currently directed at Mr Jeremy.

This media immediacy also brings about increasing absurdity. I was very saddened about Bowie’s death and in the evening switched to Channel 4 news as Jon Snow had tweeted something that mirrored my feelings and I wanted to watch and listen to their take on Bowie’s death. I soon became saddened in a different way as much was bollocks. For example the estimable Paul Mason stuck in Brixton saying “there are literally tens of people here”.

And then I was listening to the jeremy slime show and a woman called julia heartless-brewer deriding those like myself who’d cried about Bowie’s death and she equated it with the response to diana’s death!

Anyway I signed a Mr Danny Rapscallion’s (his real name?) petition to rename Mars after David Bowie.

And the absurdity keeps on coming as pigfuckercondomfeatures talks of ‘parenting classes’ and ‘bulldozing sink estates’ and ‘social opportunity’ and ‘child poverty’ and ………………………


And Steve Bell nicked my renaming of the radio 4 toady programme but he does capture their toadiness beautifully in his current  strip, time harrumphries moved on.

And the Bistecca Fiorentina was delicious and matched the Brunello perfectly, writes the Sangiovese Socialist.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

Blog awaiting editorial editing from Hector.