Saturday, 30 May 2009

Are Baboons Evil? : Part Deux

On the random occasions that I remember to look at my site stats, I find that there are still people being sent here because they have searched for an answer to the age-old question,
'Are baboons evil?'
OK, well, maybe not age-old, relatively recent in fact, but I thought I'd go for more of an answer than just,
'I saw this on Grahame Norton.'

Well, here's the thing, I wrote a philosophical argument, debating what the definition of 'evil' might be, then the definition of 'good', then discussing whether baboons had intention or not, greatly enjoying getting back to my philosophical roots.

But I had forgotten two things.

Firstly, that several people who are not me read this, although at least two of them might be grateful for something that would put them to sleep, and secondly, even if baboons were capable of being evil, and the concept of evil were definable, in order to definitively answer the question 'are baboons evil?' ALL baboons would have to be either evil or not.
Thus, 'are humans evil?' elicits the answer,
'Well, they bloody well can be, and most of us are evil in some small way at some time, but most of us, most of the time, are not really.'

SO that's my answer.

At Schloss Schneewittchen, changes are afoot. My contract will end on the 30th June, and then I will be unemployed for at least the summer. The organisation for whom I work has run out of money, and this in spite of our bookings having increased significantly since last year. But...they have been operating at a loss for some time now and they have to stop and take stock.

Discussions have been ongoing throughout May. I know several people who have been through similar experiences and they generally speak with empathy when addressing the situation.
Kevin, of course, has been amazingly, brilliantly supportive, but there's always, ALWAYS one cretin isn't there? One krazy person who doesn't get it, who just says the most inappropriate thing possible.

The to and fro was wrapped up on Friday evening, over 'appies' in White Spot. This isn't some kind of precursor to a wasting disease, but actually a rather nice restaurant chain.
My assistant Joanna and I had lunch at a White Spot restaurant quite recently, on our way to an afternoon meeting. As we paid our bills, I thanked the server for not calling us 'you guys' at all during the meal.
'Oh, it's part of our training,' she said, 'so many people complained about it,' which is wonderful, because several people I know make it seem like it's something I, personally have invented.
And we were appropriately addressed, as one might now expect, in the White Spot yesterday evening.

Kevin and I went to dinner at another restaurant, and at the end of the meal, I likewise, was able to thank our server for not addressing us as 'you guys.'
'Well,' he said, 'it's not appropriate to address people like that, and besides, we have had a lot of complaints about it,' which was a nice message.

Today, I have pottered with my pots and read Bill Bryson's 'Shakespeare', which is a mightily enjoyable read. I have learnt that the average consumption of beer in London during Wagger-Dagger's time was a gallon a day (a PROPER gallon, not a U.S. one!) except for the better off, who consumed wine instead.

I'm not a twitterer, in any sense of the word really, but my friend sent me an article on some activity they currently have in the community, to reduce a famous book to 140 characters or fewer,

"Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot is condensed to: "Vladimir and Estragon stand next to tree and wait for Godot. Their status is not updated." "

Love it.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

4 : 1

We've fallen into lotus eating. After a long, cool spring, we're now in a phoney summer, a drôle d'été, long, hot days, seamlessly spilling over into the next.

Yesterday evening, I met a couple of quite fabulous women at my church. They were from Kansas City and had been staying in and visiting Seattle, and had come to visit our church because they had heard that it was very friendly. Five of us had a lovely, womanly evening.

From Seattle, down a bit to Oregon, I met a man and his daughter from that State. I had to show them one of the trails. The man thought that Obambi was breathing fresh air into the country, but he said his parents thought he was ruining the country. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Carol Ann Duffy spoke at the Hay-on-Wye book festival today. In fact, she spoke to my other favourite poet, Gillian Clarke.

I started reading the Bill Bryson book about Shakespeare today, it has been in my 'to read' pile for over a year now, since Kevin finished it. Within two pages, food for thought. The picture of the Bard on which all other pictures are based, seems no-one actually knows whether it is he or not. It's like a Will Shakespeare avatar.

I have just finished reading the third of Pat Barker's First World War books, 'The Ghost Road'. I enjoyed the first, Regeneration, the second, 'The Eye in the Door' was even better, and the final one was a masterpiece. I have been stunned at the facile review comments on the front of two of the books saying they are 'anti-war'.
In this final book of the trilogy, Barker weaves the memory of one of the main characters through his present day (ie First World War)experiences. He was studying a group of islanders who were formerly part of a headhunting society. White missionaries have put an end to the practice because the population was being wiped out by it. And yet, the people, now that they were no longer allowed to make war, seemed to be lacking in energy, in motivation, they were dying slowly and fertility was inexplicably compromised.

The other main character, who get sent back to France for the fourth time, is offered a job in England that would mean he didn't have to go. He turns it down, but says to his friend, that in a few weeks he would be sitting in a trench, regretting that decision. Yet when the time comes that he is sitting in that trench, he is keenly aware that he is glad he came back.
Fabulous books.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Odds and Sods

Alice Munroe, GREAT Canadian author, has been awarded the international Booker prize. She bloody well deserves it too, she's a fantastic writer.

I decided that 'phone etiquette had improved. When I first started at the Park, we used to have to ask people before every programme, to turn their 'phones to silent, and they still went off all the time.
Now, we no longer even mention them and they are rarely a problem.
But today, in the middle of the play, a 'phone went off, playing a loud bangra tune. We pretended to dance to it, but then the woman answered it, and had a conversation in some Asian language in a normal speaking voice, so we had to get louder and louder.
No bloody manners some people.

Bozo5 told me an anecdote yesterday that was really fairly simple, but the visual has made me chuckle several times today.
When he lived in London, he was on the tube in the rush hour. If you've never been on the London Underground in rush hour, it's quite interesting to see the British all squashed up against one another, but still keeping their own space. You try not to breathe, you make no eye contact, you hope that isn't someone who's pleased to see you, whilst also hoping it's not a gun in their pocket.
The train came to a grinding halt.
Standing near Bozo5 was a woman in full burqa. An announcement came over the PA to say that they would be delayed for a little longer, and a voice came from the burqa, in full-on East-end accent, 'Bloody Hell!'
Humorously dissonant.

So...California has upheld the ban on same-sex marriage. I don't even begin to see how that can be constitutionally lawful, since the US constitution, not to mention, according to the one dissenting Judge, Justice Carlos Moreno, the Californian one, claims to promise equality. How the hell does that work?

Still on matters Stateside, Obambi has appointed a woman to the position of Supreme court Judge. Well done Obambi, because yesterday on the radio, some black man was talking who had been elected mayor of some city in the States against, seemingly, all odds, and yet he still used horribly sexist language when speaking about it. Pillock.

On Reaper tonight, part of which was very obviously shot in Gastown, underneath the steam clock, Sam had to challenge the Devil to something he was good enough at to win.
'We all have something we're good at,' said Steve, former demon.
But think about it, have you got anything you're good enough at that you could beat the Devil at it? for thought.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Weight or Wait?

Damned fine weekend, much plant related activity, sunshine and margaritas on the balcony.

I've discovered from the BBC's website, that people who are overweight in their forties, are likely to be frail in their old age. That's right, people. The study, however, was conducted on 1,000 men. That's right, men. So, back to that whole guys things. Men, or guys = people. WRONG!!! Especially when it comes to weight, since it has LONG been established that weight patterns in women are different and have far different consequences.

On our TV, the conservative party - and bear in mind there is no election on the cards yet - are so worried about the possibility of Michael Ignatieff getting elected, that they are already running an advertising campaign that goes along the lines of, 'Ignatieff, is he just visiting?'
See, here's the thing, Michael Ignatieff, now leader of the liberal party (read not quite as far right as the Tories) has spent time in the UK and the States, writing, broadcasting, learning about politics and generally, how other people operate. So you might think he'd be a fine representative for the country in the international arena. Maybe even a Statesman.

So, just visiting or the second coming? He could be our saviour ;)

The BBC has an interesting article by Clive James. I don't really get the point he is making about the lack of western feminist commentary on some eastern issues. But he makes some other very valid points.
It IS a fantastic step forward that there are now four female MPs in Kuwait, that rape is no longer governmentally sanctioned in Iraq, and something that I was personally made aware of, that in Burma, the democratically elected woman, Aung San Suu Kyi has been imprisoned for years by the all-male military junta.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


It's like a game of consequences.

So, Obambi is having a bit of strife persuading the fellow Americans to bankroll his closing down of Guantanamo. Not too daft, since he doesn't appear to have a plan. On the CBC radio station they said,
'President Obama said nothing about the one Canadian being held there.'


Seriously, why would he, whilst making his case to Congress about why G'tmo needs to be closed, stop and mention one Canadian?
PARTICULARLY...since that Canadian seems to have been fighting on the other side. Now, I may be mis-remembering here, and I sure as hell can't be arsed to go and look it up, but on my immigration application, somewhere in the same section where I had to assure them I hadn't committed genocide, I'm pretty sure I had to also declare that I hadn't been involved in any military action hostile to Canada.
So....does this guy, for guy it is, really even COUNT as Canadian any more?

Meanwhile, a local school has angered the Jewish community by using a handout which referred to Hamas as 'not a terrorist group as designated by the Canadian government...'


Yeah, see, I think the continual bombings by Hamas since their inception in 1987 and their declared intention to destroy the State of Israel, pretty much defines them as a terrorist organisation.

I see that Jonathan Ross is in the shit again.
Stupid wanker.

And the Church of Scotland are having a paddy about a gay minister, whom THE MAJORITY OF THE CONGREGATION SUPPORT. But a handful of them didn't know he was gay.


Give it up, seriously, give it up. You have NO IDEA whatsoever how large a percentage of the clergy are gay. If we didn't have gay clergy, we wouldn't bloody well have any.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

May, Schmay

The Lent Meditation group has continued since Easter, but circumstances have conspired to stop me from going, not to mention that the whole meetings schedule has been ferocious. But tonight, I made it there, and I came out feeling so calm and peaceful.

Unlike yesterday evening, when I had to raise my voice at people. I don't take kindly to being told at a meeting that I need to be sensitive to other people's bigotry - not in so many words you understand, but that was the meaning.

A new TV series starring Jane Lynch, 'Glee', the opening line, having watched some teenagers do an athletic and ultimately stupid gymnastic display, Lynch's character shouts at them,
'You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded, that's hard.' Eh - you had to be there....and see the expression on her face.
The programme seems like fun.
Still, insufficient Lynch.

What is it about May? We have had four birthdays at work and there are only six of us. Tomorrow would have been my mum's birthday and next week is my daughter's. Perhaps the question should be, what is it about August?

I can't believe the Eurovision Song Contest trundles on. But more than that, I can't believe the Norwegians. Blogger Heidi Stephens' writing on the ridiculous contest seem both clever and funny, but Norway was not amused. A cynic might say they've never met a Norwegian who was.
Not me though.

I love this quote from Maryanne Williamson,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Sunday, 17 May 2009


A tequila afternoon - Margaritas. It had to be done.

Kevin, aware that this type of afternoon would come, had purchased tequila two weeks ago. You'd be amazed at how much you can pay for a bottle of distilled cactus juice. I imagine if you've paid $80 for a bottle, you're not going to be making Margaritas from it.

Tomorrow we have a bank holiday for Queen Victoria's birthday, God bless you ma'am.

An extra day's lie-in. Lovely.

Rise of the Lycans

Just one question :-
Lycan or Vampire?

On the one hand you have the whole painful changing thing, on the other, the not being able to go out in the sun thing.

Vampires have goth music, Lycans have metal.

Vampires have the cool long, black coats, Lycans have a lot of leather, Vamps too sometimes.

Vamps get to drink blood, Lycans rip raw meat apart.

Tough choice huh?

Greenday seem to have a new album - sounds pretty good.
Glad we've got that settled.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Ant and Dec

There have been a couple of times recently when I have had occasion to watch acts from 'Britain's got Talent' on YouTube. There was the Scots woman with the eyebrows and the voice, and this week, a boy with a girl's voice, not a ladyboy exactly, but it shut that Simon Cowell up.
But here's the thing, both times, I've noticed Ant and Dec sculling around in the wings. Why? What's that about? Shouldn't Ant and Dec have been allowed to fade away? They were only ever perky lads with regional accents, their only talent. To be honest, they do seem like the kind of likely lads who would be found sculling somewhere improbable.
Great work if you can get it.

Great line from Kenneth on 30 Rock.
'Science was my most favouritest subject, especially the Old Testament.'

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The South up North

Today we had Americans. We welcomed a group of disadvantaged teenagers from an island that is part of Alaska. They thought our different coloured notes of money were cool, they thought our trees were cool (they don't have trees on their island). When I told them the peat in the bog was about three metres in depth they asked how many feet that was. When it started to rain, the temperature only 10º and several had left their jumpers and coats on the bus, instead of fussing round them, their teachers just shrugged, and I thought, well, it's probably warm to them.
They are driving down to Seattle on Friday to get their flight back, and we advised to leave plenty of time for crossing the border. This will be the first long weekend that many people will be going south to shop, or open up their RVs for the summer, or whatever it is people in these parts go south for.

This week is 'Bike to Work Week', though I'm not sure where. Kevin, who always cycles to work, noticed yesterday, an increased level of hostility from motorists. Guilt, I suppose, makes people hostile to others.

This morning's Bee Programme highlighted that point that Sherryl Kleinman made about some sexism being about status.
Since I am on first, Joanna brings the class in and settles them. She asks the teacher to wear a tiara and play the part of the Queen Bee. But today's teacher was a man. I could hear her confusion, 'er, the queen, er, king I suppose...' she said. I was trying to send her telepathic messages along the lines of, 'it's called acting,' and 'almost all the bees in the hive bar a few are female...' The teacher was completely cool with being the Queen, but Joanna was worried about asking a man to play a female role, even though in the play, she herself plays a male role, Darwin the Drone.
And that's Kleinman's point. Female is seen as lower status than male, and we constantly reinforce that.

"In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist."
—Gloria Steinem

So right Gloria, so right.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Ah, out of the mouths of bears....

Provincial Elections today. I don't get to vote. Early results seem to be tending towards the status quo.
An aptly named band.

I'm not saying I'm unduly influenced by auto suggestion, but I now have aubergines and something approaching lollo rosso in my balcony garden. Oh alright, I'm just a flagrant copycat.

The Canucks, Vancouver's hockey team, are now out of the Stanley Cup. I found it thus rather surprising that the flag thingies you put on your car, are still available in the shops, overly priced at $15. Bizarre.

On TV this week, series finale after finale. I was amused that a psychiatric hospital in House had the same name as Mayhem. Soon, we'll be able to catch up on films and suchlike.

Today, at the end of a programme, two kids just spontaneously hugged me. I had forgotten that kids do that. Mayhem was - and still is - a school where a lot of shit goes on, it's a hard environment for all concerned, but there were a lot of great kids too, and a lot of hugging.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

A Mere Trifle

A mere trifle that Kevin constructed for Canadian Mother's Day for his ma.

It is still Sleepy's birthday in our corner of Canadia, so viel Glück zum Geburtstag friend!

On the radio, on the way home tonight, the bloke said, 'Get your friends who live in Toronto to rent out their houses for 10K during the Olympics, because there are thousands of people around the world who don't know how much distance there is between Toronto and Vancouver.'
Nice one.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Death and Taxes

"I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome."
Golda Meir

I'm with Ms. Meir on that.

I find the idea of an unclean animal quite komisch. I mean, when I consider the small number of animals I am prepared to actually eat set against the large number of species in the world, it is small, but I'm happy to have them co-exist nonetheless. I even get the whole Hindu sacred cow thing. Sacred animal, don't eat it, fair enough.
But the Muslim pre-occupation with pigs.....

In the whole of Afghanistan, apparently, they have just one pig, named 'Pig' in Pashto, and I'm sure we all remember from the Kite Runner, that Pashtos are looked down on anyway.

So Khanzir is in the zoo at Kabul, but now, he has to be hidden away from view, because such is the ignorance, probably owing to a dearth of pigs, that if viewed, people will fall ill and die of swine flu.
I'm not sure where the pig could have contracted the virus but then I bet we all know people who think like that. Say 'swine' and they will construct their own story, irrespective of whatever else you have said.
That must be one lonely pig.

In BC, a political candidate has gotten himself into a bit of strife over his campaign slogan, in which he claims, 'I pay taxes'. Well, good man, don't we all. Well don't we?
Ah, no, see his opponent is a First Nations man, and they...well don't pay taxes. Oops.

Meanwhile, that tax money is being put to fine use.
A medical expert in the Robert Dziekanski case - the man who was tasered to death by the police at YVR, has testified that if he hadn't been tasered, he wouldn't have died.
Golly. Glad there was an expert available to tell us that.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Sulking, I feel, is rather underrated. It is demonised. 'Are you sulking?' we ask, trying to make the person feel or look silly.

Well, I need to sulk, I think I need to take about two weeks to have a massive sulk. I'm fed up with meetings, I'm even more fed up with meetings that are drawn out when they could be contracted, I'm fed up with having to challenge what is wrong and not being appreciated for it, I'm fed up with being undervalued at work when I have increased bookings, I'm fed up with not being listened to by people who should be intelligent enough to listen and I'm fed up with people on TV using sexist language and people thinking it's ok. I'm fed up with awful grammar. I'm fed up with twats who can't read signs, who think it's ok to talk on their stupid phone whilst they drive, who don't give a stuff about the environment and with people who drivel.
In short, I'm just, generally, fed up.

So my answer to this is to have a sulk. Like a holiday, only I won't go anywhere, I'll just inform people I'm having a sulk and I'm not coming out to play. I won't go to meetings, I won't be polite to people and I'll fecking bite their heads off when they don't use adverbs, or say things like 'less' when they mean 'fewer' and 'too much' when they mean 'too many' and if they call me a guy. Oh, I already bite their heads off for that one, but I'll actually shout at them.

And I won't pussy foot around people who are actually insane, but I don't want to push them over the edge, instead, I'll sing that Queens of the Stone Age track, 'Everybody knows that you're insane,'

That's my plan, a massive, self-indulgent, wallowing, sulk. I just haven't yet decided when.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


The perceived result of last week's Random Act of Feminism, turned out to be a co-incidence.

Today I received an e-mail from a lady called Colleen, saying that my observation was 'interesting' and inviting me to supply some womanly quotes. I googled and lo! Google came up with the goods instantly and I, in turn, supplied some of said goods to Colleen. But it did give me food for thought. There was some bloody good stuff out there, and I will be doing further research.

A really interesting one however, was by an American writer, Maryanne Williamson,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most." Now this quotation was used by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech in 1994, but some people remember this as a quote from Mandela. I don't, on this occasion, believe that it is because he is a man, but because he is the more well-known person, but even so...

I have come to realise that I distrust people who don't drink wine at all. And after deep and reflective intellectualisation, I believe this to be as reasonable a criterion as any.

In place of writing anything else myself, I will give two more quotes, one a luminous poem by Poet Laureate (oh yes, I have ten years to not tire of that), Carol Ann Duffy,

“Warming Her Pearls”
for Judith Radstone
Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
bids me wear them, warm them, until evening
when I’ll brush her hair. At six, I place them
round her cool, white throat. All day I think of her,

resting in the Yellow Room, contemplating silk
or taffeta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.

She´s beautiful. I dream about her
in my attic bed; picture her dancing
with tall men, puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.

I dust her shoulders with a rabbit´s foot,
watch the soft blush seep through her skin
like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
my red lips part as though I want to speak.

Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
her every movement in my head ... Undressing,
taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
for the case, slipping naked into bed, the way

she always does ... And I lie here awake,
knowing the pearls are cooling even now
in the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.

and the other, by Nancy Astor,
"In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on a woman."

I rest my case.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


This has been my one weekend in the year when I get to experience singleness, Kevin's frat camping weekend. The engineers all go into the wilderness with gallons of beer and bear scarers and ...well, drink and do engineery things like making a hot tub in a lake, or some such. Whatever.

So what do I do? A friend at work asked if I were going to have a girls' weekend, but no, I have cleaned and tidied. It beggars belief why I should enjoy this so much, I mean, it's not like Kevin doesn't do any cleaning, or tries to stop me, but I have cleaned where routine, weekly cleaning just doesn't go - like the plughole in the shower, which I have levered up and attacked.
And of course, I have been able to play my own music all weekend. Again, not that Kevin would stop me doing that, but even with him, I would be too embarrassed to do my excessive air-guitaring.

I have also slept in one of the spare beds. I wanted to do this to make sure that the bed is comfie, but also because I've had a jealous eye on both the spare room beds since we bought them. They are low to the ground, with the new generation of non-spring mattresses on them. And now I have slept in one, I know how divine they are.

Still, I am glad when he's back. It's nice to have some time alone, but really, only because I know there is a limit on that time.

I have received one book already from the Book Depository ('The Secret Scripture') - unbelievable that they seem to manage to get books here so quickly. Sadly, the other book I ordered , 'Old Filth' by Jane Gardam hasn't yet arrived, I started reading a friend's copy and it was one of those instant addiction books. I'd already promised to pass it on to another friend because mine is on its way, so I'm left hooked and and now hanging in mid-air, until it turns up.

At work, the City of Richmond intranet homepage has some little homily every day, but so far, always the words of a man. I e-mailed them about this, pointing out that sometime during the next three hundred years, women were expecting to be no longer treated as the second sex, and in anticipation of this wondrous event, could they possibly occasionally slip in something by a woman. I have no idea whether it was by accident or design, but by the next day, a woman's words appeared.

And this past week, Kevin's birthday I think, marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the grandes dames of feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft. My god she must have been a brave and insightful woman to champion women's rights back then, when you think how we are treated today when mention the word feminism.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Carol Ann

I'm dead excited. I feel like the little boy who came to the Park yesterday and was shaking as he told me towards the end of the programme, 'I'm so excited about this Field Trip.'

Last June, I mentioned the possibility that Scots poet Carol Anne Duffy might become the next poet laureate, well, she has, and she has a ten-year stint, the first woman ever, and I mean EVER. At Christmas, I linked to a story poem she had written and that had been illustrated by Posy Simmonds.

I know that you don't all enjoy poetry, but I admire the good stuff, because I can't freaking do it. It's like making spells, magic with words, it can be like depth charges to the soul, or looking at a painting with infinite meaning.
Duffy's work is like that. She looks at things differently and paints it for us. I have her book, 'Feminine Gospels'.

I can't really find a poem that is short enough to type in its entirety, so maybe I'll just do a couple of first verses.

The Long Queen.
The Long Queen couldn't die.
Young when she bowed her head
for the cold weight of the crown, she'd looked
at the second son of the earl, the foreign prince,
the heir to the duke, the lord, the baronet, the count,
then taken Time for a husband. Long live the Queen.

What was she queen of? Women, girls,
spinsters and hags, matrons, wet nurses,
witches, widows, wives, mothers of all these.
Her word of law was in their bones, in the graft
of their hands, in the wild kicks of their dancing.
No girl born who wasn't the Long Queen's always child.


She was born from an egg,
a daughter of the gods,
divinely fair, a pearl, drop dead
gorgeous, beautiful, a peach,
a child of grace, a stunner, in her face
the starlike sorrows of immortal eyes.
Who looked there, loved.


She woke up old at last, alone,
bones in a bed, not a tooth
in her head, half dead, shuffled
and limped downstairs
in the rag of her nightdress,
smelling of pee.


But what if, in the clammy soil, her limbs
grew warmer, shifted, stirred, kicked off
the covering of earth, the drowsing corms,
the sly worms, what if her arms reached out
to grab the stone, the grooves of her dates
under her thumb, and pulled her up? I wish.


She told the radio programme 'Woman's Hour' that she had thought long and hard about accepting. Well, I'm glad she did.
You did it for us hen, you did it for all of us.