Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section
2 Jul

today, July 2nd 2016, I turn 40 and I’ve decided to keep a daily political/introspective blog about UK an international politics, my own anxiety issues, the nature of being Welsh, how to fight prejudice, the benefits of decent pair of shoes in British weather and facing the next year as a slightly screwed up single dad on the far left and almost on the edge.

I’ve decided to begin my one year weight loss regime with a pub breakfast, large, no mushroom and a large diet drink. See? diet. self-delusion is a wonderful thing. Diet whatever drink sits up there alongside ‘one more cake and that’s my last’, or ‘I’ll start the diet on Monday’ or ‘Hmm, Christmas day. I’ll definitely try church on Christmas day.

But when you’re a non -orthodox Trotskyist standing in the classical Marxist tradition that adopts the state-capitalist analysis towards the ‘communist’ oligarchy’s, and an over-eater suffering from anxiety disorder, one more cake is more than one more cake.

It is the comfort blanket that leaves you cold, like hugging a person with claws, like kissing a snake or attending a Lib-Dem annual conference.

Having voted Leave as an anti-capitalist vote (Lexit campaign) I’ve needed more than one ‘one more cake’ than usual.

Weight: 21st 1lb

Mood: uncertain.

 

 

Advertisements

Christmas comedy zombie novel – Day 1

8 Dec

Day One

 

To celebrate the festive season I shall print one chapter per day until Christmas Day of my E-book zombie Christmas novel, written in various coffee shops around Penarth and Cardiff last winter and published online now for less than £1 (crazy!) on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle store.

So, if you want a laugh on the cold winter nights and days, then read on. On the other hand, if you want to wallow in hate then I’d think the Alan Clark Diaries would be just the ticket. However, I do feel my book would be a little lighter on the mood.

Dawn of the Dave

 

Chapter One

 

At about seven in the morning, Sally declared, loudly, that she needed the toilet because junior was standing on her ‘bloody bladder’ again as she so delicately put it. I walked upstairs to the kitchen, ‘my’ kitchen, and made tea with the kettle ‘I’d’ picked out and toast with the four slice toaster and its semi-operating pop-up lever facility that ‘I’d’ paid for. This might sound very petty but when it comes to possessions one can become pretty bloody petty after seven years of marriage. ‘Oh, don’t touch my phone’, or ‘don’t get change from my handbag’ she’ll moan. Why? ‘Because it’s PRIVATE!’ You would think that after ten years of experiencing every inch of each other’s anatomy, of suffering every moment of wind, gas and morning ‘death breath’ to come out of those gradually ageing bodies, then the idea of privacy becomes absurd. Are my wages a matter of privacy when she spends them on her ‘tops’ from Nexty Debeny Spencyshop? Or is ‘my’ phone private when I catch her scrawling through my texts when she thinks I’m safely tucked up on the toilet carpet with a good book? But I digress.

As I waited for the bread and water to do their respective transformations into items of edible joy, I looked out at the street through the kitchen window. The usual traffic and accompanying racket of white vans, mopeds and Ford Fiesta’s was markedly absent this morning. Strange for Christmas Eve, I thought. Instead of traffic there was, well, nothing. Just silence. No cars, no pedestrians walking past with their dogs or pushing their crisp guzzling offspring, no pensioners off to the corner post office in order to lie in wait for me in case I had to send off some heavy packets of books in a hurry. Sally thinks I’m paranoid but as soon as I come around that corner with anything heavier than an envelope the grey Ninja’s communicate with low frequency grumbles and move with surprising stealth into the post office. Once inside they congeal into a queue, a faceless snake of nattering voices clad in a skin of nana coats and topped with identically short, grey perms. The line never moves, never seems to get shorter. I stand with tendons and muscles straining under the weight of the Tolstoy’s and Dan Brown’s that I sell on eBay (just a side line, of course), head beginning to swoon with the sound of all that nattering about ‘my Denise’s son at university’ and ‘never, never been the same since the prostate op’. How they find such endless fascination in each other’s illnesses is beyond me. I swear that if I survive the present disaster and eventually get varicose veins and the seemingly common ‘bit of nasty gip right at the top of me leg’, then I shall keep such misfortunes to myself.

Silence. Just the sound of the kettle slowing boiling and my wife quickly peeing in the toilet downstairs, audibly demonstrating her relief.

Suddenly there is movement. I almost didn’t see it. I was turning away from the window in readiness to wrestle with the right toaster-lever when what seemed like someone running quickly along the pavement beyond flashed in the corner of my eye. I turned back to the window and there she was, a woman this time, pelting past the house nine to the dozen. I recognised her from the neighbourhood watch meetings. Mrs Hackett. In fact, I should say she is the neighbourhood watch – its president, police liaison and most enthusiastic ‘activist’. Last year she wrestled a 21yr old man to the floor outside number 16 after seeing him walking around the house ‘suspiciously’ trying the door handles. Unfortunately the man was the grandson of the old couple at number 16 who’d asked him to watch the place while they were on holiday but had forgotten to leave a key for him. Despite a grazed knee and bruised gonads he declined to press charges against Mrs Hackett.

‘What’s she in a hurry for’, I wondered as I began buttering the toast. I placed the toast on a plate and carried it through to the dining table where Sally was waiting, quite still and silent. I began munching away and after a couple of minutes’ silence looked up. She was still sat there, quietly staring at the window behind me. Though not one for conversation whilst eating at the best of times, this was unusual even for Sally. It was the look on her face that disturbed me the most. Fixed. Frozen. Terrified. I doubt I shall ever forget it.

I turned around to see what she was staring at and I must admit that what I saw caused me to drop my toast on the floor. Usually this annoys the hell out of me but given the circumstances I decided to let it pass without comment.

Outside the window, with a bloodied face and hands irritatingly pressed against my recently cleaned windows was a young man, about nineteen judging by his acne and poor dress sense, staring at the both of us and groaning. I’m no fool. I’ve been to shopping centres, or ‘malls’ as the American’s call them, and the sight of staring, groaning teenagers is so common that one gets used to it. But this was different. M’laddo had over stepped the mark as far as I was concerned. Hip kicking frenzy approaching.

 

Chapter Two tomorrow…

Ot to read the whole thing now, go to Smashwords or Amazon Kindle Store – search ‘Scurlock Dawn Dave’

 

Scurlock 11 – grassroots Democracy

12 Nov

I am currently speed writing as I am about to be thrown out, not literally, of my local library computer room as there is a computer class starting here in the next ten minutes.

But I shall not complain. Most libraries were set up by subscriptions of ordinary working men and women who wanted a public educational resourse for the whole community. Can’t afford a book, play etc? go to the library. Want that library shut down and replaced by a coffee shop or car park? Vote conservative/liberal.

In the spirit of the early working class founders of the library movement, I continue to respect the way that National Theatre Wales gives a platform to ordinary people, working, non-working, students, parents, and various combinations of the above to express themselves and they;re emotions through performance and writing.

Better go, the library man is staring at me and I believe will give me short shrift if I attempt hostile badanage with the fellow. No! stop it! Get off! I’m typing, I’m typi

Scurlock 10 – Writers Block

12 Nov

You sit. You open the A4 refill pad you just bought especially from ‘notepads anonymous’, knowing you’ve got cupboards bursting with notepads of various sizes. You stare at the blank page. You look around at the people chatting away about grandsons, leggings, vim and pneumonia and you look back at the page. Stretch the arms behind the head. Shake the writing hand pretentiously as if you’re about to write Wales’ answer to Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Nothing. You sit. You stare.

A word, just one word to begin, that’s all you want! Is it so much to ask in this day and age of reality TV that you, just you, could write something that others might find worthy enough to read. Or that you could write just for yourself, the tastes of others being a secondary concern at most? Nothing. You sit. You stare.

1st person, 3rd person, dark or humourous? Humourously dark or violently thrilling? Just that one word to get you going. Found it! The word is Kevin! No!…not Kevin! Who starts a story with the word Kevin?! I don’t know anyone called Kevin. I have known Kevin’s, even worked with one, but to call a Kevin a soul mate is beyond my present facebook status.

‘The rain hammered down as the detective looked through the dusty blinds at the neon signs below’. AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!! what’s wrong with me?!

Maybe I should calm down, write Scurlock 10, promote my ‘Dawn of the Dave’ ebook at the Amazon Kindle store, post it to NTW, march out of the café with my pen held high and yell: ‘If I wasn’t so introverted, I’d be yelling right now!’, march out of the café and go into another café to get some unsatisfying food I can feel guilty about later.

‘Dean walked into a café with a notebook and pen. She was waiting under the clock…’ – I give up, I almost do.

Looking for inspiration today? Go out and do something, anything, that you hadn’t planned to do today, even if it’s going to a café. Listen to people. Learn from them. Find that opening line. It’s out there.

Scurlock 9 – Dirty Protest at National Theatre Wales

12 Nov

One of the greatest achievements of the ruling class could be said to be their ability to make the working class ashamed of itself. MTV’s shameful ‘The Valley’s’ has young people representing the worst stereotypes of the working class that our so called ‘betters’ can throw at us. Violent. Alcoholic or border line. Drug taking. Fake tanning. and on and on and on.

Another perpetrator is Channel 4’s Shameless and I leave readers of this message to comment further on that dribble of…

 

Dirty Protest, which you can join via NTW group website, offered an alternative look at working class and generally ‘valleys people’. I grew up in the valleys and the grandparents and great aunts and uncles that surrounded me were good, humourous, honest, proud, hard-working people who believed that everyone should be given a fair start in life. My father grew up in a house where his father banned all alcohol, except in the pub of course.

 

South Wales. Rebecca Riots, The Merthyr Riots, Dic Penderyn, The Chartists, 500 miners going to Spain in the 1930’s to fight Fascism whilst dozens of women-led support groups in the Valleys would send aid packages to families in Spain suffering under Franco’s Jackboot, Nye Bevin, Cardiff Coalition to Defend Asylum Seekers, Bridgend Stop the War Group, The Miner’s Strike, mass marches against the fascist BNP in the 90’s and post-millenium,… The list goes on. But this is not the valleys that MTV want’s to portray. But thankfully there are groups like Dirty Protest willing to give a real voice to the real people of the Valleys.

Scurlock 8 – No Pasaran!

12 Nov

Recommended Play: The Resistable Rise of Arturio Uri – Brecht

Recommended Novel: Much Obliged, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse

 

The following views are my own and I welcome constructive debate.

 

In 2001 I went to see a play at Chapter Arts Centre in Canton, Cardiff called ‘Franco’s Bastard’ and I’d be grateful if someone could remind me of the author’s name. This told the story of a Wales Free Army leader so deranged with visions of becoming the first Fuhrer of Wales that he couldn’t see that ordinary people, on the mass, did not share his views. Add to this the belief that he was the natural successor, biologically as well as politically, to that butcher Francisco Franco, added to the pathetic nature of this character.

 

Following the latest victory over homophobia in the courts last week that decided a couple were breaking the law by denying a double bed to a same-sex couple in their B&B, decency-botherer Nick Griffin, leader of the crumbling neo-Nazi BNP, twittered that we should support the bigotry of the B&B couple and even threatened the same-sex couple with attack by publishing their full address and warning ‘a visit’ was imminent.

(The fact that this buffoon can even spell is a miracle.)

 

Wales has a proud tradition of resisting and standing up to Fascism and racism in our streets, workplaces, places of education and homes. Theatre has assisted in this fight, producing powerful indictments of creatures like Griffin and Franco, showing that we should look to history to see how even the lowest of human beings can rise up and destroy the hopes and lives of millions. if anyone knows of, or has written, or is writing any such plays that may be coming out soon, please let me know.

Scurlock 7 – Stories from the Streets

12 Nov

Recommended Novel of the Week – The Star’s Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry
Recommended Play of the Week – Withnail & I by Bruce Robinson (£3 in HMV)

I’ve just finished my fourth GCSE Maths lesson and must admit that, although stimulating dividng ratios can undoubtedly be, I did start falling asleep half way through. I’m resitting this after 19yrs believing that, having 8 GCSE’s, 4 A-Levels and a Law degree (ooh, ain’t you clever! You’ll be a scholar you will!), there is something missing.

The only time I’ve fallen asleep in the cinema was during a film that I would advise jno one to see and is so bad that it hasn’t even moved into the status of ‘cult movie that’s so bad it’s good). I speak of the Super Mario Brothers movie of the early 1990’s, a crying shame not only because of plot but becuase it starred otherwise watchable actor Bob Hoskins. Not even a Roxette single could save this arse dribble of a film.
The feeling that something is missing is, I believe, the spur that drives forward all writers, whether novelists, poets, playwrites, essayists, journalists etc, the feeling that there’s one more story that’s inside, that needs to be teased out like a stubborn egg up a distressed chickens bum.

Stories from the Streets was a wonderful experience and I found the supermarket sketch and the Grandfather sketch particularly moving, (not taking anything away from the other participants).

So if you’re looking for inspiration this week, throw out your Super Mario Brothers Movie DVD, lock yourself in the shed with the script of Withnail & I and the finest wines known to humanity, and like the formerly distressed chicken, let it all flow out of you.

(Still available – Dawn of the Dave (by Dean Scurlock)- Amazon Kindle Store for 75p)