Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The Gutsy Gibbon

Forgive me for getting a bit geeky, but I had to show you this. I've just finished installing the latest Ubuntu distribution on our home PCs and have tinkered with them to my satisfaction. For those of you who are 'normal', Ubuntu is a replacement for MS Windows. It's based on Linux.

Perhaps more importantly it's free. Not only that, it's so easy to install you can do it blindfolded. I've installed windows more times than I'd like to admit, and this Ubuntu install beats it hands down. I didn't have to get 'technical' at all. Once installed, the OS found all the appropriate drivers & codecs for me and asked me politely if I'd like to install them.

Ahh, joy - it just works!

But up until now Linux has had an Achilles heel - frankly it wasn't as pretty as Windows. Particularly Vista. So, I thought I'd show you the eye candy that comes with Ubuntu out of the box these days.

Geek joy indeed.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Wooo? Meh...

What the hell happened to Halloween?

When I was young, I would have had a small turnip, barely large enough for the candle to carry around the houses. They were so dense that my Dad would have been whittling away at one since mid August.

This year we've bought a pumpkin twice the size of my head. Which works on more than one level I suppose. One quid from Tesco's - that's all it cost. One quids worth of tasteless, pumped up, over fertilised mush.

Easy to cut out though.

Tesco had two and a half aisles full of Halloween regalia - Hats, skeletons, wobbly eyes, brooms, capes & plastic pumpkin buckets for crap. The sexy witch outfit caught my eye.

I bought one.

No I didn't. I thought about it though.

Monday, 29 October 2007

A fifty pence - twenty pence moment

Earlier this evening Dominic & I were reading a rather good human anatomy flip book. We'd just got to the brain bit when we heard a blood curdling scream from upstairs. We bolted up them, two at a time, to discover Miche & Meg on top of a bed, clutching each other in terror.

This beast was hounding the poor pair - lurking on the carpet and taunting them. Waggling his mandibles. The bastard.

Of course, being the man, I'm the spider catcherer of the household. I kind of like the wee blighters to be honest. I catch them between my palms. Sometimes I even peek at them.

This one was a monster however. I'll admit to a fifty pence - twenty pence moment, if you catch my drift. It took all my effort, for the benefit of the kids of course, to kneel down and say "Cool! Come on everyone, lets look at him."

There was no fucking way I was touching him! Besides, he was a house spider and autumn is a particularly bad time for them.You see, they come out of their crannies to find a mate.

As this bull was huge and horny, I had no desire to have him hump my thumb like a dog with his nadgers still intact, thankyouverymuch.

You'll note that I resorted to the old glass & birthday card trick.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Nothing much to say

So here's some pretty pictures from Sunday's crop.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

A is for atheist

Alright, I'll admit, I'm drunk right now. Ordinarily I can touch type. Right now it's poke & hope territory. The delete key is my friend.

The full moon looks great when you're half arsed. It looks good sober too, I suppose. However, drinking gives me an excuse to smoke, which for all my healthy living, still makes me go mmmn.

So I find myself smoking at the back door under a full moon. The only thing to do under these circumstances is to paint a scarlet A with a Marlborough Light against a long exposure shot of our satellite. Even though I find the notion of an atheist logo rather odd.

But, you're my best mates, you atheists...

Perhaps it's time for bed...

Bollocks, God's smoking again.

A new art form has been born - Google-oetry. The exterminator of No More Hornets was the first to write a poem, using only the keywords people have used to find his site. I came across this new aesthetic via Riker's fabulous Google-oem Efflorescent.

I thought I'd get mine in early, before this becomes a meme. I'd never noticed how creepily sexual many of the searches leading to Sans God are. The following is not edited in any way, save for the odd comma;

Bollocks, God's smoking again.

My wife needs shagging,
did I just say that out loud?
Well tell me what do you want to hear,
banana fingered god.

It's worth repeating,
my wife needs shagging,
but my diaphragm hurts badly,
need poo desperate toilet,
over egging the pudding?

The bean lord Jesus,
in the bedsit morning light,
smug bastard, silence please,
creating a fruitbattery.

Scooby Doo having sex,
Scooby Doo is God,
willies are sticky,
wife needs shagging,
where can I get endorphins?

A man's perspective on falling in love,
good breasts, god breasts,
Disney horror, bad breasts odour,
bury your wife under the patio.

By the hairs on his chinnychinchin,
there will be no miracles here,
nice breasts, good snaps,
Top 10 crematorium songs.

Metaphors for husbands,
like Grandmas huge belch,
what do you say?
sorry, my dear,
what culture needs to remove pubic hair?

The feline anus,
gods expression of idea?
Bollocks, gods smoking again.

Mucking about in the park

And Photoshop of course.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

1st frost of the Autumn

That's what I like about British weather - one day you can be on the beach enjoying the sun, the next you find yourself amidst freezing fog and solid frost at 8 in the morning.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Working from home

Not stopped all day, honestly.

No such thing as a canon

I must say, I admire Jonathan Sacks - the chief Rabbi of the UK's Orthodox Synagogues. He's an intelligent and forthright speaker on national culture. Amongst his religious counterparts, he's the most erudite I think.

It goes without saying that I disagree with him on some fundamental points, however, my ears perk up when he's wheeled into Radio 4 as the religious pundit. Also, I take the time to read what he has to say in the press. He writes well and often makes me think.

Which says something about him perhaps...

His latest article in The Times however, has rather stuck in my craw. I expected more from him frankly. The piece, in my view, is nothing more than a middle class, middle aged diatribe of modern culture and all of its 'ills'. He has an obvious problem with multiculturalism, moral relativism and the democratisation of information that our digital age has provided for us.

I urge you to read it first, as he is a superb writer and thinker. Way beyond my amateur attempts... However, let me outline why he's pissed me off;

"Multiculturalism has run its course, and it is time to move on. It was a fine, even noble idea in its time. It was designed to make ethnic and religious minorities feel more at home, more appreciated and respected, and therefore better able to mesh with the larger society. It affirmed their culture. It gave dignity to difference."

" But there has been a price to pay, and it grows year by year. Multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation."

No, the multiculturalist policy of the UK has led to the largest natural influx of migrants in modern times. These migrants, by and large, contribute positively to our economy and culture, as they always have. Of course there are pockets of separatism where cultures do not mix. We read stories each day of racist crimes and discrimination. What we rarely read about however, is how the vast majority of us rub along quite nicely thankyouverymuch.

This got my shackles up immediately;

"But there was something else happening at the same time, of great consequence: the slow demise of morality itself, conceived as the moral bond linking individuals in the shared project of society."

In every age of humanity, there have been naysayers decrying the moral decline of decadent society. Even in the age of Plato. What makes Jonathan think there's a dangerous decline? I'll tell you - it's the decline of Judeo-Christian morality in modern culture, that's what.

"In 1961, suicide ceased to be a crime. This might seem a minor and obviously humane measure, but it was the beginning of the end of England as a Christian country; that is, one in which Christian ethics was reflected in law."

Damned right too, why should "Christian" ethics be the supreme moral order? I'm afraid Mr Sachs, you're simply afraid that the establishment you belong to is loosing its power upon us.

And so, he lets slip his moral absolutist sentiments;

"If there is no agreed moral truth, we cannot reason together. All truth becomes subjective or relative, no more than a construction, a narrative, one way among many of telling the story."

Ok, and the alternative is what? That we subscribe to an ultimate moral authority, formulated some two thousand years ago, in a culture where stoning was considered acceptable? Now I know that Judeo-Christian morality has developed, yet at its roots is the immutable, immovable truth of "God".

If morality comes down to a simple right or wrong, then how in the world are we to reason with one and other? I can only reason with you if we have an agreed moral truth? Surely not. How, if morality is relative, does this inhibit reasoned debate? Quite the opposite I say - if we appreciate that our own personal or cultural moralities are only understandable in how they're relative to another, then, and only then, can true 'empathy' occur.

"Right or wrong, one thing is clear: the new tolerance is far less permissive than the old intolerance."


" Ours is a transitional age, as revolutionary as the move from agriculture to industry. The growth of computing, the internet and satellite television will change life as much as any epoch-making development in the past."

Now he's making some sense.

"With the new technologies the idea of an autonomous national culture disintegrates. Until recently, national cultures were predicated on the idea of a canon, a set of texts that everyone knew. In the case of Britain they included the Bible, Shakespeare and the great novels. The existence of a canon is essential to a culture. It means that people share a set of references and resonances, a public vocabulary of narratives and discourse. Until the early 1950s a politician could quote the Bible and expect people to know what he was alluding to. No longer."

Now, this is where he really began to piss me off.

His notion of a 'canon' of text in which a nation shares its understanding is nothing more than a delusion of the ruling classes. Frankly, for time immemorial, the masses have not given two flying fucks about Shakespeare, the bible and the great novels.

Culture is what it is, and has always been - The masses consume what is palletable and easy to digest, whilst the ruling classes bleat on about culture and "required reading". This shared canon of morality existed only within a small section of society. The only difference today is that the culture of the masses is more visible than it's ever been, what with the TV, radio and the wonderful Internet.

Mr Sach's article reflects I think, the fear of the ruling classes of loosing their control over us, the masses. A canon? There has never been, nor will there ever be, a true canon of morality and culture.

Moral absolutes have got us so far. Now is the time that we discard them, for they limit our growth as a society. Contrary to the belief of Mr Sachs et al, we live in the most peaceful and tolerant times that human kind has ever enjoyed. Things are not getting worse. Mostly things are on the up.

Rant over.

Monday, 22 October 2007

What the?

This morning, whilst walking the dog, I came across this beautiful thing. It looks like some kind of seed pod to me. The plant had about ten of these inch wide pods, dangling from its straight green stem which was about 4 foot high. I can't say I've ever come across one before.

Do you know what it is?

Saturday, 20 October 2007

England 6: South Africa 15


As Meg said in the car tonight after Dom asked if he could play rugby with her,

"OK, I'll beat you up, then knock you over."

Pretty much what SA did ;(

Blown off our feet

The kids and I have been at a country fair today whilst Miche was working. The sprogs enjoyed it, though it was the usual "locally produced beef" kind of affair. We had a bit of excitement before lunch however, when Meg spotted a helicopter flying towards us.

"Dad! Look, it's coming here!"

It certainly was, the thing flew above the manor house and landed on the lawn right behind it. Meg and I chased after Dom when he shot off to see it close up. As we pursued him, we passed three paramedics running in the opposite direction. I realised it was an air ambulance.

By the time we'd arrived at the machine, the rotors had stopped turning and the pilot was stood nonchalantly at its side. Dom, being Dom ran right up to him.

"Man? Are you the flyer?" He asked, bold as brass.

"Yes I am, and what's your name?" he replied. I noted he had a posh, Scottish Highland accent.

"Dominic" he was told by my son as he started to inspect the wheels.

The pilot was obviously a father himself as he was a natural with my son. He took him round his helicopter and showed him all the controls. Dom quivered with excitement and for once was speechless.

We got to chatting as Meg held my hand, somewhat overawed by the whole thing. I'll admit to being awed by him myself. He was about my age, 6 foot or so, supremely fit, tanned, a chiseled chin and two day stubble.

Honestly, I would 'ave. I really would. And I'm straight...

The old grannies that had gathered around him obviously felt the same.

His radio buzzed, so he went off to the side to confer with his medical colleagues. When he returned he told me that they'd been called for a suspected heart attack. As we were in the middle of nowhere, the only practical way of getting someone in VF to hospital in time is by air.

"Looks like the emergency's over," he said "he'll be OK."

That was the last I heard from him, as the grannies had crowded me and the kids out.

We hung around until he fired up his 'copter, spun it around no more than 10 feet from the ground and sped off over our heads. I was quite moist, I must say.

We were unprepared for this, as none of us have been this close to a flying helicopter before. Me, being me, had my eye in the viewfinder as he roared past.

We were all, quite literally blown off our feet.

"Fuck me!" I let slip as I was shoved to the grass. Oops...

Meg was fine, as she was already sat down. Dom on the other hand, had been blown yards down the hill.

I caught him in my arms as he ran towards me in tears.

"Are you OK Dom?"

"Yeah!" he shouted, "That was brill."

The little lad was crying and laughing at the same time.

Bless 'im.

Friday, 19 October 2007

What's the point?

No matter how hard I try, I can discern no ultimate purpose to the universe, life, or anything for that matter. That's not to say I don't find life purposeful mind.

I'm a purposeful monkey, me.

A universal purpose is rather like this optical illusion. Our brains swear that there's two triangles, yet when we study it, we logically conclude there's only one. Yet we can't 'un see' the second.

We've evolved to intuitively assume a purpose to our lives. At its basis is the need to breathe. Though I'm convinced Bush's autocue tells him to "Breath in, breath out"...

The urge to continue living is primordial. To breathe, eat and procreate are our primary, instinctive motivations. It takes little imagination for me, to see how these urges are sublimated into an assumption that there's a purpose outwith our own, selfish needs.

It's like an itch that won't go away. Like the triangle that insists on being seen, we've evolved to expect a higher purpose. Perhaps even to expect a god.

I suppose believing in this 'higher realm' is rather childlike. Now, I don't mean to patronise people who believe, rather, I attribute child like belief in the Transactional Analysis or Psychodynamic modes. We all have elements of the child within us.

Imagine a lost kid in the supermarket, terrified that he can't find his mother. Rather than go look for her, he lies on the floor, curls into a ball and cries. He's helpless and without direction. He needs his mother to tell him what to do.

As adults we're no different. We all need external guidance I think. I certainly do.

However, as uncomfortable as it is, I'm drawn to look at the triangle, so that I can work out for myself the truth of the matter.

We're alone and lost. Each and every one of us. So let's stick together, eh?

Thursday, 18 October 2007


It's coming up a year since Sans God was born. Whilst there were many reasons why I started it, learning how to write was amongst my main motivations. You see, I had a book in my head. Pretentious, I know.

I quickly discovered however, that I was a shite writer. I had as much chance of writing the book as Dubya has of winning the Nobel Peace Prize. So I gave myself a year to muck about with Sans God. It's been quite a year, and enjoyable to boot. I've certainly learnt a great deal and met some really quite cool people through it.

Anyway, following a drunken IM chat with Murph the other day, I've decided to give the book another go. (Thanks Murph, by the way.) To this end, I've started a private blog with which I hope to structure my ideas more tightly.

I know that I need all the help I can get, so I've invited real life friends, family and members of my small but esteemed readership to come read it, criticise and explore the ideas with me.

Now, if you haven't already got an invite and think you'd like to join in the party then drop me a mail.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

All my ducks in a row


He didn't hear a word.

Small men with big egos tend not to hear this non-verbal leakage. They find themselves much too interesting to listen to others, no matter how loud they're shouted at.

Save the wrist wank under the table, I couldn't have made myself clearer.

Yet this 'uber boss', divorced from the meat and bones of the real world by a multiple factor of arsehole, told us today that he needed to "understand the drivers behind the impetus to improve our practice."

He also wanted the "bigger picture", because he's so busy improving strategy, that the minutiae of improving lives "Isn't his business."

"I need all my ducks in a row" he said. Four times.

If I had hair, I would have pulled it out.

You see, his role is so complicated, so convoluted, that we couldn't even begin to grasp how hard it is for his poor addled mind to grasp the intricacies of our day to day work.

He has a mustache - this is significant. He dyes it the same colour as his hair. Pubic black I think. This makes him more important than everyone else.

Choking him with his neat, pretentious braces, would have been a pleasure. Instead, I smiled and leveraged his "management drivers in the right vector" so that we might maximise the health potential of the local population.

We got on with the real work once he'd left.


Sunday, 14 October 2007

The last embers of summer

Not to be too smug about it, but I'm left with a rosy glow from today. My legs are nicely relaxed as I had my first run in a fortnight early this morning. The sun was out and the ground dry so seven miles went by in a flash.

The weather was unseasonably good, frankly it was unnerving. If it wasn't for the orange leaves falling off the trees, I'd have sworn it was mid June today. If this is global warming, then perhaps I should be all for it instead.

So, to make the most of it, we packed a picnic and set out for the day;

to collect acorns,

to hunt fungi,

to entrap snails for them to be our pets,

to paddle in the river,

only to become utterly knackered,

Expect next week to be quiet, as I've a number of deadlines that have been woefully ignored. I'll be spending each evening frantically trying to catch up...

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Get in!


Eat yer heart out France. Chabal? Pah.

Finals here we come...

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

My bloody menagerie

Meg's pretty good on the PC for a five year old. Mind, I sniffed a rat when she woke me up this morning.

"Dad! Dad! You've got to get up! I've got something to show you on the computer!"

"Mmnph, right, mmmn, I'll be right with you."

So I shamble down the stairs, being careful not to trip as my eyes were still gunged with sleep crud.

"Daddy, come on!"

By the time I'd got downstairs, she was sat at the PC in the dining room looking at images of Devon Rex house cats. It appeared she'd fired up the PC, Firefox and Google, and made an image search for this particular breed of cat.

I smelled the rat.

"Can we have one? It won't make you sneeze and be allergic, 'cos they don't have the wrong kind of fur."

"Is that right Meg?" I asked, "How do you know that?"

"Mummy told me."

Ah ha! I'd outed the mole. Rooted out the source of this newest obsession.

And so it was left to me to be the nasty parent. The bad cop.

"Meg, we've got too many animals as it is, we've got Mcleod for a start, wouldn't he chase a cat all day?"

"No Daddy, he loves animals. He kisses Cocoa doesn't he?"

"Yes," I had to admit, "but Caramel tells him off when he gets too close surely?"

"Yes Dad, I know, but he wouldn't frighten a kitten would he?" She asked me with the belligerence only a 5 year old can pull off properly.

"I'm afraid he would Meg, just look at how he frightens Percy."

"And let's not forget how he chases Benny around in his hamster ball eh?"

At this point the tears started. "But mum said that we could get a cat one day. I WANT A KITTEN!" muahhhahaha...

"Meg, it's early in the morning. Tell your mother we can get a wormery. That's my final offer."

Miche, funnily enough, had secreted herself away in the shower.

Monday, 8 October 2007


Things may be quiet here for a while as Miche & I have more pressing things to worry about right now. I've not wrote about this before because, well, it just didn't seem fitting. The closest I got to it was this post.

Miche's Dad will endure seven hours of surgery tomorrow to remove a rather large tumor from a salivary gland near his jaw. He goes in at 8:30 AM.

Now, he's a strong man, despite his age; he walks the dog every day and plays golf five days a week. There's every reason to assume that things will be fine. Nevertheless, we will not settle until it's over and done with.

My thoughts, as you'll appreciate, are not on writing right now.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Dad Blogging

In the absence of motherly direction our Saturday took on a decidedly masculine aroma;

Stones thrown in the river, just before a Kingfisher flew past in an iridescent flash of blue.

Rides on a minature steam train.

Heads under the bonnet of an Austin Healey.

Awed by the power of steam and water.

Captivated by the greased precision of Victorian Engineering.

Captivated enough to spontaneously narrate the video of the antique water pumping station as we ripped it to the PC. Richard Attenborough eat your heart out...

Friday, 5 October 2007

That Mithras Blokey

This page is typical of the many that debunk the Jesus myth as nothing more than a conglomeration of pre-existing deities. Whilst I've no doubt that there is truth in this notion, the link between Mithras and Jesus seems to be tenuous at best.

Now, I'm no scholar of religious history, you shouldn't take my word as gospel. I know of at least two esteemed readers who posess the means to, or knowledge of, this matter way in excess of mine. I'd be interested to hear their points of view.

So, on to the business of debunking the debunked;

Mithras was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds.

Falseish. Mithras was born out of a rock. His 'birth' was witnessed by shepherds though. Apparently they dragged him from the rock. I suppose then, the rock / virgin metaphor can be used, though it seems a bit of an imaginative leap to be took seriously I think. It's conceivable that Mithras would have left a 'cave' behind perhaps.

Mithras was worshipped as a sun god. It stands to reason then, that a festival to celebrate him would be close to the winter equinox. Mithras was far from alone in this respect. There are myriad sun gods around the world being worshipped right now. It's likely that Christmas did subsume these 'pagan' festivals, though to attribute this specifically to Mithras again seems too much of a leap of faith for me.

He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.

Erm, find me a religious leader who wasn't? This is by no means a spooky coincidence.

He had 12 companions or disciples.

Mithras had only two companions - Cautes and Cautopatres. Nowhere are the ten missing disciples mentioned directly, either in writings or imagery.

Mithra's followers were promised immortality.

Perhaps this is valid. Though again, hardly a spooky coincidence. Notions of immortality / heaven / reincarnation are a common facet of most religions.

"As one Mithraic scholar put it, Mithraism "surely offered its initiates deliverance from some awful fate to which all other men were doomed, and a privileged passage to some ultimate state of well-being." [MS.470] Why is this a good guess? Not because Mithraism borrowed from Christianity, or Christianity borrowed from Mithraism, or anyone borrowed from anyone, but because if you don't promise your adherents something that secures their eternity, you may as well give up running a religion and go and sell timeshares in Alaska!"

He performed miracles.

Perhaps he did, I can find no direct examples of them however. Besides, miracle wrangling is a prerequisite to godhood surely?

As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.

Mithra did not "sacrifice himself" in the sense that he died; he was not the "great bull of the Sun", but rather, he killed the bull. Mithra could only be said to have "sacrificed himself" in the sense that he went out and took a risk to do a heroic deed


Anyway, I think I've made my point. If you want to find out more, you could do no worse than starting here. Of course there's little doubt that the Christian myth took inspiration from many sources. But we should be cautious when simple explanations like the Mithras - Jesus are spouted. However attractive they are.

I'll leave you with this Steven Fry clip from the superb QI.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

I should post tonight,

but to be frank, I can't be arsed...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Mithras the Messiah

I've been off work today so that Miche & I can have some time together sans kids. It's a rare treat for us to be adults together.

We've been hiking around the moors with the dog, exploring Hadrian's Wall. I was delighted when we came across this Roman Mithraic Temple, as I'd been wanting to post about the Greco-Roman god Mithras for some time now.

Here's a Google map of exacly where we were. Have a scoot about east and west and you'll see loads of un-excavated Roman ruins. It's really quite fascinating if you're that way inclined.

View Larger Map

Mithras, according to many sources, has remarkable similarities to Jesus;

  • Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds.
  • He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
  • He had 12 companions or disciples.
  • Mithra's followers were promised immortality.
  • He performed miracles.
  • As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
  • He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.
  • His resurrection was celebrated every year.
  • He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
  • He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
  • His sacred day was Sunday, the "Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
  • Mithra had his principal festival of what was later to become Easter.
  • His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which Mithra said, "He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."
  • The Catholic Encyclopedia is quoted as saying that Mithraic services were conduced by "fathers" and that the "chief of the fathers, a sort of pope, who always lived at Rome, was called 'Pater Patratus.'"
You can imagine how attractive these ideas are to the sceptic. However, what sounds too good to be true, probably is. So tomorrow night, I'll share what little I've learned myself about Mithras.

After all, Bertrand Russel once said that "if a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

On the subject of maleness...

Ross Noble, a fellow Northerner who grew up no more than three miles from where I work right now, spouts off on what it is to be a Geordie man.

Glittery it seems...

A question for the boys

I'm no cuddly sausage. Snuggles are something I have to consciously initiate. That's not to say I don't enjoy them, particularly with my wife luckily enough. My male brain however, wherever it is in my body, always assumes it's a precursor to sex.

Honestly, I can't help myself.

Mind, I'm no cold fish. Against my male counterparts, I consider myself to be amongst the most emotionally literate. Yet physical contact isn't something I crave each moment of every day. I'd rather make 'brain contact' with my love. This gets me into bother from time to time.

You see, all the women I've ever 'known' have eventually said the same - "I don't know how you really feel about me..."

I've learned that for all my linguistic and musical abilities, there's nothing better than a squash against the kitchen sink to show your loved one how you feel. It beats any song or poem by a mile.

Miche deserves better than this, so I make sure I do my utmost. And each time I cuddle her, I get that familiar endorphin rush. We have the 'right thing' you see and are made for each other I think. Yet I'm doomed to repeated failure as I doubt I'll ever get it right.

Bedtime is a wholly different affair. Besides the obvious nuptials, I can't bear no physical contact. Be it a big toe, elbow, back or nose tip, I must feel her beside me. Otherwise I can't sleep.

So I wonder, am I a typical bloke and therefore on the autistic spectrum of 'extreme maleness', or am I different from the norm?

Now, I don't want to hear from those of you in the fresh beginnings of love, for that is a wholly different matter entirely. I want to hear from the blokes who've been with their missus' for some time.

Are you spontaneously overcome by the need to smother your woman with kisses each day, or is this a less frequent stirring? And if you are, do you just want to shag her when you do?

Perhaps those of the fairer sex who frequent this blog have an opinion on their own menboys?

Monday, 1 October 2007

No miracles here

Nathan Coley, one of Britain's more interesting artists, is amongst the four nominations for the 2007 Turner Prize. I for one, hope he wins it, simply on the strength of this installation, which I think is fabulous.

It was inspired by a 17th century story from the French village Modseine. The village was the site of numerous supposed miracles and magical practices. The local authorities took umbrage to this and the visiting hoards and tried their utmost to stop the village being taken over. Eventually a notice was put up stating ‘There will be no miracles here, by order of the King’.

It represents to me, the ongoing struggle between material reality and metaphysical hubris. In posting this command, the authorities asserted their control over the land and its people, and therefore the miracles that they witnessed - The miracles that they made themselves.

David Hume, in his essay ‘Of Miracles’ (1748) wrote "The gazing populace receive greedily, without examination, whatever soothes superstition and promotes wonder."

So, 'there will be no miracles' can then be understood as an imperative to depart from superstition and the irrational, to empower individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and without reliance on, so-called higher powers.

No wonder I like the piece, eh?