Captain Sir Tom Moore

Posted in health, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2021 by kathydasilva

I watch in dismay that the nation’s Captain Sir Tom Moore, has passed away. This gent who did in the last months of his life raise so much money for the NHS, that he surpassed his goal, by a furlong. It almost seems shameful, that the NHS, should be so beleaguered, at this time of pandemic chaos. But, he perhaps, was the only moment of solace, amongst the wrecking ball, of Covid-19 to everyone’s year of work and holiday time. How crazy, was 2020? How torturous, to an entire population? And now we have vaccines, but, to some it is too much clearly, as the health of elderly patients is at best frail even when they catch the common flu bug. With previous vaccines, like the BCG a allergy test was done before any child had the full vaccine inserted into their blood. Perhaps, this principle might also apply to the vaccines for Covid -19 it might save a life after all.

I was glad when the television provided a moment of admiration for this elderly gent who was paid the respect of his years, and his gallantry, in past wars, and in the fight to overcome the spread of the disease or virus. It seemed, as though a population of elderly were going to be the first victims, in number at least of this new virus, and then some BAME doctors and nurses also fell ill, and some died. It takes seven years to become a doctor, and also a fair amount of time when training as a nurse, so it is so wrong, that the hospital staff, had so little preparation initially for protecting themselves against this very contagious bug.

I guess we are all reeling from the lock down process, I know I hate the restrictions, and it seems if anything a real bore, to have to be so routine. I keep things simple, and enjoy the pastries from Lidl’s wonderful kitchen to keep me happy, and mood good. But, I surely miss sitting in a café, and the occasional meal out. It is all too stressful.

It will also seem doubly tragic, that they will inevitably televise, some of the funeral, of Captain Sir Tom Moore, so we will in turn, mourn his loss, along with his precious family. And all our loved ones who have passed. And how many flowers will it take… before we all heal? Loss is a huge burden on the soul. People who have lived close by anyone dear, will feel a huge numb, sense of empty, and that will be the worse part of 2020, when we all look back.

As I walked to and fro from the supermarket the other day, I found people were almost looking vacantly into the air around them, completely distracted, and unable to feel, part of the community, as everyone is so focused on not being near to strangers.

‘Enlightened Heart’ a book preview

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2021 by kathydasilva

I started this book with the idea of showing a positive image of a woman living her dream of becoming an artist. I myself studied art at a graduate level, and was the only one of my parent’s offspring, the youngest child to have passed at this level. It was in my own sense a huge achievement to have gone away to university. It took me in all four years of study, including the foundation course, to get there. But, the rewards have been infinitesimal. I moved to London to study but, for the sake of my story, I have based the main character’s student years in a southern township in England. The influence of reading, on for example, the direction of thought and ideas, was a big part of what had made a change for myself. The main character Sarah Cuthbert, is already settled with a flat and partner in a town apartment with balcony. Her thoughts, her reminiscences, are all part of her character makeup, and direct the flow of her days as she completes her studies. I had intended to have dug a bit deeper into the reasons for the literature, or desire to read better literature. I myself, had what I call an ‘awakening’ moment at the age of 15 years, when for my leisure reading, I had sought, to find a book by Mary Stewart, who wrote romance/thriller type novels, but, ended up with a novel by John Steinbeck, The Moon is Down. If as in my own family there is no one to truly ‘guide’ you, then it takes perhaps an accident and possibly an encounter, that gives a person new direction. The fact that the sister I shared a room with at home read, Mills and Boon and Mary Stewart, was one such thing influencing the first initial choices. But, thereafter, my encounters with better book reading individuals, also served as a wonderful moment of ‘enlightenment’… I say that with a bit of humour. When I went up to London to study, I would make a note of any references people made to books, and what they chose to read. On one of the events when a band of art students including myself, rode in a car together, and one of them mentioned ‘Plath’. I had no idea at the time who she was, and followed my nose to a novel, and then the poems of Sylvia Plath. I lived the first two years of my undergraduate time, with no television and vowed to catch up read all the major classics, as I felt woefully behind with what other students had accomplished. I did English up to an ordinary level, so had achieved a good ‘A’ grade for the written side of the subject. It bothered me that students with a private school education seemed to be so ahead. I sit happy now, with a very extensive paperback library, of my own, with the ability to choose quite an array of material. Art helped me see, and a I saw, with greater clarity, and observation my own world changed for the good. I felt wonderful for all of the four years of study. I felt I owned London town. I still do to some extent, as I know the roads, and places, almost like the back of my hand. But, truly that was a moment of time, which for now stays a good memory of positivity.

My new title ‘Enlightened Heart’ really needs to be a 400 page book. I seemed unwilling to do more than about 149 pages for this one. I did not want to make the book too heavy a read, more of a hint toward what happens when you start to change your own life for the better by taking a course. The entanglement with romance and couples getting along together, so there is no ’empty’ or ‘lonely’. Well, that is why the romance filled a gap, and then too becomes ‘the way forward’, it cannot be denied that company is better than feeling isolated. With regard to the story line, Sarah comes from a broken home, Theo from a family whose parents attend church and own a business, they are successful millionaires. Both are at an age of wanting to travel and explore the world they live in.

‘The bird call, was amplified, and the
sounds of nature, made a calming atmosphere of
sorts, resonating with the bucolic backdrop of the
countryside. ‘Every bird has its own nest’ Sarah,
whispered to the air, as one of the most important
decisions of her life, was being finalized.’ ‘Enlightened Heart’ Copyright Katherine Da Silva 2021

Coming soon through bookshops and amazon.com/ and all amazon sites.

…jingle bells rock, jingle bells sing.. it is the season of giving gifts..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2020 by kathydasilva

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B018UM5NEW&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_kTFXFbTC2E69Q&tag=KathyDaSilvaw-21
This is my Umbrella two books in one.. the first short stories I wrote over an number of years including some really neat 100 word shorts, the second half of the book is the entire copy of The Island, a shortish novel, about singles abroad on a Greek island.
I hope to finish Enlightened Heart before Christmas, a new publication about a young artist, and her beaux. The book is about a young woman’s exploration in the creative world of art and literature. Her friendship and cohabitant is a computer geek. They both have ambition, but are terribly in love. The parents are sticklers for the rules, and want them to be married. I’ll post some updates soon. Happy holidays, and the perfect excuse to sit by the fire.. is a book in the hand.

Books for…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on November 28, 2020 by kathydasilva

The title is…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on November 28, 2020 by kathydasilva

Journey Home is a short novel/story about a woman who dreams dreams, and commutes from her place in the country to the city and back daily. Here is a short preview of the text, and link to the amazon pages.. e-book or paperback, it’s up to you.

All works are fictional.

Dreams

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2020 by kathydasilva

I am one of those persons who dream a lot, well more so in the past, because of many changes in my life. I am talking about the kind of dream, you have when you sleep. I often wonder if they contain hidden messages, and should I take them more seriously. I often think there is some insight, and therefore possible guidance in the message, the dominant theme of the dream. One time, I dreamt of looking in the window of a store, in town, the model was wearing a wedding dress. All in one sweeping move from outside the store to inside the store, I gazed and examined the dress, and then found myself, travelling up the escalator. I might add it seemed in the dead of night, it was not daytime. The escalator, led to an area where lifts took a person to other floors. The floor that I came out onto, was something like the ‘ladies’ department and had railings of clothes full to the brim, packed with clothing. There were no other people, there. I was being shown something. The pen and ink drawing below is similar to the layout of the floor of the department store. The general sense of claustrophobia, began to well up inside, the feeling of needing to ‘get out’. And I was looking for an exit sign, or door to a stairway. Then the next day, as I awoke, I could not shift this image that had been laid in my mind and being. I do think it was spiritual. The world spends an inordinate amount of time, trying to progress itself, in the form of business, and commerce. The influencers, always telling us through advertising, and images of lifestyles, that in order for us to have happiness, we must make our homes, or buy clothes, do our hair in a certain fashion conscious way. We are told to be happy, we need the latest this or that new fandango gadget. It seems amazing now, during a pandemic and national ‘lockdown’, that having to sit still for a while, my own mode of contemplation has come back. If you ever work in a department store or in any sales department, you are told how important it is for the object of the sale to be well displayed, counters have to be clean and gleaming, and you have to present yourself, in a similar smart and clean fashion, with a sense of beauty and friendliness. Everything to effectively achieve a ‘sale’. The sales are about objects, but mostly inanimate objects. Every human has a soul. And the soul needs feeding. The soul is like the body, and the body will always need food, and water to survive. Acknowledgement of a Creator God, for me, has always been there since childhood, though I can say, I have often had to grapple with this, inasmuch, that the world will always be seen to be going one way, and not always in the right direction. The bible is the guide book to the Christian, and the old testament as much as the new testament, speaks of wisdom. It instructs us to acknowledge the creator God, and, to praise and thank Him. As a child we use to say grace before meals, which roughly says ‘Thank you’ for the food on the table, and it asks God to bless the food, before eating and at the same time the participants to the meal must also thank God for the food, for without the food, they would not survive. I can see in the future, a number of catastrophes, if we do not all slow down a little and do some contemplating. It took a brave schoolchild Greta Thunberg, a year out of her life to amplify the message about cleaning up the Earth. Yes clothes are important for warmth, and expression. I love trying on something every now and then, in fact I like to shop but not often for clothes. It is like tuning a huge machine, we have to get it right, life in proportion and have a spiritual life too. Poetry, is a most wonderful art form, as is art and illustration, but too, we must look at the inner person, more often. Let us not get dry like the desert, the aridity of which is hard for anyone to survive. (Gandhi just flashed up in my mind just then!) if we apply wisdom, to our present, we will come through more brilliant than ever.

Made in the USA

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on November 12, 2020 by kathydasilva

There was a time when people sought to travel to America with a true desire to improve on their life, and because it seemed where everything was happening, in a way, that it could not ‘happen’ elsewhere. America was a land of hope of success, if you were an actor for example. America had a brighter image than other countries, but, perhaps, that is just the way the movies have enhanced its own appearance. A country of vast areas of wilderness still even now. I think its geography is very diverse, in that respect. I have often wanted to travel as a tourist to see the USA. I mean to make one visit at least, when the ports and sense of safe travel return.

The literature and arts, of the United States of America, are perhaps its most fascinating and wonderful contribution to our world. However, the political elements seem to have emerged as a humongous, stumbling block. People have become evermore vocal in recent years, as to what should be happening, in the ever changing arena of politics. The elections happen, but, it is almost that the turbulence of change invades every single persons life, and home, irrevocably, every fourth year. The rallies to acquire support for a new leader, a new overseer, to such a vast continent, become like the old battlegrounds, of previous centuries, people almost prepared to take up ‘arms’ to conquer, an ‘enemy’. How is it that a democratic election, is being treated, like some awful gambit, or device, in which to pour as much vitriol like hot oil on an opponent? If you imagine, the old battles where the castle which obviously is now represented by that wonderful iconic building called The White House, use to involve, whole armies of people wielding swords and spears, clad in armour, and accompanied by flame throwing weaponry. Then we seem to have cheerfully, returned to a very physical, attempt, to change things by force. ‘Oh, Superman!’ Lauri Anderson use to sing through some voice changing device. ‘Captain America, where are you?’ The people have become confused, they have been led down a blind alleyway not knowing who is waiting in the dark to jump on them literally.

The White House, as if its gleaming walls, bestow upon it a kind of heavenly powerful kingdom, filled with a kind of purity of light. Only, the palace, is just that a manmade, large home, with many living quarters, adequate for the task of, is it ruling or serving the people? They allow the public to take a tour of this building, a kind of guided tour, with a ticket. The interior is full of historical artifacts, and the offices too, represent the most sane moments in American history of its past, hopefully its future, (if it isn’t burned down by the anger of the current incumbent, does he become Sir Donald Trump on exit?). I live in Britain, in the UK. I guess, in the place of anything else, a book deal will do for the outgoing President, set to net him a cool $100 million.

I have not enjoyed the current election process, either watching it on TV or following on news pages on the internet. I have only loved, who won, Joe Biden, a veteran of the Senate I believe, and a man who has been in politics for over forty years. I tried to weigh that detail up, but found myself in a whole stupor of dismay, that anyone could have put Donald Trump in charge of the USA.

I did think back in 2016, that ‘Make America Great Again’, meant that was the plan. But, if you look, there does not seem to have been any change at all, overall. There are ghost towns across the vast landscape of the USA, ghost towns that are a form of industrial dereliction, no investment means the factories close down, the local people move toward other cities in the hope of employment, and all in all, there is huge strife. The manufacture is given to China, because of the cheapness of the workers out in that country. Cheapness, because, of the Communist economy. I feel, that manufacture should return to the hands of the citizens of America. You should be able to say ‘Oh this, this was made in the USA’. I look at most of my clothing hanging in the wardrobe, I have bought from shops in the high street, and I guess the same is happening in many countries, the labels say made in China. It is amazing that the present incumbent President, chooses to slur the image of China, with the accusation of fault for the current pandemic. ‘The China Virus’, is one such accusation. Trump has many business deals with China. But, to him I guess it is just good economy. He is hugely two faced. The problem with all that has happened over the four year period, is that division has increased, in the society of America. There are probably some no go zones in certain cities, but, like the continuous prison, that is the poverty bracket, last summer, and since the riots, particularly the BLM movement, there emerged a kind of brutal truth. I found myself saying ‘Thank God!’ The people refused to settle down, and with some raging wonderful energy, they kept their voice being heard. Loud enough for the world to see and witness. Can you imagine the changing imagery of people who had rioted, suddenly celebrating in the streets, and even in Manhattan there was this jubilation! When you re-visit Trumps inauguration where half the White House lawn was empty of support, compared to what looked like the whole population of the City of New York breaking open the Champaign if not the beer keg, when it was declared Biden and Harris had won this year’s election to power, I cannot help but wonder.

Mothers..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2019 by kathydasilva

Odd that I now have the lovely portrait I made of my own mother in my living room again. It is such a wonderful image, though, I remember my mother not liking it at all. I think I left it too late for her to do this honorable thing of making her portrait, and even later on, she would not allow photographs of herself to be taken. I think she felt she did not like her face with wrinkles. I suppose children and offspring look on a face with a different view, a familiar, and homely image, is what I had painted not thinking of how it looks to the rest of the world or how it compares for example. Old age can be a graceful thing that we all drift toward, well, eventually. I still love this painting, but the sad thing is that it remained in a cupboard for about ten years of more until now. It just shows you how the twentieth century has all been about ‘self image’ more or less encouraged by Hollywood and film stars. Women compare themselves to the icons of the screen, more often than perhaps wondering if for example, that some inner person the good inner person in them, is of more value in general. My mother looked beautiful for most of her life, until she was unable to control whether her hair was dyed or done by a hairdressers. This too is a lifestyle that became a ‘habit’ of modern day women in the twentieth century. I was introduced to hairdressers from an early age as, my mother, had always used them, and insisted that a hairdresser cut our hair when we were young too. I remember the Jackie Kennedy look, and that was a style copied by women of a certain decade, when there were platform shoes and flares in every shop window. I however, hated curlers, and anything ‘set’. I would be obedient enough to stay put in the hair salon, while my hair was done, but would literally run home to ‘undo’ it all as the whole escapade was unbearable, particularly sitting still, with nothing to do but wait while someone pummelled my hair into different shapes. I guess, it is something I have to contend with in memory only well, I have the painting before me, and it is still lovely to my own eyes at least.  There are so many aspects of a person other than looks that  an individual can love. And sometimes that is just the way they respond to you, and treat you. Though what is it with ‘looks’. And are we so swayed to needing a ‘Hollywood Star’, style partner? I am probably being fanciful here. Women in the past were victims of financial poverty and reliance on a husband for maintenance, this part is true.  The truth about my dear mother, is she became independent and chose a different path to most, though she had worked for a bank, and opticians, and the finance department of a university, all during and between having children. She wrote poetry and read poetry. Her ‘Liberated Woman’, was published by the local Echo. She based it on her observations of young students staying in her household during the 1960’s and 1970’s. She became the ‘modern’ woman. My cousin always said he thought  my mother had eccentricities. My only recollection of this, were the overly colorful socks, worn with those elasticated stretch nylon trousers in bright colors, that were indeed in vogue too and worn by the young for a while, but, then fashion changed, and they became dated. Her Alice band, was always worn to keep her fly-away hair out of her face, and create a youthful throwback look to when of course life may have appeared a little more carefree. It is wholly comforting to see her face whatever her age.

SONY DSC

The Running Man

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by kathydasilva

I was thinking very hard, about the way governments either ‘lie’ or ‘cover up’ their mistakes, and the people who become leaders, are told or do believe themselves, that they have to do this in order to save face. And perhaps it is also to save the world as they perceive it to be. There are some historical mistakes in the battles of history. The last world war, left most leaders with the sense of duty to prevent further war, because of being first witness to the destructive process of the whole affair. I think too, not only the sheer numbers of war dead, but too, toward the end, perhaps combatants too, become tired.

My greatest fear, springs from watching the futuristic vision of other authors, whose success saw their stories becoming media sell out films. Stories start with observation of life. But,  too, films influence human behavior. I think with America in particular in mind, I think of the characters who have thought their moment of fame, was when they had fulfilled hitting the headlines of a national newspaper. It sickens me, that lone creatures believing that killing in some ‘shootout’ scene, was the ultimate statement of their day on Earth.

‘The Running Man’, seemed to be about a whole population, that used prisoners much in the same way you would have seen in Roman times, in the Colosseum in Rome, a kind of excitement about the fate of another human in a much more vulnerable state of being. I do hope we do not get into that arena.  But, silently, in the last few months I have been surveying the land, and our country, and the response to various news items. It seemed that the leadership was in some terrible state of being, and would not admit some failure or defeat about the whole Brexit debate. This has been played by the media, television and papers, to the point that it is not news. It is regurgitated nonsense. Last April, I photographed protesters outside Southwark Crown Court, who supported Julian Assange. There was quite a crowd, there was a good show of support for Julian a Australian citizen, and someone whose journey has it seems nearly led him to a kind of ‘slaughter’ situation. I have no doubt about the various death threats that Julian Assange became victim of. I watched, twice the film Fifth Estate, not because of its ‘entertainment’ value, though even the production of this film, seems to have leaned toward, a kind of commercial and political persuasive tool. I felt sure that Julian’s soft underbelly of being, was not often exposed or discussed, and yet it is his best defense in the coming February trial. I fear too, Julian can become quite an emotional person, though he hides this quite a bit. The prison system, will to him appear so harsh, that it would be correct to call it torture, particularly the kind of isolation, that he daily has been exposed to. I cannot feel good about the way the press, the government, particularly May, talked about him. They openly used a public forum, literally the Houses of Parliament, to say he was a vile man. So also by saying so, that they had thought they got away with the slanderous stories of ‘rape’, as the word itself carries  a huge burden of duty. This character assassination is not the only tool employed to turn public opinion against him, but it acts like a barrier to interest being gathered, that might have been there for his natural defense  against the USA indictments that do exist and now have been proven to exist. We all are familiar with the stories that were printed in The Guardian paper, i.e. Collateral Damage, published with a desired expose that was also the paper’s wish. The story made headlines around the world and the editor in chief  of Wikileaks publishing organization, Julian Assange took the full brunt of the responsibility of this bleed. But, Julian had already had this experience somewhere in his past. He had had a wish to stop war, since his youth. The technology of the Wikileaks site which uses heavy encryption, has indeed, seemed, to be the obstacle to proper debate about the subject of the wars it mostly exposed for crimes against humanity. It seems, the technologist in  him, in Julian Assange had been growing from his teens. But, as we also know, there are leaders of governments whose science or lack of knowledge of science, has left them baffled and feeling humiliated in the face of the exposures. I cannot stand by watching all of the bearbating, and, at the end of the day continued detention of a journalist. I look at Turkey and exactly this idea of censorship, and incarceration for journalists is continuing to occur daily.  It is so backward stepping if our own democratic factions and tools are not at the ready to encompass all of the debate about why the wars exist in the first place, as certainly the evidence of the cessation of the Middle Eastern troubles is not close by. It is noxious, that the charities who stand by to save humanity, to help us recall, that sufferance is not right are the only ‘allowed’ media on our television sets, to indicate, well what does this indicate? Where is there any justification to let a disaster like Yemen exist? The incarceration of Julian Assange was a deliberate effort to snuff out a voice that seems to have been crying from the wilderness..’Help humanity!’ There is not a crime  in publishing truthful reportage. The story of Julian Assange, will be made, and  I would like to think, that he has not become this victim, this object of hate of the state.

The Salty Sea

Posted in Autobiography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2019 by kathydasilva

Why is the sea ‘salty’…. … so why is the water from a mountain ‘fresh water’…. there is a lot of mystery to our planet. And, too, the sea is blue or a blue-green. And our sky is blue, and navy blue at night. And the sand on our shores is a shade of brown or beige, or sometimes a little blacker. Earth. Still turning around and spinning to give a sense of passing of a day into night. There is no accident. There is no accident in a radiant sun and a reflective moon, that sheds light onto an Earth populated with human life. I am not an accident. I was in fact a planned arrival. I was also created so my sister, would not grow up like an only child. And my mother also explained this to me, she was a careful mother, who thought about children and how they may grow in a healthy manner, with the sense of social skills that siblings of similar youth create quite naturally. If you have a brother or a sister, you at some point share. And become aware of responsibility. I was as far back as I remember, a curious creature who loved learning about the world. Everything that flew, hopped, and buzzed. From a fluttering butterfly to ants swarming. I should have been a naturalist. I found myself trying with my heavy camera to capture a Painted Lady this morning. I am now heading into my maturity what I call the last third portion of life..I have lost that dear sister, whom I grew beside to a disease called Motor Neurons, and my mother passed back in 2011 of old age. I went to visit my one remaining aunt today too. And I learned about one of my cousins recent new position of work, in a pilgrimage site in Israel. Here an octogenarian with laptop! Showing me a garden, where it is thought Jesus’s body may have been laid. And there will be sceptics, I too, wondered how could we ever know? But, as my eyes dwelt on the picture of the tomb built into the rock, at the end of a garden, I started to feel an immense sense of Godly presence in the place in the picture. The feeling was very momentary, a few seconds, but a wonderful recognition, however, that a person can be God guided in life. It is my cousin’s husband who had taken a position in the ministry of the church of England. And now he is there in Israel. I found the most amazing thing happening. I will renew my passport, and I guess it will now be a British Passport (but outside European Union). I think I may just make that journey and surprise, them! I have always had a fascination with the story of Jesus Christ the Nazarene. I wrote a story once called ‘The Full Stop Story’ .. it was really a small synopsis of a story.. or idea.. it all started with the subject of ‘sand’ and how it became used to create ‘glass’. And on my way to my aunt’s place I noticed some large what looked like container ships, but, I thought hard they seemed stationary, and I thought again, perhaps these were dredgers, or more still the type of ship that draws sand for building materials from the sea bed. And all things do have a knock on effect. If we remove sand from the sea bed it might alter the weight distribution and physics of the environment?..Now … I will have to pursue this thought to find and answer. So why is the sea salty?…