Archive for December, 2016

Life Story

Posted in Autobiography, education, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2016 by kathydasilva

I was remembering parts of the content of a dream, recently, enough to say, that I felt compelled to re-evaluate, the meaning. To search a bit deeper, as to why, certain images appeared, and in doing so, understand the will of my maker, the eternal God, whose birthday is celebrated today. The light coming into the world, as some would say. To explain, and by way of more detailed explanation,   a small but signifcant thing that had occured in my early twenties, when trying after graduating to get a job, and somehow, start the process of progression, away from the dole queue. I had already the creative art ambition, already, practiced some of that ability at the college where I studied, but, my interest in writing, had begat the need to learn, touch typing in order to ‘punch’ out a  book or two at some point. And the most significant thing was a purchase of an electrical typewriter. I had asked my mother and then my father who had  by this  time, begun to live a wholly separate life from my mother, could they help with the purchase. I had begged the money from them, and bought the WH Smith typing course book. This had been recommended to me by my sister Alison. Between all three, I am now touch typing this. I learned to touch type on the electric machine, but, when times were tough and money less forthcoming, I did sell the typewriter to a pawn shop in the Tooting Bec area of London. The pawn shop, was a kind of swap shop, too. But, on this occasion, I took the cash. I was grateful. I did not know how my father, who had probably retired by this point, as I was born, late in my mother’s marriage, when she was about thiry-eight, might have reached down into his heart, and let me have the cash. After all, an electronic type writer might have been at least ninty-nine pounds, at the time. I had relinquished ownership of this wonderfully functioning machine with also a digital editing window, without much thought at the time, but, need for food and other things, had been higher on the list, and I mean the need to eat, and keep, on living. I took a while before employment came my way, but, I had felt sure typing would help me to this end. Computing and wordprocessing were just around the corner, in terms of development and mechanizing of the whole publishing industry. I did the typing course and have not regretted for one moment, as inbetween, different employment, temping and VDU input, were the only possibility of anything, slightly secretarial. I watch people doing the two forefinger effort, and wonder why they do not do the same thing. And now we  have

Padlock with drilled part

Padlock (with drilled part)

hackers.                                                                                                                                                             And now we have thieves of intellectual property. And now, yes, perhaps slowing down invention, might make honest persons of us all? I found my locked cabinet, opened without ‘breakage’ of the lock? I saw the small padlock on my laptop case, had had a hole driven into it, and wonder who would do that? What a sad human. And sad for me, as I still retain, what rights I try and protect over my intellectual property.  This is how horrid our world has become.

My dad, had done a thing which was essential for  my survival. My mother had helped organize that, and my sister, had helped because she cared that I would be able to get a job. And to me that is family. And how sad, now, because all three are with Our heavenly Father. The dream, I will now tell you the dream. I was walking down a wide London street, a clock tower in a parallel road, similar to Big Ben, but, in any case, it was the feeling of a Sunday walk with an elderly parent on my arm. My mother wearing a dog tooth check winter coat. Her right arm, hooked through my left arm, and the unspeakable thing happened. The weather was as normal, the sky quite clear for a winter’s day. But, still, the unspeakable happened. There was an explosion. The buildings in the parallel road, were bursting, or exploding, one after the other in a kind of wave, and my only thoughts were to run with my mother, to shelter, to get out of the open road, to try to protect us both. Where we ended up, was the doorway, that looked not dissimilar to the pawn shop, though a charity shop in Romford does look similar equally. But, listen, the windows were empty, and the shop had no lights on, probably because it was a Sunday. I sheltered there, but, in the air, and remember this is only a dream, was the voice of Johnny Depp, saying ‘Let go of your mother’. I am not sure why, but, Johnny Depp, spent some time in London whilst filming a few things. I am not sure, why, but, as I looked, all that remained of my mother, was the bit of her right arm, that was hooked through my left. The blast must have been nuclear. The tragic image, was as bad, as I could imagine. Why had I survived, well God had said, I had signed for peace. I signed a petition, at Greenbelt festivals year 2002, against our country invading Iraq. It is the oddest thing, but, now too, God is trying hard to speak to us all. I vote left wing in the elections for I personally believe in helping the poor in the most logical sense of dividing wealth evenly, as evenly as is possible without taking the wind out of the sails of industry.  The prophecy, is continued, in my own life. This year, I have been severely injured, in a car accident. An unmarked police vehicle in Ilford, ran me down on a crossing, it was going the wrong way down a one way lane. I have suffered a fractured right ankle and also the wheel ran over my toes, my falanges, or bones in my feet are still not right.  The  honest people must take heed and do what is right, and take up your cross. But, it is still on my mind that closed down shop. The place I sold my electronic type writer, and the whole, thing that parents do which is bolster and help, at personal sacrifice to their own needs.

I started my own personal search for expression, at a very young age. But, most significantly, was my discovery at an age of independence of the author John Steinbeck, and then from about art school onward, there was a veritable fountain of suggestions. History is very helpfully noted down and documented when writing novels. Indeed in a hundred years time, I am sure writing will still be as relevant and as important, as the time of Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. We need a voice to take to task, illumined screens and computer/gadget madness. Thank God there is a poetry revival in tow country wide.

NB To budding authors….

Will Self types his first drafts to his novels on an old fashioned non-electric typewriter.


Wednesday’s Curzon showing of John Pilger’s film The Coming War with China

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by kathydasilva



I have been writing or working on, the next novel in a list of ‘ideas’ as they had started out, tonight. It is my first ‘supernatural’ or possibly ‘sci fi’ one in subject, but, the aim was indeed, more H.G. Wells in origins. A picture of one possible future. I have in the past had dreams some quite surreal in content, and certainly, I am going to have to find a way to interweave, the content of this, in the current book. It was in the endeavour to do this, that I suddenly became mindful too, of the possible reality that lay ahead if the politicians are unable to get their heads round the conflict zones, particularly the grave and unholy wars of the Middle East. Humans only maintain personal dignity and dignified living if they respect eachother’s rights, of passage, through this life. Our enjoyment through the progress of history has been to create, civilized society, where amongst the work and toil we also manage to enjoy, something of a leisure time, and this most truly is represented in the form of holidays for family and with friends. I shudder to think of what my impressions of the Med will be if I should manage to get back to an annual vacation somewhere like in Greece and or Italy or Spain. For how should I be able to forget the many lives lost, in the effort to be free from war, in the waters that lay lapping the edge of the shores there? The ‘miscreants’ at the top seem ‘hell bent’ for spoiling it for all of us currently. How did that happen? How did 9/11 arrive on our shores. How can 900 firemen develop cancers and some have died of those cancers, and remarkably, not much of a protest was allowed to be shown on a television network of national breadth.

I am penning or typing this article, having remembered something, from a holiday in Lake Como with my then alive and just retired mother. It would have been in the late eighties, and my mother and I had innocently wandered into the grounds of one of the villas, a historic one, with much ornamentation to its interior. The person who was an employee, who normally would have given tourists a guided talk, with helpful hints at famous historical characters who had stayed or dwelt there, this person had told us that much of the building had been prebooked for a conference on nuclear power. There were some rooms therefore not open for viewing. The Villa Como, that we were showed had some rooms, where in the time of Napoleon, and his love, Josephine, where they had stayed with adjoining rooms. A romantic era, and with what had caught most people’s attention,  the guide, had helped us enjoy, our afternoon. We had proceeded further along the lakeside, buildings to find other more open houses, and in one, remarkably a machine rather like a CT scanner, was being shown, only this machine, measured in an accurate manner levels of radiation in a body from top, to toe, head to feet. When I viewed John Pilger’s film the other week, which was broadcast by independent television, he had showed a rather older version of  a scanner which measured where and in what part the radiation had filtered to in the human body, ‘the guinea pig’, who had volunteered from the Marshall Islanders, who after all were fairly poor and open to economically enhancing experiments on themselves. The Islanders, non of whom live much beyond the age of forty on average today because of the pollution of nuclear bombs, which have been tested there. What is more frightening, is that the political leaders of our time think this is the only way forward to maintain that fragile thing called PEACE. The horrid tragedy of Fukashima, is enough I would have thought to put people off nuclear energy altogether. So why do we allow our leaders to do this? This is the even more bewildering thing, apart from that somewhere in the eighties, a group of women did protest the placement of cruise missiles on a site of common ground near to their villages, as clearly it made the site a possible ‘first strike zone’. The women won their point and the missiles were removed. We possess only one missile of this size, on a submarine further north, between the border of England and Scotland.

It now  seems along time since the subject of nuclear war or power has come into the text of regular articles and news items

030606-N-0000X-005 Washington, D.C. (Jun. 6, 2003) -- Artist concept of the SSGN conversion program. Four Ohio-class strategic missile submarines USS Ohio (SSBN 726), USS Michigan (SSBN 727) USS Florida (SSBN 728), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) have been selected for transformation into a new platform, designated SSGN or Tactical Trident. The SSGNs will have the capability to support and launch up to 154 Tomahawk missiles, a significant increase in capacity as compared to other platforms. The 22 missile tubes will also provide the capability to carry other payloads, such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and special forces equipment. This new platform will also have the capability to carry and support more than 66 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) and insert them clandestinely into potential conflict areas. U.S. Navy graphic. (RELEASED)

with a detrimental warning of the possibilities of war, using them. I am now more convinced since viewing John Pilger’s film, that the rotten way that politicians, who many have supported the making of these more refined weapons, and some who have invested their own money in the making of them, have also devised the way to keep the perpetuation of their making in with the nation’s plans of defense. For as long as we the human race run away from our creator, we will fear war and arguments with other nations. It is all so material in the end. But, sad too, the money to make war, could have been spent on space travel and or cures for disease in humans and animals.

If it is over thirty years ago now that an advanced scanner for detection of nuclear radiation in the human body was shown on the shores of Lago di Como, just where is that technology now?  And in whose hands? Will our parks be the beautiful places for our children to inherit in the future?

I feel unhappy, and very sad, that in The Coming War with China, we are left with the knowledge that a build up of military units is already in place in the far western Pacific Isles, and in one such location 40,000 military personnel, live regularly. And no mention of the radioactive plume affecting the Pacific waters, and fish, and the fact that so much of the Pacific is apparently dead already. Do we really want more deadly radiation?

God bless the people who speak of peace.

Buried Treasure

Posted in Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , on December 7, 2016 by kathydasilva

I was feeling a bit down about some of the world elements that seem unchangable at this time. But, then started to look back at the year just past. The books written so far in my rather strange ‘year off’ would not have come into fruition, had I been doing my usual nine to five job. But, the flow is all ongoing, into the new year. And it is to coin an expression full steam ahead, and hopefully by next Christmas everyone will be able to see Looking for Pearls and Battlefield though this might bear a different title by then. I am very sure that the sci fi one, will be the easier of the two to write, but, I am making that one an all out fiction. Life up until this last year was filled with obligations. Through all the tragedy in my  family, various deaths in the family, and then having to grieve, it has made me realize, that there is no time to sit still. It might seem kamikaze of me to just plainly push myself to write and publish, like a wild fire, but, in the end, it is keeping me alive too. Here’s to the year ahead, she says with raised glass. (this is imagined too!)

The Coming War with China a review of last night..John Pilger Documentary

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2016 by kathydasilva

Last night I did a thing, unusual to me, and that was putting off going to my poetry unplugged in Farringdon at the Betsie Trotter Pub, usually MC’d by Niall Sullivan, of Poetry Society Café. I for some reason had spent too long, getting ready, and something made me look at the net, and I found John Pilger’s Documentary, The Coming War in China, was programmed for ITV, at 10.40pm. The content of the documentary was a current look at the military machine and planning of the nation of America, the country we have long become use to calling the United States.

I felt recently, that the USA must have been looking at the growing EU economy with a sense of competitive, and possibly invasive perspective, and this kind of proved, that America is on the grow where influence and business, is concerned, it is behaving, as perhaps Britain did during colonial times, trying to influence markets exploiting old friendships and touting for business with offers of investments which would tie effectively nations to their word over complimentary tax deals and savings. I saw this as America on the ‘build’. However, there is a limit I think with which nations would greet or accept the dominance of such a culture, on its own market planning and image. We are independent nations in the EU in terms of our cultures, but, for Europeans, the EU guaranteed some fair trading, which Brexit might not. I do not think in reality that we needed America actually trying to inroad the EU as it was trying to propose new trade deals and tie up businesses over here with the TPP deal which has gone sour and Trump promises to dispose of on taking up his presidency.

The John Pilger documentary, was truly factual, and amazingly shocking in content his expertise from many years as a journalist and activist for peace, glowing throughout. I was very happy that the people of the Marshall Islands finally might get some more help and possibly justice for all the wrong that they have been dealt. But, the most blindingly obvious exposure, of a crime, came with the detailed analysis of radiation poisoning going on with all the nuclear test program of the USA on the islands, and its inhabitants. A conscious effort to prove, the power, and also damage and perhaps to try to control damage to localities in their research, the Americans chose to experiment with a total disregard to natives human rights, as if the natives were of no importance on this earth at all. It showed the efforts of Greenpeace activists at the time helping local inhabitants try to survive the test bombing of the area, evacuating them to nearby but, further away islands in the Pacific. It seems as if America is getting ready for war, and overwhelmingly it shows them planning and scrutinizing China as a potential enemy to combat with. Wherever America placed its military, there seems an effort to dominate and use other countries, in this effort including Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. One of the interviewees, had told that, America used bases owned by Australia, but, put their own USA troops inside, so it looked like they had not maneuvered, into place at all. Or that it kept the knowledge of their presence more secret from the population of that country. One aspect of the documentary also included the massive increase of the creation of nuclear fueled/powered weaponry, and manufacture and sales of, this, had kept or had been keeping the American economy alive during the ‘reign’ of the Obama presidential period. And is it surprising now to have seen America selling arms to the Saudis, during this time as weapons sales bring in millions of dollars. Each of the test bombs on the Marshall Islands cost the USA over something like one hundred million dollars per shot. Fascism can come like a Trojan horse, loaded inside, with something very destructive internally. I have wondered too at the incredible extent of trials with wheat and crops of the company Monsanto, who have devised, new patented seeds as a result of their research and for what purpose?  One of the experimental elements of the bomb tests in the Marshall Islands was to test the effects of radiation on animals and products creams etc., that would help protect skin that was exposed. Just how far this research has gone, will be hopefully the focus for any follow up documentary that John Pilger might manage to pull out of his very wonderful bag of knowledge and journalism.

The Coming War with China ended with  a slide show  of John Pilger photographic stills, an ever flowing fountain of talent to the visual art of documentary photojournalism.

BFI are showing The Coming War with China by John Pilger,I believe  from the 8th December 2016 and in Picture Houses around the town in London.

Why Writing is Important..

Posted in education, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2016 by kathydasilva

I live in  my flat, surrounded by nearly a lifetime’s worth of books spread out around the place even some on shelves in the kitchen. I started to collect and develop, my own taste in authors works, around the time, I came to live here in London. Mostly as a student, I collected second hand novels and the saving, made it possible to read plenty of the classics, that I felt my education up until the age of sixteen, had seemed to ‘leave out’. Bar the fact my mother taught us to read from a young age, and allowed us a choice of books from the school catalogue, she also made sure there was a good enough supply of abridged versions of classics with illustrations, so that as young as we were at the ages of say four to six, there was plenty of stimulus to look at books. And in a way, I am glad to have been her youngest child. I had an absent Godfather who also sent me wonderful books, and dresses.

With e-books becoming popular, I was thinking of cutting down on the scale of the collection, but, to be truthful even the covers, and the secretiveness of the content of a book, make it a mystery. It is like looking round a second hand shop full of curios. I especially like rediscovering tales that have been quite original and different in the backdrop of another culture or far away destination, and possibly time.


I picked up Albert Camus’ Exile and the Kingdom, from the shelf this evening, to find the story The Renegade.  It is a story of extremes, both in the condition of the characters, and the landscape of the  hot desert of West Africa. The narrator mentions Taghasa, and wikipedia informs me it is a region of saltmines. The story is about a missionary who has encountered a tribe of ‘savage people’, who cut out his tongue. He had gone to the desert people to take them the message of Christ, but, had been made to bow before their Fetish of a god, and was entrapped and beaten down.

‘What a jumble! What a jumble! I must tidy up my mind, Since they cut out my tongue, another tongue, it seems, has been wagging somewhere in my skull, somthing has been talking, or someone, that suddenly falls silent and then it all begins again – oh, I hear too many things, I never utter, what a jumble, and if I open my mouth it’s like pebbles rattling together.’ The Renegade, Albert Camus.

He ends up hating the people who had encouraged him to go out there, and wanting to prevent the humiliation of another missionary by intending to shoot him before he arrives in the city of salt. The entire story is unique, I have never read anything quite so extreme, and the only other author whose story The Immortals, Jorges Louis Borges, is there to make comparison.

And writing like this  is something that belongs to deep felt emotion and experience.

‘Squatting, as I am today in the shelter of the rock and the fire above my head pierces the rock’s thickness, I spent several days within the dark of the House of the Fetish, somewhat higher than the others, surrounded by a wall of salt, but without windows, full of sparkling night. Several days, and I was given a basin of brackish water and some grain that was thrown to me the way that chickens are fed, I picked it up.’

Yes that is why I collected books! I think story telling is important, and all cultures tend to write or story tell, and that is true throughout history. If we as humans should stop, what would there be to hand to the next generation? And then that image of H. G. Wells out of the Time Machine, of spinning discs, and books that disintegrated, as the man from our age, sees the future, through his travel. The books had been archived, it would seem in a library rarely visited, as the future inhabitants had become slaves of the Morlocks. The Morlocks, looked like savage ape-men, with no hint of intellect left, who had become cannibals! That was Wells’s  view of the post-nuclear war world. I see something different. And I hope for something different. We must make something different!