Archive for London

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.

 

Assange to give his statement this week to Swedish Prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2016 by kathydasilva

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Julian Assange started a three day ordeal of questioning today, as Swedish prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, arrived to take a formal statement, and progress the long awaited investigation.  Wikileaks representative James, a friend of Assange handed press the updated information about  todays procedings and how they went. But, so far, Assange was flanked only by Ecuador’s  counsel, Carlos Poveda Moreno, due to the disorganized event of not informing or waiting for the arrival of Assange’s Swedish defence representative, Per Samuelson. Assange is said to have gone ahead without PB142366.JPGSamuelson, in order to appear fully cooperative with the effort of Ms Isgren, when she arrived. A long drissly day of wet rainy weather seems too to have put off Assange’s many supporters. I think too, since the American elections are now over people possibly believe, Assange will be in the clear.

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Ingrid Isgren leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy today just after 6pm

Chocolate

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I was once accused of having a very decadent breakfast, whilst snacking on a small bar of chocolate one morning, on a reception desk of a London leisure pool where I was working. It was seven o’clock in the morning, I was there to open up the pool to the early bird swimmers, and this usually meant skipping breakfast in order to get there on time! I was reflecting on this description of the chocolate bar as being  decadent, (excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury) and the real meaning of that word with regard to an age of the so called ‘plenty’. We the land of the plenty, are seen as one of the first ports of call to people, travelers, refugees, students, who might settle here.  The reasoning being we are usually seen as tolerant of people’s right to choose their religion, partnerships, singularity,  sexuality, and live in relative freedom.  A democratic society with equality to opportunity. Until now!?! Mercy May! What would happen to our society after this latest blow to our world or worlds? With leadership as apparently unable to convene meetings which would result in the dissembling of violence on the planet, should we not be raising our voices of protest.

I’ve managed to find ‘Hoorah!’ My little motif, above, which is for the back of my published books via Amazon’s Create Space company in America. My own unique logo, with a name that I constructed quite a few years ago, with an intention to progress outlets for my creative energies. Bloomsbury Publishing. Well an independent form of publishing. It is not without many hours of work that anything is done it is true.

I have Italo Calvino’s wonderful The Literature Machine, at hand and was browsing it this morning, opening onto the pages about Levels of Reality in Literature. Its an essay talking I think about how the main characters contain the authors influence on their words and thoughts, but also that if a reference is made within the story to other sources of inspiration from literature for example classical references to philosophy, that this might also be two voices within the one text, or two separate influences merging within the story. I was wondering how the story I made within Driftwood, would in fact carry a sort of message for the future. I have hoped it shows my own hope for reasoning and goodness to flow once again in our society.  The first chapter was called River Walk for a symbolic reason. The ancient Greeks, use to make stories about spirits that inhabited their rivers for reasons of drama and in explanation of disasters for example. If indeed our global waters are experiencing such drama, then perhaps our good human reasoning and faith in a good God might prevail, where darkness seems to have entered. On a more objective level, civilization, civilized society is dependent on good behavior all round, and good reasoning. I rather wonder at how philosophy manages to bring down the urge to rage to a habitable level of reason, that models of thought help us to be self critical and examining. One of the most outrageous things happening in our present political climate is the emergence of the mercenary.  Way back, Leon Gollub, made an exhibition of paintings on un-stretched canvas at the ICA in London, just of that, pictures of militarized individuals who war the fatigues of army color, brandished machine guns and were seen to take hostages, and bind them to chairs, images of torture. The hostages were almost always blindfolded.

My own sense of ‘horror’ out of the news we now see on our screens, has been, the disruptive influence of terror like drama in European locations, Holland and France in particular. The unseen hand that plans all of this seemingly remaining anonymous to the general population.

I was beginning to feel that there seemed no way forward for artists and expressionists of film and fine art disciplines, to hopefully feel fulfilled if a kind of wild censorship came into place.  The need to be brave, and brave up, seemingly ever present currently.  I would have made Driftwood longer, but, for the fact that I had stopped wanting to write any further parts to its drama.  I ended up finishing it succinctly in order to get the information it contained ‘out there’.

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I would love any comments about the times we live in, and the possibilities of writing.  Whether my Michel, lives up to expectations with the cartoons he is shown to be creating. I was also leaning on a bit of Kitaj, with the imagery as Kitaj, quite rightly used the image of the whore,  showing Europe as this image, during the second world war, under the Nazis.  And this also brings me back to the cover, and should I do this or that, satire, comic drawings, or  a version of Kitaj’s pastel drawings from the  war period?.. thoughts?…

Walking on sunshine…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I went out today… down town.. to see the BP Portrait Awards painting exhibition… but, it takes me, an inordinate amount of time, usually to leave my house, I do the rounds of the doors and the ‘lock up’, before assuring myself that the cat will be alright even if it rains. I seem to be over doing it on that element. I often think of moving back to the countryside, because of this hyper sense of tension caused by city dwelling, and by that I mean the always present possibility of burglary and intrusion. However, being able to jump on the tube train and see some of Britain’s finest portrait painting is always a bit of a thrill, though always there is the reliance for this particular exhibition to show a lot of photo-realism. I haven’t entered anything this year and it is partly a financial reason the ever increased submission fee. Even this year’s offerings are a bit thin on the ground it may seem. There are some lovely pieces, but, this is not a review, but yes I would encourage people to go, for the few treasures that do exist.

I finally am coming round from my year of ‘change’, having spent five years in a rigorous routine of sorts in an academic library, which by all sense of deliberations, seems to be getting smaller and smaller in it’s collection size as subject areas are being abandoned due to cut backs and political decision making by Conservative think tanks. The lack of funding is propelling the planning  of resources toward the e- library concept. And I guess the future is going to be all a bit of a virtual experience for most of the students from now on.

I just wonder when the idea of chip and pin planted into a student’s head is all that will be required, yep, the government would probably find it all much more convenient to do just that and program the whole population to do its will.

It has taken a year to undo any damage, that occurred due to the rigor of that routine lifestyle. I had intended writing and finishing my memoir/novel Looking for Pearls, but this indeed may change again and possibly the title, but, who knows.  Driftwood is coming into being. I finally saw a hard copy printing of The Island, and spent Sunday morning re-reading it. I am happy writing Driftwood.

The academic colleges run by corporations, I think suffer particularly from a lack of purity of purpose. In my own life time, both through primary and secondary education, I truly felt I had a freedom and the right encouragement to read, and learn and grow in confidence with no particular agenda attached to the process. Going to art school was for me, a choice to do something I showed talent in from an early age, but, again the road and path a person follows is not always a straight forward thing. When I arrived in London, settling down in a vast city that was always  on the move, both night and day, seemed impossible. I made about three moves from one bedsit to another in the space of the first year. The landlords varied, and it proved a little hazardous with regard to my own sense of safety even then. I battled through three undergraduate years managing to live independently of college digs or halls of residence. All the time facing dangers that might have sent any nervous type of person running back to their parents. London school kids, for example, notably, in the winter always hang out in the local launderettes, and were so lively, they thought nothing of jumping in a drier, and trying to spin round and keep warm. They were clearly left to their own devices with regard to recreational interests. One kid had been thrown in one of Hampstead’s ponds, and was trying to get dry in order to avoid a telling off about the state of their clothing, on returning home, and had begged money for the drier. Once they got money from whoever had any, they turned the drier on whilst also climbing inside to spin and treat the whole thing like a fairground ride. I managed about two years of my undergraduate period without a television. I had persuaded myself to opt for studying and reading as many of the ‘classics’  (meaning books), that my schools had failed to show me, or fit into the syllabus. This was a reaction to a public school boy getting ‘my’ place at Goldsmith’s College to study fine art. It helped a bit, it helped me to realize a naked love of reading that started in any case when I was fairly small. In fact I cannot remember learning my alphabet, but only rather the act of reading the ladybird books, that lined our bedroom shelves. I was an ‘A’ grade English student at school. I had been I think a bit lazy not to do the Advanced level study of that subject. I found myself trying out all sorts of literature just because someone had mentioned it. From the Mysteries of Udolpho, to Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar. But, also this period started the collection that is now at least four packing boxes worth of books. John Paul Sartre’s Words, got bought because of a radio program focusing on existentialist literature and philosophy. And I went on to read most of the trilogy  the first being, Age of Reason. My friend Quentin, had been reading A Happy Death by Albert Camus.  It was also around this time, that I started with ancient classics too, all books, leading to a kind of bolstering of some of the other subjects that I had been fortunate to have the privilege of studying by virtue of secondary school being a Catholic church school, for example Classical Civilizations. We at school had studied Oedipus the King, and read through the play Antigone. I seemed to be drawn to Plato. It has also helped subsequently that a move in recent times to Sussex, also showed me some of the Bloomsbury group’s dwellings during the war, and in particular the home  of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Virginia Woolf wrote A Room of One’s Own. It contains the sort of reasoning, that, spurred me on to feel independent about study and writing and art. Life for me has always been with a sense of optimism of opportunity as a result. I remember encountering rather like a mirage, Nicole Kidman, as I walked down a lane in Lewes town, one summer. I had no idea she had been filming The Hours, which I also subsequently have read, as well as having watched the movie version inspired by the book. The whole thing was indeed filled with sentiment and feeling, about worth and expression. Also at this time, I had come across The Maggot, by John Fowles, and the first book I had read of his was The Collector, and that too was set in the town of Lewes. And yet again my sci-fi which is going to be completed soon too, no doubt in the next year or so, well there I go, Lewes and East Sussex feature, and yes because to stroll and walk is for me a stimulant for thought and creation of images, both artistically and with the realm of writing creatively. So rather wonderfully today took on nostalgic tones. As I left my house today, about lunchtime, I had just entered the Cranbrook Road and was walking toward my local shops for a ‘top up’ of my oyster card, when I saw a figure in the distance not in a dissimilar way that I had encountered Nicole Kidman. I had difficulty seeing who this person was, partly because of the brilliant sunshine,  glaring back into my eyes as I clearly was looking westerly as I walked, and at first, I kept thinking the person was someone with dreadlocks. I had not worn my glasses, as mainly I only put these on for reading, but, the strangest thing occurred. I looked and looked as if wanting to see more clearly, but, the person turned out to be a guy, with neck length dark hair, and quite a lanky figure loping forward at some deliberate speed, with a very intense look.  It dawned on me it could so easily have been Will Self, but, why I should think this I am not sure, but, I had read about Will’s walk to Yorkshire with his eleven year old son beside him that had nearly got him arrested. It was an amazing tale that somehow by virtue of his own inimitable style, he drew me the reader into his world of great intense engagement with life, seeking to inspire his son, whilst journeying to see relatives in the north, all by foot. When this tallish figure had passed me it was only then, I looked over my shoulder, and stood stock still, willing him to look back. And at one point his head did turn, but, hey, he probably would not have known me or the why he felt the need to look round. He was about half a mile down the road by then. This had a kind of Joycean feel to it at the time, a day in the life of……..  ‘Stephen Daedalus is my name ….’ Ulysses.

 

 

 

 

Why Do We Put Up with Spin?

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on November 29, 2014 by kathydasilva

IMG_6125I had this thought today. I had watched a piece of the interview that the BBC had carefully orchestrated with Noam Chomsky.

”Neo-liberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless.”

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I think the program was Newsnight. The grand man of philosophy and social comment, at the age of 85, had to bear, the jaunty and rather unusual attack on his theories, by Evan Davis, in  a really slightly contrived situation. The members of public when asked about whether they felt (disenfranchised from the politics of our time, did they feel powerless, he might just as well also said ineffectual). The quotes from Chomsky’s writing were being used to ‘show him up’, well, if you take a thing so abstractly to pieces and out of the context of intellectual conversation…then, it could sound a bit insulting perhaps. However, if the questions had been do you agree with bedroom tax, do you agree with banks charging huge fees for minimal borrowing, do you agree with warring against nations that have not declared war against ours. And then if you had examined the same questions of feeling powerless. Wouldn’t half of us said well, yes! If the interviewer had pointed to chemtrails in the sky, and said David Cameron does not admit the chemtrails are real, or happening. Would the lady have said what she did say. The interviewer spoke only to the well clad. No homeless person was asked a question about Chomsky.  Amazingly there seemed little respect for this man shown by the BBC, so why did they do this interview at all? And why so lopsided in the opinion expressed that perhaps Chomsky was ‘out of touch’. It was a boob by the BBC, in my opinion. If Chomsky had been allowed a share experience of views with other authors, and maybe someone like Glenda Jackson around a coffee table then, perhaps fans of Chomsky might have gleaned some wonderful wisdom.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04t63y7/newsnight-26112014

copymessageonwallB&WThe question above, Why Do We Put Up with Spin, came from reading about the Iraq war scenario, the very loose reason for the invasion of Iraq, based on threat. And, because of the death of a weapons inspector, because of the upset, the death of this man caused, the government under Tony Blair, had done everything it could using the press, to impress on the nations conscience, that they should accept the decision for war. We, if you remember, did not all agree with Tony Blair. Not In My Name, hit the headlines as millions of people filled London streets with banners angry, at the decision.  The reality, the angry masses were ignored, and we definitely felt powerless, and frustrated, and ineffectual. I wonder, if any one in the cabinet has a conscience now? Surely the disgusting situation with ISIS is now proof of the need for reflection, and thought about the interference in these rather antique cultures.

‘The more you increase fear of drugs, crime, welfare issues, single mothers, aliens and migrants....’ Chomsky

Ah ha. Funnily enough, just lately we have seen plenty of this fear-mongering, with police powers increased to deal with any rioting, and possible looting. Where has Evan Davis been for the last decade. Well, this last month saw the march of Anonymous against the surveillance state, and also against the austerity measures of our government. But, also, where in the world is Evan Davis, when clearly the Spanish also near rioted against austerity a few times over, the Greeks too, and certainly a very big riot against the building of a shopping mall occurred in Turkey, with deaths, injuries, and a lot of frustration being pounded out on the streets. Uh huh?! Evan Davis must live in Wonderland.  But, just maybe he is in his safely guarded million dollar apartment way far above the streets of our fair city. Yes um…think that might be nearer the truth. Well done Chomsky for keeping your cool. Wow where’s the book signing?

The Bridge

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2014 by kathydasilva

IMG_6466 A funny thing happened this week. I was walking back from a bar, in Wembley Park, and the sky was dark, it was the kind of wintery atmosphere, that makes most people, shrug their shoulders, and seek shelter. I stood still for a minute as I approached the railway bridge, and realized, this had been the home of my Father when he was small. I often feel a million miles from home, but, my dad was born in Wembley, and later moved with his parents to Reading. I was stood there on the bridge, momentarily reflecting, and then there was that feeling of being home. Not some strange place, that I had never visited. I think my dad’s spirit must have been near. Drizzly London. And yes possibly that feeling of home might just be the right indicator of where to seek accommodation in the near future. And then too, this begot some writing. If a person could see their life ahead of time, I could not have predicted this feeling. It seemed very spiritual. I originally came to London when I was just 19 years of age, to study art at Middlesex. My friend ahead of me, had already settled in a nearby suburban district, just a few stops from Woodgreen. I remember the day I was interviewed with my portfolio, and Quentin, had asked me back for tea. Quentin, had found life tough in the first year of art school, and I think had had a breakdown, that summer, for when I returned having gained my place at the art school, Quentin, was not there. And what can a person say about this city. ‘Outsider’, like the book Quentin had been reading by Camus, ‘Outsiders’, have to tough it here. You leave all the people you’ve known behind when you go away to study. And that just means you start all over again, with new faces, and even new habits. The world, was an ‘oyster’ shell, and the contents a person sought were something of delight. That’s what the packaging promises, doesn’t it. The bar was near empty when I entered. Just one female bartender, serving, and some friends of friends to each other, gossiping about their day their working day. The whole time I sat to drink and eat snacks, there were about four flat screen television’s pinned high on all walls playing the latest football match, fast running feet across the brilliant green pitches made super green by a kind of Kodak color electric signal, message, subliminal. I am colorful, watch me. The decor in the bar, was partly old and shabby, in places, but the front of house, had been newly covered with smart stripy almost traditional red cloth, and paler threading. It seems absurd to say time seemed to have stopped. That I was there again, being nineteen. That suddenly the universe, had been put right, and sanity returned. For a minute. I must take stock. That’s such an English expression. Nation of shop keepers…stock. It is even pleasant remembering this moment. I remember fondly now, though not at the time, my journeys to art school, and walking there, always a long walk through Woodgreen. Haringay Council, libraries, shopping city and my first glance at John Paul Sartre’s ‘Words’, a story of his childhood and developing intellect. And listening many times to something like radio 4, review of books, and around this time they were looking at the novels of existentialists. Quentin had already been aware of Camus, Albert Camus. I had not. So reading for myself, was this very ‘hot pot’ affair of modern novels, versus, nineteen century classics, of all nationalities, in back drop. I had no idea of the way forward at the time, just an avid need to know everything. My new friends, the people I hold dear to myself currently are all actively involved in the progression of politics. This is not an easy arena. And if a person should feel so strongly, strongly enough to become arrested for a particular cause. I was mindful just this minute of William Blake because the government then was prepared to accuse him of sedition. He often spoke about the plight of the poor. And here in our time too, we have people who care, trying to tell the ones who do not about this unequal behavior of government. So how are the ‘poor’ supposed to scold the ‘elite’, in any other way than through demonstration in the street. The English Charter movement, made waves, made the changes, made things happen. That’s almost if not at least one hundred years ago. Is it surprising, to find dissent amongst the poorer classes? I am now singularly worrying about Ciaron O’Reilly. He puts his whole being into the arena of demonstration, in order to prove a point I should say several points about the unequal behaviors of this time of government and it’s planning. We currently have a prime minister in denial of the existence of ‘chemtrails’ , these toxic sprays as far as can be discerned are being used daily in the sky above to ‘re-arrange’ the weather patterns, of our winters, and our summers. There is debate about whole lifestyles, of the problematical, extreme weather conditions producing flooding now regularly a feature of news, particularly in winter time and spring. The world leaders summit in Brisbane, was wholly excluding one demonstrator in particular, and that was Ciaron  O ‘Reilly. His intention was to speak with or get near enough to be heard by Barack Obama, and the other significant Western leaders. The government of Australia, has singled him out, completely excluding him from entering the area which was designated for the summit and it’s visitors. An Outsider. But, in my mind Barack Obama is more outsider, how can it be, that if your birth place is Brisbane, you have no right to be there where the chieftains of world politics gather. No question, no answers allowed. Comments are welcome!

A Walk in the Park

Posted in Autobiography, Current affairs, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by kathydasilva

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Why is it walking amidst fields feels so much better than a London street? Far from the madding crowd… I use to love Thomas Hardy novels, for all the drama, and sorrow, irony? Everything that is human about us humans. Jude the Obscure was made into a movie. I then read the novel, but, it is a deeply thought provoking piece of literary wisdom. Humans fail, and then they fail again, and then there is sorrow.

I feel saddened. This feeling has grown slowly, but, surely since I think the event in New York city of 9/11. There is definitely a feeling of unrest, that will not go away. I think the whole world watched news reel items unfold, some of which seemed a little pseudo in content. If the events were indeed as described, ‘an act of terror’ from a definite band of criminals, then nothing really has made sense for a long time, let alone the war, the invasion of Iraq. The war presented the entire European community with incoming refugees. Such large population displacement, has caused I think the extremist groups to become more motivated in their various versions of racism.  So everyone feels a bit unsettled.  After the event of the 7th July 2005, bombings in London, at least two of my close friends made decisions not to live in the capital again.

The event of the knowledge of surveillance being increased, (with the whistle blow of Edward Snowden),not just increased, but like Russia before, whole populations of peoples being ‘watched’, seems to set an alarming precedent, to anything I have known in my lifetime.  Non of ‘us’ really know who or what the ‘enemy’ is. George W Bush was the worst politician of all time for using the words ‘folk over there’. To this day I cannot believe, that a president of the United States of America could have sounded so ignorant. The ugliness of the situation, something left hanging in the air. The information that warnings about an imminent event in New York, being overlooked. This being the global leading ‘giant’. The USA unprepared for the ‘day’.

Recently it was reported that 850 firemen from the event of 9/11 developed cancer. Some of them already have died from cancer. There was the mention of asbestos in the building materials of the twin towers. There have been suggestions of additional bombs placed in the building which effectively brought them down on their own foundations straight down, not toppling over onto the neighbourhood.  Yes. We all watched in horror our television sets. I know I did. I know apart from sleeping hours, that I was glued through the horror to following the story of the whole event. I had too thought of returning to my town of birth, because it looked like world war three was about to erupt.

Just before the event of September 11, 2001, I had been studying photography at a local college in Barking. I had thoroughly enjoyed learning colour processing, and printing, I had planned to use the new skills, and develop my art career once more. Also, Greenbelt Festivals, which at the time operated from Cheltenham Race Course, in Gloucestershire, offered in 2002 a feature spot on their weekend of arts, for new play writers. I had developed a poem, probably a few years before that, which I used to make approximately fifteen minutes of script. I called it ‘See Through to Forever’ a prophetic/creative piece/drama, this got read out on the August Bank Holiday of 2002. I had emailed the content to Esther Baker, who ran an amateur dramatics group called Fusion. They as a group would do drama workshops with people in prison.  Esther is a Baptist, and professional director in London theatres. Esther Baker’s workshop was meant to be a show casing of new talent in writing for theatre.  At the time I had no idea that every email I had written was being filtered by the state or the NSA or who ever. Occasionally, I would hear my disc drive attempting to read a disc, when there was no disc in place. Back in 2002, we still had the old floppy discs, now replaced with USB memory sticks. I had however, become aware of the possibility of a ‘hacking’ attempt on my home computer, brand new as it was then. I had started as a precaution to place all my creative writing onto discs so that if I went onto the internet, the work might stand some chance of staying unread until I chose to publish. The whole story of ‘everything’ being copied and collected by the state, had never occurred to me. There were no official warnings to the public after all. When I wrote email, I had presumed the password protected the personal emails sent to an addressed human the other end on the receiving end. There were a few incidences, where my words seemed to have ended up in the mouths of actors on TV dramas. I had at one point attempted to write to the BBC about this occurrence. One drama in particular was the drama, called, A Sea of Souls by David Kane. (I don’t need to remind people  I expect about the story of Cane and Able in the bible).  Cane murders Able out of jealousy. Now to add to the mystery I had written to a person identifying themselves as a fan of Johnny Depp, Gabriel Scar-Pfeiffer ( I think an alias). This man had openly advertised that he had knowledge of everything about Johnny Depp that people might be likely to want to know on a Johnny Depp fanzine site. Oddly enough, when I researched David Kane’s original history, it showed he had studied for a media degree, and did a specialized study  in fanzine sites and the use of them. I had written to Gabriel a private email, and talked about a painting I had seen on a postcard purchased from the Barbican in London. At the time, I could not remember the title, and described the picture like a sea of souls. The picture is a painting by Thomas Payne, the title, Enchanted Sea.  In January of I think 2003, a drama entitled, A Sea of Souls was broadcast. The first episode, involved a story about a Brazilian nanny, who had been murdered, leaving a house ‘haunted’. The place in which the body was hidden after the said deed, was a metallic tank filled with water. And the psychic in the drama, had been given script which read like a line out of my drama piece Seeing Through to Forever, which of course was read out well in advance of the screening of this series. The Psychic investigator says:

‘Why does blood taste like iron’….and then goes onto saying, something about the hemoglobin, causing it to be thus…….

If you look at my other postings, you will find some of this script, and can compare, the writing. But, I have already written to Scottish BBC in an attempt at asking about the obvious plagiarism. I also by chance found in the Recorder paper another author challenging the authorship of this series, who had sent in script for his own series drama proposal only to find parts of the stories appearing in a Sea of Souls…as if to rub salt into the wound.  How can the words in a private email end up in the hands of such a vulture, and or the BBC in Scotland.  I am still angry.  And now I suspect the information of my opinion addressed in Seeing Through to Forever, upset someone. Someone hidden in perhaps the offices of GCHQ? Or perhaps the NSA God forbid? So is the censorship of opinion already in place? It’s a big question in my head, because words do not suddenly appear on paper coincidently. I would challenge BBC Scotland on their written reply to me, on common assumptions of facts too. How easy is it to ruin someone’s aspiring efforts?  And now I appear to be moaning. But, I am justified.  Comments are welcome.