Quartorze Juillet



But let us not over estimate the actual character or the actual achievements of the Fall of the Bastille. Seven prisoners released (that was all the fortress contained): two madmen, four forgers and a hapless roué.  Seven heads – the governor and six of the defending garrison – paraded on pikes. two hundred or so of the besiegers killed or wounded. The stones of the Bastille itself, a mountain of rubble, carried away by professional contractors and disposed of at a tidy profit…

Graham Swift    Waterland


How did we manage to get here?

Some reality TV star who vents her odious opinions on the nation, or that part who will listen to her, has been sacked because she asked for a Final Solution to the Muslim Problem. The arsehole who blew himself and twenty-two others up, would have been happy with this. Hate for hate, an eye for an eye, your queen for my king. We are in a game that has no rules and yet we trust others to play it for us. Everyday sees a fresh move and every move prompts a counter-move…and it continues with the certainty of a metronome.


There is revolution in the air, both in the real world and the one that I am now a minor part of. In the real one, people are being killed. Lorries, bombs and knives are being used to strike terror into the hearts of all that would desire to believe that normality is a safe option. In the UK and USA, the ballot box has caused its own tidal waves of destruction. And yet,  I’m sitting in Mallorca, watching the world go by…


And there’s this world going by in ways that seem to get stranger and stranger by the day. Yes, just how did it get to this? Personally, I might blame Dan Brown or that woman who wrote Fifty Shades of Spanking.  When the populace is reading nonsense and seeing it as a true reflection of the world, you know that things are wrong.

Illumifuckingnati my brassed nuts!

I don’t even know what to say about Fifty Shades because I never got the courage up to read it. I do, however wish that I had written it. Money for nothing, and well earned.


Back to world destruction.


Is it hysteria or is it on the cards? Forget the Zombie Apocalypse, we don’t need the walking dead when so many of us living are obviously recruits in the waiting for the time when thinking and conscience are no longer prerequisites for a civilised world. Now it seems to be a case of make war not love. Well, actually a lot of the ‘couldn’t give a shit brigade’ are shagging around anyway; it’s called Match My Genitals or something similar. The thing is that these people go on the sites, type in their details, do a little flirt with anyone who closely matches their ID (anyone who is vaguely human and wants to carnally indulge or do other stuff that I couldn’t write about). I am aware that the parenthesis didn’t really make sense, but I will let it stand. Somehow, by doing this, the rest of the world disappears and so do its problems.


Narrrrr! The world is the same… no it is different because you have removed a taboo or two. The brief time it takes people to kick down the edifice of acceptable behaviour lasts only as long as the proverbial Mayfly. Up and awake, aware and going about its business, sleep and gone. We are merely prawns in a massive fish casserole and no amount crap literature will change that. Wake up and smell the coffee.


Things happen. Last night there was a whole school meeting to discuss the way the school was heading. The meeting had been hijacked by a gang of four or six teachers who were intent on making their feelings felt. No, that’s too nice; they were intent of regime-change.

As I said, a spot of revolution is good, it clears the air. The key things for a revolution are either complete surprise or complete assurance that the majority of the populace support you. The gang of four to six hadn’t thought about that. They also hadn’t reckoned on karma coming back to allow me to redress my own downfall only a year earlier.

I only learnt about their plans for certain earlier in the morning, but their little games had become a little too obvious in the weeks leading up to meeting. They had prepared a dossier outlining sixty to questions that they wanted the Head Teacher to answer. This was the day that I had chosen to wean myself off my precious Prozac, a decision that could have come back to haunt me.

As the day wore on I could feel my old friend coming back to nudge me a little. Anxiety never seems to truly go away once it has established itself. It’s a one-time guest to dinner who then decides to lock himself in the bedroom. That was when you stopped having dinner guests, but he was still up there waiting to sneak back down and trash your kitchen.  My stomach was churning and my head clouded over. Time to do a Rocky and bounce back from defeat.

I was worried about climbing back into the ring as I didn’t ever want to fight again. However, I was fuelled by a sense of injustice that encompassed more than the present situation. I was going to be fighting for what was right and that, unfortunately, was revenge.


The opposition had seated themselves on a table away from everybody else. They had notebooks out in the familiar passively-aggressive fashion of halfwits pretending to be highly trained legal professionals or investigative journalists. Their ages ranged from the late twenties to late fifties. One woman may have been older as she reminded me of Methuselah; much too old for such nonsense but it may have put a skip in her step. Perhaps she was ready for the skip? Of the others, there was a husband and wife tag team, the Fleetwood Hag, the rotund and squinty-eyed kid who wanted to be a man,  and another fellow whom I believe just sat there by accident.

My team, included Claire a confirmed non-bull-shitter and Brodie our slightly bullshitting colleague who had more pluses that negatives. I had given orders for none of them to become involved in meaningless skirmishes. “Listen to what they say and keep your powder dry.” I could have gone on with ‘whites of their eyes’ and all that but it would have been stretching it a little bit too much.


It was the blond-haired boy of the tag team who tried to kick off. I reminded him of the rules that dictated that the Head spoke first. Blondie was arrogant and so very sure of himself and this was a comfort to me. Big Gobs don’t listen and that’s the secret of success in these matters. After a while, the arena was cleared for combat and, as expected, little-big-man and Blondie jumped right onto the stage. They were assured of their superiority and veritably danced around the meeting, twirling their imaginary manhoods. Cock-sure or what?


Between the gang of four to six, they had secretly handed in the anonymous document purporting to represent the feelings of the entire staff. None of them had actually put their names to it but their message was from the school to the Head and to the English department, apart from Fleetwood who was hunched over her notes. Brodie could hardly hold himself any longer and launched in with a little volley only to be met by the condescendingly confident tones of Blondie. Blondie was issuing demands like a seasoned barrister. Claire rode to Brodie’s defence and they both held their ground for a short while until I could train my sights on Blondie and little-big-man.


I was not indignant but quietly disappointed that they had masqueraded as the voice of the staff without any consultation with others outside of their gang. They became indignant and tried to retort, but I then turned to the head and asked if that was it; was the meeting at an end. He nodded and I said, “Good.” I got up out of my chair and left.


Knockout, I think.   


For some reason, I had defended the crown against the peasants. I did this because the peasants were annoying and harboured all similar desires for power as their present masters. I was hoping that this would clear the air, but as with horror movies, when they have been killed, the have a nasty habit of coming back.

images-37    Buffy, not at her best.


The revolution was not enacted. It wasn’t even postponed.

The Revolution was merely a nice distraction on an equally nice island. 


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