Archive for December, 2011

It’s a bit of a mouthful for the title of a story, but it’s stuck with me pretty much from the beginning, so I was reluctant to interfere with it. I’ve been nurturing La Maison since early 2010. I’m not sure how other writer’s work but I go through a period where I’ll have a lot of projects on the go, each of them inching towards something as I hop randomly from one to the next. Eventually though one of them will catch fire and then occupy my time more or less solidly until its completion, at the expense of all other work. That was the case with La Maison. It’s been something of an obsession, yet frustratingly difficult to navigate towards any sort of conclusion. I gave the characters a lot of leeway here, made a muse or a daemon out of each of them and tried to listen to what they were telling me. Needless to say, it’s a strange story, having more in common with the Lavender and the Rose than my more conventional work.

Anyway I put it up on Feedbooks last night and you can download it here.

It’s a full length novel, complete and free to read – not a teaser or a taster. There’s about 11 hours worth of reading.

I briefly considered making it exclusive to the Kindle bookstore and charging a small fee for download, but speaking as a UK hobby writer I’m finding the tax system to be incomprehensible and didn’t want to find myself on the wrong side of it for what might not amount to much in terms of actual income anyway. As usual then I decided to keep it free. As an independent writer, using online media,  I’m in it for the readership and once again the media of choice was Feedbooks. It started getting hits immediately, and after only twelve hours had achieved 30 downloads. On the other hand, my experience of pay for download sites is they just don’t get the hits. I’ve had a copy of “The Man Who Could Not Forget” on iTunes for about a year now (for free) and it’s not been downloaded once, while the Feedbooks version is managing between fifty and sixty downloads a day

I feel a bit lost now, having said my goodbyes to these characters, but if past form is anything to go by, I’ll be leaving it to settle for a few months, then I’ll read it, but this time as a reader, rather than a writer, and then I’ll be making changes to it, even if it’s only sweeping up the typos that have eluded me. I’m my own editor unfortunately, and for the typos that remain, I apologise.

Best wishes to all my readers

Michael Graeme

***Update – never mind the typos, there was a whole chapter missing. Apologies.***

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Yes, sorry Linkedin but I finally severed my links with you today – well not exactly “severed” because that doesn’t seem to be possible – I mean, after “deleting” my account weeks ago, it’s still up there and my mail box is getting pinged on a daily basis by spammers – posing as Linkedin contacts – trying to sell me little blue pills. I had another one today. I knew not to click the link, but clicked something else I thought was safe and would direct me to Linkedin and enable me to stop the flipping emails. Sucker!!! It was what the web security gurus call a fake holding page – looked very much like a Linkedin page except if you click anything on it, it downloads you a serious dose of the cyberclap. The nice lady from Avast told me at once she’d detected a threat and blocked it, so I’m hoping I’m okay and avoided infection. It was a trojan horse, no less – the stsystra.exe, now languishing in my virus vault. Various other scans have given me the all clear, but it’s no guarantee it isn’t lurking somewhere on my system, and this sort of thing happens infrequently enough for it to scare the proverbial out of me.  Now that’s a serious matter and I really couldn’t take the risk any more for what I considered to be the zero benefit of being with Linkedin.

So, if like me you’re stuggling to distance yourself from Linkedin, here’s what to do. Edit out all your information and replace it with junk. Get yourself a free email address from Yahoo or Google, and enter that as your primary email address on Linkedin. You can now forget about this address because you’ll never need to log into it. It’ll just soak up your spam and your Trojans. Now delete your old email address from the your Linkedin profile – the one the spammers have been targeting and hopefully that should do it.

Fingers crossed.

Graeme out.

*Update 17 Jan 2012 – yep seems to have worked.

*Updated 5 March 2012 – recently started getting mail from people looking to add me as a Linkedin contact. Clicking any link again directs me to adverts for little blue pills. My apologies to anyone who may be trying to contact me legitimately, but anything that looks like it’s from Linked in will be blocked. Anything getting through the blocking will be deleted. Genuine contacts please mail me directly.

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They say the best camera you own is the one you’ve got on you at the time. Unfortunately, that’s usually a mobile ‘phone and mine’s rubbish – but it didn’t do a bad job with the interior shot of old Grumpy yesterday morning. 2.5 Degrees, he’s warning me (the central dashboard display), slippery roads. But 2.5 I could live with. I remember minus 15 this time last year and that was a drag.

I was just backing out of the driveway, heading over to a local garden centre to finish off a few items of Christmas shopping. “What are you doing?” Asked the good lady Graeme, as I snapped the pic. I didn’t really know, and what I saw in that brief moment certainly doesn’t come across in the photograph. I should know by now you can’t capture ghosts on camera. There was a bit of snow turning to slush in a steady drizzle, and the morning felt a lot colder than those 2.5 degrees. What was it I saw? Emptiness? Despair? I don’t know – just something. I’d been feeling lighter recently – more positive about myself and the world, but something dark was stalking me. Again.

At the garden centre I found myself browsing the books. I’ve noticed a trend for repackaging ancient out of copyright books, dressing them up in nostalgic hardback covers and flogging them to the Christmas “market”, because people will buy any old rubbish at Christmas and there’s not the inconvenience of the publisher having to pay the writer any royalties, because he’s been dead a long time and his stuff’s legally up for grabs. To be fair though I found a lot of the titles interesting and also very telling.

There were a lot of old war books – not the guns and gore type – more the home front type: Dad’s Army, rationing, wartime civilian nostalgia, even some works by Baden Powell on military training, preparing, making ready, battening down the hatches, all in it together stuff – that sort of thing.  Anyone would have thought there was still a war on.   The feeling I got was one of entrenchment, of taking cover, taking shelter, of making do and mend, and what would Grandma have done because our backs are really up against the wall and we could do with some of her wisdom now. If only we’d listened to her tales when we were younger.

After the garden centre it was a trip to the local mini-mart to stock up on a few essentials. While I was there I also stocked up on the headlines from our newspapers – broadsheet and tabloid. I don’t buy newspapers any more. I just take a snapshot of what the current “message” is from the fourth estate. I was never much of a cricketer – could never cope with spin on a ball, always tried to judge it as if the laws of physics were in charge and not the last minute twist of the bowler’s magic fingers. I always failed. Maybe I’d be better at it now. In meditation, we watch the flow of our thoughts and we ask who is the watcher? In reading headlines we ask who is the spinner? What message are we be being spun here?

Our PM says the “UK is a Christian country”, according to one of the headlines. I don’t recall in what context these words were spoken and in a way it doesn’t matter because the media wanted to say something else, but what? That we’re not a Muslim country, not Jewish, not Baha’i or Daoist or Buddhist? Warning shot to you no-good Johnny foreigners? We’re watching you? I felt a shudder run down my spine. They have Christians like that in certain parts of America – but they also carry guns. Another headline said: Children should know their times tables by the age of nine? What’s that saying? Our kids are thick? Our teachers are useless layabouts, who’d rather teach multiculturalism ? Well I’m married to a teacher and I know what goes on in our schools, and layabouts our teachers are not. And our children aren’t stupid either – just increasingly alienated and disenfranchised. Another headline spoke of the deepening rift between the UK and France over this week’s spat about the Euro-zone crisis. Anglo-French relations have been the stuff of legend for centuries, all of it myth and spin. I swing the bat, as the ball bounces. I don’t catch it full square, but I do catch it and it drops safe. I hold the wicket – no thanks, I’m not running with that one, you bastards. As for the  shabby local rags they were, as usual, fixated on sordid local crime, trying to convince us our neighbourhood aren’t safe to live in. Don’t go out. Stay at home. Lock your doors. Evil is afoot.

Anyway, the impression I returned home with was one of a population bludgeoned into thinking the clock had been turned back seventy years, with rationing about to be reinstated and the dreaded Hun about to invade all over again. And the reason? A lapse in our Christian values, a lurch towards lilly livered liberalism, the decline in standards of education, and those bloody Europeans,… And the solution? A return to Christian values, the three R’s, and cast the UK adrift from mainland Europe, because we’re better on our own? Anyone would think we’re in the grip of Eurosceptic Conservatism.

I’m sorry, political commentator I’m not. Cynical Brit who believes nothing he’s told any more and asks at every unsolicited encounter with strangers these days, what’s this guy trying to sell me? Possibly. All I know is our problems are more complicated than anything we’re being sold or told, and the solutions likewise. I do know however that what we’re spun is nothing more than a daemon haunted myth and requires considerable analysis if we’re to make sense of it. At the moment it’s a dark myth, one I hope won’t slide any deeper into the gutter of entrenched nationalism, because the daemons who live down there are a pretty foul smelling lot and have a habit of laying waste to things. They like to find someone to blame, usually the the least culpable in society, and least able to defend themselves. And when things are good? When the myth is boom-time, like the bubbles of the eighties and the mid noughties? Well during that kind of myth-making it’s the wrong kind of people who get rich. And during the ensuing dark times, when the bubble’s burst, it’s the wrong kind of people who get shafted.

I don’t know, I’m just a family guy hoping the world will straighten itself out before his kids have to saddle it up and ride. That’s what I saw in that photograph this morning.


Later on I watched a film, (getting to the title bit now) saw it on sale in the mini-mart while I was browsing those curve-ball headlines: Wonderful Life – James Stewart and Donna Reed. It’s an all time favourite of mine, and if you can watch it without a tear in your eyes you have no soul my friend. (I blew my nose all the way through it, told my good lady I felt a cold coming on) But that old movie has a message that seems curiously apposite today. I suppose you need to watch it and then ask yourself if you’re a George Bailey, (the endearingly earnest Jimmy Stewart) or a Mr. Potter (the suitably evil Lionel Barrymore).

When the world falls apart, whose side would you be on? Whose boat would you jump into? Would you sell your soul to Potter for the guarantee of life – no matter how miserable and undignified, because that’s where we’re heading. Or would you go with George, even though his boat’s a bit leaky and there’s a 50-50 chance you’re going to drown? Me? I’m a Romantic. I’d rather drown, than live in Potter’s world.

They don’t make films like that any more? Well, I’m not so sure. Among the dark grumbly, fire and brimstone daemons, there are always the other kind who inject the occasional voice of hope, when times are grim. And a bit of research tells me that film began life as a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern who initially couldn’t get it published anywhere. (I know how that one goes) The film itself was also considered a flop at the time because it didn’t break even at the box office. Never mind the message, just count the bucks. How ironic is that, given the premise of the film? But sixty years later, we’re still watching it and saying: Yes, they really nailed it there.

The pursuit of “financial growth”, or even just “financial stability”  without the stabilising effect of a social and moral conscience really is the road to hell. We all know that, so why are we led down it so easily, time after time? Don’t believe what you read in the papers – Mr Potter owns them all, and he’ll pander to what’s darkest in you. It’s really not the end of the world. At times of crisis, the last thing we should be doing is digging ourselves into entrenched nationalism, intent on looking after number one. It’s precisely at times like these we need to be reaching out globally, as well as locally. It wasn’t nationalism that won the war on the home front in the dark days of both world wars. It was being neighbourly, lending a hand, keeping a good heart and trusting it would all work out well in the end. That may also be a myth, but it’s a good one. Come to think of it I hope one of those “home-front” books turns up in my Christmas stocking this year.

It really is a wonderful life, but you have to look at things the right way, and I’m with you George Bailey.

Buffalo Gals, won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight. Buffalo Gals, won’t you come out tonight, and dance by the light of the moooooooon,……

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I’m not sure why I signed up to Linkedin. As far as I can tell it’s a professional networking tool and probably very good, but since Michael Graeme is a nom de plume and doesn’t exist in real life it seemed a bit pointless, but I suppose I thought it might drive a few more readers my way, so I handed over my email address. Not much happened until recently.

It was the same with Twitter. I had a brief season of microblogging on there and I enjoyed it. I particularly liked its Haiku-like brevity but I’ve not updated in ages. I wasn’t reaching much of an audience with it either. Perhaps you need to be more of an extrovert  – the kind of person who’s glued to Facebook every spare moment of the day and has a gazillion “friends”, “semi-friends” and “acquaintances”, but I just don’t have the time to construct that kind of virtual reality. (My thanks to Jim and Tina anyway, God bless you). There were other “followers” but they were trying to sell me stuff, which was tiresome, so I had to block them.

It was the same with Linkedin, except I couldn’t find a way of blocking, so I tried to resign but that was weeks ago and I’m still getting their damned nuisance spam. I’d get an email saying someone had posted a message – I had one from Deborah Green this week, (Hi Deborah, you shameless tart) My primary personality does know a Deborah Green(not a shameless tart) and he thought how the hell does Deborah Green know me as Michael Graeme? So I clicked the link out of curiosity and was taken to a website selling Viagra (Thank you Deborah – different Deborah, I hope!).

The Twitter spam was less insulting but equally unwelcome, being of a more pornographic nature – emphasis on the “graphic”. Now, I’m not a prude and according to statistics 40% of men admit to viewing more than 2 hours of pornography a week, but there’s a time and a place, gentlemen, and the breakfast table definitely isn’t it.

Curious, this online sexual stuff! I feel a whole can of worms tipping over. Sex sells of course and I’m sure there’s nothing more to the spam than that, but why do we buy? (not that I do) No,…  restrain yourself Michael;  sex is not your natural territory. You’ll only make yourself look ridiculous.

I went to church last Sunday – stay with me, this is relevant – it was a memorial service for a relative, which basically means a regular service but your recently deceased relative gets a passing mention. The church was in a town some distance away, a progressive Anglican affair, and something of an eye-opener for yours truly, one where the vicar looked more like a bank manager than a vicar, and they were talking about sex. Seriously! The sermon was about sex, and pretty unflinching it was too. They tied it all in with Leviticus (mainly 18:24-30 and 20:10-21, so far as I could make out) It was from the vicar I got the 40% of men and pornography bit, which was a surprise to me – both the statistic and the fact I got it from a vicar.  So that bum steer from Twitter burned up at least two seconds of my two hour limit, and put me on the wrong side of God as well, because those ladies definitely had no clothes on your honour, which was sinful – but I didn’t look, honestly!

Anyway, said the vicar, who looked like a bank manager, pornography is bad. It is devil’s spawn. It’ll make you go blind,  like gambling and strong liquor. Don’t look, don’t click that effing link – no, too late ARGGGG!!! It’s in your history file now, dammit. You’ve probably got a lot of tenacious cookies as well and if you’re really unlucky a severe dose of the cyberclap as well.

Serves you right, you godless sucker!

The thing that really intrigues me though is how smart these spam-bots are. How do they know I’m a man? (viagra, pornography?) Or are you lady Twitters and Linkedinners equally sidetracked by links that take you to the smuttier side of the internet? (Are you equally beguiled by promises of sexual stamina and mythical gratification) No don’t answer that – I’m just over analysing again!

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here – just marvelling, I suppose, over the unexpectedly sexual sermon last Sunday, and the subsequent sexual links from supposely bona fide sources on the internet. On the one hand I get the “thou shalt not”, from the “word of God”, then I get the “salacious temptations” in my inbox. I suppose the thing is it’s all well and good speaking out against Internet pornography, but since you’re never going stem the tide, nor legislate against it, you might as well grow up and be more accepting of it. (yes I’m a liberal in my views). People like sex. It’s natural. But tell them it’s dirty or bad or wrong, and you push it deep into the unconscious, you shove it down into the realm of the gods, you poke it in their eye, and shove up their ass, and you really shouldn’t be doing that because the gods are all powerful, easily offended and can find a million way of coming back at you. In short, demonise sex and you’re creating a ticking daemonic time bomb.

Carl Jung had something to say about porn – in its latter day (dis)guise as Eros – but only in that the way we live and suppress what’s natural in us means that sometimes the gods come through in grossly caricatured form as pathological compulsions. In other words your cute Eros with his arrows gets corrupted into a saucy photograph that would once have been passed around in a brown envelope and which now hides in the supposed privacy of  “special browsers” and the “anonymity” of  proxy servers. We become addicted to images or corrupted metaphors of something that was once a natural facet of our daily, all be it primitive, lives.

I’m definitely over-analysing now – possibly also under the influence of strong liquor – which is a defintite blogging no no.

But I suppose my point is, what’s the point in leaving Linkedin or terminating Twitter? Eros will only find another way of getting through, perhaps even by breaching WordPress’s seemingly impermeable spam proof barriers (I hope not) Anyway, re Linkedin and Twitter, I seem to have talked myself out of it for now.

Two hours of porn? No thanks.  It’s cool, but I’m fifty one, and I have other vices now. Eros, I know you when I see you, so point your pesky arrows somewhere else. Two hours a week? No thanks. I’ve got a novel to finish and there’s sex enough in that for me. Does that sound sad?

Hope not.

Graeme out.

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It’s maddening, but I just can’t shake this feeling of oppressive gloom. The slide into winter doesn’t help, I suppose. With the going of the light in these northern latitudes I think we’re all prone to a kind of long dark tea-time of the soul, to paraphrase Douglas Adams. But there’s more to it than that and it’s not on account of a lurch over to the shady side of my occasionally depressive nature either. I scan the news feeds for something positive, something that speaks of brightness, expansion, largess of both spirit and human endeavour, but what I find instead are the peoples of all nations hunkering down as if for a storm, and I see grim faced, swivel eyed politicians, like comical Private Frazers in Dad’s Army, telling us we’re all doomed.

The local news channels, bless them, do try to inject an upbeat tone now and then – you know, those dog saves man from drowning kind of stories – but they always overdo it and end up drowning us instead in saccharine sentiment, which seems only to add to the sheer debilitating weight of things.

I suppose what it is is world events are reported entirely in a way that panders to the shadow within us, rather than the muse. The shadow is the dark side we project everywhere. See someone you don’t know and take an instant irrational dislike to them? That’s your shadow. A whole army of little daemons rush to do his infernal bidding, meanwhile there he sits at the centre of our being, rubbing his hands with glee while our spirits sink and we raise our eyebrows in despair at yet one more depressing headline.

Look, he says, we have entire economies in ruins, and an ever increasing percentage of the world’s population in chains to a financial system that emasculates and enslaves them while simultaneously shrinking their futures to a fraction of what even their grandfathers once aspired to. Then we have the earth convulsing with one natural disaster after another, and if that’s not bad enough we have an ever increasing number of bogey men supposedly stalking every street corner just waiting to rape and kill or simply swindle the innocents out of what little dignity they have left.

But then the muse stirs from her slumber and the shadow looks nervous because they don’t get on, and she always wins when it comes to an argument. She wrinkles her nose in distaste and casts about for someone to pull her out of the mire. Oy! Yea, you with the pen. You’ll do. Hoist me up will you? And then she looks at me and says: Well, is that really the kind of world you want to live in?

Of course it isn’t I tell her, but what choice do we have? I mean you must admit things look pretty bad. But she just shrugs guilelessly and says: Are they really?

Okay, I know where she’s going with this. And she’s right; personally, beyond feeling the pinch in my wallet, and at the petrol pump, I’ve no idea how bad things are because news feeds are just stories after all and, as recent events here in the UK would indicate, they’re not necessarily stories based upon facts either. But believe them or not the news media’s narrative does shape the story of our times, it weaves the contemporary myth and spins the Zeitgeist to which we are all unconsciously exposed and rendered suggestible to. But were the story of our times a novel, I think I might have set it aside with a weary grimace by now, somewhere half way through chapter one, swapped it for a copy of Jeeves and Wooster instead, or turned the telly channel over, away from the shadow-centric news, to find myself a decent laugh-out-loud movie, preferably one with a bit of romance thrown in.

No, says the muse, you want more than that. Laughter isn’t enough. You don’t want to simply lose yourself in a quick, shallow fix, like anaesthetising your rebellious, soul-craving spirit in the bottom of a whiskey glass. You want to feel a rush of pleasure in something. You want to feel yourself lifted off your feet. You want to be in awe of something greater than yourself. You want the earth to move.

So here, she says. Remember this. Remember me?

Of course I remember!

There’s some debate over exactly when this video was shot. As any fan will tell you, the band isn’t Fleetwood Mac. It is however, definitely Stevie Nicks, probably 1981, and her solo “Belladonna” tour.

What I love about this clip – apart from it being my favourite rendition of this song – is 5.6 seconds in. It’s the expression on Stevie’s face as the instrumentals start up and the crowd goes wild. What I see, what I feel in that smile, and in the sudden turning away of her head, is the kind of “lifted off my feet” rush that I’m sure I’ve felt too (though not in front of a crowd of thousands of adoring fans). When I watch this clip, I project something very strongly which seeks to share in that moment, and in some ways reconnect with moments in my life when I simply must have felt like that, when there was a visceral connection with something godlike, and when the earth simply moved, Goddamit!

Okay, so I remember. But what exactly are you getting at here, Sara?

Well, these things are spontaneous, she says. They’re unpredictable, and we cannot find them in the simple pursuit of pleasure, nor can we find them in other people, nor in physical experiences unless we’re open to that feeling in the first place and capable of knowing it for what it is. And if we are, well, we can find it anywhere, even in the middle of a financial crisis, and there’s no need to go looking for it anywhere special.

In ’81, I was both a Fleetwood Mac and a Stevie fan, and the muse definitely went by the name of Sara. I tended to project her onto girls who either looked like Stevie Nicks, or Carrie Fisher (AKA Princess Leia) in that gold Bikini (I know, I know, but I was young). Then she slips back inside my head and morphs into someone else, driven by the times and the shifting tides of my own psyche down the decades but, be she Sara, or Eleanor, or Beatrice, or even George(ina) these days, she’s essentially the same timeless, ageless phenomenon she always been, and she is the poet in my heart.

When words won’t come, or they tumble out in useless messy splats, I know the words are mine. When they work, when they light me up, I know they’re Sara’s, that I’ve managed to get my head out of the way long enough for her to do her stuff. And of course it’s to the muse we must all turn when we need lifting out of ourselves, when we finally see the shadow of ourselves haunting us in the vulgar glare of the daemon haunted news-media. She waits for that shudder of recognition, the vital insight we must each come to in our own way, before she steps up and says, would you like me to help you with that?

So come on Sara, help me. Where are we going with this?

Well, do you remember, she asks me. You were at the tea table the other night, you, the good lady Graeme and numbers one and two sons? Sure I remember. Number two son had been You-Tubing the Mayan Apocalypse, and asked if it was true, that the world was really going to end on December 21st 2012? The good lady Graeme thought to put his mind at ease by telling him there’d been at least a couple of apocalypses predicted for every decade in living memory, and probably a good few before then, and none of them had ever amounted to anything except a lot of hype and panic among those who subscribe to these things, and then turning to me asked what did I think?

And what did you say, Michael?

All right, all right. Perhaps I’d had a bad day, I don’t remember, but I found myself saying, rather unhelpfully, I hoped it was the real thing this time, then we needn’t worry about all this dark depressing stuff any more. I mean,… this bleating endlessly on about fiscal stability in the Eurozone, private sector pension provision, the crisis in higher education funding, and the abolition of retirement ages, it all sounds a bit weak when the time-wave’s about to collapse, doesn’t it?

The what?

Number two son hadn’t heard about the time wave theory. And if you’ll forgive me a moment’s tangential aside, this is what’s so interesting about the 2012 apocalyptic myth. It’s also what the muse seems at pains to point out to me this evening, unexpected though it is, but here we go anyway: it encapsulates the Zeitgeist very neatly and also gives us a clue as to how we can steer our way around it to better things just by picking and choosing the path we take.

If you’re not well up on theories surrounding the next apocalypse, there are two sides to the 2012 myth. One one side the sense of oppressive gloom some of us are feeling is a kind of premonition that’s supposed to have its denouement in a collision between poor old mother earth and a wayward wandering planet called Nibiru. Failing that there’ll be a reversal of the earth’s magnetic field, or failing that a massive solar flare will fry the pants off us. There are probably many other apocalyptic scenarios I’m unaware of, possibly involving aliens, but archetypally it’s very “Book of Revelations” and “End of Days’ish” and pretty grim stuff, and it all happens on the 21st of Decbember 2012. So,… we’d better splash out and have ourselves one hell of a party next year.

But wait: there’s another side to the myth, one more positive, and this is where the time wave comes in. I won’t explain it because it’s equally esoteric and bizarre, and possibly also involves aliens, but you can Google Terrance+McKenna+Time+ Wave if you’re interested in further reading. To summarise, this version of events has the dreaded 2012 date seeing a sudden quantum evolution in human consciousness, one in which “time” as a psychological concept collapses and everything happens simultaneously – or something like that – which is going to take some getting used to, but it sounds like fun. I think there’s also a scenario where the galactic centre lines up and shoots a beam of “enlightenment rays” at us – but basically we all go to bed on the 20th of December 2012 and then we wake up in the morning to a psychotropically enhanced version of reality and go: “WOA!”

I prefer the latter version, obviously, though I must add I don’t think we should bank on either possibility. My personal belief is that some form of shift in conscious awareness is our evolutionary destiny, but it won’t be sudden and it won’t be a quantum leap. It’ll be gradual and incremental, like it always is, and we’ll really have to work at it, generation on generation. But we have to want it too. And if we can’t remember what it is we want or even what it feels like any more, then let the muse remind you. After all, what kind of world do you want? If you don’t mind I think I’m with the muse on this one.

And finally, there’s one more thing, she reminds me, about December 21 next year and why nothing bad is going to happen. It’s my birthday, and she simply won’t allow it.

Thank you, Sara. Don’t you change, and don’t you ever stop.

Graeme out.

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