Monday, 17 September 2012

The smear

Screaming at the world on the inside
Sitting quietly in the corner on the outside.
Nobody knew
The quietness of his life
The smear of his pain
Across the bandages he wore
To hold together
This thing he called a life.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Unhappy Condition

Every man is for himself, and with his death everything is dead for him.
Yet each assumes he is worthy to be loved by others.
Contrary to order, the world tends towards itself.
They want to be great and cannot see that they are small.
The further evil of deliberate self-delusion.
To be so full of faults yet take every precaution to hide them from themselves and others.
Yet knowing their faults are worthy of contempt. 
They react in the most unjust and criminal passion.
Their deadly hatred for the truth turned outward.
They cannot eliminate this truth in themselves. Not being able to destroy it in themselves they destroy each other.
And so they come to an end in themselves and only the faults remain. 
- B. Wheatley

Most of the poetry I write is "found", in random words or the pages of a book or notes in a meeting, this poem was found in Blaise Pascal's book The Mind on Fire.

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Some ploughed their own furrow in the sea.
While others waged a war against the pilgrimage and lost.
For something so fundamental can’t be rooted out.

The compulsion to walk, to flock, to sail.
Barefoot on snowy roads, green hills, sand and stone,
On the path of the gulls.

Not everyone finds what he is looking for,
But everyone finds something that he didn’t have before.

They battled their way,
Through hardship unimaginable,
And found what they needed.

Doing something with what they had,
Muscle likes being worked.

Arriving they drew a boat and named it Domine ivimus,
Lord, we came.

- B. Wheatley
Most of the poetry I write is "found", in random words or the pages of a book or notes in a meeting, this poem was found in Charles Foster's book The Sacred Journey.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

In an Outrageous Country

I cannot conceal from myself,
Can scarcely master,
The anxiety which grips me.
It confronts me,

In vain have I tried,
With calculated carelessness,
Of the depraved designing mind.

I approach in thought,
Unlawful paths,
Seeing the most fantastic figures,
Not easily taken back.

How, then can we explain,
The fruit of the journey.
Something outrageous,
In misdirecting a traveller.

The lost traveller,
Consoled by the change of country
In every change, new hope of a way out. 
- B. Wheatley
Most of the poetry I write is "found", in random words or the pages of a book or notes in a meeting, this poem was found in Soren Kierkegaard’s book The Seducers Diary.


Grieving its loss and struggling with humiliation,
I am happy to see the end.
Increasing marginalisation,
The thing that will wake us.
To the marvellous,
To the danger,
To the confronting.

We are on foreign soil,
It is time to live as exiles.
To tell our stories,
And to sing our songs.
We must make our promises,
And must live like we believe.

For too long have we kept silent,
But now,
We cry,
We gasp,
We pant,
And something new is birthed.
- B. Wheatley

If I'm truthful most of the poetry I write is "found", in random words or the pages of a book or notes in a meeting, this poem was found in Chapter 1 of Michael Frosts book Exiles.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Just for Fun 4: Top Ten “Nerdy” things (I did) in the UK.

Again this is just based on the places I went and the things I did when I was there. Working out the order for this proved to be a bit problematic. Do I put things higher if I enjoyed them more or higher if they are nerdier? I decided to give the each item a nerd rank and an enjoyment rank and list them according to combined score.

1. Llandaff - Doctor Who Locations and Geocache. Nerd Rank 1, Enjoyment Rank 2. I made an effort to visit Llandaff Cathedral Green to have a look at filming locations for the Doctor Who Episode “The Eleventh Hour”. Due to road works and traffic I had to make two attempts to get there and while I was happy, the rest of the family was a bit ambivalent. Having gotten my photos I was ready to leave and was greeted with a response of “is that it?” Nearby I also logged a Geocahe. I don’t cache any more and this was the only one I did in the UK. I needed to find one as I was dropping off some Travel Bugs. The cache I dropped them in was in a nearby park where a bit of an earlier Doctor Who episode was filmed.

2. Cardiff Bay – Torchwood and Doctor Who Location. Nerd Rank 2, Enjoyment Rank 3. Not only is Cardiff Bay a great example of why Cardiff made the first list but also home to some great Doctor Who and Torchwood filming locations. Best of all was this “monument” (pictured below) to a torchwood martyr.

3. Harry Potter Studio Tour - Nerd Rank 6, Enjoyment Rank 1. This is a great spot not only for Harry Potter fans but film making fans in general. We got lucky, as I first found out about the studio tour opening after we had already planned most of our trip but it worked out we would be nearby in the first two weeks of the tour being operational. I then spent 3 hours online the day tickets went live and to make sure I got the day I wanted. That was about 6 months in advance. On the Day we visited we overhead that they were sold out for the next six months. The tour itself starts with video presentations, then a guided tour of the great hall. After that you are led into the main section where you can explore a lot of sets before moving onto the back lot with things like the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and Godric’s Hollow. The last section is dedicated to the Art Department, the giant Hogwarts Exterior model and Diagon Alley.

4. Caerphilly Castle - Doctor Who and Merlin Location. Nerd Rank 3, Enjoyment Rank 4. This site only makes the nerd list due to the Doctor Who connection, most notably the The Rebel Flesh. On the day we were there part of the Castle was set up for filming of Merlin.

5. Hay-on-Wye – Books. Nerd Rank 4, Enjoyment Rank 5. This is the third post to mention Hay-on-wye so no need to say more.

6. Alnwick Castle - Harry Potter Location. Nerd Rank 7, Enjoyment Rank 6. On a regular day this would be a nice castle to visit but it really comes into its own on Harry Potter days. The kids enjoyed broom stick training in the same spot Harry did in the first Harry Potter movie. There was also a fantastic talk presented by “Hagrid”.

7. Platform 9¾ - Nerd Rank 5, Enjoyment Rank 8. Not much more than a quick photo opportunity but fun for the kids.

8. March Museum – Family History (mine anyway). Nerd Rank 10, Enjoyment Rank 7. In just a bit over an hour I managed to add some names to the family tree as well as learn something about the area they came from.

9. Lego Land - Nerd Rank 8, Enjoyment Rank 9. The nerd factor here comes largely from the Star Wars displays. Lego Hoth, Lego Endor and Lego Tatooine being the highlights.
10. Hamleys Toys – Harry Potter and Doctor Who Merchandise, Lego, Toys. Nerd Rank 9, Enjoyment Rank 10. Lots of general toys but some special sections dedicated to all the Nerdy topics above from Potter to Doc Who to Star Wars.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Just for Fun 3 - Another UK Memory

After leaving Hay-on-Wye we headed back into England, a short way down the road we came to a river crossing and toll house. I remember at the time scrounging for the right change because it was such a small amount compared to the few pound coins I has gotten out as we passed the sign saying "Toll Bridge Ahead". A bloke came over just as we dropped our 80p in the box and as the boom gate floated up he waved and said thank you.

I remarked that he must own the bridge and after doing some searching today it seems I may have been right.

The Whitney-on-Wye bridge was built in 1797 by an Act of Parliament that also exempts the toll income from tax...Grahame Penny and Maggie Taylor bought the bridge after selling their training business...The firm who sold the bridge estimated that the owner can expect to make £2,000-a-week from the 80p of the new owners, said: "Our plans are to modernise the toll cottage, improve the visitor facilities and upgrade systems."
click here for more

Seems like a nice life £2000 a week tax free, a place by the river and just a short drive to a town with close to 30 bookshops.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Just for Fun 2: Ten Most “Meh” Places in the UK

Like the last Just for Fun list this is what the name says - just for fun, i.e this is to entertain myself. Any usefulness other people find in this is coincidental and unintended.

Now to be fair there was not really anywhere I did not like in the UK and a bad day on holidays is still better than any day…

But even a great trip has its “Meh!” and as an avid believer in “Meh” where “Meh” is due I give you my ten most Meh places of the UK.

1. Glasgow – I did not hate Glasgow, I did not hate any of the spots I visited in the UK it is just there was too much Meh here. My GPS worked all over the UK, that is until I tried to get to the Glasgow Hilton. I could see the Glasgow Hilton, I could drive past the Glasgow Hilton but I could not get to the Glasgow Hilton, at least not easily. After finally checking in I was keen to get myself some Irn Bru so I headed out to find a shop. Now on foot to avoid the issues I was having on road, I walked in circles before finally finding a shop. I know I’m not really being fair to Glasgow here because this was only a small slice of the town but I was happy to say Meh and head for the hills (literally).

2. Newcastle – we had to go to Newcastle being from the antipodal namesake. We liked the Angel of the North and nearby Alnwick and maybe if we had had more time we might have found more to like there but it was very much a case of “yep. Been there, now what’s next?”

3. Lake District – “Lovely, nice, right back in the car.”

4. Carlisle – “Look kids another castle, right back in the car.”

5. The M4 between Exit 19 and 20 – no need to say more.

6. The Forth Valley Royal Hospital – to be fair they did a great job and were a lot better than some Australian Hospitals I’ve been to with a sick family member it’s just that going to a hospital on your Holidays deserves a “Meh!”

7. The little village, whose name I can’t remember but which had a sign giving directions to toilets that did not exist when the kids really needed to go and then had toilets in another spot that were closed and then was a long way from any other place where there were toilets or even a spot to hide behind a tree. Yeah I can’t remember your name but that doesn’t matter because you should change it to “Meh, we don’t have any toilets” (Edit: it was called Strathyre)

8. Peterborough – the hotel was nice which was excellent as that was the only reason we went to Peterborough. This was more a case of being conveniently located close to someplace else I wanted to go so we stopped for the night then moved on. Nothing to see here, or maybe there was but we will never know as I had somewhere else to go.

9. Bristol – We went shopping, I got some jeans.

10. Brisbane Airport – after over 20 hours in the air flying home getting diverted 40 minutes out of Sydney because of fog was not fun, sitting on the tarmac in Brisbane for 2 hours was less fun.

Looking at this list I can still find bright spots associated with all of the above so we didn’t do to badly.