Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Shrieking for attention among the never to be read was an email marked: URGENT. 

I sighed.

It had been a long year.

What on earth could be URGENT at this time of the year?

I thought I had better read it.

It referred to another mail left unread.

It was laced with threats of exclusion, excommunication, exfoliation, extermination.

My stress levels rose momentarily.

I sighed.

I thought I had better read the unread.

After much searching and filtering I read the aforesaid unread.

I understood very little.

I sighed.

Attached was an Excel file, and three other documents.

It was URGENT.

I understood very little.

There was line after line of arcane, I assumed academic, acronyms.

I sighed.

It has been a long year.

I texted a friend.

She wasn't sure either.

But it was URGENT.

I plumped for the line beginning: ACLN 2015.

I typed 2 in the cell.

I saved the file.

I attached it in response to the mail with the stressful threats.

I clicked on send.

I hoped for the best.

A reply arrived.

"Thank you Simon."

I didn't really understand what I had done.
It appeared that 2 was an acceptable answer.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Taken back.

I am taken back to the words of my father:

"What will you do if there is a war?"

He was concerned about my moving to France.

In the late 80's such a question seemed a ridiculous anachronism.

"But it's different now. We're in Europe."

I seem to remember saying.

I had grown up with stories of mined beaches, evacuation, threats of invasion.

It was all so damn sepia tinted.

Taken Back 

Surely we have moved on?

We have full colour documentaries now.

Here I am, listening to British politicians trot out lie after lie in the Brexit referendum campaigns.

Here I am, witnessing French fascist politicians gloating.

Here I am, listening to British fascist politicians gloating.

Here I am, witnessing Donald Trump talk of Brits "taking their country back."

Taken aback.

Here I am, reading expressions of hate.

I am taken back to driving through a South London street.

A young man yelled out:

"Get back to France you fucking French bastards."

I am back in France, British, with a French wife and kids with dual nationality.

Taken  back.

They talk of "taking back control".

Do you control hate?

Were politicians in "control" in the 1930's?

We are taken back.
I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?