Friday, 31 August 2007

The Princess of Hearts (& thief of stiff upper lips), 10 Years On...

My own philosophical contribution to the Princess Diana 'diarrhoea' is
Wouldn't she and George Michael have made a great couple?
Matching flicked blonde hair do's,
He's gay, she was a gay icon,
They both had the same taste in music (his),
They could have gone shopping and to lots of discos together.
Oh come on, it probably wouldn't have stood any less chance of succeeding than Charles and Di.
Although a mere child at the time of the Royal Wedding, I remember getting caught up in the national excitement. This winsome young nursery nurse with the Betty Boop eyes in the Margaret Thatcher blue suit was going to be a real Princess! Strangely I was unable to get that excited about the Prince, who seemed more of a minor adjunct to the Royal Wedding story, rather than a happy-ever-after in himself, but the grown ups seemed to think the wedding right and proper, so it must have been.
Looking back now from an adult perspective, I cannot believe any grown up thought it would ever work, let alone persuaded we children it was some kind of fairytale happening. Conversely, a world where there hadn't existed a Princess Diana seems just as inconceivable. In a funny kind of way, she was born to do what she did and be who she was (ie a breath of fresh air in a somewhat dull and hidebound Royal Family).
And however embarrassing Princess Di subsequently became following her divorce, somehow it was difficult to dislike, or too harshly judge, this pop music-loving 'girl next door' who meant so well, had been let down so badly, and whose dancing open features the cameras almost adored as if she were Ms Monroe herself.
I caught the tail end of yet-another-Princess-Di documentary the other day where a newspaper editor even now sighed that they would not see her like again. He missed her distribution figures certainly, but he almost seemed to miss her as well. Sincerely. Which begs the intriguing question, how was it nearly every detail of her life was known, not least from her own interviews, and yet people still wanted more? Still found her enigmatic and fascinating?
How could so much charisma be contained in one person? One really quite ordinary person, if her tastes and interests were anything to go by.
Nevertheless I do think PD had a certain something that ensured she would have come to public prominence in any capacity - even if nowadays Big Brother or The X Factor might have been the vehicle, rather than Prince Charles.
As for her death, what of the conspiracy theories? While it's striking that Princess Di's final months seemed deliberately geared towards winding up the Royal Family whom she evidently felt somewhat betrayed by, whether this had gotten her to the point of rendering her Di-Spencer-ble, I prefer not to dwell on (only did anyone get to the bottom of the rumour that all the CCTV cameras in the tunnel were pointing back at the walls?). Notwithstanding sheer human incompetence is probably just as deadly frankly, and watching the programmes about her death, it would appear that the night of the tragedy had been a cock-up on the part of her host 'Dodo' from beginning to end, regardless of the role of the paparazzi, who were clearly no angels either, and quite capable of putting their 'golden goose' at risk for the sake of their 'money shots'.
Will we ever know? Does the legend that was once a fallible human being known as Princess Diana still mind in view of her immortal elevation v what she'd possibly be doing now had she lived?
It may be an unpalatable truth, but early-death for icons seemingly remains the ultimate career move, whether accidental or otherwise. I suspect I may've left it too late on both counts…

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Ask What Your Government Can Green For You

A culture of environmental blame and guilt is putting the onus on every one of we wanton wastrels of Earth's precious resources to mend our ways. And yes of course, the vast majority of us have 'oil on our hands' and need to do a great deal more than we're currently doing to neutralise our big ugly carbon bootprints.
However turn the issue around and consider what a handy smokescreen this is to distract us from enquiring too closely what our own government is doing about the environment, yes, that august body we look to for leadership and which was elected (albeit by the narrowest whisker), to lead, and let's ask our 'Brownfield site' the following key questions;-

  • Where is the Buy British campaign (sod the EU restrictions, this is important) to reduce food miles and encourage home grown organic farmers?
  • Where is the re-nationalised train service run on the same efficient lines as the Swiss and not designed to price us off because it cannot cope with demand? Why is freight traffic not being re-patriated to the railways and off the roads?
  • Where is the rejection of out-of-town retail parks to encourage customers to walk and prevent town centres turning into ghost towns?
  • Where is the 4 x 4 taxing of 4 x 4's and PCV's for those with fewer than four children?
  • Why do developers have to pay VAT to restore old buildings, but not to build new ones?
  • Why are new buildings not erected to last at least 100 years and compulsory eco-builds? (new buildings appear to be following in the wake of the rest of our throwaway society with an average shelf life of only 40 years).
  • Why are throwaway fashion shops not severely taxed?
  • Can we dump all our old analogue tellies and radios outside No. 10 for re-cycling?
  • Why de-regulate junk mail? The government should be banning all junk mail and newspaper/magazine inserts if we much-maligned householders are supposed to be reducing our waste.
  • Where is the reduction in food packaging?
  • Why is there no campaign against built-in obsolescence (and we all know they can make a a torch bulb last longer than 2 years!)
  • Why is there no campaign against the throwaway society and consumerism for the sake of it?
  • Why have the council started leaving my lovingly washed glass items on the driveway instead of taking them away, and spurning my conscientious shreddings (also advised to prevent ID theft)?
  • Why does my paper re-cycling bin have no lid so that if it rains they will not collect it and if I put it in my own bin (with a lid) they won't collect it either?
  • Why are food leftovers not accepted as pig swill any more. Is pig swill any less safe for pigs than mechanically recovered meat, ash and assorted hormones and additives?
  • Why are they charging us for re-cycling?
  • When is the free school bus going to be reinstated, so the majority of children can be transported to school in safety?
  • Can we 'infrequent flyers' have an incentive to stay grounded? £50 a year at Christmas perhaps?
  • Can someone please tell all local governments and utility companies to please STOP deluging us with leaflets and newsletters telling us how much paper they're saving and how the latest nuisance water shut-off or road closure is doing us a favour really!
  • What is each MP and Minister individually doing as a shining example to us all?
  • Can I have a free bicycle?

I don't support 'pay as you throw' incidentally. It is just an excuse to separate charges so that councils can cash in. I remember what happened to my grandparents' bills some years ago. The moment 'water' became a separate cost to be paid to a private water company and not part of the all-inclusive local council 'rates' charge, it started becoming an exhorbitant charge in its own right and my grandparents never got a penny back in rebate either, now the 'rates' no longer paid for water. To further confuse and confound taxpayers from protesting, councils countrywide started re-branding 'rates' council tax, notwithstanding a costly and disastrous flirtation with 'poll tax' in between.

UPDATE 30/08/07: Friends of the Earth have just contacted me to mention their campaign to put pressure on the British Government to do more (hurrah!). It's called The Big Ask

*Posting photo by me!

Friday, 24 August 2007

A Poem About Shopping

Despite being a girlie, one of lifes' best feelings for me is leaving a fashion shop having whipped through the racks (I'm pretty discerning!) and decided that actually I like what I'm wearing better than anything I've seen in the shop & mmm, the money saved! Then again clothes shops have never been good friends to me, discriminating as they do against any girl with legs longer than the regulatory 31' and slightly longer arms than usual (oddly only to be found in a Size 16 or above jacket, so jackets always drown me!). However even I couldn't fail to be impressed by the retail 'experience' that is London's Kensington High Street. Oh, and it's my only poem with a cameo appearance by Princess Diana, since the 10th anniversary of her death is almost upon us.

Dressing Up Shops

I could be eighty, I could be eighteen
I could be anywhere in-between
In four floors of fashion flatteringly uplit
I’m feeling funky on Kensington High Street
In a store where Princess Di once shopped
Giggling with her girlfriends in carefree incognito
On the days she preferred privacy to paparazzi
Perfectly pitched beat is pumping through every vent
Consultant-engineered to evoke retail therapy excitement
The mirrors are slightly convex for extra slimness
You've got to hand it to them for manipulation thoroughness
And a two-for-one 'new you', can't be bad
This floating-staircased nirvana allows no place to be sad
No option to be reflective, just in control, selective
Aspirational lifestyle for all, with matching accessories
I could be eighty, I could be eighteen
I could be a princess-of-hearts who dreamt of being Queen.
Yes I'm feeling funky on Kensington High Street
Timeless, ageless, but bang up to date
And two outfits have chosen me
Assured me I look great.

© LS King 2007

Photo by

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Motion for an Air Passenger Strike!

Not a piece for posterity I fear, (the red mist of a recent flightmare descended – and I may say those Heathrow protestors have nothing on the airport's OWN staff in terms of anti-flight action!) However I hope you will enjoy nonetheless since it's that season.

Welcome to Heathrow Airport

The passengers are striking, refusing to board their flights
They're all demanding refunds for breach of human rights
Forced to wait in mile-long queues with lives in plastic bags
Stripped of jewellery, jackets, shoes, phones, mags, water, keys and fags.
And is that a pacemaker bleeping Sir? Better take it out
Oh dear you've missed your plane, just as well you'll soon conk out
What do you mean you're from Margate, Madam?
There's no recognised ethnicity of that name
How long? Oh, just all your life and you can prove it I suppose?
Think you're clever do you, trying to pull a fast one in infidel western clothes?
We've seen your sort before, yes I had a GP once just like you
Claimed he was Caucasian CofE, and tried to kill me with those heart pills too

We know you indigenous Brits, you'll blow up anything
And ok yes, we can't be seen to be 'discriminating'
You might break into the cockpit and moisturise the pilot to death
We had an attack only last week, Gold Spot assault on the cabin crew breath
This is all for your own good, better safe than sorry
So I'm a frustrated born-too-late Nazi. Shoot me.
But if you don't like my torment, you know where you can get off
Just remember one 'f*ck off' and no take off!
I'm in charge and I rule by fear
One word from me and your holiday ends here.
Now don't move a muscle while I just take this internal call
Oh dear, I'd better let you through after all
We security staff are for the chop it seems, and the airport is closing down
This underutilised site's just been sold to developers, by order of Gordon Brown

© LS King 2007

Photo by

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The Origin of Dawkins...?

Was going to post a poem today (before they get me under the Trades Descriptions Act), never expecting for one moment that Richard Dawkins would break into my thoughtlife and hijack the posting. However a strange juxtaposition manifested as I watched him in last night's episode of his Channel 4 soapbox two-parter 'The Enemies of Reason' (who died and made him God/Reason, eh?), as Professor Dawkins gamely tried a few alternative therapies in order to roundly debunk them in a kindly way, as he's not without compassion for the 'delusional'. It slowly dawned on me that he is not facially dissimilar to a portrait of Charles Darwin I once saw. His hero, no less.

In addition, their surnames are very similar and their 'mission' in life seems to be that Dawkins is here to take up where 'monkey boy' Darwin left off and has even written extensively about him. Perhaps influenced by the fact I have read a number of books about reincarnation theory (research for a story I'm writing) recently, I idly found myself wondering how much more interesting the programme might have been if Dawkins had tried 'Regression' therapy with one of the nations' foremost practitioners as well.

Supposing (and this is a big suppose, admittedly!) his dredged-up subconscious informed Dawkins he had indeed been Charles Darwin in a previous life, and furnished him with evidence enough to convince him. Which raises the even more interesting question; would flattery/vanity have got the better of Dawkins, causing him to revise his whole outlook and theories on everything to accommodate this prospective two-for-one celeb status? Or would his anti-spiritual principles hold true and would he remain dogged about his dogma and all-round dog-in-a-manger about everyone else's?

After all, the majority of us have the humility to admit, we simply 'don't know' when it comes to life's big questions, let alone insisting on our views unless we are some kind of fundamentalist (apparently they explore their fundaments!)

An interesting programme idea for the future methinks, except I have now possibly spoiled the grande denouement! And I'm not a wholesale believer in reincarnation myself admittedly. I just find it a fascinating concept (not to mention darn good, and largely unexploited, 'yarn material' as a writer!). To quote Voltaire; 'It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection.'
Regrettably I could not locate the portrait I remembered but I found a photograph of Darwin beneath, where the head, eyes and jowls have definite parallels to Dawkins' photo on the right. Perhaps I will dig out an online poll in due course so that readers can vote on the matter.

But plenty of great writers and thinkers have had serious thoughts about reincarnation over the years as you can see from this link.
Reincarnation: Quotes from Famous People

Monday, 20 August 2007

Scary Songstresses

First Nelly Furtado stormed the charts with her ballbreaking floorfiller 'Maneater', then she followed it up with the weepie 'Why Must All Good Things Come To An End?'

(erm, because you ate him, Nelly?). Or maybe it was your 'Promiscuous' thang that sent him heading for the hills!

Now Natasha Bedingfield has followed up her outrageously upfront 'I Want Your Babies' with the plaintive 'Soulmate' containing the gutwrenching lyrics 'Someone tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone'

(Tough one, that. Perhaps 'cos you only mentioned the fun bit about fathering your kids in the previous track Natasha? Look forward to your upcoming release 'I Want Your Direct Debit CSA Payments And You Can See Him Every Other Weekend'

I'm sure it'll be ace!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Health & Safety slip-ups

A sign we could certainly make use of in Oxford outside Ye Merry Binge & Vomit!

But talking of Health and Safety, a few things really bug me (as someone who has to fill in tons of stupid health and safety forms at my workplace for the minorest details. And why would a CORGI-registered plumber need a 'Hot Work Permit' anyway? He's done his extortionately expensive degree-level training with those so-called 'non-profit making' gastards, Corgi, he either knows what he's doing and can be trusted or he doesn't and can't, in which case why would we bother employing him?).

And now they're out to get that poor old lady who is no longer allowed to tend a village green without a lurid yellow jacket and safety signs.

But Health and Safety Police with nothing better to do, riddle-me-ree the following: -

Why are shops allowed to sell slippers ? (the clue is in the name, as I've stated before!) Or indeed any footwear not shod with all-terrain, multi-grip soles? How many people are cluttering up our hospitals owing to feckless footwear failures?

Why are drivers allowed to fit totally unnecessary (and doubtless environmentally-hostile) extra brilliant 'f*ck you!' megawatt car headlamps? How many RTA's are caused by poor innocent fellow road users being dazzled to death?

Why do woodturners at craft fairs NEVER wear protective eye goggles when demonstrating their skills to impressionable young kiddiwinks who will then go beg their parents for circular saw and lathe sets in their Christmas stockings?

Now TB is back in Britain and spreading (tuberculosis that is, not Tony Blair), why are people no longer fined for spitting in the street?

Why are dangerous criminals and psychopaths allowed out early and without sufficient rehabilitation/treatment (not a failure of public health & safety audits on their person surely?)

Why is alcohol sold in petrol stations if drinking and driving is supposed to be a bad idea, or even still illegal?

Where is the risk audit on each person who's allowed to drink themselves insensible before being turfed out of pub or bar for the night to who knows what fate? (and there are seldom fewer than three preventable drownings a year in Oxford rivers attributable to extreme drunkenness).

Ok, so I'll let them off patrolling all the breaches of public safety caused by those under druggier influences (since it is still technically illegal to take drugs in UK, thus our Health and Safety Tsars are entitled to turn an official Nelson's eye to something that doesn't lawfully exist!).

Thus ends my rant for Friday. Have a nice weekend folks. And feel free to drop me a comment of any Health and Safety jobs for the jobsworths that I've missed that they've missed.

Photo by

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Beware the Garden Gobblers & Allotment Alligators

By co-incidence two concurrent documentaries last Friday - The Insider on Channel 4 and Gardener's World on BBC2 highlighted the hidden scandal of the 'great garden grab', or how thanks to John Prescott (remember him?) private gardens up and down the country have been re-branded 'brownfield' land and therefore fair game to be built upon with little contest. 30,000 new homes are being built on these gardens per year, reducing vital urban 'green lung' capacity, squeezing wildlife out and promoting flood risk with additional pressure on local drainage, notwithstanding the social effects on the existing community and architectural eyesores often ensuing.
As if this weren't bad enough the legal protection once afforded to allotments has also been eroded with 1.5million dwindling to 297,000 since WWII.
The Insider's Matt James visited century-old Manor Gardens in south-east London threatened with transformation into a footpath for the 4-week 2012 Olympics, and spoke to long-time users who literally believed that their lives would be curtailed without their daily fix of these mature allotments, the homegrown produce and the comradeship of their fellow gardening enthusiasts. An ancient oak 'ring' in Solihull threatened by a gigantic Asda development much against the local residents' wishes, also featured.
Genuine 'brownfield' land is last on the list for developers apparently, owing to the costs of industrial decontamination and removal of old foundations and rubbish.
Whilst I appreciate there is a need for housing growth (particularly of the affordable variety which ironically, most of this sneaky land-rustling is not even contributing to), I am appalled that the housing shortage is being used as a big fatuous excuse to raze allotments and gardens with no thought as to the future urban legacy this will bequeath, let alone the past legacy lost. And I comment as someone who will need a long-term permanent home myself in due course. In addition, the threat to derelict historic buildings of 'mysterious fires' and being 'helped' to their ends, even when seemingly listed also appals me as a favourite site-grabbing wheeze on the part of developers.
Why is there no compunction to leave all the above as a very LAST resort when all other options have been exhausted, and force developers to tackle real brownfield sites first? The government could always subsidise clearance costs as they subsidise so many other industries.
After the development of all available (and genuine) brownfield land we then have housing options such as the following;-
Bad 60's & 70's monoliths, depressing and grey to look at, concrete fatigued and often a complete mis-use of land, which are crying out to be 'regenerated' into something more wonderful to behold and pleasurable to inhabit.
Disused buildings on every NHS hospital site which could feasibly be restored or redeveloped to provide short-medium term accommodation at modest cost for NHS staff, particularly those embarking on their careers who need to build up their savings for mortgage deposits. This in turn frees up nearby private rental accommodation for others.
All car parks to be multi-storey or underground to release land. Or else, attractive and practical housing built (on stilts) above ground level car parks.
Innovative Scandinavian solutions to hide ugly 80's railway stations or bad bus stations (heard the one about the city which created a piece of 'flyover' land over their railway station and covered it in houses, flats, workspaces and PARKS? (link soon)
Larger companies providing their own hostels for short-term staff needs (as a hotel in Oxford has already done, with a bus company soon to follow)
Re-enervation (rather than re-generation) of areas of the North with SENSITIVE planning of business-relocation and any additional/renovated housing needed to help alleviate housing and business pressures on the bottom-heavy South and provide new opportunities to towns and cities short of local employment.
More controversially I'd also like to see the end of all post 1930's bungalows in my area (as and when they become available for demolition), as they really are a wanton waste of land in a high-density area/age, and if they are not of any particular historic note, why not? However the garden areas would remain as intact as possible even when the bungalows were exchanged for attractive medium density community housing, which could still be 'cottagey' in style. Not that it's difficult to improve on most bungalow designs!
Until then fellow garden and allotment warriors - get your greenspace designated an 'Area of Scientific Interest' and keep painting those toads purple! Failing that let's make the eighth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Potting Shed of Doom (sorry, a cynical ploy for maximum blog hits there folks, but hey, this issue needs maximum publicity!)

Monday, 13 August 2007

The McCanns - An Interesting Phenomenon

Has most of the rumour mill and general nastiness directed at the McCanns got more to do with general discomfiture at the suspicion that their second phone call was to Max Clifford, rather than any real belief that they had something to do with the disappearance of their own daughter?
Certainly their media savvyness and unprecedented high level international campaign made my own jaw drop, causing me to regard them rather oddly, as if things didn't quite 'add up' somehow.
After all, aren't parents supposed to quietly melt away and trust the Police to do their job after a couple of press conference appeals and newspaper cuttings, when a child disappears?
Three months down the line after watching the McCanns being interviewed on yesterday's BBC1 Heaven and Earth show, I find myself thinking how amazing they are for that self-same media savvyness, not to mention those little qualities determination and strength of character, albeit with a little help from their evidently genuine Catholic faith. In addition there are the following factors to be considered; -
Mr McCann is a highly educated Cardiac Consultant
Mrs McCann is a highly educated GP
Both doubtless know all about case meetings and strategy where their patients are concerned. In addition, both are old enough (late 30's) to have noticed the cases of many other child and gap year student disappearances and murders overseas, and how they tend to drop from public notice (and foreign Police interest) like a stone if not kept in the public eye somehow.
Once a disappearance or murder looks like affecting the tourism trade in an area or the reputation of that country, THAT's when it might actually be taken seriously.
So good on them for staying put and fighting on I say. Publicity and public embarrassment should know no bounds in this scenario. And perhaps the current anti-McCann backlash originates via the Portugese Police anyway, to intimidate them to leave.
Even if they are driven by guilt at trusting their parental instincts on that fateful evening, rather than the hotel babysitter, drive is drive. It is surely immaterial where it comes from.
Moreover for all the fuss that was made of their leaving their sleeping children yards away from them while they dined, this was entirely commonplace not so long ago before childcare hysteria took over. Yet you never heard about that because this is one of the first instances where instinct backfired.
Worst case (and sickest suggested) scenario - did the McCanns engineer Madeleine's disappearance for the publicity? I think you can discount that straightaway when you see how little either Mrs or Mr McCann seem to be 'enjoying' themselves whilst their daughter remains missing. Mrs McCann indeed appears to be losing weight and looking gaunt and strained, for all her grit. Mr McCann is at the heart of keeping the campaign alive and vocal, his way of dealing with it - so what?
I know the news ultimately probably won't be good about poor little Maddy (with a face that could melt the hardest criminal heart, you would've hoped), but I hope it comes nevertheless. It makes me feel guilty that I became somewhat sick of the sight of her posters plastered on every flat surface in Oxford. (Oxford?) But if your kid was missing, what would you do? Your best no doubt. And who am I to question that? The world is global these days, so fly the posters.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

The Ted Hughes I Never Knew...

A tribute to all the female journalists who've ever claimed to have slept with our late Laureate (and I may as well modestly reveal that I myself informed and inspired third clump of heather from the left in his penultimate Pennine poem)...

How oft I’ve climbed the craggy escarpment
Of the brooding North Yorkshire moors of your face
In my mind,
Careful not to tread on the nests of puffins
On the ledges of your brows
Disturb pipistrel bats hung underneath
Until, gripping the bracken of your hair,
I draw myself level
With your uppermost.
A mountain of metaphor
Could not begin to staunch the rivulets
Of my sharded tears for what never was!
I remember our bedroom tempests
As we fought to break through flesh barriers
To rub our very souls together
Defy nature’s boundaries
Like they actually happened.
My auntie saw you at a booksigning once
And my friend had a friend whose father
Once drove you to Royal Festival Hall.
I nearly came to see you read
Just before you died
But it was forty-five quid
So I didn’t
And now eternity separates us, my love.
Yet, I sense you are but a whisper away,
Close my eyes, inhale your peaty armpits still.
Seamus Heaney had nothing on you
Original son of the sod.
Master of the bog.
Hark, a hawksparrow at twelve o’clock
Bringing dead mice for us,
Or is he just, migrating…?

© LS King 2004

Monday, 6 August 2007

Housing a Crisis

While the factors of increased immigration combined with a slowdown in house-building are oft-parroted as the causes of the housing shortage in this country, few pundits seem to have much to say about the biggest reason of all for the UK housing shortage - namely the breakdown of family life, marriage and the concept of live-in relationships in general and the fact that virtually every time a household breaks up an extra household is created.
Is it considered too 'judgemental' or 'Nanny-stateish' to mention? Or more to the point is it the case that if it were acknowledged, someone would then be obliged to do something about it? Other than the lavish £20 a week incentive to marry suggested by the Tories (which might just about pay for the wedding day by the time of most divorces!).

Or might government acknowledgement of the problem lead to a more uncomfortable line of questioning straying dangerously into the psychological, aka why, in an age where it's theoretically never been easier to be gay, straight, bi or just housemates with a global pool of partners/friends to choose from, and with the majority of us claiming we don't want to be lonely, are so many of us paradoxically opting for our own front doors?

And is there a parallel between this growing preference and that other selfish desire - to each cocoon ourselves in our very own tin box transport rather than rely on communal transport or live closer to where we work?
Not that public transport currently makes itself amenable or even a viable option for many, granted.

However neither of these choices sits well with the green remit. Indeed there are few choices more environmentally-hostile one can make than living alone and owning one's own car. Sharing and co-operation would seem to be the only green and future-proof options. Guardian: Solo Living's Eco Threat BBC Single Households 'waste energy'

I speak as a paid-up hypocrite incidentally, fully guilty of both. Which isn't to say I actively chose to remain unmarried or 'put my career first' as the euphemism goes - and I keep the gratuitous driving to a minimum, own few gadgets, and re-cycle to the best of my ability. But after a life that didn't quite work out in the way I might originally have hoped and two stressful housemates with 'problems' in succession, I needed a break from living with 'other people', whatever the financial stretch. Hopefully one day I will be able to share my space, and even my life again, fully. But for now I relish the sanity and peace of my own space and the chance to re-charge the inner batteries!

But all this is by the by. What is 'other peoples' excuse? Do all single people have problems that render them unable to live harmoniously with one another? Why do so many relationships and marriages break down so quickly? Do we all give up too easily these days or are we dizzied by the potential global 'sweetie shop' of partner choice to the extent that we never make a full decision about or commitment to anyone, on the basis that we might meet another we like even better just round the corner? Perhaps the pervasive influence of drink and drugs have had a greater effect on societal breakdown than anyone dare admit. Certainly I like to hope I've always worked at most relationships and entered into them with hope in my heart that they might be for life and not just for Christmas!

It seems that social engineers as well as civil engineers will be needed to construct a more cohesive society, and long-term happiness and how to attain it might also need to be key ingredients in the housing-for-all equation, if never quite developed into a science as exact as floor loading!

For my poem 'Great Britain 2030' which relates to much of the above, visit Oliver's Poetry

Friday, 3 August 2007

A Greener Gizmo

Step into my air con seven seater
4 x 4 hot tub patio heater,
It's my leading edge, top of the range
Contribution to reducing climate change

© LS King 2007