A Brief History of Mongolia

or: everything you ever wanted to know about Mongolia but was afraid to ask

The precise origins of the Mongol people are, as yet, still unclear. As early as 400 BC the Chinese were writing about nomad tribes who roamed their north-western border, raised cattle and lived in tents. Archaeological records show that this life style went back at least as far as 1000 BC.

Whatever their origins, two things have always dominated the life of the Mongol people: the climate and alcohol. These two things have shaped their history more than any other peoples on earth.

Situated in the ‘dead heart’ of Asia, away from the moderating effect of seas and oceans, Mongolia’s climate is both extreme and severe. In winter the temperatures fall to minus 35 degrees centigrade and remain below freezing point until March. In the lowlands – where cold air gets trapped – temperatures of minus 55 have been recorded. During the brief summer (the growing season only lasts for four months) it can be just as intimidating, with wild swings of the weather: in a 24 hour period it is not unusual to get gales, dust storms, rain, snow and lightening.

The Mongols ferocious reputation as drunkards, whether they were humble herdsmen or great Khans, has a long history. The tales range from sad descriptions of alcohol-sodden beggars crawling through the streets of 19th-century Urga (Ulaanbaatar’s pre-revolutionary name), to the last Khan, Jebtsundamba, who used to stay drunk for a week at a time. Another Khan, Ogodei, became so addicted to alcohol that his brother took the unprecedented step of warning him to cut down on his daily intake or else he would kill himself. The warning went unheeded and Ogodei died of alcoholism, as did his successor, Guyuk.

This penchant for alcohol, which goes right back through the Mongols history, can be easily explained by the fact that they have a readily available and cheap supply of it in the form of ‘ayrag’, or mares milk (horse milk) . The ayrag is not drunk fresh but half fermented so it turns slightly sour. In the process it also turns mildly alcoholic. Whilst ayrag is not a strong drink, the Mongols consume vast quantities of the stuff – it is not unusual for a horseman to drink twenty pints a day – and the abundance of livestock in Mongolia means that there is never a shortage of milk (ayrag can also be made from goats, cows, camels and even yaks milk). The Mongolians also distil their milk to make a stronger drink called ‘shimiin arkhi’. For country Mongols this drink is cheap, enticing and available in virtually unlimited quantities. Drunkeness is an everyday part of life for the Mongolians and it’s looked upon as being quite normal.

So, for centuries the Mongolians were a little known people, living a nomadic existance in a harsh climate whilst being almost permanently intoxicated. It is therefore not surprising that Western scholars constantly wonder how the Mongols could go on to carve out a great empire for themselves during the 13th century. The character, toughness and horsemanship of the Mongols are not enough to explain the phenomenon of their empire. It seems to be down to just one man, Genghis Khan (who was also an alcoholic, prone to fits).

Genghis Khan (1162-1227) was one of those incredible people that history throws up only very rarely. He brought together all the disparate parts of the Mongol people under his leadership and then went on to forge a great empire that coverd most of China and central Asia, stretching as far as Europe. Since this is a brief history of Mongolia, I won’t go into detail about his campaigns, which military historians still admire today, nor indeed the savagery which accompanied them. If interested, the reader is directed to other sources regarding this period of Mongolian history – of which there are many (this article draws heavily on Tim Severin’s excellent book, In Search of Genghis Khan).

After Genghis Khan’ s death in 1227 (and surprisingly he died from natural causes) his descendants continued to rule the Mongol empire. Needless to say, they were all, without exception, ruling through an alcoholic haze and the stories of their drinking are well documented. Despite this, though, the Mongol empire continued to grow until it reached its height under Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson. The Mongols rule now stretched from the shores of the Pacific to eastern Europe. In 1275 Marco Polo visited the court of Kublai Khan in what is now Beijing (Peking) and was astounded by its magnificence – this was the period that the Chinese call the Yuan dynasty.

Following Kublai Khan’s death in 1294 (he did die through alcoholism) the Mongol empire began to fall apart and after 300 years of chaos the Chinese Manchurian empire rose to take its place. In 1638 the Chinese expelled the Mongol dynasty – the Yaun – and made it a policy that never again would Mongolia be able to threaten them. As a result of this Mongolia was turned into a vassal state, a vassal state that was purposely neglected by China.

The Mongols had always practised Shamanism (the worship of spirits) and during this period the Chinese introduced Tibetan lamaism, some say in an attempt to sap the fighting spirit of the Mongols. The Mongolians took to lamaism, it suited their earlier notions of the spirit world, and the first Grand Lama was treated like a witch doctor or Shaman. He was followed by six other Grand Lama’s throughout the preceeding centuries and with each the power and wealth of the Church grew. Unfortunately, so did corruption and debauchery.

By the early 20th century, Mongolia had become one of the strangest societies on earth, a grotesque church-state on a path of terminal decay. The king of this bizaare state was also its high priest, the eighth Grand Lama, Khutukhtu. That this priest-king suffered from syphilis and was a sexual deviant was of no particular consequence; he was revered as the spiritual leader of the country. This, despite the fact that he enjoyed exchanging clothes and playing role-reversal games with one of his male servants, was paralytically drunk for weeks at a time, and had as his consort, or ‘the holy goddess’, the former wife of a wrestler, who was notorious for her sexual capers with other Lamas, including her hairdresser.

The Russian Civil War changed the fate of Mongolia: out of the turmoil of revolutionary politics came the ‘Mad Baron’. Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, a renegade Officer in the White Army, crossed into Mongolia in October 1920 and seized power with the help of an irregular force of drunken Mongolian desparados, which he called the Mongolian Cavalry Division. 40 years old and with a pyschotic stare, the Mad Baron was a convert to Buddhism and fervent believer in the hollow earth theory; he was also convinced that he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan and followed many of Khan’s barbarous practices. The Mad Baron’s reign was both brief and bloody until he was captured by Red Soldiers in August 1921, to be taken away to Novosibirsk where he was shot. So ended one of the more bizaare periods in Mongolia’s history.

Between 1923 and 1924 the Mongolian Peoples Republic was set up (making it the second oldest communist state in the world). In 1924 the then newly formed Soviet Union declared Mongolia as part of China. In return, China agreed to Mongolia’s self-government.

In 1945, after some clever manoeuvring by Stalin, the Allies persuaded China to give independance to Mongolia. Following this, Mongolia acted as little more than a Soviet garrison, a bulwark between the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain.

History is now turning over another page and it is too early yet to comment on recent developments in Mongolia. Suffice to say, that the Mongolians, as ever, continue to drink too much.

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A False Flag In Ukraine

It’s so depressingly obvious with regard to what’s going to happen. Anyhows, this is an excerpt from Friday’s (25th March 2022) BCFM Politics Show. The show is presented by Tony Gosling along with Martin Summers. It’s a 17 minute clip, which features Peter Ford, the former UK Ambassador to Syria…

If interested the full 25 minute interview that Tony Gosling did with Peter Ford can be found here…

http://www.radio4all.net/files/tony@cultureshop.org.uk/2149-1-Peter_Ford_Ukraine_Chemical_Weapons_Deja_Vu.mp3

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The Collapse of the Petrodollar

This has been happening at breathtaking speed in recent days, and it’s a tectonic shift in global politics that will have major ramifications.

The war in Ukraine means that Russia has now completely cut itself off from the American empire. This means that Russia will no longer sell its oil and gas in US dollars. Both Russia and China have long prepared for this day and have developed their own SWIFT systems (SWIFT is intimately connected to the petrodollar, yet it’s a separate strand that I might get into another time).

We had this rather unbelievable headline this week…

Saudi Arabia reportedly considering accepting yuan instead of dollar for oil

I know financial stuff makes a lot of people’s eyes glaze over (mine included), yet I’m going to try and give a concise as possible explanation – for those not familiar with this stuff – of why the above news story is quite mind blowing:

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the value of all final goods and services produced within a state in a given year. Here’s the top 10 countries in terms of GDP, with the European Union shown first, because as an economic block it has the highest GDP in the world. The figures shown are in millions of US dollars (ie, trillions):

European Union $18,527,116
1. United States $17,348,075
2. China $10,356,508
3. Japan $4,602,367
4. Germany $3,874,437
5. United Kingdom $2,950,039
6. France $2,833,687
7. Brazil $2,346,583
8. Italy $2,147,744
9. India $2,051,228
10. Russia $1,860,598

Source

You might notice that the GDP of the United States is not that far behind the GDP of the European Union. The US has a large population and a lot of natural resources; but there again, so do China, Brazil and Russia. So why is US GDP so disproportionately high..? One word: petrodollars (although some will no doubt argue with me on this). To explain petrodollars you have to go back to the Bretton Woods Agreement, in 1944, which established the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, backed by US gold reserves. However, by the end of the 1960s, expenditures on the Vietnam war made it apparent to many countries that the US was printing far more money than it had gold. Nations began to panic and demanded that the US give them gold for their dollars. The situation came to a head in 1971 when France attempted to exchange its dollars for US gold and President Nixon refused.

This default on the gold standard led to a rapid decline in the value of the US dollar. Uncle Sam needed to do something about it, and so in the early 1970s one of the strangest, most bizarre financial deals ever was struck between the USA and Saudi Arabia. It’s called the ‘petrodollar’, and it meant that Saudi Arabia, followed by the other OPEC states, would only sell oil for US dollars, and they would invest any excess oil profits in US Treasury bonds, notes, and bills. In return, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states would be protected by the US military (most notably from Israel).

The petrodollar agreement was struck between President Nixon and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1973. For the US it was a ‘Died and gone to Heaven’ kind of deal. With all the world’s oil now being sold in US dollars it created a strong demand for the currency, pushing up its value immensely. As the printer and issuer of the dollar, the US was effectively able to buy oil for nothing. All OPEC profits went into the US financial system. As a result of all this the US economy soared. If you’ve ever wondered how on Earth the US (and UK) can have such close relations with totally vile regimes like Saudi Arabia, there’s the answer.

There was a downside to the petrodollar, though. Countries now needed dollars to buy oil. There were two ways of getting them: either buy them from the US, at a mark up, or else manufacture goods and export them to the US in exchange for dollars. As a result, the US was flooded with cheap imports (remember all those Japanese cars, for instance) and a huge number of manufacturing jobs were lost in the US.

With the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s the US became the sole superpower (in money terms, not in terms of nuclear weapons) and instead of embracing a new era of peace it aggressively defended its hegemony, including the petrodollar. In 2000 the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, started making noises that in future he would sell Iraqi oil in Euros (prompted by France and a few other EU members). In 2001 we had 9/11. In 2002 Iraq started selling its oil in Euros. In 2003 the US invaded Iraq on the flimsiest of pretexts. One of the first things the American occupiers and their puppet government did was to bring back the petrodollar. At the time the Euro was relatively strong against the dollar, and by selling its oil in dollars Iraq was losing 20% of the value of its oil.

Also during the early 2000s countries such as Russia, Iran, Indonesia and Venezuela were talking about abandoning the petrodollar. This slide was halted by using sanctions and threats of freezing assets, and of course the example of Iraq. When it comes to wars in the Middle East, “It’s all about oil” is an often heard refrain. As far as the USA goes, it’s not about oil per se (with fracking the US is now self-sufficient in energy), it’s about the currency that oil is sold in, and the free ride that the petrodollar gives the US. Look at Libya, an oil rich country and its biggest producer in Africa. In 2010 Colonel Gaddafi started selling oil for gold instead of petrodollars. We all know what happened to Gaddafi, and although Libya is now in chaos it will come as no surprise that the country’s oil is now being sold in petrodollars again.

This brings us on to the present, where countries such as Russia, China and India have recently abandoned the petrodollar and are now selling oil in their own currencies. This is mega stuff, because unlike Libya, et al, these countries are too big/powerful to be pushed around by the USA and its totally corrupt/incompetent war machine. This means the end of the petrodollar and US world hegemony; and the 64,000 petrodollar question is, how will the USA react to this? Well, thesedays the USA is largely run by batshit crazies backed-up by a totally presstitute news media, so I’m afraid that things do not bode well. What’s going on in Syria right now is a good example of this (Syria is an oil producer which also wants to abandon the petrodollar). The key here is the total disconnect between reality and what the public in the West are told by politicians and presstitutes, such as this total bullshit.

During the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 90s the world went through a very dangerous period, that thankfully didn’t lead to major war and conflict. Now, with the imminent collapse of the United States of America, arguably the most corrupt and violent nation that’s ever existed, the world is going through a crisis of historic proportions. Let’s just hope that sane heads prevail in Moscow and Beijing. There’s certainly no sane heads in Washington at the moment.

Petrodollar corruption

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Ukraine Stuff

I’m sure many of you will have now seen this clip of the present President of Ukraine. I believe it was recorded a few years before he became President…

I dunno, maybe it’s a fake, yet it’s widely acknowledged that Zelensky was an actor and comedian before he quite amazingly became President of Ukraine.

This character (Zelensky) was given a standing ovation in the UK Parliament yesterday (Tuesday) He’s speaking in very bad Ukrainian. His native language is Russian…

Today UK Column have again given a very good report on the neo Nazis in Ukraine (about 44 mins in)…

https://rumble.com/vwxbs9-uk-column-news-9th-march-2022.html

And GG, love him or hate him, has been going into overdrive now that RT has been banned from the airwaves…

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Gearóid Ó Colmáin on Putin and Ukraine

Gearóid Ó Colmáin is an Irish journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalisation, geopolitics and class struggle. Here’s a 45 minute interview with him this evening (1st March) on the Richie Allen Show. I found this interesting because he really delves into who Vladimir Putin really is, and what’s actually happening in Ukraine.

The communication dropped out twice during this interview. Hence I’ve edited out the dead parts of audio and put the resulting 45 minute interview on my blog. The original broadcast can be found here.

Posted in Frankenstein Flu, Politics | 7 Comments

Keep On Truckin In The Free World

Yesterday, Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, effectively brought in martial law…

I’m no expert on Canadian law, but as far as I understand it, when a Canadian prime minister invokes the Emergencies Act it comes into effect immediately. The Parliament then has 7 days to either vote it through or vote it down. The Emergencies Act has only been used once before in Canada, in 1970 when Justin’s father Pierre Trudeau used it to quell the separatist movement in Quebec. That was in just one province. What Justin Trudeau announced yesterday was the first time that the Emergencies Act has been used at a federal level: it applies to the whole of Canada. The Act gives the government unlimited powers, without any legal recourse for citizens.

In just two weeks the Canadian truckers have not only turned around their own country, but also the entire world (see Australia for an example and New Zealand). The psychos who rule over us are bricking themselves about these massive worldwide protests, and are throwing everything they can at them, including the kitchen sink, with dynamite attached.

There are a number of groups who claim to speak for the Canadian truckers. Some of these groups contain government agents. The following group gave this press conference shortly after Trudeau’s announcement yesterday, and they do seem to be genuine. It can be a little bit tedious (unless you want to practice your French) because everything gets translated. However, it’s well worth watching if you want some kind of handle on what’s actually happening with the protests in Canada…

The following is a short clip from the Coutts border crossing in the south of Alberta. Apparently this was shot after Trudeau made his announcement…
Continue reading

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Who Is Klaus Schwab?

https://brandnewtube.com/watch/the-wef-the-trucker-standoff-and-the-hand-of-god-computing-forever_hp3wD4pEMhYNHhQ.html

Posted in Frankenstein Flu, Politics | 4 Comments

Truck Fudeau

Latest data reported on 28th January 2022:

EU/EEA/Switzerland to 15 January 2022 – 37,927 Covid-19 injection related deaths and 3,354,705 injuries, per EudraVigilance Database.

UK to 5 January 2022 – 1,982 Covid-19 injection related deaths and 1,414,293 injuries, per MHRA Yellow Card Scheme.

USA to 7 January 2022 – 21,745 Covid-19 injection related deaths and 4,986,087 injuries, per VAERS database.

TOTAL for EU/UK/USA – 61,654 Covid-19 injection related deaths and 9,755,085 injuries reported as at 28 January 2022.

Only a small percentage of deaths and adverse events are reported and recorded.

According to the latest report by VAERS:

“There have been more deaths, more permanent disabilities, and more hospitalizations following the experimental COVID-19 vaccines [in the US], than there have been following all FDA-approved vaccines for the previous 31 years combined.”

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-freedom-convoy-in-solidarity-with-the-truck-drivers-what-canadas-needs-is-the-political-quarantine-of-justin-trudeau/5768218

Earlier this week the organisers of the Canadian Freedom Convoy gave a press conference. What I found amusing about this is that the Presstitutes were banned from the press conference, and the three Convoy organisers all gave their full names and all of them said that they were double jabbed.

Over the last week I’ve never seen so many grown men cry. I refer of course to the ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada, which has been quite astonishing – not least because it’s happened in Canada. The precedent was set last summer in Australia with the ‘truckies protest’ (see here). However, at the time there wasn’t widespread public support and the authorities managed to derail the protest.

What’s happening in Canada at the moment is many orders of magnitude above this. What’s struck me most is the very large number of people, all across Canada, who have stood on the side of the road to cheer on the Freedom Convoy; this in severe winter weather. With regard to popular support, it’s reminiscent of what happened in eastern Europe in 1989. It will be interesting to see how this one pans out.

Here’s a report on it all from Amazing Polly…

Posted in Frankenstein Flu | 8 Comments

Covid Protest Songs from Lesser Known Artists

Covid protest songs have been released by high profile musos such as Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and Right Said Fred (see my post here). There’s a few others, such as Roger Waters, who have been outspoken, but other than that it’s been the sound of crickets at the top end of the music industry, which I’ve found both surprising and frightening. However, there has been a lot of protest songs from lesser known people, and I’m going to highlight some of them here. Ok, by definition the following tracks are going to be a bit samey, yet they do cover different musical genres, which you may or may not like.

Sara Gonzales is from Houston, Texas, and describes herself as a political commentator, mom, and karaoke expert. She recorded this track at the end of 2021 and it’s called ABCDEFU: An Ode to the Left

Michael Chaves is a former paramedic who blogs and vlogs under the name Mad Mix Conspiracies. Chave’s language is often very, er, colourful (which I don’t think helps his cause). In January 2022 he recorded a track called Killer Killer Covid. The track got to No.1 on the Amazon charts and also attained a respectable position in the UK charts…


Continue reading

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UK Law And Covid Nonsense

At the moment the UK government (and indeed the Irish government) are back-peddling on harsh covid measures. I don’t for one moment believe this is genuine, and is all part of the plan, because most other countries in the world remain in full lockstep psycho mode. Probably the easing of restrictions in the UK and Ireland is being used to introduce some new Frankenstein virus. This might take the form of marburg hemorrhagic fever.

Whatever happens in the weeks ahead, the creatures behind all this can’t be allowed to crawl back under their stones. If we want to move forward into a half-way sane society they all need to be put on trial, and hanged where necessary. By that I mean the government and their advisors, of course, but also all other politicians who have gone along with the covid nonsense, and the medical profession, the media and the police, and the total psychos in the security services. We can’t move forward unless these people are hung out to dry.

With that in mind, here’s a little bit about the law in the UK…

There is no written constitution in the United Kingdom; no single document that guarantees the rights of citizens. The UK has what’s known as an ‘uncodified’ constitution; ie, there are a number of documents and precedents that establish citizen’s rights, yet these rights have never been written into a single document bound by law. Some of the principle documents that make up the British constitution are: Magna Carta of 1215 (which outlined the rights of freemen and serfs), the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 (which enshrines the principle that nobody may be arbitrarily detained without having their case heard in a court of law), and the Act of Settlement of 1701 (which outlines royal succession). These archaic documents, along with many others, are what governs the inhabitants of the British Isles in the 21st century; along with precedent (ie, some things are not written down, but instead are done because “that’s the way they’ve always been done”). You have to be both a legal and constitutional expert in order to find all this stuff and understand it. It’s hardly a constitution, and is easily abused by those who have power.

The law in England and Wales is made in two very different ways (it’s similar in Scotland – Northern Ireland is a bit different because of the Troubles). Firstly, there is Case Law, which is the oldest type of law making and is based upon Norman practice, when there used to be travelling courts which tried cases and established precedents which were then followed by other courts.

A typical modern example of Case Law is the case of Lloyds Bank versus Bundy. In this case, a farmer called Bundy had borrowed money from Lloyds Bank against the security of his farm. The property was in his sole name, although he had lived at the farm with his wife for many years. Mrs. Bundy had not signed the bank documents for the loan. Mr. Bundy failed to repay the loan or make repayments and so the bank sued to get possession of the farm which it would then sell to recover its money. Lord Justice Denning (sitting in the highest appeal court) ruled that, as the wife had contributed to the house over many years, she was entitled to a share of it and that the bank had no right to deprive Mrs. Bundy of her home in order to satisfy the bank’s demand for repayments. The bank would have to wait until the farm was sold at some future date. In other words, the bank’s security was limited to Mr. Bundy’s share of the property and, as the property was indivisible, the bank could not have the farm.

The precedent set by this case sent shivers throughout the banking system as all banks had lent money to businesses against the matrimonial home which, more often than not, was in the sole name of the husband and the wife had not been party to the loan agreement.
This precedent did not require a new law to be passed by Parliament; the precedent has become the ‘law of the land’. So now, if I wish to borrow money from the bank against my house, my wife has to sign all the documents.

The second type of law making is called Statute Law. This is law laid down by parliament, and it is supposedly superior to case law. Statute Law comes into effect when an Act of Parliament is passed (by a majority vote in the Houses of Parliament) and thus becomes law.

It gets a little bit more complicated than that in practice. However, in theory, Case Law should always trump Statute Law. All the covid nonsense has been done under Statute Law. Here’s the case against the UK Government:

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Beasley Street

Gawd, have I been having problems with the techy side of this blog. If I were paranoid I would venture that the blog’s been hacked again.

Anyhows, here’s the boss of Pfizer earlier this week stating that the jabs are practically useless…

And here’s John Cooper Clarke with a classic rendition of Beasley Street

Posted in Arts, Frankenstein Flu | 3 Comments

Rob’s Radio Hour No.5

The winter of 2010. Sub-zero temperatures, again. I had a big wood burning stove at the time, and used to put my recording desk as close to it as possible, without everything catching fire.

Anyhows, if interested, a bit of music for the New Year: Rob’s Radio Hour No.5. This one sticks in my mind because it was the craziest Radio Hour I ever made; and what I mean by that is all the stuff going on when I was making the programme. There is some good music here, depending on your tastes…

http://www.localradio.fr/shows/radiohour/Radio_Hour_05.m3u

All of the original Rob’s Radio Hour were done live on air. Bear that in mind if you listen to the above archived podcast.

Funnily enough, Radio Hour 5 was finished at about 5am on a freezing February morning. Afterwards I went outside in the snow to smoke a cigarette. I didn’t notice the freezing temperatures, because you get so hyped-up when you do this stuff.

Posted in Arts, As I Walked Out One Summer’s Morn | 4 Comments

The Unforgiven – would you forgive them?

In my previous post I was banging on about how I’m presently living in a caravan for two weeks, while we have guests in the gite, and it’s the first time I’ve been caravan bound in fierce weather since the winter of 2004. In the winter of 2004 I found myself living in abject poverty in a caravan in a cowshed in rural France. I took up residence in the cowshed in early January. On that same weekend I was joined by Sultan the dog. We were both refugees. Sultan was a rescue dog, who joined the other two dogs, Bess and Rosie, and an indeterminate number of cats. I’m not sure how anyone could have been brave enough to abuse Sultan, since he was a huge beast, almost like a small horse, and looked a bit like a Millwall fan who’d been having a bad day. He used to scare the living daylights out of just about every visitor to the farm; but Sultan really was a softy and I used to play with him and take him for walks; or more accurately, he used to take me for walks. Due to various hard drive crashes over the years, I can no longer find a photo of Sultan. Take my word for it, Sultan would have scared the shit out of you.

So, there’s me and Sultan in the cowshed, January 2004, with temperatures hitting 15 below (I think in my previous post I also said that I had Amy the Chinese goose living in the caravan as well). Then the farm chickens joined us in the cowshed. There was a haystack behind the caravan, and the chickens made home there. The chickens did have a coup in the wreck and ruin part of the farmhouse. The chickens decamped to the cowshed because a punk rock band started rehearsing in the wreck and ruin part of the farmhouse. The punk rock band were called ‘The Unforgiven’ and consisted of my cousin’s two sons, James and Steff, and their French friend Benjamin. They were all young kids. For a time I sort of became the manager of The Unforgiven.

There was some sort of karma going on with the cowshed. The Unforgiven got chucked out of the wreck and ruin part of the farm house, because of the racket they were making. So, The Unforgiven started rehearsing in the cowshed. Steff was on drums, James the lead singer and Benjamin the guitarist. When numbers like ‘Hotel Concentration Camp’ started thundering from the rafters, Amy the goose would run squawking from the cowshed. To give you a flavour of it…

We’re going to Germany
to the infirmy
what about the jews
I think they may lose
they’re not wised
maybe ill-advised
what about the night
black is white
hotel concentration camp, camp!
hotel concentration camp, camp!

James sang it in a Johnny Rotten snarl. Hotel Concentration Camp started with a quite good guitar rift from Benjamin, then Steff came in on drums, then James started singing. Problem being, the three of them were totally out of sync with each other. The hotel concentration camp, camp! bit was sung in chorus, with the three of them punching their fists in the air. To be fair to them, they were just young kids at the time. The Unforgiven: would you forgive them?

I found The Unforgiven’s rehearsals a tad disconcerting, because not only did the sound make my plates rattle on the draining board, but I was also writing a book at the time. I was also writing a lot of poetry. ‘Merde A La Puissance Treize’ translates literally as: shit to the thirteenth power. It’s used in France in its abbreviated form, MALPT, and you say ‘MALPT’ as a way of wishing someone good luck, a bit like the way thesps say ‘break a leg’.

Merde A La Puissance Treize

White worms drop down from pussy’s arse
to join the heaving, cack caked floor.
The flies and mites sup rooster cum
and dance around where rubbers score
fecal byways. By the barn door
a hen sits on her rotting brood;
all maggoty, the sulphurs pour
into the heat where pigs once queued
for lies and pain and carrion food.
God’s animals don’t mind the smell
and defecate right where they sit;
yet barnyard creatures know quite well
that humans, too, are full of shit.

Getting back to The Unforgiven, I shall spare you Hotel Concentration Camp. Instead here’s a number called Leavin, and I’ll finish with a pic of The Unforgiven at a local concert…

postscript: even by the standards of my life, those six months I spent in the cowshed, with a whole cast of characters, was weird. I’m well used to a life like that – it was weird because of all the energies involved.

In that summer of 2004, long after I had moved out of the cowshed, my cousin Carmen and her son James were involved in a very serious car crash. James, miraculously, suffered only a broken collar bone and broken arm. My cousin Carmen was completely mashed-up and spent weeks in intensive care hovering between life and death. My cousin Carmen survived, but she’s never been right ever since.

I’m not sure what the take-away here is with a Christmas blog post. I suppose I should maybe say that life is much more mystical than many people realise.

Happy Christmas and a merry New Year!

Posted in Arts, As I Walked Out One Summer’s Morn | Leave a comment

A Gite At Christmas

Despite all the ever changing covid nonsense, we’ve got a two week booking for the gite over Christmas. The elderly couple who booked the gite are from Paris. They’ve got kin in this part of France and they’re having a big family reunion. It’s nice to have a bit of joy in these dark times. Guests usually invite us in for a drink on Christmas Day.

Due to travel restrictions, my Mother is stuck in France for the time being. With guests in the house, Mother has moved into my adjoining apartment, and I’m now in the caravan at the back of the barns. Unfortunately this has coincided with very cold weather. Overnight it’s getting down to about five below, with thick frost and snow flurries. However the small space inside a caravan is easy to keep warm.

The last time I was living in a caravan during winter weather was in 2003/2004, when I first arrived in France. It’s a long story, so I’ll just say that I found myself living in abject poverty in a caravan in a cowshed in rural France. That winter was fierce, getting down to 15 below at times. At one stage the gas bottle on the caravan even froze up…

That’s a chicken in the above photo. Chickens are tough muthers. There was also a Chinese goose, who I named ‘Amy’. Geese are quite intelligent creatures. Amy used to come into the caravan, to get warm and have a bit of grub. I’m now 57 years old and find myself in a caravan again during winter weather. All those years ago I passed my 40th birthday in that caravan in a cowshed. At the time I was managing a punk rock band here in rural France. Here’s a pic of my forty-year-old self with Amy the goose…

ps. I thought I should add a little bit further to this, having lived in close proximity to all these birds: chickens all have their own personality, but are basically ‘bird brains’. Ducks are much more intelligent, and also much more aggressive. Ducks are like the bova boys of the bird world (skinheads, etc). Don’t mess with a duck!

Geese, on the otherhand, being one of the biggest birds, don’t have to worry about chickens and ducks. As a result geese have a very calm temperament.

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A Wonderful Rant

My great grandfather was Irish…

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