Cycling across the featureless moor through the necessary damp white mist into Roxburghshire (Dumfriesshire or Berwickshire) marked by a rampant lion carrying hammer and cickle single mace reminding you you are entering a zone of tribally pure (and therefore interbred characteristically ‘turning a blind eye’ to incest) nomadic Picts whose fickle and ferocious heritage is looting the dead bodies of English soldiers: It reminds you you are entering a Foreign Country.
These roving extended families guard the route up to Edinburgh where at Authur’s Seat (a magnificent volcanic buttress) the defence of Scotland is surrendered to Jacobite Tim Roth on a Dapple Mere.
As I Look North The View From England of Scotland evokes Queen Elizabeth’s ship off Newcastle intercepting Mary Queen of Scot’s and the cerebral edge English women have over Scottish women. Its important the Eliabethan warship was despatched from Newcastle.
John Knox graced England by staying for a short while exiled in Newcastle.
Briefly, on my imaginary cycle trip to Auld Rekie I muse England’s gleichschaltung under Scottish Government of England since James V became James I of England, under Scottish Born (Or Named) Britsh Prime Ministers* and yearned for English Independence from Scotland: The motto might be ‘Get Shot of A Scot’. Thinking a liitle deeper though on ‘Scotland The What’ and Andy Stewart and remember what Scotland is: A land of Golden Autumn run by The Gay Scottish Mafia and Doric speaking Scottish Widows.
*The Earl of Bute, George Gordon Earl of Aberdeen, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Andrew Bonar Law, Ramsey McDonald, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Tony Blair and ‘Son of the Manse’ Gordon Brown.
Melton Mowbray Town Estate
Everyman (I and I) judges his fellows as to their Mode of Transport. An eccentric spiv in coat tails and a ruff guiding a hoop and stick down High Street or Main Street, in say Melton Mowbray, is least offensive activating imaginary small cranes at the side of Everyman’s mouth to raise an involuntary simper.
The Top Ten Good Modes of Transport
2. Walking, Strolling, Swimming, Roaming or Rambling
3. Cycle or Tandem
4. Hand Cart or Pump Trolley
5. Balloon, Bouncy Castle or Kite
6. Miniature Steam Enthusiast
7. Measuring Wheel
8. Pallet Truck
9. Trains, Ships and Hang Gliders
The Bad Modes of Transport
Everyman is not only an Observer and Artiste but An Ordinary Tourist.
The Top Ten London Tourist Attractions:-
British Museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, London Eye, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Madam Tussauds, Tower of London and National Maritime Museum.
The Top Ten England Tourist Destinations:- Stonehenge, Cambridge, Oxford, Hadrian’s Wall, Windsor, Port Sunlight, Imperial War Museum Salford, The English Lakes, Maiden Castle and The Vale of Pewsey.
The Top Ten UK Tourist Destinations:- http://www.british-towns.net/
The Fourth Decade is Mortality, the Fifth Decade is Spirituality and the Sixth Decade is Deliverance. Travelling along Unique Personal Timelines key individual facts, known only to themselves, are registered or revealed to individuals.
German meteorologist Alfred Wegener first proposed his theory of continental displacement, later called continental drift, in 1912. Alfred Wegener ‘s insight into Creation was guided by his own invented philosophy to not look for complexity but for simplicity. Thus was it revealed cycling round Sullivan, Easter Ross, Scotland that The Oldest Rocks in the World here were once joined to New England.
Alfred Wegener’s insight joined a shortlist of similarly simple axioms used as Analytical Engines in The Inquisition I was carrying out on England and The UK Space.
The Top Ten Axioms are:-
1. Imagination springs from jungle primates visualising within the enclosure of jungles: The engine room of imagination. (There is no vista, which is Lion territory).
2. The Hopi Indians of North America have 16 words describing rabbit footprints in snow, but no word or words for ‘Time’.
3. Alfred Wegener: Look for Simplicity Not Complexity.
4. The Synaptic Nerves 500 input manifold single output yes or no after a short pause.
5. A rudimentary knowledge of computer noughts and ones, and or gates and machine code aids creativity.
6. There is nothing odd in using Microsoft Works Word Processor Thesaurus when writing poetry.
7. The Creative Engine of Modern English Art was The 1947 Education Act. (tbc)
8. The Rock Drill by Jacob Epstein was pivotal in the life of Anthony Gormley. *
9. Reading ‘Lust for Life’ biography of Vincent van Gogh provides a code for artists to follow.
10. Sea Level unaltered for 6000 years after The Ice Age effect on Visual/Optical aesthetic senses.
11. Welsh Mountain Ranger says ‘Time’ is natures way of separating everything.
* The Life and Works Artists as Guides: Vincent Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath, Kasper David Fredrick, Edward Hopper, Roy Lichtenstein, Patrick Caulfield, Robert Van der Graves, Aldous Huxley, Stanley Spencer, Vince Rea, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Martin. Read the artists not only rationally but emotionally and for symbols.
Cycling therefore becomes a Religious Allegory best described by taking you along a journey through Weston-super-Mare 27th July 2009 the day before the Grand Pier Weston-super-Mare burnt down.
Weston-super-Mare is enclosed by Brean Down peninsula headland, to the south and a high dark bronze age forested ridge to the north called Worlebury Hill.
Beyond Worlebury Hill is an ordinary suburb a ‘Sunder Land’ almost at where theres only one way through from Wicks Lane, Wick St Lawrence to Yeo Bank lane involving crossing a gut .
The Allegory is: The circuitous road draws one back to the World of Delivery** away from Deliverance.**
** Delivery and Deliverance are the two polar draws of the early 21st century of Consumerism and Spirituality.
Onomatopoeic Plumtree, is a small Nottinghamshire village east of West Bridgford beyond Ruddington. It lies where Nottinghamshire leaves Suburbia behind, Beyond the Fringe of Gamston, Tollerton and Edwalton. The View From Plumtree is better than it has been since 1960 due to the perfect weather as if God was leaving the best till last.
Reading the landscape whilst cycling with the guilt of a defrocked vicar, slinking through it in a saddle unable to be gushingly happy in mild October, 2009, despite feeling one was in The New Jerusalem in real time, animated and in 3D.
Like the electron never collides with the neutron, like the singularity of your personal event horizon one cannot become an apprentice God, but out in the Perfect Landscape it was Geography that made me.
Perception of and interaction with landscape is Near Paradise available to The Public but few take up the invitation, perhaps adding to the emptiness of The Space Between Cities.
The Making of the English landscape is akin to a parchment (once the earth’s rock throwing violence settled) on which successive layers of English Culture where laid down.
In order to arm yourself to read the terrain as you pass through The English Landscape, do the following ten things:-
(Don’t try reading whilst cycling, its dangerous: even on a tandem.)
(1)Visit Exhibition Road: The Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD.
V&A South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.
(2)Read E.H Gombridge, (1977), The Story of Art, Phaidon Oxford, London
(3)Read Thieme Atlas of Anatomy: General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System.
(4)Visit The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery and
Tate Britain. The Tate Britain Art Gallery, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG.
(5)Read Family and Friends in Eighteenth-Century England: Household, Kinship and Patronage by Naomi Tadmor “In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, we are told, the English family was characteristically nuclear …”
(6)Visit The Side Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne. 9 Side, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3JE.
(7)Climb mountains Hellvelyn, Black Sails, Little Fell, Broad Crag, White Side, Pen Y Ghent, Crinke Crags, Red Pike, High Stile, Knock Fell, Rough Crag and Grisdale.
(8)Visit Slough, Eton, Windsor and Staines from Waterloo Station. Waterloo station
London SE1 8SW.
(9)Read English Journey: As Seen By One Man in 1933 by JB Priestley.
(10)Read History of the English Speaking People by Winston S. Churchill.
(11)Read I Claudius by Robert van der Graves. (BBC Series starring Sir Derek Jacobi).
(12)Listen to Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas from Frances Goldberg, The Audiobook Store, 36 Baker Street, London,W1U 3EU, United Kingdom
(13)Swim in the Men’s Pond, Hampstead. Highgate Pond (mens Bathing) Pond on Hampstead Heath near Millfield Lane, N6. c/o Parliament Hill Park Office, Staff Yard, Highgate Road, London, NW5 1QR
(14)Study Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner : The Pevsner Architectural Guides
(15)Study Isimbard Kingdom Brunel.
(16)Walk to Woolwich from Charing Cross via Tower Bridge. Take the train from Liverpool street to Shuburyness and cycle back to Woolwich.
(17)Get off the train at Didcott, Macclesfield and Doncaster, the meaningless in between stations and cycle cross country.
(18)Visit Durham City. Approach Durham City from stellar heavenly direction on a bicycle (Prudhoe, Bishop Aukland, Sunderland (Seaham Harbour) and Middlesbrough (via Castle Eden).
(19)Visit Raby Castle. Staindrop, County Durham, UK.
(20)Read Philip Larkin. Collected Poems by Philip Larkin. Faber and Faber.
(21)Watch the Lawrence Olivier World War II Trilogy Richard The Third, Henry V and Hamlet.
(22)Walk or cycle from Brighton to Peacehaven. Feel the day warming on the way and cooling on the way back.
(23)Read Confessions of an Actor: The Autobiography by Lawrence Olivier.
(24)Visit Dunstanburgh Castle in winter and walk to Alnwick.
(25)Cycle from Brighton to Bognor Regis.
(26)Visit Bosworth Field via Tamworth via Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.
(27)Read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
(28)Cycle to Ilam via Leek and Dovedale.
(29)Swim at Birling Gap.
(30)Find out as much about Aldous Huxley as you can and read The Devils of Loudon.
Board a train from London or the English Regions for Lancashire alighting at Liverpool. Being furthest from the dangerous and raging Continent of Europe here England is A Virtual Paradise. On the train, to Liverpool from Manchester (on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell) knowing the Manchester Ship Canal is across an Esturine part of The Cheshire Plain, flat and to the south far enough away for me to have to imagine it.
Journeying west across Lancashire (the feeling of separateness as Liverpool is apart from Manchester as Darlington is to Stockton) is the feeling of going to a better place.
The most powerful and telling image of Englishness is to see Orthodox
Jews of Ashkenazi originals from Salford, Hackney and Gateshead, standing willfully apart from the rest of English holiday makers in unfashionable out of season resorts like Southport (ironically on The North Lancashire Coast): On The Beach, between seasons almost, they drift along the seafront (not spending money obviously) always charmingly affronted at any one of us having the temerity to address them.
How much does this tell of humanity’s love of Freedom and of Silences?
Lancashire’s joy is it’s remoteness from Europe. The railway network is most intense here as if Beeching’s wife was from Accrington. The towns though are fragmented but there is still time to overhear the pure distilled essence of Englishness: the rarified beauty of Lancashire small town (or Manchester Suburb of This or That) in local Lancashire speach patterns and dialects.
The strongest reserve of rational speach based talking England eminates from the girl’s schools of The Wirral and Crosby.
Walk out into Morcambe Bay beyond Southport Pier and see Chinese Cockle Gatherers, faint crouching figures on The Event Horizon of where the tide currently is, linking Lancashire with Guangdon and Pearl River delta.
Here the silence is complete. We are furthest away from trouble than we have ever been.
Here is a potential for empty silences: Is it any wonder Orthodox
Jews of Ashkenazi* sought and found refuge here?
* Here on The Island (Der Insel in German and Yiddish parlance) The most the largest concentrations of Orthodox Jews of Ashkenaziare are in:
• Stamford Hill in North London in the five wards of Brownswood, Cazenove, Lordship, New River and Springfield in the London Borough of Hackney, plus the ward of Seven Sisters in the London Borough
• Broughton Park in North Manchester incorporating the wards of Broughton and
Kersal in Salford, and Sedgley in the Borough of Bury.
• There are also haredim in the Borough of Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, and in the
wards of Golders Green, Hendon and Edgware in the London Borough of Barnet.
Cycling through Ruddington, Nottinghamshire I reflect unemployment can’t be easy for those new people blighted by it. To begin with, the sixteen years since the last slump is a lifetime for a boy just leaving school, daunting at first.
The Slump, sees no colour, no class, no age, no religion, has no prejudices. Imune the young brush aside worry because they are care-free. For the Baby Boomers though the psychological impact is profound akin to falling off a cliff, either clinging on to a slippery branch two thirds down or on a sandbank waiting for the next tide to wash you off and no chance of rescue.
In this new country of idleness, like moving and settling in a strange town, it takes for a while to read the terrain, to learn to survive.
Things procured with little or no money acquire deep value, companions or weapons through a paler landscape hunting for offers, bargains, even dead means shoes.
The shallow attachments of bespoke coffee shop lounges and your own copy of The Times slowly are purged from your body and leave you.
Mind and body tap into the wild life underneath and away from the grimly facile surface world: Like a hunter I ghost through the unwrecked real town.
Volunteer. Volunteering is a free pass to real people, where you may voyeuristically peer in on parallel lives, like entering a upper floor room from a side window, and a foot in the door for interaction (entrenched isolation is the most dangerous aspect of unemployment). Beware of this as it lies at the edge of madness. Always find a talking head to have a dialogue with who isn’t you. Time drags. Try to end the day feeling you are tired from labouring. Conspire with yourself to feel there is not enough time.
‘Oft have I heard of the The Disadvantages of Unemployment, but never the Advantages of Unemployment, ner till now!’
Never stop looking for work, its your civic duty, but if the weather is nice just cycle to your favourite place. Take your time and don’t worry: they can’t hurt you out here in the fields.
Its just that this was the nicest year (weather-wise) since 1960. Tsk, Tsk.
On Hunger Hill it is no surprise to be told of Nottingham’s hidden past of poverty. The hosiery slump caused famine in the 1830’s, The Salvation Army founded in Sneinton off below this terraced allotment across the valley of St. Anne’s Well Road kept quiet, and now Nottingham, within the confines of the overgrown town, has the lowest per capita income of any English city. Hunger Hill is a No Man’s Land in the lee of smug Mapperley, a linear leafy suburb strung along a fairly steep ridge to Top Valley. This is Nottingham.
Here though in the 50ft south facing glasshouse I might be in Provence among well ordered rows of sunflowers, leeks, raspberries, salad, onions, beans, cabbages, beetroot and carrots.
In the frightfully modern polytunnels grow cash crops of every salad and herb.
It’s wrong to think of England as a scrawny fragmented scrubland of random hawthorns bent to the bracing wind where exotic species flounder. In this Intensive Urban Organic Market Garden foods are perfected, harvested and ready to eat. Free of chemicals and drenched by sweet pure rainwater they don’t even have to be washed.
Caribbean men and woman grow Thyme and Hot Chilli Peppers over on yonder hill, but there are English Natives growing these under controlled conditions in pollytunnels.
I see a dragonfly, a yellowhammer, and a woodpecker, and many anthropomorphic wasps annoyed perhaps at their own imminent demise. (You may understand this only if you have a valid up-to date poetic licence). For a moment I feel safe, invincible even, but the gardens are slowly, gracefully dying.
The summer of 2009 is the best since1950 raining first in early summer on these orchards of plums, apples and blackberries. A hot ‘bleezing’ summer followed by an Indian one.
As usual the best fruit and vegetables were ending up in middle class baskets but The Slump saw a shift to serving the Deserving Poor with subsidised food.
Whilst the private allotment system is haemorrhaged by selfish instincts, despite The Slump, Collective Urban Market Gardening marches on but farming needs time and labour. It’s odd and disappointing frankly, that youth has not been mobilised to create a New Dig For Victory.
I am thorough and valuable and am rewarded with bags of organic food. Gardening is hard work and takes time, and is a distraction: Perfect for The Unemployed. Cycle back and forth to the gardens paying no bus fares on the way.
Lance lived underneath the arches somewhere left of Charing Cross station almost certainly in a void below The Savoy off The Strand. A Geordie burglar Lances’s demise and funeral was patronised by prominent members of The Spiritualty, Parliament and The Business World. He carried a bag of pepper in his brown worsted overcoat to throw into the eyes of pursuing coppers. Lance occasionally walked over to Westbourne Grove to meet Barrow Boys from South Shields (a community from which he sprung), living in a squat.
Lance’s route marked out an axis between Charing X and The Church Commissioner’s Estate on Notting Hill, which still has a monastry on Portabello Road. As The Church Commissioner’s Estate had developed these fields as squares like Powys Square, (in a ring roughly beyond Euston Road to the Grand Union Canal), they were all curiously run down in the 1970’s as England languished in a pre-oil boom slumber.
Dave Brock and others from Hawkwind may have been a few doors up in houses now demolished on Westbourne Grove, Paddington.
About 1974 The Cycling Fraternity was then witnessing the appearance of Mountain Bikes.
Just up over the canal bridge Ari Up and John Organ were working in That Tea Room. The Blond Girl in The Slits worked their too. John spent summer in Mid Wales in a Tippi and sold IT magazine on the street corner, a hippy magazine he edited.
Just above Westbourne Grove Bus Garage graffitti by Piers Corbyn on corrugated iron sheeting read ‘If the Luftwaffe did’nt get you, the GLC will’. Further up on Elgin Avenue a similar signn read ‘Hume Sweet Hume’ both refering to the Squatting off Harrow Road and Ladbroke Grove.
Charing Cross Road in the 1970s was decorated with an elegant curved Georgian or Victorian terrace just up from the National Portrait Gallery but now demolished.
On the night Heaven was created underneath the arches on a Thursday, Barry Noble, Richard Branson and A N Other from Brighton stumbled on the name when Barry asked what in heaven should they call it.
Heaven was, as was The Embassy Club served by Les Daly in Red Satin Shorts and his Scotsman friend The Manager who also managed The Embassy Club.
Straight Nite Thursdays at Heaven was once or twice graced by a performance by New Order.
Barry Noble, dressed like a Gateshead Gypsy in a pony trap had just bought The Pavilion Pier, Brighton for £50 million. His black Rolls Royce parked out The Gay Hussar (ibid) he was nearly thrown out for being inappropriately dressed.
The Strand refers to a beach which was in view and lapped by the raw river before The Embankment was built.
N.B. You could only get into The Blitz if Steve Strange, the doorman, liked how you dressed.
Roy Batty says this to J F Sebastian in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Filmed in 1982 starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sian Young.
JF Sebastian, a strandee, not of the economic variety, but a genetic scientist stuck on earth in a gothic skyscraper and stuck in his body, is forbidden to emigrate off-world because he has Methuselah Syndrome. Otherwise he is quite happy.
‘Oft have I heard of the Drawbacks of Unemployment but Advantages of Unemployment, ‘N’er till now’.
First if you are not a cyclist already, procure one. Best is a quality cycle which you owned. Prevent this being stolen. If in Portsmouth tie it to a ships anchor.
Find someone who repairs bicycles for a small fee and buy the parts he will fit. Find cheap spares. Oil your bicycle sparingly with olive oil (which you use for cooking) from a pripet. Be one the outlook for cheap spares.
Shop at ASIA, the store formerly known as ASDA , formerly known as Associated Dairies now owned by Wall Mart an Isreali World Shop with a USA HQ and good connections to India.
ASIA working as usual in retail on margins of 2% mark-up are the Inventors of Distribution and wipe the floor with Morrison’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
In ASIA look around for bargains. Carry shopping home on your bicycle in two waterproof Ortlieb pannier sacks. ASIA can be 1/3rd cheaper than lesser supermarkets.
ASIA sell inner tubes for less than half the price of their competitors. Remember Small Independent Cycle Shops make profit not on Imported Taiwan Bicycles but on accessories with Built in Obsolescence and Low Mean Time Between Failure.
Try and get everything for free, like food, and air (for your tyres).
Do volunteer work which gives you access to food like gardening and helping the elderly who will swap care for sharing revolting Meals on Wheels.
Existentially you will subliminally have more ‘time’.
Use your time to read. Focus on learning which will help you through to the afterlife. This ‘afterlife’ may be A Future Working. Borrow books don’t buy them. Read books which will help you adapt to and sustain your temporary or permanent lifestyle. An example of a book to read might be ‘SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea – John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman’.
If you can watch films watch films which will help you deal with the life you are now in like Ghost Dog, (based on the diary of Yamamoto Tsunetomo a 17th centaury Samurai).
The English Economy is Not Human but a Robot. The advanced complicated robot is Controlled from Afar by Lateral Appendages. Experts are studying how to animate and motivate the robot.
Entrepreneurs, Survivalists and The Cash Rich back from A World Cruise are busy formulating a plan for a telescope to view Spacemen Garden Colonies growing on Mars.