Keys.

It must be there, I swear.

Over here wouldn’t be so queer?

This is rare and surely will bare?

I fear it can only be near.

Under that, that makes sense?

From he to where did it went?

Up there? I’m so dense!

I will find it. It is meant!

Down below, it has to show.

In the cushions of the sofa, can I see?

Behind the bookshelf, yes or no?

In the freezer, it cannot be.

Behind my shoes? No! No! No!

In, on or by my big blue bag?

This hard hunt is making me sad.

Not here. What a drag!

Where it went is driving me mad!

Ah…

There…

Got you…

Surely…

Yes.

My pocket.

Condolences to Football.

The day that football died could have been avoided. Instead the fans of Manchester City in the outer rims of Mongolia smiled at news they were now able to wear their Bayern Munich third kits twice a season, and quickly switch at half time to sky blue. They’d been loyal, ever since their birth into watching Arjen Robben wear the famous red of Munich. Sadly news filtered through. The German giants hadn’t joined the Super League.

The then reigning German Champions, and European Champions, and not to mention World Champions couldn’t qualify for the new European Super League. They had morality problems to overcome. Instead a team from Manchester who failed to win the Champions League ahead of being appointed to the European Super League would join a team fourth in their Italia league (at the time). There certainly had been no mention of FC Santa Claus or Aberystwyth Town. Not super enough.

The identity of football hung on a knife edge for a while. It was played in the shadows of Norwich, the villas of Aston, and islands such as Majorca. Even little old disputed Gibraltar was hoofing sacks of air around. For a while the purists switched off their television subscriptions and players ran down their contracts. Some desperado types willfully cheered for Glasgow Celtic and Rangers. They tried, with false hope, to end Secretariat ways. They begged Muslims and Jews to merge Palestinian fields with Israeli values. All was in a false belief that football could be repaired.

Mitre died first. Their football’s deflated and panels fell off. Nike prevailed with their colourful balls. Humphrey Brothers bowed out. Umbro fell to Nike and Nike sent them packing. Death arrived. Nike fired up the football kit photocopying machine.

In China, prestigious sponsors gathered around the H&M Morality Stadium to watch the Super League launch. Liverpool Red beat Liverpool Yellow by two goals to who gives a crap in the ‘The inaugural prestigious opening kicking of the ball for make benefit Great Football better at escaping Informative information technology work time tournament 2021 (postponed from the 2020 edition) Super League cup‘. You had to be there for the halftime video promotion of sunny Wuhan. The whole world gazed on in wonder at the Public Relations dream team in action. The new republic of football had found its launch moved the global online viewers to tears.

The irreparable damage to the national leagues of European professional football was not slow. Falling live viewing attendances from January 2020 ensure more people chose to watch online than be at the game. Some were even threatened by fines if they attended their local team done good. Wembley Stadium finally placed restrictions on visiting teams from Manchester and London, ensuring 70,000 seats couldn’t be purchased at their fair and reasonable set prices. Lord Carabao was perturbed but rode out the storm, only to give up hope when Red Bull F.C. Paris Saint Germain was announced. Emirates Airlines gave up the F. A. Cup and opted for a more traditional European Super League Cup Winners’ Cup deal.

The European Super League hit its first stumbling block when it announced clubs would continue to ‘compete in their respective national leagues’. The leagues sharpened their axes and expelled the 12 brave clubs. They awarded past titles and trophies to their historic runners up or whoever was closest. And then they went to court. Leagues versus the European Super League. Fans versus clubs. Clubs versus nations. FIFA didn’t recognise anyone. The new Super League Clubs had teams filled with Sepp Blatter. All unrecognised. Fans washed their hands of years of history. The suicides began. Shirts were burned. Civil war. Hooligans apologised and made up. Millwall F.C. adopted displaced Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham fans. Manchester City and United fans formed a breakaway club, F.C. Manchester of Manchester. FCMOM rose a few leagues but couldn’t afford the hefty burden of solemnity. A funeral for football was held in Preston.

The football museum in Manchester was archived away. England F.C. were on the brink of winning the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They let Germany have a penalty in the final minute. As piped chanting of Three Lions ’22 blazed over the public announcement system, Germany missed the penalty. The game went to a penalty shootout in front of the English Sponsorship Corporate End and there it remains to this day. Neither side has scored a winning penalty… Each refused and refuse to be part of this game. Raheem Sterling just can’t hit the target.

At the time Manchester City’s Official Supporters Club said the move showed “those involved have zero regard for the game’s traditions”. It didn’t matter. They had added it was, “determined to fight against this proposed Super League”. The Paul Dickov knee slide and the moments of May 2012 faded fast. English Premier Boris Johnson warned his government would do everything possible to stop the renegade football league. Like Darth Vadar’s Death Star plan, it was a glowing end. Atletico Madrid started their 90 minute game (plua VAR infomercials) against Real Madrid and Barcelona in the big weekend opener. All the English teams had their visas denied. The league didn’t survive one full season.

The last known football in Europe was kicked by Sir Alex Ferguson to his new assist Jose Mourinho.

No appetite.

You should eat something. You really should. You must. Why don’t you eat some little? You could try this. What about that? Try some soup. It’s piping hot. Some other goop? A stew? Hotpot used to make me feel better. Feeling cold? Put on a sweater. Eat this now!

Don’t drink that! Cold water? You just be crazy. Don’t lay down. You’ll get too lazy. Go rest. Try a nap. Wake up. Too much sleep! Trying to get up? You’re not feeling it, yet? You need hot water. Take a sip. Take a gulp. Swig it down. Drink it all.

We’ll fix you up. You’re not dead yet. Look. We believe you’ll be right soon enough. We’re asking you to believe. We can do it. We’ll get you shipshape. We’ve got this! We’re already making strides. What do we want to do?

Beat.

I ache. I throb. I hurt. I feel my pulse in places I’ve never felt the beat. I find I don’t want to eat. The face I wear is brave outside. Inside is different. Inside, I want to cry. I’m beat.

I slouch. I trust. I turn. There’s pressure in my muscles I’ve felt before. This time it’s different. The shapes I move are difficult. Inside it burns. Outside, it darkens and bruises. I’m beat.

I blink. I squint. I scratch. I’m restless and mindful I don’t want to be beat. at hey say rest. I know I must rest. I feel lazy. I feel guilty. I lay down. The day is going. I’m beat.

I hop. I twist. I hope. I know it’ll be better soon but I can’t feel then what I feel now and I can’t feel now what I will feel then. When? Oh, when, Oh. When. I’m beat.

Right to write?

Good evening from China.

I’ve received many complaints (3 or so) from bloggers in relation to the post: plagiarism. I’ve copied the link so you don’t have to. Perhaps some are of the feeling that my brand (style) of writing to be offensive. Good. I had to write a disclaimer. I’ll write a better one after researching disclaimers using valid sources. I’m surprised that a piece of free thought slapped down as writing and labeled as ‘creative writing’ gathered such impassioned battle cries.

I started blogging to document a journey and as a diary. It began as a replacement for letters that I used to write to my grandmother on an infrequent basis, but still they were important. I used to anticipate her replies and love opening a letter to her magnificent hand writing. Gran was truly remarkable in her writing. Every sentence pushed wonderful words through my chest an into my heart. It was here that I learned creative writing was about feeling. Not through many books. Not through documentary or textbooks. I long for the return of letters from my grandmother. It’ll never happen.

At first I had to check if their replies came on April the 1st. The upset parties to my post even worried that I’d censor their disgust to my attempt at creative writing. Last time I checked I thought satire, humour and mock documentary sat within the scope of being creative. At home with poetry, short stories, novels, movie scripts, plays and so on. Then I started to think about mythical and known internet trolls. Perhaps their wonderful work was too of a search engine result and suddenly ousted for the briefest second by a piece penned as a thought after school. It was a busy Academic Integrity Week at school. Maybe, it influenced my thoughts.

Gallows humour has allowed countless opportunities to tackle tough subjects through making light of that problem. It’s got people in better spirits to engage (research and debate), inform (discuss and present), and educate (probably through pie charts and digital presentations. British people use humour often, rightly or wrongly. Censorship is something that is opposed. Freedom of thinking and expression is celebrated. The hook of some writing can appear strong. It can be on varied emotional levels to draw in a reader.

Not all creative writing follows the same pathway. Nor should it. Diversity spins new genres outwards. The line between visual art and poetry can be transdisciplinary. I’m not saying that anything I write is entirely original in thought or movement. Everything I write is either from my head, thought about or to encourage further thought. Quotes and citations come often. Anyone can blog. Many copy and paste quotes, create graphics and most adhere to respect of the original writer. Some do not. This mirrors a world that is neither good not bad, just merely grey and blurry.

Blogging and writing is a free outlet for many people. Some can. Some do. Some cannot. Freedom to blog is arguable in some boundaries. Adding a note at the end of a blog that says: feel free to copy, following a tongue in cheek stab at the serious subject of plagiarism is acceptable. It was and remains my work. If someone can find identical work predating it, well done, and how did you change the web date stamp?

I know that I often write nonsense, gibberish or poppycock. I like words. I like language. Please don’t ever think I’m looking to cause offence. Even if my tone is perceived as aggressive, I won’t hide faceless behind a username or in the murk of the internet. I’m me. If I slate a world leader, or berate a popular celebrity, it isn’t something I wouldn’t do face to face. Give me ten minutes with former President of the U.S.A. Trump, and I’ll treat him as a human but roar like a lion.

So, was I wrong? Or was I right? I sure as hell don’t feel like I did something wrong. What bothers me, is that somewhere three or four (or more) people feel that I wrote something ‘disgusting‘, that made someone so ‘angry’ that their blood was boiling. Worryingly, this came in a world of racial and gender inequality, poverty and careless environmental attitudes. I’m thankful I didn’t denounce COVID-19 as a conspiracy or talk about lizard-people overlord kinds. Still, not could be the next topic, providing CTRL+ALT+C works. Just kidding. Seriously, feel free to copy my thoughts. Use them as our own but never ever believe plagiarism is good.

Tally ho and away I go.

DISCLAIMER:THIS COULD BE MY FINAL POST EVER!

Additional disclaimer: not bloody likely!

Obituary.

If you checked out now, how would you be remembered? Fondly by some? Infamous by others? Perhaps. Not. At. All. Maybe you’ll be forgotten, like a lost teddy bear on a train bound for nowhere in particular.

What’s your legacy? Did you do something good? Did you make someone better? Maybe you broke a heart, or a string of hearts. Maybe you’re but a regret to most and a faded memory to another. Perhaps. Nobody. Will. Recall. You.

What did you do right? How did it go? What did you leave behind? A divorce? A fatherless child? A mother grieving over an unborn dream? It could be that words won’t be spoken about you. Perhaps. Silence. Is. Best.

Who’ll be there? At your funeral. Will there be shadows cast from people? Or the shapes of memories dancing in fading lights spun by the branches of trees dancing in the wind? Perhaps. No one. Will. Know. When. You. Go.

Will you get a choice when to go? Unlikely. Most never know. Some expect. Some arrive at an unfortunate moment. Some prepare well ahead but it arrives far too soon. Some get through extra days and leave as heroes. Some die another day. Some have no time to die. Perhaps. You’ll. Never. Know. Until. It’s. Over.

Loosely put.

His hands grip around my throat. He’s strangling me. Trying to choke my last breath out. I struggle. Twisting and turning. I try to raise my left open palm upwards to force his vice-like grip to release me. I slap. No change. I use both flailing hands. Nothing.

Still he pulls his chest towards his hands. My throat trapped between his intended route. I slide and writh but I get nowhere fast. I twist my aching legs, trying to backwards kick his kneecaps. Anything. Any little hope. He grabs tighter. I know I don’t have long left. My throat is burning. Every gasping breath I take could be my last. I push my body forwards trying to open a space between his chest and arms. The Steel-like bicep is sweating on my neck. I open my mouth wide forcing little air in.

I’m beyond desperate. I feel woozy and clouded. My brain is losing a battle. He slides a few millimeters along my throat. That marginal gain gave him the extra he needed. He already had the upper hand. I feel his chest muscles stretch and tighten. He takes a tired deep breath. One heavy pull and I resist the extra force. He loosens his grip by the slightest of pressures. A budgie feather in a fight fit for an ostrich. Can I escape now?

Making waves.

There’s probably a name for it. It’s got to be called something. It’s like a swirling swishing sound. The sound of wind under the sea. Billions and billions of grains of sands colliding and pushing and being pulled by unexplainable quantities of sea water. The rolling continuous sound that goes up and then down, over and over again.

The fragrance from the shore has a name too. I’m sure of that. I can’t place my name on it. I breath the fresh salted air in. A gentle gust rides off the waves up the freshly – dampened sand and over the lighter drier plains of the beach. It makes the hairs on my body move ever so slightly. I feel it without seeing it. I’ve always loved the smells and feel of the seaside.

My mouth is moist from water. I needed to swig bottled fresh water. The gritty sand accidentally blown to my lips grinded away in a glassy sound. I sipped to quench my newfound thirst following the blast of salty unwelcome taste.

The clouds surrounding this bay are grey and slated. Like the dark blue grey of a mine. There’s a haze in the air. It’s not bright enough for sunglasses but equally not comfortable on the naked eye. The sea reflects green and blue in multiple shades but mostly those of dull. Each wave like a white horse folding in on itself, breaking the dull monotone.

Sandwiched between my toes is a thick kind of sand. Chunky yet fine. It covers the hundred metre beach sea to land. It spreads a good kilometre of this bay. I watch as piles dry and gently roll into a pit. The pits dug by children have washed away. Trenches by men have also gone. Peace has returned job this beach. Only the sound of waves and passing sandpipers.

Dongchong beach cost 20 yuan to enter. Today, in Guangdong Eastern flanks of Shenzhen city, I’m relaxed. It’s been worth the walk.

All aboard.

I’m the commander of my own seas. I don’t mean to control them but I shall not let them wash over me. The waves crash beneath me, around me and by my side. They do not sweep me away in the tide.

The ship I choose to sail often changes. One day a frigate, one day a galleon. A skiff here, a galley there. On board a passenger liner with much company. A lonely kayak. A canoe floating along the river of life. Wearing a windbreaker in a windjammer. A rag boat struggling against the battling riotous rip tide. Schooner for later. Luxury aboard a catamaran or yachts heading for the high seas. Drinking tea aboard a clipper.

The undercurrent changes its spaces too. A still torrent floods in ebbs and flows. The rush and drag leaves me bobbing along. Up and down. Side to side. Over and under. Around in circles. Swirling. Staying motionless staring at stars. A whirlpool of dreamy dawns and dusks swishing directions. A flushing sound scolding my ears, drowning out yesterday’s sorrows. A puddle so smooth it reflects the sun like a giant glass mirror. Clouds visible far or vast shadows atop.

So, of you see me sailing through stormy waters, recall the saying of smooth waters not making for great sailors. A storm passes. As do I. Time claims all. I traverse a journey of my own. Will you sail with me? Now? Later? Never? All aboard.

Taking the biscuit.

Nobody ever takes one chocolate Hobnob. Not even two. In fact, I’m sure studies show even a trio of collected biscuits is unlikely. This biopsychosocial disorder has you in its hands the moment the blue packet is torn open. The slightest hint of chocolate spread thinly over rolled and jumbo oats have been dividing families and causing micro moments of intense eating since 1987.

McVitie’s debuted their chocolate Hobnobs in the eighties and for some the discovery wasn’t made until the next millennium. Few were spared the dependency that would follow. Stores and supermarkets around the world have replicated and perfected near identical copies. All equally a compulsion.

The chocolate-free biscuits are marketed as a variety of digestive biscuit. They’re not remotely addictive. They’re good but you shouldn’t get hooked. Although caution is often advised to prevent craving becoming dependence. Would Richard McVitie’s be proud of us?

They marketed these criminal snacks as, “Chocolate now has Hobnobs underneath” and drew in their crowd of followers. One nibble and we’re all nobbled. Captured. Drained of choice. Dedicated followers of the passion of crunch. Even Reading Football Club had fans hooked because of their nearby Hobnob factory. They had to move production to a place less likely to experience addiction: Glasgow. Each packet is branded by a Royal Warrant, from Her Royal Highness, Queen Liz the Second. That makes it a legal high.

Weakness exposes a chocolate Hobnobs eater with ease. A nibble here. “Just one more, Dave!” The mouth enacts enslavement as synapses across the brain fixate on filling the gob with crunchy goodness. Commitment to the condition of this substantial sustenance substance is done. Almost unbreakable, unlike the biscuit itself.

Packets rarely remain open longer than a day. To this day I haven’t kicked the habit. Even in China, I found myself supplied by a shifty importer slipping me packets via post. Even they know what they’re doing. Habits are wrapped up tightly, hidden from prying eyes. “Don’t judge me!” My craving makes me a monkey to the social mixing biscuits. Mixing with people of a higher class doesn’t take my priority. I just look to dunk the goods and chew relentlessly.

Chocolate Hobnob withdrawal can make you go cold turkey. But, what is cold turkey? To me, after a week without chocolate Hobnobs, my mind is distracted. I start to imagine the aftertaste, bits of oats between my teeth, a crumb on my shirt, smears of chocolate down my cheek, and a host of other sensations. I’ve even pictured a passerby as one giant anti-snacksize hallucination. The obsession makes me slather saliva like one of Pavlov’s dogs.

I find myself administering self made behavioural therapy. I draw huge alternatives. Custard creams, Bourbons, and Jaffa Cakes but never rich tea biscuits. I watch videos about raspberries and rhubarb. I dance to the music of the people chewing crackers and crisps. I pray to the Goddess of digestive processes (Gillian McKeith) and I read copious extracts of the food Bible (Meatpaper). My tolerance for distraction is weak. They draw me in. Taobao, an online versatile application in China suggests to me (with highlighted sugfestions) that I should buy a Manchester City mug, coffee from Yunnan province, milk from Asda and a packet of chocolate Hobnobs. They win.

You think you’re table to resist. But, open one packet. How long before you’re munching away? Do you resist? Masticating hard and not swallowing the pulp of chocolate oats? I don’t think you’ll resist.