lockdown love

Well, last time I wrote this in January I said it’s been the strangest year I’d ever known, so seems likely this one will easily top that! Before all this craziness I was about to start a new blog about my little life here looking after three wild kids under five, and my trips to Germany to see my other two slightly bigger but just as wild kids. So that kind of got scrapped, because nobody – and I mean nobody – wants to read a weekly blog with some jaded guy going on about missing his kids in Germany, and listening to a scratch Larry Norman “I wish we’d all been ready” every day crying into his burnt porridge….

So instead, I’ll just stick with wordsandguitars , but yes it’s absolutely heart-breaking to lose hopping on the train (boo to nasty airplane pollution!) pretty much every month to spend a glorious few days with my kids across the channel. Every day when I wake up it’s the very first thought in my mind. I can’t even write a throw-away poem about feeling sad because I just don’t have the focus. So…with that in mind :-

I cherish the simplicity of life here now. Having nowhere to go. No plans. No work. We are lucky to live in an extraordinary secluded little spot, surrounded by countryside on our doorstep. Writing this looking out from the bedroom window at the rolling hills, it calms me and thrills me. Spending all day with three little children is intense but I’ve never seen them so happy.

Here are my highlights, in no order

Tblog1he cool quranatine – this is a ridiculously long radio show put together by the always-entertaining Henry Rollins. It’s pretty much 4 hours of stories and rare gems and music by little punk bands I’ve never heard of. You can dip in and out of it whenever you feel like, I tend to put it on when I’m baking yet another batch of peanut cookies!

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newspapers – I no longer bother to really listen to the news, like I use to in the “old days”. I’d go crazy if every hour I was reading the latest updates. I tend to listen to a bit of the one o clock radio news but that’s about it . However 3 days a week we get a a delivery of either The Guardian or The Times. The newspaper girl drops it off into our letter box as the morning birds start singing, and what could be better than starting your day with a cup of coffee and flicking through the paper. Of course I don’t get to actually read it properly until the kids are asleep…

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Letters – sure sure, I use skype and facetime and all that to chat away to friends and the kids in Germany, I also love using the landline telephone but nothing quite beats a written letter. Most of the time I use the typewriter, and the post being a bit slower these days somehow just makes the whole experience that much enjoyable. Somebody says “hey, I wrote you a letter and posted it today” and then for the next week or so you’re checking the post to see if it’s arrived. Simple pleasures.

Reading – so many great books around, at the moment I’m reading the swirling “around the world in 80 trains” by the awesome Monisha Rajesh, Anne Tyler’s latest “redhead by the side of the road”, peanuts comics, and Carrie Brownstein’s (sleater kinney) “hunger makes me a modern girl” All well worth checking out this spring.

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Baking/Cooking – In the good old days, just weeks ago, I tended to do a bit of baking ever so often with my little 3 year old who always loves baking but these days it’s become pretty much part of the daily routine. I guess we go to the supermarket so infrequently we don’t really have biscuits and cakes in the house anymore from the shop, so we are just baking them. Making our way through the be-ro cook book. We get a lot of vegetables too from a nearby farm, so always cooking something healthy too.

blog5Games – when the kids are tucked away, and dreaming of little bear or star wars it’s time for scrabble and music quizes with a candle flicking away by the board, and a record spinning in the background and if you’re lucky a cup of filter coffee and some organic chocolate.

Stay safe and do the right thing.

Peace xoxo

 

 

 

The politics of hate

No music today, instead I’m going to write a little bit about the American election funfair. It’s so silly, it’s a joke isin’t it? I mean Donald Trump, the “anti-establishment figure” promising a “revolution”. Are you for real? Since when did this become the message? This nutcase was born with the silver spoon, inheriting somewhere between 40-200 million from his dad. We’re not looking at the American dream now. He’s not Bill Clinton, who grew up in poverty white-collar trash to become president.

Trump has spent his life making dodgy deals after dodgy deal, gone bankrupt and exploited others, including the government. He’s riding the capitalism freak-storm and treating people who don’t agree with him like shit. He’s paranoid, unpredictable and plays the aggressive guy to “make America strong again”. Even though America is one of the richest and most successful countries in the world, and still has staggering global influence and prestige. Oh, let’s not forget his views on immigrants, banning Muslims and Mexicans. That’s before we even get to the allegations of rape from his x-wife,  whom he seems to have paid off. Want to know more? Try this.

it goes without saying I’d vote for Bernie Sanders. I love that line “Nobody working 40 hours a week should be living in poverty”. It’s powerful but the fact I’m for Bernie is so obvious I’m not going to write about him, but instead I will write about the Republican candidate John Kasich.

If you’re right-wing, Trump isn’t going to help you. Ted Cruz is frankly insane and unstable so forget him. No, you need to get out there and campaign and vote for John Kaisch. Ok, this guy met Richard Nixon when he was back at college, but don’t hold that against him. He’s centre-right I guess, on board with lots of cool Obama polices, and the Tea Party crowd hate him as he’s too liberal for them. He talks a lot about helping those with mental illness and addiction, and he seems to generally care for vulnerable people.

Ok I can’t help it, there are many things I think he’s wrong. His idea of energy, oil, cutting welfare, lower taxes for the wealthy. But then that’s why I support Bernie, but you know, the left doesn’t always win. I’m into discussion, not blind opposition. I think Kaisch is the guy for the “other side”, he’s certainly impressed me. I guess for us living in Europe, he’s like a John Major type. I guess that doesn’t sound very exciting, but I’d rather have him as president than that clown Trump.

Sad news to end about the Independent newspaper closing down next month. I’ve been buying it for years. I’m slightly concerned now the only choice for left politics is the Guardian. The Independent had some great articles, some great writers. I still pick up the “I” paper from time-to-time, but I do like the more substantial articles and in-depth analysis you got in the Independent. I won’t bother with the “internet only” version, and I doubt many people will. Huffington Post is more than enough for me.

If you’re still wondering about the US election, there was a fascinating radio program this week on BBC radio 4 by PJ O’Rourke, it’s funny and O’Rourke is as always brilliant at this stuff.

It’s half term now and I’m off to Germany.

xo