Generation Why?

The personal blogg of a late-night scribbler...

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Location: Coventry, Warwickshire, United Kingdom

I am a 30 year old part-time English teacher and postgraduate student. I prefer red wine to white, cats to dogs and lazy Sunday mornings to any other kind of morning you care to mention. I have a love of tea, chocolate biscuits and rate Llamas as amongst the most entertaining of animals. Spiritually ambivalent and politically bewildered, I seem to spend a lot of time reading the news and getting unnecessarily anxious about it. Italian food, French cheese and pizza will always be met with smiles and is a sure fire way to win me over. My hair is a mess and I wear spectacles.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

what I did on my holidays

Fufilled one of those strange ambitions that you promise to yourself but never really hold as feasible, not in so far as they are unrealistic or somehow out-of-reach, more that you just hold it in your mind as something you'd do if you ever found yourself in the area, or in this instance, just a short train journey away.
The Martello Tower pecrched precariously by the 'scrotumtightening' sea at SandyCove, country Kildare, Ireland, was one such place that I've imagined visiting since I developed an interest in Joyce back when I was preparing for A-levels. The weather was fantastic, and after a bizarre morning spent at the National Museum, Dublin, looking at Bog Bodies - those peculiar leatherine corpses that are occasionally unearthed in peat bogs providing a rare glimpse at the sacrificial tendencies of our ancestors - we took the Dart out to SandyCove which lies about 30 minutes outside of Dublin towards the South East. The tower itself houses a small but nevertheless impressive collection of Joycean relics, letters and even several copies of his death mask. By far the best insigt offered by the tower was the view from the battlements, the same, surprisingly small roofspace where Joyce himself has paced in his day. Just standing there, looking out to sea with the opening lines of Ulysses running through my head was a fantasticly moving experience, and we both stood there for some time casting our thoughts to the distance trying to picture the man in his own way.
The good people at the Martello museum have restored the living room/bedroom space to something resembling Joyce's literary desription, complete with a porclain panther waiting to pounce from the fireplace, and a motheaten, ragbag of a bed festering in one dank corner, I remember thinking it very befitting that the small stairs reeked of piss and seaweed.
In my mind, when Mulligan descends the stiar he is descending from an ante room or higher bedroom level. In fact he is descneding from the roof, where he was stood shaving in the early morning breeze. To make the same trip yourself is something of a revelation for Joyce groupies like myself. What is perhaps a great shame is that the place was almost completely empty, which, considering that you can't move in Dublin without knocking someone's pint off a Joycean sculpture or statue, is a crying shame, but well suited a misanthrope like me. Just beneath the tower there is a small rocky cove, which on Sunday was festooned with gently reddening Irish folk and children, and it's easy to picture Jouce and his gang slipping down to the water for a dip. To stand so close to something that up until that point existed only your imagination is a truly wonderful experience, and one made all the more poignant when you have invested that image with the words and turns of phrase of a great writer, without which it would have just been another speck in the distance.

We ate icecream
Two satisfied souls
On the harbour wall

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Norwegian Biscuits

Veshla's Biscuits

0.5 Kg of Porridge oats (oatmeal)
Sesame Seeds
1 whole fresh egg (large)
Butter (1 third of a block of butter)
1 - 1.5 cups of hot water to bind
1 tsp of molases (optional for a sweeter taste. I prefer a more savory flavour).


Before you begin pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. (non-fan assisted).

1. Mix everything together in a large bowl.
2. Turn out mixture onto a clean surface and roll flat (approximately 5 mm).
3. Cut out biscuit shapes with an upturned glass.
4. Place shapes on an oiled backing tray or baking sheet.
5. Place them on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Shorter times for ovens with a fan.
6. Leave to cool.

These are so cheap and simply to make but are great as a snack on their own or as an accompaniment to soups etc. Good for dieting after the DaVinci Cookies.

The DaVinci Cookie

Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 17 big fat ones.

300g plain (all-purpose) flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon fine salt
170g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
215g light brown sugar (buy the good stuff)
120g granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large fresh egg
1 large fresh egg yolk
300g milk chocolate chunks - break up a entire chocolate bar into little pieces with a large kitchen knife. Galaxy chocolate is rather splendid, but this is entirely down to personal preference. White chocolate is an awesome variation. Personally I use a mix of milk, dark and white chocolate, after all, we are talking about the ultimate cookie!

1. Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In a separate, larger bowl Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. Add egg, then the yolk. Beat well to ensure that egg is evenly distributed. Stir in dry ingredients, and then fold in chocolate chunks until incorporated. It will look as if there are too many chocolate chunks but the dough will be able to hold them all. Cover with Clingfilm and chill dough until firm. At least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.

4. Drop 1/4 cup sized "hockey puck shaped" mounds of dough onto a greased baking sheet. I use a 1/4 measuring cup to both measure and shape the dough which works perfectly.

5. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes or only until the edges begin to turn golden. (They'll look and feel underdone but they're ready). Cool on the sheet for 1 minute and remove with a wide spatula to a cooling rack. Cool thoroughly and enjoy! If you don’t have a cooling rack you can use the wire grill part of your oven’s grill raised on a couple of wooden spoons.

* You might try adding a tiny pinch of chili powder to the mixture, or a touch of cinamon. I've heard of people adding peanut butter, peanuts, Jordon's Country Crisp breakfast cereal (looks like little museli clusters), dried fruits and some other, more exotic but contraband additions to the mixture. As long as you stick roughly to the ratios of dough to chocolate you should be okay. Too much choc and they fall apart. I sometimes add a tablespoon of golden syrup to the mixture to get that extra gooey consistency, but again the possibilities are endless. These little beauties go down especially well with a cup of spiced tea.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A late night with Neruda

For Neruda

And still I miss you
And again I think of oceans
When our lives went out
Like two hands in the night
Close to dawn and its murderous love
When I reach out to you
Drinking your soul like laughter
Begging you with a look

To forgive all you do not keep for yourself
For in dreams I have scarce left your side
Nor would I turn away had I but the chance
To let old regrets die
You who I wounded
Be good to me

I want your all, your everything
I want you always, to taste your blood upon my lips
Two smooth bodies drawn taught
Two rivers meeting by the sea
As if in a traveller’s dream
Where all roads lead back to you

And if I could
I would have you understand me
To show you how I’ve grown
And find my place beside your heart
Open new doors with old love renewed
Where bare foot children run
Calling familiar names

And you would find this a better man
Than the one you knew
A little wiser for being twice as broken
Who measures all love by you
Your long hair coiled around his heart
That in the struggle tightens
And cuts deeper to the sweater meat
That bleeds you name into his eternal soul

PCW June 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Beginnings of a short story

“All the clocks are wrong; time keeps on slipping away, and we haven’t even made the tea!” proclaimed Mrs. Dee, roughly towelling her hands on the tattered fold of her apron. All around her chaos reigned supreme in her kitchen of plenty; pots and crocks and spoons and ladles stood lip and lank-ways, in at all ways, poking fun at every corner of a room that celebrated mess. The greasy pans paid their homage to the brown, tea stained, un-strained teapot, nodding leeward in its gently tilting pile. The sink, eye high with plates and bowls, each glazed with yesterday’s breakfast and last night’s supper, while somewhere, veiled in the deepening gloom of a murk that prayed to the shades, a tired old moggy slept soundly in a custard bowl, occasionally licking his pad paws with an air of feline indifference. Mice ran. Noses ran, and all in Mrs. Dee’s kitchen.

Indeed, despite her renowned hospitality, no visitor to the Dee household was ever gripped by the prospect of a cup of tea served in one of Mrs. Dee infamously filthy china cups, or a suspiciously mouldy looking scone with a delicate dusting of blue bottle flies. And flies there were aplenty. Every available surface, be it window sill or bookshelf, was home to a myriad of little brittle insect bodies, their tiny hairy legs all pointing skywards.

The big house fascinated all the local children, with its huge overgrown hedges and broken down gates, every stick of what used to be the garden fence was now green and rotten, chocked with ivy, rotten moss and maggoty leaves. Somewhere amongst the gooseberry buses and tall limes, an old shell of a car lay dying, its tyres exhausted. The tax disk was always valid and up-to-date, since Mrs. Dee never liked to be ‘on the wrong side of the truth’ as she called it. The huge mechanical oak that grew stoutly in the centre of the garden was festooned with punctured rubber balls, kites and Christmas lights of Christmas’ past, each tiny fractured bulb turned a dull green with age. Everywhere everything was in a state of decay, but for all the age and waste that abounded in old Mrs. Dee’s garden, a garden it remained, looking as if it was meant to be that way and that some higher force was busy at work. The local children, what few there were, would often try and steal a glimpse at the old recluse, about whom there were the usual nightmarish speculations and tall tales. But save the milkman and the Tucker family, nobody ever bothered to bother with old Mrs. Dee and her strange ways. The house itself stood at the end of a sparsely populated street, over looking the fields where the ponies played amongst the cowslip and hawthorn, so there were no neighbours to complain or complain of. It is often remarked by some that no village town or province is complete without an eccentric or two, and it seemed that old Mrs. Dee was well suited to her calling. Rumours circulated that she had been a famous writer who had made her name with scandalous novels about maids and their lusty masters, whilst others believed she had lost her mind when her betrothed was lost in the great losses of war. In fact, like all rumours of any interest, this was all nonsense, and the truth was that Mrs. Dee had lived in Wood View for as long as anyone could remember; as much a part of the local social history as the hang man’s tree and Norman, the provincial pervert.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Perhaps Tomorrow

I dream of water and levitation
Thinking about weeks spent on awkward headinga
Sleeping naked in foreign beds, with foreign sweats
Wishing I was a character in a book

I dream of cheese cloth and shirts worn thin
Old boots with knotted laces illuminate me
A day spent swimming in Germanic mountain waters
The ancient art of spilling cheap white wine

I dreamt I was a fisherman with rough hands
A skin of weathered leather and blue seabird eyes
Living out the rhythm of life with the rolling tides
An ocean of salt water tears

I am a bright fish flopping on white sands
Perhaps tomorrow I will dream of you


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another sleepless night

Yesterday Women

Coffee pot love
Such a strange place to be
And so drunk

Thinking of yesterday women trying to wash me with their ragged ways
Trying to dry launder and absolve me
For all the promises I so keenly made and so idly met
Sorely sworn as a truth worth losing by that old Mediterranean love
I’ve read so much about
Which in the moment of its conceit thickens the blood and leaves you desperate
A sculptor without hands to save his soul
That ancient Latinate, bitter-seeded pomegranate love
Whose red flesh bleeds sweet on doorsteps of the truly courageous
While the less deceived among us
Look on imploringly in their silence and speak of truths
As if they were mere coincidence imaginatively wrought

But always in the night there are the same primal whispers calling us back
The same old sailors singing back to their shipwrecked women,
The sweethearts of their innocence
Who won’t disappoint, but may leave you someday
To your bric-a-brac bird’s nest memory,
Beaten like old linoleum and sick with curfew smiles

Such is the sickness that reaches in such moments
The great legacy of lonely stupid men

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Short and silly

A poem called 'Arse' - taken from the What the F@#k is this shite? You call this poetry! collection of poetry, published Faber and Faber Money Grabbing Bastards Publising Ltd.

A poem called Arse

When I asked him what he was doing
He said he was baptising cats
‘Wanker’ said I
And pushed him into the canal

PCW 2006

A poem simply entitled 'Oh for f@#k's sake, can we have some real news for a change?'

Pete Doherty is a silly twat
and something about Iraq

PCW 2006