Tag Archive: death

Not just a river in Egypt

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is the expert on death, dying and grieving. She developed the five stages of grief which the dying, and people dealing with the dying of others, go through.

The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

This weekend in a conversation my mom said she is not going to be bothering with all the Kubler-Ross stages. She doesn’t believe in a god so there is no one to bargain with.

‘And anyway’, she said, ‘I have had a good life, I have made a difference.’


So apparently she is not doing the stage at all, but going straight to acceptance.

Can anyone else smell deep deep denial?

bad dreams

I have a very easy to interpret subconscious at the best of times. My dreams are as obvious as colouring in book pictures. It is like the inner head me doesn’t feel the need to tax the outer head me and so makes things very simple.

But not so now.  Now that I am busy and stressed and haven’t the time or head space to decipher things my inner-head me is being obtuse. And viciously so.

I had a dead brother, in real life. Long ago enough dead to have got used to living with it. But for the last month or so I have dreamt of the man every single night. Dying. Every night I slide into a dream, or two or three, in which my already dead brother dies.

Not in the way he did die, never that familiar horror. Oh no – my inner-head has created a million other ways for my big brother to meet his demise.

I have stopped being horrified or scared by the dreams – I have reached the point of distressed dream boredom and exasperation. I want to cry with the repetition of it

I wish I could work out what I am trying to tell me, or what he is trying to tell me so I can wake up one morning not exhausted, drained and mourning all over again.

red ridinghood

Red snapped the suspended buckle onto her red stockings and straightened up. She smoothed the three inches of skirt she was wearing over her thighs and slid into her leather boots. Her breasts bulged under the tight lacy blouse she had squeezed into and readjusted to maximise the effect. She checked her basket and smiled at the contents. The chequered blanket went over the top and she tucked it in tightly.

She heard Wolf’s motorbike before he even turned into the street. He was early; she knew he would be.

They were off to meet a woman they had met on ‘like-you-like-me.com’; a website for ‘adventurous’ couples. Red hadn’t been so keen to start with; she thought just the two of them was enough. But Wolf (Warren actually – he had decided to be Wolf when swinging) had threatened to leave and so she had capitulated.

She was very surprised to discover that she quite enjoyed the role-playing. She was a bit bored with being Little Red Ridinghood, but her red hair did lend itself to it. Maybe goldilocks next week and then he can be in a bear suit! Red chuckled at that thought as she opened the door to Warren.
‘Hello Warren,’ she said ‘um, I mean Wolf.’
Her boyfriend smiled down at her, his greying hair flipped back over his broad forehead. She looked at him with his wide side burns and long nose and thought, not for the first time, that he did look rather wolf-like.

‘So, who are we meeting tonight?’ he asked, checking the basket.
‘Someone called Bella. She seemed fine; a bit downtrodden.’
‘Just like we like them.’

Red got onto the back of Wolf’s bike. She knew her skirt was so short that the drivers behind her could see the red lace-and-leather underwear. She smiled a secret smile and slid closer to Wolf.

They arrived at the discrete club perfectly on time. No one lifted an eyebrow when they walked in; Mother Goose was at the Jukebox, Little Miss Muffet sat with her hands down the pants of Jacky Horner in a dark corner and Snow White danced slowly around a pole in the middle of the room.

They walked up to the bar and ordered drinks.
‘Big night I see,’ said Popeye the barman, eying the basket.

Ten minutes later the manager approached them with the news that Bella was not going to make it. She had phoned and said her sisters had insisted she look after their aging father tonight. Irritated they both finished their drinks and considered leaving.

It was then that she walked in. He was too perfect for them not to notice. Dressed in a flowering housedress with sensible shoes and a scarf over her head, she looked like destiny.

‘It’s Granny’ whispered Red, squirming on her seat. ‘No way!’
‘No shit Sherlock,’ answered Wolf, smoothing down his sideburns.
They smiled at each other. ‘Let’s go.’

It took all of ten minutes for Red, Wolf and Granny to leave the bar. They walked up to Granny’s flat, not far from the fetish bar. Red unpacked her basket and Granny blanched. ‘I am not so sure about all that leather,’ she said. ‘And whips are not my thing really.’

Wolf leapt on her as she tried to reach the door.
‘Too late you old hag’ he growled at her as he and Red tied her to the bed. Her screams were halted by a gingham cloth thrust into her mouth.

Three hours later, satiated and drenched with sweat, Red removed the rag from the woman’s mouth.
“Oh shit. I think she is not breathing.’
‘What? No no no. This is never the plan.’
‘Well it’s happened. What are we going to do?’

Red and Wolf tied the woman up, wrapped her in a blanket and shoved her into the cupboard. They sprinkled vanilla essence on her to halt the discovery of the body and wiped the room clean.

Six days later, Michelle, a newly brunette hairdressing assistant and her boyfriend Warren, a crew cut bleach blonde, watched with the rest of the onlookers as the corpse of the unknown woman was removed from the flat.

Little did they know that teethmarks tell an indelible story.

wine with dinner anyone?

Lefty wrote a sickish story about killing your dinner
I loved his story
and so decided to write my version thereof

and here it is

Hilton was very excited because his new friend Jesse was coming over for dinner. He had just returned from the grocery store with supplies for the evening and was busy packing them out on the counter: potatoes, rice, peas, gravy and a leg of lamb to roast.

After getting the food started, he went to the dining room to prepare the table. Hilton was a meticulous man, everything had to be perfect. It took him half an hour, but it was worth every second, the table was perfect.

He dimmed the lights, lit the candles and waited. Jesse was going to be there any second now. From where he sat, he could see the road in front of his apartment. He watched in a relaxed way for Jesse’s car.

Hilton hurried back into the kitchen to check the food. Once there, he realised that the rice was boiling over. Quickly he grabbed the pot and took it off the plate. As he was busy, the bell rang. He looked up and out of the window. Jesse’s car was not in the street.

“I hope this is not some random visitor’” he thought, “not tonight”

Hilton opened the door and was surprised to see Jesse.

“Where did you park?” he asked.

“Round the back,” said Jesse. “It just seemed easier,” he explained.

The dining room took Jesse’s breath away. He had never seen such a beautifully layed out table. Scarlet place set accompanied by a napkin of the same shade on a snowy table cloth. Two long candles, throwing shadows around the room, in silver candle sticks. Silver cutlery, laid out neatly.

“Ahhh okay,” said Hilton hoping that perhaps Jesse had parked so that no one could see his arrival because he planned to stay the night. “Did you bring the wine, I could do with a glass?”

“In a manner of speaking,” said Jesse as he lent forward and put his hand into the bag he was carrying.
Hilton’s eyes widened with surprise and disbelief as Jesse thrust the sharp stiletto into his throat. A bubble of blood oozed from around the knife’s handle. Jesse grabbed him as he fell and lay him on the floor, funnel and bucket already ready.

Later that evening, satiated by the roast meal he had eaten, Jesse sat on Hilton’s couch, a glass of ruby red liquid in his hand, and smiled.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

John Boyne

What a book! It has taken me about a week after finishing this book before I am able to write the review.

This book touched me.


The book is sub-titled as a fable and in many ways it is. It’s written as though for and by a child – to some extent. The language used has traces of the way a child would use it. Bruno, the main character, refers to his sister as a Hopeless Case and as the reader you can hear the way he would have said the words with capital letters.

There are gentle repetitions of things a child would repeat and the inclusion of details only kids would notice. But rather than the make the book seem immature, it makes it very readable. It kind of lilts along, skipping and jumping over puddles. The words carrying the reader through the story almost without the reader having to think about it. And this gentle breeze-like quality of the writing only makes the story more powerful.


The narrative follows the friendship between a German soldier’s son and a Jewish boy. They are both at Auschwitz (or Out-With as Bruno calls it) in the middle of WWII and are equally unaware of what they are part of. As historically aware readers, it is easy to see the kind of disaster they are heading for but they are completely oblivious of what is going on around them. This is not a lilting, gentle, puddle hopping story.


This is an awful story of innocence and brutality; of war and family; of death and destruction. But it is also a story of friendship and understanding, error and forgiveness. Of two little boys being friends despite the rules simply because the rules are so absurd that they do not even know of their existence.


I finished this book and wept. I cried for the reality of it and for our collective past. I sobbed for the lingering existence of the attitude of superiority of any one group of people over another which continues to exist despite history. But mostly I shad tears for the two little boys I had grown rather fond of. Not an easy story to read but a really very powerful one.


Maybe it is books like this rather than dusty history lessons that will finally teach humankind to stop repeating history! Sadly, I think nothing will.


The freeing of the Lockerbie bomber so he can go home to die has caused consternation across the nations. People are discussing it and arguing about it on all the continents and at dinner tables everywhere.

 And i have my opinion too.

 I believe we live beneath and within an atmosphere of emotions. Just like the pollution and the oxygen produced on earth float around in the atmosphere above and around us, so too do the emotions we create and experience.

 The emotional atmosphere of earth is angry, sad and murderous. We all live beneath a cloud of toxic, heavy emotions, pressing down on us and filling us with fear.

 I believe we are all responsible for the emotions we send out into this atmosphere. And we have to try to reduce the negative emotions we both feel and cause others to feel.

 The Lockerbie bombing was a terrible thing to have happen.

 Close to 300 people died, and their families and loved ones will hurt forever. The tragedy resulted in so much sad and angry energy being added to the burden of the emotional atmosphere because of the actions of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi  and whoever else was involved.

 Not for one second do i think that he did not deserve to be punished, that the families of the dead did not have the right to see him behind bars, denied his liberty.

 But the man is dying. To what end should he be kept in jail for the last 3 months of his life? The justice system is not supposed to be about revenge; allowing him to die a sad, lonely and horrible death far from everyone who loves him is what the people he hurt might want. But that’s because they want revenge; they want to hurt as they were hurt.

 All that would do is create more pain. His family didn’t do anything except love him.  Does making them hurt too reduce the pain the families of the dead feel? Does insisting he have a horrible death make their deaths less horrible? Does being cruel now, when the man is broken and so close to death not reduce us to, in some ways, worse than him? At least he believed he was committing this atrocity for some idealistic reason; the greater good. However misguided we may all think that is, surely it is not as bad as seeking vicious revenge in the cold, hard light of reason.

 This man has already been responsible for so much anger, pain and tears. He has tainted the emotional atmosphere underneath which we all have to live. Let us not insist on allowing him to taint it more. Let us not chose to feel anger at him and the justice system for letting him go home and die.  Let us not allow this release to be a bad thing which hurts more of the innocent. Let him go and let his family love him as he dies. They did nothing; why should they too be caused additional pain?

 He will answer to for all he has done; let us not make it more. If we do, the burden of pain under which we all live simply increases.