Gnarly Old Tree

Gnarly old tree, gnarly old tree

Staring down through into my window at me,

Gnarly old tree, gnarly old tree

Where are your green buds you normally wear with such glee,

Gnarly old tree, gnarly old tree

Red blooms you show so bright and with pride

All summer long I watch each one slowly die,

Gnarly old tree, gnarly old tree

Many years will pass by and then its a goodbye from me

Paul Stamp 21/March/2016

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Miami to El Salvador

The Landor was certainly a rare species, blue underbody, white head and wings, a fleck of red adorned the blue tipped tail, silently, she circled the strange holding pattern for what seemed like an eternity, to her left  and below the cruise ships lined up on the docks of Dodge Island, tiny speed boats and mile upon mile of silver sands stretched out to both North and South of  juxtaposition, suddenly, her *mark* was in sight, she banked sharply and started losing height dramatically, whilst in her final part of the dive she started to scream like a kamikaze pilot. Speedbird hit the runway hard, her sixteen talons gripped into the steamy asphalt, and the forward nose wheels followed suit very quickly, raising her flaps and opening her rear thrusters she screeched to an eventual halt with her precious cargo still leaning toward a forward inertia of 1.7G’s, hardly a text book landing, but, we were down.

Entering into and through the United States via Miami International should have given us immediate pass direct to boarding our flight to San Salvador City, no such luck, we had baggage that had to be collected and re checked in, so much for our travels going smoothly, Big boy Bill “it’ll be alright” got it wrong again, the four of us were frog marched by heavily armed guards as they escorted us on this trek which never seemed to end, we were a constant point of attention, through to immigration via the Harmonic Runway, now known as Rainbow Bridge, a beautiful coloured art installation with sounds of the South Florida Everglades which played whilst we walked and traversed over the never ending moving sidewalk, everyone was looking at us, all far too close for my liking. I hate bad breath as it is, but, chilli, garlic and alcohol emanating from burly olive skinned hispanic’s in tight beige security uniforms doesn’t cut the mustard for me*[1] and to top it off,  “big mouth” pointing and orating un silently “look at his fat arse Stumpy, fancy some of that”? was not helping.  Sometimes, drunken old men who think its hip to be gay friendly really make my blood boil. “Shut the fuck up Bill” kept going through my head, I was just praying to God that he wouldn’t turn off my mute button as to make it publicly known.

We were advised that our specialist tool cases had gone through security and they were now probably ready to board our Taca flight bound for El Salvador or there was every possible chance that they had been thrown into the back of a flat bed and heading off of  Airport campus, nicked by the underground workers way below in the airport basement, whereas, at this particular moment in time we hadn’t a hope in hell of catching our linking flight, the  next scheduled departure was 07:00hrs Monday morning.  If I had ever wanted a great title for a novel, here it was …. “Stranded in Miami”. “OK big mouth Bill, over to you now”

….. Checking into our room, This was to be the only time I have  ever shared with a work colleague, I desparately wanted, no, sorry, needed a drink. I laid on my bed, my mind started to drift and I wandered off to sleep …… The second line back “Beach Front Motel” was akin to something similar of a seventies thriller horror movie, and yes, cockroaches were crawling everywhere, the bathroom was rife with them, somebody kept knocking on the door,  visions of red necks and poor white trash on the run  jacking up crack or heroin in the corner of the room, and punters receiving sleazy street services kept appearing in my head, or was the dirty mark on the carpet by the side of my bed a vomit stain from a suicidal female?   well, in  just one loud outburst, my street cred was now completely wiped clean. …….. “don’t let them get me”,

“Stumpy, STUMPY !! …. wake up for fucks sake man” …

Pete bore the duty of guard, patrol, and secretly, my hero keeping the nighttime monsters at bay.

….. after all we had made the usual pact that “whatever happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas” …. …… what on earth was wrong with the hotel at the airport!

*[1] I was lying like a flatfish!

R.I.P. Twitter

  Some of you, as regular readers will know that I am an avid Twitter fan, well, TBH, I was.

During the last few weeks whilst I have been sick, I have noticed a trend on Twitter that has shaken me to the core, infact, this trend has been there since my day one, and yes, as per the usual, I have, and been caught up in the drama.  Social media is a great phenomenon, and being of an age and part of the great internet uprising, it has certainly opened my eyes.

I joined Facebook in 2010, and guilty of slagging off just as many friends as I have been slagged off to, all part and parcel I guess of washing your dirty laundry in public, sadly before the internet sensation, if anyone had anything to say, it was done face to face and one on one, but, nowadays its all to easy to smear your faeces of grievance across the front of everyones smartphone and worse, beyond, as once heard, Facebook is for friends who you love to hate, whereas, Twitter is for meeting strangers that you would actually like to love.

I actually thought, in my stupid wisdom that Twitter was a social class above FaceBook giving me the chance to get to know a little more than what we may have already known about a business, a celebrity and a n other who was probably just as nosy as myself, and of course, the many groups of pro-blo’s. Professional bloggers sucking up to merchandise retailers, restaurants, business, clothing manufacturers, the list of which is endless, and yes, I too have endorsed many an item, especially of businesses in my home town, and recieved reward for doing same, but, what has recently been brewing, are celebrities, pillars of communities, writers, chefs and believe it or not fucking astronauts are doing exactly that. Twitter gave us a chance to be there, at shoulder level, on the red carpet with them, but, surely, wasn’t  all this supposed to be give and take?

I was watching a food writer programme recently, and it suddenly dawned on me, just how gullible, and many others are, that we all love a cheeky grin, a mug to camera and butter oozing out of that ones mouth, but, does that actually detract from the item you recently purchased endorsed by this person on the imaginary promissory of a buttery abdominal part? And who really wishes to know that this person actually walked 15Km to find the best Miso soup in Japan.

Whats with the secret of sitting half way up a staircase staring into a black attaché case that contains numerous amounts of tin boxes with rare liquorice, for fucks sake, how many species of liquorice are there?  Lips seductively pouted, whilst uplifted breasts clad in tight velvet attempt to cook brownies without spilling white dust over her dress, who fucking cooks like that in real life, and what really is in the small tin at the bottom of the toolbox? BTW, how many recipes can you concoct with just Rocket & Radish?!

Remember that little feeling known as “euphoria acceptance” you got when someone *follows* you back, and you are in awe and retweet to tell the world just how sad you are? yes, thats me, and I’m sure there are many more *me’s* out there, I hadn’t realised just how much of my life I have been wasting, waiting for a tweet from someone to tell me they had just had a shit, because, basically, thats what it amounts to.

What about the greatest achievement recently, IMO, Tim Peake, well, he’s obviously going to be a *Sir* by now, on a list, especially as he wished Her Majesty a Happy Birthday from the ISS, this guy really makes my piss boil, he’s young enough to be my son, yet, he does not communicate with the ageing Buzz Lightyears that we, an interested generation in space travel are, yet he conference schools and judges toilet roll rocket ships, how about a live stream to us pensioners queuing at the Post Office on how to germinate our seeds?

If it wasn’t for us as joe public tweeters, many of these A celebs and B listers etc, would certainly not be flouting the outrageous clothes they wear for free and endorse the likes of mulch and banana, Vulgarbi and the many vile couture house rags that brain wash the youth that are fashion and image conscious.

I loved to read the antics of my few core tweeters, who was going to what concert and where? when the next bottle of Prosecco was about to be opened, who is eating cake again? words of the day, Birthday baton news and reading between the lines of the odd cryptic tweet now and then, of course, distributing my inaign news was always foremost and hot off the press.

I’ve calculated that of my 26,700 tweets and averaging 4.5 characters per word, I have put online 830,666 words, that’s more than the 774,776 in total in both the Old & New Testaments, and hard to believe that it is, it’s just as hard to believe that I’ve talked that much rubbish.

I have had fun on Twitter, but decided it’s time to hang up my boots, as much as I would like to stay, and in the words of my dear friend who instigated my blogging, “we have lives to lead and enjoy”

One final Tweet, by the way @VictoriaBeckham, no fashion sense, you cannot sing, the Evoke is a joke & finally yes, your arse does look big in *this*.

Rant over.