Lest there be any doubt

I signalled my intention to, at least, have a No-Friends Facebook account some time ago. In the event, I deactivated it completely.

Believe me, F/B was great in the first few years of my joining, but it had become a burden. Off it goes.

I posted a few times to this effect and I’m sorry if you missed it. I also posted on my timeline that unfriending ALL my friends was nothing personal, simply part of my F/B withdrawal. Many of us have other ways of keeping in touch, if we choose to use them. I also gave an alternative (web~based) contact: www.nicholasnuttallgreen.com

I am Nicholas Green and I AM curious.

Achievements?

Yesterday I stripped my bedding and washed it. It was good drying weather out on the clothes line. First outing for my new quilt cover, sheet and pillow cases – nice. Yeah, and I had shaved and showered too.

Also responded to one of those through-the-letterbox charity bags. Shoes (x3 or 4), trousers, tops. Good to clear out.

Been clearing out quite a lot lately and acquiring stuff. A few weeks ago I bought a pair of Doc Ms from their shop near Monument. Not cheap, but I love ’em. Cherry is good.

Today, I took delivery of a Samsung combination microwave oven. It works and is great. It replaces a bog-basic microwave and a (crap since the day I bought it) worktop oven & hobs which are being collected by the council on Friday (1st June). More space in the kitchen too – can’t be bad.

And, today, I cleaned my fridge, having bought a canister of sodium bicarb (best for cleaning fridges) from my local shop.

Lots and lots of things to do to get things straight. But, as a final remark, I am pleased to have left F/B. I now look elsewhere for things to do, things to be interested in… just things/people/places…….

 

Still work in progress here

Still flying by the seat of my pants on this site. If you encounter any problems when accessing or trying to access the blog (particularly with privacy or security) I’d be really grateful if you would let me know by email (if you have my address) or by using comments or contact on the site itself. Positive feedback also appreciated. Thanks.

Consent forms

CONSENT FORM+

I, (insert your name in your own handwriting as Subject 1), agree to sexual relations* with (insert your name in your own handwriting as Subject 2).

This is revocable at any time.

We therefore agree to review this consent every 5/10/15/30/60 minutes (highlight as agreed) by signature on the attached RENEWAL OF CONSENT FORM.

+This covers such activities as kissing, petting, mutual masturbation and full/penetrative intercourse. It does not cover anal intercourse, troilism, BDSM activities or bestiality. For these consent forms please refer to the HELP pages. In the latter case the animal’s signature will be required.

*Note that the protection of these forms will be significantly enhanced if you register them with an attorney-at-law prior to sexual relations taking place.

 

Whatever happened to criticism and dissent?

I am becoming increasingly disheartened, and sometimes despairing, about what I see as an ever-growing development of “unchallengeable” orthodoxies:

  • Anti-semitism. Anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are now much more dangerously conflated.
  • Brexit. Two years on from the referendum, the cabinet is split, the government is split, parliament is split and the country remains split. People advocating remaining or calling for “a people’s vote” on the deal are castigated as “remoaners” or “sore losers”.
  • Gender. The recent Genderquake debate on Channel 4 exemplified the many divisions on this issue.
  • Equality. Doubtless, there have been significant steps forward in many areas, but, in some respects, there is increasing (sometimes vitriolic, sometimes hateful) polarisation.
  • Patriotism/nationalism. Europe is shrinking. Fascist parties are growing. Racism is a salient feature of these features.
  • Austerity. We all need to pull together and share the burden of recovery.

I’ve tried to keep this neutral (you may have noticed). I have views and opinions on all of them.

The point, though, is this – some of these opinions I would never express publicly, like on this blog.

Now, this may be a function of my paranoia or intellectual cowardice, but I think not. I don’t get many hits on this blog, but the last thing I want is to be on the receiving end of hate mail or whatever. I took some risks in my youth and there were consequences. I’m now retired and the baton has passed to younger generations.

Pilgrimages to the French capital

I blame Baudelaire.

On my first visit to Paris, in 1963, I contracted the Paris virus and became a novice francophile.

In this and the next few visits I “did” the usual tourist sites, but felt drawn to the more offbeat destinations like catacombs, sewers, and cemeteries.

At secondary school I became very keen on C19th French poets. The likes of Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, Verlaine et al; not so much for their works as their lives. I was fascinated by the whole hashish, absinthe, rebellious, artistic, salons, urban poetry milieu. Bohemianism I suppose.

In particular, I devoured Enid Starkie’s biographies of Baudelaire and Rimbaud, and the Hansons’ biography of Verlaine.

Well, that was it, the start of my pilgrimages to graves. Initially poets and novelists, but later expanding into musicians, artists, politicians and others, but mainly with a C19th focus.

I found and bought a book – Guide des Cimetières Parisiens by Jacques Barozzi – and this became my passport to lots of visitable graves, some as far afield as Pantin and Bagneux.

Paris cemeteries schematic

Baudelaire was probably my highest priority and I found him in Montparnasse, the second largest intra-muros cemetery after Père Lachaise.

Charles Baudelaire 1821-1867

I’ve always found it rather sad that his inscription comes below that of his stepfather with whom he did not enjoy a particularly harmonious relationship. I think I’ve visited this grave on most of my subsequent Paris trips.

It took me a while to get to the Batignolles cemetery for the grave of Paul Verlaine, nestling in an unprepossessing location right under the periph in northern Paris.

Paul Verlaine 1844-1896

Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) lies not in Paris but in his native Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes, Not the easiest of places to get to, so that will have to wait.

Over the years, then, I’ve accumulated dozens and dozens of grave photos, from the very famous to the relatively obscure. It has brought me a great deal of pleasure.

 

 

 

Facebook

That’s it. I’m now running a No-Friends Facebook.

My blog and pages I post are usually public. If you have privacy concerns, COMMENTS need to be moderated by me so if you don’t want a COMMENT to be published just say so. Probably better, though, to use the CONTACT form which just comes to me.

Walerian Borowczyk

Having subscribed to Amazon Prime and its BFI Player I was most pleased to find movies by Walerian Borowczyk.

Polish-born, France-based Borowczyk (1923-2006) was lauded by some as a genius, by others as merely a pornographer. I can claim familiarity with only two of his movies – Story of a Sin (Dzieje grzechu – 1975) and The Beast (La Bête – 1975).

The former tells of a young woman who will go to any lengths to be reunited with her lover, including murder, arson, prostitution and throwing her newborn down the toilet – all accompanied by an intrusive soundtrack of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

By Source, <a href=”//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Story_of_Sin.jpg” title=”Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of The Story of Sin”>Fair use</a>, <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34239786“>Link</a>

Full-frontal nudity (male and female), violence, sex. It’s all there. IMDb throws up love, prostitution, teenage girl, sex and surrealism among its plot keywords. And Mendelssohn too – oh joy!

The Beast, however, is of a completely different order. Here, the sex is pretty much (ahem) in your face. A baroque soundtrack accompanies scenes of horses mating, female masturbation and, to cap it all, sex between a woman and a beast. Hence IMDb plot keywords like interspecies sex, surrealism, human arouses animal and phallus.

Some who condemn this movie, in my opinion, miss a simple point, and that is humour. Scenes of Romilda pursued by the beast through the woods could rest easily in a Mack Sennett silent or a Monty Python sketch. What starts as a rape, ends with her shagging the beast to death.

I first saw both of these films in the late 1970s, a time when challenging cultural borders and exploring ideas were not considered things to be despised, hated and banned.

 

Palestine, yes, Palestine

On the day the USA opened its embassy in Jerusalem and just before the Nakba anniversary, more than 50 Palestinians killed and thousands injured. Netanyahu and Trump gloat, the latter proclaiming his commitment to peace – the pussy-grabbing hypocritical shitbag.

Jews were settling Palestine years before WWII. They had known pogroms for centuries. Who can doubt that anti-semitism is a cancer in our world body? And then came The Holocaust, an obscenity, a global shame, still the most prominent of C20th genocides.

But what then? In the grace of the Balfour Declaration, the Jewish residents of Palestine established a Zionist state, based on the forcible expulsion of Palestinians.

  • To oppose Zionism is not to be anti-semitic.
  • To be a jew, or a citizen of Israel, does not convey the right to mirror either South African apartheid or Nazism.
  • Israel has lost whatever moral authority it might once have had.

Deir Yassin is one emblem of the Nakba. Karameh is another.

New directions

I started this site back in 2013. It was, partly at least, a project to help me keep my head above water following redundancy and de facto retirement. At its peak it had well over 200 pages containing thousands of photos and some text. These covered my travels around Europe, embracing France and Italy, the Czech Republic and Russia, as well as my domestic tourism. They’ve all gone now – deleted, trashed.

It served its purpose. But I found that I had become less enthusiastic about maintaining or expanding it. Photos I’d taken on various jaunts (photos I would once have been keen to add to the site) simply stayed in the camera. So it’s gone.

Instead, I want to take a completely different approach and experiment with a blog. I don’t know how that will pan out and I’m going to have to learn new stuff about how best to use this platform. What I do know is that I have opinions and I like to express them… sometimes. So maybe a narrative, rather than a visual, approach is more suited to where I am now. We’ll see.

BTW. The photo in the header, taken on the roof of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, is about 10 years old. I don’t look like that anymore.