I am away with the faeries about most things. Money, work, acting.. in fact all that goes with being grown up! Of course I'd much prefer to be away with the mermaids but mermaids are like, real to me, faeries not & varying the expression wouldn't work, and of course saying all that just confirms that I am truly am away the faeries!
Anyway It's an expression, I've always liked, especially sounds great when somebody says it who has an Irish accent, I'm thinking of my dear, old friend Therese, who sadly I seem to be more away from these days.
I've been away with the faeries thinking about my past, (of being away with the faeries), of late, more so than usual, which slightly alarms me & hope it's not some sort of summing up of my life. I was even getting all nostalgic about primary school in Poynton in a group on Facebook the other day, sharing memories of a teacher who forced me to sit next to the prettiest girl in the class, (Stephanie Mattocks was her name), like it was a punishment, stupid teachers! Best punishment I ever had I reminisced! Vernon Primary on Clumber road didn't beat you as much as the dreadful Poynton County High...the worst school in the world! One thing I've just remembered about the primary was being about 8 and taken off to Miss Marsh, (the large Hattie Jacques like headmistress) office. Thought I was in trouble but confusingly I was not in trouble, but the reverse. I was praised for especially good work etc, and this being a sort of turning point for me going bad, not wanting to work, be rebellious & totally hate school & everything to do with it, which I did from about then the age of 8, right up to leaving school (still the happiest day of my life so far, 8 years later.
Anyway as it's been Easter, I've been thinking back on Easter when I was primary school age in the 1970s, and we’d usually be on holiday in the caravan. I loved my childhood & caravanning was a big part of it. For some reason I remember watching 'The Bells of St Mary’s' on a black & white portable tv, (films have ever been a touchstone to past events) & painting chickens eggs in colours, usually favourite colours green & purple. And another time at home, Fleetway in Poynton. I miss that house & it’s magical garden. (I miss my childhood even more just lately, so much so that I want all the trappings off it back, like a typical late middle aged man I guess, I’ve even started taking an interest in football again after loving it in the 70s, even bought myself recently a replica Man City early 70s jersey.
I remember Jesus of Nazareth with Robert Powell on the television, had a real impact on me. This and my dad seeing pope John Paul 2 in Heaton Park in 1982, the only 2 occasions when religion, in this case Christianity came anything near close to being part of my life. I never felt part of that need to have it, but I can understand it's comfort to many, even if I can't understand it's warped reasoning to others.
Ah Religion one of the golden greats of Away with the Faerydom!
Religion is like an arrogance, full of itself, hypocritical, and something to avoid at all costs. Oh and never get into an argument with anyone who advocates it. To borrow/adapt a great line from Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility when Elinor referring to an arrogant man, except substitute man here for religious nut job ...it does not deserve the compliment of rational opposition!
Religion was never forced on me, mum & dad went to church, St George’s in Poynton. But I wasn’t dragged along. Dad’s job as an an architect/lecturer in architecture at Manchester university, cathedral architect to Manchester Cathedral, ancient monuments society & Diocesan advisory committee at Chester etc etc meant that churches played a big part in our lives.
Dad would come and say the lords prayer with me at bedtime when I was young, forgive us our trespasses I can still hear him saying.
When I was in junior school I was sent to Sunday school at the methodists. I guess because it was just across the road from the school on Clumber Road, Poynton, because mum & dad weren’t methodists. I always remember a nice lady called Hillary who ran it & would some times have the sunday school kids round for tea. I always remember her saying Easter eggs were actually a representation of the stone that was rolled in front of Christs tomb, when i found this was not true years later. And then heard about Ostara/Eostre the Germanic hare goddess of fertility & yes eggs, but then even this may not be precise, although the hare was definitely a potent symbol in ancient mythology, Celtic & Roman.
I can forgive dear old Hillary as she meant well, and in every religion there are enough good people to outweigh the bad ones, but I'd sooner have the Easter hare's egg! Hare's have long fascinated me, ever since I learnt to tell them from rabbits. Hare's are something else. One of my sisters favourite cuddles was Easter Harsay or Oster Harsay, as he came fro Germany, had a real character & was always a bit cross & diffident, at least the character my sister leant to him. Also was enchanted by her book Masquerade, a beautiful picture book by Kit Williams with riddles & clues to a golden hare that was buried somewhere in England.
Oh also once saw a giant hare in a field when walking alone up towards my favourite ever place Maiden Castle in Dorset. As big as a dog like a labrador, Rustling undergrowth, observed me for a split second then shot off. Truly magical, felt privileged to have encountered. Oh I've gone all away with the hare's!
I liked Jesus of Nazareth & although I'm not a Christian feel it’s power, (more a power of good film making & acting, & great theme music though). I’ve just been rewatching it again for the first time in about 20 years. It was based on Anthony Burgess’s ‘Man of Nazareth’ itself a brilliant read, (Anthony Burgess one of my fave writers, a brilliant, brilliant man), it’s a novel about a real man, not a myth, not the highly selective mythology of the gospel compilers. It begins with a graphic description of the method of crucifixion & the novel also has Jesus marrying, as it is observed that you would have been a freak not to have had a wife in Jewish life back then, especially as a prophet, and there is nothing freakish about Burgess’s Jesus, he’s enigmatic, hugely charismatic & most importantly ambiguous, a charisma that’s certainly captured in the performance of Robert Powell & the ambiguity of the novel, although heavily diluted by Franco Zefferelli’s traditional approach. Years later would come The Last temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese’s late 80s film of the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, itself novel that owes much to Anthony Burgess’s novel.
The four part, superstars of their day laden tv epic unforgivably still has Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, (even though the Catholic church had apologised for this mistake only less than 10 years before this production. (They still lazily do this, I cite the 2016 movie Risen, an otherwise pretty good film), but you can read the miracles as taken both as truth or what they wanted to believe, And especially the resurrection as open to believers or dreamers. “The messiah is like a bad dream” Peter Ustinov’s great Herod the great intones. And as my favourite character in this, weary, witty temple scribe Zerah (an invention of Anthony Burgess), observes at news that the body has gone from the tomb.. “Now it Begins…it all begins.”
That line said by Ian Holm, great... fine actor, has always resonated with me, (for many years I used to see it as a prelude to me achieving things). The myth is born, rejected by the jews, Christianity on it’s long often dark & unenlightened way
I was curious when I first saw Jesus of Nazareth at 13, that Jesus’ message about peace & love has not been adopted by his followers, worse that it has been warped, corrupted.
I think of John Lennon talking innocently but still compellingly about the disciples after he was attacked in the USA for saying correctly that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus , and his Christianity will go, will vanish has proved almost prophetic in the last 50 years. Lennon said he liked Jesus, but all the disciples were thick & ordinary. Perfectly put.
Surely 'God' would have known how stupid man is and foreseen that this simple message about love & forgiveness would be as much divisive as welcome amongst, simple, foolish mankind, so although I don’t doubt that a man, an enigmatic prophet called Jesus walked this earth, I can’t believe he was the son of God for that reason. The message is too subtle to be understood by most dumb humans, what they needed was the sort god of hell fire and damnation old testament God that many so called Christians really want, who shot thunderbolts around to punish the wicked.
Ultimately the best Jesus film, the best to deal with Christianity or for that matter any religion is The Life of Brian. No other so brilliantly satires all the sheer outlandish lunacy of any religion. All it's factions, it's interpretations, complications of what was at the beginning a simple message, turning a peaceful religion into a hateful, bigoted one.
I went to see Life of Brian 40 years ago with my dad, he joked that he hoped no one he knew would see him going into the Odeon to see it, as he knew lots of high placed churchmen, and there was a bit of a backlash about it that time, in Britain anyway a bit of stuffy intellectual one, rather than anyone threatening to blow up cinemas screening it . It was a moment of sheer blissful enjoyment with my dad shared. I've never forgotten it. The perfect film that deals with the absurdity of religion, or gets somewhere near dealing with the abject craziness of religion.
A big reminder of that abject craziness and how violently stupid & hateful human beings are blistered up on Easter Sunday. Around 350 people murdered during a service in a Christian church in Sri Lanka by a suicide bomber & a woman journalist shot in Derry by a dim fat kid with a gun apparently representing a new IRA & who wasn’t even born on Good Friday 1998!
God! How many more reasons do we need that humans are stupid, and not to be trusted with religion, faith, belief or ideology. What with destroying our planet & vilifying those with courage to protest & rebel against potential extinction. God is a concept wrote Lennon, in one of my favourite of his songs, by which we measure our pain…I’ll say it again.
Oh it's better to be away with the faeries isn't it? And the thing I have always been most away with the faeries about is love.
Which may go some way to explain why I've always been so unlucky with it, and why I've just been unlucky again for the umpteenth time. Yes it must be the umpteenth the one that comes after dumpteenth!
So the bliss I referred to in my previous missive was of course fleeting, as invariably it is I guess. The ages of chat we had that seemed like minutes have cruelly turned into seemingly an even shorter time, and certainly found me away with the faeries.
We met at The Wizard on Alderley Edge, The Edge, my magical early touchstone to my childhood imagination. and it was a romance that took me through a lonely April, house & Maisie the shih tzu sitting, for my mum whilst she was away on a South Pacific cruise with my sister. It was also sadly over before it started.
She was an artist, worked in ceramics. Funny, bit bonkers, lovely, strong, intelligent, forthright & cute.
Anyway she told me that she'd changed her mind & didn't want to blow hot & cold with me, ( I'd have held out for the hot water & endured the cold showers), and could we just be friends?
Apparently she decided this on a Mersey ferry, a journey I’d recommended to her. I am ever the author of the method of my undoing!
Why am I blogging about it when this is far from a new phenomenon, it's been going on for years, lots of short flings with women. then depressingly they end it, the buds of a promising new relationship cut off before even being allowed to bloom.
And no I haven't lost sight of the fact that it might be me. Me or online dating!
I am always honest about myself on profiles, so can only think that my 'honesty' about myself comes back to haunt them (or me) and that attraction to me could only ever manifest itself in a fling, when women such as her go and clear their heads on Mersey Ferries or what have you, they realise thy can't commit to a relationship with one so away with the faeries & mermaids as I. Such as it has ever been.
Of course she's entitled to change her mind! I just can't help minding her change!
Why is it still so damn difficult to find a woman who I fancy & who apparently fancies me to go out with me?
You know In situations like this I always wonder what would Richard Harris have done?! He bought me a drink once you know, several drinks in fact. (resists going into beloved well worn anecdote). Mr Harris, my early touchstone to my kind of aspired to, macho. Strong & cool, Roguish, effortlessly charming & poetic ideal,,actor, not just actor, but mainly self.
I turned out to be more Tom Courtenay's Billy Liar (love him & that my all time fave movie), but without the girlfriends.
Mr Harris may have got a little misty eyed after not a few drinks, but would no way would have got all mopey about 'a fling.' He'd have laughed it off anyway while another gorgeous woman falls again for his charms and the one before, became like what drinks he'd had last night.. difficult to recall. Oh it's a silly comparison .He just wouldn't have kept having this kind of bonkers thing happen to him anyway! He found love, married & was on good terms with all his ex wives, I remember a memorable 'This is your Life' when they all were on. One of the reasons I loved him. Maybe he just didn't ever meet anyone as wonderfully bonkers to get fucked up by. Maybe he wouldn't have fallen for that kind of bonkers woman anyway.
I'm regretting having tackled this subject here now, not as funny as religion! I'll just say that I'm sorry she didn't feel she could give us a chance. Funny, she told me off for apologising too much. If you're going to be soppy, may as well be unapologetically soppy it seems. A few days ago after not seeing or speaking to her for a week, she messaged me simply 'miss you' I said I missed her too, and that was it, I was going to say I miss her face, her voice, she had such a cute voice & that I long again for the closest I've been to bliss in a very long while, but I didn't.
Oh fuck, fuck....FUCK IT! Her stupid loss, She wasn't so intelligent after all, as she's missed out on me, the big fuck off sex god of passionate love & exciting unorthodoxy, fucking ME! ...I want to say!