I Thought I Had More Time


A camera I had last used nearly 15 years ago and thus effectively antiquated reminded me that learned procedures are not always remembered. I accidentally destroyed a 36 exposure colour film on a rainy hillside last weekend by forgetting that a certain minute dial had be turned clockwise in order to rewind the film.

(Turning one’s head in bed in darkness in a certain direction because you feel that there’s someone there though you know it can’t be true. You expect to see it but prevent it from being seen by daring it to appear.)

One day words will come alive. Literally. They will decide whether to change their meaning. Thus they will become even more senior partners in the realm of the emotions, philosophy and science. People will live under a tyranny of syllables, unable to remember what any word means, used to mean or know what they will mean. The experience of thinking, speech and writing will have the intense second-guessing feeling of being forcibly subjected to a universal sort of predictive text of the mind at all times. Words will have this mobility and independence retrospectively, in effect rewriting history. But they will rule their letters benevolently?


What goes through people’s minds when they are choosing a name for a child? Mohammed, according to a free newspaper, is the most popular boy’s name in the UK. Do people name a child after a parent, grandparent or another important family member? Or after a contemporary singer or actor? Is there anyone alive today called Achsah, that name I see on the gravestones of 19th century Biblically-educated Welsh-speaking West Wales?

Black Friday or rather the 1st Black Friday of December. A woman hit by a falling television set in a Tesco store. Melees break out over discounts and people raid the trollies of others, haggling taken to new extremes. Watch out for the rain of 50 inch smart TVs.


Christmas shopping. Droves in streets which used to welcome and channel drovers. What to buy? The shops seem so replete with unnecessary objects which still are attractive to the buying throng. Giant illuminated red stars hang over the main roads, an ironic, unconscious nod to the former Soviet iconography. What appears to be a massive, stylised bolt of lightning has embedded itself in tarmac between a brand new insurance office block, a retail centre and the place I work. In all of this colour and activity I try to locate a music venue whose name is a reminder of my minority language in the capital city of the country whose language it is. I can’t find it…..