Upside down world again.

May 24, 2017

Ooh eck! It’s all gone weird again! I’ve just woken up from a little afternoon catnap…. and it’s 7pm!!!! I don’t know what’s going on but my body clock has gone all weird again. It’s a beautiful evening and I actually feel like going out in it. That is until I remember the arsehole count where I live and there I am, biting down on tinfoil again. It doesn’t help that as well as wanting to leave the house for whimsical reasons, I could do with going out for practical ones, like needing to buy some food… I guess tonight’s dinner shall be of the experimental nature again.

The curse of working for yourself in the insular and potentially introspective field of art is that there is the danger of disappearing into your own little world and up your own bottom. I’m trying to be kind to myself, I was up at 6.30am doing double point perspective technical underdrawing and then helping a mate sort out some paperwork, but yet there is that feeling that I’ve missed or am indeed still missing something with my strange, topsy, turvey, lifestyle. I am my own worst critic though and however hard I am with the rest of the world, I am much worse to myself and I am not falling for that at all.

That sunlight, it has that golden, syrupy, quality of pre sunset and part of me wants to go and walk by the sea, but then, so does the rest of town and who knows what horrors I will see to spoil my day? So instead, I’m going to sit in the rare quiet with the window open and listen to the birdsong whilst the sun slowly goes down. I might even read a book.


The silence of our friends

January 14, 2017

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Martin Luther King said that… And as in America it is Martin Luther King day this week I thought I would take note of a few things he said. The one above and the one below spring particularly to mind as being rather appropriate.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 

And with the latter in mind I shall begin. There is a rather poisonous and revealing  character trait that persists amongst a certain clique in the town where I live. I’m not the only one who sees it, but I’m the only one who seems willing to acknowledge it in public even in an identity stripped and homogeneous form such as this. The trait is this… Being selectively nice. Most people I know are lovely to everyone, it isn’t actually that hard, it doesn’t actually cost anything except perhaps a few more seconds of someone’s time and a little bit of breath to form words. The same thing has been witnessed by multiple people about every member of the same particular group, and that is that they are lovely and charming to anyone who may be of use to them and at best cold and at worst absolutely foul to anybody else. I first noticed it a few years back, not being someone who craves or even likes attention (quite the opposite in fact) I have tried my best to remain invisible locally as much as I can do. To that end, a lot of these people were actively rude to me (and to others, I’m not that paranoid) on our first meeting. This situation  only started to change when a few of them cottoned on that I probably had skills and/or contacts that would be of use to them and at that point they suddenly changed their tune. I have a long memory though… And I’m not subject to flattery.

I’ve watched over the years as the same faces have clawed their way up the greasy pole of popularity in the local community, and watched new people arrive in town who have employed the same, self serving methods, ingratiating themselves with the people who they think matter whilst giving anyone else the cold shoulder and in the process have quickly scaled the aforementioned lubricated log themselves, getting support for their awful gigs, terrible events, shoddy products, and crappy establishments in the process. It’s tiresome to watch as yet another rat boards the rising boat, scratching up the flesh of the unwitting on their way up the gangplank.

The thing is though, what can be done about it? As I have discovered to my own frustration, no one wants to admit that it is happening, well not out loud anyway. Whether through fear of getting shunned themselves or just not caring enough to be bothered, no one dares speak a word of what goes on in public. What’s more, there are people who won’t even be seen talking to me (except at my home) because I have dared to speak out about all the shittyness that goes on. It seems that everyone locally relies on the patronage of everyone else to either turn up at their thing or to buy their stuff… (Un)fortunately  people locally are either mystified by what I do or just plain hate it, leaving me in the unique position of being able to say what I like without it having much effect besides the almost daily filthy looks. But there lies the problem…. Just me spouting off about the actions of rude, manipulative, people is just some nutter ranting away on his blog, the mad eyed screamer’s platform of choice for the new millennium , and until other people choose to grow a pair this town will just continue to sink into the silt under the combined weight of the egos of all its human barnicles. The silence of our friends is powerful and while it continues, the fakes, the frauds and the egos large enough to cause gravity wells will continue to poison the town in which I live. 

I have tried… But it falls on deaf ears and in most cases people are unwilling to believe that half the people are as bad as I or anyone else will say they are. Most people will try and think the best of people if they are given the option and under those circumstances these sharks in human clothing go in for the kill, shamelessly taking advantage of human nature on the way. Criticisms and accusations slide off them and someone like myself who speaks about it comes off as looking bitter or mad. But what choice do I have but to draw people’s attention to it all? And here I am again, not being silent. And the best I can hope for? That like with the local psychopath I spotted in five seconds as opposed to the five years it took everyone else and the government’s work capability assements I spoke about for years before the whole business was turned into an award winning movie, everyone will get it years later. People are so slow to believe anything that isn’t in their best interests and they seem determined not to believe me, all I get to do is to turn around half a decade later and say “I told you so.”

Christmas now

December 25, 2016

Pattern matching is a bugger. Amongst all the other issues I have collected over the years hypervigilance and pattern matching come into play today of all days. I look for indications of Christmases past, horror stories repeating themselves, rather than seeing what is really there, an endless string of possibilities. Even when I have had partners, those happy family Christmases have eluded me. What I need to remember is that they elude most other people too. 

There are several couples in St Leonards where I live who really seem to have a handle on things, after years they are quite clearly still into each other. I was told once that relationships that only exist in a bubble aren’t real… How badly they missed the point of love. You make your own world together, that bubble can expand to include others but the bubble is the core, the heart even.

That’s why Christmas only really works for narrow spectrums of people and for everyone else it is, at best, tolerated. If you see the people you see at Christmas all year round it is probably quite a nice affair, or if you actually get on with your family,  but when you are put in a position, like many, where life has taught you that your family are best avoided, or that you can’t wait to leave work at the end of the day so why on earth would you want to spend your free time with your work colleagues? Or that those people your partner has inexplicably aquired as friends quite clearly aren’t your friends, quite the opposite in fact. Christmas or indeed new year forces you into the company of these people and that is why so many arguments kick off. There is a reason you don’t see these people or you know well enough what the handling rules are so that you don’t get hurt. 

For me this is just another of those Christmases where I just have to be kind to myself and get to the end in one piece Where I have to acknowledge that by some I am quite pointedly being ignored or managed and where my usual lines of survival have been cut for this one magical day as all my friends I would call are off doing family things and I can’t even sit quietly and have a coffee in a seaside cafe as they are all shut. 

I’m still in bed, typing this instead of doing my usual idle Facebook scroll through as I can’t bear having my nose rubbed in it all. Christmas is a mirror and it will show me today that, no matter how hard I tried, my relationship failed and I really don’t want any more reminders of that thank you. I shall now get up, open my presents to me from me that I wrapped up with my eyes shut and I shall start this lonely Christmas Day….

Oh! Before I forget. This thing about choice… No one actively chooses to spend Christmas alone. It’s a bit like this choice… “Would you like me to poke you in the left eye? Or the right? It’s no choice at all right? With Christmas it is… Would you like to spend it with your own nightmare family and risk having a breakdown? Would you like to spend it with someone else’s family a and be reminded what a mess your own is? Or… Would you like to spend it with a bunch of sad singletons and try your hardest to convince yourself that you are having fun and it is all wonderful? As I said, Christmas is a mirror and a distorted funhouse one at that, it shows you at your worst, the things you let slide because you are too busy just getting on with your life to usually focus on them.

Ok… It’s nine in the evening, and if I give it a couple of hours I reckon i  will be able to go to bed and call it a day. While it wasn’t the best Christmas I have ever had, it’s been a long way from the worst. I got my coffee by the sea, so that was a step up from last year. I got contacted by lovely people. I got a few nice presents (mind you, they were bought by me so they had better be.) The day went quickly enough, the Japanese model kit (from me) took up most of it. There is something rather lovely about being able to sit down and idly make something, knowing full well that I, for once, won’t feel obliged to sell or market the bloody thing like everything else in my life. I can just while away a few pleasant hours making it and then stick it in a glass cabinet with all the others.

The best thing about this Christmas is that I shall forget it. A pleasantly dull day that won’t stand out in any way whatsoever and, at this point in my life, that’s the best I can hope for.

Travels with my bear

November 3, 2016

Do you ever catch yourself sometimes and think “bloody hell! I do some weird shit!”?

I had one of those moments yesterday, I needed to get some publicity photographs done for a Christmas show I’m doing and I needed a few of my teddy bears. “I know what”, I thought, ” I’ll take some with a few local land marks” so there I was, wandering down the seafront, a grown man with my teddy bear, like Sebastian and Aloysius from Brideshead Revisted and no one took a blind bit of notice.

I love that about st leonards, no one really cares what you do. When I lived in Doncaster, leaving the house was hell, all you had to do was wear anything other that an Adidas or Nike tracksuit and the locals would start to sharpen their pitchforks.

I really enjoyed that aspect when I first moved to st leonards but after a while that started to change. I’ve always been exactly who and what I am, a little bit eccentric and off kilter. I think my own way and I refuse to get sucked into any group or gang and I love having my own mind, and speaking it for that matter. I had a brief flirtation with being a goth when I was younger but soon got bored as it just became yet another uniform. I wear pretty much what I want now and it is judged on my own terms and is more about a sense of design or historical significance than anything else. 

I have never sought attention, when I recieved  filthy looks back in 1989 and onward knitting my own jumpers on the train, I did it because I like knitting and it was dead time that could be used. When I had an asymmetric razor cut Dutch bob it was because it is technically the hardest hairdo to cut and when I followed it with a coup savage it was because it was because I was fascinated with the idea of someone hacking at my head with a cut throat razor. I have never in my life sought attention, I don’t need it, don’t want it and in the kindest and, in the politest way possible, I really don’t care what you or anyone else thinks of me.

The problem is though, so many people do. Care what people think of them that is. 

This lack of people taking any notice, whilst giving a wonderful freedom to those that need it, has a tedious side effect. Those that want and indeed crave attention have to keep upping the anti, doing more and more outrageous things to get noticed. Personally, I’m a great believer in the notion of meritocracy and that the best way to get positive attention is to develop a talent, to get really good at something. Call me old fashioned but that is what I feel.

There is a short cut to talent, well two in fact and they are both used locally and seem to work to a degree. The first is to use the distance from London’s creative heart and the slightly  cut off nature of East Sussex to gild the lily of your own level of talent. Mediocre talents in any industry suddenly become geniuses and the totally inept can join in too if their mouths and egos are big enough. The other is to just keep puffing yourself up further and further, using and endless stream of events to draw in punters and sell booze to get dressed up yet again, year after year like and endless merry-go-round of gaudy drivel. Then, if that isn’t enough, the next thing to do is to invent a few things of your own. Although it is even easier just to steal your ideas from things happening in London or Brighton or wherever knowing that, if you do it with enough brazen cheek, you will get away with it in an isolated bubble of a community. 

The thing is, however hard they try, people that in need of attention will be tolerated and ignored, labelled by everyone who isn’t them as “that bunch of tossers” while the rest of the world gets on with their lives, ignoring the occasional bit of mess or disruption as a nessesary evil, the price they pay for their own eccentricities to be ignored. Like me and my bear. 

Me, Daniel Blake and a bunch of hypocrites.

October 25, 2016

I first started writing my thoughts about Ken Loach’s film , I Daniel Blake a week or so ago when puff pieces about it started appearing in the media and on Facebook about it.

I gave up when it started sounding like a particularly long bout of Tourette’s Syndrome. It’s hard to condense three years of abject fear into words without your emotions taking over and even harder under the circumstances I shall now describe.

I walked ignorantly into my first sham of a work capability medical. At that point in time, even having a general conversation with anyone would bring me out in a cold sweat, let alone being quizzed by a complete stranger. You can read the horror stories all over the Internet and mine involved a humiliating inquisition, a letter landing on my doorstep two days before Christmas, pulling my life out from under me, plunging me into a year of constant doctors visits, trips to support services constant fear and extreme poverty followed by a traumatising appeal where i had to not only sit before a judge and still form words but answer everything as I would have done almost a year before. I cannot describe what hell it was but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy, I’d wish it on quite a few of them as I think a bit of empathy and humility might do them some good.

I had some wonderful friends around that time and there are fantastic support networks amongst those who suffered at the hands of the government and a bunch of private companies out to make a fast buck at the expense of people’s suffering. As well as knowing who your friends are, you soon learn who they aren’t and I find it deeply offensive just how many people who remained intentionally and blissfully ignorant at the time I was living in terror on a daily basis have since jumped on the right on austerity bandwagon.  It’s cool to be right on again now, everybody is doing it, the social life is great and, hey, it’s a great way to go on the pull.

I would like to see the film, it’s on at the local art house cinema next month but as of three thirty today (Tuesday the twenty fifth of October) I’ve already spotted about five hypocritical shitbags who I distinctly remember being conspicuous by their silence around that time are planning to go. Not only that, I’m poor and I can’t afford ten pound for a ticket. One of the groups that suffered worst under the first attacks by the department of work and pensions was the mentally ill, a group of which I am sadly a member. We were easy pickings, not having any of the annoying X-rays, blood work and paper trail of physical ailments and when we complained, well, we were a bunch of nutters! So who is going to listen to us? But over the years, we got organised, became experts at the the politics of victimisation and dpac (disabled people against the cuts ) became notorious for the effectiveness of their direct action. Meanwhile, labour did sod all, the usual left of centre mobs did sod all and nothing was reported anywhere in the mainstream media. 

But suffering mental health problems, recurrent depression, anxiety, social phobia as I do and prone as I am to having breakdowns, wobbles and meltdowns I am amazed by the number of the supposed great and good locally who have gone out of their way to not only make my life a misery and to this day perpetuate situations to still make my life uncomfortable and make sure various other people don’t communicate with me in public for fear of their judgement . I’m not saying my behaviour has been perfect but , hello! Mental health problems, mitigating circumstances, I mean…

Anyway, I already spotted a minibus load of totally hypocritical bastards going to see this film and no doubt that figure will go up to a coach load. I won’t check again, it will be far too depressing, I already know I can’t go. So to all you self righteous, Internet curtain twitching, road crossing, blanking me, gossip spreading shit bags, I hope the springs from those plush cinema seats pop out and stab you in the arse hole and you choke on your popcorn so you spend the next month with rectal bleeding and breathing through a tracheotomy tube. 

To everyone else, have a lovely time xxx mwah!

Fun on a Friday night

October 21, 2016

It’s Friday night and the weekend starts here!

Well I guess it does if you work in a nine to five job, which I haven’t since 1999. 

Social conditioning dictates that I should be out on the town tonight, having “fun” but instead I am sitting on the sofa, central heating on on a cold and windy October night watching the new series of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, doing a bit of drawing and knitting a hat with the pattern of the carpet from the shining on it. Hell, I may even make a Pom Pom for it if I feel especially reckless. 

 I gave up on the Friday night thing when I was 21 years old when I realised that it always turned into a let down. It’s all built on lies and expectations and the marketing campaigns of a billion pound drink industry and the constant unfulfilled promise that that night  will be the best night of your life. The reality is actually this. It will be kind of ok. If it seems more than ok it’s most likely because drink and drugs will be telling you so. Who knows, maybe there will be some chance at romance but if you are judging your future partner in a poorly  lit room with blaring music and no chance of a decent conversation then good luck! Little bit of secret knowledge here, if you meet anyone in a pub or club situation, they a. probably have a drink problem and b. probably don’t have a life. Yet people still do it, marauding about in packs with their chums, trying to have the most fantastic of Friday nights. 

The problem is, people do this sort of stuff for so long that they don’t even know why they do it anymore, lost souls going through the motions just because.

Unless you are into some religion where reincarnation is one of the beliefs, this is your one and only life and if you are jumping up and down to a terrible PA system or listening to a identikit conversation about the hilarious thing that someone did at the office when they were last drunk then maybe you should consider doing an evening class or reading a book maybe. Dinner parties are awful too and parties…. Well, just forget it.

It’s that reality gap again, no one will ever tell you your party was shit to your face, and because everyone will get so pissed that they won’t remember anyway, it will be rewritten like all of them as such a wonderful time. It won’t be, they never are. Drunk People will think four people in a room while the fifth flicks the light switch up and down is the best night ever at Studio 54, the limelight, blitz, ministry of sound, fabric, the hacienda etc but it won’t be, it will just be shit. Incidentally, a mate of mine was always down the Roxy, Heaven and Blizt, guess what? They were shit too! 

The truth is, if someone is interesting, they will be interesting while sitting waiting in the launderette. If they are dull, they will be dull behind the velvet rope in the viper rooms. The rest is all froth and a pain in the arse journey home navigating past drunk people.

Well, anyway, that ate into an hour of my knitting time, I’d better get back to my knitting as I’m missing out on the fun. 

The great Christmas Quanderey

October 19, 2016

I’ll let you into a little secret…


I’m not a fan of new year either.

There! I said it! 

It’s a total pain in the bum, it’s cold but it never snows and it’s the flashpoint for so many awful things. The domestic violence and suicide rates spike massively, debt rises, awfulness abounds . It’s halfway through October and I’m writing this tucked up under my duvet in bed, it’s cosy, it’s comfortable but I can feel the cold in the room biting at my exposed bits, I know that there is a beautiful sunny day out there but I’m already wary of drawing the curtains as the heat will just fly off into space, I will though, it looks so pretty. Hang on! ….

Right! Back in bed, lovely view, comedy giant hood woolly cardigan on, knitted by me I might add, cup of tea, breakfast,  lovely! So yes, it’s already cold and by Christmas it will be much colder still. The whole idea of Christmas makes sense in principle, something to give people to look forward to at the coldest and darkest time of the year, bringing the green of nature into your home, ya de ya de yah and I’m sure for many years in made perfect sense but, to nearly everyone I talk to, the whole Christmas/ New Year business is a total pain in the arse.  I could give you a diatribe of all the miserable yules that I’ve experienced but I won’t, unless you are some deluded Pollyanna type you know exactly what I mean. It is for that very reason I try and remove myself from the whole proceedings, I must add though that I always get loads of offers but there is only one thing more tragic than being the sad singleton at the end of a Christmas table, and that is being round a table full of sad singletons, everyone all fake smile and bon viver trying to convince themselves they are having the bestest of times. Nope! Can’t be doing with that! My family is even worse to spend Christmas with and since Roald Dahl is dead, it’s not even worth witnessing and sending to him as notes for one of his awful literary families. 

The latest fad in how to deal with Christmas is the ‘feed the homeless’ gig but if you haven’t already booked your chance to feel glorious about yourself by dishing out turkey and nut loaf to the unfortunate, forget it! The homeless shelter duty on Christmas Day is now harder to get into than most newly opened west end nightclubs. I pity the homeless, and having been one I should know, life is hard enough without a bunch of self righteous people puffing themselves up and assuaging their middle class guilt on your misfortune, well until they get bored and move onto to next worthy cause anyway, ooh look! There are some refugees to patronise over there!

Whatever way you look at it, unless you are one of those few people with a perfect family life and a circle of friend straight out of Notting Hill or Four Weddings and a Funeral, Christmas is at best something to be managed and there is a reason those films aren’t filed under documentaries on Netflix.

My three most appealing options for Christmas this year are as follows:-

1) leave the country. Somewhere hot and somewhere they don’t have Christmas. The lack of money scuppers this one sadly.

2) have myself put into a chemically induced coma. I would LOVE this one! It’s the nearest you could get to being tucked up in a box full of straw like a hibernating tortoise, plus….. Weight loss, superb! Will anyone do it nowadays though? No! Some annoying nonsense about medical ethics and other such rot. Bah! 

3) drop dead. Tempting…. It has all the benefits of the about solution and I would miss Christmas and the new year but… Well, you die and that sucks. I’m so looking forward to it getting warm again, it would be such a shame to miss that. 

Not being vastly rich or influential, I am stuck with a list of options on how to deal with Christmas and the new year that are no option at all. 

New year is just as bad, more parties, random and regrettable snogs with someone you will have to avoid eye contact with from then on because the narrative of every Hollywood Holliday movie tells you that new year is where the magic happens, desperately trying to make a connection and start the year off on a positive note, kidding yourself and everyone else that you are having the bestest of times. Pubs much the same but with tickets and door bouncers on treble time. Then there is the worst of the worst, new year television, recorded, well now I guess, people out of season pretending to whoop it up on New Year’s Eve, kill me now! 

So coma, still the best option.

The real problem with both Christmas and New Year is that they so flaunt the trades descriptions act, they definitely do not do what they say on the tin. What should be about friends, family and celebrating  what’s best in life become a farce of Brian Rix proportions, serving to highlight that in an age of disfunctional families and friendship groups based on getting the best photo of having a marvellous time onto Facebook, all this garbage is a redundant part of the past.

And here is the greatest of ironies, I design Christmas cards!!! What a hideous bloated hypocrite I am, trotting off to the printers with my data stick full of Christmassy images, signing up for a Christmas show at the local gallery. Stuff made by Chris, eternal grinch, Hoggins, ideal presents for all your family. Pah 

Hopefully, you may have gathered that a lot of what I am saying, what I always say, is tongue in cheek, gallows humour from someone who has to see the irony in a world that most people sleepwalk through but, even so, how do we deal with Christmas and the new year when we are grudgingly forced to deal with it?

My challenge, it seems, has been over the years to create the most sideways look at the whole silly nonsense I can. Even as far back as 1991 I was making shiny black Christmas cards with matte black images and quaint little statistics about how many turkeys were raised and slaughtered for the Christmas table. I’ve done countless non Christmassy Christmas cards, off colour ones, colour in yourself ones (years before the trend), it’s tricky finding a new angle for something that my heart isn’t in anyway. 

For the international market I’ve done my third and forth take on Alice in Wonderland I guess the reason it seems to fit so well is that people are so used to the convention of victoriana being traditionally used on Christmas cards makes it able to sneak right in there with all the usual cliches. When I drew the versions of these images that these are adapted from they were already a comment on the correlation between madness and homelessness, the caterpillar sporting a sleeping bag, the dormouse a concentration camp uniform and the hatter a disability rights black triangle. Some of this imagery is missing from these reworking but, as those who know my work well will know that what is absent is often as important as what is there. It’s that homeless thing again, it’s so important  to acknowledge but not to patronise.  My other global card is the least Christmassy thing I could imagine, the bleak and savage future of Stanley Kubrick’s take on A Clockwork Orange. It’s amazing how a bit of snow and Christmas pud makes the most dystopian of images look festive.

The local themed cards are where thing start to get edgier and the one for my home town is the most contentious of the lot. St leonards is an odd place, it has by tradition been a magnet for people like myself. Poor arty types who can’t afford to live anywhere else who like the seaside and the slightly shabby Victorian architecture. The poverty is rife and obvious but it is bearable as there are so many others in the same boat… or there were. Due to a number of articles in the broadsheet papers and Sunday colour supplements over the years, a notion that st leonards and old town Hastings has been manufactured that they are hip and happening and, after a while, people started to believe the fantasy, profiteering boutique estate agents started jacking up the prices out of reach of the locals and more and more ridiculous shops started opening selling nothing of any use whatsoever. Artisanal burger bars appeared, clicky pubs, ironic post modern this and that, insular communities of down from londoners got more and more brazen trying to turn their new how or in some cases their holiday home into a third rate London or Brighton rather than a first rate st leonards on sea. But however hard people try, the poverty of st leonards doesn’t go away, it spills out on to the streets, the street drinkers, the drug dealers, the prostitution, the crime and the vandalism is all there living cheek by jowl with the faux vintage bikes, the ridiculous beards and the yummy mummies in their brightly coloured retro mackintoshs and rosy cheeked children. So when designing a card for st leonards what else could I put on it? Why, the street drinkers of course! I’m not taking the piss here, they are there, every day of the year, down by the sea front, booze in hand, faint smell of ganga, the occasional teenager turning up in the latest sportswear to disappear with one of them to sell them drugs. This is not a criticism, this is an observance, they are there, I have painted them, end of story. 

Or is it though? It’s a strange irony that the people most likely to be offended by my Christmas card are those that are complicit in the systems that keep the poor trapped. It’s hypocritical to be concerned about street drinkers when you are off down the pub with your mates or knocking back the wine and a few spirits at a dinner party, when you unwittingly share the same drug dealers for your after dinner line of charlie or that occasional bag of weed and cheeky little e to remind you of being  back at university again.  

If you want  to truly help those with substance abuse problems, stop bloody doing it yourself!!  Stop drinking, stop taking drugs, avoid bars and pubs and remove your financial contributions from anything that props up exploitative systems that promote domestic violence, child neglect and lack of social mobility. Stop engaging! Maybe one person won’t help but it’s a start. Then, once you do, something amazing will start happening, without those chemical buffers  you will start to realise just how tedious half the things you do are, how boring or awful half the people you socialise with are, you might even get the impetus to start making a few changes to your life. Stay away from the pubs and bars and go home and read a good book, make a model boat out of matchsticks, do an open university course, watch a Ted talk, do some knitting, anything but pour money into a corrupt and damaging system.  Change is scary though, it much easier for you to stay stuck, but imagine how much harder it is for some poor sod with nothing better to do all day than sit in a shelter by the sea knocking back special brew. If you want to do some good, leading by example is a good place to start.

Ok, so now I’ve said my bit and totally failed to put the world to rights you can by my cards at the links below. Merry, erm, Christmas! Yay?

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