Posted in Creative Writing, Family, Financial, Health, Work, Writing

Long Time No Write!

So this month is turning into a nightmare – writing wise – and in other ways. This has largely been down to the fact that I have felt ill for most of it. Running a high temperature and feverish. I can’t afford to take any time off sick and have been crawling into work, making it back home and straight into bed most nights.

All this has had a detrimental effect of our youngest’s autism and he has been a handful, to say the least – in turn, this has had a knock-on effect on our eldest.

To make matter worse – my car has been out of service. It has taken three garages to work out what it was and fix it. I started off using public transport at first but when the Bus broke down it just about finished me off. I ended up having to hire a car. So much money down the drain.

I was feeling a little better over the last few days but of course, there’s so much to do now to catch up. One of those things was to tighten the security on all the kids’ devices. That’s when I discovered that the Microsoft account on my eldest was not working. He could not log into anything – for example, One Drive as it was asking for a parent’s permission. Ok, I followed the steps but this did not work as it was insisting on a US based credit card. It proved impossible to do what they were asking. So I contacted Microsoft, who didn’t believe me. I spent 4 hours going around and around in circles. It appears that when setting up his account originally I must have set it to US. by mistake. Simple – they said  – get him to log in and reset the region. He can’t log in!

ME: He can’t log in without my permission!

THEM: OK you give him permission. I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you.

ME: I can’t! That’s why I am contacting you!

THEM: Just enter your credit card details at this link.

ME: The link I told you insists on a US. based credit card so I can’t complete it.

THEM: Ah, that would be because his region is incorrect. Get him to log in and change the region.

ME: @#@!ing hell! He can’t LOG IN!!!!

Four hours! Four hours of this before they admitted it can’t be done. Then they asked me to Fax them his details. Fax! FAX! Is the Microsoft help department still living in the 80’s! I can’t remember the last time I even saw a fax machine. I certainly don’t have access to one.

Starting to feel the mania creeping in!

Anyway, there was one bit of good news amongst all this garbage. I should be ecstatic and singing about it but all the rest has just left me feeling so drained I haven’t really had time to think about it properly.

I have got a new job! Accepted the offer and last week handed my notice in. It’s going to be a big change. Been in the same job for 10 years – time to blast away some cobwebs!

Posted in Daily Prompt, Fiction, General, Review, Science Fiction

Sir Richard Francis Burton

By Scott Bailey

If ever you are looking for a good and somewhat different biography to read them try Burton: A Biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton by Byron Farwell.

I am not one for biographies myself – I only read this one due to the fact that he was featured in one of my favourite old time Science Fiction series – the Riverworld books by Philip Jose Farmer. A series where every single person who ever lived is resurrected on one world all at once – just a fantastic premise in itself.

Farmer uses Burton as the main character of the first book (and others later on.)  He writes him with such passion and paints him in such an interesting way that you can’t help but find out more about him.

So I delved into this biography. Farmer had only painted a small part of his life!

Sir Richard Francis Burton, in reality, was  – complicated.

He was a man of extremes. In many ways, he was extremely admirable. On other extremely reprehensible! Unforgivably so.

He achieved more in his lifetime than many of us could on six, seven, eight lifetimes! But is beliefs were bigoted and selfish, to say the least.

For example:

He was an avid supporter of slavery! He believed women’s places were in the home or the bed! He was vehemently anti-semitic and wrote several books that still cause controversy today!

You could argue he was a product of his time but he was an intelligent man and there were plenty of contemporaries who were seeing past the constraints of their society and challenging the established views.

He was a womaniser – had affairs, frequented brothels. He was a brawler – fought at the drop of a hat earning him the nickname Ruffian Dick. He disregarded authority of all kinds and went his own way, expelled from University and often AWOL from his army career.

However:

On the flip side.

He was one of the foremost fencers of the time inventing some new moves.

He was a masterful linguist  – he was fluent in 24 languages – and in many of the different dialects of them. So much so he could pass himself off as a local in many places. He learnt much of it from prostitutes!

He was a master of disguise – not just in the fact he could dress up, makeup and talk like the locals. But that he understood them, he took the time to know their customs and etiquette, the foibles without which he would have been betrayed as an outsider. He immersed himself in their culture.

He made seven pilgrimages in his life.  Studying and being accepted into various religions – understanding their teachings while not believing any of them.

He was the epitome of an explorer, making dangerous journey in strange lands, suffering illness and injury, going back for more and pressing on.

He explored and brought to light the many sexual practices from around the world. He brought much middle eastern and eastern culture to our consciousness. He brought us translations of the Thousand and One Nights, the Karma Sutra and the Perfumed Garden.

So as I said, complicated.

It brings up a problem we often have with heroes. We want them to be perfect. We want all those good qualities without the bad. But life is not like that – people are not like that.

We kind of know that – we try and accommodate it. Modern day fictional heroes have their flaws, they are dark and brooding and have emotional baggage. But nothing we can’t handle – nothing really reprehensible.

So it got me thinking. I have a real problem with Sir Richard Francis Burton. I admire what he achieved. I dislike what he was as a person. I certainly would not like not have known him personally. 

And I see a reflection of modern men in this dilemma. I have written here about how men (and everyone in fact) are demonised in modern media. On the other side, we are brought up with a set of ideals about what a man should be what we should strive to be.

We end up with conflicting views – an ideal – heroic man to strive for, and the wretch the world tells us we are.

The conflict I feel when thinking about Richard Francis Burton is the conflict we feel about modern men – he is a kind of reflection of us.

We should, I think – start to accept our flaws more, try to improve and eliminate them, yes, but give ourselves a break. They are a part of us, a part of our nature. Nobody is perfect – natures abhors perfection as much as a vacuum.  Perfection does not exist so let’s stop trying to achieve it.

Anyway, ramble over.

Posted in Creative Writing, Haiku, Poetry, Writing

Curse

By Scott Bailey © 2017

The tiger curses
Beautiful, perfect pelt
The hunter’s desire

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #145 Beautiful&Curse

#Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

Posted in Creative Writing, Poem a Day Challenge, Poetry, Self Publishing, Writing

A Spring of Dreams – Cross

recite-1782e6a

Senryu: Cross

By Scott Bailey © 2013

Fleeing from killers
The child runs desperately
To fill out a form.

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Succumb

quotescover-PNG-66

Would all the earth succumb to the concrete blanket of mankind? Was that the best legacy they could leave? Was their vision that limited?

One day there would come a time when it would be more profitable to tear these trees down than to leave them. Then there would be no power on earth that would save them. Even concerned consumers couldn’t stand in the way of profits anymore.

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

 

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Shipwreck – Thirteen Tales

Shipwreck

Explorers – or pillagers? The line is thin on the high seas, in strange exotic lands. Those that operate without fear of consequence soon learn their folly. There are older powers in the world than gunpowder and steel.

Featured Image -- 7657

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, General, Mankind Limited News, Politics, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Writing

Mankind Limited – Nothing Changed

 

quotescover-PNG-9

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Read an excerpt here.

Available as

Kindle

or hardback

from Amazon

or CreateSpace

www.scottandrewbailey.uk