At the End of the Day


I’ve been on a course for the last three days. It was all about how to sail through life with less angst, albeit with the same degree of effort….on the reasonable assumption that more effort with lower blood pressure might mean (a) I’ll be around for longer and (b) I’ll be attacking the Bad Guys rather than damaging myself.

I won’t say it was an unqualified success, but I came out of it bigger and stronger than when I went in – and I got some down-time from blogging. My tutor and I agreed to differ on software producers (I think they’re binary Asperger’s sufferers led by crooks, Teach said that it was just the way it is) but we did both agree that the economic model we live under is insane, liberty is disappearing along with freedom of choice, and only a backlash led by the new emerging generation can stop Western civilisation from descending into the sewers.

The Course Tutor offered the added advantage of being a talented snapper, and supplied me with some updated site images as part of the package. In return, I offered to pay for lunch at the Grappe D’Or in Monbazillac. I’d say we both did well out of it.


The dear old golden bunch of grapes is one of those wonderful sub-Bergerac eateries that remains a family-run treat appealing to traditional standards, while still employing inventive chefs. This judicious mixture keeps on appealing to the better-off end of those aged roughly 35-95 and their families. Philippe & his missus ensure that the standards of service, customer care and presentation never waver from top notch: so while these days the joy of a meal there is increasingly rare, I never feel cheated.

It was bloody terrific, and the wine selected (a 2012 Chateau Tours des Gendres Gloire de mon Père) went fabulously with the Chateaubriand Edward VII we shared. At 13.5%, the Cab-Merlot-Malbec blend was a tad debilitating for lunchtime, but less than half of it was consumed – the remainder being taken back home for human rather than canine consumption.

The Conti family bought Chateau Tours des Gendres in 1925, and it too now has a third generation updating its wine output, and nuturing the tradition of approval based on quality.

Believe me, I am fully aware of how blessed I am to be able to enjoy these sorts of pleasures. I mention them here as classic examples of the triumph of communal over global output….not to promote poncey impressions of faux sophistication and the gloating life of a bon viveur roué. I don’t sport open-toed sandals (although my tutor-guest did) and I don’t frequent overpriced New York chique eateries: there is a massive territory called Real Life between the two.

There is no reason on Earth why – at some point in a much better and more egalitarian future – everyone in the world shouldn’t be able to enjoy life for what it is- and rare treats because they are rare.

But a world in which 3% take rare things for granted (and the other 97% can only dream about ever having them) is not in any way ‘the natural order of things’: it is the end result of unnatural ideologies – and far worse, it is the beginning of the bloody slaughter we call revenge.

Neither neoliberalism nor communism will ever lift us out of hierarchical prisons….because neither belief system is based on anything to do with normal anthropology. The same is true of Islamism and radical feminism: all of these mad belief structures are reduced to rubble in the harsh glare of empiricism, and the cool synthesis of utilitarian thought.

Aim for the greatest possible fulfilment of the greatest number. An imperfect species must never aim for Utopia, for no species is a deity. Aim for the stars, but do not assume total success. All false assumptions in the end lead to Dystopia. Results of that deluded certainty include US global hegemony, the European Union, the USSR, the French Revolutionary Terror, and Erdogan’s pathetic belief in the new Caliphate.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

24 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. A beautiful commentary on your latest course in life.
    Having followed the latest on 4 very large earthquakes in the last few days, I wonder if our planet has plans for us crud?
    Our young have seen life for what it is and have given up. How to give hope? I don’t know. Ask KFC?? Perhaps we are back to waiting for Armageddon and a new robin hood….
    In the meantime we are finding just how many people we can accommodate in our home, and cherishing the sunshine, so to dig for victory!


  2. Is that an Aria acoustic I see there? I have a similar make Telecaster hanging on the wall beside me. It gets used very little though as I prefer my acoustic to fiddling around with the amp and its various settings.


  3. Anger management course over a good wine,with good company,great food in a calm ambience,maybe France hasn’t changed has much as i thought! or feared!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cher M. Ward – Just a modest thank you for your entertaining and thought-provoking blogs of which I’m a loyal reader. I hope the bp responds positively to your 3-day counselling so that you will indeed be ‘around for longer’ and continue your attack on the prevailing socio-economic ideology which is causing so much damage to all aspects of planetary life. Bonne chance et bonne continuation. Santé!


  5. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years or three now, I have to say it has become essential reading for me. The stunning form you’ve been in the last month or two ,only enforces my belief that this blog of yours is number 1 in the bollocks deconstruction department. I know I’m not alone in thinking this and when I spread word of your blog folks tend to stick with it.

    I wish you good health and good fortune and I hope you’re around for years to come. I have a feeling the next couple of years or three will be decisive and look forward to reading your insight on proceedings.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. John, different strokes for different folks but I have found a walk in the woods about as good a way of keeping an even keel as any. Since retiring 12 years ago I have been lucky enough to do ten solo, long-distance walks in England, France and Spain with just a 12 lb backpack and a two bits of plastic (belts and braces). I have walked through your neck of the woods a couple of times so when you talk of Cahors, Puy l’Eveque etc it brings back great memories. I enjoy all of your blog posts, but those that I find the most uplifting are when you go for a walk in the woods or skip stones in the English Channel and then write about your experience. You paint a picture with words that are as vivid to me as a photo or painting. A final thought, I have always found Rudyard Kipling’s If, and Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata a worthwhile read from time to time, plus, of course, a good meal in rural France is also a great pick-me-up. A final, final thought; both you and your Coach are right re software companies. The principal difference is that his approach is easier on the body if one suffers from hypertension.


  7. If this course you’ve been on is going to put an extra edge on your already razor-sharp observations of late, JW, then good-o say I. Here in East Devon the Memsahib graciously consented to my producing a roast dinner accompanied by a half-decent hock (with no more than a hint of ant-freeze) and pronounced it edible. And this after my having managed to place an arrow or two in the target at 100 yds on a gloriously sunny morning at the range. Life is good … despite the best endeavours of the arrogant numbnuts in nominal charge these days to remove all traces of enjoyment from our lives.


  8. Dear JW, lucky bastard! But why not. Here in Scotland it has only just stopped snowing, so we had a big spring clean and bonfire followed by a Sunday Roast and a couple of bottles of the Co-ops finest. The best thihgs in life are not free but they don’t cost that much either. More strength to your elbow in the coming struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. CBT (Contrarian Behavioural Therapy) has worked wonders for me, although sometimes I wish it were otherwise. To inform and entertain is not easy, you do it well. Not too many minor chords on that yoke now, there’s a lot to be said for a 12 bar blues though, in any key you like.


  10. Starting with YOU – number one here…
    Many older guys are in the same place as you. Rightfully, a loving woman should be in place, but as the root cause of today’s ills, the female race have become too up themselves with greed and selfishness to think further than what time the shopping starts tomorrow. So cut that one out now.
    Speaking for myself, I focus all my love on family, and walk at least five miles daily, gardening and more sun/fresh air, eat less, no alcohol, plenty of rest time.
    Rise above it all, learn from the good, p*ss on the bad, and think of number one all and every day.
    Media winds me up, so if I don’t like it, I shout obscenity and insult and SWITCH OFF.


  11. Glad to see you back, and to hear that you enjoyed the last 3 days. I was concerned when I could not find your usual
    Saturday essay. Your blog has become a part of my routine, and I look forward to your view on the World each day to lighten mine.


  12. A lovely tale of a great day out and a fine photo too.

    Knowing how the Islamic lot hate dogs, I’m amused to see an anagram of Erdogan is “Dog near”. But this is unfair to dogs – he’s lower than their excrement in my view.


  13. Gruess Gott from here in southern Bavaria. Somewhat apprehensive as we are about to take delivery in our town of 300 military aged males. Hoping it runs as smoothly as the 50 chaps housed on the other side of town who seem quite content now after a few teething troubles.


  14. John
    When the zone I live in went digital……it forced me to upgrade my pc.
    I fitted had a gizmo which picked up the tv and radio stuff, this was quite some time ago…….
    I could drag the tv image around the screen and alter it’s size! plus record stuff ‘on the fly’. (crap memory developing).
    Well… Recently…….‘her indoor’, was well pleased when we bought a Roberts stream Internet radio Does the lot..analogue and dab, fantastic audio reproduction for it’s size.
    Once she got into it! she found Internet stations all around the world that she liked . No whistle and phasing that one got the old AM and short wave broadcasts years ago…..Remember that shite on Radio Luxembourg? and don’t forget the pirates. You probably remember a viewer survey they did? ….
    Got folk ‘tuned in’, to flash their headlights and/or and houselights fantastic ‘on my way to Sheerness could see several miles of motorway …this caused a blip in the Southern Electricity System,This did shit up the establishment no end. They were in the gift of giving cronies gongs for playing stuff some folk liked!
    One transmitted from an old ww2 AA pod in the Thames estuary (steady signal from this one) ..not so from SS radio Caroline (It did! rock the signal).


  15. You look so ferocious mein Prinz. Why not give us a song on your beautiful guitar . I m sure you play divinely . What about Masters of War pre Dylan s ekectronic awakrning ( Were you the one that shouted ” Judas” from the back of the auditorium ?).

    And then go one better mein Maus .. place all your daily spiels on video via TouTube Capture like David Icke, Alex Jones and even the Before Its News mad men ?

    I ts the future mein petal . Or more prosaically it s the recent past . The future is interactive AI porn. Think of tge possibilities mon petit choux………


  16. Bloody ‘eck John. Pushing out the boat a bit weren’t you? 14€ retail for a Bergerac? I’ll match you a Marmadais for 10€ a hit – ‘Confidentiel’ = absolute upper limit for a local wine.


  17. I’m pleased to see that, as a latter-day Jeremiah*, you look the part. Keep the jeremiads** coming, please.

    * Jeremiah, n. – The name of a Hebrew prophet (see jeremiad n.), used allusively to denote a person given to lamentation or woeful complaining.
    1781 Gibbon Decline & Fall III. 620 The vague and tedious lamentations of the British Jeremiah [sc. Gildas] . .

    ** A lamentation; a writing or speech in a strain of grief or distress; a doleful complaint; a complaining tirade; a lugubrious effusion.
    1780 H. More in W. Roberts Mem. (1834) I. 186 It has been long the fashion to make the most lamentable Jeremiades on the badness of the times . . [OED]


  18. Sat here now enjoying lunch, great tip and worth the effort from Hong Kong. Cheers Rick

    Sent from my iPhone


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