The little dog laughed
Most days I walk to the local store across muddy fields, my dog running free and my mind as scattered, or as serene as the crows that watch my lonely trajectory. I am British, an Englishwoman in my adoptive land of Denmark. I am also a mother, an artist and writer, and I am angry!
The cat and the fiddle
I watch a field of cows stagger through the same muddy terrain that I pick my way through. I use good boots, common sense not to go through the puddles, or thigh-deep through the mire. The cows are bred to provide meat and milk, they aren’t there to think much. The farmer does the thinking; separates them from their calves at birth, brands them his and one day will send them to slaughter. The cows, like me, enjoy their daily walk. But unlike me and my reasoning monkey brain, they don’t walk to the side on fresh turf, they repeat the same path and struggle thigh-deep through the viscous mud and shit. They simply cannot fathom how to find another way of going forward.
and the dish ran away with the spoon
With the farce that is being played out in my homeland, I feel that I must take aim with my slingshot into the monstrous catastrophe that is quite possibly ready to enfold in the election of another Tory government. I watch these cows repeat their exhaustive journey through the bullshit, and feel incredulous that they have been so conditioned over time to provide meat for their masters, that their natural instinct that once saw them as a huge and ferocious aurochs has gone.
From across the North Sea I watch in dismay as the rich become richer, one in three children are below the poverty line – ONE IN THREE! As I walk through the streets of British cities people beg for alms in the form of food banks or tent cities, and with toothless drink sodden faces the homeless curl up in disused doorways as the first snowflakes flutter to the ground. I am so ashamed, and I can’t even vote. Ashamed too that I have had the opportunity to read books by Charles Dickens. Books such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and Hard Times when I was a Grammar school student in the 1970s. These books were written 150 years ago, but as I walk through the streets past glitzy stores and well-fed faces in warm restaurants these stories are as applicable today as they were in the 1850s.
At the end of the WW2 the British people had had enough bloodshed. After two horrific wars, instead of rearming the people chose to invest in rebuilding and making the lives of the common people better. The National Health Service was created, and the education system opened up for the poor and lower middle classes for the first time ever. Britain never went the whole way with their Welfare State, as did Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands – who provided a more generous “cradle to the grave” approach – and still do.
But this halfway house made such a difference to the British people. In my own family I am thankful for this foresight, this investment which paved the way for my father to receive the first university education in his family EVER. You saw the fruits of this blossoming in the 1960s, with the poor kids getting the opportunities they had only dreamt of for centuries. In turn I was handed my middle-class childhood, brought to me by the hard work of my family and made all the more effective by their superior educations. I attended Grammar school, I never thought twice about it not being my right and not a privilege to go on and gain a University degree. Today in the U.K. only the wealthy can once more attend classes.
The cow jumped over the moon
Tomorrow at 6:15 it is not only the full moon, it is also the general election. You’ve been fed lies for so long you believe them. Step away from the rhetoric and the fake news, and remember where you came from once long long ago.
Hey Diddle Diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.