Monthly Archives: July 2011

Back in the saddle…

… or trying to be.

So today’s post-a-day – if you could own one thing you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I guess nothing tangible or material. I’m perfectly happy with my material possessions. I’d always like to travel more, but it’s not ‘one thing I currently don’t have’ and I’ve hundreds of things I wish I owned, but know I’ll never have:

  • an ability to have my buttons pressed and say ‘meh’ rather than going off the handle
  • an ability to back down
  • an ability to stay away from other people’s battles
  • an ability to see an underdog and thing ‘that’s nothing to do with me’ and walk away
  • an ability not to get incensed by stuff
  • sanity
  • the ability to speak perfect French
  • a true grasp of the fact that life isn’t fair and therefore the ability to accept it and move on.
I’m sounding like I need a little Buddha in my life. To be honest, to say I don’t need anything material when I’m poor as a church mouse is evidence of my usual state of being. I have a few things I’m precious about and would be bothered if I didn’t have them, but by and large I think moving has removed many vestiges of consumer longing within me. Move to a foreign land and you’ll soon realise that you have to give stuff up. And the more you give up, the less painless it becomes. I can see how people end up giving everything away. The real stuff I value, relationships, things I’ve learned, people, memories – that’s the stuff you can’t buy and you can’t keep hold of even if you try.

Forgive me Lord, for I have sinned…

… it has been weeks since my last confession. I hate that. I hate not having time to write. It’s like not having time to breathe. I’ve done all my functional writing: marking, articles, translations, pro blogs, but none of my own. And that makes LJ an unhappy little bunny.

Writing, like all language, gets a little rusty if you don’t practise it. Suddenly, I find all my oases of inspiration dry, all my springs of Helicon no longer flowing. And starting up again is akin to starting to speak Japanese again: it’s hard and takes a while to come back. So, I’m thankful for WordPress’s post-a-day because it gives me a little something to start with.

Theme for the day?

If you had your own country, what would be in your constitution?

I’d definitely go for Draconian – one-strike-and-you’re-out – laws. And I’d go for micro-managing so that every legal and political decision had to be run through me, or through a team of sensible people appointed by me. For instance, I’d have thrown out lots of legal cases before they got to silly money, and locked up people who I thought were guilty.


I, Lady Justine the Great, in order to meet out justice, ensure sense, promote logic and rationality do ordain this constitution of the Lands of the Just

Article 1:

1. All legislative power shall be decided by me, since many things that happen every day are utterly stupid and could be solved very quickly by me, or another sensible person, without a judge or jury. All decisions made by me are final. Just because you are rich doesn’t mean you’ll get any better treatment than someone who is poor.

2. You won’t need politicians, because they lie and cheat and steal and put up taxes without making cutbacks themselves. All banks and insurance companies will be overseen by me. All bills in Parliament could very quickly be decided without any need for drama or messing or arguing.

For example: there is a bill in Parliament right now about not advertising alcohol. This is stupid. People don’t drink because they see it in the street, they drink because it’s fashion or cheap or in their genes or because their friends do. I doubt there are any people who really started drinking because they saw an advert for martini, or a Stella Artois advert. In fact, some alcohol advertising has been good enough to pass into common speech, like Boddington’s and Carlsberg. And nobody really started drinking for that. I watched lots of Grand Prix races with adverts for John Player Specials. I didn’t start smoking because I saw an advert, I started smoking because my friends did and because it was cool. See. 1 minute. 1 decision. No waste of money.

Article 2:

I shall rule until I die. And when I’m dead, I’ll leave specific instructions like Jesus did and God did and Mohammed and Buddha did. Only this time, if you don’t obey them, I’ll unleash unholy hell.

Everyone has a right to pass their choices via me or one of my sensible friends. But if I say no, I mean no.

I shall be the head of the Army, Navy and Air force. They won’t have any purpose because they’ll be huge and all powerful and nobody will ever want to cross them. And I shan’t tolerate messing about by other countries. If you get a bit out of hand, I’ll smack you down like a fly on a pie and that’ll serve you right. It won’t be nuclear or biological. I shall tell you off in public conferences  until you are ashamed. And if you’re not, I’ll put you on detention, remove your privileges, cut off your contacts and make you do hard labour until you say sorry. Curfews and no fun until you relent. And you will. Everybody does.

I shall govern by these tenets:

1. Don’t lie. Dogs don’t lie and we’re supposed to be better than dogs, so lying will be punished by death.

2. Don’t be a dick. Act like a decent, respectable person to other people and don’t be mean.

3. Treat animals properly. They’re probably much more entitled to live on the planet than we are.

4. Don’t have more money than you need. If you’ve got any left at the end of the year, I’m going to take it off you. But in order to make sure you don’t buy crap, I’m going to limit boat, car, house, pool and expensive shoe production to a maximum limit per person. Like pocket money. And the more you have now, the more you need someone to give it to you as an allowance if you do your chores.

5.  If you don’t work for your allowance and you’re not ill, you won’t get it. And your illness needs to be passed by me. Not by some doctor who might know about medicine. I refer you to tenet 1.

6. if you need me to decide what’s right or wrong, you’re probably in the wrong.

7. I will make you apologise if you’re wrong, and you’ll do it in public. And that’s not a bad thing. We’re just people.

8. Be kind and think of other people. If you don’t, I’ll put you in your room.

9. Don’t mess up your environment. If you look after your bit and everyone does the same, then we’ll all be alright.

10. One hour every day shall be spent in meditative reflection.