Tag Archives: dreams

Dreaming the start of a novel – not

Two or three days ago, I woke up at about 5 o’clock in the morning with the idea of a novel which was basically four or five real-life stories cobbled together into a narrative.

I thought about getting up and writing down the ideas but, instead, turned over on the floor and went back to sleep.

I was sleeping on the floor because I buggered my back about four weeks ago.

This morning, again at around 5 o’clock, I woke up with the same opening idea in my mind, minus the other stories.

I thought I had better write it down this time, so I did. 

I doubt if I will add to it because I’m useless without a deadline.

I don’t need a person from Porlock and I ain’t no Coleridge.

I don’t fancy the opium.

Especially as I had a blood test yesterday and that nurse sure needs more practice in how to stick a needle in someone’s arm.


CHAPTER 1

So there was this Irishman, a Dalek and four Scotsmen.

The Irishman was called Michael Julian Andrew Hardwick Bantam Smith. He was married with a younger wife, five children and a parakeet called Charlie.

He – Michael, not the parakeet – had been pushing the Dalek round the Scene Dock, a circular covered roadway that ran round the outside of the studios at BBC Television Centre in West London. He was clutching his stomach and standing half bent over, about to fall, because he had just been shot in the stomach.

The Dalek was a prop. Writer Terry Nation had described it, roughly, as a pepper pot with a sink plunger sticking out the front. BBC designer Raymond Cusick had refined the look and the Daleks became iconic villains in the Doctor Who TV series which, at that time, was fading in popularity. It would later be revived. Unlike Michael the Irishman.

One of the four Scotsman was called Jimmy the Joker. That was not his real name. The four Scotsmen had just robbed the cash office at BBC Television Centre. This was back in the day when people got paid weekly in cash. Jimmy the Joker had just shot Michael the Irishman by mistake. 

Out of the corner of his left eye, he had seen a Dalek suddenly appear into the Scene Dock through one of the open studio doors and some inexplicable reflex action had made his brain fire the Walther PPK hand gun at the human being beside it. It’s a Dalek! was all his brain had thought. Jimmy carried a Walther PPK because that was the gun James Bond used in the books and movies.

Michael the Irishman would die in an ambulance on the way to hospital twelve minutes later. His last words would be whispered urgently but inaudibly. When he was dead, the elder ambulance man would look at the younger ambulance man, shrug and start filling in a form.

Three of the Scotsmen running in Television Centre – including Jimmy the Joker – were dressed as policemen. Two were carrying large canvas mail bags filled with banknotes. Jimmy was carrying a gun. The fourth was dressed in ‘civvies’, carrying a lightweight video camera, apparently filming the other two. All four men wore clown masks.

They ran out of the scene dock and through the car park at the front of the building. People just looked at them with mild interest, thinking it was part of some new TV show. 

The uniformed security men at the front gate looked a little bemused, thought the same thing and stood aside to let the three policemen wearing clown masks – one carrying a gun – and the clown-masked man with the camera out into Wood Lane, the main road which ran past the studios. That was when the trouble really started.

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The black cat in my dream this morning

I have mentioned in blogs before that, unfortunately, I do not remember my dreams. Perhaps once every nine months or so, if I am woken up while having the dream itself.

John Ward with an Onion Wanging trophy

This morning was such an occasion.

During the week, mad inventor John Ward told me that he was going to be on a Saturday morning BBC Radio 4 cookery show called Kitchen Cabinet, talking about the annual competitive event he runs in which cabbages are hurled along a field by newly-built Roman siege engine catapults. The BBC show had been recorded in Lincolnshire at Burghley House, built by Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer, William Cecil, in in the 16th century.

All that is true.

In my dream this morning, I was somehow involved in the live radio transmission of a comedy variety show.

There was a man inside a tent on the right of the room where the show was taking place. He was attaching bells to his costume but he was not going to be ready in time for the broadcast. So I had to push him on stage, as he was, only half-dressed for his radio performance.

Drinkers shouldn’t mess with sleeping black cats in dreams

The man’s act seemed to mostly involve drinking or not drinking some coffee but, because he was unprepared, he went over to a black cat which was curled up sleeping on a soft leather stool by the stage.

Unceremoniously woken up, the cat bit its teeth into the performer’s right shoulder, so the man pulled the cat up by its tail and bit into the tail with his own teeth.

After this, there were quite a few long silences on the recording, but I kept reassuring people: “Oh! It’s OK, we can edit it out. We can edit it out.”

When I woke up, briefly, I thought…

This may not be a surreal dream…

This may be a flash forward…

…to something real that is…

actually going to happen…

in the future.

On reflection, though…

it seems unlikely.

On the other hand, cabbage hurling, onion wanging and Donald Trump as US President at one time seemed equally unlikely events and they actually came to pass.

Life is but a dream and reality sometimes a nightmare.

 

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I have a dream…

It is very very rare that I remember my dreams. Perhaps once every six months. In fact, I don’t think I have remembered a dream the whole of this year. I wish I could.

This morning, I woke up from a dream and then got out of bed and went downstairs in my home to see if there was any Christmas post on the mat.

When I got out of bed, there was a bright square patch on the blue carpet in my bedroom where a cardboard box had been sitting for a couple of days. It was a brighter blue because there was a very slight layer of dust on the rest of the carpet – its natural state.

“I must Hoover,” I thought.

I had to go downstairs but it took a little time because I had to go down three steps at a time. I had to stretch my leg to the third step of the orange-carpeted stairs every time and this was quite awkward.

In the red-carpeted downstairs hall, I was going to open the inner front door to see if there was any mail on the mat – I have an inner and outer front door – but, instead, I turned round. I think maybe I had heard something.

I walked towards the glass conservatory at the back of my house and something whizzed left-to-right past the half-open door. It looked like a giant light-grey rat. Then there were other smalllish grey creatures running left to right inside the conservatory. When I say smallish, I mean smaller than a cat. They were rat-sized and some were not rats: they were slightly bigger.

When I got to the inner door of the conservatory, it was half open. Some of the grey-furred creatures glanced at me as they whizzed left-to-right past by the open door. My conservatory has an inner door leading into the house and a door at the far side leading out into the garden.

I thought: “I had better close the door in case they come into the house. I don’t want them all coming into the house. There are too many of them.”

I was now close enough to see that some – there was a constant stream running left-to-right – were grey rats and some were guinea pigs, larger than rats, but with grey fur the same colour as the grey rats.

As I closed the door between the conservatory and the house I realised, at the right side of the conservatory, where there are shelves from floor to ceiling, the large grey-furred guinea pigs who had reached there were sitting up like meerkats, looking at all the other creatures – rats and guinea pigs – racing from left to right across the floor of the conservatory towards them.

Then I woke up.

I don’t have a conservatory.

I don’t have a blue carpet in my bedroom. I don’t have an orange carpet on the stairs, although I used to.

I don’t have guinea pigs. At least, I don’t think I have.

And I have never had rats.

Although I did once have a mouse which accidentally got squashed flat as a pancake.

I had to sell the bed.

Don’t ask.

I went to see two shows yesterday. My iPhone was still on silent this morning; I had forgotten to switch the ring back on.

Someone phoned me at 4.40am this morning.

Yes 4.40am. I missed the call.

But I think maybe the buzzing vibration of the iPhone woke me up during the dream.

I think I may Hoover today.

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I was burgled by a small dead comedian

“Last night I went to sleep about 0230 & woke about 0530”

It is very rare that I remember my dreams – which is a pity – I usually only remember when I get woken up during a dream – and I usually bung together details in blogs as a way to not forget them, though why I would want not to forget them I don’t know. I suppose because they are so rare.

Last night I went to sleep about 0230 and woke up about 0530 in the middle of a dream.

I was in a rented house which was rather darkly-lit.

There had been some sort of break-in.

The burglar appeared and we got into a fight. I got the better of him and, when he fell on the floor, I stamped on him.

He was some sort of rectangular battery-powered 4-inch long plastic case which also managed to look like a human. He was a pink plastic rectangular case. When I stamped on him, the flat pink plastic top of his rectangular pink plastic case broke off slightly. The edges separated slightly from the main torso/case.

At this point or soon after (it is difficult to tell in dreams) a female friend was there and we started talking about the burglary perpetrated by the pink plastic rectangular humanoid lying inactive on the floor.

While I was talking to my female friend, I realised I had not searched the rest of the house to see if there was anyone else – another burglar – still lurking.

As I was saying to my female friend, “Maybe I should take a lo…,” I saw, behind her, through the glass panels in two doors in the rather darkly-lit house, a figure come scurrying down the stairs. It was diminutive comedian Charlie Drake.

Diminutive comedian Charlie Drake came scurrying down

I ran out into the hall to cut off his route of escape to the back door of the house and he swerved to avoid me, colliding with and bouncing off my female friend.

He fell onto the floor of the darkly-lit house and…

I woke up.

Dreams – and life – can be frustrating when you do not know what happens next.

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When I came home yesterday at dusk… Tomorrow & tomorrow & tomorrow…

Durer_NurnbergRuins

I live on the outer edge of London in what is called a Close but is actually a square, with buildings on three sides and, on the other, the back gardens of houses in another street.

When I came home yesterday at dusk, the buildings on the three sides were half demolished, the roofs non-existent, the walls and innards had been broken down to half or more or less than their old height, the bricks and plaster destroyed or exposed and everything was covered with that light white dust of demolition.

When I had walked up the nearby street to my home, there had been red double-decker buses and waste bins and people walking around like it was hundreds of years ago and you were living in and walking through a world you had only known previously from old, faded images. It was dusk and all the 2-dimensional detailing and colours and sounds were there in 3-D reality.

Then I was standing on the Blackford Hill, looking north towards the Firth of Forth and Fife, with the waters stretched out flat and wet before me, the little black island of the Castle Rock sticking out of the water on the left and the larger green island of Arthur’s Seat sticking up out of the water to its right. And, way down, in the waters between them, were the underwater streets and passageways and stone buildings of what used to be Edinburgh. Just dark stone passageways and alleyways in a dark underwater maze now, with light marine growths on the dark stone walls and fish swimming along and between and inside the empty rooms of all the old buildings.

Dreams are strange.

It is very very rare that I remember mine.

Perhaps once a year; maybe twice.

I wish I remembered them more often.

But all the above was not a dream I had last night.

It was yesterday at dusk and I was awake and the images were in my mind.

MyEye_CUT

 

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My talkative night with Melvyn Bragg, Nicholas Parsons & maybe a dead actor

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg was waiting in my living room

So I was in my living room, about to interview Melvyn Bragg about his career in the Arts, when Bill Fraser woke up. I had thought he was dead. He used to co-star in ITV’s most popular sitcom of its day Bootsie & Snudge.

I don’t mean I had thought he was dead when he was lying there asleep at the side of the room. I mean I thought he had died several years ago.

But Bill Fraser had only been sleeping at the side of my living room. He was not wearing his wig.

This confused me, because I could not remember him wearing a wig on Bootsie and Snudge in which, I thought, he was bald. So it should not have been a surprise to me that he was bald – but he did not seem to be bald in the way I remembered him being bald.

Bill Fraser

Bill Fraser interrupted me with a long anecdote

He interrupted me with a fairly long anecdote then, after I took a photograph of him, I was able to start interviewing Melvyn Bragg. The first question I asked was how he had got into the arts field when he had already built up quite a reputation playing straight man to various people including… and I could not quite remember the name of the ITV comedy show in which he played the next-door neighbour of… comedy actor Arthur Haynes.

Melvyn Bragg, sitting on the sofa in my living room, looked slightly surprised.

Then I woke up and realised it had all been a dream.

I normally only remember dreams if something wakes me up in the middle of one. But I could not figure out what had woken me up during this one.

I went downstairs to the kitchen to make myself toast and tea and came back up with two slices of toast and a cup of milk.

Then I realised why Bill Fraser’s baldness had looked slightly familiar and yet slightly wrong.

A few nights ago on BBC iPlayer, I had watched Behind the Candelabra, a movie in which actor Michael Douglas plays the part of pianist Liberace. Late in the film, Michael Douglas appears as Liberace without his wig on. I mean Liberace’s wig, not Michael Douglas’. I have no reason to believe Michael Douglas wears a wig. I had transferred Michael Douglas’ skull-cap of bald-headedness onto Bill Fraser’s face.

The photo of Nicholas Parsons above my bed

The photo of Nicholas Parsons above my bed

It was Nicholas Parsons, not Melvyn Bragg who played the cravat-wearing next door neighbour in the Arthur Haynes TV series. For the last two or three years, I have slept with a large photo of Nicholas Parsons above my bed. It seems to fit the decor. The photo is in a wooden frame and looks similar to the formal picture of any generic Communist dictator which might have hung on the wall in a post office or a cafe to stoke the flames of a personality cult. I always think the grey suit Nicholas Parsons is wearing in the photo makes him look a little like Enver Hoxha, once Communist dictator of Albania.

Enver Hoxha

Communist Enver Hoxha, not Nicholas Parsons

I thought this seemed odd.

Then I woke up.

I went downstairs to the kitchen to make myself toast and tea and came back up with two slices of toast and a cup of milk.

I had only dreamt I had gone downstairs to the kitchen the first time.

I looked up Bill Fraser in Wikipedia.

He is dead. So it goes.

He died from emphysema in Hertfordshire, in 1987.

Now I am awake. I think.

One can never be entirely sure of anything.

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To see the world in a grain of time. And heartburn in a re-heated dead chicken.

MyMouthI ate a piece of chicken from a takeaway stall in Camden Lock yesterday afternoon. That was probably the cause. It may have been re-heated.

I felt a little queasy when I got home – nothing serious; just a bit of a dicky tummy – and so I went to bed early.

There then followed a whole orchestra of different little bits-and-pieces which meant I had a troubled non-sleep.

Little bits of coughing (nothing unusual there – someone once gave me the unwieldy nickname John ‘Irritating Cough’ Fleming).

But I also had a burning, acidy feeling inside my chest and in a vertical line down my front – presumably acid reflux. And hiccups. And some bouts of building coughing which never quite got to the actual puke point but which came pretty close. And what seemed like sniffles of the nose like the start of a cold but which, I guess, were caused by the orgasms of coughing annoying my nasal passages.

Eventually, some time in the middle of the night, I DID mercifully get to the point of mild vomiting in the toilet and that seemed to get me over whatever it was.

But the point is that – somewhere in among all this fitful sleeping – I can’t remember exactly where – I woke up in the middle of a dream which, as long-term readers of this blog will know, means I was actually aware of what was in my dream. I only ever remember having a dream perhaps once every six months if I wake up during one.

I was in a tube train at Camden Town station. No mystery there, as that is the tube station for Camden Lock, where I had been in the afternoon.

The  carriage was quite crowded with lots of people and, of course, they all had different faces.

But, as well as being aware of their different faces, I was aware of the unique, separate strands of their individual lives. I could understand what each person was feeling at that exact moment and how it fitted into their life strand – when they were a child and in their twenties and how their life stretched ahead of them in experiences until their death.

And, as I looked from face to face, I could move from life to life and could experience how all the strands ran separately and how, for just these few minutes, they intersected.

Unique strands running through the same decades but separately, leading to this brief intersection, then each stretching separately ahead along their own unique strand to death.

So it goes.

Who needs drugs?

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I woke up at 4.26am this morning, thinking I was going to die

MyEye_CUTI woke up at 4.26am this morning, thinking I was going to die within the next minute or so.

About a week ago, I woke up a few minutes after four in the morning and I felt I was in different parts of the world one after the other – like a video slide show – seeing different things happening. It did not seem to be a dream. I just woke up and thought these things. Then I went back to sleep.

I have mentioned in this blog before that I do not remember my dreams. Maybe once every six or nine months, I am woken in the middle of a dream and then, of course, I am aware of the dream. But, other than that, I do not remember my dreams – I must have them.

This morning I woke up at 4.26am and I was not having a dream. I just woke up and was wide awake and felt was going to die in the next minute. Or so.

I thought about the position I was lying on the bed. What my eyes could see. The tiny sounds I could hear. And what was happening in the world, my knowledge of which would cease. I would not know what happened next. I thought about my friend Lynn having to clear up after my death – we have been friends for forty years this year and she is my executrix – that is the female executor of a will, not a female member of ISIS – I thought about the probable fact that I have not given her enough passwords to get into my computers and into online things.

I did not die.

I went back to sleep and woke up again when my alarm went off at 0830.

So it goes.

But not yet.

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Critic Kate Copstick’s nightmare last night/today at the Edinburgh Fringe

The Malcolm Hardee Awards, with ‘Million’ award in middle

The Malcolm Hardee Awards await their new 2015 owners

Tomorrow night, the Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards are announced at the annual two hour variety show in his memory. He drowned ten years ago, in 2005.

Yesterday was an appropriately random day at the Edinburgh Fringe.

I got back the Malcolm Hardee Awards being held hostage by Juliette Burton.

Miss Behave – nominated by us for a Cunning Stunt Award on the basis that she has been plugging Miss Behave’s Game Show by putting up random bits of cardboard around town with nothing on them except odd sayings and #MBGS – continued to claim, even more loudly, that it was not her doing it… and a video was uploaded onto YouTube of a small elephant doing the stunt and being taken away by two men in grey suits.

Then I saw The Half Naked Chef on and off the BlundaBus – he kept getting off and accosting members of the passing public with a cucumber and much else, climaxing with an abseil down an underpass wall with audio commentary to the audience on the top deck of the Blundabus via a radio mic. It’s on YouTube.

Then there was Shaun Buswell’s Random Orchestra.

Shaun has made it his career to go round the streets of various cities asking random people carrying musical instruments to join in a one-off performance of a tune or tunes they have never heard before because he wrote them. There is a video on YouTube about it.

At about 11.00pm, on the way back to my flat for an early night, I bumped into Matt Roper and Blanche Cameron (Lewis Schaffer’s official stalker) who both berated me for eating an ice cream because it was unhealthy. They were both standing outside the Zoo venue smoking cigarettes.

I was told that Stephen Carlin, whom I blogged about three days ago after he was excommunicated by PBH’s Free Fringe but who found a new home at The Hive, had turned up at The Hive for his first gig only to find out it had been booked for a show by a DJ. But it has now sorted itself out.

Then critic Kate Copstick appeared back at our rented flat, also having an early night. She sleeps in the bedroom; I sleep in the living room.

I suggested she should see Diary of a Shanghai Showgirl because, apart from everything else (and there is a lot of everything) co-performer Norman Gosney lived in the penthouse at New York’s Chelsea Hotel for 25 years.

This sent Copstick into a tantrum of reminiscence about staying in the Chelsea Hotel around 1998.

The Chelsea Hotel, New York City, in 2010

The Chelsea Hotel, New York, in 2010

“It was like a hostel,” she said.

“But surely,” I said, “the whole reason people want to stay there is they expect it to be a shit-hole.”

“I thought,” explained Copstick, “glamorous rock star, Sid Vicious and Nancy…”

“Well, heroin and stabbing,” I said.

“Yeah, but I didn’t think they were living in squalor. It looked like a hostel, the lift smelled of sick and barely worked there was no phone in the room, no television. It was absolutely fucking freezing, bare floorboards, nothing.”

“Maybe they redecorated it so it felt like that,” I suggested. “I would be disappointed if it wasn’t like that.”

This morning, I had to wake Copstick up because she had an early meeting with Gyles Brandreth.

Copstick’s dream did NOT involve Peter Michael Marino

Dream did NOT involve Peter Michael Marino

“I’m so tired,” she said. “I think it’s the dream I had. I was trapped.”

“This,” I said, “is not a dream. This is the Fringe.”

“I was trapped in this horrific totalitarian state,” she explained.

“The Free Fringe?” I suggested.

Copstick ignored me.

“I was trying to escape. I was with someone. the punishments were horrendous.”

“It is the Free Fringe,” I said.

Copstick ignored me.

“Absolutely horrendous. You couldn’t do anything.”

“What were the punishments?” I asked.

“They put you to sleep and cut bits out of you. I eventually escaped because I was being taken off for punishment and dived off this ridiculously high cliff onto what looked like rocks but I just missed them and dived into the sea. Then, when I came back to land, they were still there.”

“The baddies?” I asked.

“Yes, the baddies. So I swallowed this pill – it was all about swallowing pills – so I swallowed this pill and I shrank down and dived into somebody’s mouth and escaped – get this – I escaped out of…”

“Out of their anus?” I suggested.

“Yes,” said Copstick, “…and came up into the sewers of the same place, except now I was tiny.”

“And,” I asked, “they didn’t notice you because you were tiny?”

“Yeah. And there was definitely an element of Edinburgh there, because there was this city where nobody knew where anything was and it was so full. But they found me again. And there was somebody I had some sort of relationship with and it was horrendous.”

“It sounds like Lewis Schaffer,” I suggested.

“It was just horrendous,” said Copstick.

“Definitely Lewis Schaffer,” I said.

“When you woke me up,” Copstick continued, “I went back to sleep and I was still in this dystopian city but I was hiding in some kind of factory. It was massive, enormous, and there were piles of shit everywhere.”

“Sounds like the Fringe,” I suggested.

Kate Copstick during the recording of the first Grouchy Club podcast

Kate Copstick relaxing in her London shop

“I was found again and I was being tortured,” continued Copstick. “I just couldn’t escape. And the person I was living with – I got back and he had been shagging some girl and, because I was still trying to hide from the baddies, he popped in and asked if it was OK if he took this girl out for a date. So I said: Yes, sure.

“And then I noticed they were packing something in this factory and I was keeping tiny puppies in a box and I had to keep giving them water and that was the last thing I remember before I woke up again. I found the little box was empty. No puppies. But there were some metal things in it.”

So there you have it.

An everyday story of a comedy critic’s dreams and nightmares at the Edinburgh Fringe.

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Comic Del Strain on Americans, the EU and Nazis on the dark side of the Moon

This penguin is real and is not a spider

This penguin is real and is not a spider

I rarely remember my dreams but, this morning, I remember I dreamt I threw something on the floor and out of it came a brown spider. A big one.

“It’s too big,” I told someone,” to put a glass over it. And then I realised it really was too big – vertically – because it was white and black with orange-yellow feet or flippers, because it was a penguin. But it was not smooth and slimy as, I suspect, penguins actually are. Instead it seemed to have a slightly ruffled and wrinkled cotton skin as if it was made from cotton and was maybe one size too big for it.

That was in the early hours of this morning.

This afternoon, I had tea with Scots comic Del Strain at Soho Theatre. The very first thing he said to me, rather excitedly, was:

“I’ve got a new gun!”

“Is it legal?” I asked.

“Of course,” said Del. “It’s a new stage prop. I treated myself.”

“Most people who want to treat themselves,” I suggested, “might have a tea and fairy cake or something like that.”

“This is a sight to behold,” said Del. “It’s a Smith & Wesson but it’s too heavy to go down the back of my strides; I think I will have to buy a shoulder holster.”

“How can this possibly be legal?” I asked.

“I dunno,” said Del. “Ask the man in Newcastle who sold me it… It’s one of these old shops you go in and…”

“Is this genuinely legal?” I asked. “Can I mention it in my blog?”

Del Strain with his new Smith & Wesson

Del Strain at home with his new Smith & Wesson purchase

“YES!” insisted Del. “I’ve got a receipt and everything. This shop does everything: replicas, gas-fired guns. It’s legal. If I was in the foyer of Barclays Bank with a mask made out of a pair of someone’s old stockings, I would be in a lot of trouble.but, as I’m on stage…”

“How do you carry this around?” I asked.

“In my bag,” said Del. “The old gun I’ve got was enough to get you shot, believe you me, but this one would REALLY get you shot.”

“By whom?” I asked.

“Armed police, who are nervous and who seem to shoot poor black guys for just having a diary in their pocket. They’re getting a bit trigger-happy on this side of the pond too, John. But I bought it for a prop. See, rich people have got TESSAs and pensions and shit but, the way this country’s going, I’ve got this.”

”I think,” I said, “when John Wilkes Booth went to the theatre he may have claimed it was only a prop.”

“Well,” said Del, “maybe that bullet DID kill Lincoln – or maybe the people that were ready to send Andrew Johnson in to rape the South and kill all the Indians and steal the gold killed him. Who knows? History is a wonderful thing when it’s written by the victors.”

“But,” I asked, “surely politicians would not lie to us?”

“I don’t trust none of them,” said Del. “Brown, Blair, Cameron, Osborne – all playing the flute of Rothschild and the EU bankers. They’re never going to change nothing, because they’re all greedy madmen and they’re going to end up leading us all to the brink of destruction. They’re raping London; they’re ripping the soul out of it – all to build these ghettos in the sky where no-one can hear you scream. It’s ridiculous. They’re taking out the salt of the earth that made London what it was, because people can’t afford to live here no more.”

“Is Scotland going to be the People’s Paradise?” I asked.

“Yeah, well,” said Del, “I don’t know about that. It depends if we’ve got some undercover oil that we haven’t declared, which is what I hear.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Yeah. Apparently the Yanks are in on it. The Norwegians. Just rubbing their hands in glee, waiting. So who knows?”

“Until Apple brings out an electric car,” I mused. “But, then, plastics need oil in the manufacturing process, don’t they?”

“Yeah,” said Del, “but it’s that synthetic oil that I think the Nazis started inventing in World War Two. When they couldn’t get any oil, they invented synthetics in drugs and oils and everything else.”

“When you live on the dark side of the Moon,” I said, “you can develop all these things. Have you seen Iron Sky?”

Iron Sky from the dark side

Iron Sky from the dark side of the Moon

“No. Is it about Nazis on the Moon? I don’t even think the Americans went to the Moon.”

“Surely,” I suggested, “the Russians would have known if the Americans did not get to the Moon and would have told everyone?”

“The Russians,” said Del, “are quoted as saying to the Americans: If you don’t tell people about the aliens, we are going to. The Russians are quoted as saying that Eisenhower met these people in 1947 and the American newspapers from the time are actually quite open about the fact of there being aliens.

“You don’t know what to believe, because these people propagate and manipulate history so much that it’s like archaeologists putting dirt through a sieve to find what is real, because there’s just so much rubbish out there. All I know is that these people have been running the show since the Battle of Waterloo.”

Iron Sky,” I explained, “starts from the supposition that, In 1945, some Nazis escaped to the dark side of the Moon and Now they’re back!

“There is a swastika up there on the Moon,” Del told me. “Someone took a picture of it and there is a swastika on the Moon. No shit. The guy who was in charge of all the Nazi’s specialist weapons, his body was never found. He disappeared. The bell that they had – which was a little mini flying saucer – was taken to America. They were on it. The Nazis had been building these superstructures in South America. Some people say that it wasn’t even Hitler that died – that he lived out his days there.”

“Can I quote all this?” I asked.

“If you want,” said Del. “Some people say that. I am not saying it is a fact, but what I’m saying is, considering some of the shit these people have pulled – the deaths of Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy, Bob Marley… Bob Marley gets cancer through playing football but no football player has ever had that injury? Come on! When people get too vocal, when people listen to them, you become a danger and who knows? Who knows if it was his body? I hope it was his body. I think they dug him up in he 1990s and said it definitively was.”

“Who?” I asked.

Del Strain with his hand on his heart today

Del Strain showing his sincerity at Soho Theatre earlier today

“Hitler,” laughed Del. “Not Bob Marley. I’m not definitively saying that. I’m only surmising. But Hitler still has living relatives in America. They changed their name.”

“I suppose they would,” I said.

“The CIA,” Del continued, “took them all over there as well as the 90 Nazi scientists who were the ones who invented the Moon landings and Apollo 11 and all that. If you look at The Odessa File, that was based on a true story. Within four or five years, they all slipped right back into their old roles running the courts, the police system, running everything.”

“In Germany?” I asked

“In Germany, yes. I see the EU flag as a swastika. I see it as a sign of oppression. They are doing now with a pen and economics and banks what they used to do with Panzer tanks and MP40s. It’s still the same terror. It’s still the same control. It’s still the same dictating.

“You cannot make Barnsley like Barcelona at 4.00am on a Saturday night. Barnsley will never be Barcelona because, in Barcelona, they’re sitting and talking about Gaudi and architecture and philosophy and drinking Stella Artois. In Barnsley, they’re fucking each other over skips, eating kebabs, drunk that much that they’re lying on the fucking road. That is Britain. You can’t change that. It is everything that made this country strong.

“You go from Lancashire to Yorkshire to Scouse – 28 miles and we’ve got our own slang, our own foods, our own people. That is everything that made Britain Britain. We are an island nation. We need that. But they want us all to be a bland little revenue gerbil, just spinning on the wheel for some feed and some water.”

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