9 reasons you aren’t getting enough sleep

Sleep is and always has been crucial to humans. Most of us demand at least six to nine hours of it per day. Beds have become impeccably comfortable over the past fifty years, so why are those vital hours of rest proving so God damn unobtainable? Ground-breaking research has been undertaken to reveal why you might be struggling to land those vital hours of shut-eye.

You are sleeping in the wrong position– Sleeping on your front? This is not good enough as it puts pressure on the small of your back, which may result in the body folding up into a permanent right angle, making movement and travel almost impossible.
Sleeping on your side? This can be even more dangerous. Humans who do this on a consistent basis have been known to lose their vertebracy. Leaving the joints in an asymmetrical position can be known to have disastrous effects on the back. A man recently consulted his GP after 37 years of side sleeping, and was staggered to discover that his hands and feet had disappeared completely and he had turned into a mollusc.
Sleeping on your back? Good. Sleep flat on your back at all times, with limbs spread out in a star fish pattern. Imagining you are a starfish is optional and works for some people but can prove disconcerting to others. Give everything a try and see what works for you.

Your bed might not be vast enough- With global obesity rates rising in the UK, double beds are no longer sufficient to accommodate the breadth of an average person. Furniture stores all over the country have been forced to rapidly adjust the size of all ‘King-sized’ beds in order to suit the global average size of Kings, which is estimated to have increased by 45% in recent years. Make sure you have enough space to move, as falling out of bed at this rate could at best wake you up in the middle of the night, and at worst result in a heart attack and death or at the very worst floor penetration and death.

You are sleeping with too many pillows- Recent surveys reveal that 92% of people think it is acceptable to sleep with more than one pillow. They are wrong. The truth is that it is extremely hazardous to the neck and back to sleep with even one pillow. In order not to permanently impair these parts of the body and to secure an efficient night of sleeping, sleep with no pillows at all and fight the urge to use your upper arm, as this may violate the terms of the first heading.

You are sleeping with another person– If you are trying to sleep alongside another human being- perhaps a partner- then this may well be the cause of your inability to sleep. These circumstances allow for sex to potentially happen, which is a notoriously confusing and potentially uncatholic experience. To avoid being perturbed into lack of sleep you must sleep alone at all times.

You are sleeping with your mouth open- Sleeping with your mouth open could be threatening to a good night’s sleep for two reasons, firstly because it can leave you dangerously dehydrated and liable to get up in the middle of the night for water (or dehydration could always lead to death, of course). And secondly because it means you are leaving an opening for the arrival of all kinds of unsavoury creatures, from lethal microbes to small rodents and potentially life-threatening birds. Alternatively you must breathe through your nose at all times. The nostrils work effectively as a human sieve from unwelcome creatures, and are designed to protect the body from these, whereas the mouth is designed to welcome them for food.

You don’t have water sufficiently close at hand- Stupidly, many people wonder why they get no sleep and spend half of the night getting up to go to the bathroom for mouthfuls of water to prevent them from death. This entails waking up and moving from the bed and therefore should be avoided. To avoid this, keep a 2 litre bottle of water in bed with you at all times with the cap screwed on (to avoid water disturbance and dampness which could also lead to drowning and death).

The temperature is incorrect for sleeping- One of the most common causes for insomnia is an incorrect temperature. We find that anything in between 0 degrees Celsius and 37 degrees is optimum temperature (if you are unfamiliar with this 21st century unit of temperature, then it is likely your house is too cold and you should address this as a matter of urgency). If you are sleeping outside of this range then you will almost certainly encounter at best sleeping difficulties and at worst- death.

Your life might be too busy and/or stressful- Do you often have future events and occasions which cause you to lie awake in anticipation? If so you might need to cancel these events, in order to ameliorate the frantic state of mind that prohibits you from grasping those sacred hours of rest. Your lack of sleep might be entirely due to a failure to ‘get your shit together’. If you have any personal issues you must try to get rid of them and become a happier person. Also if you have depression- get rid of it. Making these transitions will result in less soul-shaking nightmares, and generally much more pleasant almost utopian dreams that barely relate to your own disappointing life at all.

You’re counting the wrong animal- Throughout its existence the latest species of hominid has always been told that the counting of sheep will result in a greater likelihood of sleep. This has been proven by scientists to be incorrect, as sheep have been proven to be too disturbing as creatures to make this theory viable in practice (their larynxes produce preposterous vibrations, if you haven’t noticed).
A psychological study incorporating a wide range of British creatures concluded that the most effective one to count in order to induce sleep were ferrets. The counting of all other animals proved to be ineffective for all participants. Psychologist Pauline Scuddlen-Fid of Oxford University stated: “It is not clear why ferrets are the best animal to count but they definitely are. So we should count them instead probably”.

Now if you follow every single one of these steps to the letter, you might just start getting those forty winks you deserve. But you must take this seriously or risk wasting your precious time.

Happy sleeping!

Some shit nights out

This one takes me back to my early blogging days…

Basically I recently decided on behaving like a student despite being more or less estranged from student lands, and attended nights such as Sports Night and most recently- FAB. I  had spent the past couple of days at a University trip to Bill Wordsworth’s cottage in Cumbria which consisted mostly of looking at old sheets of paper as if they were particularly interesting, when in fact they were genuinely just old sheets of paper. When I returned to my flat it turned out my friend- the loose cannon- we shall refer to him as- had reserved me a ticket to the guild Halloween night, to my joy. I quickly prepared my cape (which I rarely get the opportunity to wear) and smudged my face with yellow and black so as to appear a bit like a jaundiced skeleton. I ended up looking a bit more like a confused mess. But hey, it was Halloween and an effort must be made.

I had to go to where my friends were ‘preing’. I was constrained in terms of time so I jogged down Bristol road past all the evil fried chicken shacks whilst feeling very embarrassed about my appearance. A robust bouncer stood outside UV jestingly attempted to trip me up but I was responsive enough to avoid this and carried on running towards my destination almost ambivalently.

I got to the house, met my retinue for the night and drank a bit of cheap poison from a plastic bottle as is the student way. A load of girls were posing for photos on the stairs in witch costumes and that kind of thing was happening a lot. Lads all dressed in ludicrous costumes revealing their muscles and creeping around the periphery. We soon left the house and began walking to the Guild for our big night out. It became immediately apparent that on this walk there were dull people everywhere. Being rambunctious and laughing at things which obviously didn’t contain so much as what any sentient creature would perceive as a scintilla of comedy within them. It’s very sobering. A few of these people slipped over on the muddy bank like lemmings and dirtied themselves all over. Some of these muddy drunkards reacted with melodrama and burst into tears, others shrugged it off, possibly not even noticing that it even took place.

The thing about the students who go to these events is, they always wear the same clothes regardless of the dress code of the event. American football jerseys. Animal onesies. Banana costumes. Cheer-leading outfits. Tutus. Always shit like that. Thought and imagination rarely come into it, they just slap on whatever costume they can get their hands on and then feel a little bit more wacky about themselves for wearing it. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had an extremely well thought through costume swapping rotor in the form of a spreadsheet on Google Drive, although it is much more probable that the costume swapping is systematically coordinated on a private Facebook group, semi ironically named ‘FAB LADS!!!’). As I was watching some of these people staggering towards the union like they do, girls gossiping, lads being all loud and stuff a realisation hit me. I realised that they are all harbouring the subconscious belief that they are on American Pie. and goddammit I nailed it with that observation…

I’ll return to this night’s narrative shortly but I wanted to tell the tale of a more recent event in which I went to sports night dressed as an Ent A.K.A I wore a black bin bag with asymmetrical holes for arms sparsely covered in a combination of various leaves collected from a local grave yard. I sometimes tend to get into extremely drunken states, not by a desire to dissolve into an inebriated mist due to my actual life being unbearable (although I may have done this a fair amount in the past) but due to a lazy miscalculation of alcohol units. My eyes are bigger than my mouth e.t.c. So I ended up at a party full of students and it was the most studenty ‘pre-drinks’ I had ever been to, id est: it was the dullest place I had ever been to. This conclusion is easily reached, one has only to look at the attire of the party goers, who were obviously wearing the same costumes that they were to wear for the Halloween FAB of the following weekend. Mine and my loose cannon house mate who shall remain anonymous miscalculated half a bottle of vodka each before this, and somehow ended up very drunk when we got to this event.

I hate alcohol, I hate drinking and I hate being drunk so I don’t understand how this happened. I end up at a house party with a plastic cup full of lukewarm vodka and lemonade, and I swallow it back with a cowering face of contempt and whilst doing this I’m not thinking “Well this is fun”, I’m thinking; “Oh, this again. This hurts my insides. Is there a purpose in this? God I question myself sometimes”. Drinking is all well and good in the pub or at the footy or at poetry events or at the bar on holiday or at weddings or on a uni trip to Grasmere or after the rugger or on a boat down the canal or at the airport or on the train and stuff but if you plan to do it for an entire night you’re not going to enjoy yourself in the later hours- you will be absent. Alcohol is also very moreish so one will always eventually be fucked from continuous consumption unless one is strong willed enough to limit their intake. I have only few memories of this sports night, all of which occurred as a result of extreme boredom and drunkenness.

Basically some dull guy (as most of the attendants to this godforsaken place were) approached us in a sumo costume [which him or one of his close friends almost certainly wore to FAB the other night] expecting us to find his costume funny, so I gave him a gentle side kick to negate his expectation. He then expressed his dissatisfaction and left the scene, as a brooding man dressed in a cheap sumo outfit.

I also tried to get off with my best friend and then vociferously (and hopefully ironically) challenged him for refusing to get with me several times.

And I lost my wallet in unknown circumstances and I broke my phone after having it repaired only one day earlier (for the second time) costing 80 Sri Lankan rupees. I’ve now spent £160 on repairing it, and I’m guaranteed that one of these phone repair sharks, knowing how stupid I am, have removed several of its parts, because it barely even functions as a phone now, despite professing to be one of the market’s premium smart phones.

“This is no good, this is really isn’t any good is it James?” I thought to myself as I arrived late to my seminar in a football shirt and swimming trunks, equipped with a crumpled up piece of paper with humous on it constituting my scheduled presentation on the role of dialect in Caribbean poetry of the 20th Century.

“It really isn’t any fucking good at all” I had a shit night, and lost much from it. Luckily everything in my wallet could be replaced for only a twenty. I’m very good at dealing with losses like this now because I am completely desensitised to them after having incurred costs well over £7000 due to horrific blunders since arriving at University in 2013.

Anyway now that’s out of the way we can go back to this FAB night I was talking about. After this recent terror at sports night I was resolved not to get this drunk again and got to FAB in a perfectly acceptable condition. I wandered around the club for a bit with my slightly drunker retinue and smoked a couple of cigarettes, again a result of the extreme boredom that manifests itself in these catastrophically dull events.

The thing that annoys me most about these dull pandaemoniums is the music. Several times in my life I have firmly reached the conclusion: “If you don’t go for the music, what are you going for?”. The music is everything surely? Right? But it certainly isn’t at student nights

A) because they are organised by dull people, for dull people with equally dull music tastes

B) because of their insurmountable union with ethanol. Ethanol is a numbing drug that can make songs by Kesha(![?]) enjoyable, inducing students to dance ironically and believe that they have somehow become the nucleus of ‘wackiness’. Like this girl for example, who I always seem to see at these events, and examine as if she were an experiment in human nature. 

I wasn’t drunk this time and I inevitably lost my loose cannon somewhere deep within the heart of the abyss. Another reason why I dislike these nights so strongly is that I am 100% likely to end up completely on my own, wandering around the student union seeking my brethren and finding no one but dubious acquaintances of whom I share a mutual apathy but pretend as if we don’t sometimes, for the purposes of convenience. Talking to these people for me is most often a waste of time, and potentially hazardous.

Anyway what a shit way to spend a Saturday night. So I was wandering around like a disappointed meerkat for a while, thinking right I’ll go home and compile a string of my recent reflections on http://www.LordoftheReeves.com because after all, what the hell else can be achieved during my agonising solitary experience of the abyss? It came to me- maybe I shouldn’t even write about topics, because it’s really hard. I’ve got 16 drafts on here which I know I’m never going to publish, some of which I have spent hours on (extremely deep and enlightening blog about pride coming soon; watch this space). Maybe I should just write about kitschy slobber? Maybe kitschy slobber is all I am destined for on my short tenure on our collapsing planet full of dull people? Hopefully not.

So I wandered no more and left the place, with the ideas in this piece in orbit around my brain. I wandered past Old Joe and encountered a Christian of who’s ideas I had heard at a University debate about the worth of Christianity in modern society. He was on the panel and talked abstrusely about a ward full of people with dementia. I failed to understand this at the time, so I asked him about it again on this occasion and he explained it and I failed to understand it again. He was a good guy, very Jesus-based in his ideas. Which is cool, I often try and be like Jesus but usually find that it’s much easier to feel alienated from dull people than love them unconditionally (which believe me doesn’t get you anywhere). I asked him if judging by his affinity with Christian benevolence and tolerance that he might see the value of throwing the Old Testament in the trash like it were a rotten pumpkin- that he might dismiss it as a barbarous and worthless piece of literature. He found a way to disagree with this remark and placed some kind of value in this book, somehow. The conversation was conducted in an extremely gregarious fashion, the argument was completely respectful and I believe that we both managed to take something from each other’s ideas, which is extremely refreshing for me because too often arguments about these things turn nasty due to the sordid interventions of pride, emotion and stupidity. Why do I love talking about theology so much? I really don’t know. But anyway after a slightly prolonged conversation here, I left him with a gracious handshake, he iterated that it was nice speaking to me and we went our separate ways, two very separate minds.

20 odd minutes and many conversations with staggering pedestrians later I was back at my flat recording my thoughts and experiences for you on the loose cannon’s Mac-book. Definitely all the better for doing it but Kitschy slobber or FAB journalism won’t be something I persist with in the future hopefully.  Hope you enjoyed my absurd reality as much as I enjoyed projecting it to you. You might be thinking, why go if you look upon it with so much scorn? I ask myself the same question, and after much deliberation, I fail to find a sufficient answer and come to the conclusion that my shit nights out are all but over. There will be no more. .. probably

Marijus Adomaitis- to be forgiven?

I wanted to cover this story and my thoughts on it, primarily because this producer is one whom I have grown to hold in extremely high esteem over recent years. I’ve also read nothing about the debacle that is not succinct and predictably uniform in its content as a result of being published by the likes of THUMP or MIXMAG, so this will be my unmitigated personal response.

Previously this June Marijus Adomaitis or Mario Basanov or Ten Walls very idiotically said some absolutely revolting homophobic remarks on Facebook. Some of which I wouldn’t even like to copy because of their appalling vulgarity and disgusting use of sexual imagery but I’ll post a small extract from them below. He described gay people as a ‘different breed’ and likened homo-sexuality to the pedophilia of priests. It is a mind-bogglingly stupid thing even to think, let alone publicize on the world’s biggest social network. It was a tremendous shame to read:

‘Unfortunately a priest’s lie for many years was uncovered when children were massively raped.

Unfortunately the people of other breed continue to do it and everyone knows it but does nothing.’

I was staggered about this because the quality of his music, its depth and the sheer amount of it that exists is more than sufficient testimony to his genius as a creator. He is also every bit as good a DJ as he is a producer, which is obvious from listening to his mixes and sets like this for example. For me this genius is evident mostly in relation to his music produced under the name of Mario Basanov, whom a devastating amount of people seem to be completely unaware of the existence of. I genuinely think anybody would like his music who is in possession of a half-decent soul. The sounds are always extremely pleasing to the ear and demonstrate an extremely erudite and competent knowledge of music from around the world. The music has a miraculous ability to engage me as a listener, the vocals are pretty much mesmerizing, tracks such as Under Your Feet, Slip Away, We Are Child Of Love, and I’ll Be Gone are perhaps his finest.


Then we move onto his second and more popular alias; Ten Walls. I must say I only like three tracks from Ten Walls; Gotham, Requiem and then Walking With Elephants which much like The Inbetweeners were actually so good that they won over the national populace and subsequently became almost unplayable. I must have heard Walking with Elephants four times in the same day at Bestival at Port in 2014 and by this time the novelty had worn off. Gotham however I must have listened to thousands of times and I am able to return to it even now for its enchanting and peculiar Gothic quality. These tracks definitely demonstrate a new and trademark approach to electronic music. I very much enjoy their melancholy tone- smooth melancholy sounds in music are always the best for a person who fails to perpetually subscribe to facile bursts of optimism. They are dark and sad but uplifting because they reconcile one with the dark and the sad whilst flattering the ear drums by giving them a bath of glorious electronic profundity. The Venezuelan duo Fur Coat have taken the wheel for me now in his absence but we all know Adomaitis has so much more to offer, being only 32 years old.

Which brings us back to the scandal, after which rather predictably he came out with the following:

‘I want to apologize for the former post in my account. I am really sorry about its insulting content which does not reflect my true opinion. I hope this misunderstanding will not provoke any more thoughts and opinions. Peace’ 

Until I fully investigated what he said in the first place and read his very recent declaration of apology I was under the wishful belief that what he said was in fact a parody of homophobic fascism, but unfortunately I was wrong. It follows:

‘I’m Marijus Adomaitis aka Ten Walls. Earlier this year I posted comments on my Facebook page, that I deeply regret. My post was linked to homophobia and was very offensive. I am ashamed to have hurt so many people: my family, my country, my colleagues, my friends, the Global LGBT community and many others. Since then I have taken time out to reflect on what I did and work out a way of apologizing that expresses how sorry I am.

I am saddened by my own behavior and the impact of my actions on others. I offended a lot of people, was the cause of horrible debates, wrecked both my own and the confidence of others and ruined the plans for many people I was working with. Understandably, I was labeled homophobic and I am not and never have considered myself to be this way. I have to tell you that my action was completely out of character and done at a particularly angry and stressful time in my life. This is not an excuse, but I would like you to know that the content of my post is not a true reflection of my feelings. For many years I have been happily working and collaborating with people from different cultures, religious and sexual attitudes. I have always respected everyone.

My post made no sense, even to me. I’m a musician. My music is for everyone in this world. I always try to unite people to promote respect, equality and tolerance, love and peace. It is my priority as a music maker, in music there is no space for discrimination. It is my intention to do something in my home country of Lithuania, to support LGBT groups and educate others on acceptance and tolerance. I am now part of a group of people who have created an electronic opera ‘Carmen’ with a strong message of this. I hope my involvement in this project will be the first step to educating others in my home country that homophobia is simply not acceptable and that everyone should be free to live the life they choose.

I am sorry for what I have done. I am sorry I let myself down. I hope you can forgive me and that one day through my actions and future behaviour,I will once again be accepted for my music.

Sincerely Yours,

Marijus / Ten Walls’

You see the thing is, once you do something quite as tragic and ignominious as Ten Walls did and you get caught red-handed to the point where serious love has been lost by the public, in any situation practically, an apology is always going to be completely necessary but at the same time also a completely worthless endeavour. It is necessary for two obvious reasons; Firstly in order to reconcile oneself with your newly created adversaries and try and rectify the upset that one has created. And secondly the apology is necessary for the benefit of his own personal welfare in order to re-establish his life and career. This is where the worthlessness of the apology comes in because we will never know which reason he was concerned most with when apologising, and we will never know its true value or purpose. Even if the apology does pledge his support to LGBT groups across the Baltic states, we still do not know!

Midland was one of the skeptical and vehement doubters of the sincerity of this apology and excoriated it thus:

Sorry I said some really disgusting things about gay people, I apologise as it might affect my record sales. Yours. Ten Walls.

What Midland said is obviously fair enough. But much more thought needs to be put into this now the heat has died down. A point has to be made here about the significance of geography in determining cultural values. If you go to Saudi Arabia you will find yourself in a country which brutally enforces radical Islamic law on its citizens. In Afghanistan the national sport is Buzkashi -(literally “goat dragging” in Persian) or the sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat or calf carcass toward a goal, when in our case we replace the goat for a bouncy sphere. If you go to China they do bad things to dogs, whereas we keep them on leads, name them and take them out for walks. If you go to the United states you will find people who when they want to find out about what’s going on in the world will tune into Fox News whereas we British tend to be pretty fond of Trevor Mcdonald.

In the UK we probably fail to participate in these activities and tendencies and would probably be appalled to see them practiced on our Island in the Atlantic. But do we deserve credit for our own perhaps more refined standing points? No of course not because the experiences shared in every country that shape the attitudes of the people are COMPLETELY different and play a FUNDAMENTAL role in shaping them. Whether it’s what religion we have, what sport we play, what animals we choose to cultivate or slaughter, what news channel we watch or what views we have of the homosexual community, they are all to a large extent the product of our environments and therefore often largely out of our control. And some of them are always going to be horrifying. Our environment here in the UK for example just happens to be one which has adapted to become highly respectful of other races, nationalities, and sexualities (although I know that it may be argued; NOT ENOUGH! But this is a different conversation altogether). Who knows, in another country maybe even the glorious and morally bullet-proof you and I could have been been the proponents of fascistic balderdash?

I went to Lithuania (Marijus Adomaitis’ home country) this summer and I heard from a few of people that their views on things like homosexuality are generally less developed than ours in the UK due to various factors. I know that this isn’t credible evidence to argue that point, and I know that it won’t apply to a large percentile of Lithuanians who have come to respect minority groups of their own accord and deserve respect for that to the same degree as everybody else does but sadly it seems to have applied to Marijus Adomaitis in this instance. And from this perspective it simply doesn’t make sense for the likes of Midland to get on their high-horses here, because there is serious reason to doubt that Marijus Adomaitis had the same opportunities to become as understanding of homosexuals as they have.

Now you see ladies and gentlemen I realise that having written what I have here I have effectively taken off my trainers, raised my arms to my sides and stepped onto a tight-rope over a fifty thousand foot drop into the abyss. Or I am in danger of appearing as if I am advocating acceptance of fascist viewpoints and am suggesting that we should accept that people hold these views and not challenge them. But quite the contrary! I am saying that we would do well to understand the reasons for the origins of these unacceptable opinions and then it is therefore subsequently an OBLIGATORY duty for us to fight this ignorance with our own much more reasonable opinions. And if that means being vehement about it then yes- whatever is necessary for destroying the ignorance that is the root of all the strange evils and unsophisticated contempt emerging all over the place in the 21st century world!

Everybody was correct in cancelling Marijus’ bookings for the summer. Everybody was right in attacking him on Twitter. And I would accept that the guy has had to seriously question his homophobic attitudes as a result of that (actually believing what was stated in his most recent apology). Ten Walls has been made to pay for his crime in reputation, career and personal misery. Regardless of how possibly dubious the motives might be for his apology he has done everything in his power to repent. My question is would it not be tremendously unmerciful and perhaps even hateful for us not to forgive him and then cast him to the west wind like a palm full of dust never to be appreciated again for eternity? Would this not express the same hatred (and dare I say, intolerance?) that we were trying to vanquish in the first place?

Will we now choose to make him suffer further and also suffer ourselves by depriving ourselves of this man’s remarkable music? We should not. We must respond with Hitchens-esque rationality here and Jesus-esque compassion. Forgive the man! Forgive him and respond to any future episodes of bigotry from anybody else with the same righteousness and vehemence that has been shown to Ten Walls (And good on us! (: )

The public’s righteous and vehement reaction to his words was surely the result of the rational and compassionate principles that were being threatened by this DJ’s ignorant and nasty words. So it would only be fitting to appeal to those principles again now. Yes we should forgive Marijus Adomaitis, because it is the most rational and the most compassionate thing to do.


Jellyfish speaks out against climate change

Recently the courageous, highly venerated and rational thinking Pope decided that enough was enough and it was time to speak out against climate change and really save our Planet from the brink of disaster and unnecessary turmoil. But he isn’t the only one to have realised the importance of protecting the planet from human destruction, 3 months later an Atlantic jellyfish who wishes to remain anonymous came forward and stressed the importance of a greener future. During interview his tone of speech alternated between both inexorable ire and soul-crushing disappointment. The jellyfish had recently returned from an annual family retreat to the Pacific to find that his journey was massively obstructed by human plastic, much of which he consumed by accident. On this journey the mostly translucent jellyfish had the misfortune of swallowing a Carlsberg beer bottle cap, which will now remain permanently visible through his translucent stomach pouch until the end of his days. The jellyfish professes that the addition of this cap has led him to experience both tremendous physical discomfort and widespread ridicule from the jellyfish community.

“Carlsberg isn’t even a nice beer. That’s what makes having this cap all the more irritating.” The jellyfish told us as he burst into tears. “I’ve somehow become a living advertisement for a product that I don’t even appreciate. Can you imagine how humiliating that is for me?” The jellyfish is also a teetotal proponent of socialism, which fuels his contempt for having this cap permanently on display which has often led to him being mistaken for a less intelligent, capitalistic jellyfish.

“The water is getting too hot now. And the acid in it is burning my tentacles. Enough is enough now” he continued.

“This has got so out of hand now. Humans are NOT amphibious creatures. They should keep all of their horrible human made materials somewhere out of the way of other life or at the very least on land! You don’t see us lot trashing the continents with our filth. We keep ourselves to ourselves in the ocean.”

The jellyfish then went on to describe an area often visited by him and other jellyfish known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is essentially a cluster of rubbish in the ocean estimated by some media reports to equate  to be ‘twice the size of the continental United States’.

“It’s absolutely unreal how much garbage is there. My family and I are increasingly disgusted by it as we swim by it each year. It just gets bigger and bigger. How big will it have to get before you dumb humans realise the importance of recycling your plastics?”

“It’s all right for that Pope to come out and say it from his lovely Pope-sized bed in the Vatican, on his specially made Pope-Ipad. We jellyfish don’t believe in the Heaven, so this hideously awful plastic-ridden ocean life is all we’ve got. It’s us fish life who have to pick up the pieces from your mess (literally)! I don’t even think humans are considering how the jellyfish is affected by climate change.”

We couldn’t help but sympathise.


Crab Apple had the best box in the whole of the Underground. It was six metres squared in volume and had perspex walls, a quilted blanket, a small sink, and access to no less than three other boxes across the corridor.

Crab apple was elated because his working hours had recently been reduced to nineteen and a half hours a day, meaning that now he had nearly five hours of leisure time to sleep and to see his friends across the tunnels to play knuckleheads with them, with the bones of dead creatures. Crab apple was hard working and good natured but above all he was almost completely content. He hated working because the practices he was required to do were absolutely insufferable, but he needed to persevere if he wanted to enjoy the fiery thrills of knucklehead combat as regularly as he was doing.

Everyone envied Crab apple because his box was the best. Crab apple prided himself on that smooth perspex finish. He would rub the glass every night before bed with his face, and he would be thankful that he had somehow ended up with such a remarkable gift. He always slept well, then he would wake up, have a few sips water then prepare for a day’s intensive labour, alone. His job was simply to dig, he didn’t know why. He was a good digger, and he dug like no other. He knew that if he carried on working at the same rate, the rewards would come and before he knew it, Crab apple would be awarded a mattress all to himself.

Norman would never have six metres squared or perspex or a quilted blanket or a small sink or a mattress all to himself. Norman was on twenty two hours of work per day. He lived in what was known as a shoe box. He was different to Crab apple in that he was always angry and depressed. This led to him having an awful problem with swearing and not many could tolerate his incessant pessimistic outlook. The sight of the perspex box across the corridor made him want to kill himself.

Norman liked Crab apple because he was a friend to him. But to Norman Crab apple was intolerably stupid and trivial. Crab apple couldn’t hold any kind of conversation that didn’t concern either digging or knucklehead warfare. Crab apple was good natured but brain dead to everything, everything including the one thing that excited Norman; the concept of freedom. That there was something else other than the dusty, hot, narrow channels of the underground. Norman could never convince himself that a mattress represented freedom, to him this was simply not the case, but a sordid mendacity implanted into the minds of the diggers from a dark, dark superior being who was operating from above. But this was just ‘audacious conjecture’ or ‘blasphemous conspiracy’ and he could not announce these opinions to others because they would simply not understand and render him insane.

After an infuriating day of blistering and bone-crushing labour Norman climbed back up to the corridor covered in a layer of dusty rock carpeted to his skin by sweat. He went back to his shoebox and briefly washed his face and hands. He then knocked on Crab apple’s door, hell-bent on suicide.

Crab apple was lying on his back, fiddling with his knuckleheads when his friend Norman called. He leapt with enthusiasm and opened the door to greet his friend.

“Hello Norman. My good friend! Are you all right?”

“No” Norman replied. His posture was flaccid and his voice sounded like over used sand paper.

“Ahh my good friend, that is a shame. Perhaps a good  game of knuckleheads might make you feel better? “

“I don’t want to play fucking knuckle heads”

“Are you sure?”


“Oh okay fine, maybe later then my good friend?”

“I don’t want to play knuckle heads ever again”

Crab apple did not know how to respond to this, and looked well and truly perplexed by this objection.

There was a hideous pause.

“Well what do you want to do then?”

“I want to cease.”

“You mean you want to…”


Again, Crab apple had never experienced such a queer and flummoxing admission. And again Crab apple was perplexed.

There was a hideous pause.

This one carried on a while longer.

” But if you die Norman, then who will do your share of the digging? Above all else, the digging must be done, my good friend” Crab apple assured, rubbing a horrible rotten knuckle bone against his chin pensively.

“I don’t care. I don’t fucking care in the slightest”

“Norman, my good friend! You are so young! There is a solid thirty years solid and intensive labour in you yet. So keep your labour as solid and intensive as possible! Keep working as hard as you are doing and then before you know it you will be perspex, just like me! I mean it Norman I really do. I built what I’ve got now on good, hard labour. You can do the same. You just have to believe in your ability to dig. We are diggers, that’s why we are here. Dig Norman. Dig everything– that’s what my father taught me, and his father before him and his father before him and his father before and his father before him. Dig everything, my good friend, dig everything! That is the best advice you’ll ever hear. And I, my good friend Norman, am living proof of this” Crab apple smiled to himself, a smile of immense pride.

Norman sighed and was becoming extremely frustrated.

“Is this all you want Crab apple? Do you think this is enough?” Norman pointed towards the quilted blanket which was covered in filth, and the ladybird-sized sink, that sat pathetically by the door. Crab apple was offended and confused. There was another pause. “How can you convince yourself that such a preposterous life is ever worth living?”

” Norman, my good friend… I do not follow you. Is this not the finest box in the whole of the known Underground? It is surely not preposterous. Surely it is not that. And is life worth living? Of course it is. “

“Except it isn’t though. Life is absolutely unbearable “

Crab apple flicked a knucklehead across the room and then smiled at it as it hit the floor then went to retrieve it.

“My good friend. Everything is fine. Everything is fine!” He flicked the same knucklehead at exactly the same place and reacted to it in exactly the same way again, smiling as he did it as if Normal was not present.

Norman was growing frustrated. “Crab apple. How simply can I put this…Has it ever occurred to you that we are being hideously mistreated? “

“What do you mean?”

Norman did not know how to respond to this, whether to tell Crab apple his true thoughts or not. He was growing too tired to think and for a second he thought he might be going insane.

“Oh for fuck’s sake. I don’t even know any more ” he said.

“My friend you know your language is terrible! “

“I’m sorry” Norman said ironically.

“Look Norman. I don’t know what strange diggers you’ve been talking to down the tunnels. Or what dreaded underground gasses you’ve been inhaling, but you are speaking like a madman, my good friend! You need to relax. Relax, you must. You only have just under two hours before your next big dig”

Norman looked down, and convulsed for a moment to himself. Crab apple stared at him as if he was expecting him to do something, but when he didn’t he continued to stare at the unthinkable spectacle on his door step. He said nothing.

“Oh go on then Crab apple you simple minded, narrow bundle of knuckle-shagging fuck dust.  Prepare the knucklehead battlefield. We shall have our game”.

Norman walked into the box. Crab apple rushed to prepare the pieces.

“That’s  good to hear Norman, my good friend. That’s good to hear”.

Grey World

There became a greyness that would never relinquish its power. It would engulf you. It would seep through the corners. It would rain grey particles into your consciousness. The grey had a power, an identity and its own obscure and mediocre designs. It was all categorically, inescapably grey.

The grey politics, grey social networking, grey smartphones, grey tablets, grey sports, grey game shows, grey nightclubs, grey restaurants, grey cinema, grey music, grey public transport, grey letters, grey family members, grey friends, grey language and everything else you could ever imagine was lost to grey. The world had slid into a totalitarian system of philosophy and of ethics; greyism. Or this is how I liked to envisage it within the iridescent confines of my hopeless brain. I almost collapsed in despair at the discovery that my wife had recently developed a grey tinge, and left her instantly. I was alone against the world and my obstinate strivings for colour, flavour, excitement and life drove me away from the rest of civilisation- one morning whilst pouring grey milk over my grey weetabix and listening to the vacuous and mediocre surmises of grey politicians and news reporters on my television, I decided I had had far too many days like this. I was finished. My infatuation with the idea of being removed from this unbearable world had come to a head. I caught the first ferry out of grey shores.

I bought no ticket. I ignored everybody. Later somewhere between Guernsey and a barren rock I looked down from the side of the deck, entranced by a vast welcoming sea that would alternate between exquisite shades of green and blue. I saw my opportunity and leapt off the chugging grey vessel. As I jumped off deck I reminded myself of a flying squirrel but then as I spread my limbs and I did not glide I was mildly disappointed at the extent of my delusion. But before I could feel too overtly apathetic towards myself I had smashed into the surface of the waves. I did not hear the bemused grey cries from the deck behind. I registered the splash of a life-ring behind me that had been thrown ambivalently by a dull but mildly concerned lady in a grey fleece but I ignored her and it.

Wanting to hear the grey calls of the deck no longer I swam deep underwater. With my eyes open withstanding the pain of the salt in my eyes which was completely vanquished by my own sense of liberation. I swam until my lungs were about to give up and when I reached the surface I was elsewhere. I could no longer hear or see the ferry.

I continued to swim. I swam, I swam and pierced through the waves like a knife through butter and with a face like the omnipotent. After hours of swimming a barren rock became my destination. It was far from paradise. It was featureless, mossy and mostly covered in bird faeces. But it was not grey. I embedded my fingers in the slimy algae and began to scramble slimy rock after slimy rock. But then I realised I was not quite alone and was confronted with a slimy adversary that kissed my ankle with poison and riddled me with agony. Shrieking, I kicked it in the face and continued my ascent. The jellyfish grinned at me malevolently and swam away with an air of nonchalance. But I didn’t let this deter me from my objective and remained largely unprovoked.

After many failed attempts to reach the peak I came crashing back down to the sea, devoid of energy and in excruciating pain but bursting with a sense of determination. I finally found a correct angle to climb and felt the crushing of crabs under the soles of my feet as I climbed but I didn’t mourn these crustaceans or even consider the casualties as I climbed.

I got to the top of the rocky island, rain broke out and the sea roared. I took off my grey garments and stood balancing one footed on the highest rock. It was then I knew that I would inhabit this place for the rest of my life. And I could forget my wife, forget my uneventful grey past, forget the human race, forget greyism. And live here for ever in vibrant solitude, allowing the world outside to implode into nothing but grey vacuum, miles and miles out of my way. It was no longer my concern. I was euphoric and my thoughts were new, exciting, colourful and free.

And then the big grey helicopter came.