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But on Saturday we (SWMBO, The Boy, and I) had taken him to Oxfordshire to see Juan, Janet, and the kids; and Kenton and Susan, who had driven from farthest Gloucestershire.

The old School Bridge team are now all fifty. And we look it too. We compared aches and knee problems overmuch, I fear, for Madame, who, being youngest of the adults there present, still clings on to some vain belief that she is as fit as she's ever been. Long may she continue in that: I'm sure thinking such keeps a person young. Nevertheless, we four four-No-Trumpers (various forms of a convention known as Blackwood - first-round control asking and slam seeking) were all aware that age had crept upon us stealthily, rather than in the Assyrian fashion, as the poet Byron would have it.

A mathmo Academic, a company director, a madman, and an ex-guitarist: and of us all, Felix is the least successful - something one would not have put money on when we were all still at school.

It is so difficult to describe how Felix was to someone who has, like Juan's kids for example, only seen him in his present incarnation.

At seventeen his guitar playing looked fit to be the glory of the world. Agile of mind as well as clever, his imagination was unconfined by genre or medium. He was a very good mathematician, an athletic team member, a brilliant bridge partner, and so charismatic as to make folk like me both envious and slightly awestruck.

Maybe there is some other quantum-contingent reality where he held it all together: I wish though, that it had been this one.
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Lunch today with Poor Mad Felix.

On the drive down he mentioned that had had joined an agency for male escorts. Now Felix is my age (50+/-) and has not weathered as well as some of the rest of us. This started alarm bells ringing. He veered between asking for advice on how best to present himself, and gleefully imagining what he'd do with the money he was going to earn.

I didn't swerve off the road.

He then opined that the £300 he had given the agency as registration fee was money well spent, as he had his first date on Saturday, and should make his money back in a couple of weekends.

Still I didn't swerve off the road. In fact I didn't make obvious what I thought in any way. However, I did advise him that perhaps he, like me, was a trifle old for such employment, and maybe most lonely women of means might prefer a chap younger and more vigorous, and perhaps less in need of Viagra than either of us, and possibly he should think about de-registering and asking for a refund: which he ignored, as you would.

He then went on to speak of his previous abilities as connoisseur of fine wine and how he would impress the ladies with his knowledge and good taste.

What does one do in such circumstances? I found myself struck dumb, simultaneously wondering if I could get his money returned to him. Apparently he found an advert in a magazine and responded to it. If the agency is real then his first client is, er, going to have to have quite specialist taste in her requirements for male companions.

I am at a loss, and I don't know how to intervene: or even if intervention is possible at all?

The rest of the meal was a monologue dealing with the inadequacies of politicians; an extremely eccentric if not downright mad view of the British Constitution; and more advice-seeking about whether leather jackets could be included in the dress-code known as "smart casual". We both agreed on Chelsea boots, but I nixed the leather jacket. As for politics, it's more rewarding debating with Jeff in one of his most intransigent moods than it is with Felix: so I kept my counsel, as the saying goes.

Also, he said his cleaner is staying in his flat on the sofa for half the week. There was more, but I got distracted by head 'splody.


Apr. 28th, 2011 02:35 pm
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We're having the bathroom redone at present. Our Victorian house will have a Steampunk Victorian bathroom, full of polished chrome exposed piping, checkerboard floor, good lighting etc. Very good neat 'n' tidy workmen, which is a help.

Yesterday I took Poor Mad Felix out to lunch.

Whilst perusing the papers in the pub we go to I noticed an obituary for Poly Styrene, whom I had met a few times. I showed it to Felix who said: "She isn't dead, I spoke to her yesterday."
I then pulled out another paper with another obit, saying: "Well, it seems the other papers have also published her obituary." And pointed him to the other papers.
"You can't believe anything you read in the papers. it's all part of a global conspiracy. She wasn't called Poly Styrene, you know."
I replied to this with: "I know: her name was Marianne Elliott-Said."
He said "Rubbish, she's called Grania and lives in Croydon."

Sometimes he makes me angry. Death isn't subject to Felix's whim, much as he would have otherwise.

In his world nothing anyone else says can ever be the case unless they are agreeing with something that he has already said. The papers and media all lie about everything. He is the source of all truth and knowledge. No book has been written that wasn't either written by him, or stolen from him by another less talented writer. No piece of music was recorded that didn't feature him playing, writing, and producing it. He doesn't like to call himself the messiah, because it is boasting (unlike all of his other claims, which are merely factual retellings of his various exploits through the ages) even though to all other intents and purposes he is the messiah.

He is very mad at the moment, and very difficult to get along with. And I feel guilty for becoming annoyed at some of his outbursts.
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Felix went to court yesterday.

The CPS barrister had evidently not had time to read the psychiatrist's report (which had only been delivered to him the day before) having been overwhelmed by his case load. Felix's barrister actually managed to apprise the CPS's chap of the essentials of the case, before the court session began.

Ergo, when it came to court, the charge was read out, Felix pleaded (not guilty, obviously), and the prosecution offered no evidence, and Felix was discharged without a blot on his escutcheon.

It was a bit of a waste of everyone's time and a deal of public money, and, I guess, it really didn't need to go as far as it did.

I'd managed to drop SWMBO at King's College Hospital at 9.00 and got to the Crown Court at 10.00: booted, suited, and ready to testify if required. Thankfully it wasn't required.

Steph just about managed the journey to the Royal Marsden without assistance, and doesn't have to return until September.

The parent's-in-law picked up the keys from a neighbour and busied themselves painting the nursery.

All in all, a set of wins for everyone.

Later last evening Marcus Malone sent me an email with an attachment of the song 'Would it Matter', which I wrote some twenty years ago, and which he has just recorded. It sounds pretty good, actually, though he called it 'Could it Matter'. What's a consonant between old chums, hey? Fortune favour him.

Go well and do good things.


Mar. 3rd, 2011 05:54 pm
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Tomorrow Poor Mad Felix goes to court at 10.00.

I shall be in the gallery, like Rose and Valerie, as the song says: but in the dock, poor Felix will stand alone.

This means I can't go with my six-month-pregnant wife when she gets her blood test at King's at 9.30. Nor can I take Steph to the Royal Marsden, for her cancer check-up after her chemotherapy at 10.00. Nor can I be at home to let my parents-in-law in when they come to paint the nursery, as they have promised, at 11.00.

I hate conflicting responsibilities, and hope I've got my priorities right. Bugger and damn. I wish I could bilocate or trilocate like some of the saints were reputedly able to do. Alas, I'm not able, and even if I were, I'd probably find some justification for bunking off all of my responsibilities and enjoying myself in all sorts of different ways simultaneously. Well, you would, wouldn't you?
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For the past few weeks I have been travelling between London and Cambridge as my mother-in-law went back into Addenbrookes Hospital for a fairly major operation to patch her up a year after her original surgery to remove her cancer. She's getting better slowly, thank the gods. Then last week we were all snowed in, and Botley Hill Farm (where they know Felix, and tolerate him) was closed.

However, all this means I haven't been about for Poor Mad Felix.

Now on the 15th of November Felix went to see Status Quo in concert at Croydon's Fairfield Halls. (Not my cup of tea, but I'm not responsible for Felix's musical tastes.)

To give some context to the story as it will unfold I should mention that for some years Croydon's Police Force has got to know Felix, as he has telephoned them on regular occasions (and outside regular hours) to inform the Police of all the criminals he has caught or prevented from carrying out their nefarious deeds. Also he may have mentioned (more than once, I believe) that he is the final arbiter of Law in the UK, and is the legitimate monarch of the UK PLC, the richest person in existance, and played all the guitar on the Beatles records, and is also the 'real' Jimmy Page and the 'real' David Gilmour. Ergo, the local police force knows him well.

But to return to the story....
At the concert on the 15th Felix evidently overheard something, or misheard something and became convinced that there was an explosive device in the building. He left the concert, and telephoned the Police to inform them of this appalling situation. In reality, there was no explosive device, and the concert wasn't postponed, and nor was anyone deceived by Felix's mistake.

Despite the fact that he is 'known' to the Police (without ever having been criminal) Felix has been charged with making a hoax bomb warning, which is apparently some sort of offence similar to terrorist behaviour. He sees a solicitor tomorrow. Thankfully his case-worker will be there as a responsible adult, though I do wonder if the solicitor will manage to prise anything like linear sense out of Felix, or even anything like sense at all.

The solicitor is of the opinion (from what I understand) that Felix's case will not come to court once all the facts are known: however, Felix has a date on the 29th December at Croydon's Crown Court at 9.30 am.

Worst case scenario is that the court date goes ahead. However, I doubt that I can be there for him, as I have to be in Cambridgeshire over Christmas, and am in North Yorkshire for the New Year.

So today I took him for lunch and managed to get some of the details out of him.
I'm a married man, with responsibilities to my wife and her family over the festive season. Felix's family will be there for him: but my lack of attendance doesn't leave me feeling any too good about his situation.

Oh well. Bloodydamnandblast it all.

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Poor Mad Felix had a birthday at the weekend. Unfortunately I couldn't be at whatever celebrations he was having, so as usual I took him for lunch today, and gave him a card and small present (a clip-on-headstock guitar tuner) then took the road to Botley Hill Farmhouse.

He was going on about the evils of sodomy again, and how every time someone misuses the Kundalini sexual energy thang for the purposes of buggery, bad energies are released and accidents happen. His argument was that there were never any free beds in hospitals, because every time a patient is discharged the doctors had 'bad' sex and someone else had an accident and then needed the bed. Obviously doctors are all gay. The causal link is so evident it takes someone of my stupidity not to see it. Gawd knows who's been feeding him the Tantras, or maybe he's just been revisiting old ideas, but even so. I argued what I could remember of my reading around Tantric worship, and mentioned the transgressive element in some Tantric rituals, but by then Felix had moved on to MacGregor Mathers, Crowley, the Golden Dawn, the Templars, and Baphomet.

I'm glad to say my eyes didn't roll up into the back of my head, as I was driving.

Apparently I don't remember all of this because the EEG's have wiped my memory, including my having any memory of the EEGs in the first place.

He was dead chuffed about the tuner, though.

I do wonder about the proclivity of some cultures to emphasise some particularly hateful and prejudicial ideas above almost all others. Which is not to decry the Tantras in all of their glory: though I will admit to not wishing to either worship or meet the Lady Durga in some of her manifestations, nor the Lord Shiva in some of his, either.

I wonder if Felix has been reading of the Buddhist Tantras, rather than those which exult the various Hindu forms of the five sacrament worship? Or is he synthesising again? My knowledge is insufficient, and I must read more. Though I know of Hindu forms of transvestism, homosexuality, and just about every other take on the human sexual response, they are all essentially historical and predate the stupidly inhibited British Raj. I know that Hijras have a pretty rough time these days, but context is all, and I am lacking it somewhat. Which is not to say that I didn't usurp adopt the authority to tell Felix he was spouting rubbish, in the nicest possible way, of course.

Also I do wonder if Felix doth protest too much? Is this some guilt/shame/renunciation triad?
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Yesterday I took Felix out for lunch, as usual. His decline is getting more and more obvious, and I am sad because I can do little to assist. His ongoing dental problems and his refusal to wear his false teeth have left him with one biting tooth, which is slowly crumbling. It is possible to discern his previous week's menu from his apparel. He smokes 25 grams of tobacco a day. As an aside he does smoke rather inexpertly rolled handmades, and some significant amount of that tobacco ration must be accounted wastage. In comparison, I get through 25 grams in ten days to a fortnight, or even longer. He says he cannot walk for more than a hundred yards because it pains him too much.

He was a brilliant guitarist, excellent mathematician, stalwart member of the track team, and the coolest guy in our year: mainly because he was the young maestro guitarist, and very obviously so.

Sometimes the coolest guys don't get the breaks. He had his place in the sun in a small way and for a short time: but, to quote the ex-biker, we were all so much faster in our youth, and get even quicker every time we remember it.

Still, lunch don't hurt much.


May. 12th, 2010 03:25 pm
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Today Felix was a bit less 'here' than usual.

Gems included were a bizarre narrative about the surrealist Hispano-Belgian Football team Athletico Magritte....(this is not a corner) which in my opinion should exist, just because the idea is so wonderful.

That though Felix has been PM for more that 12 hours, he still hasn't been paid by the record companies.

That Boris Johnson, who perchance resembles slightly someone we were at school with, is in fact the person we were at school with pretending to be Mayor of London.

He also let slip that he narrowly avoided being 'sectioned' this last week.

At least he's dropped the extreme right-wing stuff. Oh well.
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So I had lunch with Felix: who was especially sane today, baring the odd blip or two. His most impressive quote was:
"I saved one....four....two-thousand-six-hundred-and-three planets from criminals last night." Followed by:
"So is it true that I won the Booker Prize and am on the cover of 'Guitar Player'?"

I want to record what Felix says on my iPhone and transcribe a complete conversation in all of its non-linear glory....but it seems intrusive and making of him a spectacle, so perhaps not. I want never gets: and as Felix is an adjunct to this blog, rather than its central character, I have a moral dilemma here.


On the way home I stopped off at Forbidden Planet to meander amongst the comic-books. I came across a British first of 'Persepolis' (hardback dust-jacket - Jonathan Cape, 2003) for £12.99, which will replace my paperback. About the right price, though some in the US and Canada are charging $175 for the same book.

Sorted the Mother's few little computer problems. Booked her holiday in the Republic and my train tickets. As an aside, the Mother can't fly, being disabled, and the drive from London to the edge of Wales to catch the ferry is a bit much for her, so I do the driving to Swansea, whereupon I pass the last stage of the journey over to her, and board a train for London. Then, when she's returning, I do the journey in reverse, and she picks me up at Swansea and I drive back to town.

This year, as soon as I'm back in town, I'm packing alongside the missus in order to catch the train down to Faro in the Algarve, where we have booked a villa with a pool for a week. Through the Chunnel then change in Paris and (probably) Lisbon; though there may be an alternative route via Madrid. No more planes for me thank-you-very-much. There's something so much more appealing about the train, especially if you're travelling first class.

Of course, next year we'll probably go to Calcutta (as was) where I have an appointment at a family graveside: so we'll have to fly. I will also have to try to find a bit of spare moolah to employ someone local to look after the graves. But this is in the future: for now my ears are safe from the pressure differentials occasioned by flying for another whole year. Yippee!
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About to take Felix for lunch. We'll have to see what he thinks about the election, but it is likely to be, um, interesting. 
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Since the end of last year I've been taking Poor Mad Felix to lunch on Wednesdays rather than Thursdays, as he gets his injection and other medication on Thursdays. As usual, we travelled (meaning I drove) to Botley Hill Farmhouse where the staff are helpful, understanding, and sympathetic.

He's not really on planet any more, poor love, but it's always good to see him enjoy himself, even if a small but obvious percentage of food ends up on his clothing.

Felix has decided that doctors are the cause of illness, smoking is good for you, all immigrants should be sent back to where they came from, and all lawbreakers should be executed, no matter the gravity of the crime.

I realise that whatever Felix believes is liable to be the opposite of what sane people would regard as the case, but I've rarely had such striking confirmation of the fact.

I did mention that way back when, in the Catholic school we attended, there were significant numbers of immigrants from (or residents of) Spain, France, Italy, Poland, and Ireland, and some of those folk were amongst our best friends: which gave him pause. Then I listed the nationalities of the Monarchs of England since the conquest.

Alas, he trumped me by declaring himself King of England since his birth, and the members of the house of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha mere usurpers.

There are some folk you just can't argue with: so I smiled and ate my lunch.

Well, you would, wouldn't you?
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SWMBO and I were booked into an hotel on the waterfront in Abingdon. Felix stayed at Juan and Janet's. Felix is becoming increasingly non-linear. No conversation one has with him doesn't include mention of his time travel; his many doctorates; his position as very senior policeman; his status as a consultant psychiatrist; or how many times he has been martyred and resurrected.
Janet and Juan's kids noticed how badly he has deteriorated in this past year. Their eldest, Michael, has just gone into big school from the prep, where he was either put into or moved from the scholarship group: I wasn't paying complete attention as I was concerned about Felix, poor lad.
Anyway it's quite scary to see how academics' children grow up now in Middle England. Juan is an academic at the Rutherford lab, Janet is SCR at Hilda's: they have four kids, the eldest 13, then respectively 9,7,and 5. All of the children have their own computers in a central downstairs room; though they are limited to the amount of use daily. Gordon Bennett.
Felix is as mad as a March hare: he barely scrapes reality. [Sadness.]
Sarah was brilliant, as usual, but when isn't she?
Janet and Juan were brilliant and welcoming, as always.
And despite the computers, the kids are grounded and excelling academically, so J & J must be doing something right.

Go well and do good things.


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