Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Sticks and stones and 'bedsocks' really hurt

Poor old (young) footballers suffering from the hollered jeers of fans, and every empathy to them, but as I was blogging the other day, you don’t have to be a sports hero, nor a different colour, to suffer this strange form of abuse.
Footie stars are constantly under attack from fans of ‘the other side’, but among more recent outbursts of bias came racist chants.
I was bemoaning the abuse flung my way after the family emigrated Down Under, me a neatly uniformed lad with a posh school accent.

Verbal attacks

My new classmates certainly did not approve, and let me know it.
Another round of unnerving verbal attacks happened a few years later, on Day 1 at my first high school.
But first let me thank Patricia Vytlacil from the Mid-West across the Pond. Patricia moved to the US quite along time ago from kiwiland.
She recalls newcomers arriving at her school in Wanganui, in the North Island, where it seems the attitude to kids from abroad could hardly have been more different.

An enchanted life

‘I suspect I lived an enchanted life in a small town in the North Island of NZ compared to your experience as an immigrant kid in the South Island.
‘At our high school, we occasionally had students visit from the UK or even the USA and they were greeted with quite some excitement. How we envied their exotic accents!!
‘Perhaps it was just me super-conscious of our kiwi accent that seemed somehow inferior to one from overseas - anywhere overseas,’ writes Patricia.

Pretty impressed

 ‘But I like to think the rest of our class was pretty impressed by the foreigners also! It was not just their accents but the fact that they had experienced a life clearly different from ours.’
My own attacks fell away almost as soon as I learned to exchange my accent for the local version of English. However, a few years later when I moved into high school in a country town, a fresh and new outburst of mocking began almost immediately. Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Talk about talking cold turkey

What can anyone say about the new political dilemma developing in Turkey without wondering if the fat lad over the pond hasn’t actually lost it?
While wondering about the humanity if not the sanity of the world’s most powerful clown, er man, we might well dwell on the much-aired political slogan of ‘our’ special relationship.
To let, if not exactly encourage, a neighbour of ours to virtually sacrifice another is one horror.

Inhuman decision

But to hear the ‘leader’ declare that he couldn’t care less about the huge loss of life, just as long as his own voters weren’t put at risk, shows something utterly that's rather new to most of us.
negative in western politics
Then to read that the world’s most powerful, well, goat announced the inhuman decision via, of all things, social media, has to make people who care wonder about our brave new world.
The ugly news transported me back to my first view of that magical land.
I was an inquisitive young hitch-hiker learning about, discovering the world.
After India and Pakistan, Afghanistan was certainly quite an eye-opener, then followed mysterious Iran, and over the border into and across Turkey.

Quite an eye-opener

Fellow travellers mostly from Australia warned me about their old first world war adversary. Be very, very careful.
There were bands, people with placards, uniforms a plenty, and certainly no shortage of firearms carried by soldiers strutting to the very unusual almost three-four beat of Turkish marching music. The sound, even so, did have a vaguely Western accent, and then a few banners in approximate English appeared.
Of course, that had me continually watching one’s back, as well as we can. And yet in spite of caution and suspicion, that very strange, enchanting country just about won me over.
Beware pickpockets and men with daggers seemed to be the more popular warnings. And definitely to avoid big state demonstrations.
I was keen to try a genuine Turkish bath. … Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory at

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Poor old footballers if your face doesn't fit

Examples of racism in football and in any aspect of life are not be to be belittled ... only the apparently racist remarks in the football match that's spotlit in the media today were against big blokes, superfit, males well able to protect themselves, and (presumably) astonishingly well rewarded.
A curious aspect to the, well, jeers is that were fired at people at (presumably) the height of their careers.
Which isn't to suggest they would have been strangers to it in their earlier lives.
Society doesn't let people who look somewhat different from the majority pass by uncommented-upon.

Our taste buds

It's part of our DNA, as human as our taste buds, and our individual choice of the opposite gender.
And it is very much a part of our inborn, natural xenophobia, the very reason why we have local accents and maintain a sort of uniformity with our clothes, I'd suggest.
It's what helped keep our forebears relatively safe. What's this? Someone defending racism? Not at all. It's a thought from a fellow who really suffered it in his childhood, and so understands.
Why would a white child with an educated accent suffer from a form of racism? Continues on http://sailingtopurgatory.com/index.php/feeds/454-poor-old-footballers-if-your-face-doesn-t-fit

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Sailing to Purgatory wins a discerning fan

'Thanks for the engrossing read. I am not a fast reader at the best of times and I do like an engaging turn of phrase (your book had many) and often I'll go back and replay one several times in my head and enjoy the way if sounds and the inferences it conveys.
'But for that, everyone would be a writer.
'The final part is, of course, harrowing and years ago it would have been hard for me to believe in such travesties.


'But for decades now I have read considerably more broadly than the mainstream media to understand what makes the world tick.
'I have come to understand that the system in western countries is a long, long
way from wholesome. Besides, you would surely know better than most that the once honourable profession of investigative journalism is now all but absent from the MSM (mainstream media).
'I hope that you are able to draw even more from your rich and varied experiences for your writings to come.
'It's only present in braver and especially talented people and small organisations valiant, intellectual and assiduous enough to truly research and report real facts and who have the ability to rise above commonplace cognitive dissonance and pursue reality as opposed to regurgitated official narratives.
'The justice system, it appears, is no less rigged. Even so I was surprised that your sound legal council was unable to prevail against a prosecution so flimsy and so profoundly ridiculous - submarines and helicopters for God's sake!' Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at