andrewgodsell

Tales from an author

Archive for the month “July, 2016”

Hear Bruce Springsteen ‘Chapter and Verse’

Bruce is a hero, and this looks a great compilation, but not as a Springsteen completist I am not impressed at having to buy 13 songs I already own several times to get 5 others. Have Tweeted official Springsteen feed asking if the 5 songs can be available for free download.

Indie Inferno

This autumn, fans of  Bruce Springsteen will be able to listen to the audio accompaniment to the singer’s extraordinary forthcoming autobiography.

‘Chapter and Verse’ will be released on 23rd September through Columbia Records, and features five previously unreleased tracks.   This compilation will be available four days before his autobiography, Born to Run is published via Simon and Schuster.

Springsteen selected the songs on ‘Chapter and Verse’ to reflect the themes and sections of ‘Born to Run.’ The compilation begins with two tracks from The Castiles, featuring a teenage Springsteen on guitar and vocals, and ends with the title track from 2012’s ‘Wrecking Ball.’  The collected songs trace Springsteen’s musical history from its earliest days, telling a story that parallels the one in the book.


The ‘Chapter and Verse’ package will include lyrics and rare photos, and will be available as a single CD and double LP, as well as via…

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#World Cup1966 – 50 years ago

50 years ago today England beat Portugal 2-1 in a World Cup Semi Final. Four days ahead of the anniversary of England subsequently winning the 1966 World Cup Final, here is a short review of the tournament – taken from my latest book.

WCIF product_thumbnail

The World Cup finals moved to England, a country that had given football to the world, but initially ignored its major competition. In March 1966, the World Cup trophy was stolen when it was put on display in London. It was retrieved a week later, found by a dog named Pickles, being taken for a walk by his owner. England’s manager, Alf Ramsey (who had played in the 1950 finals), modernised the organisation of the team, and initiated a 4-4-2 formation, relying on strength in midfield, rather than numbers in attack. England began with a goalless draw against Uruguay, followed by unconvincing victories over Mexico and France.

Brazil, fielding an ageing team, started with a 2-0 win against Bulgaria, in which Pele scored, but persistent physical challenges by the opposition left him injured. This caused Pele to miss the next game, in which Brazil were beaten 3-1 by Hungary. Brazil lost by the same scoreline against Portugal, causing their elimination from the tournament, with Pele suffering a brutal double foul by Morais, which left him as a passenger. Understandably aggrieved, Pele threatened not to play in the next World Cup. The biggest shock of the tournament saw Italy being eliminated by a 1-0 defeat against North Korea, the goalscorer being Pak Doo Ik (July 19, Middlesbrough). The North Koreans, who had never entered the World Cup before, advanced to the last eight. West Germany beat Switzerland 5-0 in their first match, drew 0-0 with Argentina in a bad-tempered encounter, and came from behind to beat Spain 2-1.

In the Quarter Finals, England struggled to a single goal victory over Argentina, with a goal from Geoff Hurst (July 23, Wembley). It was a bruising match, in which Argentina’s captain, Antonio Rattin, was sent off, and refused to leave the pitch for several minutes. Uruguay had two players sent off as they crashed 4-0 against West Germany. North Korea built up a 3-0 lead against Portugal within 25 minutes, but the Portuguese recovered to win 5-3, led by Eusebio, who scored four times in this game – he was to become the tournament’s leading scorer, with nine goals. The Soviet Union defeated Hungary 2-1, before losing by the same score to West Germany in the first Semi Final. A day later, England defeated Portugal 2-1, with a brace of goals from Bobby Charlton.

England and West Germany met in a match that stands, half a century later, as the best ever World Cup Final. The fortunes of each team alternated along with the weather – which mixed sunshine with showers – in a display of sparkling football, drama, controversy, and goals. This took place before a crowd of 93,000 people at Wembley Stadium, on Saturday July 30 – the anniversary of Uruguay’s 4-2 win against Argentina in the first Final, back in 1930. England retained the team which beat Argentina and Portugal. Jimmy Greaves, a prolific goalscorer who missed those matches due to injury, was fit again, but Alf Ramsey decided against changing a winning team.

West Germany took the lead after 12 minutes, with a goal from Helmut Haller, who swept the ball past Gordon Banks. Six minutes later Bobby Moore, having been fouled on the left wing by Wolfgang Overath, chipped a quick free kick into the opposition penalty area, and Geoff Hurst met the ball with a firm header, past the static Hans Tilkowski, to equalise.

After the interval, England controlled the play for a sustained spell, but failed to take advantage of numerous attempts on goal. With 12 minutes remaining, Alan Ball’s corner from the right was only headed by Wolfgang Weber, a German defender, as far as Hurst, standing just outside the penalty area. Hurst’s shot deflected off Horst Hottges into the path of Martin Peters, who scored with a decisive strike, to give England the lead. In the final minute, West Germany scored a contentious equaliser. Jack Charlton, the brother of Bobby, challenged Held, and had a free kick dubiously awarded against him, by Gottfried Dienst, the referee from Switzerland. Emmerich’s shot deflected off George Cohen, in the defensive wall, and the ball travelled into the crowded penalty area. Held crossed from the left, and the ball hit Karl-Heinz Schnellinger on the arm, as it flew across the goalmouth, before falling into the path of Weber, who drove it into the net, past the despairing dive of Gordon Banks. England had appealed for handball against Schnellinger, and a linesman momentarily signalled for this, before changing his mind. Dienst blew the final whistle just seconds after England restarted play. With the score level at 2-2, extra time was required.

Ramsey inspired further effort from the England team, declaring “You won it once, now you must win it again”, and remarking the Germans looked tired. After 100 minutes, Nobby Stiles provided a fine pass to Ball on the right wing, he in turn crossed to Hurst, who controlled and hit a powerful shot, whereupon the ball flew past Tilkowski, and crashed against the underside of the crossbar, before dropping and bouncing towards Weber, who headed it over the bar, presuming that the ball had not crossed the line, while the England players claimed a goal. After consulting with a linesman, Tofik Bakhramov, from the Soviet Union, Dienst awarded England a goal. The German players briefly disputed the decision, without success. The debate as to whether all of the ball crossed all of the line has continued ever since, with the balance of filmed evidence strongly suggesting that it did not.

West Germany battled for an equaliser during the second period of extra time, but England held firm. In the last minute, Bobby Moore sent a long pass out of defence to Hurst, with some jubilant England supporters on the pitch, thinking the match was already over. Hurst ran into the German penalty area, and drove the ball into the roof of the net – he remains the only player to score a hat trick in a World Cup Final – and England had won 4-2.

After a hesitant start, England had won the competition, fulfilling a prediction made by Ramsey upon his appointment, and Moore collected the Jules Rimet Trophy from Queen Elizabeth II. England had a title to match its claims of international leadership, and the World Cup had finally come to the home of football.

Group 1

England 0 Uruguay 0

France 1 Mexico 1

France 1 Uruguay 2

England 2 Mexico 0

Mexico 0 Uruguay 0

England 2 France 0

Group 2

Switzerland 0 West Germany 5

Argentina 2 Spain 1

Spain 2 Switzerland 1

Argentina 0 West Germany 0

Argentina 2 Switzerland 0

West Germany 2 Spain 1

Group 3

Brazil 2 Bulgaria 0

Hungary 1 Portugal 3

Brazil 1 Hungary 3

Bulgaria 0 Portugal 3

Brazil 1 Portugal 3

Bulgaria 1 Hungary 3

Group 4

North Korea 0 Soviet Union 3

Chile 0 Italy 2

Chile 1 North Korea 1

Italy 0 Soviet Union 1

Italy 0 North Korea 1

Chile 1 Soviet Union 2

Quarter Finals

Argentina 0 England 1

Hungary 1 Soviet Union 2

North Korea 3 Portugal 5

Uruguay 0 West Germany 4

Semi Finals

Soviet Union 1 West Germany 2

England 2 Portugal 1

Third Place Match

Portugal 2 Soviet Union 1

Final July 30, Wembley

England 4 West Germany 2 After Extra Time

 

 

Top 7 Beatles Album

Ribbie's Weblog

7.  Let It Be (1970)

It’s a strange one with some live recordings that sound fresh but not very cohesive. It has a few big hits including Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road and Get Back.

6.  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Some great tunes along with some not so great ones.  The great ones, of course, are some of their best like Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Getting Better, and With A Little Help From My Friends.

5. The White Album (1968)

The first Beatles album I ever purchased with money from my paper route.  I tell you this, the song Revolution 9 scared the hell out of me and still does.  Notable tunes include, Back in the  USSR, Dear Prudence, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Julia, & Revolution 1.

4. Magical…

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How Does an Author Promote Their Book?

15 cover 2014

 

I have recently published my first novel. This is something I have wanted to do for many years. Part of the reason for delay is that I have been busy writing factual books, one of which is entitled Fifteen Minutes of Fame. The title is ironic, as obscurity has outweighed any limited fame in the life, and writing career, chronicled in that book. The title of this Blog piece deliberately ends with a question mark. I am not so much offering advice on how to promote a book, as asking myself, and anybody reading this, how is it done?

Belief in the quality of my writing has always been dwarfed by a lack of confidence in promoting the books, and myself. I think a lot of this is due to my struggling with Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD. Here is a link to something I wrote a few months ago about how these things affect me. It was one of my more popular posts on this Blog – with two people commenting on it.

https://andrewgodsell.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/aspergers-syndrome-and-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

In the case of my novel, there is the complicating factor of my not even being sure that publishing it, without a pseudonym, is a good idea. It is my first foray in the world of….(dare I say it?)….erotica. The whole book is not erotica. There is a lot of gentle comedy, updating the tales in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books to the present day. There may even be aspirations to literary fiction. Most people, this generally includes myself, do not talk openly about their sexuality, but people are equally fascinated by the concept. I ask myself, will the book be welcomed as an interesting piece of work? Will the “oddball” nature of my novel cause people to take my other writing less seriously? Or will it be largely ignored? At present I have lacked the confidence to explicitly tell family and friends, who know I have been writing the book, the direction in which it has gone. Indeed, in the real world, I have not even told people that it was published as an Ebook on Amazon Kindle a few months ago. If the book takes off in any way, I plan to publish a paperback version, with some pictures. Moving away from the real world, the book is starting to have a small presence in Cyberspace, with some people buying it on Kindle, and extracts recently placed on this Blog receiving some “likes”. Over on Twitter, a friend who spotted the book was surprised to say the least, their response being:

Blimey! #notfortheeasilyshocked #Isurvived

https://twitter.com/mayyourhope/status/754345471963901952

Much of my output has been self-published, but a couple of books have been issued by mainstream publishers. Both of these were books of football history which, after an encouraging start, lost some impact as they became out of date. In the first case, the publisher went bankrupt, while in the second the book was quietly allowed to fade away. Like many writers, I have the ongoing difficulty of getting a publisher without having a literary agent, while attempts to get a literary agent are stalled by my relative lack of prior success getting a publisher!.

It is often said that many writers have a large ego about their writing, combined with a lack confidence about promoting themselves. The outlook of the muddled creator of a piece of art has been likened, by various people, to famous lines from W B Yeats:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity

The anxiety I have always felt, due to my mental health issues, has made dealing with publishers on a personal level difficult. Similarly I have attempted to sell my books in person at book fairs, but lacked the confidence to make much of this. I am good at writing and emailing press releases, but terrible at following up with telephone calls to real life journalists. More than 30 years after I started writing books, I am often overwhelmed by a feeling that it will be difficult to be a major success. Should I continue to follow my big dream? Should I settle for the limited level of literary success I have been able to enjoy? In an attempt to prompt myself to be more active, I am writing this short piece, with the intention of updating it as things progress.

I hope to return later with more to report.

If you aren’t reading Colleen Landry’s blog, ask yourself why not. Actually, don’t ask yourself, because that’s silly. You’ll start arguing with yourself and that can’t end well. Just click over and read Colleen’s blog about getting hit by a car. Yeah, she makes getting hit by a car funny. Unfortunately, I Can’t Cook for […]

via Colleen Landry – The Funniest Blog I Read. Probably. — Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR

Revolver and Sgt Pepper – a Beatles Fantasy Album

Revolver

One of the enduring debates among fans of the Beatles tries to answer a question, which is their best album? Ultimately it is difficult, probably impossible, to quantify this. So much of the judgement is subjective, with fans arguing the case for their individual favourite. Over the years, my mind has hopped in assessing the relative merits of Revolver, Sgt Pepper, and Abbey Road, but Revolver has generally been my favourite Beatles album. Indeed it is the only record I have felt inspired to review on Amazon – perhaps I should do more reviews. In the piece, posted in 2012, among other things, he said he said: “I cannot give the Revolver album anything other than five stars. It is acclaimed (by the experts?) as perhaps the Beatles second-best album, behind Sgt Pepper. The overall quality of songs is better on Revolver, with great variety, building into a showcase of the brilliance of the Beatles. Besides Paul’s majestic Eleanor Rigby, and the novelty of Ringo singing Yellow Submarine, there is an amazing trio from John – I’m Only Sleeping, She Said She Said, and Tomorrow Never Knows. George offers a couple of great songs in Taxman and I Want to Tell You. The studio experimentation of Sgt Pepper began a few months earlier in the Revolver sessions”. Four years after the review, I should add that a notable part of the appeal of Revolver is the way in which it displays an eclectic mix of styles, but also has unity, powered the guitar and drums sound common to the uptempo numbers, and dreamy lyrics that flow from Eleanor Rigby to Tomorrow Never Knows. The album title is a clever reflection of the way in which records revolve. There is also the original cover, with the psychedelic collage by Klaus Voorman on the front, and a photo of the band on the back – both in stark black and white. Revolver still sounds and feels modern – 50 years after it was recorded.

For many people, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best album ever made by any rock artist. For me, the album does not quite match the claims for it. The concept is an imaginary concert, in 1967, by a band celebrating 20 years of performing. The band therefore began in 1947, which would explain the old-time music hall element of the album, but they now appear to also be embracing new-fangled psychedelic rock. The concert setting, with audience sounds featuring in the first two and last two songs, just disappears in between. There is a small hubbub of people talking, and laughing, at the end of Within You Without You, but this does not appear to be the crowd audible elsewhere on the record. The Indian mysticism of that song, along with its rather long and droning nature, seems out of place with the upbeat lyrics and melodies on most of the record. The end of Good Morning Good Morning also does not fit. It has been praised as a nod to the end of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, but the succession of noises conjurs up visions of a horde of wild animals running across the stage at the Sgt Pepper concert – something that just would not happen.

Several times, over the last few years, I have attempted to create a playlist that serves as a fantasy album, bringing together the best of Revolver and Sgt Pepper. Although the albums were created less than a year apart, the differences in style make a synthesis a challenge. After many attempts, I have recently put together something that, I feel, really works. Hoping to share my enthusiasm, and possibly get feedback from other fans, I set out the track listing in this Blog post.

I decided the parameters should be:

1 The equivalent of an LP of about 45 minutes, drawing equally from the two original albums, plus the amazing songs from the sessions that were released separately as singles.

2 A sequencing in which no two successive songs have the same lead vocalist – taking a lead from Revolver

3 Omission of the Sgt Pepper concert theme, focussing instead on a flow of the best quality songs from the two sessions.

Here is my selection, entitled Kaleidoscope:

Side 1 (approximately 22 minutes)

1 Eleanor Rigby. Starting with one of the greatest songs from the relevant sessions, and a minimalist piece, with vocals from Paul accompanied by a double string quartet.

2 I’m Only Sleeping. The song that follows Eleanor Rigby on Revolver, as John tells a tale at the point where sleep becomes awakening.

3 Fixing a Hole. The first step into the surreal world of Sgt Pepper, with a song from Paul that complements the preceding effort from John, and then gives way to another set of questions in the next selection.

4 I Want to Tell You. The first track here sung by George. An often-neglected marvel, tucked away near the end of Revolver, with that album’s trademark sound, leads neatly into the next piece.

5 Paperback Writer. The A side of the single featuring two songs recorded at the Revolver sessions, but omitted from the album. Paul’s tale about the wonders of story-telling flows towards the second Sgt Pepper track here.

6 Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. John’s surreal tale of “a girl with kaleidoscope eyes” in a strange land, inspired by the Alice in Wonderland novels of Lewis Carroll.

7 Yellow Submarine. Moving from the boat on a river of the previous song, we navigate the sea in a submarine, with a lovely sing-along, led by Ringo.

8 Strawberry Fields Forever. Side 1 concludes with a song from the Double A side single released ahead of Sgt Pepper, containing songs that George Martin subsequently said should have appeared on that album. John’s wander through Strawberry Fields is a wonderful piece of nostalgia, combined with psychedelia.

Side 2 (approximately 23 minutes)

9 Penny Lane. The second half of the album opens with the other side of the double A single, this being Paul’s celebration of ordinary English life. Towards the end of the song there is mention of “pouring rain”, which takes us to the next track.

10 Rain. The B side of Paperback Writer is an under-rated gem, a brilliant burst of psychedelic rock, with lead vocals by John.

11 Good Day Sunshine. The rain gives way to sun, and Paul brightens the mood with a song about the joys of love.

12 Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite. John copied the lyrics from an 1843 poster advertising a circus. This song ends side 1 of Sgt Pepper, and paves the way here for something based on the start of the other side of that album.

13 Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows. Although I do not think that Within You Without You works on Sgt Pepper, the mashup with Tomorrow Never Knows, the finale of Revolver, on the Love album, definitely deserves a place in this fantasy compilation. George and Giles Martin merged two songs of Eastern thought into a splendid idea, with the start of John’s Tomorrow Never Knows vocal leading into George singing Within You Without You, while the drumming from the first song strengthens the music of the latter.

14 She Said She Said. John’s Acid trip in the previous track is followed by another such experience in this song, as he now hallucinates about a mystery woman. Indeed she could be an adult equivalent to the girl in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

15 Lovely Rita. Paul in turn has a moment with a lady, in circumstances that are very different from his narration of the tale of Eleanor Rigby. Musically the surreal sound of Lovely Rita points to the next song here.

16 A Day in the Life. Our Kaleidoscope concludes with the final song of the Sgt Pepper album, on which the musical accompaniment of Eleanor Rigby has grown to four Beatles and a 40 piece orchestra. For many people, including myself, A Day in the Life is the Beatles’ undisputed masterpiece, as a series of psychedelic dreams are sung by John, with an interlude from Paul, while the music builds from a quiet opening to a dramatic finale.

Alice’s Adventures in #Erotica

Alice cover 5Hello – well the first extract from my novel seemed to stimulate some interest in my Blog. Here is another piece, aimed at keeping up the enthusiasm. 

Alice paused, and the Walrus told her: “Yes we know about Nessie. She is definitely real. Over a thousand years old, and still going – still swimming the loch. She even found an underground channel, a few years back, and swam down from Loch Ness to our lake here in Wonderland, we now call it Loch Less. There is a committee trying to get us twinned with Newcastle, where they have Loch Geordie.”

The Mouse asked “How are you getting on now, my dear?” turning to Alice as it spoke.

“As wet as ever,” said Alice in a melancholy tone “it does not seem to dry me at all.”

“In that case,” said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, “I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies. The best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.”

Alice asked to be reminded what a caucus was.

The Mouse said “We are still with politics, it is an inner group that tries to run a political party.”

Alice responded “I seem to recall it is different from a cactus.”

The Dodo intervened, “Ah….the caucus joke….almost as old as the time I supposedly became extinct.”

The Dodo then gave the floor back to the Mouse, who announced “A cactus has all the pricks on the outside”.

Alice, the Mouse, and the Dodo collapsed with laughter. The other assembled creatures looked confused, and felt excluded from the joke.

Alice mused to herself about a caucus. On one level, the pricks inside might be thought of as fools. On the other hand, there was something to be said for having a prick inside. Last week a rather handsome man, called John Thomas, had got his prick inside Alice, and she had certainly enjoyed that. A few minutes later she had invited him in again. Alice had met John at a party. The attraction had been mutual, and rapid. It was a very laid-back party at the house of a friend of a friend of Alice. John was also a friend of a friend, but a different set of friends. After they had sorted out who was who, Alice and John flirted, joked, and snogged. They went for a walk in the garden, and found that several of the party guests had gone for a late night swim in the pool. There was not actually much swimming being done, but there were a couple of couples doing some shagging. Alice and John stripped naked, and hopped into the pool. Alice said “I have never been fucked in a swimming pool, until now – I hope.”

“Me too” replied John, and he soon slipped his hard prick into her wet cunt.

After having sex in the pool, Alice and John made their way into the garden shed, where John – in response to an invitation – made his way into Alice again.

Alice remembered it had been a very good night. Perhaps the best since….

Rising from her reverie, Alice asked “What is a Caucus-race?” Not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo and Mouse had paused, as if they both thought that somebody / some other creature (delete as applicable when you can decide) ought to speak, and none of the others seemed inclined to say anything.

The Dodo said “The best way to explain it is to do it.” First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no “One, two, three, and away,” but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out “The race is over!” and they all crowded round, asking who had won.

The Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought. It sat for a long time, while the rest waited in silence. At last, the diplomatic Dodo said, “everybody has won.”

Reverting to an earlier subject of discussion, the Mouse said that Alice could borrow the history book to read some more later.

Alice thanked him, but said the problem was “I do not have a handbag to put the book in.”

The Mouse put the book on an empty shelf. The shelf had just appeared – did it just arrive from nowhere? Yes it probably did, as when Alice looked again a moment later, there was another book there, entitled News From Nowhere.

Alice pondered the lack of a handbag. How would she carry things – if she collected any things (anything?) – around wherever it was that she now was? That is if she was to be here or there any longer? Alice had a think about the things she normally carried in her handbag. There was her purse, phone, make-up, tissues, and what else? Boiled sweets, sometimes. Well actually more common items might have been those things known as “women’s items.”

The Mouse asked Alice if she could make up a story or poem.

Alice hesitated, and then said “I think I made up a poem in my head earlier, but it was a bit of a muddle.”

In response to requests from several of her audience, Alice recited her poem:

Weaving a tapestry, the Lady of Shalott

Visions reflected through a glass onion

Catch a glimpse of a fair maiden

Her feet sore from bunions 

Fix your mind on something absurd

End of the poem, here is the last word

 

Alice’s Adventures in Erotica

Dear Reader

I have published several books, and enjoyed a bit of success, but this is my first venture into a world of erotica. This book is a bit different, just like my eccentric personality. Most of it is a fantasy from Wonderland. Some of it stems from fantasies about the real world. There are even curious bits extended from real events. I like to put my finger on things – and find the right spot. I hope you have fun scrolling down (and up and down) on your Kindle. I have taken pleasure in writing this story, and hope that you will find it a stimulating read.

Best wishes

Alice cover 5

 

 

The above is my introduction to my first novel, published as an Ebook on Amazon Kindle. After much hesitation, I have decided to publish this piece of erotica with my own name, rather than a pseudonym. It should stand or fall with a real name behind it – a bit like my Twitter account! Besides erotica, there is an attempt at literary fiction. Here is an extract – from one of the tamer parts of the book.

“An enchanted garden, and a golden afternoon” Alice declared. Alice was sitting in the grounds of Strawberry Fields Forever, a National Trust stately home, with her friend Sadie. The house, situated at Lyndhurst, a quaint village (or was it a town?) in the New Forest, retained the decor of the late 1960s, when it had been owned by a wealthy hippie, Mean Mr Mustard, and his sister, Polythene Pam. Alice and Sadie had just eaten lunch, each having chicken salad followed by strawberries and cream, washed down with quite a bit of wine. Alice checked the incoming texts on her mobile phone, replied to those requiring a reply, updated her Facebook status, and skimmed through the latest happenings, plus thoughts from dozens of people, on Twitter. This brought her up to date, if only for a moment, in the ever-moving world of mobile communication. Putting these things aside, Alice sat in the sun with Sadie, enjoying a rare moment of carefree relaxation. Sadie mentioned something about the surroundings. The grass was green, the leaves on the trees swayed in a breeze, and the sky was blue. Sadie started to read The Diary of a Nobody, by the Grossmith brothers, a delightful Victorian novel, brought to life with lots of hand-drawn illustrations. Sadie was looking for inspiration, as she hoped to become a paperback writer.

Alice plugged herself in to her IPod, and listened to songs by the Beatles – including a lot of tracks from Love, the surreal remix and mashup album. Towards the end of the glorious 80 second edit of Glass Onion, Alice closed her eyes, saying she was “resting” them, and dozed. Entering the place where wakefulness drifts into sleep, when in bed at night, Alice often experienced something she called a “mini-dream,” a dream of just a few seconds, from which she would exit, briefly awaking, before falling properly asleep – her “golden slumbers.” Alice had a “mini-dream” about eating giant strawberries, and told the detail to Sadie, who seemed unimpressed.

Alice drifted on to the image of a White Rabbit, seen wandering the grounds of Strawberry Fields Forever. The Rabbit seemed almost human, as it was wearing clothes, and muttering something to itself about the passage of time. The Rabbit even took a watch from a jacket pocket, and announced the time as “fifteen minutes,” without specifying any relationship to an hour of the clock.

Intrigued by this, Alice wandered towards the Rabbit, which hopped through a gap in a hedge. Alice noticed a group of four beetles, as she continued to pursue the Rabbit, which jumped into a narrow tunnel. In a moment of spontaneity, Alice squeezed into the tunnel, and felt herself to be moving at great speed. The strange thing was that she was not falling downwards, instead she was being sent in a roughly horizontal direction, apparently by some unseen wind or other power, through an ever-twisting tunnel. Alice felt a mixture of fear and exhilaration, as if on a rollercoaster ride, and wondered where she might arrive. Perhaps the other side of the world, or was this a route across the universe into another dimension? How long would the ride take? The answer to the latter question came just a couple of minutes after entry to the tunnel. All of a sudden, the helter skelter journey stopped, as the tunnel reached a fork, and the power pushing Alice forward stopped. Alice took the left prong of the fork, having seen the Rabbit do this. Passing a sign advising that this was Penny Lane, Alice walked along a wide, empty, corridor, and found herself to be alone. Where had the Rabbit gone to? Where was Alice? Was this a place far away from the lonely people?

In a dash to follow the Rabbit, Alice had left her handbag, with her mobile phone and money in it, by the chair in the garden of Strawberry Fields Forever. In any case, she did not know where she was, and whether her phone and money would be of any use in this new place. More importantly, how could she get back to where she had been? “Help!” Alice whispered to herself. As she walked what appeared to be a long and winding road, Alice was reduced to tears.

Alice walked further along the corridor. Having seen a table in the distance, Alice walked towards this, and found a small golden key placed on top of the table. There were several doors leading off the corridor, but Alice could not get the key to open any of them. Then she saw a single small curtain in the corridor, and moved this to reveal a small door. The key opened this door, leading into a smaller corridor. Alice crouched down low, but the corridor was too small for her to be able to safely enter. Alice wished she could navigate the corridor, as it led to the loveliest garden she had ever seen – or imagined. The garden had tangerine trees, marmalade sky, cellophane flowers of yellow and green. It all seemed splendidly surreal, and reminded Alice of something. Then she realised, and said “It is Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds brought to life.” Alice was experiencing a day in the life of a wonderland. Suddenly, as if moved within a giant kaleidoscope, the scene shifted, and Alice could see a walrus and some eggmen, sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun. “I am the Walrus” reflected Alice, meaning a song, as she did not really think she had turned into a walrus. Actually Alice wished she was a rather naughty girl, the sort who would let her knickers down, just like sexy Sadie, after the fancy dress party, as they shared a brief moment in the park. 

 

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