The Alley

The figure in the trench coat dragged his feet down the alley. He glanced up: the sky was a black as a hearse. His aged, mottled hands were shielding something precious, varicose veins danced along them. His large hat obscured the bruises running down his face, even though it was a cool night beads of sweat dripped from his contoured face and his heart was thundering in chest. He took out his old brass pocket watch, with small, precise engravings. A present from a past lover. It read ten minutes past eleven. They were late.

But ‘they’ were not late. They were already there, but he did not know this. He did not notice the three figures silently slither through the smog. Nor did he notice the glinting of light from a steel switchblade. When they were very close, the man heard the sound of feet against the dirt path and turned.

“Thank God you’re here, I have had enough of this entire affair. I have what you want. Now leave me out of your matters. I need to get back to my life, my family.”

His voice voice was harsh and sad, and he choked at the last sentence. His eyes wondered to the blade and widened in horror. He tried to call out for help as he realised their treachery, but it was too late. The man’s plea for mercy was cast into the indifference of the wind. 

The last thing the old man saw was the starless sky, offering no reconciliation as his life came to end. One of the hooded figures knelt down to pry the hidden object by the man’s hands. It was a small mahogany box, engraved with ornate patterns around the edges. They then turned round with box in tow and the man remained under the inky sky.

The brass pocket watch was left in the dust.




The Oncoming Tide

He loved the countryside. He woke up to a concert of sweet birdsong. He swung his legs out of bed as his joints gave a collective groan. He grasped the lightly decorated mahogany desk and pushed himself toward the kitchen. His hand were pale and slender, used for the most delicate of work; his grandchildren called them “piano player’s hands”, his face was angular and sharp his protruding nose gave him the nickname “Pinnochio” as a child. While he thought about his childhood, his expression, which almost always hid the ghost of a smile, turned to one of sorrow. He frowned, causing the abundance of wrinkles on his forehead to fold in on themselves. He decided to forget and concentrate on the matter at hand; his stomach concurred by giving a low, monotonous growl. 

He lowered two slices of bread into the toaster, his hands unsteady, shaking. He glanced outside the window, watching two bees entwine in a graceful arabesque as the sun rose, bathing the sky in a glorious conflagration of pink and yellow. The toaster beeped, signalling that it had done its job and he was dragged back into the reality of his own banal existence. 
After eating, he quickly rose and made his way, slowly, to the bathroom, he gently combed over the thin wispy strands that covered his scalp; he didn’t bother shaving and quickly threw on some old clothes. He was a rustic man, and as he shuffled outside, he felt the sunlight fall on his face in a golden shower whilst the cool breeze gently caressed his face. His bare feet gently trod on the dirt path, enjoying the sensation of the sand flowing between his toes as he passed a field of workers, plucking the earth’s bounty with expertise, with a technique refined and perfected from one generation to the next. He yearned to join them, yearned to make a contribution, yearned to have a purpose; rather than stay at home, following the same pointless routine everyday, waiting for death to embrace him like an old friend. 
He plucked a green fruit from one of the hundreds in a row of identical bushes and popped it in his mouth. Flavour rolled around his tongue and down his gullet;his shoulders, knotted with thin spidery veins, relaxed. 
His moment of euphoria ended as quickly as it began when his attention was diverted to the thick, black smoke emanating from the power plant in the distance. His hands did not clench as they did before, nor did his face darken in anger: he had come to accept the immanent arrival of the city. He was indifferent. He knew he would be long dead before it would arrive to harm him once more; and this he cherished as his final victory. 

What’s Happened to the Music?

I strongly dislike chart music. It is full of air-headed “celebrities” who deem themselves important and are constantly followed around by a flock of sheep or “fans”. 
The industry itself has been consumed by the personalities rather than the music. Who cares what Kanye West is up to now? This has allowed any good songs to be buried under a tidal wave of tabloids and paparazzi. 
And then not only do these celebrities seem to be worshipped, they are soon mimicked. The music alone is not enough, they must then advertise themselves as perfect whilst using “beauty” products.  Suddenly, teenagers feel self-conscious about themselves, by not achieving the ‘perfect’ body. A lucrative market is suddenly created where these insecurities are exploited and money is silently siphoned away…
There are,of course, exceptions, those who I find inspirational. 
Lily Allen is not afraid to get her head into the politics, against the fascists of our day, against the clumsy oafs who we call “world leaders” and who history shall remember with resentment (I.e. the Bush administration, the BNP etc.) Lily even spoke out against the ‘celebrity’ singers: “I hate all these people who flaunt their beauty.” She may get into controversies, but for the right reasons: to highlight the fundamental failures of our society through her music. 
Lana del ray is one of my favourite artists. Her songs bring me down to earth when my head is in the clouds. The simplicity of her songs and their message makes me imagine a perfect world, just her and her lover, with nothing else to crack her utopian shell. 
Both of these artists seem to be genuine. You can take them at face value and know that there is not some sort of scandal, affair or ‘shock’ break-up round the corner. This cannot be said for all, or even most of the other singers also on the charts. 
I love music. I even play two instruments. I do not love the self-centred egoists that dominate the industry and exploit their position to become obnoxious celebrities.

Tech Wars: Return of the Fanboy

Hello all, 
 I thought I might start off this blog by saying that I’m fed up. Fed up of the money and litigation involved and the fanboy wars involved the so called “tech-industry”. 
Every product has its pros and cons, comparing the iPhone 5 to the Samsung Galaxy to the Nexus 4 is like comparing vanilla,strawberry and chocolate ice creams, it’s all about taste
At the moment it feels like the fanboys are a couple of three year-olds having tantrums, completely disregarding anything that has been said to rant on. You can scream ’till you’re blue in the face:  I’ve stopped listening. 
Personally, I think that there is some shameless copying going on. (Need I remind you of the HP Spectre One?)
And of course, the lawsuits (The Victoria School of Business and Technology had to change their logo as it was an apple) 
Do people really have nothing better to do? Think about what $1 billion would do to change the world, instead of lining the pockets of the privileged (reference to Apple winning $1 billion from Samsung, in case you’ve been living under a rock)…  
Think about what could have been achieved if both Apple and Samsung had worked together to create revolutionary products… Actually, we would probably be in the same place as we are now: constantly being extorted as new product comes on to the scene six months after the previous one.