Monday, September 27, 2010


What we think is not that simple.  Yet, what we think is of the utmost importance because it affects our lives and the lives of those around us.  What we think can literally decide whether we live or die, whether we live well or not, or whether we are happy or not.

The thoughts that are important are really our beliefs about ourselves and about other people.  The fleeting thoughts that shoot across our mind in moments of anger or pain or fear are not so important if they are important at all.

However, what we believe is of vital importance.

What we believe is not just a matter of choice. Often we believe what we have been taught to believe.  It is not a general habit of humans to question their beliefs.  Yet self-knowledge is also of vital importance.

If we examine ourselves and our beliefs we can be truly astonished to find that we do not believe things for the reasons that we thought we did.  We can also find that we believe things we did not know that we believed.

The most evil thing we can do to a child is to teach them what to think.  Many adults want to do precisely this and they do it.  The most common way to control a child is thinking is through fear and the use of religion.  It is not by accident that so many religious people send their children to faith schools or homeschool.  They do this to ensure that the child grows up to be an adult who thinks the way they have been told to think.

Growing up I was subject to three different forms of fundamentalist Christianity. Much of my religious teaching was received from nuns the Catholic Church.  I was taught that to question was wicked and I was therefore evil to do so.  I was a child split in two.  I questioned and I felt guilty and afraid for doing so. I found it hard to not ask why and I found belief in what I was being taught elusive.  This left me feeling more afraid and more guilt ridden.  (This was compounded by parents who never admitted to being anything other than perfect and who also marked me as wicked for daring to question them.)

This teaching I received and learned well, that adults were infallible and to be obeyed, made it very easy for adults to abuse me.  I was a good boy and I did as I was told even when the adult instructing me was a paedophile.  The way I had been taught by both my parents and my religious teachers made me the perfect victim.  It also kept me quiet about my father’s violence because I knew that I deserved his hatred.

Many people today wrongly assume that I am an atheist.  I think it is more accurate to say I am agnostic.  It is accurate to believe that I am anti-religion.  I am and I am strongly so.

I have no faith in anybody who tells me how much they love Jesus.  Why?  Because the love cannot be anything but counterfeit.  You cannot love what you are afraid of.  Why would I say such a thing?  Quite simply because to Christians unbelief means damnation, therefore their God’s love is conditional.  Love that is conditional is an oxymoron.  I’m not sure that I have used that word correctly!  Love that is conditional is not love.

Naturally those who follow this belief system will twist and turn themselves inside out in order to deny that their God’s love is conditional or that they are afraid to disbelieve.  Even if all one is required to do is to believe in the interpretation of the Jesus story it is still a condition.

For those who have been brought up in this belief system it is even harder to escape it.  In order for one’s belief system to be examined one has to be prepared to lose friends and family.  In short one has to be prepared to end the world as one knows it, and start over.  This is the most painful thing anybody can do.

I did it I know what I’m talking about.  Before one gets carried away, it needs to be borne in mind that I had a very stark choice: change or die, or worse, become insane.  I came extremely close to both.

I credit two people for saving my life.  They did so by telling me something that I did not know: that I had a choice in what I believe.  This was a revolutionary concept to me.  It was also an extremely terrifying concept. The idea that what I had been taught was wrong and that I could think it wrong and choose to believe something else was not within my view of the world.  To even contemplate the idea had me believing that God would strike me down dead at any moment.  I do not exaggerate.  My recovery was punctuated by long periods of sheer terror because what I was learning was in complete contradiction to all that I had been taught.  The terror resulted in a brief hospitalisation.  Only those who have felt terror for extended periods can know of what I am writing.  Words cannot convey the feeling of terror.

The two people were my therapist and the writer Dr Dorothy Rowe whom my therapist introduced me to via her writing.

Over a period of five tumultuous years, I slowly but surely began to let the light of knowledge heal me.  I began to feel safe in choosing different ways to think.  I began to feel safe in rejecting many of the ideas and teachings that had been foisted upon me.

One of the biggest handicaps to my recovery was my belief that merely to talk about my abuse was sinful.  The commandment that one must honour thy parents was one of the chief reasons for this.  It took some time for me to realise and accept that I was not a bad person for telling the truth.

The change in me was astounding.  I began to enjoy life and all of the negative ways that I had hitherto used in order to survive began to fall away.  I was so taken by my newfound freedoms and the lessening of the pain of day-to-day living that it did not occur to me that it could get even better.  I was still ignorant about the very core of me, my core belief.

Even though I understood that it was wrong of adults to physically assault me and to use me for their sexual gratification my core belief was that they did this to me because there was something wrong with me.

In August of 2007 I met somebody who treated me badly.  I was in their company for two days.  I could have, with some difficulty, chosen not to be but I instead  disassociated. This was not a choice but an automatic reaction and one that many abuse victims use in order to survive.

To cut a long story short, this was the first time in my life that I was aware that I was not at all at fault.  This person treated me the way they did because of something in them and not because of something in me.  It was because they were like this towards me from the very beginning of our meeting that I was able to see that I was blameless.

The next few months I went through more terror and many days of crying non-stop until finally I reached the very core of me and let that poison out.  I knew then that I had been abused not because there was something wrong with me but because there was something wrong with those who abused me.

This gave me an even greater sense of freedom and still does.  I’m radically changed the way that I dress. I started to wear colours.  I started to be myself.  I became more artistic or rather I recognised that I am an artist.  I dropped friendships because I realise that they were not.  Whilst I remain polite to others I no longer have people in my life that I don’t want in my life and who do not have respect for me.

Learning about oneself is an ongoing process.  It never ends.  Its rewards are great.

I will always fight against fear-based teaching and I will always insist upon the right to think and believe as I wish.  Not just for me but for everybody.  I will always challenge those whose desire it is to force others to accept their ideas.  I will always do what I can to share the light of knowledge that was shared with me with others.

There is always a choice in what you believe.  To question is not evil.  To teach unquestioning obedience is.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


our new addition: Ada

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Kim asked what camera I use: Sony Alpha A200 DSLR. No touching up, just some cropping.


Monday, September 20, 2010


Much to my relief I am feeling much better today. I did a perfectly normal poo this morning which really did please me very much. I was so pleased I decided I was well enough to go for a swim which I did. The swim went very well. I have to say that I feel better today than I have done for weeks.

Very grudgingly I am coming around to the idea that I expect too much of my body and myself. I was telling James about our trip. He works at the leisure centre is 30 and fit and even he raised his eyebrows at the amount of travelling that I did. More than one person that I know has suggested that my itinerary would exhaust a well person let alone somebody with my disease. I interpreted their words as them being kind and just not wishing to point out that I was too ill to do what I had planned. even my doctor said that when she and her husband go on very similar driving holidays they share the driving and swap over every two hours. John does not drive and I spent eight hours driving myself three or four times a week while we are away. I now accept that I’m going to have to give this up.

This does not mean that I cannot still go to Germany or France or wherever. It does mean that I will not travel so far and that I should only travel to one place and stay there for several days before either moving on or coming home. There is still much that we have not seen in the Mannheim area and that is still very doable. Instead of taking one day to drive the 400 miles from Calais to Mannheim we can do it in two days and then spend a week in Mannheim before returning home again taking two days to drive to Calais, staying there overnight before re-entering England the following day.

Frankfurt is also not that far. There are other possibilities as well. I still want to do Paris and will have to have a serious investigation into how I can manage this because as far as I understand it Paris, like London, is pretty poor for wheelchair users.


I have just finished Millennium III, the final book in the trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I can’t say that I have ever read any three books like these.  In truth it is in fact just one story split into three books.  I am certain that the publishers thought that it would not sell as just one book of about 2000 pages.  I am sure they were right.

I normally only read in bed at night time.  I read a few pages and fall asleep.  Not with these.  I found myself eager to get back to the story and I therefore started reading at any opportunity during the day.

All the publicity surrounding the books suggest that the novels revolve around Lisbeth Salander, describing her as the heroine of the story.  I think I would argue with this.  The real hero of the book is Mikael Blomkvist.  Without him Lisbeth would not have survived. It was his moral convictions, and his courage, that slayed the wicked.

I think the story is so well written that I kept having to remind myself that this was fiction and that these people do not exist. Now that I have finished I have to remind myself to stop wondering what is happening to them now.

There is an awful lot of detail in this book about various subjects.  And none of it is filler.  The only other author I can think of that has me turning pages like these three books did is Minette Walters.  Her books are really very different but also excellent.

I learned quite a bit about Sweden as well.  I had not realised that they had such a problem with neo-Nazis and other far right nut jobs. Sweden has just had an election and the far right Swedish Democrats have for the first time won seats in parliament.  For some reason I had always had an image of Sweden in my mind as being a very large hippy commune with very liberal values.  I am very disappointed to find out they have such a problem with racism and the far right.

If you decide to read these books do note that they are not no-brainers.  They are not just wham bang wallop thrillers.  They require a certain intelligence.  I hope that does not sound snobby.  They are an excellent read but not a mindless one.

The three novels are titled: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.

Friday, September 17, 2010


This is the message the papal visit to Britain has spread this week. Neither the politicians, the Roman Catholics, the Church of England nor the many flag-waving citizens give a dam about the abuse of children and the lives that such abuse distorts or destroys.

The man at the head of this church who has protected child abusers, who had hidden evidence, who refuses to hand over evidence to the proper authorities, the police, instead of being rebuked and told he is not welcome is in fact welcomed with open arms with all the pomp and ceremony we can conjure up.

What particularly raises my ire is seeing the children involved in this vile spectacle. And they are being used and abused in this great lie. I wonder how they would feel if they understood the full horror of priests fucking children.

I am ashamed. I am disgusted. I am appalled. This mighty show of man’s inhumanity to man- of man’s arrogance.

They truly do not give a dam about anything other than their own aggrandisement. And what makes it worse is that we have colluded in this lie and have shit all over those children whose lives were forever altered by the evil that they oversaw and they have done nothing to protect the children of today. They have shown us in no uncertain terms that the rape and spiritual abuse of children means nothing to them. More important to them is their persona, their wealth, their church, their power. They lie in front of their God and we like fools turned a blind eye to it all.

WE are responsible for this. All of us who refuse to see what is right under our noses. We are responsible for the cover-up, for the lies, for the crimes. All those flag-waving fools smitten by men in fancy frocks.

Forgive Them Father For They Know Not What They Do. If only.

I think they know precisely the evil that they do.


THERE ARE NO LIVE PEOPLE OR ANIMALS art1 art6 art4 art3 art2 john pugh art7

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I had not realised I had taken so many pictures of Koblenz.  There are many that I have not published.  Note the rainbow flag.  I was really surprised to see it.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It turns out that I have a bug after all! I was up several times last night and I had the shivers as well. I feel very washed out that I am feeling better this morning. I did not get away with my fall after all! My hip started playing its tune last evening and got very loud during the night so that I had to keep moving. I feel relieved to realise that I have actually had a bug because the diarrhoea was really beginning to worry me. 
It started Monday morning after a night of cramps and I have been having to go to the loo at least a dozen times each day with very little warning.  Yet I felt well.  Of course I do not mean well I mean that I didn’t feel any different to usual.  However last night it became obvious to me that I actually was sick because of the shivering.  I only had to go to the loo once during the night and I am feeling much better now as regards my intestines.
I have a rather vivid imagination and I was imagining all sorts of things usually involving imminent death.  I even wondered if this was drug withdrawal! Despite the fact that I have not stopped taking them! My logic being that some days I take more than others and I was wondering if my body had got used to a certain amount and was now suffering withdrawal! I tell you I can be my own worst enemy and I cause myself anxieties for no reason! Occasionally, my living waiting for the other foot to fall as I did most of my life, comes back at times of vulnerability.
Still it means I have had plenty of time to just sit and read and watch DVD! I am watching the the sixth and final series of Nip / Tuck.  This is an excellent satire and it makes them very serious observations depending on how one watches I suppose.It is full of truly dysfunctional people
I have also been reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest during the day.  I am going to miss Lisbeth and Mikael when I have finished this.  Millennium I, II  and III are really just one long story I guess split into three books to make them saleable.  I find these books really remarkable and certainly have never read anything like it before and never will again. The other author who has grabbed me in a very similar way is Minette Walters.

I think I have enough food in the freezer so that I don’t have to go out until John gets home on Friday night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


What really impressed us with the graffiti on the walls in the underpass was that no one had defaced it!Koblenz (1) Koblenz (4)

Koblenz (2) Koblenz (5) Koblenz (21) Koblenz (20) Koblenz (19) Koblenz (14) Koblenz (12) Koblenz (8) Koblenz (7) Koblenz (23) Koblenz (22) Koblenz (25) Koblenz (24) Koblenz (27) Koblenz (26) Koblenz