Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Saturday 30 May 2020

Role of the Churches today.

A report iin the Daily Telegraph suggests that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has opened up about suffering with a "black dog" as he reveals for the first time that he has suffered with depressive episodes.  Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent.        11 OCTOBER 2017 • 9:45PM.

The Archbishop of Canterbury revealed that he has only recognised that he experiences the bouts of feeling "hopeless", 
which have not been formally diagnosed, within the past year. Asked in an interview for GQ Magazine whether he had been depressed, he said: "I think if you had asked me a year ago I'd have said no, and ten years ago I'd have said absolutely not.
"But what was that phrase Churchill used? 'Black dog'. There is an element of that. I think as I am getting older I am realising it does come from time to time."I have those moments - you would know this - when objectively everything is fine, but you think you are, beyond description, hopeless."
The Archbishop's daughter, Katharine Welby-Roberts, has written about her own struggle with mental illness, anxiety, and suicidal feelings. She was diagnosed with depression at the age of 19, and also suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. Welby described her as "brilliant". 
Earlier this year she said that she had been unable to turn to her father for help when she had suicidal thoughts. 
“At that stage, my relationship with my parents wasn’t very close. There is only so much you can do when your daughter isn’t talking to you. They weren’t aware of how dark my mental health had got," she told the Sunday Times.

This is very much a personal story, almost a tragedy, and should be of no concern of mine. Except, it does impinge on my thoughts for the future of Churches, not only that of England. Readers of this Blog will recognise that the author is an atheist, certainly since as long ago as the Aberfan disaster. However, I have long held the belief that the Churches, not religion, can be a force for good, caring for those with mental afflictions in the same way that hospitals care for the physically sick. That the Archbishop of Canterbury can find no solace in his faith (he is 'hopeless') suggests that he too might consider my idea. Less God; more Samaritan. Less confessions and penance; more consultation and care. Less stories from two millennia ago; more up to the minute diagnostics.
It will mean that the clergy will have to be trained differently. No more masters of theology but up to date in psychology and human behaviour. a clergy able to empathise with their parishioners and offer solutions based on modern practice. Not everything need change. Uplifting music will still be part of the new liturgy as singing brings its own therapy. Communal gathering will be recommended, not to worship absent deities but celebrate the good and deserving, to give charitably, to recognise achievement. In other words, the churches should stop pandering to the diminishing numbers of the already converted; its a battle already lost, and seek to help those that are 'hopeless', literally those without hope.

Monday 25 May 2020

Post Corvid19

As restrictions round the world are lifted we will see the cost of Corvid19 as businesses are irrevocably closed down and peoples dreams are shattered. My blog in March voiced my fears.

In the face of the epidemic, Governments, universally caught unprepared, relying on experts, themselves short of experience, tried to find the best way forward, forever nervous that opposition parties, with the benefit of hindsight, could exploit every wrong turn as a demonstration of the Governments ineptitude. Governments were damned if they did one thing and damned if they didn't. One can't help but think that the lockdown strategy was a compromise whereby some lives would be saved but the National economy was trashed. Was it worth it? 40000 people will have died as a result of Corvid19, roughly four times as many as would have died from normal winter flu but, although devastating on a personal level, still a relatively small figure. Whole industries have been savaged, not least the tourist business leaving many close to bankruptcy. Individuals are faced with ruin having done nothing wrong, having worked hard and followed their dream. Some, sadly, will not come to terms with their loss.
In recent days seven prestigious hotels in Scotland have called in the receivers. They are not alone but what will happen to them? It would be a tragedy if they fall into foreign ownership like so many UK institutions. Waiting to pick up the pieces, the Chinese and cash rich Arab states will circle the scene like predatory raptors, looking for choice titbits to pick up. What a shame!
But wait!. What if this is not the end. What, for example, would happen today if there was an outbreak of Corvid20? Would governments take the same action?

Friday 22 May 2020

Attention all film makers!

              Attention Film-makers                                              

Is there a filmmaker out there looking for some good stories that could be woven into the bigger tapestry of the world’s most followed game, beset by burgeoning problems of corruption and fraud. 

Each of the seventeen stories continues the theme of good and evil, building the tension as all attention becomes focused on the chief protagonist, the Agent. Ideal for television series.

There follows a brief summary of the stories.
For those interested in ‘diversity’, these stories feature all walks of life.

                                       The George at Bustington


Kevill Davies

Amazon link


The headline in the Daily Mail 4th February 2013, read:

Champions League match in England was 'rigged' by Asian crime gang: Europol launches biggest-ever match-fixing investigation into 380 games

  • EU crime agency say 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals are suspected of being involved
  • Champions League fixture in England in last three to four years was targeted
  • Asia-based crime syndicate paid individuals up to £120,000
How apposite that ‘The George at Bustington’ should appear at this time, a novel that contains as a continuous thread throughout, the twin themes of corruption and tragedy.
Every professional team, around the world, in sports, ranging from football, rugby, American football to ice hockey, have in common a group of players, assembled, trained and otherwise prepared by the Club Management, who are collectively called the ‘Squad’.
This book tells the stories of some members of one such ‘Squad’ and others connected to the Bustington Wanderers football team as narrated, principally, by the landlord, in the public bar of his inn, the ‘George’.
Although the public perception of these players is as a team, a collective body of skills and abilities, they have, however, personal lives and private stories, and as such these tales are not necessarily about football although the game appears from time to time. It would be unusual if it did not do so.

When author, Jack Lord, meets his Literary Agent to discuss the subject of his next novel, he faces stern opposition to his idea that he writes about the game of football. His agent, Geoffrey Fuller-Smythe suggests they go and meet Henry Bagshot, former player and landlord of the ‘George’, an inn in the Saigh Valley town of Bustington to see if he can offer advice.
Following a reunion of the old friends, they agree to meet regularly at the inn to hear Henry’s stories of Club personnel, past and present, and see if any of them could form the basis of a novel. However as the stories of, for example, incest, homosexuality, gambling, the supernatural and piracy, emerge, Geoffrey recognises their diversity mirrors life in a way that would engage the reading public’s attention. He proposes that Jack writes a book consisting of, not one, but several stories, punctuated with commentary. It has been a successful format in the past, he suggested; Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron’, Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ and the ‘Pickwick Papers’ by Dickens are all examples of the genre.
As the seventeen ‘novels’, to use Boccaccio’s designation, are told and dutifully written down by the author they are unaware that they are gradually being sucked into the biggest story of them all; that of the wicked football agent, Chanda Abassi. As he becomes ever more entangled in his own web of corruption and deceit that embraces the Mafia and gambling syndicates from Asia, the ‘George’ moves to centre stage in Novel 17, The Agent, and becomes the setting for a dramatic conclusion.

Novel length:   130,000 words
Genre:   General fiction. An anthology of novellas


The Referee

Referee, Mike Todds, brought up in an East London crime family, considered himself to be a fair and just person with a strong sense of right and wrong.
When confronted with the opportunity to make immoral money by betraying the game he loved, he decided to take on the gangs head on with horrific consequences.

The Goalkeeper

Jim Bennion, besides being a top-class goalkeeper is also a thief. He regarded a shopping trip as the course of a game of football, full of chances but ever mindful of keeping a ‘clean sheet’. However, Bennion is a marked man and always likely to score an ‘own goal’.

The Club Owner

Mike Truckwell, always seems to fall on his feet. Although trained for Church Truckwell made his fortune selling, among other things, porn and bought the Club, Bustington Wanderers, for the specific task of laundering money.

The Centre Halves

Simon Cawdell is a predatory homosexual. John ‘Roy’ Rogers falls under his spell having split from his wife and finding his true sexuality. However, Cawdell has an agenda that exploits his fellow player with disastrous consequences.

The Right Winger

Alan Parsons attracted girls as flowers attract bees. He didn’t differentiate, he enjoyed the company of all shapes and sizes but he had a particular craving for the young. In this story, Parsons discovers that his latest conquest is family and the outcome is dire.

The Left Back

Two friends fall out when a young lady moves into their neighbourhood causing an irrevocable rift.  When Veronica becomes pregnant, both boys claim paternity leading to a surprising but disastrous outcome.

The Striker

Gareth Smith followed his father, Dan’s advice in most matters but struggled to ignore his plea to ignore his long-term girl friend, Wendy. When Dan dies in the stands, following a match, Gareth discovers papers that expose the old man’s sins, leading to the suicide of Wendy’s father and other disruptions.

The Right Back

Somalian player, Abukar, is blackmailed into giving cash to buy armaments for terrorists in his native home. The only solution seems to be to rescue his mother and sisters from war-torn Mogadishu. Using the expertise of an ex special forces soldier, the footballer embarks on a hazardous journey that depends on the efforts of a mercenary US agent and his private army. A story of betrayal and the best of human nature in one.

The Left Winger

Alan Ives was disappointed when his father, Ray took another wife and thereby risking the familial harmony. However, his dismay is exacerbated when Margaret, the new wife turns her amorous advances on him much to the annoyance of his sister, Penny. The local Church has the answer.

The Physio

Club physio, Diana Andrews, has an admirer within the Club who will go to any lengths to secure her affection, including kidnap. In a race against time, the police identify her place of confinement but can they save her from a bizarre death ritual.

The Ex Player

Landlord, Henry Bagshot, narrator of the stories tells how his generosity towards a young boy led to a nightmare confrontation with his mother, a woman who hadn’t come to terms with the loss of her husband in the Falkland war with Argentina.

The Apprentice

Apprentice footballer, Stephen Norris, was in the habit of  visiting his girlfriend Millicent King unaware that her father was an addicted user of prostitutes. Millicent’s mother, bored with empty evenings during her husband’s many absences, slowly and almost imperceptibly began a flirtatious campaign to lure the youngster to her empty bed.
When Millicent found her boyfriend in the arms of her mother she committed suicide unable to cope with her mother’s betrayal. It was the day when her father decided to address his problem and returned home early to find a scene of nightmareish proportions.

The Manager

The team manager, Harry Little, besides being an indifferent manager, was also a gambling addict made worse by the fact that he was a loser. When his system to break the bookies failed he resorted to borrowing money from some known crooks, a move that cost him and wife, Sandra, their home. However, a minor mishap at Cheltenham races allows Harry to dream of reversing his fortune at the Grand National meeting at Aintree.

The Left Half

Graham Wells was a footballer. He also thought he was Jesus. So strong was this feeling that he considered the team as his twelve disciples, with Judas on the bench.
When he decided to leave home, the house and its occupant, a young girl called Rose, chose him to be the new owner. However as the story of the house and Rose unfolds, Graham learns that being Jesus isn’t an easy option as he’s called upon to make difficult judgements especially concerning his own family.

The Right Centre

Miles Shawcross, was the Club’s most stylish player. Consummate in his approach to every facet of the game he even practiced falling over at every little touch by the opponents so as to gain free kicks from gullible referees. Miles also had an acute sense of right and wrong. If he was pushed, no matter how hard, it constituted a foul. He had the same attitude to life and its injustices so that when he was asked to help a family in financial difficulties because of a mutual adversary, he rose to the challenge

The Centre Forward

Roberto da Vinci was the dream signing for reasons that only partially touched on the Italian’s footballing skills. Unbeknown to him he carried on his person the key to unlocking the secret of the Vatican’s missing millions, sought after not only by the Holy See but, the agent, Chanda Abassi, the Mafia, East London gangs and the Asian, gambling and crime syndicates.

The Agent

Chanda Abassi was, despite the gathering of his enemies, optimistic about retrieving the missing Vatican money and marrying, Fiona, the daughter of Club owner, Mike Truckwell. But his plans begin to unwind, culminating in a dramatic showdown on his wedding day.