A few years ago, when I was just starting out as a self employed person, I had a few quiet moments that allowed me time for reflection. These are those articles I wrote, more for myself than anyone else. However, they are interesting nonetheless, even though at the time I was not in the best of places.

Apprehension in peace

We often look at the world around us and think that everything is just running fine.  Our life has become more and more pedestrian and safer by the minute.  We go looking for the safe dangers, which by their very nature are a complete contradiction in terms.  I wonder what people would think if they had to constantly take risks with their life for real not in this staid and artificial environment.

I take the example of the plane trip I made today.  I had this great feeling of dread that was creeping over me like a mist on a cold spring morning.  As the journey progressed the anxiety eased, and after a while the sedate feelings of safety returned.  I can not place into words the things that went through my mind during the trip to the airport.

Would I see my Son again, why did I feel so alone, what was the cause that made me feel so small and inadequate.  I thought during the flight to Mexico that maybe I had had a major shift in my priorities in life and other things that in the past had not been important were suddenly thrust into contrast.

I currently sit at the front of a Boeing 747 jet writing this piece of history of my life and where I believe it changed the values I hold dear.  The sun is shinning through the window to the port side of the plane as we cross the Atlantic in an almost photographic quality only ever seen on the adds for scotch whiskey.  Even water takes on a golden glow only usually associated with an expensive malt.

I become transfixed in the colour and find solace in the sunlight.  It makes me feel calm again, but I wonder for how long.  I currently feel very strongly for these and other feelings that are coursing through me at this time.

The seat I am in is only 3 from the nose cone and so is usually associated with First class travel.  I sit in a seat that has more space than my car seat and realise why people become addicted to this kind of treatment.  It has a quality to it that allows you to slow down, think of the world, and more importantly take stock of what you are and where you are going, but more in the philosophical sense of the meaning.

When this is all over this will probably languish in the hard drive somewhere until I look back on it and have another chance to reflect on this very special moment.  I have thoughts that can only really be discussed in moments of silence and clarity that only happen a few times in your life.  I wonder if the clarity of the air up here at 35,000 feet helps you see forever.  It makes you relax and enjoy the surroundings, a brief moment of peace in an otherwise turbulent world.

I listen to the music, playing through the head phones and day dream of far off places before grounding myself in my most prized memories, those of my Son and Wife, who will always be there for me.  Strange that at this time I have tears filling my eyes and with the sunlight streaming in it is hard to see the keyboard for typing.  I finally have a moment that is very special.

In every one’s life we have many opportunities to rise above all the pain and drudgery that haunts us and look around at the world.  Our only problem is that we are invariably too close to the woods to see the trees.  You need something that makes you feel alive again, as when you first saw the magic that makes the world a very special place.

At that moment in time I think, here is a strange thing.   I am thinking of these emotions and peaceful reconciliations with my inner self when the duty free trolley is being wheeled past trying to sell us something, this seems a direct contrast to the moments and feelings that are coursing through me in a moment of unadulterated purity, where nothing has a meaning but everything has a value.  It is then that I think we need to all experience these values and meanings from within our own little world.

I close this path or door and have a lasting memory of what life should really point to, as has been said so much in the past, ‘it is the simple things in life that you treasure the most.’  Never was a truer sentence uttered, but very rarely quoted.  We all look at the world through our own viewers and wish that everyone was like us.  Where we stumble is invariably trying to make the dream a reality, then we lose sight of the real reason we do the things we do, caught up in our everyday life.

This moment has been the closest I have had to the dream I have of one day travelling and writing what you feel, then with images being able to tell the story of your inner self and emotions through words and stories.

The plane has changed direction and the sun has moved down towards the horizon, the lights are being put out in the cabin, and only the slowly fading glow is evident in the cabin.  It still feels ethereal, but as the light fades and the moment passes on it will never quite be the same again.  Somewhere in there I could see the future of the human race, what we are capable of if only we stopped being dictatorial or beating ourselves up with self pity and guilt.  In some strange way it is often the case that like the clouds, we only get to see a small glimpse of what could be, before they move on.  I looked at the people around me and they were all slowly shutting down for the night.  I quietly typed this insight into a small moment of my travel.  The writing has helped me understand the fears I had faced, and with that I am able to confront them and see them for what they are.  

I look back on what I have written and wonder what I will think of it in the years to come, after all reflection should not just happen once, but should be the evolvement of a feeling to help you understand your self in the future.

Dee Roberts – 2005

Intervention – Violence or Peace?

With all that is going on in the world, you would have to ask the question, why in God’s name would we want to bring yet more violence into our environment.

The age old question about standing up or being beaten, has come to logger heads recently with the escalating violence in the Middle East.  Two peoples with different takes on the same piece of land, both convinced that their course of action is correct.  It seems that the leaders of both sides have a blinkered view that the old types of conflict are the only way to go.

When this first started, it was inevitable that Israel would take the heavy hand, trying to exact retribution for years of unprovoked attacks.  Whilst on the other side of the divide Hezbollah would try to turn this into some form of Crusade against their hated neighbours.

The whole conflict has spiralled completely out of control as all the hate-mongers have jumped on the band wagon selling their form of salvation.  Lets not beat around the bush here (pun intended), the Islamic fundamentalists have been waging a crusade of their own against anyone who even remotely disagrees with their take on things.  Many people have said many things, some stupid, some thoughtful, but all of them seemed to have been drowned out by both the rhetoric or the canon fire.

Deep down I just want to scream and ask the wound be leaders, “REAL PEOPLE ARE DYING”.  You want to get hold of someone like Tony Blair or George Bush and shake them till their pockets are empty of toy soldiers, tell them to wake up to the real problems that surround the innocent parties in the middle.  I can’t be alone in this, having seen right from the start that everything could have been solved if only the Arab nations had taken a more firm stance with the militants.

The irony of it all is that when one of the hate-mongers gets caught up in the real battle, they are the first to tug on the arms of the so called enemy asking for salvation.  Many of us live and breath the war remotely feeling the effect in our pockets, never knowing the real horrors.  The real problem with leaders is that today most of them, like us have never suffered a war torn conflict.  They start these conflicts and fight them vicariously through their armed forces, always protected from the actual event by distance and safety.  Maybe what we really need is a few more of the so called leaders to take the front line, then when the heat gets a little too much they can understand what Real War is all about.

Dee Roberts – 2006

It struck me as odd the other day

Money, Worry, Standing in the non existent community, family or rather lack of, influence, weight, hair loss, food, stomach problems, work, salary, no ambition, no progress in work, no one listens to anything said, invariably people in higher positions at work do not listen as well as they hear.

Not being able to make a difference about things.  What is the point of the job or life in general.  Depression, shopping and its influence on me, small and wasted diversions that do nothing to improve my life, in fact they fuck it up rather well.  

Injustice in the world. People who are nasty or unpleasant get what they want.  This is a society that will fuck anyone for a percentage of the profits.  People get killed for less.  Lack of ideas, in relationship, not being able to move it on because I do not have what is required by the other person.  I feel that if I am to succeed in anything I have to either work very hard at doing something and getting no where or I have to let someone else do it.  I feel this is what happens in a lot of my life.

If I was to work at something for Work, it would make little or no difference to the people I work with.  As with all things in this company everyone is so worried that they will be the next one to get fired that they have a problem with doing the right thing.  Meanwhile at the top of the food chain some wanker sends down a declaration that x people will be made redundant to further stream line a dead horse.  It is not bad enough that they use the euphemism “Stream line” but that these pricks put over that they believe it will help all that are left, whilst in the other hand they are feathering their own nest with extras money and capital whilst the others go to hell.

In my life I feel that I have very little chance of getting anywhere, because every time I try to make a difference I am told by those around me that this is not in my best interest.  All those I know have some kind of future, I feel that mine has been somehow altered every time I have any kind of idea.  It is not very good of me to reflect on things in this way, but I feel that this is the only way I will get to the bottom of the problem.  I myself feel that I have no chance of starting a family or getting any kind of future for myself or Tracy.  I have to the best of my knowledge let every one down.  Nothing I seem to do makes any difference and it becomes compounded every time I try but fail to find anything that can help.

I do not feel that at the moment anything will change.  I feel that if Suicide was easy and painless and my fucking survival instinct did not get in the way I would end it all now.  I have unfortunately an (some would call it lucky) instinct that prevents me from doing anything stupid like this.

Dee Robert – 2009

Move with the flow

We all appear to move with the flow, but at the end of the day, we hope for everything and achieve nothing.  No one is prepared to take a risk, prepared to ask their heart – “Are we satisfied with what we have achieved?” – for fear of getting the wrong answer.

Ideas are precious, but a realist will reduce the dreamer to a quivering wreck with nothing more than their jack-booted style of beliefs, “What you have to accept is that this is the real world!” or “You have to think of the realities here!!”.  They have this innate belief that it is always someone else that will succeed and not you, for one reason or another.

Well I say ‘Bollocks’ to them all, if you have an idea, then protect it, don’t let some arse put the spanner in the works with their ‘reality vision’.  They have never had a serious idea in their life.  If they did, someone spawned the vision of failure in the minds and they found it easier to tear down the dreams of others, knowing that if they were failures then they can sleep safe in their bed if every one else is a failure too.

Anyone can succeed, it’s not just a special trait reserved for those that are already there, it can be done by all people.  Of course if everyone was successful who would do the smaller jobs, but you take my point.  If all people believed this, then the establishment would have a major problem.  Not only would we find out how easy it is to do their jobs, but we would also find out that most of them are completely useless at it as well.

Take the job of Prime Minister of this country, when Tony Blair was in power, as far as I could see it there were only five talents needed for the job.

  1. You will need to have your smile fixed in a stupid gormless grin, along with an in-built cadence when talking to the public, as though we are somehow Apache Indians, who need to have everything spelt for us in three word groups. 
  2. You will need to have selective hearing, so you can avoid the complaints, difficult questions, criticisms, etc…
  3. A ridiculous wife who thinks she has a pretty good beat on things, as well as thinking that everyone is interested in her.  Ohhhh and that mouth.
  4. The ability to be BLOODY MINDED.
  5. Read the 4th one again and again.

It would be easy to say this based on our public image of the man, but I really think that is all there is to him.  He got to his position because he could kiss babies and steal their lollypops, not because he had any really good ideas.  Did I say that out loud, oh sorry Uncle Tone, I must rephrase and make you sound better than you really are.

One of the prerequisites of the modern age is to fit in.  This is a smoke screen to the real problems that are only just beginning to show themselves.  If we really believe that we want to look alike then why the hell do we all look so different, right down to the finger prints.  With race problems, religious problems and all the rest of the baggage mankind drags around with it, we can only wonder why designer labels are so popular.

We have problems with all the kids wanting to fit in, wanting to be part of the large crowd, but is this a symptom of the youth culture or is this something else.  People often bleat on about how the young of today are not like they used to be, but I propose that the elderly of today are not like they used to be.  All those elderly are the kids of yesterday complaining that they couldn’t get away with things the kids of today can do in the open public.

This was never a contest to see who could outdo the next person, although sometimes when I have witnessed what some people get up to I think that a bit more responsibility is needed.  My point to all this rambling text is to draw attention to that fact that life is full of flows, nothing is static and that is the point of it, we either go with one flow or we move into another.

The next time you see someone doing something that you do not approve of, ask yourself this one simple question before intervening, “Does it hurt me and if not would I have liked to do it?”  

You may be surprised at the answer.

Dee Roberts – 2010

Shopping therapy – Disease or Necessity?

How many of us have looked at what we have in our homes, only to remark, “Why did I get that, look it’s not even out of the cellophane.”

Only the other day I had a look at several pieces of software I had purchased over the last few years, only to see that most of it was at best opened but not installed or worst not even unwrapped, still gasping for breath under the cellophane wrappings.

Maybe the problems start further back in our lives, it could be Christmas, with its bumpy bounty of shinny things that keep us amused until boxing day.  In the end we will find one present that will inevitably be our favourite, one thing that above all else will entertain us.  All the other things we were given never make it into the sacred halls of toydom, getting discarded like so much detritus around our rooms.

Maybe it’s the choice we’re all presented with, our hearts act like foxes in the chicken coop, our brains act like dieticians in a Thornton’s chocolate factory, each going off at tangents to each other.  It almost seems logical when you talk about the human condition in this way, but decisions of the heart are very rarely logical.

In some ways I think we have become desensitised to the vagaries of the consumer society, it is a machine intent on devouring every available resource in its path.  Many of us disengage our brains and let our hearts make the decision, over ruling the little voice at the back our heads.  This is the voice of reason, it lives in the squashy mass in the thick round bone on top of our shoulders, and it keeps trying to prevent us from jumping the ever increasing finance bar that is our credit limit.

Before the advent of such liquid credit, people had to approach things differently.  This was called saving for what you wanted, by today’s standards this would be considered quaint, but 35 years ago this was far more the norm.  Now it seems that even your cat can have a credit rating, never mind the fact that they would be unable to talk to the customer service, just declare bankruptcy and bob’s your uncle, problem solved.

Many of societies ills are also attributed to the free flow of credit, some would say the lack of care and arrogance are directly attributed to this, but not being a sociologist I would not have a clue.  I just go on what I see and try to make sense of it, to me it seems that the whole world is loosing its values and not just financial.  Something more than just a facile approach to life, where technology will eventually provide an answer is at the core of lost values.

Dee Roberts – 2011

Supermarkets – The legal alternative to drug addiction.

At first glance, todays society appears to have lost much of the patience that it once had.  On closer inspection it might come as little surprise that the current increasing pace of life might have something to do with it.  With this in mind, I would point out that we could do worse than slow down and take stock, rather than try to analyse everything that might or could happen.  Our appetite for instant gratification grows at an almost exponential rate and shows no signs of waning.  At every turn, it seems to parallel the increasing speed of technology, but I am more of the opinion that it has more to do with desires being conflated into needs.

All of us have or do visit the local supermarkets, treating them in much the same way as we do with all the other conveniences we have; that is, we take them for granted.  Our apparent appetite for convenience cum-faux-dependance, has led to the belief that we can’t live without these behemoths.  They provide us with a one-stop shop that covers all the products we could ever imagine we think we might need.  They even have products we haven’t thought about under the category of ‘what the hell, they’re great to have anyway‘.

Most of the time, we are so blinded by out desires we fail to see the impact these mega monolithic stores have on our daily life.  They have largely replaced the need for shops along the high-street that in the past, provided us with everything we did need.  Invariably, without thinking people just go straight down to the supermarket and buy the product they desire, pay for it and leave.  This is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but conversely we can not turn the clock back and pretend that it never happened either.  To do so might parallel an old American soap, but few would accept it as easily.  I read many articles that claim to have examined this problem, but I wonder if they were just playing with the notion and pretending to look into the dark corners of the future.  Do they really see the impact so much power on our buying habits has, or do they just pay lip service to our desire to complain?  I feel that it isup to us, as individuals, to look at our relationship as individuals within the social framework of the supermarkets as a whole.

Ask yourself if you are WOWed by the experience or how much we have access to?  Do you get excited by the strawberries or other seasonal fruit that seem to magically appear in plastic punnets on the shelves at Christmas?  

Is it just me or, is nothing about the experience is fun anymore?  Every time this wonderland of options, I face the same onslaught of vacant shoppers looking for something that they might need, all acting like so many zombies with trollies They all seem to be on the look out for that new “potato peeler door stop” or other rubbish to clutter up their lives.  If on that rare occasion we find a product that does make a difference to us, the novelty soon wears off and we return, acting like a stereotypical drug addict looking for our next fix.

Dee Roberts – 2012


We use words all the time, which could be considered strange, since by mental design, we think in images.  Alternatively I have heard it said that we have two eyes, two ears, even two nostrils, but only one mouth.  But as with everything, without a form of communication that allows our race to expand mentally we would have never progressed to where we are now.

I have often marvelled at how we as humans turn abstract thoughts into cohesive streams of sound, that are then decoded by the listener.  They will then try to grasp the concepts and ideas that have been communicated to them and the process starts again as the listener becomes the communicator.  All this happens apparently without any real delays or stops on the conversation.

On the subject of verbal communications, I remember listening to James Burke, when he gave a speech at the Smithsonian Institute in America, on this very subject.  He explained that in most cases the brain is one step ahead of our understanding, by performing branch prediction, in an attempt to guess the next word.  He then went on to say that in the context of a joke, it is the unexpected use of the language that leads to the comedy, rather than the situation it is describing.

When we take both the branch prediction and our ability to comprehend what is being said, as it happens and in real time, the whole process of speech and how we use it becomes a subject that is ever more complex than we as humans give it credit for.  I believe that if we all stopped once in a while and thought about the process involved with speech, we might slow down and think a little more before opening our moths and letting some of the drivel out.

Take for instance, our ability to describe abstract subjects.  Not only are we talking about a concept that may not exist, we might also intermix colourful and creative words that help us convey the idea.  And yet, by most of us it is all taken for granted.  It is my firm belief that when we take something for granted, we lose focus and forget just how magical this whole little thing called life, really is.

Dee Roberts – 2014