Robin Hood’s Bay Travel History Article

I’ve got a new travel and history article on the TravelThruHistory website. It was inspired by the Downhill film about four childhood friends reuniting in middle-age to undertake the 190 miles Coast to Coast hike from Saint Bees in Cumbria on the north-west of England to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire on the north-east.

My personal angle for the article, following the movie’s introduction, and complementing the regional history, is that I’ve walked either side of Robin Hood’s Bay on the coastal path, which forms part of the Cleveland Way 109 miles trek. I’ve also regularly walked and travelled over parts of the inland Coast to Coast route, including the Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, and the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway journey, which travels east-west from Yorkshire to Cumbria.

robin-hood-and-scarborough-2011-075 101_3985 101_3957 101_3960101_3991101_3997


Lovren and Ronaldo Star in Europe

There are few current footballers featured in my recently published XaW Files: Beyond Humanity, but two of them starred in Europe this week. If you have no interest in coincidences and jinxes, as I don’t really, you might want to skip this blog, and read something more twenty-first-century scientific!

Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and all great big bookshops.

Dejan Lovren Inspired by Love

Last night, Dejan Lovren scored an injury-time winner as Liverpool beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2, and the tie 4-3 on aggregate. Liverpool were going out on the away goals rule before that goal, after only scoring one goal in Germany.

Lovren appeared in XaW Files as wordplay with Love the mixed-up vole, as the ramble passed through Croatia. Last season, Lovren missed a penalty that put Liverpool out of Europe.

Ronaldo Great as Ever

Earlier in the week, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid as they overturned a 0-2 first-leg deficit to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate. For most players that would have been a fairytale, but for Ronaldo it is standard fare, as he is so professional, and makes the most of his natural talent with rigorous training.

Real Madrid did beat Wolfsburg, who were also mentioned in XaW Files, which if anything shows that events can be interpreted positively or negatively, depending who is looking at them, and how they frame them.

Barcelona weren’t featured in the book much, but have been mentioned here before, as I went to see them in 2013. They were unlucky to lose and go out at Athletico Madrid, but had been lucky to win the first leg in the Nou Camp, where I saw them. I also went to watch Sparta Prague in 1991, and they went out last night, but the quarter-finals are probably what they would expect to reach.

Writing and Thought not Football and Celebrity

Leeds United and Bayern Munich are also featured in XaW Files, and both won in midweek.

I’m not writing that all the above happened because they were in the book, I’m just writing that those good things happened to counter all the jinxy conspiracy theorists.

I’m also sorry if it makes me less of a Leeds United fan after 46 years support, and moving to the city over twenty years ago, but I’m bored of the same stupid tests and reasons to not believe me. If Leeds United was doing well I could tolerate it more, and when I say Why else would I be here? it just angers those who think Leeds and Yorkshire is the best place in the world for everything! I think there are many other good and great things about Leeds and Yorkshire, but nothing that can’t be found in other places.

Unfortunately, that’s how this blog seems to be going, just answering the silliness of ‘masstakes’, rather than being part of a new enlightened Blighty or world. Maybe my biggest ‘masstake’ was thinking the masses worthy of supporting and my writing.

Walkers Conspiracy!

The craziness of the modern anarchic media seemed to be epitomised a little while ago, when I looked for a Walkers crisps advert because it looked greenYgrey, and finding it was put on YouTube to claim the advert is part of a CERN propaganda conspiracy because it features the Higgs Boson; which is looking for scientific evidence of how life was created; and Gary Linker doing an ok hand gesture, which I found out from this can be interpreted as a devil-worshipping symbol!

One of the original or early objectives of the greenYgrey was to show how it could be seen as ubiquitous, like a God placebo. Looks like were (sic) now being incorporated into that God conspiracy!

Rock Gods and Work Managers

The return of most of the original Guns N’ Roses is great to see, but will probably bring controversy. A lot of that will concern Axl Rose, who played in Las Vegas sitting in a chair after breaking his foot.

Messiah Complex

A reader on the Classic Rock website wrote that Rose probably enjoyed sitting in a ‘throne’ designed and named by Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame. I replied:

‘Axl broke his foot and accepted an offer from Grohl, who created the ‘throne’; I doubt if anybody accused Dave of having a messiah complex at the time.
Frank Ferrer’s drumkit is above Axl, and Seb sings above him, so Axl not so selfish.’

The last line specifically refers to the My Michelle video shown on the Classic Rock site, and repeated below, where Axl’s old mate Sebastian Bach of Skid Row fame is allowed to steal the vocals show.

I don’t know if Axl is an arsehole in real life or not, never having met him. Most successful musicians are probably ‘difficult’, judging by all the bands that split up due to musical and personal differences.

I have enough trouble getting on with myself, let alone having a band!

What Kind of Leadership is Acceptable?

I supported Axl’s right to the Guns N’ Roses name as he formed the band with Tracii Guns, who’d left by the time they found success. He also tried to keep the band on course, with others having more dependency problems.

I think there were negatives too, such as trying to steer the band too much in the direction he wanted, and becoming a bit of a control freak. In that way he sounds like a less robust version of Ronnie Van Zant, who was said to lead Lynyrd Skynyrd with an iron fist as they struggled to make it, and through the band’s substance problems (‘That Smell‘).

If leaders like that can inspire better performances, and resulting success, then their authoritarianism can be seen as worthwhile. This is especially true if they own the name and rights, and people are hired to work to their vision. The same is usually true in sports, where managers are usually given complete control over team matters, and what they say goes.

The greenYgrey of Leadership

It gets more difficult in jobs where employees are expected to work in a team, with a leader working amongst them; or a friend group where some members assume they are the leaders.

Groups are usually better if they have a strong leader that everybody wants to follow, but as seen on many reality shows, finding that leader is usually very difficult, and hardly ever universally supported.

In the workplace a team leader who keeps to the guidelines, and leads by example, is beneficial to the other workers and the company. However, once they start favouring members of the team, and especially for sexual reasons, I think they are likely to become more of a negative to the group and company than a positive.

I lost respect for some of my tutors in my last university department, and work managers in my current job, because they were obviously expecting good behaviour from those they had power over, while they used their power to behave badly.

Some leaders have a strong attitude, and some a relaxed one. Both can be good.

The only one that is always bad is the hypocritical one: leaders who expect good behaviour from their workers, which needs strength, while acting badly themselves, which shows weakness.

Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and all great big bookshops.

My Hate is Real, My Writing the Release, Welcome back Guns N’ Roses

A lot of people think that when people talk about hate they mean love, or that the person means something to them. That might be especially true for a writer, who speaks in metaphors and wordplay.

That’s not true for me.

There’s so many things about humanity I hate, and quite a lot of humans. But I just try and avoid and ignore them, and release it through my writing. I don’t think I need my writing any more even, just to accept the world is the way it is.

The sadistic psychopaths want you to hate them, because they hate you. They want to believe that they are making you feel bad; bad enough to inspire their hate. They don’t want you to be in a good mood, and if they can get you to go even further, and get into trouble, well, that’s the jackpot for them.

They’ll do things to the things you like, or control people close to you to continue their hunt, so that’s why it’s best under those circumstances to have no emotions; nothing you especially like in life; nothing living anyway; or of special significance.

I also have a lot of love and liking for humanity and life in the world, and try and exhibit that in my writing too, such as with my wordplay star Love the mixed-up vole in XaW Files: Beyond Humanity.

The same’s true in the animal world, and you have to go down the food chain to the prey herbivore animals to find usually nice behaviour the way it sounds under a good ‘god’. Even there there’s some nasty things going on, all the way down to plants, with some able to control insects from the inside: to spread their seeds.

The humans that try and make out they’re something different, a special animal created by a ‘god’, are often the ones that act the most ‘animalistic’: either in war, ritual or controlling society (the pride, pack etc) for their own benefit.

So, as an animal welfare advocate agnostic bordering on atheism I really shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed that humanity universally still acts in a similar way to the animal world: just the most intelligent animal, rather than revealing itself as a special creation separate from all the other life on Earth.

Over five years after I started publishing my story of highs, lows and in-betweens in The Guns N’ Roses Worker Traveller, it’s great to see most of the original Guns N’ Roses back on tour:

Nothing Personal, Unless I Know You

The people in work under Dastardly and Muttley’s spell have probably been trying to find a koala to kill in the last couple of days, or at least find something with koala fur in it, to rub my big Jewish-looking nose in it (that’s me showing I don’t care about it, rather than me being self-conscious).

They wonder why I work there, like the question I got asked the most at university (in my country) was Why are you here?

I left the university partly for ethical reasons, work for little money for a cause and vocation I believe in, and the more I sacrifice myself the more I get demonised by the people I am/was trying to help.

Those students I knew who followed the money path still think they are great counter-culturalists, as long as they go to a festival a year, and blame everything on the ‘Zionists’!

Wonders of Work Bullying and Harassment

I don’t work with Dastardly and Muttley any more, but they still try and control my life and image in work, by persuading those I work with – people I’ve seen and heard them deride and stab in the back before.

If highly paid people wonder why people go to join I.S. or whatever they should work in a low-paid job. Although it’s probably even more bitchy and cut-throat the higher you go, at least you’re getting enough money and prestige there to make it worthwhile!

I didn’t want to return into shop work, but it was convenient for my writing. I didn’t request to work in the marketplace I do now, or the shop I work in now, but they all think it’s some kind of conspiracy – I don’t mind working there generally, and the biggest downside is all the negativity built on untrue assumptions, crap research and conclusions reached to fit with their own egos and agendas – with Muttley at the heart of it – he thinks he’s some kind of work godfather figure, when he just looks like nothing to me.

Although I cut all social media contact with my workmates, and don’t socialise with them, some (D + M probably!) still read these blogs, and they are still the biggest reactions I receive to them. They think it’s all for them (and this one mostly is), when I don’t have much interest in them at all; and don’t think they are worth ‘persuading’ about anything in the grand scheme of things. The people in my shop are alright, but I still hear them speaking Muttleyisms.

He’s been stalking me in my new shop since hearing I was being moved from his. He thinks he’s so all powerful, and I’m so under his control, that he didn’t even try to hide it from me; phoning my new shop to see what P and Y (nice people) thought of me going down there. He’s been trying to turn the people in the shop against me ever since: keeping me under his sadistic power and control.

Dastardly and Muttley try and make out my dislike for them is anything but personal, claiming anything that we don’t share is the reason, when it is all personal – I don’t like their sadistic psychopathic personalities, and particularly in relation to their treatment of me.

Nothing Personal

While people I know try and look for any reason other than the personal for why I don’t like them, if I criticise a celebrity they then try and make it personal!

When I was criticising Russell Brand I received feedback that I was jealous of him being with Katy Perry. No, that wasn’t it at all. I feel like criticising Vernon Kay for his treatment of Tess Daly, and that would be personal. But with Brand it was political, and academic.

While I’d studied for a decade and led an ethical writing career, unqualified Russell Brand was made into an instant philosopher, regurgitating theories I’d studied a decade before, and most of the liberal media and publishing elite didn’t seem to care that he had no personal ethics. And revolutionary readers didn’t seem to care he is a Hollywood millionaire!

I sometimes wonder, when feeling narcissistic, if Russell Brand was a stooge, created to mock everything I did, and show how facile the Revolutionary masses are?! That’s the way it looked to me, but then I’m joining the ranks of conspiracy theorists myself, just like him.

While Russell might look like the nice Brand, he didn’t care about thousands of girls being groomed, and there’d be thousands or millions more if his ‘revolution’ saw fruition.

Is there anybody out there who has followed my writing? My website seemed to have a lot of traffic, but this blog doesn’t, and my book sales are low. So was most of it random or created spam visitors? A lot of people seem to recognise me, but most of that is negative – just wanting me to look at them!

Am I being used by the British elites to show how they treat their own people worse than the international, as the department leaders seemed to be doing at university? Creating a problem and then making out they’re controlling it to help in their grooming endeavours, as Muttley does in work!?

Now Time for the Weather

To finish on a light and high note, the weather. Firstly, Leeds flooded over Christmas when I left the city for a short time. Was it the Yorkshire clouds crying, missing me?

Secondly, the weather was like a game of two halves yesterday. It was blue sky and sunshine in the morning when I went on a 15 miles run, even though the forecast was cloudy. The forecasted heavy showers didn’t arrive until the afternoon, less than an hour after I returned.

I was very ‘lucky’. The sun felt wonderful, and the Yorkshire countryside looked beautiful.

Marc Latham poetry and prose books on Amazon.

Koala Adverts Saves

It’s Koala Day at the greenYgrey…
just turned out that way…
werekoalas we should be…
where? eating in a eucalyptus tree…
time for a nice long nap afterwards…
balanced on a branch looking downwards.

Save Koalas Fundraising

Caramello Koala


Remembering a timeless koality folding mirror poem from just over five years ago:

Quality Words are like
Koala(ity) on a Eucalyptus Tree at Sunset

thoughts enter mind
think how they’ll be perceived
release them when sure

communicate and wait

watch for their reception
think how they’re being decoded
prepare for response

My Alphas and Me: Mindy in Kick-Ass 2

The way I see my relationship with most of my group alphas who’ve tried to control me, and take credit for everything I have done and achieved, particularly my writing, was summed up in a cheerleader audition scene in Kick-Ass 2 I watched last week:

Help as Long as Below

Some of them have been helpful, like Claudia-Lee is, but if they think you’re a threat to their position or popularity, and self-identity as the worthy pack leader, they then try and put you down, as C-L does to Mindy, playing a sadistic practical joke on her to put her back in her place.

I’m writing about my writing here, because that’s what I think I’m quite good at, like Mindy is at cheerleading. Other people might be better at other things, or maybe they’re just from a ‘higher class’, so they have tried to use me for their own image; all my positives are because of them, while all their negatives are because of me!

That’s one of the reasons I gave up my uni friends during the writing of XaW Files: Beyond Humanity, but then they stalked me into my day-job workplace, and got the people there thinking they were big influences! Nice male non-Leeds-natives graduates acting like a stereotypical street gang… followed by Dastardly and Muttley in work!

Groups, cliques and communities are almost unavoidable in human society, and a lot of the time they provide more positives than negatives. The leader who organises everything might be narcissist, but you want to go the party, so it’s worth putting up with the egos.

Most people just use the alphas as much as they are used anyway. Like the students who are the best rebel hippies in university, and then become the best materialist middle-class consumers straight afterwards. If you want to be successful in life that’s the way to live, but it’s a bit like always choosing the most successful sports teams to support: being a winner without any substance.

Humanity Pros and Cons

However, some get caught up in it, and have no exit strategy, such as the work-debt cycle, or gangs-drugs downward spiral.

As I’ve said before, I can’t tell you how to live your life. I can only advise from experience, and show from other media.

While I may seem strong writing this, and brave or stupid featuring that movie clip, I think I have often compromised or weakened myself during my life to play the game. Sometimes it was probably the right decision, sometimes maybe it wasn’t, greenYgrey style.

Maybe I still am doing, keeping the greenYgrey low-profile and not pushing it enough. Or maybe it’s time for a Mindy to take over, and I won’t be acting like Claudia-Lee, as long as it’s done earnestly.

I’m not trying to be a street superhero either, just a Doctor of Philosophy brewing his coffilosophy.

Marc Latham poetry and prose books on Amazon.