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May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 1


I know that you are a friend of a friend of mine - LLWAZ. I have not come across you very often but I very much like what I have been reading.
I would much appreciate it if you would let me put you down as a friend.

Thank you so much


May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 2


Hello Christiane

I would be honoured and flattered if you were to count me as a friend.

My only slight reservation is that this would subject you to the rantings of some of the less couth occupants of my journal, such as Mickey and Decko and indeed Pinniped himself.

I guess, though, that you have seen it all before and remain unperturbed.

In which case, what shall we talk about?

Mick (aka Pin)

May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 3


Hi Mick aka Pin

Thank you. Just sometimes it is good to talk like "out loud" if one has expereinced something special, and so often one gets such wonderful feedback, either affirming or disagreeing with what one has spoken/written about.

I suppose that I was fascinated about your name, and of course the friendship and respect which you two friends have for one another.

At the moment I am still in between a rock and a hard place about a conversation which is gaining in intensity. I believe we both have a deep personal sadness to bear. You spoke so eloquently about it. I still cannot even think rationally about it although it happened nearly forty years ago. I hope however to be able to write a balanced, honest account of the difficulty in handling the problem but how sometimes it is as clear as anything, and at other times, I want to go on the rampage and literally dismember the person who did the deed.

So I hope this is not too wishy washy and I will be able to gain some equanimity and calm about probably the saddest event which has occurred in my long life.

very sincerely,


Wednesday 4th august, 2009 14.00 BST

May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 4



I don't think my family, or me specifically, are bearing deep personal sadness any longer. We feel it sometimes, sure, on anniversaries and the like, and when something triggers recollections. But it's always fleeting, and it isn't a despairing kind of sadness. It's more like wistfulness. I think we're all at peace with our memories.

I knew there was sadness in your life, Christiane, but I didn't realise till your post that someone was responsible for it. That's a big difference. In our case, it was nobody's fault, and I have always found comfort in that. It must be tougher when it's otherwise.

I post the things I do when I sense that they might help others. Usually, as most recently in Hyp's thread, the conversation quickly goes off somewhere else, which is quite OK. I guess they didn't need my musings after all!

Waz is a good friend indeed. The initial empathy was on line. We like to read the same kinds of things, and we have RL interests that, while different, fit together pleasingly. I've met her twice in person. The first time I showed her a steam engine, and I could tell she understood it the same way I did. The second time she heard a friend's lecture, about engineering history again. One day, I owe it to her to visit her world, one in which nature takes back what man sullied and where the pure state of things is wild and wuthering.

Among the things we have in common is something you share too, spending time in Africa. In my case, though, it was barely a year, near Witbank on the Highveld in South Africa. (And it was industrial again, building a steelplant, but that aspect is best ignored).

Fascinating name? Pinniped? I've never quite told anyone this before, but it was chosen for me, by the lady who introduced me to h2g2, the long-lost Lion. I'd suggested calling myself something to do with whales, echoing the one that Douglas Adams had fall from the sky along with a bowl of petunias. Lion thought that rather naff, and insisted on a different marine mammal. I respected her choice because I think it was meaningful to her. Lion herself in RL has a limb abnormality and so whereas my flippers are figurative, hers are literal.

The course of this conversation is yours to choose, Christiane. I will listen attentively or just chatter, as you wish.


Micksmiley - smiley

May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 5


Thank you for the lovely post which I have read attentively.

I have replied in quite another context. I was touched when I saw that you wrote to help others. You have absoutely no idea the cathartic strength of your second - or was it the first - political analysis of certain parts of the world.

It worked like a charm.

Thank you. I live with the tragedy every day of my life, - and yet so often I am rewarded with so much joy.

It is dreadful what other human beings can do to the human race. Something I shall never understand and which quite honestly is the reason why I think I am a pacifist.
Go well Mick


May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 6


Genuine pacifists are always slow to realise it, and unsure even when they do.
People who find pacifism easily and treat it as an obvious moral stance haven't really thought it through. That's my opinion, anyway.

I'm pleased you like Neighbourhood but also a little disappointed you find Ghosts volcanic and angry. It's supposed to be detached from emotion, a kid's examination essay, looking back on a plausible course of history.

Many of my Entries are as dark and portentous as Ghosts, I'm afraid, and quite a few more so.

I could show you an Entry on pacifism, if you like, but it's one of the dark ones.

May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 7


Hi dear Pinniped.

Your latest reseaarch just touched me so deeply. It is extraordinary how it came into my life as I have been really quite anxious about some things.

I have absolutely no recollection of our last contact - it worries me because I have had a temporal stroke and I thought that my brain exercises were helping the blood supply to regenerate itself. Now I am wonderfing if I was too optimistic!

However, the "sad" part of my psyche must be written up so I must find the courage to do it before I eventually - apparenlty - forgtet who I am. !! That is an awful thought for anyone.

Incidentally I did not hear all the evidence that you heard as I was visiting Maidstone. The bits that were shown later seemed to me to be those of someone who had acted in good faith with the knowledge that was available, but who was now thinking that perhaps something was awry.

I still have great faith in the person, but on the other hand I feel immensely sad that this enormous decision is being placed at the door entirely. Surely others were also in the final decision making.? We now have other critical viewers being interviewed.

For the life of me I would not wish to have those responsibilities. It takes a really courageous person to have it...

With all good wishes.


4/II/2010 8.40 GMT

May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 8


Dear Christiane

It's lovely to hear from you again. I think the last time was when you started this thread, in August last year.

I am sorry to hear about your stroke and I hope you are getting and feeling better. For what it's worth, I have two acquaintances who've suffered strokes and both, I'm glad to say, have recovered very well, though at different rates. The one who took longer to get better, and who endured the clearer frustration with it all, is today the more content.

I'm pleased that you discerned some contrition in Blair's manner, but I have to say I looked hard for it and wanted to hear it, but didn't find it.

I fear that it doesn't always take a courageous person to accept responsibility. Less desirable attributes can get the job done too, if Bush for example is anything to go by. I guess I'm one of those who feel let down by Blair. He seemed fresh and adamant but turned out overzealous. He could have been the moderator who brought America into a world fold, but his allegiance has instead bred isolationism.

One of the good things about writing here for a long time is the diary-like quality. I don't think I'd remember what I thought about it all at the time, if I didn't have the pieces to read back that reveal it all.

May I put you down as a friend please?

Post 9


Hi Pin,

I reckon my brain goes into reverse in the evening, so I am not in any position to discuss anything sensibly.

I shall try and get back to the suject tomorrow, or possibly Monday.

have a good weekend.


Saturday 6.II.2010 8.45

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