First the Sound of Silence (part 1) then A Bridge Over Troubled Water (part 2)

Silly stupid me I just went into my blart from yesterday and found one of the reasons nobody came to my ‘talk’ yesterday.

notice? In one fell swoop I undid all the work I did advertising the ‘talk’, I somehow put 2nd Feb instead of 8th. There’s plenty of other reasons for the demise but that is beyond belief, the incompetence of it.

So after 3 blarts about it with the correct date on the flyer which I also distributed in card copies, 200 of em (which cost me 30 quid), at precisely 3pm yesterday the venue was deserted.


the room was ready but void of folks

I been a miner for a heart of gold long time now but to quote the words of a 15th century lama quoted by Sogyal Rinpoche’s wonderful book The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying with slight alterations:

Do not feel sad for me

The riches found in myself have made the minds of others happy

These are the words of my heart

So, my reaction to finding myself alone was, well stoic is not the right word, neither is forlorn. I don’t do it for Lorna. Strangely I didn’t mind after the initial pang of feeling deserted. The sound of silence should have been a clue as I have heard it before, before the abortive show at Rheingolds in London, my only ever London gig. Nobody came then either, so I packed away the props and jumped into Merrijeff’s car, he drove us back to Essex I got home about 3 am and still went to my dayjob next day cos that is what you do. But I learned from (not) doing that show. Recently I have twice seen internationally acclaimed speakers talking to an audience of less than 10 at First Site. See:


I was stoical when I spoke to them, trying to alleviate their pain, but they at least were being paid. And now it was my turn. At precisely 3pm I told myself the show will go on, break a leg. You have to perform even to an audience of one and here I was standing in front of/between None. I had attained my nirvana, earlier than I thought, in circumstance unexpected, I thought I had a massive loyal fan base, I had reached the void. So I began to rehearse, next week I shall get the date and time correct, it’s 4pm Saturday 15th February be there or be square. In fact there’s another international talk at First Site at 2pm so I shall go to that with the other 9 folk and I shall direct them to my gig straight afterwards, no excuses accepted.

Then at 15.12 hrs two people walked down the stairs and I could see they were coming to my show. Maybe we are not alone? Maybe my guardian angels are watching over me? They agreed I should begin again so I did and we all enjoyed the show. And Alex took some incredible photos of me in all my silly hats. I’m singing a happy song and I’m feeling on top of the world.

pete clot capside

best from Ugly Head Ole Man

This is me in the hat I wore to read the ‘Beuys poem’

well my Celtic name may be Ugly-Head, but I was not aware I look like my name now

(see my blart later this week for more explanation)

Where do I go from here? Well, ‘Next time’, Sarah said, (she was busy selling (not my) books upstairs), ‘bring a smaller cd player’ and I may.

Let’s take a look at my priorities, rightly or wrongly, in life.

I’ve spent a dis-proportionate amount of my income on books & art over the past 40 years. If we count hours on the job as collateral I should be a millionaire by now. My mother Jenny, bless her big now absent heart, once (1972) sent me £20 to buy essentials during my 4th year at college doing B/Ed in Exeter. By then I had already mis-managed my ‘education’ several times but I was rectifying my mistakes, or so I believed. Working my socks off to prove to ‘them’ I was the real McCoy. I had ditched my 3 favourite things in order to concentrate on my studies. I had sent my girl away saying I did not have time for fripperies like women, I ceased playing football altho on the cusp of breaking into the St. Luke’s 2nd XI after starting off in the 6th XI and I had ceased to drink beer, all things I was to eventually re-instate but my reward ‘on paper’ was negligible. I did in fact earn a 1st, that is, I gained a very high grade from the internal markers and the two externals both up-graded my efforts considerably. However. I was awarded a 2nd. My philosophy tutor Bill, a man identical in character & traits to the tutor played by Michael Caine in Educating Rita, bless his Brummie soul, tried without success to tell me why that occurred. He did tell my dad over a pint (not to tell me tho, tho he did in fact tell me too) that people were getting PhDs with the likes of what I was churning out.

It took me 40 years to find out why! I found out. My old pal IEPW let it slip in a conversation that they couldn’t allow him to have a first as his was technically a re-sit. There we have it, after 40 yearns of not knowing nor comprehending why. Technically my degree was a re-take. On entry to the college in 1969 I was eligible to go straight into the new B/Ed as a 3 years course but there were so many prats allocated to teaching it, (for public school numbskulls who couldn’t get into the staff at Oxbridge, second base was St Lukes) , I withdrew. I couldn’t hack prats, not then not now not ever, I did have a penchant for tupping them, so it was a safer route to withdraw. And there is the rub, when I re-embarked, having to do an extra year for my sins, technically I was entering as a re-sit. Nobody made that clear, or if they did I wasn’t listening, I just wanted to show them I was good. I dived into an 18 hour day 24/7 abandoning all previous pleasures and totally dedicating to the study and output required in ‘art’. Luckily I also invented Apulhed then but that was in the early hours after my college work was done. I did a similar ting a couple of years ago and once again fell short of the mark, even tho again the external apparently made positive remarks about my work. I only ever got silver when really I was a miner for a pot of gold.

I wasn’t even allowed to play for the 1st XI at school because I tupped ( and what’s wrong with a little tup between sworn enemies?) the future captain in year 11 during a hard fought house match between my team Brun (believe me it was my team, I used to rally the players during the week and if they didn’t wish to play they had to see me, and you know what I (used to) do to prats who couldn’t be arsed to turn out for the house, don’t you, well, what’s wrong wid a gentle tump in yer face?) and his, Ribblesdale. Or maybe I have to admit 48 years later that I really wasn’t good enough, although the facts dispute that idea, look at the record, 2 years on the trot in the 2nd XI I wer top scorer. No, my face didn’t fit with the head of chemistry who selected the team, with Brawn of the broken…pride, well he shouldn’t have run at me with intent after I clipped his ankle. I suffered for that in me Karma, took me 40 years to realise it was they that missed out.

Anyway, I spent that money mum sent on…Studio International subscription, even tho I couldn’t afford to feed mysen, I’ve still gorrem all, worth a mint now (not). They say it’s not the winning that counts, it’s the way you play the game. And what you learn from the experience. I shophose I shudda learned that life is not fair, but , man hears only what he wants to hear, paul simon said that, but he probli nicked it.

So in part 2 I shall put the rest to rights and tell you a bit more about my show yesterday and its prospective follow up next Saturday, gerrit right Pete, 15th Feb at 4pm, that’s 16.00 hrs, just after all ten of ye comes out of First Site. Let me know this time if you intend to be there. Break the silence.

Also those (you 2 stars) who turned up for the reading having only had untold hints from my person and my blog as to what to expect. I hope you get something from it worthy of remembrance.

I am grateful to Sogyal Rinpoche’s writing which I have adapted a poem from.

There is little way of knowing that what he says about the fate of those left in Tibet has been, there is no way that I know to assess

how many have died and or been stripped of their dignity and freedoms. The Maoist Chinese knew full well that to completely destroy a people you must obliterate its culture and this they have done apparently in Tibet. However, Tibetans are a practical lot and they have voted with their feet over the past 60 years and by doing so they have re-built their cultural heritage all over the world. What was once a secret country, before the British punctured that, is now much more open to the world as far as the Dalai Lama  and his people in Dharamsala are concerned.

I just realised, We rarely if ever hear about Amnesty International making the rounds in Tibet! Do they? I don’t know.

This ‘reading’ is not intended to be an awareness raiser for the plight of Tibetans. BUT I have gotten so much from their work for my life, and death, that I am allowing the issues or rather the mis-uses to become more apparent.

I have written an article, due out in The Blue Notebook in April, which talks of how seeing Lucy Lippard talk has prompted me to get on my soap box and support things I believe in. And I believe in Tibetan Buddhism. It inspires me greatly. So I thought I should put my money where my mouth is. Although, I don’t have money. So I shall do all I can to promote the Tibetan cause through my art, my blart and my books and tings.

Other tings which have influenced and inspired me are of course the other five ‘mystics’ who are in my ‘poems’. The Nag Hammadi Library  and lots of books written around its contents, some of which I bought in Red Lion bookshop, like Elaine Pagels.

Joanna Drucker’s books have been inspirational in informing me about the Alphabet.The British Museum and Library. Some rock musicians like the Killers, Neil Young, Annie Lennox and Jan Garbarek. And thanks to all my blog ‘follows’ folk. i am adding a contac form cos, cos lots of folk are now visiting ( The most popular tings I blagger on about are; exhibitions, artist’s books & Buuddiist idees. And it’s great to see folk coming on board who may never meet me or see my work in the flesh. But if you live near Colchester, it’s on display, well some of it is, come and see it. You are coming in from the USA, Antip o’ideas, Slovenia and even frum Brunlea. But not many of yez make any observations and i would like to know (to an extent) who is coming into my parley and (maybe) some feedback like, how I may make it better? would you like me to cover any other ‘stuff’? is there anyting I do what I have not given enough insite into? and any other issues. Finally, IF you are wending yor way to my ‘talk’ this coming Saturday, let me know somehow, so I can get more nervous as the numbers hit the …sky. Bye Bye Blackbird

look at me in my Oirisht hat

One thought on “First the Sound of Silence (part 1) then A Bridge Over Troubled Water (part 2)”

  1. “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” ~ Khalil Gibran
    Ha, a philosophical moment from me… I’ll be there on 15th.


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