Fifty-five hours, forty-one minutes
Since I last lit a fag.
Fifty-five hours, thirty-five minutes,
Since I last took a drag.

It's all I can think of
Nothing else matters.
For want of a poison,
My brain is in tatters.
I'm taught as a bow-string,
My head's in a clamp.
I'd kill for a dog-end,
Dirty and damp.

Thirty five years of chemical calm,
Of sweet-burning, paper-wrapped, lung-filling balm.
Fifty-six hours, more or less,
Turned me into a gibbering mess.

Apparently, it gets easier…

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Since I've had I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman stuck in my head all bloody day, I came up with the amazing idea of doing a music post whose theme is 'whistling.' So here's six examples of songs featuring, in greater or lesser part, that very thing. As ever, feel free to add suggestions in comments.

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Security Blanket

Please, oh holy Jesus,
Don't ask me to think.
Just give me a rule to follow
I won't even stop to blink.
I can't cope with all that grey;
No easy answer shining bright.
Please give me simple choices, lord.
Please Jesus, give me Black and White.
"This one bad and this one good."
I can't face complexity.
Hide me from the world, dear lord,
Let me have simplicity.

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The Holy Foetus

In Northern Ireland, two hundred and five women have signed an open letter admitting to having broken Northern Irish law by either taking abortificients or obtaining them for others. This in response to the planned prosecution of a woman (unnamed, to protect her daughter) who obtained such drugs on behalf of her young daughter.

For those who don't know, Northern Ireland's abortion laws are just about the most restrictive in Europe, with abortion only being legal in cases where the pregnant woman's (not 'mother,' thank you—that word does not apply until after the birth) health is at risk, or in cases of foetal abnormality. Well, technically legal. In practice, even that isn't guaranteed. As Amnesty International puts it

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Well, hello Gentle Reader! Did you miss me? I'd like to say thanks to Fojap, Tony, Rustiguzzi, James and Chigau for their enquiries, and in one case, T-shirts and snail-mail letters.

Anyways, this is just a quick post to let folks know I is back on the internets. And nothing's quicker than a music post. Here's six on the theme of returns, which seemed apt. As ever, feel free to add your own suggestions in comments, should you wish.

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Take a gander, Gentle Reader, at the face of a complete and utter prat.

Susan-Anne White

Says the Daily Mirror

Susan-Anne White is running for election in West Tyrone, Northern Ireland, as an independent candidate. Her manifesto has appeared on social media in the last few days and it's pretty shocking.

And I suppose it is to anyone whose capacity for shock at the words of right-wing evangelist noodle-pates hasn't been raised through constant exposure to same. I really do wish I still found crap like this shocking. I still find it awful, but sadly there's nary a shock to be found.

As posted on her blog, The Truth Shall Set You Free, here's her manifesto:

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Another music-ey post; this one, though, off the back of some great news. Well, it's news to me anyway, though several months old. Following the news, a while back, that Wilko Johnson had been given mere months to live, after being diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer, I'd been waiting for the seemingly inevitable sad news, but hadn't been searching for that news, as that would have felt somewhat ghoulish.

Well, it turns out he announced last October that he's cancer free, following radical surgery:

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