2066 – So Who Was Janek Smith?

Saturday 30th April

So who was this Janek Smith?  Where did he come from? As you can probably guess, mother was Polish; second generation Polish actually.  My maternal grandparents were from Cracow, came to live in England in the first few years of the new century.  There was some sort of mad rush after the fall of Communism to the West, to the free world, and all it had to offer.  Unemployment, drug addiction and poverty aside, the lure of ‘pop’ music, fashion and totally unhealthy but very appealing food and alcohol, dragged millions to our shores.   Most returned in the twenties after the second Great Financial Crash reduced almost everyone to dire poverty.  But I was born by then, and as English as ‘tuppence’.   My father was English anyway, though my parents split up before I was thirteen.  Either my Dad’s drinking or my Mother’s cold-hearted pursuit of money; at twelve I didn’t care.  As usual the courts decided I should stay with my Dad, my Mum was the only one working anyway and besides he was still hiding his boozing from almost everyone.  I was in residential crammer by then, just coming home for the weekends, and it just passed me by.  No really, I can’t remember being that upset by it.  My mother had never been very motherly, too busy pursuing her career in the City, and I didn’t really miss her when she pissed off to America.  My dad hung around for a bit, but was a dope-head and a drinker, and from about sixteen on I was practically on my own.  Maybe that was why I fell so heavily for Cathy.  Maybe she was the parents I never had.  I’ve never had time for all that self-analysis shit anyway.  Anyone I’ve ever met who does that stuff is crazy anyway; does knowing it help at all?  I doubt it.  I am who I am, even with the ridiculous name of Janek to contend with.

Then came uni-crammer, uni proper, and I was headhunted by some conglom or other.  They kept changing their names as they merged, or were forced to merge by the new republic.  They call it the new republic (in fashionable lower case) but they never actually got rid of the Monarchy, they were just sidelined and re-labeled as ’The Royals’ a real-life soapy-sope for the lower strata to coo over.  The rules were changed a bit and Parliaments came and went, with different set-ups, and official titles.  I lost interest in Politics when I realised that it was the same faceless bastards who ran everything anyway.  And now those same faceless technocrats are running me, or what is left of me, before I become their latest plaything, a compuman? A ‘2G’? or whatever pretty name they choose to give me.

Once upon a time this would have all bothered me, angered me maybe, but the counseling sessions and the calming drugs I am being fed have made all those thoughts disappear, just like the haze upon the shore does, as the sun burns away the mist and we are bathed in another blue and sunny day.  Or anyway, that is the script I am supposed to believe in.  I think.  I cannot tell you what I actually believe in anymore.  My mind is truly going blank; it is as if those sessions in the weightless pod are wiping my brain clean.  My memories are becoming foggier and foggier, my brain seems to clunk along these last few days, I can hear the rotors crunching, the cogs turning as I try to find the most apposite words. .  But a strange mood is also settling over me, a shroud of contentment is draping itself over my weary shoulders.  I can’t seem to concentrate.  I get tired if I try to think too hard.  I enjoy my regime, and in some ways I have become some sort of a slave to it.  I measure my day by the different sessions; gym, pod, assessment, gym, pod, gym, counseling, pod, assessment, sleep.  My days are totally absorbed in moving from one discipline to another.  I have very few private thoughts at all.  And what is private anyway?  I am part of some vast machine now, any vestige of individuality is rapidly losing any meaning.  I think I may be approaching happiness.      


Friday 29th April

As a child we used to go to London about once a year, to see my mother’s mother and to do some clothes shopping.  We would go to C. and A. and British Home Stores and my sister and I would get new Sunday outfits.

For years I would buy clothes for my son, and occasionally myself at either British Home Stores or Littlewoods, as the clothes were serviceable and a lot cheaper than Marks and Spencers.  School uniforms were especially good as I remember.  Then at some point British Home Stores became very unfashionable and started to decline.  Step in, one Philip Green, who – on mostly borrowed money – bought not only BhS (as he rebranded it) but TopShop and a few other declining high street names.  What we didn’t realise was that his empire was not only built on borrowed money but was not so much a rescue as a robbery.  The shops did become a bit more attractive and for a few years I continued to occasionally shop there.  I even got a store card, but this was because they gave a discount when you settled the monthly account by D.D.

I haven’t shopped in BhS for a few years; like everyone else I seem to have moved on.  Sometimes going to Marks or Next, but actually buying T. shirts and underwear in Peacocks (half the price of Marks).  We read that Sir (Durghh) Philip was paying dividends to his wife, who lives in Monaco and therefore avoiding UK taxes – but hey, this didn’t stop him receiving a knighthood and being given special status as some sort of Business genius, after all just look how he had revived the high street.  A year ago he sold BhS (and it’s huge debts) for £1, to another businessman fronting another shell company of Asset Strippers who also got paid millions by BhS (still trading at a huge loss) for Consultancy services and interest on the loans they took out.  And now BhS is in administration and will probably close with millions in debt and a pension fund with a huge hole in it.  This is the new face of retailing – buy a failing company with borrowed money, borrow even more money and pay yourself huge dividends to off-shore companies then wring your hands a few years later when the whole house of cards comes tumbling down, before absconding with millions in fees.  So, bye bye BhS, you won’t be much missed, except by the staff and pensioners hung out to dry…

Another busy day

Thursday 28th April

I retired (sort of) about a year ago.  Well, I still do one little job back in England, looking after the Accounts for a Restaurant in the City.  I respond to e-mails every day and do a weekly report and check Sales and the Bank Statement all by e-mail.  I go in for a day every month to actually see the staff and to check and record all invoices.  It works quite well, and I tend to use this monthly trip to see one or other of my kids, or mum and dad.

I went down to four days a week about 4 years ago, and then to three and stopped altogether (except for above) a year ago.  So, you would think that retirement meant a life of leisure, reading books, watching telly etc:  Well, my day yesterday was not really untypical, and was as usual very busy.  Up at seven, feeding dogs, shave and shower, walk dogs.  Open up Cafe and put out tables and chairs.  Return home and a bit of decorating (yesterday was removing some more of wallpaper in kitchen), today was reassembling a second-hand chest we had bought and I had painted with grey chalk paint; screwing back all the handles and hinges and screwing the top to the wall.  Back to the Cafe to help close up at lunch.  Back to the old house, which we are trying to sell, and dismantling two double beds (didn’t quite manage it as I had brought wrong tools).  Back to new house and out to Tridome (a Bricomarche) to collect the two work tops for our new kitchen we had bought yesterday.  We had to hire a van from them as they were too long for our Ford Galaxy and even now they were sticking out of the end of the van and tied in with string.  Back to our new house and unloaded them before going to old house to collect the beds and mattresses.  Returned the van to Tridome and collected our car.

It was five by the time we got back and time to cook our evening meal, before some friends came round for drinks.  Then I discovered that French Air-traffic Controllers are on strike again tomorrow, so my flight has been cancelled and at 11.15 at night I am busy trying to reschedule my flight and work commitments.  It makes me wonder how I ever found time to go to work…


2066 – 10 Days On

Record date 20660831

Ten days since I last recorded anything.  Strange, it doesn’t feel like ten days.  It doesn’t feel like anything at all.  Time has lost all meaning.  I had to ask the screen what day of the week it was.  The time and date in the left corner has lost all relevance to me.  Even the time of day has no meaning here in this subterranean mind-factory, where we are daily pummelled (I suspect there are others, but am allowed no contact) into shape.  Or what their computers tell them is the shape we are needed to assume in order to be receptive to the conjoining.  I have a strong suspicion that all this energy; these sessions in the gym, the hours slowly turning in the g-pod, and even the mental questions are all a waste of time.  Your brain is either going to conjoin or it isn’t.  It could all be down more to luck than judgement anyway, though we must never say that must we.  The very notion of luck is rapidly being excised from our experience.  Everything is planned, everything is predicted; there is no such thing as fate.  We used to laugh at the Muslims, who said that everything, every action we humans took was pre-ordained by their omniscient God.  And now what do we find?  Hey presto, everything we humans think we are in control of has already been thought of, predicted, weighed in the balance and deliberated on by our new gods, the Hypercom.

It is only a couple of weeks away now, my conjoining.  Well my first conjoining, because it is going to be in three stages.  Apparently.  Two weeks until the old Janek disappears and a new Janek emerges.  Like a butterfly from the chrysalis of the old me, I am expected to emerge, dew-fresh and unable at first to open my wings at all.  But soon I will be able to fly, though hopefully my life will not be as short-lived as those poor insects we are so desperately attempting to emulate.  I am strangely un-scared, complacent almost, resigned I would say.  Peacefully resigned.  And I am prone to moods of reflection, now that I am approaching my ‘re-birth’, my new existence, because I will be saying goodbye to the old me, as well as hopefully welcoming the new, computer-enhanced, me.

Irony of ironies, I am about to become one, well a demi-god maybe.  Although I very much doubt if anyone will be worshipping at my altar.  On your knees priestess, now open that pretty little mouth of yours and receive some wisdom.  Straight from the source…hahaha.   I must say, I am getting quite attached to this new syn machine, but they won’t let me use it privately.  Strictly for procreation is the mantra of these new ‘select’ handmaidens, as they wheel me away from the machine, my fatigues neatly buttoned up, and holding their precious cargo aloft, my few millilitres of hope for their future.  Since when was sex ever for procreation?   No-one has pulled that ruse in years.  Sex is for pleasure, complete and utter pleasure, it serves no other purpose.  Babies, if you are stupid enough to still want one are another matter.  We have fertility clinics and gene screening for that, thank-you very much.  And yet.  And yet, I could almost cry for my babies when they take the little plastic tube away.  I will never get to meet them, or even hear how they are progressing.  It almost feels I am being robbed of them; funny that I never felt that way all those times I discarded the wet-wipes in the home-incinerator.  Happy to get rid of the evidence, a tinge of shame maybe even that I had succumbed once more to syn, but now I cannot help wondering where those little tadpoles are destined to swim.  I am even so depraved as to resorting to imagining the vaginas that my sperm will be squirted into.  Even surrogacy can be a source of arousal it would seem.

It is only a couple of weeks away now, my conjoining.  Well my first conjoining, because it is going to be in three stages.  Apparently.  Two weeks until the old Janek disappears and a new Janek emerges.  Like a butterfly from the chrysalis of the old me, I am expected to emerge, dew-fresh and unable at first to open my wings at all.  But soon I will be able to fly, though hopefully my life will not be as short-lived as those poor insects we are so desperately attempting to emulate.  I am strangely un-scared, complacent almost, resigned I would say.  Peacefully resigned.  And I am prone to moods of reflection, now that I am approaching my ‘re-birth’, my new existence, because I will be saying goodbye to the old me, as well as hopefully welcoming the new, computer-enhanced, me.


And Next On Our Tour Of Ruined Muslim Countries Is…

Tuesday 26th April

Hi folks, your friendly tour guide Adriano here.  Today we are visiting Libya.  I know, it is a slip of the tongue; of course – the situation is just too dangerous to actually leave the ship at the moment but please enjoy this presentation in Super HD TV, please turn your headsets to English for the commentary, but let me just say a few words before the show begins.

Libya is the latest in a long line of ruined Middle East, and slightly beyond, countries which we in the West have tried so hard to help; but as you know the stubbornness of their rulers and the stupidity of their religion has brought ruin upon themselves.  It is with great sadness that we have to report that Libya is now about to join them.  It is hard to actually pinpoint when these once great countries started to fall into decline but we can look back to Egypt and 1956 as a starting point.  The wonderful British Government had kindly granted this primitive nation a degree of independence, we left it with a great infrastructure and had even built the Suez canal for them.  However the greed of these Muslims is legendary and they wanted more.  Despite the valiant efforts of British soldiers Mr. Nasser refused to compromise and slowly that once great nation has descended into chaos; they even stupidly recently elected a Muslim Brotherhood President.  With British and American covert help this dangerous man was deposed and the Army took over, proving that these silly experiments in so-called democracy always end in disaster.  You see Muslims, and especially Arabs, have a tendency to elect dictators; rather than relying on the kindly patronage of Royalty as in our stable allies in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.  We had to intervene in Iraq to save the poor Iraqi people from the infamous regime of Saddam Hussein who had the temerity to steal Oil revenues from the companies which had built and developed this wonderful infrastructure, stupidly spending the money on trying to educate a backward and undeserving population.  Brave America led the assault and has managed to re-establish the oil-fields under new contracts which reward America for its terrible losses in liberating that savage country.  Syria likewise continued to elect a dictator year after year as the Assad regime dragged the country into poverty. The West has valiantly tried to fund and assist rebel groups trying to overthrow the wicked Government but has been thwarted lately by the perfidy of Russia which continues to support a leader who actually took over from his own father, and they call that democracy; thank goodness we have all but eliminated that idea in much of the Arabian peninsula (thanks to Mr. Bush junior), relying instead on the wisdom of enlightened kings and princes to control and direct a poorly educated and backward population.

And now we come to Libya, where the wicked Colonel Gadhaffi was recently deposed with help from Britain and France.  This tyrant not only stole oil revenues but had the nerve to try to establish a pan-African movement opposed to all Western aid and assistance and investment in that much beknighted continent.  He was removed from power in a most peaceful revolution but unfortunately some of his own followers took out their frustration on him and we could not rescue him to face trial for his misdemeanours, where he would undoubtedly have been sentenced to Death for his his many crimes.  The wretched Muslims, not content with our assistance in removing him have instead largely put their trust in Islamic State as many did in Syria and Iraq and we will shortly have to send in our brave soldiers to rescue another ungrateful Muslim country from themselves.  You see, the Muslim people are not only uneducated but extremely ungrateful, they still yearn for World domination, a title America will never give up, and every so often have to be taught a lesson.  We will return to Libya in a few years and I am sure we will find a stable well-run Western-friendly country again.

So, sit back and relax…oh, by the way next stop on our grand tour will be Yemen, and then on to Iran (the grandaddy of Muslim extremism) in a few years time.  Enjoy your trip and don’t forget to visit the Casino on deck three and the lovely Restaurants serving Lebanese and Morrocan cuisine, you see we don’t really hate everything Muslim, some of their food is surprisingly delicious.

Rock’n’Roll Deaths

Monday 25th April

We seem to be in the middle of some sort of epidemic, in fact a whirlwind of Celebrity Deaths, many of them Musicians.  But maybe it has always been so, from Buddy Holly to Prince; there has been no shortage of casualties over the years.  I was too young to even notice Buddy Holly or Gene Vincent.  I had my own personal dramas to contend with when I barely noticed in quick succession the demises of Janis, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.  Even Elvis, found dead on his toilet, hardly hit me – I had never been an Elvis fan.  It was really the death of John Lennon in 1979 which affected me, the senselessness of the thing, the immortality of The Beatles shattered just like John’s blood-streaked glasses as they hit the pavement outside the Dakota building.

Uncut magazine always has a few pages of Obituaries of Rock Stars but most of them were from a time before mine.  Another big shock was Freddie Mercury, the extravagant showman of that brilliant band Queen, a sad victim of Aids.  Then there was dear George Harrison, my favourite Beatle dying of Cancer, as so many have.  The next big shock was the really sad and pathetic end of Michael Jackson, though I was never a big fan no-one can deny his talent.  Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison died a few years ago, old men both but sorely missed too.  But this year has been particularly poignant, and now the giants are really tumbling – not so often from drug overdoses or plane crashes but now Cancer and other diseases of old age are humbling our heroes.  David Bowie was a real shock, though there had been rumours of ill-health for a while, it was hard to believe such a genius was gone.  And now Prince has gone too, and again not my favourite by any means but I did love Purple Rain, and he was an undisputed talent also.  And now even such stars as Percy Sledge or B. B. King pass away and they hardly rate a mention.

The only consolation is that we still have their music – that will never die.  Rock on.

Shakespeare And Me

Sunday 24th April

What’s all this fuss about the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death; I can still remember the 400th Anniversary of his birth.  I was at Grammar School and had only recently been exposed to Willy the Shake and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.  We did a Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Tempest and Macbeth at school.  What did I think of it back then?  I thought Midsummer was a bit daft, fairy queens and a guy with a donkey head called bottom – not mon tas de the at all.  Macbeth was better, a bit of gore and murder and I liked the three hags scenes, but I actually really liked The Tempest with mischevious Puck and Ariel, it all seemed to tie in with the burgeoning psychedelic scene unfolding in San Francisco and London; and it was London where our class went to see a production of the Tempest, with filmed sequences and modern(ish) music.  But really my thoughts about Shakespeare were that it was just something we had to study, I didn’t really rate him as a great playwright or poet.  I tended to avoid him whenever they showed something on the telly, far too intellectual for me.

Ah, but I was so much younger then, and now I realise what I missed.  I have since seen a couple of versions of Othello which I really liked (a great story you must admit) and Hamlet, which I enjoyed too.  Romeo and Juliet I wasn’t that impressed by and I have tried to watch Lear and a couple of the histories on TV but didn’t really get them.  And I don’t expect to ever really get back into Shakespeare again, A bit like Classical music, I like the bits I like but didn’t have the childhood exposure to be a real enthusiast.  The amazing thing about Shakespeare is that even though you might not have seen the plays there are so many phrases we all use which come straight out of those over 400 year old plays and couplets.  Shakespeare is possibly the greatest playwright ever, hard to deny – but in my case quite hard to really like as well.

And Now the Third One is Eighteen

Saturday 23rd April

I was eighteen when my son was born.  1969 and I was little more than a child myself and my then wife was even younger.  Madness by any definition, and yet we survived – somehow.  My son and I, I meant; that marriage was soon over.  He was eighteen months old when she left with Seamus; he was much older than me and though I was heartbroken at the time; phew, what a favour she did me.  So it was my son and I, against the world, or so it sometimes seemed.  It was really unusual for a guy to be a single parent in those days, but we survived – and actually thrived.  Well, as Joni would later sing, ‘the years went by and now the boy was eighteen’ and those difficult teenage years, we drifted apart a bit, not helped by my embarking on yet another unsuccessful relationship.  His second sister was still a baby and – oh well, what’s the use of maybes?  He left home, not quite as I had done eighteen year earlier but it was a parting of the ways.  We still remained friends and then when he was in his mid-twenties he too got married and started having children; he just didn’t really know how to stop.  Three in just over three years he had; my lovely Sheffield grandchildren.  I have seen them every few months, even though just like his father my son failed in his first marriage, or rather he and his wife parted (whose fault it might have been is academic – it usually is).  I watched these three grow up, and for a long time there were just three grandchildren in my life; five more have come along much later.

First Rebecca and then Dominic have reached the age of eighteen, and now the third one, Mathew, is eighteen (on Thursday actually).  I am making the long trek up to Sheffield today (co-incidentally that third daughter’s 31st birthday is today also), and I really miss them.  This is one of the hardest things about living in France; your grandchildren, and indeed your own children, grow older without you being around.  Of course, we are all growing older every day, but when your grandchildren reach the age of eighteen, the age you became a father yourself, you do realise it a bit more.  So, another milestone, tinged with a sense of pride.  When I was a naughty schoolboy (and despite appearances I am one no longer) standing outside the headmaster’s study, waiting to be caned I would read the bronze plaque on the wall “To you we pass the burning torch, be it yours to hold up high.”  I never really understood it until now as I pass it on to these clever and wonderful grandchildren.  Happy Birthday, Matty…hope you have a good one (oh, and don’t screw up, at least not the way your Grandad did).

2066 – Janek continues his record

Friday 22nd April

But all too quickly my time (though time itself becomes meaningless in this weightless state) in the g- pod is up, and it is back to the gruelling regime of exercise. What a contrast, one minute every muscle is crying out in pain, and the next you feel nothing – even the pain leaves your brain.  Then there are the mental tests.  I am wired up like some Frankenstein monster, and my brain function is measured, mapped, studied, analysed and correlated.  I am fired questions, puzzles, visual and verbal, spoken and screened.  And then flashes and mini-explosions occur just outside my field of vision, or even behind me, and my reactions are measured.  Sometimes I deliberately give a wrong answer, and I receive a computer-equivalent to a ‘tut-tut’ as a small spark of pain is inflicted directly into my brain.  A short sharp stab, not too painful, but enough to make me notice, and again my reaction to this stimulus is measured.  Like a naughty schoolboy, I am encouraged by pain of corporal punishment to give the correct answers every time.  And eventually I give up this last sliver of rebellion and give what I think is the correct answer.  Right or wrong, the machine accepts it as my best and honest attempt.  No more stabs of pain at least.

I am sure the machine knows I am doing it on purpose.  My excuse is that I am the human being here, at least for now, and I will do what I want to do.  My tiny misdemeanours, my silly wrong answers, are my way of saying ‘fuck you, enough is enough’.  But forgiven or simply registered, the machines are actually in charge and in the end I comply.  And by machines I mean the guys running the show, not the computers asking the questions.  And they are mostly Americans (or have adopted American accents, as so many of our youngsters are doing); short cropped hair and bland faces, they all look the same, even the boys.  And they wear these stupid pinky-red fatigues, and all have metallic dog-tags on green plastic thread around their necks.  I have some difficulty in recognising one from another.  It doesn’t matter as they are all as interchangeable as is everything else, your clothes, your screen; your whole identity is swallowed up in a blank uniformity that dulls whatever scrap might be left of your senses.  I have no idea how many they are either.  At least twenty slightly different ones are monitoring me I would say, but I could be wrong.  The older I get the more young people look the same to me.

They don’t speak much.  In fact the only communication I really have is with this screen.  And so far it hasn’t spoken to me either, though now I have mentioned it, it might at any moment.  No, don’t want to chat?  Just as well screen, I don’t have much to say.  I wish I hadn’t been so rude to William, my interrogator; maybe we could have continued chatting.  I miss that simple human contact.  Or was his job solely to get me to ‘volunteer’ for ‘select’.  Was I simply another problem to be solved?  Where are you now William?  Are you chasing some other ‘reb’, or questioning someone else, or silently, secretly, monitoring me?  I think we both know the answer.

-[For the purposes of understanding the nature of this element of the ‘select’ programme my text is being shown indented as before.  I am, of course, as Janek suspected, following closely his progress.  Others are more closely monitoring his brain receptivity, and such scientific requirement as his imminent ‘conjoining’ will entail.  My role is more of a general interest nature.  Janek once worked for me, and actually we do miss his contribution.   I have had to recruit six extra bright graduates to replace him, and even now they are only sixty percent as efficient as he was.  Mind you, six times less trouble too.

Janek is actually progressing remarkably well.  I too can remember those feelings of ennui, a general questioning of my whole purpose, during my pre-conjoining regime.  Of course, I was a far from unwilling volunteer, and was immensely proud of being chosen in the third batch of conjoinees.   Janek has been chosen, not for his willingness to participate, but for that still not completely understood ability he has.  Those behind the ‘select’ programme tell us that his peculiar combination of ‘seeing’ patterns in numbers and his very independent streak make him the perfect candidate and they have high hopes for his conjoining.  He is doing very well; easily as well as the other one hundred and forty three ‘genuine’ volunteers in this, the fifth batch of potential conjoinees.

I am fortunate in that I have been given access to his progress, and am allowed to occasionally add my thoughts to his record.]-

Three Landmark Joni Albums – Travelogue

Thursday 21st April

The Eighties, as for so many great Artists were difficult for Joni; she seemed to be chasing something, some elusive sound – I didn’t like her Eighties records that much.  She had a return to form with ‘Night Ride Home’ and ‘Taming the Tiger’ and ‘Turbulent Indigo’, but these weren’t truly outstanding records.  She then recorded an album of mostly older standards with a full orchestra, ‘Both Sides Now’, which documented a love affair.  The arrangements were swooping and powerful and jazzy at the same time and her voice was wonderful, but her renditions of her own two songs ‘A Case of You’ and the title track stood out so brilliantly that I couldn’t wait for her next record.  ‘Travelogue’ was a double album, again recorded with the same orchestra but this time all her own old songs.

This was better than a greatest hits, or a simple re-recording; this was a triumph.  Her voice is deeper and the songs are often slowed down and without the rhythmic guitar the songs open up and you somehow hear the words better.  The record seems infused with melancholy and reflection, one song leading almost seamlessly into another.  And as I listen I am swept away, and immediately replay the songs; it seems I just want to wallow in her voice.  Maybe these are even better versions than the originals, though so different that comparisons are meaningless.  Maybe she had always wanted her songs to sound like this, who knows. Favourite songs are Amelia, The Sire of Sorrow, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Cherokee Louise and Borderline – all later songs which I had slightly overlooked in their Eighties and Nineties productions.  In many ways this beautiful album is a perfect coda to Joni’s remarkable career, a summing up almost and there is a sense of finality to the album.  She did release ‘Shine’ a couple of years later, but I have never really enjoyed it; for me ‘Travelogue’ is the perfect embodiment of the mature and reflective Joni, no longer the shy ingénue or the experimental poetess of her middle years but an older wiser woman looking back over her wonderful catalogue, slowly turning the pages and suggesting “and then there was this one, maybe you missed it – it goes like this”…..

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