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(Source: Daily Mirror)

Amy Winehouse’s grieving mum Janis says her daughter was “a physical wreck and completely out of it” the day before she died. Janis spent several hours with her tragic daughter after turning up at her home unannounced. But 27-year-old Amy was in such a bad way that her minders had to help her down the stairs.

This contradicts reports last week that she had beaten her drug and alcohol demons – and adds weight to friends’ fears that she had fallen back into her old ways. At her funeral on Tuesday, her ­devastated dad Mitch said Amy had given up drugs and had been winning her battle with alcohol. But Janis, who had called at her daughter’s home just after midday on Friday, told a friend it seemed she had hit the bottle again.

“Amy was completely out of it,” she said to the friend. “She was in such a state the guys minding her had to go upstairs to get her and help her down the steps. It looked like she had been out drinking the night before and was still drunk or hung over.”

Police are now probing who Amy spent her last hours with and ­whether she was supplied with drugs including ecstasy the night before her body was found at 4 p.m. last Saturday at her home in Camden, North London. It could take up to four weeks for toxicology tests to come back to determine the cause of death.

Janis also told her friend: “I don’t know what happened on that Friday night. I was told she was seen drinking in the bar at the Roundhouse that evening. But how much she drank and what happened next is a mystery. I just think she put her body through too much and it just gave up. If you continue to neglect yourself, there is only so much it can take.”

Amy’s close pal Tom Wright – son of BBC Radio 2 DJ Steve – says friends had turned a blind eye to her using “social drugs” like ecstasy and cannabis on the basis she had quit using crack cocaine and heroin.

Tom, who had not seen Amy for about six months (so really close then), said: “I think maybe some people made a distinction between the hard drugs of her past and the social drugs of the present. I don’t think that’s acceptable but it’s the only explanation I can think of for what happened to her.”

I would not be tempted to shag this even if I was blind fucking drunk. Especially not with her father watching.

Meal Beach, Burra Isle

A late night discussing this with Professor Bain, who is inclined to try and disprove the existence of God after a few drinks. As far as I remember, this is the kind of ground we covered:

As Richard Dawkins has said:

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in – Zeus, Thor, Baal, Apollo, Ceres, etc., etc. Some of us just go one god further …”

I think that’s a nice way of putting it. Understanding that God does not exist is simply a matter of maturity. We all believe and want to believe in god(s) and other made up fairytale creatures when we are young. That’s just the way it is, the way we are constructed mentally. Then when (if) we get older and mature, we start seeing it’s not that simple.

The reality we find ourselves in is infinitely more complex. God is nothing but a human subconscious invention that makes it easier for us to grasp the complexity of the world we are dropped into. Such mythical creatures and stories do have immense value as they help us focus emotionally and psychologically, but they are nothing but simplifications, and if they are mistaken for realities, things can get very nasty, and they invariably do.

It is also obvious that gods don’t exist in the way a lot of people picture them because they are so much like us. At an earlier stage in human cultural evolution, that seemed to make sense, but we now know that our world is so much bigger than we are.

So cultural evolution and personal maturing are actually very related phenomena. We all go through the same stages in our personal evolution as our species in general did over the ages, only much faster, in about 20 years or so. A lot of people get stuck along the way and stay simple, immature minds, and they still need that kind of childish spirituality, usually for the rest of their lives.

It is very easy to prove that all the gods that people have enshrined culturally are nothing but human inventions and definitions.

Beyond that, it is impossible to absolutely disprove the existence of God but also absolutely irrelevant. Beyond that, we aren’t talking about the subject any more because it is impossible to define what that word or concept is supposed to mean. You can think of it as a placeholder for the power of nature, for the spirit of the cosmos, whatever, those are all just human definitions and cannot approach what they try to express.

That stage of consciousness is actually already there in most more complex religions, when they tell us that we are not supposed to picture God in any way. But people still do, if not in actual pictures, then in their definitions what God is and wants and all that. In doing that, they act completely against the expressive commands of their religion. But they still do, because they simply can’t grasp what is meant by it, and there are still a lot of people who are stuck at that stage.

The single most impressive musical development since World War II has been the astonishingly rapid and widespread dissemination of the practice of twelve-tone composition.

(George Perle, Serial Composition and Atonality)

It does really matter, when and where I am, when I compose. Some places are generally better to sit and compose than others. But one very powerful fact is that in the late evening or the early hours of the morning I’m much more productive than in the whole day. As soon as the dark comes and I’m getting tired, I can hear the music glowing in my head. Sometimes, when I pour a drink and start to compose, I have to refresh the music just for a moment, but in the late evening hours the music is always trying to refresh me. Wherever I go, I can hear the music all the time, and of course that’s only good for the productivity. But it’s just so irritating, that it starts when I’m too tired or drunk to write anything.

Sometimes I must hurry up from my warm bed to find paper and pen – I did that only two days ago.

Sometimes particular compositional problems will work themselves out in my dreams. And once, totally without any rhyme or reason, I dreamed about a chord … I saw it on the paper and it was luminous. As it glowed it sounded in my head as well. I woke up and wrote the chord down, which sounded almost as magical in real life as it did in the dream. I still use the chord frequently, particularly if I am referring to anything magical or otherworldly, though I also like it in abstract music.


Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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