Friday 3 April 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.*** - Allotriophagy and Altered States

The postbox library just down the road itself now on lockdown, things must have gotten serious. This, the dumping ground for all manner of literature, now out of bounds for the many hands that use it. The badly cooked bat eaters hopefully waiting for that tap on their shoulder from the World Health Organisation.

Life as we know it, ended a couple of weeks ago, now it's surreal, life is not normal.

Now we've been exploring the village even more which has been nice, discovering new places and returning to others we'd already trodden. The ball kicked like it has never been done before, the working days from home, now with a welcome interruption.

Oddly the longer it's been since I've not been fishing, I've not really thought about it. Worrying ? not really because it's a temporary blip I'm sure, I need my fix, my escape, if you've been reading my blog for a while you know what fishing does to ones wellbeing.

So for me having a little more time on my hands than I usually do I've been returning to some films I'd not seen for a good while, movies I'm sure for many, can provide that escapism that I need to seek.

One of those I'd watched was a Ken Russell film from the 80's, called 'Altered States'. The ending a bit lame as I remembered but for me being interested in the subject it was and still is a visual feast.

Edward Jessup is a psychopathologist who, while studying schizophrenia, begins to think that "our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking states."

The opening sequence of the movie is when he begins experimenting with sensory deprivation using a flotation tank,

Now when Edward hears of a Mexican tribe that experiences shared illusion states, he travels to Mexico to participate in what is apparently an Ayahuasca Ceremony.

The tribe calls one of the ingredients of the mixture they use "First Flower." An indigenous elder is seen with Banisteriopsis Caapi root in his hand before cutting Edward's hand, adding blood to the mixture he is preparing.

Immediately after consuming the mixture, Edward experiences bizarre, intense hallucinations. He returns to the U.S. with a tincture and continues taking it to trigger altered states of consciousness.

When toxic concentrations of the substance make increased dosage dangerous, Edward returns to sensory deprivation, believing it will enhance the effects of the substance at his current dose. 

Repairing a disused tank in a medical school, Edward uses it to experience a series of increasingly drastic visions, where he insists that his visions have "externalised".

Emerging from the tank, his mouth bloody, frantically writing notes because he is unable to speak, he insists on being X-rayed before he "reconstitutes." A radiologist inspecting the X-rays says they belong to a gorilla.

In later experiments, he experiences actual, physical biological devolution.

At one stage he emerges from the isolation tank as a feral and curiously small-statured, light skinned caveman, going on a rampage through some streets in town before returning to his natural form. Despite his colleagues' concern, Edward stubbornly continues.

Switched off yet ?

Because that's where I'll leave it, because watch it for yourself if you feel the synopsis leaves you wanting more. I love these 'old' films, no pretence, small budgets, just good viewing.

Anyway back to the blog, the kids have revelled with the routine we've got in to during the lockdown, even Ben who loves the outdoors anyway is handing us his coat and trainers as soon he has finished his lunch.

The local area is like a scene from 28 days later (another good watch if you've not seen it), however this week it's is considerably quieter than last week where more of the locals seems to be out filling their exercise quota, breathing in the fresh spring air. We well like we have the surroundings to ourselves most of the time, it's rather nice.

The temperature drop might have something to do with it mind you, the air cold especially when up high and open like we have been this week, gloves would have been welcome.

A hidden pool, lovely rolling countryside and a secretive wood, where I bet if you pitched up a tent and lived off the land, you'd not be discovered.

Solitude for sure in these worrying times, my tent at the ready,

What hasn't been nice to hear is over the last few days many fellow automotive freelancers, jobbers and permi's given the elbow, been handed that letter. Some of those that have kept their jobs have had their hours cut in half or the rate reduced.

I like many can remember was a similar situation in 2008 and after getting through that, being the bread winner for three hungry mouths and three that need a warm roof over their head, my finances were juggled to suit.

It's the nature of the game, being a 'jobber' when times are good, overpay the mortgage, boost the savings pot because you never know when it will end, and end quickly it might.

Now COVID-19 came out of nowhere didn't it I suppose and took everyone off guard, when it was least expected.

In these uncertain times where for many just staying in work is the priority, as well as health of course. I'm sure when we come out of this many will alter their ways. 

The economy taking a while to bounce back I'd imagine

Aston Martin despite a billion quid in dept have a SUV order book to fill.

Their shares can only get better after floating at £20 in November if I recall, now less than a quid after dilution. JLR and McLaren panic and get rid of load of engineers but they have form.

They join the many wondering if they will be chucking the cat out and bolting the doors. Those that have been furloughed asking if it's a Godsend or a temporary reprieve before the guillotine falls.

Tough times, enjoy those simple pleasure if you can, those small things can work wonders for the mind.

No fishing again, what to do now ?, a rod holder for the Jimny ?


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