SOUL FOOD : Great Success

Meatloaf is not really a UK traditional dish but I had all that I needed and was a bit brain dead. So I went back to Momma Cherri and her meatloaf.

Woohoo. 12 out of 10 on the scoreboard. Though I may’ve been a bit heavy handed with the Worcestershire Sauce :o)

Spicy. Like a Bat Out of Hell….?

P.S. Years since I saw the original programme. Momma lives in Brighton, on the south coast, methinks.

Sparrowhawks and Dracula

OK. This is year 3 or 4 of Sparrowhawks in our garden.

Amazing birds but (like Dracula) birds of prey.

Peep.Peep.Peep.Peep. All day and all night.

The garden is now sans (without) sparrows, tits, wrens. The blackbirds are skitty. The pigeons too. And the baby rabbits need eyes in the top of their heads and their behinds. Hawk or cat.

Where am I going?

Well. The peep peep is insistent. I wake up in the night and thrash around and somehow make the audiobook go from Poirot to Bram Stoker.

All roads lead to Transylvania. Done this too many times to take myself seriously.

Today I’ll be a UnBovvered/Irreverent Historian.

Woof says Van Helsing. One could write a song called Woof, yes?

P.S. When I posted here about my Shamanic Journey with Leslie Kenton and meeting a my totem animal – a WOLF – UAV had such fun with this fact over more than one platform.

What goes around, comes around. WHICH WITCH IS WHICH?

I gave all my support to a totally vile and undeserving person and gained 4 years of hell and damnation.

Gotta love a “Christian.”

Wrong person

wrong place.

Wrong time.

LEARN THE LESSON and move on up (?)

Very Appropriate for a 666 day : 6/6/2022

I know Burgh-le-Marsh pretty well.

Before the new by-pass, you’d have to drive through the village to get to Skeg-Vegas.

It has a gorgeous church with a very striking clock on the tower.

What I’ve only just learned is that Burgh is on a Ley-Line connecting Russia to Snowdonia, Wales and, in 1926, members of the Anglican Church saw fit to perform an exorcism on a prehistoric barrow by the village.

Why?

See below.

Strange but true :o)

LimeHouse Golem

This is the last film that I remember having the time to sit down and watch (alone) from start to finish.

It was way after the release and mates kept telling me that I’d love it.

OK. M’eh. Another Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes rip-off.

OMG.

I LOVED it.

Bill Nighy is an actor that I respect….loved him in Shaun of the Dead & Guest House Paradiso and other UK stuff. He’s a familiar face.

This film was NOT what I expected.

A James by Any Other Name Can Still Tell a Good Ghost Story

I always think that this is a Monty James book. But it’s another James. Henry. Still Gothic though. And grand.

Why was the turn of the 19th/20th century so full of amazingness in literature and art. When the turn of the 20th/21st century was Y2K and the Millennium Dome and BS?

Shrug.

On Christmas Eve, an unnamed narrator and some of their friends are gathered around a fire. One of them, Douglas, reads a manuscript written by his sister’s late governess. The manuscript tells the story of her hiring by a man who has become responsible for his young niece and nephew following the deaths of their parents. He lives mainly in London but also has a country house in Bly, Essex. The boy, Miles, is attending a boarding school, while his younger sister, Flora, is living in Bly, where she is cared for by Mrs. Grose, the housekeeper. Flora’s uncle, the governess’s new employer, is uninterested in raising the children and gives her full charge, explicitly stating that she is not to bother him with communications of any sort. The governess travels to Bly and begins her duties.

Noi…I love this accent.

S.I.B. vs Hunt A Killer

When I was serving in Ulster, I was approached by a Senior Member of the RMP SIB and asked to join.

BUT, But, but…I’d done something extremely stupid beforehand and had to decline :o(

Although an SIB appears to have existed in the British Army of the Rhine in Germany between 1919 and 1926, the origins of the army’s SIB are in 1940, when twenty Scotland Yard detectives were enlisted in the Corps of Military Police to deal with the pilfering of military stores within the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France.[1] The unit was formed on the recommendations of Detective Chief Inspector George Hatherill (who later went on to investigate the serial killers John Reginald Christie and John George Haigh, and the Great Train Robbery) and command was given to Detective Superintendent Clarence Campion, head of Scotland Yard’s Criminal Record Office, who was commissioned as a Major. Campion was hit in the head by shrapnel during the Dunkirk evacuation and died on 20 May 1940, the only SIB casualty of the BEF. After this beginning, the SIB was established on a full-time basis. One of the first group of detectives, Frank Elliott, was sent out to Cairo, Egypt. Under the supervision of Colonel Claude Harper, Elliott managed a 500-man force which investigated crime in Egypt, Palestine and later Libya.[2]

The SIB (RMP) now consists of about three hundred personnel, including Scenes of Crime Officers and forensic technicians. It is divided into numbered units called Investigation Platoons (for instance, 33 Inv Pl SIB Regt), which are subdivided into Detachments, each usually commanded by a Warrant Officer Class 2. There is a section or detachment on most major British Army stations. There is also a Territorial Army section, made up of CID officers and ex-regular SIB. The Headquarters SIB Regiment is at Campion Lines at Bulford, Wiltshire. Within the RMP, SIB is known as “the Branch” or more commonly “the Feds”.

****

What had I done? A heinous crime?

M’eh.

I’d got engaged to another RMP a few months before and we were to be married a few months later.

After living with a father who’d been both CID and SB, I kinda knew the life that would be ahead. And it was not compatible with family. Which I also knew through IRL experience!!!!!

BUT : I’ve never lost the thrill of the chase.

Hunt a Killer is so heavily advertised that I’m thinking of blowing a whole week’s food budget on a sub.

To be honest – I have little time to spare and that has been wasted watching yt Trooth Channels and bitching back at bitches for far too long. Too easy. FAR too boring. I need a new challenge.

Will she, Won’t she, Can she ?

I’m so tempted :o)

Monty James : Oh! Whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad.

I’ve been brought to this story by circuitous routes.

I have MR James in book and audio form…a long-term project. This is one story that totally sticks with me.

“Quis est iste qui venit?”

Parkins, the protagonist, is a young Cambridge University professor on holiday in the town of Burnstow (a fictionalized version of FelixstoweSuffolk), on the southeast coast of England. He resides at The Globe Inn for the duration of his stay, and has promised to investigate the grounds of a nearby preceptory for a colleague during his stay, with view to his colleague further exploring the site the following summer.

While investigating a cavity within what he believes to be the base of a ruined Templar platform or altar for his colleague, Parkins finds an ancient bronze whistle. Parkins pockets his find and returns to the inn, noting as he walks along the desolate beach that a “shape of indistinct personage” appears to be making great efforts to catch up with him in the distance, to no avail.

Everything has a link in this infinite chain :o)

AND – Bonus View.

The incomparable Mark Gatiss aka Mycroft (Horror Fan just like me) tells us a story about Monty James.

BTW : I’ll be taking this Ghostly (Banquo) vibe even further today. YAY

John William Polidori : Following the Threads

Polidori died aged 25.

In his short life though, he had a HUGE influence. He was a physician and a writer who had many contacts with people who we are much more familiar with.

Wollstonecraft, Rossetti, Shelley, Byron (Mad, Bad, Dangerous to know)

Did he die by his own hand?

Who knows for sure but he wrote a FAMOUS story : The Vampyre in 1819.

Look it up.

I’m not storytelling :o)

P.S. He looks very romantic and handsome in his portrait. Schwoon.

1845 vs 1897

What’s the betting that Bram read many a penny dreadful ?

Carmilla was serialised in a magazine. Even Arthur Conan Doyle started his Sherlock Holmes stories in serial magazine format.

Let’s go back to Varney the Vampire…..see previous post???

SHOCK SHOCK HORROR HORROR : Yay. I’m a huge fan of Gothic Literature. I ain’t dissing it one little bit.

Conjugals & Combos

I’ve always been the same since childhood.

I NEED to be warm in bed.

Bedwear : From under the chin to wrist to ankle. Plus a hot water bottle. And several layers of covers.

Conjugal Rights?

Not even Steve McQueen could get over that fence…… :o)

Hey. I’ve done THAT at least twice. I’ve got 2 kids. Fact.

The Fall of the House of Usher : 1839

Wow. Minutes before the 1850 reset!

It’s been decades since I read this. Yes. I’m huge fan of the Gothic Horror Genre. And EAP. The Raven is spectacular. In my humble opinion…Nevermore. Lenore. Door.

Is this the one where he buries his sister alive? Hang on. Checking the FACTS on yt………

INTERMISSION

OK. Fine. Dementia staved off. Yes.

What intrigues me is the name USHER.

Mmmn. The Devil is in the DETAILS?

The Christmas Cosy Mystery : Who Nicked the Salmon?

You might’ve guessed that I’m a huge fan of Cosy Mysteries. Hamish Macbeth being a point in case. Even Agatha Christie started off in this genre.

I have the perfect plot for one of my own!

One of my boys is definitely a foodie Black Sheep. He doesn’t eat Sunday lunch or the Full Christmas Dinner stuff, so, we bought him a special meal for today that included extremely expensive salmon slices. Freaking weirdo child.

Anyhoo : this Xmas day has been a disaster, dahlings.

Someone has stolen, misplaced, teleported said child’s fish. He’s devastated and had a better Sarah Bernhardt moment than I have EVER produced.

Apparently he will either starve to death or have a bowl of Ready Break for Christmas.

Psssst. I blame his mother for the Am Dram bit. Oh, yes.

So – first off. A better title than Who Nicked the Salmon? is needed.

Second off. Even I don’t know the outcome. Which is a very bad way to start a novel :o(

“In Crybbe, Night Did Not Fall. Night Rose” : I Have Writer Envy :o(

I’ve been such a fan of the Merrily Watkins books for so long that I’d neglected all of Phil Rickman’s stand-alone books.

Until last year.

Having finished the Trilogy about Grayle and Marcus and Cyndi, I’ve started Curfew…again. For the 3rd time!

What an opening sentence. Wow.

We often indulge in Food Envy here. You know that moment when you see what someone else is eating and think Dang&Blast That looks better than my meal ?

I have writer’s envy :o(

On the border between England and Wales lies the tiny town of Crybbe, not picturesque enough for the tourist trade, quietly sliding into decay. Max Goff means to change all that. Goff has made millions in the record business, but his heart is in New Age philosophy. He has learned that Crybbe was once a spiritual centre of sorts, surrounded by ancient standing stones that were emblems of power. He means to replace the stones that have fallen – or been destroyed, as many of them were – and establish a thriving New Age community that will draw tourists and students from all over the world. What Max Goff doesn’t know is that the standing stones of Crybbe were destroyed in the sixteenth century for a very good reason. Some of the endearing customs of the town – such as tolling the church bell for curfew each night – are actually deadly serious rituals. The people of Crybbe know that evil has been kept at bay here by the old ways, and that there’s nothing quaint about them. And the power about to be unleashed by Max Goff is nothing like the soothing music and herbal remedies he associates with the New Age. This is the power of the old age, pent up for centuries and about to be released with deadly fury!

In my head – there is such a wonderful feeling about sitting in front of a proper fire, all snuggled up, with just a reading light on and indulging in a good, old-fashioned scary story.

The next Merrily book is released in June 2022. I can’t complain. Mr Rickman suffered a stroke so (I’m guessing) was unable to go through the proofs and rewrite and re-edit etc.

Wishing him well x

Preview of Night of The Lingering Ghosts/The Fever of the World (???)…….Starring the lingering ghost of the poet William Wordsworth!

‘I called on Darkness-but before the word
Was uttered, midnight darkness seemed to take
All objects from my sight…’
William Wordsworth

England’s most famous poet once thought of himself as a modern druid and found his deepest inspiration on the banks of the River Wye, where Celtic magic can still be found and an old darkness lingers.

Now, as the world is at the mercy of the coronavirus pandemic, diocesan exorcist Merrily Watkins learns that the ghosts of the lower Wye Valley still need some attention…

White Night : Friends of the Dusk

I KNOW that I am in for yet another White Night…aka Sleepless.

Whatever.

Might as well frit meself to death or asleep via Merrily and Deviant Burials.

When autumn storms blast Hereford, centuries-old human bones are found amongst the roots of a tree blown down on the city’s Castle Green. But why have they been stolen? At the nearby Cathedral, another storm is building around a new, modernising bishop who believes that if the Church is to survive it must phase out irrelevant archaic practices. Not good news for Merrily Watkins, consultant on the paranormal or, as it used to be known, diocesan exorcist. Especially as she’s now presented with the job at its most medieval. In the moody countryside on the edge of Wales, a rambling 12th-century house is thought to be haunted. Although its new owners don’t believe in ghosts, they do believe in spiritual darkness and the need for exorcism. But their approach to Merrily is oblique and guarded. No-one can be told – least of all, the new bishop. Merrily’s discovery of the house’s links with the medieval legend of a man who resisted mortality threatens to expose the hidden history of a more modern cult and its trail of insidious abuse. A trail that may not be closed.

In Phil Rickman’s own words:

a deviant burial

a legend of the undead

still seductive

still deadly

P.S. FRIT is a Northern English word for Frighten…we talk so fast that we miss out a few letters :o)

OH. Hi, There : Talking To Myself Again?

I was in the kitchen earlier, at the stove prepping a meal, my back to the majority of the room, when the light changed and a shadow walked behind me. From right to left.

Oh. Hi, said I. Thinking that it was a family member. I looked behind and….Nothing.

God’s Honest. I saw the shadow move as if someone had walked across the kitchen window.

There was no fear. No threat.

OH. OK, said I.

P.S. I LOVE every Friday the 13th that happens because I know the BS History of the Templars and how that date was hijacked by UnHolyWood and the Dark Side of Life.

Did mine own shadow pass me?

And I fully acknowledge that I have darkness deep inside. We all do.

If so, we seem to have made friends :o)

The Castle of Otranto

I have a copy.

Have I read it all. Uuurm. NO!


The Castle of Otranto was written in 1764 during Horace Walpole’s tenure as MP for King’s Lynn. Walpole was fascinated with medieval history, building in 1749 a fake gothic castle, Strawberry Hill House.

The initial edition was titled in full: The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto. This first edition purported to be a translation based on a manuscript printed at Naples in 1529 and recently rediscovered in the library of “an ancient Catholic family in the north of England”. He employed an archaic style of writing to further reinforce this.

The Italian manuscript’s story, it was claimed, derived from a story still older, dating back perhaps as far as the Crusades. This Italian manuscript, along with alleged author “Onuphrio Muralto”, were Walpole’s fictional creations, and “William Marshal” his pseudonym.

In the second and subsequent editions, Walpole acknowledges authorship of his work, writing: “The favourable manner in which this little piece has been received by the public, calls upon the author to explain the grounds on which he composed it” as “an attempt to blend the two kinds of romance, the ancient and the modern. In the former all was imagination and improbability: in the latter, nature is always intended to be, and sometimes has been, copied with success…”. There was some debate at the time about the function of literature; that is, whether works of fiction should be representative of life, or more purely imaginative (i.e. natural vs. romantic). The first edition was well received by some reviewers who understood the novel as belonging to medieval fiction, “between 1095, the era of the First Crusade, and 1243, the date of the last”, as the first preface states; and some referred to Walpole as an “ingenious translator”. Following Walpole’s admission of authorship, however, many critics were loath to lavish much praise on the work and dismissed it as absurd, fluffy, romantic fiction, or even unsavory or immoral.[7]

In his 1924 edition of The Castle of OtrantoMontague Summers showed that the life story of Manfred of Sicily inspired some details of the plot. The real medieval castle of Otranto was among Manfred’s possessions.


Maybe I will try again. Sigh – heavily.

P.S. Mary Gentle used this device in her book ASH: A Secret History. A modern man had found lost papers about a girl called Ash who resembled Jehanne d’Arc. No blame. I LOVE that book :o)