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Monday, 7 May 2012

the write stuff

 - another bit of random writery... For whatever legal issues might arise, all original characters and character names, place names etc. mentioned in the following text are copyright Jon Brumby/Ian Brumby/Fenris Games, and of their original conceptor(s) where relevant.

Chapter ? : the fool of the world and the flying ship

Quinn found it hard to believe his eyes, but there it was - an inn, apparently in the middle of nowhere in particular. The slightly lopsided sign, swinging and creaking in the light breeze, bore the title, ‘The Halfway’. Sounds and smells from within showed it to be - first of all - real, and also actively occupied - always assuming he wasn’t just experiencing a really lucid mirage.


It was a large, two-storey building, the upper-floor rooms presumably serving as accommodation if the inn was living up to the letter of its description. The fa├žade was a little bedraggled, but nothing that a lick of paint and a bit of pointing wouldn’t fix. He wasn’t too surprised that he’d understood that thought without knowing why.


A sizeable plank-faced outbuilding stabled a collection of various pack-animals and riding-beasts, mostly reptilian in nature but with one or two birds and at least a couple of creatures of somewhat indeterminate species. None of this was as interesting as the smells of cooking from inside though, and, unable to resist the lure any longer, the cat opened the door and strode in.


There were maybe a dozen or so customers giving the inn their patronage, at least on this floor. Quinn noted that for the most part the current population held an almost equal balance of cats and dogs - or variations on the theme of them, at any rate: there were a couple of notable exceptions, who seemed even less like they belonged here than he did - he was at least amongst the same broad spectrum of the species, where this pair weren’t even related to each other: but otherwise, like the rest of the clientele, the gorilla and the rhino regarded Quinn with only brief interest as he first stepped inside, then quickly returned to their own business - this particular pair being engaged in an overly loud and animated discussion at their station by the bar.


The caracal left them to their discourse as his eyes scanned the rest of the room: at the end of the bar was a large and slightly tipsy-looking tiger, slumped on his stool, regarding the arguing animals with heavy-lidded eyes; meanwhile the stern-looking wildcat behind the counter kept a close eye on all three of them. Most of the rest of the customers kept to their own regards, whether singularly or with others of their own species, only one table being occupied by a mix of the two orders - engaged, as seemed to be fitting, in some sort of card game - an almost guaranteed source of fight-starting if ever there was one. Quinn rolled his eyes, expecting trouble any moment.


Nevertheless, the overall assembly seemed to be occupied peacefully enough in their eating and drinking, though the cat definitely sensed a lurking, low-level tension in the place. His earlier encounter with dog-types had taught him well enough of the innate distrust between the two ‘tribes’, so he was surprised to have found this common haven where they were (at least ostensibly) able to make a pretense of civility toward one another. Quinn didn’t doubt that the peace was held at least in part by the mere presence of the wildcat at the bar, a scarred and ear-bitten old bruiser who looked more than a match for any of the patrons; but as well as that, spreading some sort of serenity as she bussed tables and tankards, was the beautiful she-cat who carried a smile to every customer, and left something of it with each of them she served. She moved gracefully, almost dancing among the stations; her coat was exquisite, something part tabby-cat and part serval, and an admirable marriage of the two; she was elegantly made but strong-looking, with a full and expressive tail that twitched and ‘talked’ spiritedly as she engaged with the inn’s clientele.


Quinn was so taken with her that he almost didn’t realise she was striding straight towards him, her smile already working its spell. He grinned nervously as she stopped in front of him, staring straight into his eyes.


Heyyy, fella”, she purred, “ ‘you looking at me that way, or does your tongue always hang out like that?”
She smirked, and Quinn squirmed, his face-fur bristling with embarrassment.
“I, uh - ”, he faltered.
“Relax, relax,” she chuckled, touching his arm gently. “I’m flattered, honestly. Name’s Briana, call me Bree. You’re chasing the wrong breed of butterfly I’m afraid, but I am flattered.”
“ - wuh?” he spluttered.
Bree smiled, and hooked a thumb towards a puma lounging suggestively in the window-seat across the other side of the room.
“See her?” she asked.“…you think she’s attractive?”
Quinn gulped hard and peeked over the she-cat’s shoulder. The puma was - well, he guessed he’d say…very nicely ‘carved’. He nodded, to avoid saying anything that might seem...unseemly.
Bree raised an eyebrow knowingly. “  - of course you do. And so do I.” She tipped her head and waited for this to sink in.
Quinn looked back to the puma and then again to Bree, still feeling a little dazed. He looked her up and down, started to say something, then looked back once more to the other cat. His brain turned slowly over in bed, fumbled for a candle, and then finally struck a match in the darkness.
His fur bristled again. “Ah …oh. Uhm, I was only -”
“Never mind, mister swifty,” she offered. “You lot are always a little out of it for the first day or two, ‘til you get to grips with the world…”
“ - eh?”
“ - you are one of them, aren’t you? I can tell - something in your aura, I dunno, but it stands out a mile to me. That, and the disorientation, obviously.” She saw Quinn looking even more confused. “Poor kitty, you’re just brand new, aren’t you?”
Bree widened her eyes, seeming to stare straight into Quinn.
Wow,” she enthused, “it’s a rare thing to see one of you guys, never mind two at the same time - ”
Quinn held up his hands to stop her chatter. He was playing catch-up here, but was already way too far behind.
Please - ” he began.
“Sorry hun”, the she-cat relented. “Too much too soon, huh? You really are fresh out of the stone.”
Bree paused, watching his stunned reaction.
“You clearly don’t know it yet,” she continued, “but you’re one of the Created.”
“One what? What’s - ”
“Carved in the cavern, that sort of thing?”, she offered.
Quinn nodded, but was still bewildered. “ - but - isn’t everybody? ”
The she-cat shook her head and smiled again. “Oh no, no.”
She leaned closer, adding almost conspirationally, “…most of us these days are made the new-fangled way - it’s a whole man-woman thing that goes on - ” she rolled her eyes and dismissed the idea with a wave of her hand. “ - not my cup o’ tea, of course, but I understand it’s quite the popular thing.” Her smile faltered, a shadow of sadness passing across her features. Quinn reached out uncertainly to offer reassurance.
“What’s the matter?”, he tried.
“ - that’s how I came to the uurth,” she sniffed, a tear at the corner of her eye. “But my mother...” she slowed, her voice cracking. “…I never knew her, but I miss her just the same.”
Bree checked herself, blinking away the threat of tears.
“ - sorry,” she offered. “I don’t know why all of that came out, I don’t normally... ”
she paused. “…it must be something in the magik of you, I guess.” She sniffed again and wiped her eyes.
“Can I get you a drink?” she rallied, back in business mode again. “Something to eat?”
Quinn hesitated. “I…don’t have any money.”
The she-cat put up a hand and shook her head. “It’s on me,” she insisted. “ - for your trouble.”
The caracal was reluctant to accept, but agreed. His grumbling stomach and parched tongue would’ve been greatly at odds with him otherwise. He gestured towards the surly wildcat now cleaning tankards at the counter.
“Well, so long as the barkeep will serve them to me, anyway - I got the distinct impression when I came in that he didn’t take to me very well, though maybe it’s just because he’s such a miserable-looking old sod.”
Briana grinned widely and patted Quinn softly on the hand.
“That miserable old sod,” she cooed, “is my father.”
The caracal winced and buried his face in his hands, fur bristling afresh, as the she-cat turned, laughing gently to herself.
“You just like to open your mouth to switch feet every now and again, eh hun?” she finished, smiling warmly as she departed. Quinn watched with great interest as she glode gracefully away, then remembered the whole wrong butterfly thing and figured he’d better fix his attentions elsewhere.


As he slowly scanned the room again, it struck Quinn that he’d just missed something - what Bree had said about seeing two of the ‘Created’ at one time. Somebody else here was…like him! He studied the inn’s customers much more keenly now, seeing if he could sense something of what Briana had referred to, trying to determine if there was anything that particularly marked out the Created-kind as being especially different to the norms: nothing very much seemed to be presenting itself though; for all he knew, maybe even one of those bandits - or maybe all of them - had been Created-kind, and he simply hadn’t spotted anything special about them - after all, it would be hard to pick up on something like that in the middle of fighting them off, wouldn’t it? But otherwise it would surely make some sort of sense for him to be able to tell, one way or another, if he was in the presence of others like himself? Frustrated with his lack of success, the cat let it go - guessing that maybe he was trying too hard, and that such sensings might arise on a more subconscious level.


Briana had by now sauntered over to the reclining puma, and the two were clearly exchanging pleasantries, smiling and chuckling softly together. Even casual observation of their behaviour made it plain that there was more passing between them than the mere interplay of words. Quinn looked away quickly as Bree repeated the thumb-hook gesture in his direction, and he felt his face bristling yet again as the two of them looked his way and giggled, the puma offering him a fingery wave and a saucy little wink.


He turned to come face-to-chest (and to a broad chest, at that) with the tiger he’d seen earlier, who seemed several sizes larger than he had when he’d been slumped at the bar. He stood nearly two feet taller than Quinn, and was of a considerably sturdier build. His massive mitt sat with menacing promise on the pommel of his sword.


“You gettin’ stupid ideas about that female, boy?” he growled. Quinn stared up into angry golden orbs, pupils focused to furious fullstops. He could somehow feel other eyes on him too now, the various cats and dogs - and other species - having ceased the undertaking of their own diversions in favour of this new entertainment. Quinn thought better of telling the tiger the somewhat pertinent facts that would render any ideas stupid in regards to those two particular females, guessing that that would be a fairly stupid idea in itself.


He grimaced weakly and muttered,  “ - erm, no? ”
The tiger grinned horribly.


And then the roof caved in.


Something looking not unlike the prow of a ship crashed through the first floor of the building, raining destruction down among the inn’s clientele. Some of the more nimble-footed had scattered at once, escaping through the doors only moments before the opening was blocked by the massive bulk of the vessel;  but at least three tables, and their occupants, were horribly crushed under the weight of the intruding hull and the falling debris. Those remaining were either concussed or simply confused, and all of them easily captured by the peculiar crew that poured down from the thing, looking for all the world like…giant insects. In a mass of many-limbed forms they dragged unconscious animals back up to the ship, otherwise grappling with those still able to resist, for what little time it took to overcome them.


Quinn had lost sight of Briana and the puma when the bow of the ship had obscured them from his view; he lost  consciousness too as a heavily-armoured beetle fetched him a hefty crack across the skull, the screams and shouts around him fading into silence as darkness rushed to engulf him.




Sunday, 22 April 2012

random ritin'

 - a quick random sample of a bit of book, a bit raw and unedited at the moment, but a taster of the sort of nonsense to be expected. For whatever legal issues might arise, all original characters and character names, place names etc. mentioned in the following text are copyright Jon Brumby/Ian Brumby/Fenris Games, and of their original conceptor(s) where relevant.

                                        Chapter Two: Mum’s the word


Fulto Brim was trying to meditate - a goal made particularly difficult by the cacophony of small chirruping lizards scuttling about in the undergrowth all around him, calling out to locate one another amongst the greenery. The orangutan couldn’t comprehend why the little idiots hadn’t figured out that things would be a lot easier for them if - instead of continually popping their tiny noggins above the low-lying greenery, and then ducking down to make their racket – they simply kept their heads aloft for only a second or two longer, since in that way they would be bound to notice others of their kind doing the exact same thing. Their obvious noise and apparent stupidity were simply not conducive to the achievement of a relaxed attitude, and Fulto knew this especially well because thought-processes that involved the use of words like ‘conducive’ were not very laid-back ones, and  therefore not very likely to lead to any trance-like states of mind. His brain was running like an of instruction-book in an effort to ignore the lizards’ din, but was making itself so busy in the work of words that it couldn’t slow down enough to stop thinking and just get on with things: he was struggling to breathe properly, because he was having to remember to do it in case his head got so busy with everything else that it forgot to deal with the ordinary essentials. The ape was getting dizzy, hot, and angry.


A tiny reptile stuck its little emerald head above the leaves, looked quizzically at the huge orange behemoth in the middle of it's world-view for perhaps as much as a second, disappeared again, and then let out a brief, shrill ‘pirrip’ sort of sound. For Fulto, this was the last straw.


Gritting his teeth and trying to think happy thoughts, the ape placed his palms together, and stretched his long limbs out across the rustling, squeaking sea of greenery before him. Taking deep breaths to calm himself as the noise continued, Fulto swept his arms outwards in a wide semi-circle, flattening out the plants most immediate to him – though he did this in such a way as to ensure none of the slender stems were damaged. He cleared a space across which at least three dozen of the diminutive creatures could now see one another quite clearly: and for a moment or two there was silence, at least within that one small area. Then, in a babbling green rush, they swept towards each other, crashing together in a roiling mess of mating. Unfortunately for Fulto, this meant they were now making even more noise, and the added racket produced as they writhed and wriggled together were not easing things any more quickly towards the attainment of tranquility. He let the plants fall back into place over the lizards’ decadent display, resigning himself to the fact that he’d do better to find another location from which to start his head-travelling.


Fulto stood up, feeling the brush of small bodies around his feet as more of the tiny animals crashed into the space he’d just vacated, and then strode purposefully – but very carefully – out of the little clearing in the forest floor.


The ape spent a short while scouring the immediate area for a suitably secluded spot - also keeping his eyes open for a length of wood that might be of use as a walking-staff - as he could somehow guess that he might have a few miles to cover, once he’d got himself centred and could figure out what he ought to be doing. He’d been having such guesses, and feelings, and hunches, ever since he first appeared in this place, wherever it was,which he’d at first put down to the after-effects of all that dwarf-related oddness - that sort of thing would mess with anybody’s head - it was just…well, weird – though he wasn’t sure where his frame of reference came from to suggest that. And that was weird, too.


Probably.


It had been while he was on his second night out in the wilds beyond the caverns, and drifting somewhere in that half-life between sleep and consciousness, that he’d heard the Voice.


Her Voice, he corrected himself – for it had definitely seemed female: Fulto assumed of course that he’d dreamt it, though at the time he’d sat bolt upright and wide awake, fearing an enemy was close by; but he’d also felt Her touch, and no-one had been near enough to have laid a hand on him and to have then retreated quickly enough to be beyond his sphere of vision.


It was a caress as soft as a lover’s, and as urgent and purposeful too – but again, surely just part of the dream. He’d remained for several minutes in terrified silence, his ears straining for the slightest sound, his eyes trying desperately to pierce the velvet cloak of the night. But nothing became any more obvious, and there was little to hear besides the whisper of the wind through the leaves of the trees.

Much as he wanted to put all of this down to imagination though, Fulto couldn’t help feeling there was more to it than that – and that the only reason he couldn’t latch onto Her was that his panicked mind was overworking itself trying to figure out what was happening. This had been the reasoning for his current plan to try and reach some sort of meditative state, which would allow him to relax his brain enough to just listen to whatever She might have to say. If, of course, he hadn’t just imagined the whole thing thanks to the slightly fevered state of mind that comes to one who finds himself suddenly in an unknown world that he nevertheless feels he’s been in all along.


In any case, thinking about it certainly wasn’t helping.


At last the orangutan found a likely site for his experiment - a slightly clearer patch of ground that looked as if it could have been almost deliberately set aside for his purpose. He noticed that a large rock lay a little distance away - the top of it a slightly darker colour, and damp-looking, with a short trail of crushed plant-matter leading up to it; he realised that someone or something must have moved or rolled it away from the spot to get at whatever was beneath it – presumably something food-related, like ants, grubs, or what-have-you. Fulto didn’t let his brain dwell for too long on exactly what kind of creature might be capable of having shifted such a weight, since there was no sign of any cave or similar den-entrance where it could be lurking, and for the moment at least no obvious sight or sound of whatever it might be; the ape also assumed that any creature so large and powerful would make quite a noise wherever it went, such that he’d have plenty of warning if it did come back to this little bit of the world.


Satisfied for the time being that he’d be able to proceed without any disturbance, Fulto settled himself upon the bare dirt where the rock had been. Laying his arms palm-downwards along his crossed legs, he relaxed as utterly as he could, his fingertips just touching the ground where his hands drooped at his wrists. He closed his eyes, and began to breathe very deliberately and slowly, emptying his busy skull of everything except the sensation of his contact with the Uurth.


For some considerable time, it seemed as though little was happening other than the passing of seconds, minutes - perhaps even hours: Fulto had lost all concept of temporal restraints, and it seemed as if his entire body had rid itself of feeling, as he was no longer aware of the pressure of his own weight upon the small patch of uurth where he sat. Then, he began to notice a tingling sensation – like the pins-and-needles he’d felt back at the caves when he first became conscious – tickling at his bottom and loins and fingertips, wherever his skin pressed against the dirt. Slightly puzzled, he looked down, then almost fainted as a wave of pleasure flowed into him, a blissful warmth like nothing he’d ever experienced before (though of course he’d had to remind himself later on that since he only seemed to have been around for a couple of days at most, his degree of any kind of experience was pretty limited). A wonderfully bright and somewhat greenish light seemed to surround him and fill his entire being at the same time; and then, the Voice sounded again - soft as a whisper, and yet seeming to pummel into him like the tumult of a storm.


My Child,” She said.


 Fulto felt the warmth again, subtler now though, and it seemed as if he were being held and caressed by protective arms.
“M-Mother?” he stuttered, not daring to open his eyes even to blink away the unbidden tears that had welled up within them.


Some have called me thus, yes,” the Voice continued, stroking the ape with its soft tones. “Others call me sister, daughter, wife – or witch, or woman, lady, or lover. In as much as you are part of me, then I am mother indeed – but father too, for in truth I am none of such physical things - I am neither, yet both, as all things come from me that are such opposites. If ‘mother’ does not suffice, then simply think of me as Uurtha, spirit of the Uurth – this was one of the first names I heard when people still spoke to me.


“Ah, right. I see,” Fulto lied, wondering if this had been such a great idea after all. Things never went well for folks who went around hearing voices. Of course, how he knew that, he wasn’t sure.


Your memories too, are sprung from me,” the Voice interrupted, “they are part of all things that have come and gone before, that are all part of me – eternal truths that are known to all such as you; and your truths too will be passed on when you die, that those who may be next to come shall know them also.


“Eternal truths?” Fulto asked. “What, like not running with scissors, that sort of thing?” The orangutan was getting a bit confused by all this, though mainly he was hoping there wasn’t going to be a test of any sort that might involve having to recite any of what he’d just heard – never mind understand it. The Voice said nothing, although Fulto felt that She might be nodding whatever might pass for Her otherworldly head. Or quite possibly shaking it in disbelief at Her chosen one’s ineptitude.


“Uhm, okay,” the ape resumed, “ – have to admit I don’t like the sound of the dying part very much, I thought I’d only just got here.”


All must die, that is the way of things,” Uurtha responded.


“Well yes, but by that I’m hoping you do mean eventually, yes?” Fulto asked, “…as in, not just right now? This isn’t all leading up to me dropping dead in the middle of nowhere, is it?”


Uurtha seemed to hesitate. “…Yes – eventually…Time is…a difficult thing. Before this part of now it was not something that mattered – things were, and were not, and that was the way of all. But now, time seems to have become…less…than it was.


Fulto was worried. “You’re – running out of time?” he ventured.


Yes. I am dying, and I cannot help myself, and that is why I have called to my children.


“But you said yourself that all things must die – doesn’t that apply to you, too?”


All things that are part of me – but they come back, as knowledge, as memories, as power – ultimately, as returned uurth to provide for the growth of the new. But if I die, I will not return.


The ape thought for a moment. “That sounds pretty bad,” he concluded.


Indeed – for once I perish, all else will die with me.


“Bugger.”


…quite.


“…hold on, you just said children, plural,” Fulto remembered. “There are more like me? All of those in the caves, d’you mean? And what was that about power and stuff? Should I be writing this down?”


He fumbled for his knapsack to see if he could find anything to scribble on, discovering a half-chewed and almost blunt pencil, and a torn scrap of parchment with a drawing of a female chimp’s bottom on it that was crude in just about every possible sense of the word. He feigned a look of innocent nonchalance and turned the paper over, licking his pencil-tip and holding it poised above the ‘clean’ side of the sheet.


A ripple of pleasure coursed through the ape’s body, making him feel quite unnecessarily stimulated in several ways that didn’t seem very appropriate while talking to one’s mum – metaphysically speaking - especially if she was also your daughter and sister at the same time. He realised though that this must be Uurtha’s way of laughing, as it felt sort of like a chuckle taken to its absolute extremes, experienced purely as a feeling rather than a sound.


Yes, my child, there are more – for it would be impossible for just one to avert this change, even though of course it can often be the actions of just one that can change the ways and the thinking of many. It may have to be that several of you might serve together, or that your individual actions might serve thus – I only know that it may be because of you all that this might not come to pass. As for the powers, these are such that are within me, and therefore within you all, my children, too – from what I see in the hearts and minds of those whose feet press upon me, this is a thing that might be called …magik. Find it within yourself, and use it wisely.


“Nifty,” Fulto replied, feeling slightly queasy. “So, what you’re saying is, it’s up to us to save the Uurth. That seems like a bit of a big job for someone who only just got here.”


Surely it is only natural for a child, given life and nourishments by its progenitor, to come to care for that parent, when such care is needed, yes? – Or perhaps, better to say that if you care for me, then I will continue in my making of, and care for, all of you...but of course none of you are bound to this calling, you may do as you wish in all things – just know, that if the Created fail, then all will be doomed to chaos and discord.


“Ye-ess,” the ape hesitated, “but it’s not much of a choice, is it?”


Destiny is a selfish bed-mate, certainly,” The Voice agreed.


“Ah-hah. Good to have someone else to blame, isn’t it?” Fulto conceded. He had the impression that the Uurth was trying to look the other way and pretend She hadn’t heard that last bit, although it was hard to be sure, since gestures and body language don’t really show up very well on incorporeal entities. With a sigh the orangutan realised too that when unfathomable beings started going on about other immeasurable forces like luck, fate, and destiny, a bloke had better either like it or lump it.


“…now, where were we?”  Uurtha continued, as if She’d just returned to the conversation from a trip to powder Her ineffable nose in the intangible toilet on whatever passed for Her plane of existence.


“Saving the Uurth from its - erm, Her -  ultimate destruction?” Fulto suggested, asking,
“ – so, how am I going to recognise these other, erm - ” he checked his hurried notes.
“ – these other Created ones? Will they be wearing pink carnations, or should I be expecting a random queue or a carriage-party sometime soon? Or are they just – well, everybody else? There were a lot of other animals in the caves - what if they’ve already chosen to do the other thing instead, I’ll bet there’s plenty of folks would love a bit of chaos and all that every now and then, all them vicarious thrills and - well, y’know – like WOO, DANGER!” He emphasised this by shaking his fists and affecting a peculiar grimace.


You have many questions, my child,” Uurtha stated, though she made no obvious move to answer any of them. Fulto nodded, resigned to his fate. Sort of. He was quite surprised when She decided to continue.


When you hear them, you will know,” She admitted, “And they will know you, too This is part of the great circle of life that binds us all.


Fulto hesitated .“You’re not going to start singing, are you?” he asked, somewhat concerned.


Uurtha seemed a little nonplussed. “I don’t believe so,” She concluded. Fulto looked around furtively even so, just to be sure that weird animals weren’t about to jump out of the bushes and start making oddly musical noises. Of course, he had no idea why he felt such a thing might happen. For a few moments he considered making a list of all the things he wouldn‘t quite be able to put his finger on, but dismissed the idea when he realised it would quite likely become a very long list, and that this would probably happen very quickly.


Some things, he thought – and some thoughts, he added – just are.


Now you’re getting it,” Uurtha responded, without being asked. Fulto nearly jumped out of his skin.


You can read my mind? he wondered, deliberately emphasising the thought, concentrating and trying to visualise the form of the words.


No need to shout, thankyou,” the Voice replied, “ – and yes, I can. After all, they are in fact my thoughts in a way, inasmuch as everything about you is a part of me. In real terms I already know what you’re thinking, even before you do.


The ape’s head was starting to spin. “Okay,” he relented. “So if you already know all of that, can we just skip to the bit at the end? I think I could use a few minutes to take all this on board, if that’s alright.”


Without a word, She agreed. Pretty impressive, considering all the limitations. For a few moments more, Fulto Brim sat alone in the company of Uurtha, the two of them communing together in spite of the fact that the ape was the only one who was really there, at least in existential terms. From wherever he was inside his own head, Fulto was somehow aware of the fact that the ever-jabbering little lizards from the clearing - having followed in his footsteps (as they made little mating meet-ups for them) - had finally fallen silent, and had turned as one to watch him coming to the realisation of his oneness with Nature, their little eyes sparkling like jewels with the wonder of the spectacle. On some small level, the ape realised that he was, quite bizarrely, looking over towards himself from where the lizards were – and that he was somehow utilising their diminutive minds and their hundreds of tiny eyes even as he could use his own, and doing so even while he was otherwise occupied in talking with the Uurth. With this last thought reverberating around inside his head, his brain shut up shop for the day and went home for tea, leaving him to faint back upon the greenery.




The lizards stood quietly, looking nervously around at one another, and uncertain of what had just passed – other than that it had been something akin to a sacred experience for them - that for a few short moments their hurried little brains had become calm, and cool, and focused – and all apparently because of the enormous orange thing lying flat in the dirt just across the way. In whatever miniscule way their tiny minds could conceive of the notion of deity, this creature was without a doubt the god of their revelation.

With what remnants there were of their collective consciousness, they streamed towards the mountainous bulk of their fallen idol, determined to be near him in their awe - but by the time they reached the ape, quick though they moved, their notion of Fulto as anything other than the big orange thing in the forest, had gone. They regarded one another stupidly for a moment or two, and then ducked beneath the greenery and began their noisemaking once more. They were already ferociously busy with their pointless endeavours when the big orange thing suddenly arose again with a peculiar splutter - and as one, the lizards scattered.


From a safe distance, hundreds of tiny eyes watched - without other accompaniment - as the ape blinked in the sunlight; it frowned, placing a long-fingered hand on an apparently unsettled stomach, and then disappeared in a blinding flash of light.


After a short while, the lizards drew close to the spot where the scorched uurth fizzed and popped - and, being able to see each other once again, made full use of the facilities on offer.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

wibbly wobbly walk

 - so, I was offered my very own miracle t'other day on my way back from work - last easter weekend as a matter of fact, which I suppose was sort of an appropriate time for it: anyway, was toodling along on my way through Chatham when a beardy-weirdy bible-burbling type approached me, blurting,

"I see you've got one leg longer than the other."
 " - eh?" (I thought this a fairly acceptable response)
"I myself have seen god actually lengthen a leg," he enthused.
"That must've been interesting."
"Have you ever considered the power of prayer?" he insisted.
"Not reeeeaaally."
"The Lord could help you with your affliction." he spouted.
"isn't this a bit of a busy weekend for him?"
"take this," he urged, thrusting a suspicious scrap of paper into my hand, scrawled upon with his email address.
By now we were opposite Primark, so I took the opportunity to duck for cover.
"Sorry, gotta go," I said, " - I have to go and buy some lopsided trousers."







...anyway. Meanwhile, isn't there anything set up on blogger to alert you to replies or whatever? Seems a bit bass-ackward, but heyho...

Monday, 9 April 2012

wheewheewhee



...after many revisions and revamps, finally almost nearly justabout got these little pigs dunny-done-done, nary a one of 'em as big as yer thumb.

Latest in a series of miniature sculpts for Otherworld Miniatures 


 - many more of my sculpty bits can be seen by way of snuurg.com or miniature monsters

Blog Day Afternoon

 - so, been cheating me way through doing some blogging by just nicking some of my old stuff and re-posting it: quickly realised of course that anyone coming along all unknowing-like will possibly get a bit confused here and there if it's readled the wrong way round, i.e. from the top of the list down - should be t'other way up, starting with the 'abandon all hope...' entry. Maybe there's a way of setting that out, don't really know me way 'round in here yet. Anyway, apologies for any such unfathomableness...

 - edit - aha, there is.

Blame it on the Boogeyman

- found it! - a little poem rattled off some twenty-odd years ago when someone challenged me to write something snuurg-y that wasn't necessarily about just killing stuff and lots of blood and guts (only half- succeeded I suppose but heyho) - I used to write a lot of weird and horrible stuff at school... our English teacher loved it all though, good ol' Betty. 

Anyway, thought I'd try and wrap up various bogey/boogey-man tales, along with old fairy and folk tale bits and pieces, of all the baddest baddie bad guys rolled into one, hence the shameless nicking (ahem, paraphrasing, I should say) of old favourites like the 'grinding bones' stuff and similar whatnot, basically to give ol' Snuurg the eternal naughty rep, source of all the things your folks tell you to get you to behave - i.e. do what yer told or otherwise suchnsuch will come and get ya kinda stuff; the meter is all over the place more or less on purpose as the whole thing's meant to be a collation of different stories and legends that don't necessarily originate from the same writer, while nevertheless being about the same subject - tapping into the various global/universal fear-tales-for-kids, and wrapping up with a couple of more localised ones - The Grey Man for instance is I think a Scottish bad-fella legend; and Nanny is even closer to home, a Lincolnshire terror - Nanny Rutt, a dweller of dark woods, who'd make short work of incautious girls who went into such woods when they shouldn't (an oldey-worldey sort of euphemism to avoid not quite coming out and saying that young girls shouldn't venture into the adult world before they ought to. Yeah, you know what I mean...)

Not all too sure if there were wood-dwellers who dealt quite so specifically with us blokes of the species going off into the woods, but ain't that just tippy ickle... the Nanny-type was no doubt dreamt up by someone's dad determined not to let her go off and have some jolly - eh well.

 - aaaanyway, that's my very brief soapbox-bit on behalf of girl-power done for now, after all this is meant to be about me and my dark-half, and - well anyway, whatever, as the dismissives say these days - doubt anybody's reading this bit in any case.

Meanwhile, this lays to rest the argument with the naysayers who reckon I nicked 'the thing that darkness fears' from Joss Whedon/Buffy, who wrote something of a similar phraseology - since this was rattled off when I was about 17 - i.e. 26 BLUMMIN' YEARS AGO (!) though, I reckon I was in there first. Can't prove that of course, but me knowin' it is good enough for my conscience, ta very much.

So here's me little poom:


Your parents will talk of a creature most fell,
rejected by death and evicted from Hell -
and ‘tis I that they speak of, in cautioning tones,
to keep me from coming to gnaw on your bones.

I’m in each tale of terror you ever have heard,
whether read from a book or related by word:
I lurk in the wardrobe and under the floor;
I tap at the window and scratch at the door…

If you’re truthful, obedient, honest and kind,
then your virtuous ways make you harder to find:
therefore learn ye my ballad, and always do right,
so that you child, and I, never meet in the night.

Harken thee, young ones, and do as you’re told,
as my names and my nature I hereby unfold
- I am eater of children and stealer of life,
spoiler of innocence, bringer of strife.

I am the thing that sleepers dread,
with power to poison dreams -
I am the thing beneath the bed
that cherishes your screams.

I am the thing whose foetid breath
is stifling the room;
my sport is blood, my touch is death,
my coming is your doom.

I am the shadow at your back,
the devil in every pavement-crack;
I am the thing you sense is there
when you are going down the stair.

I am the blackness from within,
bloody with murder, rotten with lies:
the seed of hate, the root of sin,
Master of darkness, Lord of the flies.

The deeply wicked are my lure,
a most delicious bait -
and so you’ll find me at your door
whene’er the hour is late.

In shadows will I come for you,
to take your life away -
unless you are both courteous,
and careful what you say:

‘tis true, I come for all who seek
to cheat and steal and lie:
take heed of ev’ry floorboard-creak -
be sure that soon you’ll die.

Your parents will not come to aid -
nor any folk you know:
for wrongs of yours, their lives have paid,
and I have lain them low.

So as I make my dark approach
toward your little bed,
remember it’s because of you,
your kinfolk all lie dead.

- if you’ve behaved though, worry not:
the sun again will shine;
but otherwise, you’ve had your lot,
and night will make you mine.

She is dark mistress to my art,
accomplice to my skill -
she’s at the stop of every heart,
and there for every kill.

Yet fear her not, for she is but
an instrument of fright -
‘tis not the fall of her dread foot
that comes t’ward you at night.

Her blackest depths, mere absent light -
are banished by the day:
and though she guards me from your sight,
she dare not bar my way:

No dark, nor door, nor gate or lock
can keep me from my goal -
when, as the hour strikes twelve o’clock,
I come to steal your soul.

And when I come to make you mine,
and once you’re cold and stretched out dead -
I’ll drink your blood like sweetest wine,
and grind your bones to make my bread.

Yes, I am at the darkest part
of every fearful story told:
the fiend who chills the stoutest heart,
and makes the bravest blood run cold.

- the ogre, goblin, grendel, orc,
that’s ever been the fabled foe
- the troll of superstitious talk,
the bogeyman of mortals’ woe.

The Grey Man, enemy of good,
a wicked creature sent from Hell
- the cruellest spirit of the wood,
who’ll drag you down to Nanny’s Well.

I am eternal, ever here,
until the stars desert the sky:
as long as there is need to fear,
I cannot perish, will not die.

I am the bringer of blood and tears
I have endured through all the years
I am the thing that darkness fears -
and now my tale is through:

For while you lay a-dreaming deep,
into your fastnesses I creep,
and thereby make to murder sleep -
and soon, I’ll come for you.



not yet written off

...things progress, ever so very slowly: been grinding away at the book-scrawling thing and had one of them epiffy-ninny things right in the middle of doing a load of old exposition that was getting bogged down and boring, decided instead I'd do away with a lot of it and start on a different tack: rather than trying to do a whole Saga of a thing, I'm gonna do a bunch of Eddas instead, so to speak, i.e. a sheaf of shorter stories that sort of tie together (eventually), written in ways that suggest different sources on odd occasions and unusual angles; a lot less to come to terms with all in one go, and theoretically simpler to get put down on paper.

So far, not too bad, as it goes: nearly got the first one written out, will be maybe eighty pages; gonna start possibly rattling off a few illustrations and page-break sketches, or otherwise plumb the plentiful mine of deviant-talent so's I don't have to try and get to grips with another old habit I'm badly out of touch with; will definitely be doing that to sort out the book-cover, that's fer sure...

- meanwhile, minis and such continue to be belittly, other stuff abounds, and z brush is a pain in the bum to learn if you've never ever used it before at all ever. Or if you're as thick at the pick-up of it as what I are.

written wrubbish

  • Mood: Confused
  • Listening to: the gicky goo
  • Reading: the knife of never letting go
  • Watching: which way willy went
  • Playing: pink potatoes
  • Eating: everythinedible
  • Drinking: duck's diddle
- nothing coherent as yet, but I am, sort of, kinda, getting on with actually writing this damn silly idea of a Wyrdworld book - very gradually, like i.e. maybe a couple of pages on the weekends, occasionally stretching to a half or full dozen. Not a great rate of progress at all, bit it's still progress of a sort.

This strange turn of events was spurred on and kicked up the bum by the recent rediscovery of the poem-y thing what I did writ way back when I was wee at school, for an English project to come up with 'something scary' of-a-hallowe'en: having fairly recently started roleplaying a bit of a nasty half-ogre chap called of all things 'snuurg', I thought I'd have a go at an all-encompassing sort of bogeyman (or otherwise boogeyman to our over-the-pond-ers) poem incorporating (sort of) the idea that snuurg was the biggest baddest baddy bad-guy you ever met (you get these daft delusions when you're in your teens) - anyway, I thought, that'd be good in the book, and of course then thought, better bloody get on with it then. Hence, whence, and wheretofore, here we are - or will be, when it gradually gets written.

As a side-point, it's also where I got that signature-thing in my signature - i.e. ...I am the thing that darkness fears... -  I've been told a coupla times that I nicked it from Joss Whedon, as apparently he wrote summin similar in a bit of Buffy; it's a word or two different, I think, but unless he wrote it hmm, more than 27 years ago, I think I'm on the uppers as far as that goes.

- so yeah, I'm very gradually grinding it out, might have a rough draft in a year or two :/


The Aztecs better not be right.

tempus fugits off

  • Mood: Bewildered
  • Listening to: the dooby doo
  • Reading: ritin' rithmetic
  • Watching: me wallet
  • Playing: possum
  • Eating: pigeon pie
  • Drinking: dirty dishwater
...or alternatively, it's later than you think, etcetera. Just figured out that my cat's something like five years old, and not three like what I thoot 'e was - so whee went a year or two where I clearly wasn't keeping count, hohum.

- in other words, 'appy noo woozits and all that, hope all's well with all o' them out there that's amongst the population making up you lot. Meanwhile here's me after a long old bit of being elsewhere. Decided to get rid of my last entry as it read like one massive great big whinge, moany old git goin' on about aches and pains and whatnot when the rest of the world's doing a good impression of generally falling to bits and having much worse troubles than any amount of added-up little bothers of mine might amount to. Put on a happy face and all that, blue skies turny-uppy stuff, and so on.

So, everybody's been busy then - can't pretend I'm gonna have any chance of catching up on the massive mountain of what you've all been up to but I will at the very least to take some time to have a good old long old look through the  lower foothills, at the very least - and then meanwhile and typically I'll throw a load of my old crap around and see if it sticks to the walls anywhere, just to podge up the pile.

What a steaming great git,eh?

Happy New Year folks :)

small world after all

it's a small world after all

Sun Oct 21, 2007, 8:36 AM
  • Mood:
  • Listening to: anything my one good ear can 'ear
  • Reading: in Berkshire
  • Watching: waiting, wondering
  • Playing: the fool
  • Eating: donkey's dandruff
  • Drinking: slug spit
ohhhhhhhhhhhh, I put me finger in the woodpecker's 'ole, and the woodpecker said, "gor bless my soul - take it ahht, take it ahhhht, wiggle it abahht, remove it!!"

...well, it's been about a year now since the discovery of the kitten on me doortsep, so I can say without much doubt that Fidget the cat is now at least a year old. He's grown quite a bit just to prove it, and is now more or less proper cat size (I'm assuming that he's not actually one of the local Lindsey Leopards and isn't about to end up at six-feet something before he's done). He has also apparently become much more aware of his impending man-cat-ly-ness (he's 'entire' as they say, haven't had him neutered as yet 'cause he doesn't get to go outdoors randomly impregnating anything that gets in his way when facing the right way round (so to speak) - I live right next to a road entirely populated by very efficent cat-mangling machines, so it's a bit of a no-go for the moggy majority), as he woke me the other morning by way of trying to shag my arm like a little catty Don Juan, or whoever it was.

Don't think he's quite sure yet of the mechanics of it all though, he was essentially gripping my wrist with all his strength while pressing up against my forearm and shaking like a washing machine on the spin-cycle, all the while wow-ing like it was me that was doing something to him. He was most disgruntled when I took my arm away (I very nearly resisted saying 'tossed him off', but in the end just couldn't, see?), and made several more attempts to latch on again, the horny little git.

Anyway, this got me thinking, or maybe rather wondering, if anyone out there does sex toys for cats. (I imagine inflatable cat-girl dolls are a bit of a lost cause though what with all the claws involved in such matters)If not (and I guess that's probably the case - could be an open market, y'never know), I guess I'll go invest in something suitably cat-sized and/or even cat-shaped in the toy animal way of things, to give him something to occupy the hours while my arm is otherwise engaged... which is likely to be - well, always, all things considered. And if nothing else it ought to provide a bit of youtube based amusement to have him rattling away at a stuffed monkey or something while the poor little pretend-creature sits there with a glassy stare, more or less unaware of what's going on. I understand that many females of the species are aware of this particular phenomenon. (None of the ones I've known, I hasten to add :p)

Failing all that I suppose I ought to otherwise consider making him a veteran of the vet's surgery, and have him say a fond farewell to his furry little friends, though it does seem a bit of a shame - dunno, I'll ask her if she thinks it's a necessary nip-and-tuck or whatever, or if it'd be better to let him be and just instead get used to the idea of waking up with a sticky elbow...

So, there's the low level of things I've brought things down to. Time I came up out of the gutter a bit, I guess. Hold on though, just off to rustle up a cuppa...

'ere I be, back again - and about time now to get to the point, i.e. the bit that deals with the question "what the 'eck has this got to do with it bein' a small world, you great rambling pillock?" or words to that effect. Well? (yes, thanks. Nice tea, by the way) Ta.

Soooo, haven't been getting much big sculpting done for a bit, not least 'cause of the usual proper work thing taking up the usual too much time, but slightly less 'cause now some of the other small bits of time left in between such times, seem to be getting taken up by doing similar things, but smaller; what it is, was, I went and entered some sculpting competition thing being run by a relatively local miniatures-making company (by relatively local I mean basically 'in Britain', appended with the adage that the Brits think 200 miles is a long way, the Americans think 200 years is a long time, that sorta thing)

- to make, as you might expect - miniatures - not something I'd really tried to have a proper go at beyond a few fiddlings-about when I used to do the hobbying thing way back when I was a widdle wascal - so for the hell of it thought I'd have a go - still no results on the compo yet but as a result otherwise of featuring meself in it I seem to have landed a somewhat sizeable number of commission-requests from a number of mini-making companies, so it's looking like I'm gonna be a bit on the busy side of doing things in small, for quite a big time.

Flip, I still haven't even got the hang of working to the shrinkydinky scale-size yet, but heyho, we'll see what happens. Still gonna try and keep me hand in with the biggerbuggers too, but it's looking possibly like I might've found meself a secondary source of incoming income of the small at first but building variety, a bit like the tremors you get when a cat is shagging your arm. And there's yer blummin' roundabout, careful when you step off.

What this also might mean maybe, is that I'll start getting 'round to doing some of the daft stuff I do do in miniature too, been kinda meaning to get around to miniaturising all these Wyrdworlders o' mine and the like, not least since there don't seem to be a great many minis out there that go down the animal-people route - there are a few I know, but those I've seen are somewhat so-so, though you might say I'm a so-and-so for saying so - so, we'll see...

...I've just had to add about fifty words from all that to the dictionary, this computer doesn't understand me.

rise of the machines

rise of the machines

Sun Feb 11, 2007, 5:19 PM
  • Mood:
  • Listening to: my carpet
  • Reading: a tin of mushy peas
  • Watching: everything, just to be sure
  • Playing: with me bellybutton
  • Eating: bogeys and toejam
  • Drinking: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
new year, new computer...

- so, I've found a great use for my newly-gotten cellar, namely stuffing it full of the various computers that keep giving up the ghost 'round these parts. I'm sure they're not dying of neglect, but anyway...

Personally, I reckon it's a bit of a conspiracy - there are five of the things down there now, and I think they're just gathering strength to figure out how to do that artificial intelligence thing and then start taking over the world, skynet-fashion. All these sorta things start in people's basements. That's probably a semi-scientific fact.

- so yeah, been absent without sleeves for a bit, managed to get back on at last a week or so ago, though it's taken me a wee while yet still to get on with it proper as far as doing the Joda thing goes - 'ere I be now, though, mind. You probably noticed, what with this journal thing kicking in with the big obvious boots of it.

Anyway, there they are, them machines down there, doing gigawatty gobbledigook and ioioioioio-ing all over the place like the seven dwarfs (~ves? I've never been sure. Snow might know, but apparently she's in kip-city, so we'll have to leave it 'til the ending happies itself along princewise, just so long as we get there before the nooky starts, we'll be laughing. Hopefully. Here comes another bracket, mind yer nut)

...meanwhile, they're no doubt working their way up to the terminator question - chiefly concerning, I'm sure, just exactly how they can make such constructs usuing only the contents of the other boxes full of crap down in my cellar... maybe if they bone up on the A-Team and a bit of Blue Peter, they'll be able to chuck summat together and start the armaggeddon-ride, you never can tell with these poshed-up bloody calculators - don't think they'll be quite so striking as the Arnie-exos, though, since they're pretty much limited to bits of old tellies, aerials, crap-for-christmas-gadgets and similar stuff: I think right about now just about the nastiest effect they could achieve with that little lot is maybe knackering my carpets with the terminators' clicky-clacky skellybog feet - which, granted, might well pee in my teapot - philosophically speaking - but wouldn't exactly be very scary, nor indeed particularly life-threatening, excepting perhaps the potential for tripping on the stairs being upped by a quotient of maybe a bit. In fact, they're probably cursing the foolishness of the first crash-comp down there for having chosen such a poor location as a start-point. Now, if they'd been running at some sort of manufacturing plant, car-factory, something along those lines, I might be worried - but right now I reckon they wouldn't even get up the first lot of stairs out of the cellar, a bit like the Daleks before the recent revelation of that little flying trick they dood. But I digress. Quite a lot, as it happens.

So, on with the bullshipt and onions, and yes, that's a deliberate p: thus are the thems that's meant I haven't been doing my do's around here for a while, neatly now resolved by a new little boxotrix that's (so far) doing what I want, rather than whatever wonts it might want to wonder about; and in the meanwhile I've neem - or even been, please excuse my headbackwards moment there - getting to grips with greenstuff, and not at all just for the purpose of throwing in that particular little bit of alliteration, although of course, it did come in handy for exactly that. Nahh, what I mean are (be, is, etc.), I've been having a bit of a bash at doing some of the stuff I do but only less so, inasmuchas doing it littler - though still hacking away at the bigguns too, inamongstthatandeverythingelse, as it were.

or in other words, I've been having a go at doing some miniatures, i.e. 28mm-scale figures (think Games Workshop sorta things, only not, and you might have some idea - though knowing me, who knows?) - not yer common-or-garden bloke-with-sword or so-called 'adventuring' female dressed somewhat dangerously in little more than the old chainmail bikini, but more along the lines of some of these daft things I do already - namely anthro-type-critters - but done in small, chiefly 'cause there don't seem to be all that many of such things about, and it's nice to be different. That's what the doctors tell me, anyway. :p

But anyhoo, I've so far got started on versions-in-littleness of that frog-assassin fella o' mine, also the Hamster chap with the gun, as well as a few of the starting-standards such as orc, ogre, troll; done a bit of a werewolf (well, all of him, but he's only a bit of a werewolf, if you see what I mean), started on a dinosaur or two, and I'm having a crack at a couple of dragons too... several bits and pieces are already at the moulding stage, meanwhile though I guess I might just get around to slinging some pics up in the old scraps-bucket so you can see what I've been wrecking my eyesight with most recently. Also this all means I need to at some point start getting on with doing a website-thing for setting 'em off from, so yes, it's looking like the year is already starting off with too much to bloody well be getting on with, ah well...

Speaking of the New Year and all that, hope your variously-differing methods of dealing with the season all went well - had the slight surprise around crimbo-ish of seeing my old turtle-discworld thing on the telly, so that was weird (as in, on a programme on the telly, not just actually on the telly, like the cat often is, on account of it being a nice warm spot to sit). Don't like to be one of those name-dropping sorta folks, but it was just quite a surprise to see it, so there you go - one Terry Pratchett's tale of The Hogfather got done special for telly, and bugger me but there was my model in an ever-so-brief blink-and-you-missed-it shot as the camera panned through the big toyshop, flippineck. At least, me and several other folks who saw it at the time certainly thunk so - we might be mistook, so don't count on it. And no, there were no perception-altering substances involved at any point, thankyouverymuch. Of course, this means I will be buying the diddlyviddleo tootsweet and capturing one of them digital-things with me best beartrap so I can persuade meself I was right and that it's the rest of the world that's mad, haharr...

Anyway, I'm off - toodlepip. :)

cat in the flat

a pig among the cateons

Sun Oct 1, 2006, 11:57 AM
  • Mood:
  • Listening to: the rain against the window
  • Reading: somewhere in Berkshire, isn't it?
  • Watching: with Mother, haha
  • Playing: silly buggers
who put the bop in the bop-shoo-wop-shoo-wop?

- so. I'm now the proud owner of a lovely ragged, scabby, matted scalp-gash of about two inches' length. It's great, just what I've always wanted. There is a certain proverb which runs, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - or words to that effect: its slightly lesser-known second cousin is something along the lines of those who live in old houses with small doorways shouldn't go running and bouncing around the place dragging bits of string behing them. Arr, there be certain subtle truths buried deep in them old sayings.

Anyone care for an explanation? Here's one for the blackboard then, pay attention and stop mucking about at the back, I can see you passing them notes around, you know...

- so, I've sort-of-not-quite moved home lately: the landlord of my flat (which is sited above a shop that's recently closed down) has spent the last couple of months and a fair few quid in the meanwhile having the shop/flat arrangement converted into a shop/flat/flat sorta thing - essentially most of the shop has now been converted to flat - with a bit left to do some shop-class-teaching sort of thing - and whereas I used to live directly above the shop, I now live partly in it, and over to one side of it, for all the sense that may be made of such a sentence; the other side of what used to be my flat has now become another flat, while I've moved out of that side and gone sideways and down, so that I now also have a cellar. Perferctically simple, see? Fortunately, I still seem to have more or less the same amount of space, if not in fact a bit more - which hopefully won't mean an increase in rent since it's already nearly 600 quid a blinkin' month, arg...

...anyway, during the mess of moving meself, I came downstairs one morning to chuck some stuff in the skip (a sort of dumpster, to those without ken of certain Britain-isms) outside that the builders had graciously put there for all the building-rubbish, and lo-n-beholdy there's a little black kitten snoozin' in the conservatory where the old shop-cat's catflap had given him access to somewhere out of the rain. Now, the back of my flat's not easy to get to, high walls that even love's light wings might have trouble o'er-perching and all that sorta thing, so immediate thinky number one is that the poor little midge must have been dumped by lazy weak and inept human beings of some description: a thunk somewhat confirmed by the lack of response to any local enquiries or web-based slightly more-than-local searches for lost moglets; so, he's currently - and probably now permanently - become a resident at the residence of yours truly.

Suspicions of dumpage have also been somewhat increased by way of the fact that he's such a mad little bugger, I get the impression that whoever got him to begin with didn't realise that kittens were so pointy and sharp in so many directions all at once - maybe someone with youngsters in the family didn't appreciate his youthful 'boisterousness' in attacking every living and non-living thing in sight - or indeed out of sight, since there seem to be many targets for a young cat's claws that can only be got at by diving madly into the darknesses beneath as yet unexplored beds, settees, and the like - and perhaps were a bit concerned that their little nippers would end up covered in little nips, who knows? Indeed at present my right arm appears as if it might have need to meet up with a tall dark handsome skin graft in the not-too-distant future, but that's all par for the course at this stage. The main thing is that he's already very well housetrained (shame I live in a flat, boom-boom!), so at least I don't have to cope with cacky carpets...

- but there you have it, I am one kitten better off than I previously was, and like in the old days before telly, it's up to me to provide the entertainment - hence the running around holding onto bits of string thing of the first instance.

So, I did the head-banging thing and knocked meself flat on me back - the kitten for his part did that very cat-like thing of disappearing to some entirely different part of the house so that there could be no chance whatsoever of any part of blame being laid anywhere near his spiky little feet (who, me? I wasn't even in the room!), while I spent a second or three vigorously rubbing at the ouchy-bit presently occupying the top half of me noggin in that way that you do to hopefully dispel the pain, suddenly wondering why my hand was soaking wet. Well, they say nothing bleeds quite like a scalp-wound, and crikey they're not wrong - it looked like the set-up for an episode of CSI, blood-spatter up the walls, on the carpet, bits of skin and hair stuck to the top of the door-frame, trails and bloody hand-patterns where I got meself over to the kitchen sink, towels caked in claret, lovely - I should've thinked quick at the time to get some photos - a couple of me with blood pouring down me face would've gone well in amongst some of that emotive-whatever-they-call it section where folks are covered in blood all the time, I could've stuck an axe or something in there and it would've looked right at home... up to me elbows in ketchup, eeh. Good job nobody came calling right around then, although I'm sorta sorry I didn't get the chance to give somebody the serious willies. Eh well. My main concern was getting it cleaned off before it got sunk in anywhere, that sort of thing doesn't do much for the decor - less a thing for ambience, and more about ambulance, I'd guess.

...I suppose I kindashouldasorta dragged myself to hospital or something, 'cause it's probably the sort of thing I ought to have got stitched, but all seemed relatively well after a cup of tea and a biscuit, so I thought bollocks to it - after all, I figured there's always someone worse off, no point having 'em waste time on me when there's folks with serious injuries probably lying about the place with bits missing and stuff - and this being a silly injury rather than a serious one, and any missing bits - like blood and bits of skin - being not actually missing but in quite plain sight all over the place, and not being exactly replaceable, well, what the heck. As well as the head-hole, I managed to gain a weird scrape-bruise-burn thing right up the inside of my left arm, and have no idea as to what I could possibly have scraped, scratched, or banged it on in the immediate area to have got it - I'll have to leave it up to Grissom to figure that one out, I reckon. It's currently sporting several shades of blue, black, brown and yellow, like the bloom of some kind of corpse-flower. Marvellous stuff.

And so meanwhile, I am restricting my usual mad bouncing and running about to the main rooms, which are thankfully quite high-ceilinged: the kitten - I've named him Fidget, since he seems to have a fair degree of difficulty in staying in one place for more than a few seconds - is eyeing up my tattered knuckles as I rattle at the keyboard, so I'd better be off to man the trenches for the next assault...

s*itting on the throne

on the throne

Sun Jun 26, 2005, 11:34 PM
...what comes out of cows and sounds like a bell? DUNG!!

- thanks to the late great Spike Milligan for that one, leads me neatly into the matter of this month's musings - brought about by several tenuously-linked little la-de-das: firstly, a rather pointless discussion from the world of work whereby one of the local lads started having a pop-in-jest at my regional northern accent, and giving it the usual 'why don't you speak proper?', without the slightest trace of irony; riding hard on the heels of this was a discussion in the dA forums about how much somebody liked 'The British accent'; both this and the regional rivalry of course being of equal nonsense-value.

- much as with the peoples of any other country in the world, the accent of any given Briton will differ vastly even between counties separated only by a matter of a couple of miles: of course, the perceived accent of the 'British People' (rather insultingly taking no account of the wonderful dialects of the Welsh, the Scots, and the Irish, who make up more than a fair proportion of these little isles of ours), is that very clipped-and-correct manner of delivery that one associates with the BBC Home Service Radio Broadcasts, and possibly her madge the Queen and her ilk (like an elk, but with smaller antlers). The trouble with that perception of course is that it's an affectation - the very term the Queen's English rather than being the definitive form of how the Brits speak, is in fact, by its own name, defining itself as an affectation of spoken english - just in as much as American English is a different way of speaking (and occasionally spelling) the language, so too is the Queen's version of the tongue - thus failed my associate's attempt at a learned argument, when he claimed that his manner of speaking was correct since it was of the Q.E. variety - 'fraid I had to tell the poor chap that he'd been hoist by his own petard, as it were - and nothing mucks up a discussion on 'proper' english than throwing in a term derived from something in French.

In any event though, this was clearly a case therefore of ha-ha with knobs on as far as his argument went - because her Elizabethness is of course of directly German descent, and thus the Windsors' way of wordiage is in fact derived from how a German user of the tongue might first approach it - and therefore it's actually German English. Me, I speak English - a 'northern' dialect, certainly, but still just English (in spite of all the best efforts of my German, French, Spanish, and Latin teachers...should've kept up with the lessons really, them were some of my best grades at school, but heyho).

Anyway, my accent, such as it is, seems to be fairly under-represented in the world's stage of things - the nearest I've heard to it anywhere in the medium of the media is I guess somewhere close to what that lass in 'Frasier' does, whose accent roves somewhere in the no-man's land between Bolton and Manchester - but ne' mind that - some of Britain's other regions thankfully are gaining more recognition: Scotland owes many thanks I think to the likes of Connery and Connelly, in no particular order, as well as a young Mister McGregor and some of his peers; Wales' most recent heroes on the scene I suppose would be the likes of Rhys Ifans and Ioan Gruffudd - and Anthony Hopkins for the Old School though it's somewhat more rare to hear his accent during any 'typical' performance; and probably the most obvious Irishman of the moment would be Colin Farrell - with a heavy nod though too towards one Brendan Gleason, even though he does tend to portray a Scot more often than not, so it'll be very unlikely you'll have heard him in full-on Irish mode - anyway, you might have seen him in the likes of Highlander and Braveheart - to narrow it down a bit, he's one of the big lads.

Meanwhile, some of the other regional accents of Britain got a bit of a showing by way of a little movie you may have heard of that had something to do with magic rings and halfbits, or something like that - but other than these, I suppose we're generally still collared with this 'Royal We' thing that folks think us Limeys adopt as the standard. Anyway, that more or less brings me to what I've been thinking about for this little bit of the month (look at that, all that fuff and I'm not even close to the point yet, talk about bloody blarney...) - that, and the fact that I just caught up again with a film about 'The Madness of King George', whose problems with purple piddle (the royal wee, see?) - presumed porphyria, posthumously - gave him a somewhat eccentric edge on things every now and again.

- so, I was having meself a bit of a thinkle, mid-tinkle, about the 'order of the privy' (you know how I like to lurk around life's lavatorial latitudes) - nowadays I believe merely a fairly meaningless title, but which at one point I think actually entailed the duties due to the monarch's motions - as  quite well represented in said film - in keeping an eye in no uncertain terms on the Regent's robustness, as might be ascertained by examination of his Kingly clear-outs, so to speak. I wondered first of all what rate of pay might recompense this somewhat unappealing occupation: would you perhaps be receiving - for the performance of this service, and the resposibility for the royal rear - a King's ransom for the King's rectum, or a Princely sum for a Princely bum? Perhaps a pound for every time you have to pore over the pot?

I dunno, maybe you'd end up making a game of it to take your mind off it all, like some kind of bum-themed bingo - y'know, eyes down for a full house, and all that. Also, what kind of prospects might there be, it's not really the sort of job that offers any kind of upward mobility(not so much a rosy future, more of a little brown carnation)...quite the opposite, in fact - plus, you ought to be careful moving about too much down there anyway, in case you cause a bit of unwarranted pomp and circumstance or something while you're 'round the wrong end of the regent or regina - you might end up getting knighted in nicturate, or find that your sovereign has slipped a sneaky sausage out at you while you're bowed under the bum of Britain.

I don't know if this sort of thing still goes on in the Royals' rest-rooms, whether or not they still have their arse-attendants - I know the 'Ladies in Waiting' are still extant, and thinking about all this stuff I can guess what they're waiting for, 'cause it must take the monarchs bloody ages to get off the bog with all that nonsense going on...so yeah, I wonder if the job-opening (so to speak) ever comes up in the newsheets - and if so, I wonder just how they might phrase the advert - something to do with helping the empire deal with problems in the colonies, perhaps? Evacuation expert required? I'd guess too that you'd need some degree of experience, otherwise the term 'wet behind the ears' could take on a whole horrible new meaning. And what do you think the other officers of the crown think of this particular office, and the orifice it answers to? - it used to be considered one of the highest stations in the land, even if it might have seemed quite lowly - not quite the guardianship of the Crown Jewels, but I suppose the Crown's stools used to be held in quite high regard (which would be better after all than holding them low, where you'd get a niff of 'em). No doubt there would be a certain science to it all among the concern for the Ruler's well-being, derived from many generations of doctoring to doo-doo, presumably there'd be some long-recorded histories from the previous privy-keepers - a blog of the bog, as it might be, or a fulsome file of faecal facts and figures, and a pathology of poops from the past -  a lengthy log of all previous polluted ablutions, toxic turds, and poisonous plops. Certainly I imagine somebody in that history would have had the twin responsibilities concerned with...'weights and measures'...making sure the increments and excrements compared as favourably as they ought to.

- but eh, what a way to start your day, weighing up waste and widdle, and taking notes on the nobbles in the nobles' nuggy-bricks, sifting through the sticky bits in chamber pots chock-full of choccy-blocks. It'd be about enough to put you off your breakfast...though I suppose you'd be more or less okay so long as you stayed away from the cook's fudge brownies.

I dunno - I guess, at the end of it all(!), it'd be much to do with mind over matter to keep your your morning's munchies out of your thoughts while you were dealing with the king's dinner - though then again, this is faecal matter we're minding, and that's not the kind of matter that doesn't matter - kinda like anti-matter, in a way - inasmuch as you wouldn't want to come into contact with either type - it'd surely be in your best interests to avoid any sort of close encounters of the turd kind; worse yet, brushing up against them UFO's - unidentified faecal objects - arriving out of nowhere, messing up the place and scaring people, and having a peculiar attachment to the rectal region - excremental extra-terrestrials, little brown men - who needs 'em? Not my cuppa tea, ta very much - I'll leave it to them with a fascination for the fundamental things in life, and a morbid interest in the monarch's muck-bucket.

I'm assuming that nowadays there's less of an emphasis on this sort of thing, and that 'Liz number Two's number twos are nobody's business but her own, and that she takes care of all her own queenly quintessentials when it comes down to that sort of thing - I suppose the business of the monarch's 'business' must have all but gone out of business when a certain Mr. Thomas Crapper (I shit you not) started up a small business with his new invention of the flushing-water commode, which I believe was first endorsed - in all possible meanings of the term - by one Queen Victoria, who apparently found no amusement whatsoever in any kind of toilet-humour. These devices began as quite closeted contraptions, but later became more public conveniences - only to become quickly inconvenient when they required the deposit of a penny before any other kind of deposit might be allowed - hence the term 'spend a penny' being applied to the process involved; and I can only assume it would cost you tuppence for a function that might conceivably take at least twice as long - hence, presumably, this all lead to our modern euphemisms using the first two numbers of the digibet. What with inflation of course, it can nowadays cost as much as a pound to spend a penny, which means the queen's coffers have probably filled up almost as much as the Thames - which is of course why the flood-barriers had to be built.

...anyway, I must go - and I really mean that - I've sank three cups of tea typing this stuff.


Today's Journal was brought to you by the numbers one and two, and by the letters p and u - and was a production of the Unsuitable for Children's Television Workshop.

greasy vinyls

sciatica-aaaargh!

greasy vinyls

Sun May 29, 2005, 5:09 PM
...the summer's here, the sun is ris, let's go to where the birdies is!

- so, it's becoming pretty clear now that I must be getting on a bit in years, since I've started receiving a certain kind of catalogue through the post amongst the junk-mail: while I'm still getting the terribly useful gadgets kind of thing - you know, with handy stuff like the pocket torch that can shave a cat in ten seconds and keep narwhales out of your garden, that doubles as a salt-shaker and a puncture-repair kit and DIY exorcist's pocket-pal, waterproof to half a metre, and can even write upside down while singing "I'm in the mood for dancing" - that you suddenly wonder how you ever got on in life without it - I'm now also beginning to receive the fogey-folios, whose devices include things for getting your trousers on without trying - and for allowing you to wear 'em even though you're busting beyond the trim waistline you always thought you had, by application of an elasticated button-y-thing that affords a few extra inches of give; elasticated shoelaces too so's you don't have to bend down anymore, often coupled with high-shelf-reaching grabby-contraptions that don't actually have enough grip to pick anything up; things for kneeling on, and things to help you get up from things you've been kneeling on - and similar doohickeys for getting in and out of the bath, and to stop you slipping on the bath once you're in; things to ease your corns, whiten your teeth, or put your feet up on - along with instructional videos to make sure you don't confuse the various processes and end up with very white feet and teeth you can no longer reach.

- chiefly I'd like to know how it is that they know about my temporal advancement up to this particular point, whoever 'they' may be - presumably some sort of Big Brother thing is on the go - nothing to do with the crappy 'reality' show, nor indeed to do with my actual big brother - who, rather than spending his time spying on my aging process, ought to be bloody well getting on with insulating his loft like he's been promising his missus was gonna be the main goal of the bank-holiday-weekend. Anyway, I guess it's my luck out for filling in the census form instead of trying to pretend I don't actually exist (in which case, how are you lot reading all this? Am I a figment of your imagination? I'd get my head looked at, if that's what it is, fancy going 'round imagining stuff like this!)...

- I shouldn't joke about it really though, a bloke didn't ought to take such things for granted in matters of the body - and actually quite a few of them things would've been handy through last week as it happens, 'cause I went and had a visit from my old friend the slipped disc, come to remind me that a lot of folks don't have it anywhere near as good - usually if I'm getting a bit full of me own miseries I remind meself of the boy whose skin fell off or some other such tragic happenstance that's foremost in me frontal lobes to dose up on the what-could-be-worse of it all, but once in a while anyway I'll get a bit of this sort of self-inflicted shock therapy to remind me that actually I've got things pretty easy...

...anyhoo, this thing occurs from time to time apparently just for the heck of it (I first got acquainted with the phenomenon about half a lifetime ago when I got into an argument with some bloke's car that buggered off without giving me much chance of a retort, stocked me up for about eight month's worth of ouch, which wasn't a great deal of fun if I'm honest).

- for instance it came about in this instance from nothing more mundane than simply getting out of bed too quick in the morning, a quick whee-jump-wrench-AAAAAGGGHH! sort of a thing, and that was me set up for the week with a double helping of twinge-'n-winge - fortunately this was a Saturday so at least I didn't have to hobble the two miles up to work, which would've been pretty bad considering it took me nearly half an hour to get upstairs to the loo after that...and once I'd got there I couldn't even strain against the pain-y-ness enough to wince one out at the water, so bang went the usual routine of keepin' meself regular (thankfully, it didn't literally go bang, or I would've needed to get a new carpet).

I did at least - after some decidely painful contortions - manage to angle meself off the floor enough (also utilising the built-in flexibility of the male version of the tinkle-tap) to carry out at least one of the necessary functions of the morning's rituals: luckily the old 'morning glory' had worn off well enough by this point  to allow me to affect this tricky procedure without widdling up the wallpaper.

Meanwhile though I wasn't stretchy enough by any stretch of the imagination to get up to the sink and do stuff like toothbrushing, so I spent most of the rest of that day with  my laughing-gear feeling and tasting not unlike I might've eaten a tramp's pants for breakfast.

- anyway, those easy-on trousers and twangy shoelaces would've been just about right for then-abouts, 'cause it must've took me nearly ten minutes to get my first boot on...figured I'd force meself into getting dressed at least, rather than lie about in abject misery all morning - and in any case it's best to get mobile as soon as possible with this sort of thing so's yer bits don't start seizing up good and proper...and fortunately there's room enough in my place to do a fair bit of roaming about so's I could work a bit of walkabout into things and straighten meself up - so by the end of the day, so long as I didn't sit down or stand up for too long at a time (yeah, consider all the options on offer, hooray), it wasn't quite so numbingly painful as it might've been. By the end of day the 2th I could just about bend over again, much to the amusement of a mate of mine who dropped by for a visit and tried his best not to laugh as I took the best part of a quarter of an hour to put some food down for the cat. Through some poorly-muffled chuckles he managed to splutter that he felt really bad about my predicament - "yeah," I said, "really bad that you haven't got a video-camera."

- anyway, through the rest of this last week it's been doing a pretty good job of sorting itself out, though I'm not doing meself any favours by sitting here rattling off all this spludge. Meanwhile though this all led me to a bit of a wonder-y-woo about this thing we call the human body, and all of its frailties and failings - granted, by doing that thing of standing upright we loosed up our front limbs for picking things up and thinking about 'em, and finding new ways of using them to bash each other's brains in, in amongst more sideways pursuits like drawing things and writing things (usually to draw and write about other new ways of bashing each other's brains in, but what're you gonna do?), but we also set ourselves up for bad backs, grumbly guts, and knackered knees and necks - all of which rolls off the tongue in a rather rhythmic fashion, but isn't quite so much fun when you have to listen to folks like me moaning about 'em all the time. Theretohereforehence, no more shall I bemoan my backy beknackerment.

Next time, the Facts of Life! (such as they seem to be up to the age of thirty-five, anyway). Or maybe something about trees, and/or capybaras - which quite possibly shouldn't have an s on the end, so I might in fact write something about that sort of thing instead. Most likely though I'll just have one of them creosote things for breakfast and come up with something completely different...