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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

St Bodolphs

If Grace Dieu was uneventful to a newbie such as I in the SPECTA group then St Bodolphs was a baptisim of fire as far as phenomena was concerned. This was an overnight job and quite a fair treck away from Leicester. At the meeting prior to the outing we discussed several reports of investigations that took place there from various groups like ourselves. This promised to be an eventful night by past accounts and although we researched up on the church none of us were prepared for the turn of events from the moment we set foot in the place.

I was very interested in Masonic symbolisim in architecture and was particularly keen to see all the symbols that where inscribed in the stonework and the crude satanic symbols also. As soon as we pulled up to the place I was struck by its complete isolation of its location , well away from any centre of population in fact it stood alone and surrounding it was about a hundred or so acres of wheat fields. There was a beaten path to the gatehouse of the church where we met the Church warden Ralph Benton, 65, who warned us "Satan worshipping has gone on. They come from Grimsby in the evenings, light fires and write symbols on the walls, I have gone to the church at three in the morning to try to move them on, but they swear at me so I don't like to go. I might get knifed'...I had come across such individuals such as satanists in the past before, I did not find them intimidating at all no matter what time of the day it was the only thing I found scary about them was their lack of objectivity.. Anyway St Bodolphs church gained the name as the Demon church as it was regularly used by Satanists in the latter part of the 70's and 80's and in 1998 it looked like it was still a regular place of worship if you'll pardon the pun. I was first to go inside, the church had been subject to mindless vandalism; one of these attacks resulted in the font being pushed from its pillar to shatter on the brickwork floor. The floor itself was covered in dessicated bird skelletons and feathers, hard veins of wax clung to the floor where makeshift altars of bricks lay and poorly painted pentagrams where daubed upon the stone arches. Our Group 'psychic' and the rest of the group went outside to recce the place and I stayed inside. It was still very much daylight and I just wanted to get a general 'feel' for the place. After a few moments or so I thought one of the group had turned on a radio in their car, as I stood under the belfry I could hear a distant beat, a beat that you could only akin to 'rave' music or what I call car alarm music (one sounds the same as the other) but as I listened this seemed to get louder and faster, Like a heart beat, this was too perplexing for me - as I tried reasoning;A we where out in a remote hamlet surrounded by acres of land, B it was a summers evening and there wasnt a mere hint of wind about (the air was like soup with the sultry day that was in it)but as it got louder I also dismissed it could be sound carrying from a parked car somewhere .I went outside, everyone was just chatting opening up their rucksacks, checking for equipment etc I asked them all to step inside and make sure it wasnt me hearing the blood rush inside my head. With no bell in the belfry and no sign of bats up there (still no pun intended)and no wind it was decided with the zero possibilty of the building, wind and tempature making this sound we couldnt explain it. All of a sudden it stopped after a few moments of us all listening. I asked Ralph later about the most 'recent' internments in the graveyard outside where he told me they where unnamed sailors from the war who where washed up on shore and buried there. I wondered if the malevolent forces that where reputed to be here, be a result of their restless souls to be with their kith and kin, who knows I thought..

We waited for the twilight to come and we set up the equipment and did several small vigils.Inside Andrew, John and I set up the video camera , camera and various object tests. In the recess of the church some mist was forming, we were about to dismiss it but looking through the lens we could see tiny flecks of light within the frame and two orbs of light(something which later freaked most of us out when we inspected the footage; apparently what they are discribed as RODS.) As it was a saturday night; the youth of Louth in the linconshire wildes, where the church is located, decided to drive down and inform us that they where the satanists and to leave their church. I was opening the boot of the car to get the traction beam (good ol Johns shop) when two of our guys (ex army) sent the two carloads of drunken gobby youths on their ways when they told them that they where from scotland yard doing an investigation. It was there abouts when the Madness broke out, The psychic whos name escapes me now, we shall call her Beth, started to scream that she was being attacked (by some unseen force)and had fell to the ground- out cold while her husband tried to bring her 'out of it' John grabbed the beam from me and said there was something moving in the wheat fields at incredible rate , he shone the light and several of the group vowed that they seen something like a panther momentarily and one of the army lads roared 'jesus christ!', as he seen a hooded figure by the devils door of St Bodolphs. Beth came to and told us that she felt like she had been badly beaten up and wanted to sit in the car too scared to go back for fear of what might happen her. For about another hour all things seemed to be quite again, and then the noise of the heartbeat started once more. Everyone was really tired and cold and we decided to go home. I guess the scariest thing that happened for me is that John was falling asleep at the wheel of the car on the two hour journey home and we stopped by a cafe for some serious Java for him and respite. Beth came out of the ladies and told us she had a few unexplained bruises on her chest and her back and vowed never again to go back there..I enjoyed the adrenilin charged night and would love to go back there but it seems out of my reach for the moment..

Skidbrooke Church the stripped interior and the missing windows only serve to emphasise the magnificent structure of this church on the great Louth Marsh.The last service was held in 1964 and the church is now in the care of the Redundant Churches Fund.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween

I know I know its like Ive just discovered You tube and even as Im typing this my man is laughing out heartily as he was mentioned this to me last night when I was posting but honestly this is my last one (for the week)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Genuine Face Value

A powerful video and song.

Lost in Translation

If you overlook the footage and just listen to the music (although it works exceptionally well married up to one another) I think youre inclined to agree that Christophe Beck is a name that we could possibly be hearing more of as a composer. I think its a beautiful piece and the fact that it was written for the buffy the vampire series just goes to show that Joss Whedon not only is one of the wittiest and articulate of writers in his genre but his eye for detail in every aspect of his productions is unique. Please dont knock buffy I think a lot of people dismissed it just because of its vampire angle...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh Gary! You do brighten up my day.

Hen Party

Its My sisters hen party tomorrow night (bridal shower) Now when hen party is mentioned over here it usually involves a stripper, adourning the bride to be with learner plates , a horned alice band and a mini veil.

Thankfully my sister has the good taste not to go down that road, its just a meal with 3 guys singing in sombreros. I have never been to a hens party before, most of my friends got married when I was in the uk, but as I write I remember going to a themed restaurant in Leicester with my friends Mel & Nick who were a delightful couple that simply loved 'entertaining nights' out. We would go to comedy clubs and they would host 70s barbeques etc Anyway the themed restaurant was called sunset boulevard, and as these places maybe quite common place in the states, they were still very much a novelty over in old blighty. Nick, was a comic genius in his own right seemed to revel in the anticipation. Mel had hyped this place all week telling me how there was a stage with an Elvis impersonator crooning over the 'hot bannana' sundaes. I was fired up and biting at the bit to get there. When we entered the place we noticed it was that the stage was right next to our table, I use to the word stage very loosely , this was more like the top of a school desk. Dont get me wrong the food was great and we never tired of the curled lip, gyrating hips and the 'thank you very much's but what made it for me was when during the interval of the show (bare in mind there were only about a dozen or so tables in the joint) when Elvis reached for his white towel and off stage for a breather he made his way to the bar where I was ordering drinks and I uttered the mythological sentence 'Elvis what are you having to drink?' to which he replied in full Elvis accent ' Rum and black, Bayhba!' I thought 'Pure class'. I dont think the 3 amigos tomorrow night will ever revive that kind of magic for me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Grace Dieu

So its coming up to Halloween soon and I was watching ‘most haunted’ last night (google it most haunted living TV uk) when I started thinking about when I lived in the uk. Things where not going well between myself and my chap at the time and in order to get on with things, and keep my sanity I immersed myself in different activities. I remember waiting at the bus stop outside Sainsburys in Leicester and there was a newsagent right beside the stop with a small card in its window ‘ Ghost hunters wanted’ and I thought to myself ‘that’s the job for me’ (I needn’t explain that Im a bit of a fearless freap for that kinda thing). So anyways I get home and ring the number and I was told to meet in a pub called the ‘old plantagenet’ the following evening. Now I knew the pub and it was a bit of an old boys place but I went anyway expecting something like a funeral directors convention going on but I was surprised that the people I met where quite older than my young 25 years at the time, most where knocking around their late 40s but good people , down to earth and all open minded and a tad sceptical which I seen as a good sign.The next evening we went on a walk around the city where Andrew, the founder of SPECTA (Search for Paranormal Evidence and Compilation of Theory into Apparitions)gave us a tour of the local ‘haunts’. One of the guys involved , John, organised a vigil for the next night on the outskirts of Leicester in the middle of nowhere and it was called Grace Dieu Priory where a reputed phantom French nun had been making a regular appearance to Bus drivers and Road workers over the past year.

We arrived at Dusk , and because of the twilight we went into the local pub with the canny name of ‘the bloody nun’ over its door and had a wee dram too warm us up for the nights vigil. John, who I mentioned before, started to dole out equipment and being the owner of a very large camping and outdoors shop had state of the art stuff including night vision googles, torches walkie talkies etc

GRACE DIEU PRIORY, Leicestershire.
The ruin and vicinity is allegedly haunted by a phantom nun thought to be Roisia De Verdun, a Canoness who is interred at nearby Belton Church.

Now the ruins of Grace Dieu is quite sprawling and in the middle of A grazing/pasture fields, B disused railway lines and C small uphill forest. Everyone was assigned to a ‘post’ as to were most of the sightings had been reported. Mine however was overlooking the disused railway line and the only access to it was over some farming gates and uphill through the forest . Id didn’t help that I drew the short straw for going it on my own since there where odd numbers. So as the new initiate steeled myself in front of the group with a demeanour of a marine on a mission and off I went.

Like I said it was pastureland and in the middle of the night without night vision goggles (my luck there wasn’t enough to go around) and the cow pats underfoot made like a veritable mine field, Never was I so happy to be on my own trying not to slip every five seconds and master climbing six foot farm gates so as not to do myself an injury with my shit encrusted trainers , My dignity would have been in shreds had I had someone with me and I was even embaressed for myself with the clumsiness of walking every 5 feet with my arms shooting out scrabbling for balance. I eventually got to a clearing where I could see the rail track and most of the other points of which my colleagues where staked out about seventy feet below. I was just about to radio in that I was in situ when behind me I heard a crack.

In that millisecond it sounded like a bone but soon registered it was a branch but not under my foot , as I slowly turned my head I heard this primordial bray or grunt - My heckles shot up and I turned to face what ever demonic beast it was…

There in front of me was a fucking cow! A Cow! I and everyone else within the vicinity heard the thick Irish roar of ‘Oh lovin Jaysus!’ exasperate out from within me. You see I wasn’t out of the proverbial woods yet. I couldn’t see if this was a cow or a pissed off bull but as soon as I shone my torch and in panic told it to fuck off it sped off like a stolen Porsche. I remember just laughing myself sick; half with relief and half with the sheer comedy of it all, and trying to recant the story to the rest of them when they scrambled to my aid. That certainly was NOT the most eventful vigil I had with Specta but it was the funniest..

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I predict a riot!

Our Children like any other two and three year olds are boisterous at the best of times and considering the size of our house which is a tad bijou its not very hard for them to get under our feet. Now living in our house there is not much they are scared of, our decor is both theatrical with the fixtures and furnishings looking like they came off some hammer set, its wall to wall old books, candlesticks, gargoyles, guilt frame picures with the odd minature ye old guillotine , art nouveau and art deco advertising tin signs mottled around the place - in short they are desensitised to all things dark and scary. BUT they have but one fear.....

As the only grandchildren in my side of the family my parents are quite prone to bringing them candy whenever they visit, it maybe the odd lolly pop or packet of chocolate buttons and I was aware of them getting quite a sweet tooth. There is an ice cream van that comes around our way about 3 times a week mostly around what I call 'second wind wind down time' which is around 6:30pm, they have had their bath and are running around playing and chasing with na'er a sign of sleep on them. Around this time the tinkle of 'Nelly the elephant' or 'Pop goes the weasel' can be heard as he drives by our house and stops at the corner of the road where the chimes continue for about another fifteen seconds or so to alert children and give them ample 'hassle time' for a '99' 'screwball' or just a plain ol' ice cream. I didnt want my children to associate this noise with ice cream or give them that kind of torment so close to their bedtime, so one evening after a long day at work and back to the homestead of doing dishes baths diapers and bottles putting away toys and getting the place with some semblence of order I cracked a little to control the chaos my two where unleashing and gasped...

'Quick! On the Sofa! Listen.. its the Babycatcher! '

I can hear you dial child protection already.. But it worked - Now they didnt tremble in fear nor did they cry - they simply obeyed and it put a stop to their gallop. If it had been any other reaction that disturbed them I would have probably ran out and got them an ice cream with guilt but it still works, what ever they are doing they will stop in their tracks and the mythological baby catcher chimes will give them a conscience and behave. 'listen Mama ! Babycatcher' they wisper with wide eyed inquisitiveness and thats it. Dont get me wrong Our children are good kids they have they very very odd tantrum but they are just children doing their job discription and otherwise there is not a malicious bone in their bodies and will always apologise for their actions if they overstep their marks.

But to every lie you have to face the consequences and as soon as they find out what the baby catcher really does to make a few schillings well then , as Ryan and I our days are numbered and as I write this this kaiser chiefs song resounds in my head 'riot a riot I predict a riot'...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Time travel on a saturday morning

One of the best saturday morning movies I have ever seen is Mystery Science Theatre 3000. I happened by it quite by chance while making Ryan his early morning coffee and his peels of laughter reverberated around the house. I have never laughed at the tv so much at that hour on a saturday and it felt like I was 10 years old again watching movies in my jammies with my corn flakes! Its all about this guy joel who gets captured in space and made 'talk' via torture with bad b movies with his crew side kick robots in the torture room which is really a cinema.The film is almost split into two, the first theater segments are where we watch the movie along with Joel and the robots, whose silhouettes can be seen at the lower portion of the screen where hey make fun of the acting, the special effects, the plot, and anything else that deserves to be mocked as have one thing in common - they are all bad. Really bad. The most common types of movies shown are science fiction movies. These include Godzilla and Gamera movies, futuristic movies, astronauts lost in space or exploring alien worlds, all types of odd monsters, and giant insects. But there are plenty of other film catagories represented: spy films, westerns, Christmas films, Hercules movies, horror films, skydiving, rebellious teens, ninjas, bikers, and Russo-Finnish mythology, to name but a few.The other part of the film (which is small in comparison) shows how the captor thinks he is unleashing pure pain on Joel and his crew which is hillariously ironic for the viewer. For those of us wanting to have that childhood carefree saturday hour or two ,take this celluloid time travel movie to bring you there..

Friday, October 20, 2006

Can you spot a murderer? Killer Quiz!

Its as the ad says 'it does exactly what it says on the tin'

Is it wrong?

To laugh as loud as I did and to be a mother?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Soundtrack to my life

There is a meme going around with people naming the soundtracks of their lives, smacks a bit of high fidelity but heres some off the top of my head without lying to be cool

The serphants egg - This was the first album I heard of theres and it basically formed my love for the ethereal and world music fusion . During this time I was about 22 was just out of college. I was still living at home and it was the first time I really felt at home with a certain type of music in other words it was like listening to a good friend with new stories.Lisa Gerrard has been described as a gothic nun and Brendan Perry a troubador vocally speaking. On some tracks they accompany each other, while others feature only one of the artist's chilling or mystical sounding vocals There are so many favorites of mine but stretched on your grave and american dreaming both have personal beautiful memories.

Cocteau Twins

Was around the summer of 92, I remember listening to this for hours in my bedroom working on making strange and elaborate envelopes to my boyfriend at the time who was in the uk, its one of the best backround creation albums that evoke the senses.For me Victorialand takes off where Prozac fails. It is the only known (apart from drugs that is) means of dividing the soul from the body, leaving the body to cope with life at a basic level, whilst the mind is set free to navigate the celestial heavens of experience and emotional reward and as for Heaven or Las Vegas This album is pure magic ....I close my eyes and I'm in the most formative years of my life feeling the warm summer nights lying on the grass with my close friends, ciggarettes and endless chatter and laughter, staring at the setting suns pink/orange clouds, awaiting another endless night.
Mer De Noms

This album I heard in 2001 I never really heard of the band until one day on a buffy site (yes Im a Joss whedon fand and proud of it) Someone quoted the Judith lyrics to me on a thread but never really bothered searching them out until I met my love, 3 Libras on the album is about being overlooked but the irony is wasted since it was the most magical time listening to the track on a cold night with a roaring fire under the covers with the one you love in its string-laden glory.
For some unknown reason this album sticks out for my late teens I loved it because of its fire ' Vulgar display of power' covered everything: decay of society, racism, war, peace, self-respect, self-loathing, love, loss of a friend, anger towards parents, hatred, everything and I loved it when listening to it on my 'walkman' (Im showing my age here) I felt indistructable. Its angry youth incarnate
This was the first music I heard when I arrived home with my first baby, Ryan had stayed up all night making sure the house was perfect, I was overwhelmed with everything and cried with pure joy to be home,and for the first time with my new family(hang on I think theres something in my eye..sniff).Do you ever find Music that every time you listen you are touched in an inexplicable way? It is as if the Music doesn't just filter through your ears but through your blood, your mind, your heart and your very Being. This music will soothe you no matter what emotion you have..
All About Eve & Nick Drake

These are the people responsible for me learning guitar at 17, it wasnt Hendrix or Page -just Tim from all about eve and Nick. I wrote a letter to joe boyd who wrote on the back of Nicks album 'heaven in a wildflower' and although Nick was dead years before, he passed it on to his mother and she wrote back to me thanking me for all the beautiful things I said and we continued to send each other cards on holidays etc which was really nice. I remember trying to learn marthas harbour and northern sky for hours. Now though with my dead finger cant play guitar.. Bahh

The thrill of the unknown

Im excited, the fruits of my labours in both personal and business worlds should reap a big dividend this week , with the latter knowing that I have orchestrated two of the biggest deals the company has reaped in two years. On a personal note I will find out if some of my hard work has paid off tonight for my six month hurdle... Fingers crossed..

there seems to be a strange mood in the atmosphere in general for everyone but Im avoiding it it seems..

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Tragic Ghosts of Highgate

Last night I was looking on how to re arrange all my prints in my living room after I paint it in time for christmas.All of them are framed in spectacular guilded frames with equally spectacular images. Most are of pre-raphaelite and Klimt women. Staring at them reminded me of my time visiting and living in the uk and wonderful memories of the museums, galleries and of course cemetries old blighty has.
I visited Highgate Cemetery in London several times - The first time upon visiting is overwhelming . Because I visited late afternoon in autumn many of my photos where hindered by a lack of light, but I made the most of it. The whole post-gothic Victorian necropolis is under siege by nature and every since then my regard for modern cemetries is viewed with almost clinical emotions, they are holes with boxes and markers where as somewhere like highgate and kensel green almost seems like a spiritual home to those 'who fell asleep' there, carpeted in Ivy, the wildlife in abundance gives the place a peaceful hive of activity - just before entering the Circle of Lebanon (a huge neo-Egyptian mausoleum complex)there lies a grave of a woman who's story drew me to the place. I had known highgate from many things, the almost focal location to many of the hammer films of the 70s to the 'vampire legend' that Sean Manchester was shamed for in the tabloids of that era too. But for more reason I had to see where one of the most famous and beautiful artists muse's of the pre-raphaelite movement lay.It was prehaps the most tragic love story of the victorian era about this truly unhappy woman who inspired, loved, and was loved by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Lizzie Siddal was brought up in London, the daughter of a Sheffield cutler who had moved South. Her father seems to have been a self-employed small businessman. She was first spotted by Walter Howard Deverell an associate of the Pre-Raphaelites working in a milliners shop. Deverell was so taken with her striking appearance, that he enlisted the aid of his mother to recruit Lizzie as a model. She became a favourite early model of the Pre raphaelite brotherhood, who referred to her as ‘Guggums’ or ‘ The Sid.’ I had to laugh when reading this , seems like the brotherhood where bit of barrow boys at heart, and for their day they where treated with the reverence and fervour of rock stars.
The first really famous painting in which Lizzie appeared was Ophelia, by John Everett Millais. The subject of the painting is Ophelia, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet drowning herself, after Hamlet’s murder of her father. Millais purchased a lady’s dress of great age for the large sum of £4.00, and Lizzie posed in it lying in a tin bath full of water. To heat the bath, the painter placed it on tressles with oil lamps underneath. Unfortunately the preoccupied painter failed to realise the lamps had gone out. The water then went cold, and poor Lizzie caught a bad cold due to the low temperature of the water. The painting is quite simply one of the greatest produced anywhere in the 19th century. Unlike some other images, seeing it ‘in the flesh,’ is not a disappointment. It is worth noting that Rossetti’s brother William, a good judge, was of the opinion that it was the best actual likeness of Lizzie Siddal ever produced. William Rossetti later described her as'most beautiful, with an air between dignity & sweetness'.
She was also a model for William Holman Hunt. Shortly after this, however, the relationship between Lizzie and Rossetti deepened, and henceforth he monopolised her as a sitter.Elizabeth Siddal became the muse of Rossetti. They lived together in an exclusive, claustrophobic relationship, which was not, I think, sexually consummated at that time. The painter repeatedly painted and drew her, the pencil drawings of the listless, unhealthy, but beautiful sitter being some of the artist’s most successful works to date. In the mid 1850s, Lizzie’s health deteriorated alarmingly.As Siddal came from a lower class family, Rossetti feared introducing her to his parents. "Lizzy" was also the victim of harsh criticism from Rossetti's sisters. The knowledge that the family would not approve the wedding contributed to Rossetti putting it off. Siddal also appears to have believed, with some justification, that Rossetti was always seeking to replace her with a younger muse, which contributed to her later depressive periods and illness. John Ruskin, who encouraged her artistic ambitions, made her an allowance, allowing her to visit Europe for her health. Her relationship with Rossetti started to cool, and she became more independent of him. In 1861, though, Rossetti and Elizabeth were married. Georgiana Bourne-Jones has left behind a record of Elizabeth Siddal at this time, showing her to be a pleasant, intelligent, normal woman.
In 1861 she gave birth to a stillborn daughter most likely because of her laudanum addiction. Siddal and Rossetti were married only two years. Siddal sank lower into laudanum and god knows what else. A month after the still birth, Jane Morris, another muse of the brotherhood gave birth to a healthy daughter. Whereas her friend, Mary Shelley seemed able to intellectualize the experience of stillbirth, she wrote Frankenstein, Siddal became more withdrawn. One visitor reported being hushed by Siddal who nodded toward the empty cradle and said, "Ssh, the baby's sleeping" she was tumbling deeper in the downward opiate spiral. On February the 12th 1862, Elizabeth Siddal died of an overdose of laudanum. Madox Brown was called by the frantic Rossetti, to help with his unconscious wife. He removed, and destroyed a note pinned to her nightgown, asking that her brother be looked after, so there is little doubt her death was suicide. Consumed with grief and guilt Rossetti went to the see Holman Hunt who is supposed to have instructed him to burn the note – under the law at the time suicide was both illegal and immoral and would have brought a scandal on the family as well as barred Siddal from a Christian burial.

Before her internment, Rossetti had thrown into his wife’s coffin, a manuscript copy of many of his poems. Later on to fund Rossettis monsterous alcoholisim and drug abuse and encouraged by his disreputable friend, Charles Augustus Howell, the painter had Lizzie’s body exhumed to recover his poems. one early October evening of 1869, Rossetti sat in Howell's house in gloomy reverie, while in Highgate Cemetary a scene was enacted surely as strange and macabre as any of his own imaginings. For at that time, Howell, and Dr. Llewellyn Williams of Kennington, were standing beside Lizzie's open coffin, in the light of a great fire made beside the grave as apparently the best protection against infection that they could then devise....Lizzie, they said, was still wonderfully preserved, perhaps -- so they speculated as at the time of Lizzie's death -- by the drug which had destroyed her. It was surely Howell, the romantic liar, who spread the tale that went far afield, as news of the affair gradually leaked out, of Lizzie's hair having continued to grow after her death, to grow so long, so beautiful, so luxuriantly as to fill the coffin with its gold!....And there, too, through stained, holed and discoloured, lay the coveted manuscript-book of Rossetti's poems From this bizarre and highly morbid event came the mental problems which destroyed Rossetti, who started to suffer from insomnia. Ultimately Elizabeth Siddal’s death, and disinterment destroyed her sensitive and guilt-ridden husband. She was buried in the Rossetti family plot in Highgate Cemetery. Unhappily this was not the end of this tragic story. Following Elizabeth’s death Rossetti moved to the house in Cheyne Walk where he lived for the rest of his life. He painted Beata Beatrix between 1864 and 1870,

ostensibly a tribute to the wife of Dante, but in reality to his own dead wife. The dying Lizzie is shown in ecstatic anticipation of her impending death, with a dove dropping a poppy, a symbol of death into her hands. This painting, like Ophelia, is one of the greatest, and most tragic images of the 19th century. A fitting memorial to the great love between the artist and the woman who was his inspiration. Later that year he moved into the large "Tudor House" at 16 Cheyne Walk in London. Here, he began to create an environment where he could withdraw from the world. Rossetti assembled a menagerie of exotic animals at the house--from peacocks, raccoons, kangaroos and armadillos, to zebus, marmots, a brahmin bull and a wombat. In the house he kept mice, parrots, owls and woodchucks. The new stationary he had made up bore a seal with the motto "Frangas Non Flectas" (Break Not Bend), perhaps a reflection of his tendency to brood and worry over things too much rather than to let them lie. On the surface, Rossetti might not have appeared a brooding widower, but there seemed for him no inner peace. He was sometimes found in public as a stumbling drunk, his sensitivity to criticism of his image or his works increased, and he began to dabble in spiritualism, most often holding séances with the main purpose of contacting the spirit of his dead wife.In December of 1881 Rossetti had a mild stroke which left him largely paralyzed. He soon grew ill and, his physical decline caused his friends and family to fear that this was the end. Dante Gabriel Rossetti died on Easter Sunday (April 9) of 1882, and because he had firmly albeit bitterly expressed that he did not want to be buried next to Lizzie in London, he was laid to rest in a churchyard near where he died in Birchington-On-Sea.

Worn Out by Lizzie Siddal
I cannot give to thee the love
I gave so long ago,
The love that turned and struck me down
Amid the blinding snow.
Yet keep thine arms around me, love,
Until I fall to sleep;
Then leave me, saying no goodbye
Lest I make wake, and weep.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ahhhh Shaaaaad ahhhp!

The only cat I will ever love is Sylvester Cat. And being a huge huge fan of wb cartoons from the 40s to the mid 60s ( Anyone up for a quote challange) cannot help but be endeared with statements like 'its as confusing as a mouse in a burlesque show' to ' why the copious flow of lacerous fluid ? ' and the countless classics 'ahh yoir muddah rides a vaccum cleaner' One of the most recently entertaining cartoons Ive seen is the classic 'the last hungry cat' all about how sylvester slips when making a grab for Tweety Bird in Granny's flat, and falls dazed to the floor as one of Tweety's feathers lands in his mouth. Tweety runs off. Sylvester comes to and finds the feather lodged between his lips. He thinks he has swallowed and killed Tweety and suffers terrible remorse.A Hitchcockian voice in the cartoon continually chides Sylvester for his evil act "sardines and milk were not good enough for you where they ? You had to go out and commit murder didnt you?" and warns how Sylvester's conscience will induce mental collapse. Sylvester experiences exactly this, retreating to a decrepit hideout like a common criminal, pacing the floor to the point that it crumbles under him, chain-smoking and coffee-drinking in fear of going to sleep, and developing a red-eyed case of severe insomnia. He finally "cracks" and runs into the streets, confessing his crime, thankfully to find that he had not eaten the canary. But he resumes the chase anyhow, because he cannot help but enact his instincts released from the immediate strain of guilt. Classic! Another reason I love him is the way he roars shut up, if I could deliver it like he I would never need to swear again..

Every Cloud....

I so love this time of year, theres a chill in the air, autumn has reached for her golden crown and the evenings are drawing in quicker. One of the most spectacular things that happen here in my neck of the woods is the skies, theres something significantly different about the skies here and I found myself pining for them whilst living in the uk. It is so hard to discribe what they are like until you see them and nothing prepares you for it.

It is Ryan and I's five year anniversery today. lets take a look at what happened of significance on this day in the pages of history
Three Blind Mice" published by London teenage songwriter Thomas Ravenscroft
Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sells the first raincoat.
Filming starts on The Wizard of Oz
The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born.
A London woman is publicly flogged for the crime of "involving herself in politics" (oooh sounds like 'sexual politics' - cool it feminists!! - just aving a larf)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Standing on the precipice

Something I hope lifechanging happened to me tonight, although I can not divulge what it is Im guessing that in six months time I will be making an announcement albeit small to many it will be an achievement of significant proportions to me. Wish me every shred of endurance and luck as I stand on the precipice and jump.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Bad Press? Me?

You can make your own opinion on these beasts I Know Ive voiced my distain for them, but am I so wrong??? Put them in the the Pitts with the moggies! Actually this picture is from the net that sells toy Komodos who'd want to fucking cuddle that!!?
Toy Komodo DragonItem # 072910-29
This realistic museum-quality replica of a komodo dragon realistic skin texture, body markings, and gait. Model size is 6.5L x 1.5H (16.5x3.5 cm). Artistically sculpted and hand-painted. Perfect for play or collecting. Comes with a five-language hang tag.$4.99

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest living lizard in the world, growing to an average length of 2-3 meters (10 feet). In the wild large adults tend to weigh around 70kg (154 pounds). Captive specimens often weigh more. The largest verified wild specimen was 3.13 metres (10 feet 3 inches) long and weighed 166kg (365 pounds), including undigested food

Komodo dragons are carnivorous. Although they seem to like carrion, studies show that they also hunt live prey with a stealthy approach followed by a sudden short charge, during which they can run briefly at speeds up to 20 km/h (~13 mph). Komodo dragons have not traditionally been considered venomous, but the serrations along their teeth are an ideal niche for over 50 strains of bacteria. If the initial bite does not kill the prey, and it escapes, the deadly infections caused by the bacteria living in the dragon's teeth kill the prey within a week. Then the Komodo dragon descends upon its victim, tracking by smell to feed upon its dead flesh. The dragon also has large claws that are used when they are younger to climb trees to escape from the jaws of the older dragons, but when they are older these are used mainly as weapons.
The Komodo dragon's prey is wide ranging, and includes wild pigs, goats, deer, and water buffaloes. In the wild they have also been observed to eat other smaller dragons. Occasionally they have been known to eat humans and human corpses. Over a dozen human deaths have been attributed to dragon bites in the last century, though there are reports of survivors of the resulting septicemia.

The Contents of my bag

I was cleaning out my bag here (purse to our friends over the pond) and was amazed of what is in there, my daughters piglet sock, a clothes peg (make that two) can of diet coke, tube of cortisone cream, a print out of 'la belle dans san merci' two tubes of Ibuprofen gel, packet of cigs, 3 books of stamps, 8 letters for a writing project of mine, 2 pens, 1 concealer, aromatherpy perfume, fun size mars bar wrapper and money, two cds - The The and some unmarked copy of a disc waiting to be discovered and wait for it...... wait for it..... a bone??! I thought what the f@*k?? Where I work my boss has a salvage yard and also two dogs one a german shepard the other a timber wolf, must have been her roaming in here and dropped a bone in there..All is forgiven though on account of her having bigger and sharper teeth than I

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Owh Fucking Owh!

I am in need of a laugh, but my guessing is that if I had one Id be dead trying. This morning at 4am I did something to my back thats making me cry like a little bitch with a skint knee. I knew I was tempting fate when I joked about sculliosis and waiting to long for a bus yesterday. Im thinking of pain relief prescribed by Doctor Bob Marley thats if the diffene does not kick in and the Nocturnal Dorsal elves refrain from booting the shite out of me....

Wednesday, October 4, 2006


Here in Dublin there is a Bram Stoker Museum which I am a member of their society ; in days of yore before the fancy schmancy museum there was a summer school in operation to raise the profile of Stokers irish heritage and get a writers centre together , the programme had very much an impressive array of guest speakers, writers and lecturer's as well as an extensive gothic library. At the end of each annual outing we would wrap up the events with musings in a pub, where we would choose our poems, excerpts etc and would make for a very entertaining evening, the more drink imbibed the more theatrical it got and with the rosey glow of the pub fire (believe me Irish summers are not that notably warm) and the cider and guinness flowing it made for the highlight of each annual outing. Here are two of my favorite musings that was delivered with such fervour one from a chap from Northern Ireland and the other was from an actor which was spoken with raw emotion. .

The Ballad of William Bloat

In a mean abode on the Shankill Road
Lived a man named William Bloat;
And he had a wife, the curse of his life,
Who always got his goat.'
Til one day at dawn, with her nightdress on
He slit her pretty throat.
With a razor gash he settled her hash
Oh never was crime so quick
But the steady drip on the pillowslip
Of her lifeblood made him sick.
And the pool of gore on the bedroom floor
Grew clotted and cold and thick.
Now he was right glad he had done as he had
As his wife lay there so still
But a sudden awe of the mighty law
Filled his heart with an icy chill.
So to finish the fun so well begun
He resolved himself to kill.
He took the sheet from his wife's cold feet
And twisted it into a rope
And he hanged himself from the pantry shelf,'
Twas an easy end, let's hope.
In the face of death with his latest breath
He slilently cursed the pope
Now the strangest turn in this whole concern
Is only just beginning.
He went to Hell, but his wife got well
And is still alive and sinning.
For the razor blade was Dublin made
But the sheet was Belfast linen.

The Face on the Barroom Floor
'TWAS a balmy summer evening, and a goodly crowd was there,
Which well-nigh filled Joe's barroom, on the corner of the square;
And as songs and witty stories came through the open door,
A vagabond crept slowly in and posed upon the floor.
"Where did it come from?" someone said. " The wind has blown it in."
"What does it want?" another cried. "Some whiskey, rum or gin?"
"Here, Toby, sic 'em, if your stomach's equal to the work --
I wouldn't touch him with a fork, he's filthy as a Turk."
This badinage the poor wretch took with stoical good grace;
In face, he smiled as tho' he thought he'd struck the proper place.
"Come, boys, I know there's kindly hearts among so good a crowd --
To be in such good company would make a deacon proud.
"Give me a drink -- that's what I want -- I'm out of funds, you know,
When I had cash to treat the gang this hand was never slow.
What? You laugh as if you thought this pocket never held a soul;
I once was fixed as well, my boys, as any one of you.
"There, thanks, that's braced me nicely; God bless you one and all;
Next time I pass this good saloon I'll make another call.
Give you a song? No, I can't do that; my singing days are past;
My voice is cracked, my throat's worn out, and my lungs are going fast.
"I'll tell you a funny story, and a fact, I promise, too.
Say! Give me another whiskey, and I'll tell what I'll do --
That I was ever a decent man not one of you would think;
But I was, some four or five years back. Say, give me another drink.
"Fill her up, Joe, I want to put some life into my frame --
Such little drinks to a bum like me are miserably tame;
Five fingers -- there, that's the scheme -- and corking whiskey, too.
Well, here's luck, boys, and landlord, my best regards to you.
"You've treated me pretty kindly and I'd like to tell you how
I came to be the dirty sot you see before you now.
As I told you, once I was a man, with muscle, frame, and health,
And but for a blunder ought to have made considerable wealth.
"I was a painter -- not one that daubed on bricks and wood,
But an artist, and for my age, was rated pretty good.
I worked hard at my canvas, and was bidding fair to rise,
For gradually I saw the star of fame before my eyes.
"I made a picture perhaps you've seen, 'tis called the `Chase of Fame.'
It brought me fifteen hundred pounds and added to my name,
And then I met a woman -- now comes the funny part --
With eyes that petrified my brain, and sunk into my heart.
"Why don't you laugh? 'Tis funny that the vagabond you see
Could ever love a woman, and expect her love for me;
But 'twas so, and for a month or two, her smiles were freely given,
And when her loving lips touched mine, it carried me to Heaven.
"Boys, did you ever see a girl for whom your soul you'd give,
With a form like the Milo Venus, too beautiful to live;
With eyes that would beat the Koh-i-noor, and a wealth of chestnut hair?
If so, 'twas she, for there never was another half so fair.
"I was working on a portrait, one afternoon in May,
Of a fair-haired boy, a friend of mine, who lived across the way.
And Madeline admired it, and much to my surprise,
Said she'd like to know the man that had such dreamy eyes.
"It didn't take long to know him, and before the month had flown
My friend had stole my darling, and I was left alone;
And ere a year of misery had passed above my head,
The jewel I had treasured so had tarnished and was dead.
"That's why I took to drink, boys. Why, I never see you smile,
I thought you'd be amused, and laughing all the while.
Why, what's the matter, friend? There's a tear-drop in you eye,
Come, laugh like me. 'Tis only babes and women that should cry.
"Say, boys, if you give me just another whiskey I'll be glad,
And I'll draw right here a picture of the face that drove me mad.
Give me that piece of chalk with which you mark the baseball score --
You shall see the lovely Madeline upon the barroon floor."
Another drink, and with chalk in hand, the vagabond began
To sketch a face that well might buy the soul of any man.
Then, as he placed another lock upon the shapely head,
With a fearful shriek, he leaped and fell across the picture -- dead.