The Present

Last night we were presented with our first gift from Luna our usually lazy madam who prefers the comfort of the underfloor heating in the bathroom to the great outdoors.

She does go out, usually at night. She wanders through at exactly the moment whatever we’re watching on the telly is reaching a critical point and claws at the door at the bottom of the stairs. One of us has to get up and open it before she makes more of a mess of the door thus spoiling the emotional atmosphere the drama is trying to portray.

She likes to slip through my bedroom window and over the roof. She then reappears sometime in the night, landing with an enormous thud on the wooden floor and waking me up. I know it’s the cat and not a burglar because no self-respecting burglar would make such a noise.

She came back early last night, and I could hear scrabbling on the stairs so opened the door before she tore the carpet to shreds. It’s new and supposed to be my forever carpet. There on the bottom step was a gift.

Fortunately for me – not the gift – it was dead.

It was late and dark, and I wasn’t up to chasing said gift around the house while it’s packed to the gunnels with other people’s stuff.

I’m afraid I didn’t give it a decent burial, just a quick one.

The cat was not impressed.

Things You Didn’t Know About the Bayeaux Tapestry

I enjoy a bit of history and the more obsure the facts the better. I don’t usually go back to the Middle Ages preferring the Tudor and Stuart eras but this tickled the psychologist in me. Times may change but human nature is human nature

It is said that the Bayeaux Tapestry, actually an embroidery and commissioned in the 1070s, features 623 men, 190 horses, 37 ships, 35 dogs, 3 (yes 3) women, and 93 penises of which 88 belong to horses.

The horse with the largest penis belongs to Duke William of Normandy later known as the Conqueror.

It appears that the dick-mobile has a long and checkered history.

Buxton Comic Con

Another town, another Comic Con. This May Day I was at Buxton Comic Con in the Peak District. Foggy journey, lovely venue and a well-attended event.

It was a tiring day but well worth it and not only did I meet up with existing friends but had some delightful conversations with others.

I didn’t need the satnav as I know the route so no interesting byways this time – which was a shame.

Busy, Busy

I’ve just realised I haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks. I have been busy with family commitments, Comic Cons and meeting new and old friends at St Andrew’s Church Book Fair. I have also been writing quite a lot too. An interesting submission call got me quietly excited, and I reeled off a story and sent it off. We shall see.

I had not been the Northwich Comic Con before so was looking forward to meeting new people as well as old friends. I had a lovely day, the weather was gorgeous, I covered costs, met the lovely James Lefebure, a fellow writer and caught up with folk I knew.

The return journey was a bit of an adventure. I don’t know Northwich town. I’ve not been for years so I switched on the satnav. I really just needed it to get out of the town.

Well – I don’t know if she’d been reading the Dirk Gently books by Douglas Adams, but she certainly took me down some very interesting country lanes, through a ford, past villages I didn’t know existed and signposts to nowhere I’d heard of before finally coughing me the right side of Crewe. I doubt I’ll ever find that way again …

…which is a shame!

I Never Could Get the Hang of Thursday

Why is it that whenever you are smartly dressed and on top of things nothing happens and no one calls but heaven forefend you are toasting hot cross buns for breakfast, barefoot in your shift and the doorbell sounds?
It was a Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays which was the reason I was late toasting the hot cross buns. But it was still early for visitors. My shift has seen better days, being washed so often that it is becoming see-through. Not a pretty sight at any time, especially when you reach my age.
The dog was going daft so there was nothing for it but to turn off the grill, throw on my dressing gown, fold my arms up and under the bosom, (à la Les Dawson) and open the door.
It turned out to be a very nice young man who wanted to know if I wanted the broken washing machine shifted from my drive. Yes please.
Would I move my car so he could get through? Not a problem.
Women didn’t wear underdrawers in the 17th century. It’s pretty draughty, let me tell you.

Naked we come into this world …

April 2nd 2023
In the news this week I have read two stories concerning nudity that make me wonder what the world is coming to.

The first was from America. Apparently it’s okay to go around carrying assault rifles in first world urban settlements which includes schools, churches and hospitals but it is not acceptable to look at beautiful works of art.


Because they show the human form in all its glory as God made us.

The second was from Australia.

Australia? Yes.

Apparently a surf live saving club near Sydney has issued a warning letter to a woman because she was naked in the changing room. As she says, you have to remove your clothes in order to put on your swimsuit and vice versa.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that we are not all David’s and some bodies are best left covered, mine for a start. We can’t go around flashing our differences willy-nilly so as to speak – but art and the seclusion of changing rooms?

There is much talk about mental health today. Aren’t we just screwing people further by making the human body something to be ashamed of?

Anything forbidden will be sort out illicitly. There are many examples, Eve and her apple, Pandora and her box, me, as a child, playing by the river when told not to go near it. [Please feel free to fill in your own example.]

I’m not advocating parading about naked, heaven forefend, but we all have a body with the necessary parts to enable human life to remain healthy and continue the species. Surely allowing children to think that bodies and natural bodily functions are shameful will make them think that they must be something to be ashamed of.

The Gap Where …?

My house is old – very old. So old that we have to have planning permission to change the use of the cupboards. Well, perhaps it just feels like it because planning for the new extension took on biblical proportions

When I was younger – er young – I used to babysit for this family who lived in a really old house and you get seasick walking along the passage to the child’s bedroom upstairs. I always vowed I would live in a house with floorboards that had grown wonky with age.

Everything about my house is old and quirky which is how I like it. I love history and things that have a story behind them. I am fascinated by the fact that I am touching something that has been touched by someone who lived long ago and had a life, perhaps good, perhaps bad. I try to feel them through handling the object. (Don’t judge, we all have a thing, that’s mine.) I scour the flea markets for interesting items that I need and look good in my house. No IKEA here.

But …

Beware what you wish for.

Imagine facing this when you come up stairs in the dead of night.

I always imagine that one night I shall see feet in the gap beneath the door.

That I shall hear heavy breathing from whoever waits for me to get close enough …

That I will hear the click as the latch is pressed …

That the door will slowly swing open …

I have to admit to never, and I mean never, walk upstairs after dark with my eyes open.

Who am I and Why am I staring into the Pantry?

I thought I was doing alright. Okay, I’m past my Biblical sell-by date and life’s a tad fraught at the moment but I passed a recent MOT at my doctor’s with only one advisory.

Having received a message about a dementia course run by the very same doctor’s surgery I considered it, decided I know who I am, that we now have a king not a queen, why I’m standing staring into the pantry (looking for jam) and what month it is.

Or do I?

I thought it was March, a spring month. On the strength of knowing it was March I sent my elder nephew a birthday card (2nd) and have bought one for my eldest granddaughter (18th). I have arranged to meet my son and his family for a Mothering Sunday brunch and have taken the summer curtains out of storage ready to put up in time for the change to British Summer Time.

However …

  • I wake up to this.
  • The local theatre sent me an email advertising the 2023 Christmas play and inviting me to book.
SHOW FOR 2023!
  • My local supermarket has a shelfful of this!

If anyone knows who I am and what month it really is please let me know.

Good Old Diseases

I like to watch odd things on the telly and last night I watched a programme about The Black Death. It seemed appropriate at the time.

We think Covid is bad – and it is but we had far worse things in the Good Old Days. As a child I experienced such things as measles, chicken pox, rubella and mumps along with the rest of my age group. But I’m not talking about my Good Old Days – I’m going way back to the Very Old Good Old Days when you had such things to look forward to as the Bloody Flux, Pestilence, Black Death and Buboes.

Imagine writing a note to your child’s teacher back in the 16th century.

Dear Sire,

I am most verily afraid that Samuel will not attend your school this day as he has the bloody flux.


These names conjure up such horrors that make the state of the country today look pretty good.


You can actually still catch any one of them if you’re very unlucky. Fortunately we now know how to cure them, and I have my Plague Mask, just in case.   

That 2nd book isn’t mine. Honest!