The waiting birds…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s existential angst is centred around the idea of shrubbery.

EPSON scanner imageHere is another old black and white picture, a scanned 35mm negative, from my days of old-style film and darkroom photography. It is really nice to able to resurrect my old work and tidy it up using digital technology and put it out there on the webernetblogscape and make it available to the world… Hello world!…
I have no recollection of where this was taken, but it looks like it might have been in a department store or a motorway cafe. It is what you might call a spur of the moment, quick, snapshot – it’s a nice word ‘snapshot’, isn’t it? Hm… snapshot… Actually ‘spur of the moment’ is a pretty good phrase too! Hm… spur… of the moment…
So, what’s this picture about?
‘Does a picture have to be about anything Dave?…’
Just a couple of fire extinguishers, and a large plastic bird with its back to us – it’s pretty boring really… We could stop this right here if you like…
But why am I showing you this little scene? Perhaps I am asking you to linger a while and examine the thing a little more closely. Perhaps you might find the word ‘Chubb’ of interest? There is a rather chubby bird close by… Oh look, there is a chain around the bird, presumably it is there to deter people from stealing him/her. Ah, I get it now – I think the bird might have a slot in his/her head for people to put money in, it might be a collecting box for some charity. No wonder he/she is chained down, he/she is full of money!
Of course the thing that persuaded me to take the picture in the first place was the juxtaposition (there’s that juicy word again!) of the big fat bird, and the squawking snapping sharp beaks on the tops of the birdy extinguishers… Snap!… Snap!…Snap!… Look out! Here comes a smiling Norman Bates…

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Some titchy, but pithy, items…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s architectural term is ‘respond’ – A half-pier bonded into a wall and carrying one end of an arch; often at the end of an arcade.
I don’t think we need bother remembering this, do you?

Excuses for being late. No.221.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I had a golden eagle stuck in my chimney.

A single overheard remark.
‘I bin livin’ a lie Tony…’

‘No, no, no! You’ll have to leave – I’m not having people coming in here spouting acronyms!’
‘O.K. – T.T.F.N…’

Oh look, there’s an item of spam in my comments box – It’s from someone called ‘Generalwellbeing’.
‘Artistic expression and usual everyday creativity compliment
environmental awareness to generate today’s hottest and trendiest recycled furnishings.
Which means sensitive material or flammable ones aren’t troubled by heat radiated
through the light bar, as they are in the case of older ones.
Ebay LED light bar forum The height too might be as low as 1″ in ultra slim light bars used on vehicles with thinner roofs. On both sides you’ll also notice two sensors, grip sensors, that cause the ticker display to light. An advanced LED light bar can have front facing, rear facing, and side facing LED modules which is often independently controlled.’
Well, thank you Generalwellbeing, I’ll certainly bear in mind what you have said.

I’m thinking of changing my name to Dave (not-his-real-name).

An observation:
A family walking down the street: a pale little girl skips on ahead. The father shouts, ‘Ebony… Ebony… Come back here!…’

‘I’ve invented a new form of music…’
‘Oh have you? What’s it called?’
“Sound Soup’…’
‘Oh, that’s nice! I like that!…’

I think architect are cheats!… They just cover their boring cheap buildings in lots and lots of glass so that it reflects other people’s buildings, instead of bothering to make their own buildings look nice!…

A single overheard, possibly misheard, remark:
‘An etude on your forearm?…’

Oh good, there’s a detective film just starting on the TV – Oh damn! It’s got Al Pacino in it – I can’t watch him, he’s so relentlessly macho and miserable… he tires me out.

You’ve got about as much style as brick-effect wallpaper!…

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Now, where did I put that thesaurus?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s snapshot is the one of me with HRH Prince Charles at Balmoral Castle in 1972 – look at us, arm-in-arm, grinning at the camera…

Following on from yesterday’s post featuring that 1960s Badger Book of supernatural short stories by R. Lionel Fanthorpe, I thought that I might share with you an interesting piece of prose I bothered to copy out from another of his books a few years ago.

This is from Badger Book SN81 – another ‘Supernatural Special’.

‘There were witches and demonesses there, there were elemental spirits and peculiar dwarfs and trolls. There were hobgoblins and kobolds, there were flibbertigibbets and imps, there were sprites and hobs. There were changelings, pigwidgeons, poltergeists, and gremlins, there were evil spirits and dark departed shades; there were zombies and revenants, there were haunters and walkers, spectres and apparitions, phantoms and phantasms in uncountable numbers. Brendan Casey saw hideous shapes and shades; he saw wraiths and presciences, doppelgängers, cacodemons and familiar spirits. There were lamirs, rakshaki, kelpies and banshees. There were vampires and lycanthropes, were-folk, incubi, succubi, furies, harpies and gorgons. There were things there that the limited mythological knowledge of Casey was unable to classify…’

If you liked this, you will like this very good site all about R.L.F. (Click)

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In the black coniferous forest with Lionel…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s random dictionary words are: ebracteate, plumous, fluvial, opuscule, spink, and zalambdodont.
Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Mrs Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. Professor Mouldie is away for two weeks visiting his mother in Las Vegas.

DSCN2898Goodness me!…
Yes, it’s another 1960s British pulp science fiction/supernatural paperback from my small collection, a ‘Badger Book’ – it is strange, weird, and it is eerie! This is ‘Supernatural Stories No. 47′, and features ‘Devil From the Depths’ by R. Lionel Fanthorpe S.M.B.I.S. (I know that M.B.I.S. stands for ‘Member of the British Interplanetary Society’, but I don’t know about the first ‘S’ – perhaps ‘Senior Member’?
The other stories are by: Pel Torro, Trebor Thorpe, Leo Brett, and Bron Fane… Yes, you’ve guessed it – these are all R. L. Fanthorpe too!
I wonder what the back cover has to say?
‘… only a brave man or a fool ventures close to deep waters at night, or wanders far into the black, coniferous forests. Does the cave-man’s primitive magic yet linger in hidden caves? Do the undead walk in secret places? What secrets lie buried in Forbidden cities?
A superb collection of uneasy tales by today’s top authors.’
So, What about this marvellous cover? What do we have here? I assume that that is the ‘Devil from the Depths’ centre stage. Alright, yes, he’s very big, he’s green and he’s scaly, he’s got rows of razor-sharp teeth, spines down his back… and those chaps in the water do look pretty upset… but, don’t you think he actually looks rather cute?… He is almost smiling, in a cheeky sort of way; you feel that you want to reach out and pat him on his rough head, and say, ‘And who’s a good boy then?…’ And look at the way he’s holding is paw – camp or what? I think he just wants to splash about and play for a bit. The fleeing swimming chaps just haven’t understood the situation at all – they should turn around and have a good frolic with him. The chap swimming towards is saying, ‘To hell with this for a lark! – I’m off!…’
It’s a lovely yellow sky this time of day isn’t it? A good colour for a ‘weird sky’ is yellow, I do like the streaks of red, oh, and the two pterodactyls flapping about to fill up the empty spaces at each side…
‘Oh dear, I see the ship’s going down, come on Bob, let’s see if we can get on this floating odd-looking wooden structure in the bottom right hand corner of the painting. Hey, who’s that waving to us in the distance? Is that Billy the cabin boy? Come on Billy, over here!… I wish that monster wouldn’t splash the water so much…’
Shall I randomly select one or two items of text for us to get a feel of the style dear reader?
‘Tremullion’s eyes were big, large as saucers; and they seemed to dart everywhere at once. He was more like a cross between an owl and a gnome. Like some strange sport or hybrid that had resulted from the intermarriage of a troll and a barn owl. He looked like a leprechaun who had strayed too far on the English side of the Irish Sea…’
‘This was a ghastly monstrosity, a frog-like, fish-like, log-like thing that beggared description. It had coal-black skin and great webbed claws; the straggling pond-weed beard. The flat foreheadless face, the glaring red eyes, the gigantic slit of a frog’s mouth…’
“Oi’m beginning to see what yez means now.” said O’Flaherty, snapping his fingers. “Yes, bejabbers and bedad, so I am, so I am. This is the long and short of it as I see ut then. It’s like untangling a fishin’ line or a piece o’ string…”
“Yes, you could put it like that” said Price…’

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Mail Art Postcard No 4473…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s weather will feature high altitude rashers of pale uncooked bacon accompanied by a disappointingly indistinct poached egg rising out of low glowing pinkness in the east…

Oh yes, I think it’s time for another postcard…

4473 DSCN3542So, ‘mail art’, what’s that Dave? (Click here)

A collage, albeit a very simple one, using faces snipped from an old copy of the magazine What’s on TV. I’m afraid I don’t know who these people are, oh and if you know, please don’t bother getting in touch and filling me in, I really don’t care…
They could be the presenters of some awful competitive celeb TV show rubbish, like Dance My Cake Off… or, now looking at them, more probably they are the lead people from a popular drama series; they have that look that actors adopt when they ‘go into character’ for some quick publicity shots.
‘Yes that’s fine, put your glasses on the end of your nose and look over the top of them at the camera, and give us ‘menace’, but with a hint of that famous ironic smile… Yes, yes… that’s great… now you at the back, try to look a bit more serious, but with a touch of puzzlement, oh yes, that’s good… Oh, I do like the eyes!…’
I really should do a video for YouTube – Easy surrealism with scissors and a Pritt stick

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Some overheard and misheard snatches of cafe conversation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s fine old expletive is ‘Ads Zookers!’ – from the 17th century, a corruption of ‘God’s hooks’ (fingernails). Come on dear reader, let’s start using it again!
‘My phone’s gone dead!… Ads Zookers! Right in the middle of the Archbishop’s call!…’

‘A near side bolt!…’
‘Sort of left field.’
‘It was an external nom-card.’
‘Get a new world Peter!’
‘So involved in pre-po wet readers.’
‘Albini festival with knobs it in.’
‘A coward is not black or white all round.’
‘No, I don’t think that’s what is was Peter.’
‘It’s human impartial engineering.’
‘I was sat there thinking it was yeah…’
‘Four hours of beeping hair!’
‘She had a rom-lob table?’
‘Having the wig by the next day.’
‘Or is it a case of power-money?’
‘Go punk?…’
‘Invest in going down in it?’
‘Or forward in a weak direction?’
‘A lot more inclined to lay down for him.’
‘Criminal jewellery!’
‘Could have had a good shake at it!’
‘Eat first, then rock the boat Steven.’
‘I could face one this week.’
‘An angle-tool visitor?’
‘Young pup!… Get it?’

If you belong to a poetry group, you could, if you like, take a copy of this with you next time you go, and read it out to them in a loud pompous voice.

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Some openings for a few novels…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s existential angst is centred around the sound of the word ‘moist’.

Karl Dank picked the grey fluff and cobwebs from the keyhole of the antique ebony and gilt box using the steel sharp point of a pair of brass compasses that he had found on the floor near the baitless, but set, mousetrap. He wiped the fluffy point on his tie, folded the compasses, and slipped them into his waistcoat pocket. He lifted the box gently with both hands, pursed his thick lips, and blew into the hole. All of a sudden it was as if…

Tanya Parkmore stopped in her tracks and sniffed the air. It had the unpleasant metallic smell of imminent thunder and lightning. She wasn’t cold but she shivered. She buttoned her coat and looked around; the dirty blue dumpling hills to the west, and to the east, a horizontal strip of grey vagueness where the sea evaporated into the mottled shark grey sky. Her phone throbbed into life in her pocket – that would be Thaddeus with news of the…

Adrian Stepp opened his eyes, then rubbed them, and stretched his limbs. He had dozed off for only a few minutes, but in that time the carriage, which had been empty, had filled up with greymen. One was now sitting across the table from him. As Stepp had stretched his foot had touched the greyman’s soft ankle, but happily there had been no response. The greyman was engrossed in a book, it was ‘The King in Yellow’, a book which Adrian had once…

Marge Thank squeezed as much of the jelly like substance from the hole in the corner of the plastic bag as she could. The used bag could never go back in the gas room cupboard so she would have to flatten it out, fold it, and hide it somewhere. She picked up an old wooden spirtle, stuck it into the oozing heap on the steel-topped table, and gave it a quick stir. The beast down in the basement would be desperate by now and she must hurry to get…

Bernard Bird felt the August sun warming his back and shoulders. The rough thick branch that he straddled was hurting the insides of his bare thighs, but his view was good and his elevated position was well concealed. He could clearly see Lord Dandymore pottering about in his lush garden. Two great mud brown hounds were lolling on the flagstones; suddenly they both looked up in unison as Dandymore dropped a loud clang-trowel on the…



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