Willy-nilly: a scathing look!


Willy-nilly: a twee, and somewhat nauseating, euphemism used by any woman who has not, in recent months (years/decades), had a visit from the old Weapon of Mass Seduction.

A female, that is to say, who has been unable to get her leg under – and for whom a cock’s sauntering waddle up her cloaca last occurred during the Boer War.

An alternative to this:

A bloke possessed of Wedding Tackle so Lilliputian that, at first glance (even with a magnifying glass), there is nil to be seen…not a sausage…bugger all.

The opposite, one may readily understand, to a Girthsome Choad!

Coming off Amitriptyline

Heavy sadness holds me captive in its net; yet, through the woven gaps, I can see great beauty and flickers of enchanting happiness and humour. Lozenges of light, fired by a crystal in the Living Room, fall from adjoining walls, colourful descent that never actually lands. Last night, as a friend and I sat amidst the magical night lights of the garden, bats – two or three of them – flittered overhead, a lovely sight and a welcome.

Birds, absent for so long, begin to nestle in bushes, and a throng of thrumming bees buzz busily in my Japanese Anemone.

The sad emotions are essential, both chemically and cyclically – perhaps definitively so. I am in the process of weaning myself off Amitriptyline (an old-fashioned anti-depressant) and of opening the gates to floods kept at bay too long. I cannot be chirpy and cheery, supportive and elderly aunt-like forever.

No, reshape that thought: I can be all of those things, for they are part of my nature, but not exclusively or to order.

My silence – for I am a writer and speaking has always felt like a foreign language in many ways – has long been an Open Sesame to the ruthless, the thick-skinned, the vampiric. I have allowed this to happen. My sense of entitlement is almost non-existent and I have always been gulled and guilt-tripped by those possessed of a more robust one!

But things shift in the sands of my soul. Partly thanks to Shadow of the Tor, my ability to speak up, to disagree, to insist upon parity with passion, to assert my status as a creative and strong woman, is slowly flowing back into the arid basin, covering rocks and dried mud with life-giving water.

It has become abundantly clear to me that a non-reciprocal bond has the consistency of a dead twig: it snaps under the tiniest pressure. It has become clear to me which people in my life seek only, or predominantly, to suck what they can from my vitality.

But, by the same token, I am gifted with true friends, reciprocal vessels in the sea of relationship. These people see the light shining through the shattered glass. These people see me as equal and not vassal. My beloved Witches of Widdershins Hill have been an ongoing source of strength and comfort, as have B, D, J, S, J and K from the world below the hill! The true friends outside Avalon – and dear ones from Silent Eye – who saw me through last year’s horror with kindness and utter loyalty, remain deeply loved and appreciated.

But, as the Mists of Amitriptyline slowly clear, levering the tight lid off powerful emotions bottled for too long, I shall emerge, wraithlike initially, a writer-priestess in my own right, with increasing clarity and assertiveness. I do not doubt the warmth of my heart, but it needs to be tempered by a greater dash of steel in the forge of mind and soul.

Avalon allows people to do, and be, what they will. This is very much a double-edged sword. It means that true talent can be subsumed by mediocrity, and genuine spiritual journeys jostled by a full motorway of aggressive charlatans tail-gating their way to prosperity and recognition!

I think it would help everyone on this planet to remember that we are not here simply to showcase, and gain adulation for, our own gifts; but, like the spirit that informs Shadow of the Tor at its best, to open the space for, and encourage/nurture, the needs, talents and personalities of those around us. Reciprocal talent, freely given and generously acknowledged, is a fine thing indeed, and, however you define ‘talent’, a better way forward than the meanness, the hoarding, the selfish need to be top dog at all costs which so tarnishes our world, so fractures our egregore, at present.

I speak my mind. Increasingly. This long-hidden talent is coming back in ever-stronger waves. My ability to say, ‘No!’ returns, as does my infamous (in certain quarters) Bullshit Detector!

I like most people I meet, and have inherent prejudice for no one; but I reserve the right to distrust those who motivation seems suspect or whose ability to deal in a reciprocal manner with others is stunted.

Saying a relieved ‘Farewell!’ to Amitriptyline will open all the drawers in my soul – inevitably! – and garments for defence of the body and spirit will be put on alongside those made of a gentler and softer material!

So be it!



‘The Amortal’ – a Shadow of the Tor production

Did I ever think, when I joined Shadow of the Tor back in March, that I would get involved in a film? No, not in a million years!

Written and directed by B. M Crowley, ‘The Amortal’ is a short film all about the life, and frustrations, of an Amortal (a man to whom death is an impossible dream!).

A couple of months ago, film tests were held, locations decided upon, lines learned – and, in July, filming started in earnest.

To my surprised delight, I got a part! Not saying anymore than that! Nor am I going to divulge any further details of the storyline and actors. The trailer is above for your delectation. It gives a fabulous flavour of the finished product.

Shooting this film was tremendous fun. We traipsed to graveyards, loitered in flats, lurked on various Glastonian streets and, one hot sunny day, took two cars, divers cameras, a plenitude of actors, drivers, film crew and our be-hatted director  and drove down windy country lanes to a secret place (which is, I suspect, literally not on the map!) for a fun-filled, hilarious – er, I mean, serious and consistently industrious! – few hours out in the countryside!

The première takes place in the autumn – and I am looking forward to it enormously.

The whole thing has been an incredibly bonding experience: fabulous script, concept and directing skills from Brad Crowley (whom I have mentioned in these annals before); great acting by the two stars, Jon Coyne and Lysah J. Hughesman – and many memorable cameo roles and hysterically funny moments from the filming days.

I urge you to watch this short clip – and see for yourself the talent that lies within the Mists of Avalon and is the shining light illuminating Shadow of the Tor!


Fridge Roll: An Organ of Magnificence…

No, this is not the start of a tedious joke, or the introduction to a little-known Olympic Sport!

It is, in fact, an orgasmic wee concoction I am wont to whip up for high days and holidays – and, since I knew I had Shadow of the Tor coming round for a rehearsal (more on this some other time) and a visit, including barbecue, to friends on Sunday, I set to and made lashings of the stuff.

Comprising condensed milk, melted chocolate, butter, icing sugar, marshmallows and, as I call them, Suggestive Biscuits, this infinitely superior version of the more mundane Rocky Road always goes down a treat – but, for a variety of tedious reasons (with which I will not trouble you), getting the finished goo into the requisite  roll has long frustrated, baffled and, not to put too fine a point upon  it, completely eluded me!

This time, I went at it with grim determination and, laying three large sheets of foil on the work surface, rolled the delectable gunge into a trio of fat sausage shapes. That done, and  having licked my hands  thoroughly – waste not, want not! – I bunged the bounteous booty in the freezer and awaited the arrival of my fellow thesps!

Come the hour, delving into the icicled department, I drew out what, in the stark light  of evening, resembled nothing so much as a gargantuan todger (think whale!) sporting a truly lurid novelty condom! The damn thing looked positively indecent as I held it in my warm hands and felt it melt (just the effect I have upon such matters, ha!) – and, as I stripped off its silver lining, I felt as if I were engaged upon some particularly revolting sex act, especially as the ruddy thing – still hard in places, but sagging at the edges! – seemed to have a mind of its own.

Pornography on a plate or what!

Well, I hacked womanfully away. slicing it into think rounds (am sure there is a phallic symbolism just waiting to be discovered here somewhere!) – and, yes, sucking on my fingers as I did so, like you do – and, having fallen about laughing with the friend who could also see its resemblance  to a very large membrum virile, presented it to the group, just managing to avoid sniggering out,  ”Ere you go: Diced Penis!’

Its singular appearance did not detract from its inherent toothsomeness one jot – and they all got stuck in with unbridled relish!

I have a twenty mile drive with the third and final Pork Sword Lookalike – and am, currently, unsure of my tactics for serving same. There may well be children present, you see, and so my planned raucous and bawdy fondling, slurping and slicing act may cause me to be ejected from the garden forthwith! On the other hand, the temptation to go completely, and vulgarly, over the top, may well win the day anyway!

We shall see…

Daily Delivery versus the Longer Variety!


Today, you will be mightily relieved to know, I am not going to wax lyrical about the daily delivery of dung in the dunny (which so many of us take for granted) or, indeed, the dreary delivery of pestilential post (from companies we would not wish to be seen dead in a ditch with) courtesy of Royal Mail’s scarlet-clad finest.

Nay, nay! I shall, on this grey and grim August day, be getting to the bottom of that special kind of delivery which involves the emptying of one’s womb in a southerly direction, oft accompanied by the kind of metallic implements that would not seem out of place in a farrier’s shop – and which, as a ghastly side-effect, often causes a temporary stoppage of the first type of delivery mentioned in this dastardly diatribe!

So there I was – as are so many women, and a smattering of men – metaphorically chained to the low-slung bed by contractions which felt as if a carthorse had mistaken my uterus for a field and was ploughing the bejeezus out of it. To say that I writhed in pain would be to miss out on the opportunity to use imagery involving wild stallions, equine limbs, ropes and dismemberment.

Gas and air is all very well if you want to sound like Pinky and Perky overcome  by hysterical mirth (I didn’t!); Pethedine has its place, I am sure, but plunged into the thigh of a labouring woman, its use is more emetic than pain-reducing – and I found myself renewing my acquaintance with the Lucozade I’d quaffed an hour previously whilst still being in agony!

I was extremely tempted by the thought of stronger medication – and would, indeed, have gone for total anaesthesia, or a blow to the head, when the pain was at its worst, especially when the midwife, hacked off by my failure to break my own waters, produced what looked like a crochet hook designed for an elephant!

Just the sight of the bloody thing caused an immediate Nile-like inundation – and my labour quickened (euphemism for ‘became infinitely more agonising’) thereafter.

A jolly hour or so later – during which I felt as if I had extruded every single internal organ other than the baby! – a midwife announced that delivery was near at hand. So, in my view, was death! My own! I actually thought, at that point in proceedings (in so far as I was actually thinking, whilst trying to push what felt like theQE2 out of my posterial regions!), that I would almost certainly turn inside out and/or explode if I had to bear down any more firmly than I was already…

Bracing myself, puce of face and running most unattractively with sweat, I gave this delivery lark some serious welly – and, far from birthing my own liver (a very real fear, let me tell you!), found myself, minutes later, with a dark-haired male wean, wrapped in white and yelling vigorously, plonked upon my tummy. It was my little son, my very own precious delivery!

The Old Wives’ Tales insist that labouring women forget the pain. We don’t, not really. But our beloved children make it not just bearable in the retelling but – if you are a bawdy old bag like I am – positively funny!

Concerning the cushion that accompanied me to the privy for the next three weeks or so, I shall say no more: any woman who has delivered a child, will know whereof I speak; anyone who has not will not wish to know, take it from me!

Best delivery of my life, the Lad was!

I shall spare you both the delivery of the afterbirth and the featured image bit: there is a photo of me and Son taken immediately post-delivery, but the sheer humiliation factor stops me from doing that to my now-adult offspring!


Blighting a new Rog(hard ‘g’ de rigueur here!) DP


Last night was so cold that I jaw a wumper and was almost at the stage of glaring woves in bed!

The frain-breezing that followed has left me in decidedly Mooneristic Spode!

I am, as some will know from a previous example of the genre (not to mention endangered species!), a keen, nay fanatical, blighter of rogs.

Quite what these poor old rogs – which I see as some form of backward tribe inhabiting a corner of the world right off the map! – have ever done to deserve this kind of wholesale and relentless blighting, I could not begin to tell you. It is nothing personal, since I also – and even more sinisterly – bite rooks!

Due to a dolting mog, I shall be billing up the fucket with water this morning – and thoroughly flopping the moor – and, since it looks set fair to be a sunny day, wanging out the hoshing…

Yes, indeedy, I am in Spooneristic mode today! And why not? Any withered old academic who can speak, even if it was apocryphal, of fighting a liar in the Quad and hissing mystery lectures before being sent home via the town drain gets my vote!

Biting rooks has to be my number one passion in life. Amazon is awash with their poor truncated bodies and ghastly-eyed, blood-strewn wee heads. Some friends even have one or more shitting on their selves, and sometimes, when in meading road, go as far as to bead these rooks.

You know what, I gare to Swod that my blighting habit is more fun than savving Hex (and those aware of Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University books will readily understand the very real need so to do!), halfing my lead off or winking drisky.

Right, I lust meave you and choe about my gores: give Kipper a parrot, bake the med and, having drot guest, sut in the sin for a while!


Dinner Party: Textures


Today, I am creating food for a dinner party with three friends – and have experimented with many different textures and colours in so-doing. Brief run-down: the salad, which I will make at the last minute, will have the fresh crunch of chopped pepper, the crinkly soft bite of leaves, the pulpy tartness of tomatoes and the salty crackle of pistachio nuts.

I have made two varieties of quiche, again playing with texture: one has cream, onion and nutmeg, the other cheese and broccoli. With them, I shall be serving new potatoes and lashings of butter!

Finally, we come to the luxurious creamy softness, and piquancy, of home-made chocolate ice-cream.