Friday, December 9, 2011


Our Father.
Who are here.
Hallowed is your name.
And your Kingdom is here.
Your will is ours.
On Earth, in the sky
in heaven.
Give us this day what we need
and forgive us for our existence.
As we eliminate those who do not serve you.
And lead us close to you
and let us worship you.
For thine is all things,
the power, the glory,
forever and ever.

And ever.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Just checking in here one last time, though I'm fairly finished with the blog, methinks! I'm awfully busy, in any case, what with working with the Club on Friday and facilitating the picnic on Saturday. I have to do a bit more work this week; Lucy did herself an injury a bit back, and so I've been looking after her two children some as well. I've been working on pamphlets and the like as well, trying to get the good word out, you know?

I really like it here, this lovely little town. Such history, such nice people, so clean. Everything has its place, and the like. I don't know why I didn't retire from the city sooner!

And the eyes; the constant watching, the unsung, screaming eyes, staring out from the shadows! How jolly they are. The arms covering all the bad (for a lack of a better word) things, the songs that constantly drown out the rest of the world, it's all so cozy and close! And I know I'll be safe here, there's no way I can't be, not with our friend in the shadows! For the first time in my life, my faith has been confirmed, you see! I always had doubt; we tried to save children in the African savannahs and so many still died, I held dead men in my arms and prayed for them, and I prayed for my son as he was taken to the hospital. Each time, nothing.

Now, though, now I have a physical god to worship, one whose actions I can see. I do not have to have faith in him; I know he is here. God personified, on Earth, with all his strength intact and for us. He is kind, and he accepts us, and we can see it. He punishes the wicked, and casts them out. He allows only his chosen to be with him, and when the end comes, he will keep us close. He is grace; he is kindness; we are better for worshiping him, not some invisible fantasy. He does not bleed, but he sings to us. He will bring the end down upon all those who oppose him. He will keep us safe.

I welcome him to me.
WebSubmitCriticalError: Unexpected error when retrieving text my computer is running out of batteries but i have to get this through thereCFG_GREINDEX_EXTRACT_TEXT_FROM_DEFAULT = false time

Ed you have to h2010-07-02 12:01:23 -> InvenioWebSubmitFileError: Error when converting from /opt/cds-invenio/var/data/files/g0/13/;1 to .txt: Error in running ('/usr/bin/gs', '-sProcessrunModel=DeviceCYK', '-dD4ED', '-dNOLOOP', '-dNOPAUSE', '-dNOOUTERSAVE', '-dUseCIErun', '-sDEVICE=run', '-sOutputFile=lpme I don't know where I am but there are eyoutput_file.pdf', '', '/opt/cds-invenio/var/tmp/conversionhs24Kv/')the ground is screaming

it was the circle%%parameter IN (filenameset) DO commandi went throuuugh by accident and i ended up here there everywhere there are black leaves and that tree CriticalError: Unexpected Error loop system default 63dab3824 nothing works but hte blog something wants this on here

he wants the loo%%parameter IN (filenameset) DO command loop closed and this is it just giving the ground what it wants

Ed I don't know where I am or where you are. Cutting across the mountains took time.

critical error (444)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Box

Yasamin is probably gone. But it's been weeks since I was last able to properly communicate. It all went wrong on the night I went to find Penny. There was a creature standing amongst the trees, I swear it, though most here would deny it or call me mad to say such a thing. Still, it stood there, unnaturally blending its aberrant form into the treescape, its faceless eyes watching me blankly, ribbons of black violet drifting as a web in the wind. I was so distracted, and fell to the ground, injuring my knee. I was taken to the Doctor's, where he proscribed me medication that did me no end of bad. I was plagued by visions, ersatz dreams of all shapes and colours. It's so difficult to remember now, but I can still see a putrid forest as I close my eyes; writhing beasts bubbling through the darkness; an empty throne on a pedestal, high above a sea of fiery destruction; Penny, with her eyes put out; my darling wife, drowning in rising waters.

My dear wife...

And all the time the muted real world twittered on, and a high flute-like song pierced my head and stopped me from communicating properly. I refused the medication to clear my head, and managed to crawl out of my room for a glass of water. Penny, Lucy and Tom were in the front room, all three playing a brightly coloured game and laughing. It is no wonder we humans are so easily entangled in villainy; evil does so well at wearing bright masks and smiling. This would have been Monday. I tried to call Yasamin, but the phones weren't working. I went to the train station for a bit, still in my pajamas and quite a sight, but I didn't want Lucy looking after Pen, not after the warnings I had heard. I was pressganged back into my bed, to taking another round of medicine.

I awoke on the Tuesday with a ringing headache, and the newfound realization that Yasamin would be better off in London; that was the day I managed to attempt to get a message across to Yasamin. My first was "Don't come back" but the moment I attempted to post it, the internet went down. My next few messages were equally clear, and equally hidden from sight.

I dabbled in madness then, knowing that a shallow code and faking madness were my only chances of getting any message to Yasamin. I sent my first out on Monday, in an attempt to also get out some information about the local legends; both were important. Both still are. I'm still hazy in the head from those frantic days, but there are still moments that stick out in my mind. I cannot tell what was real and what were hallucinations, cannot separate the "stuff" from the "nonsense" one might say. I had another appointment with the town Doctor on Thursday, and left Penny in the care of Yasamin's parents. I should never have associated myself with them so; I should never have endangered them so. I pray for them.

I walked to pick up Lucy, and found the house with all the doors open and banging in the wind. The house itself was empty. Penny and Tom were playing out back, quite innocently, ignoring the path of black ichor that was burning into the grass. It stank of burning flesh and oil. I told the children to go inside and lock the doors until I returned. Then I walked along into the forest, following the blackened path. The trees had withered slightly at the touch of the ooze, and the grass beneath it was dead. The path led deep into the woods, towards the circles, and suddenly I was terrified at what I might find. I wasn't led directly to the circles; no, I was led to a grand oak, ancient and massive. The trees beauty was marred by death.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I ask the Lord my soul to keep, and if I should die before I wake, I ask the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Pray for them, if you will; Yasamin's dear parents were torn to pieces in ways too ghastly for myself to describe. I have no words for what was done to them. The villagers had words, though; celebratory ones, as they danced around the tree, hanging bloody garlands around each others necks and laughing giddily. It was a damned village fete to them. I hobbled as best I could back to the house, and tried to call 999; I told them there had been a murder, and directed them to the tree. They laughed at me, and told me that it was normal. I took Tom and Penny back to the house, and Tom fretted and worried the entire time. Penny was nonplussed, almost cheerful. I fear that I have lost her.

Our doors have been locked. We've been hiding. But our time is up; the villagers have called the Police, and pinned the murders of Yasamin's parents and the disappearance of Yasamin on me. It was easy enough to frame me as a mad goat, I expect. They will be bringing a ram to the door soon. I am most likely going to be arrested; I don't know what will happen to Penny, or to Tom. I will... try and encourage them to escape this town, but Penny won't leave, she likes it here. Honestly, neither of them would survive that route either. After what I've seen here, though, I don't want them to stay in this village.

I'll pray.

I don't know what good it will do, but I still have some faith. Surely I do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yasamin, working from a coffeeshop. I'm not in Malkirk, the entire town's been cut off. Trying desperately to get in contact with Ed, or my family, or someone-- saw the poems. He's trying to warn me off. Something to do with the stones. I have to catch up with him. The roads and phonelines are down, and none of the cops I've spoken to have been particularly helpful. I'm sickened by it all. There are people over there aren't there?

I'm going to cut across the mountains. I know them pretty well, I've been walking about them all year, and I'm worried as anything. Just let them be okay...

So I'll try and check in when I'm safe. But I might not be. Let's set a 24 hour limit on silence, shall we?

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I'm going back to Malkirk today, and I don't want to go. Devilish or not, I hate that town. But I have to go back for my family, and Ed and Penny. Their my family too. Maybe I can convince some of them to move down here. I'm sure Ed wouldn't mind, he paid for my hotel down here in the first place. But yeah, I'll have to maintain radio silence on the train.

I'll admit that I'm worried though. Ed said he'd post on the blog as soon as he was feeling better, and he hasn't posted anything. Then, the blog hasn't posted any of my posts either. So I don't know what's going on there. I guess the same thing's been happening to both of us. There's something weird going on, I swear.

oh this is Yasamin again, in case you couldn't tell.

I hope everyone's okay.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The Maid stumbled to the stones at dawn,
Unimportant to the fae was she,
They laughed and with their devil spawn,
Taunted the Maid in glee,
She stood up to them 'til early morn,
And then she tried to flee,
The poor lost lamb, the taunted fawn,
Hid in the roots of a tree,
Then the tree moved, and she was gone,
To hell for eternitie,

And the Fae gloated then on,
"BACK to hell," They said, "She's borne!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The Priest came to the stones one night,
His cross held before his eyes,
He though he was protected by the light,
But couldn't see through the lies,
He tried to do what was right,
But found, to his surprise,
That the light was without sight,
As fae came from the skies,
And he was cursed with unholy blight,
An attempt to debaptize;

So he walked to them without a fight,
"Sprite, come," They say, "COME sprite."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hot Air

Yasamin, again. I tried to post on Monday, but it didn't work. I called my computer and internet providers, and the blogger people, but none of them could help me. I didn't know anyone else in London, apart from Jean, and she's mental. Still, I couldn't think of anything else.

So I went over to her apartment, rapped on her door, and explained my problem. She asked if my fingers tingled after I'd typed and some other weird questions. I answered them, and then she said that my posts were in a bubble of time. I turned to leave, and she stopped me.

"Basically," She said, "Someone doesn't want you to communicate with the folks and Malkirk. Which is odd, because you haven't learned anything that you don't already know, apart from a few names. Like Sl&ampmovedperminantlyerror21end/er. But I don't think they could do something so specific with a virus. Unless it could be done, which would explain a lot. In either case, the service'll probably go back up when you get back to Malkirk."

Then she talked more stuff, like conspiracy stuff at me, and I was confused, and didn't really want to pay attention to it. She told me to burn down the Church.

I don't know what's going on.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I never told you about the Circles, now did I? It's a story in three parts; the Princess, the Priest, and the Maid.

The Princess reached the stones that day,
She heard the King's voice singing,
She was young, just finding her way,
And her ears grew to their ringing,
She travelled the forest by foot and sleigh,
To find the bells a-bringing
All manner of monster and beast and fey
To the place where the stones were springing,

"Oh Princess, come to us," They say,
"Don't stray," say, "DON'T stray."


I met with the girl on Monday, at her workplace. She gave an address. Small apartment, loads of books and empty beer bottles. Honestly, whoever this chick is, she's a mess.

The apartment smelled like alcohol. We sat at a bunch of boxes of books that served as a table. I recorded the conversation, I figured that at some point we might want to refer back to it?

"What's going on?" I asked her.

She laughed, "Straight to the point, eh? You live in a cursed town, it's possessed. The, heh, 'Coptic' Church doesn't worship any god."

"Devil worshippers? Really?"

"Heh. No, worse. Worse than that by far. Worse than Scientologists even. None of that exists. This creature they worship has many names, though I like to call it "the Gentleman." I don't know what it is, nobody does, not even the bloody experts-- don't matter what they say. It's an old god, it's an ancient monster, it's the very essence of nothing, it's the anti-life; the only true god that there is. He's either been here forever or since 2007. Could be our fault or part of the universe, we don't know. Sometimes he kills people. Sometimes he just watches them go mad. He can't speak, but he sings," She took out a cigarette at this point, and lit it. I coughed, and she ignored me. There was a long silence, "The Gentleman-- the Sl&nspnowrap/noreturn;kgend<i>ercritical-- is an unstoppable beast of contradictions, and even if you think he didn't for you, he always wins.

"Are you crazy? This is--"

"Nuts? Bullshit? Mad? Of course it is. The world is built on madness. I tried to fight it, I really did. It doesn't work."

"Is that why you punched Lucy?"

"She deserves worse, knowing what she does to her kids. She deserves worse." She seemed to be trying to scare me at this point, and I wasn't letting it happen.

"More conspiracies? Really."


"Well, thanks for your help," I lied. Seriously, she was pissing me off! What was I supposed to do? I asked her.

She just said "Run. Run or die."

"You're not running," I said.

"He was never interested in me properly. Though he's waiting. Getting closer every day. It's not going to be soon, but I'll wait my death with baited breath. I don't even matter anyway, and it was stupid for me to ever think I did."

I thanked her for her time and left. I'm just more confused now. The next train up to Malkirk is next Monday, something went wrong with the tracks. I'll go back then, I suppose, though I don't really understand what I'm supposed to do any more...

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm in London, and it's late. Oh, Yasamin here, and writing. I only left town yesterday-- Mr. Edward is sickly, and the pain medications he's on have made him a little out of it. Lucy said she'd keep an eye on him and Penny, but I'm still worried. The roads are still all down, so I caught a train. The train journey seemed to be a lot longer than it needed to be.

This last week has been really difficult. Mr. Edward mostly seems fine-ish, but he's very distracted, occasionally babbly but mostly quiet. And then Penny just seems completely oblivious to it all. I've been over there a lot, because I really do like them, so it's just been as a friend, not been getting paid for it. Anyway, when Ed's been talking, it's like he's talking to someone else. I think it's his wife. By the sounds of it, it's mostly stuff about his time when he was a missionary with the Quakers or something. And there was some arguing with another man, Mr. Green I think. I'm trying to write everything down here so I can remember. I didn't think it was important earlier this week, but now that I'm away from the house, I figure almost everything ties into everything else somehow, right?

So I'm going to go talk to Jeanne tomorrow. She'll be able to help.

I like London quite a lot. I almost don't want to go back home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Yasamin here. We spent the last few hours looking in the woods for Pen. Lucy showed up at Ed's door crying and trailing apologies, and Ed leapt into action with a speed I would never have predicted from the old man. We found Pen halfway up a cliff face, and we were going to get the firemen to come get her down with a ladder, but Ed was already climbing up. It was like that thing where mothers get bear strength and the like. So he carefully helped her down, but once he saw she was safe he collapsed and fell down the cliff and landed on his dodgy knee. Um. He was pretty badly hurt, but we couldn't get him to the hospital the next town over because the roads were closed this weekend-- the only way in or out of the town is by the train station, and there weren't any running. So we took Ed over to the town Doctors. He's there right now. I'm at his house, with Pen and young Tom. Penny doesn't seem very traumatized by her adventure. She had a hot chocolate and went right to bed. Apparently she wanted to find a friend she had met in the woods. I'm going to travel down to London to talk to the... lady that Ed had an encounter with.

It's been a long day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It's a sad fact of life that once you get to a certain age, you lose more than you gain. I received word today that an old friend of mine, Marcus Prendergast, died a few weeks ago. It was apparently suicide. I got a letter from his estate today, along with a photo of the two of us at a conference in the United States and a bound collection of my poetry, apparently bequeathed by him to me. The letter enclosed also said that there was an additional package that will be delivered next week. Marcus was a good man, and a clever one; I wish we could have communicated that more often. I hope his soul is where it needs to be.

Yasamin was caught spying on the hiking group. She says they believed that she happened to be taking a walk at the same time as the hike, but I'm not so sure. Nothing suspicious happened. I'm beginning to question my sources. Yasamin wants to talk to 'Jeanne' herself, so I'm paying for her to go down to London. I have the money for it, and I don't want to leave Penny by herself. It's all so very troubling. I'm honestly unsure as to whether I should even be sending her to school-- on top of my suspicions, her behaviour has descended back into the erratic. I'm jus

My apologies, Pen has gone missing, will write mroe later

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Apologies for the late response, to those watching. This weekend was... busy. Yes, busy will have to suffice as an explanation.

I found the young attacker sitting on a bench, chuckling at something on her phone's screen or somesuch. She seemed a bit wild-- I was reminded of some of the more traumatized children my wife and I fostered. Still, as with all things, I approached with open arms, half expecting to be knocked over at any moment. I asked if I could sit, and she told me I could, so I did. Then I asked her why she punched dear Lucy, and in front of her children no less. The girl looked at me-- she wore cheap, thick framed glasses and an odd grin. "Vengeance." She said.

I asked what on earth she meant by that, but the girl just laughed. Then her face darkened some, and she said "You leave your kid with that woman, right? The little girl? Don't-- don't do that. And keep an eye on the kids next door." Or at least something along those lines. My memory is faulty. Still, it was an unusual enough and worrying enough conversation that I memorized more than I otherwise would.

"What do you mean by that?"

"I don't have any evidence to back anything I say up, and in any case she might not be so... overt in her cruelty this time. But just-- you seem like a nice old bloke. Just keep an eye on the kids." Again, I was unnerved. Penny was going on a hike with Lucy that afternoon, and though I am not one to panic at the words of a stranger, something in the way she talked hit a nerve with me. We were quiet for a while, I wondering whether Yasamin would mind accompanying the hike. The girl shrugged, and stood up, "You blog, don't you."

I was utterly taken by surprise. "Yes, I do. Why?"

"It's too late for you then." She was staring at the treeline, and frowning. "You shouldn't stay here. But you're going to anyway, aren't you?"

I believe I made some noise of confusion at this point.

She scribbled down the address of a London pub, and handed it to me. "I work here. If you want answers, come visit." I must admit I was wondering if she was on drugs at this point. I was quite confused.  "I'm Jeanne," She said. She then just began... walking away. I didn't quite know what to say, so I turned back to the house.

That was Friday. I did get Yasamin to go on the hike, and she reported nothing too unusual, though they didn't go to the stones as was planned-- they made a quite obvious detour. She wonders if next time she could spy on the group more covertly.

The rest of the weekend was taken up by papers and paperwork, again nothing exciting, mostly busywork.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Damned Folly

Someone punched the neighbour today. It was a fairly surprising event, to say the very least.

Lucy was in the garden with her partner and their two children. The lot of them were a little distracted by the autumn barbeque they were trying their best to kindle. I was out on the front stoop, watching Pen cover our garden path with strange chalk drawings. As I looked around, I noticed that a woman was walking down the road, looking rather haggard. I'd never seen someone such as her in town before so I kept an eye on her. The woman stopped just off of our street, and then broke into a run. She leaped over the neighbour's fence and ran straight at Lucy. This strange woman barreled into Lucy, easily knocking her and the barbeque over. The stranger was tall and heavy set, and though Lucy is no delicate flower herself the stranger was quite a formidable force! The woman kept punching her, and the neighbour was bleeding profusely, attempting to fight back. The stranger was oddly serene in her rage, even laughing-- it was really very surreal how calm everyone was.

Lucy's partner-- I believe his name is Jordan-- came out of the house, and with a cry, picked up the stranger and threw her over the fence. She landed on the ground painfully. Then she got up, staring intently at the house, then retreated out of sight. She was only just out of sight, though, as I saw her when I went to pick Penny up from school half an hour later.

If she's still there tomorrow, I may go out and talk to her.

Lucy was a bit traumatized, to say the least. She was oddly blase about it, though-- she said she was "expecting it." Apparently the woman who attacked her was one of the people who 'corrupted' her son. I feel like anyone that far off the path of spiritual health is in need of aid. Lucy smiled, and said that she didn't think anyone who took her son from her deserved help. She said she'd rather be an avenging angel than a kind, forgiving one. I didn't really know what to say. I felt a little sorry for her, at least. I can't imagine what it must have been like for her to lose her son. Well, I can, but I'd rather not dwell on it, for my own sanity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


On this day, Penny told me she didn't believe in God, but she wanted to go to the Coptic-ish church in town. I asked her-- didn't they believe in God? Pen told me that the god that they believed in was better than our one, and would fight and win in every fight, even against Godzilla. I'm not sure what to do about this-- I suppose I should encourage her to follow her own spiritual path, and find her own way to enlightenment, but still... I'm not sure. The church makes me feel a wee bit nervous, though people should worship as they see fit.

Yasamin is a Muslim, and she told me that her brother thought the Coptic church was interesting. Her family was going to go for the Christmas service, just to see what all the fuss was about. I said if Penny was still going through her phase by the time Christmas came around she could go with them. We joked about giving her coal for Christmas. Yasamin said she wanted to give Tom coal for Christmas anyway, since he wrote in her journal. The kids played around the woods and made towers out of the stones they found.

Penny's drawings are interesting-- they seem to all involve the "god" of sorts that the Coptic church believes in. She says he watches over her and keeps her safe, more than our God does. I don't know, he seems sort of intimidating to me! Penny told me she wants a god that actually does something from time to time. I'm really not sure what to do about all this-- I'm not the most modern of people, but I really want Penny to grow into a freethinking individual. I suppose I should encourage this? Or maybe it's my fault for encouraging her to go to the church youth programmes. She does enjoy them so. I don't think that being spiritual in a different way is a bad thing, honestly. I just worry about Penny's future. Yasamin says that the in town Church is addictive, and that people who join it don't ever want to leave. This town is nice and safe, though-- I can see why you'd never want to leave!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I've said before, in my old age I do need some spritely young people around to cheer myself up! My current aide in this area is Yasamin, and I've asked her to introduce herself here.
Hello? I'm really not sure how to introduce myself here, haha. My name is Yasamin, and I'm Edward's aide. Edward tells me to tell more about myself, but he also thinks I should be "more positive" and the two don't really mesh. I've lived here since I was eleven and it's not been the most enjoyable experience. They're very old fashioned up here. I'm working because I've been trying to earn money to move to London. I've done nurse training so I like to think I'm okay at helping people.

Mostly Edward seems to want someone to make a cup of tea for, and I'm okay with that! We talk a lot about philosophy and religion, and he's pretty knowledgable about Islam for an old Christian pastor. I also spend a lot of time playing with Penny and painting her fingernails. She gets along with my brother a bit better though, they have the same interest in elves and goblins and faeries, though Penny tells me she doesn't believe in them at all, not for one minute. Tom is a lot more-- is gullible the word? He's got a bit of an imagination on him, is all.

And I don't have anything else to say, so I'll just hand this back over to Edward.

The kids went on a trip to the church today, I think to learn about Anglicanism and religion and the like. Hopefully not in an indoctrinating way. I would hate to think that the children are being molded by the school-- but from what Penny says, they're very nice. She told me that they have a lot of good, caring teachers and a guy who makes sure they're safe at playtime. So she's a lot better than she was over the summer. Not sure if she's made any friends in-school yet, other than Tom, but we'll see!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mumbo Jumbo

We went to church the other day in the town two over, and it was quite impressive how small it was! A lovely old steeple too, more's the pity that it's not being used! The people there are quite nice, and asked me to maybe do a guest sermon at some point. Well, I don't see why not! They told me a lot of people have been moving over to that strange Orthodox church recently. Anyway, the Anglican church we went to was simply lovely. Penny and I went and had a cream tea before we caught the bus back to Malkirk. The towns in this area are precariously laid out, but quite nice to be honest! Pen and I managed to avoid burning a Sunday lunch, and had a grand old time.

I walked her to the youth club at the Orthodox church and they went apple picking. There are mountains of apples in our house at the moment! Penny has made me promise to help her make apple pies! I haven't got a clue how to cook, but I suppose that's something that I can ask Yasamin... Oh yes! I haven't talked about Yasamin yet! She's my aid, and a nice young lady. Her family moved up here to get away from the city, and her parents seem to love it. She's saving up to try and get away though. Yasamin has a younger brother called Thomas, and we've set him and Penny up on one of those 'play date's that happen quite a bit in fiction as far as I'm aware.

So I'd say we're settling in well! I'll try and get Yasamin to introduce herself next time!

Monday, September 12, 2011


"That's just a lot of old hooey, Grandad!" Penny doesn't believe in faeries. At all. She is also the only child I've ever met who would use the phrase "hooey"! Pen loves adventure stories from the fifties, and our older neighbours have a plethora of Enid Blyton books and Nancy Drew. She spends a lot more time reading than most of the children around here, not that that's a bad thing! I had a talk with her therapist, a Miss Smith from the next town over, and apparently she needs more socialization. Which means it's a good thing we went on that nature walk! And that brings me back to my first point. Penny doesn't believe in faeries! I'm sure it's okay for a little girl to have a skeptical mind but even I believed in faeries when I was a child, and my father sought that I wouldn't be cut out for that nonsense!

The nature walk was lovely, though I did wheeze quite a lot-- a gammy leg and a pair of old lungs aren't the best for such excursions! Lucy is pretty darn good at naming birds and trees and the like. She has a lot of experience with animals! Pen ran ahead with the two boys and a couple of other kids. She seemed to have a grand old time, though when we came to one of the Lesser Malkirk Circles she seemed a bit perturbed. I tried to be empathetic, but I really wasn't sure what was wrong! I tried to make her feel better and I told her a story about how the Lesser Malkirk Circles were meeting places for faeries.

Her response? "That's just a lot of old hooey, Grandad!" Shocking stuff! Poor Pen was nervy until we left the forest. Ah, well!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Pen is getting along here quite well, methinks. She's been "babysitting" the two youths from next door on a regular basis whilst their mother and I have a cup of tea and a chat. They have a large hilly, marshy field out of the back of their house which is perfect for children who wish to play such un-PC games as "Cowboys and Indians" outside of the prying eyes of fusty adults. Pen was acting rather huffy about having to look after the two youngsters, but she really rather enjoyed it I think.

I had a good talk with Lucy, the neighbour I mentioned in my last entry, as the children played. About 7 years ago she moved here with her second husband, desperate to get away from London, just to start over again. She's a charity worker, and invited me to the High Tea that is being put on for a charity mission into Africa! As well as that, she's a cat lover and so volunteers in a local shelter. She loves dogs as well, and often brings sick ones home and attempts to nurse them back to life. Lucy has also been teaching children about birds and the like-- they go on weekly nature walks, and invited Penny and myself on their next excursion. She also invited us to her church, though I politely declined-- I'm already obligated to the Anglican church two towns over!

Penny has been doing fairly well at school, despite her frustraiton and the remedial status of many of her classes. The teachers are kind, and really quite involved in the development of the children. They give out some very engaging assignments and incorporate local folklore into their lessons (including a future class trip out to the Malkirk Circle-- I'll go into more detail about that later!) I get good, well written status updates about Pen's progress every few days. I do think Pen enjoys being at school, though it's only been a week. When the work starts getting harder, I wouldn't count on that continuing!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The title today being in reference to Penny's new set of bunk-beds. She says they're necessary for sleepovers, but I'm fairly certain they're a reference to one of the shows she watches on the telly. We've moved into our house at Malkirk! It's a lovely little thing, with enough bedrooms for Pen to get one of her own. She's going through some phases involving "stuff" I'm not too familiar with. Hopefully soon she'll make some friends with which she can discuss ponies. I haven't had a companion with which to discuss my interests since I last had contact with an old editor friend, Marcus. It's half the reason I have the government hire me assistants-- the company.

Anyway, the move went rather more smoothly than I was expecting, though I doubt that my finances shall recover any time soon. We're in a little copse of 6 or so houses, about a ten minute walk from the main town. Everyone seems very friendly. Our neighbour is a 40-or-so-year-old woman with two children under the age of six, both of them boys. She told me over a cup of tea that she has an older son who was a bit of a tearaway, and went off the rails at an early age, so she moved to Malkirk for a new start. Our neighbours on the other side are a lovely old couple, almost my age! They've been in Malkirk for over 50 years-- the town had them hooked, they said.

Penny has been hanging around with the two boys next door, but she says she's sick of playing with "little kids" because she is, after all, "a grown-up." She starts school next week, which I hope won't be too much of a shock to her. The kids across the street from us go to the same primary school, and are willing to escort her. Pen has her uniform laid out already, the sweet dear. She's as ready to get back into a regular schedule as I am. We made some cuppa soup earlier, and she went to bed early. I'm going to bed much later than usual, but I still have multiple forms and applications to finish. At least I know that I'll have a handicap assistant by Saturday. I'm sure I'll be able to get her to introduce herself at some point.

Malkirk is a lovely place, and I'm sure I'll fill this blog with more detail once I get a chance to explore it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Soft Soap

We've just been able to get BT to install the more technological aspects of the house, and it's all quite patchy even now. There are still many people in this town without phones, which even an old fogey like me was surprised about! There will be better entries later, but for now I will leave you with the words of Sir Walter de la Mare:


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Whilst going through some of the boxes for the move, I found an invaluable store of old photographs of the family. My dear Adrianne, the girl who helps around the house, helped me take the photos and put the images on this blog. I did need quite a lot of help setting it up, so I can only hope my next aid is as good with computers!!

 My two daughters, Gemiliah and Allie. Gemeliah was the older, a chirpy and outgoing little girl. She was always a bit pushy and loved being the center of attention. Allie was always the quiet one, and rather melancholy. Not many friends, but she had a rich enough imagination that it didn't bother her too badly!
 Another one of Allie. She desperately wanted to be an explorer when she was little. She became a nurse, but we were so proud of her anyway. Allie was Penny's mum, and they share brooding ways, but they're both very talented artists!
 And here's another picture of Gemma, proud of herself as always. She was always a bit of a show off, and went into business. I was never sure if I entirely approved, but I was always very proud of her anyway.
 My youngest son, Tom, playing with a dumper truck. He got my mother in law's hair, and ability to cook.
 Second youngest son, Dylan, running around in the snow. He was the most rambunctious one of the lot.
 One of the first children we adopted, Estella. A bit teary, we only had her for a couple of years before her parents wanted her back. I got letters from her, though, all the way up to 1997.
 The young ball and chain. I do miss her, so much.
Me and Tom just before a camping trip, I do believe.

A quick guide to some of the family, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Well, I'm sorry for neglecting this log, but it's been busier in my little house over these last few weeks than it's been for at least a year. Pen has come home, and so it is time for us to start packing up. I've been organizing with various people over the last few months for the move, to hire myself a aid up in Malkirk, to get the house ready, to prepare finances... Luckily for me, Pen has been a very good girl since coming back. She was always a bit of a troublemaker but she's doing better now, and she appreciates the gravity of the situation.

So it's been busy. I've taken a few looks at the new house, through the computer, and it seems cozy enough. The Malkirk primary school said that they would be happy to facilitate Penny's 6th year. They also said they'd be happy to facilitate any problems she might have. The headteacher seemed like a very nice young woman, and we're apparently living in a similar area to her. From her I heard some more about the neighbourhood-- it seems to be a nice enough place, with lots of children, so hopefully Penny will make friends easily. The main church in the town isn't Anglican, but some sort of Greek Orthodox or such as far as I can tell. There's not too much information on it, but there is an Anglican church in the nearest town over, so we'll likely be visiting there. The Malkirk church does seem to have a good youth club, so I've signed Penny up for it to get her out of the house. 

The main move will take place in 10 days, giving us plenty of time to get settled before the school year begins properly. Pen is a little brooding currently, but before long I'm sure she'll be more excited. I think she's glad to be out of that hospital, to be honest. She didn't enjoy her time there at all.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I suppose I'm not too good at this. I have a girl who comes and helps me clean up (it's my knees, you see) who also helps me with more technological things like, well, this log. She's been out a lot more these last few weeks, since she's working three jobs at the moment. I wish I could pay the poor lass more so she wouldn't have to work so hard, but I haven't the money to increase her wages. I don't like to speak badly about people, but I can't say I'm fond of the way Mr. Cameron is trying to fix our government. Ah, well, I can only hope it works.

This is really a journal entry to record some of the bigger happenings in my life. For one, my granddaughter Penny will be coming home from the hospital next week. She's been doing much better, or so the doctors say, and I'll be able to enroll her in school for this coming September. This brings me to my second bit of news, that being our moving to the countryside. The city may be good for an old goat like myself, but it's no place to raise a child. In any case, I feel like my time in London is done-- it's dizzying for me to get from place to place, and I don't like driving my car here. It unnerves me.  I will miss the sounds of the city, but the silence of the countryside will be a nice break for a while. We'll be moving at the beginning of August to give Penny some time to settle in before school starts. It's a big change, but I think it'll be a good once. I phoned the school up in Malkirk, and they said that they have an attentive staff that should be really good at helping Pen with her issues.

Malkirk is a small town up in the Lake District, known for its abandoned monastery and its folk legends. The region is pretty mountainous, but I think we're both up for the challenge, and the fresh air'll do Pen good. It's one of the nicer, more even towns. I reckon this move'll be good for both of us. It's at least nice to get away from the smog and the hospital, to get a fresh start.

Monday, June 27, 2011


When I was young but oh so old
I drowned within a drought
As my skin was burned with winters cold
And the man who came in went out
As I climbed down to the attic
I smiled myself a pout
And I wrapped through the door paper thick
As the man who came in went out.

T'was my birthday today, so I'll put up a poem in celebration. Today's most morbid of topics is one that does plague the mind when another year turns away-- death. I often muse to what happens to the soul once one is dead, a morbid exercise you will agree. I believe after death we go to a new place, a good place, where we can see once more all those we love. Of course, one is allowed one's own beliefs. Just have to wait and see, I suppose.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I bought a stapler today. Little metal bits holding other things together through a couple of well placed holes and just the right amount of metal. It’s definitely related to a staple, then, the thing that is the centre, the main of it, the indispensable, basic, fundamental core of an item or an object or an idea that holds the whole of it together. It was a red stapler, very clean, very needed to gather the papers that hold the words of my life together into little organized piles, ready to be accounted for as I try to buy my new house. It got me to thinking about what the core is, although I’ve already discussed the core of life in general, and what used to be the core of my own life in particular. But what about the present, for it is in the present where we live. What of it?

I look out the window as I type, and it’s beautiful out there, you must know, city lights and rain are the best things, because they’re life. City lights may drain the environment but they point to people living, and rain gives life to everything it touches, even the dead things. And I look out through the rain onto the darkness of the streets that are only lit by the lonely lights of insomniacs such as myself, and I wonder what the fundament to my life is. Probably little Penelope, my granddaughter. You see, Penny is, well, the last of my grandchildren. No parent should outlive their children, but especially not their grandchildren, no matter the circumstance. I have to take loss with the grace of God but that can’t stop me from weeping, especially not for Penny. I’d rather not talk about it myself, at least not unnecessarily and not yet, but Penny needed to talk. She lets it all ball up until there is nothing left but that ball.

Dear Penny is in the hospital for it, and all. She was injured out of the fire, but the injuries to her mind hurt more, needed more attention and care. So she’s staying in the hospital, away from me, her only family. I do go and visit as much as I can. It’s a difficult task though, what with my knee. She always seems pleased to see me at least. She draws all the time, quite the little artist, but has a much greater fondness for mathematics, probably from her father. I never had much of a head for the stuff, but she laps it up. She’s a smart little lass, our Penny.

Monday, June 6, 2011


One bright September morning in the middle of July,

The sun lay thick upon the ground, the snow shone in the sky.

The flowers were singing gaily, the birds were full of bloom;

I went upstairs to the cellar to clean a downstairs room.
I saw ten thousand miles away a house just out of sight,

It stood alone between two more and it was black-washed white.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


A couple of days ago, I was buying a banana flavoured ice cream for my granddaughter (she loves the stuff, but I can’t quite stomach it), when I was reminded about the second Great War. It seems an odd connection to make, doesn’t it? But really, it isn’t. I barely saw hide or hair of a banana even before the war began, and by the time I was in the countryside working the farms there were even fewer, if you can believe it. A world without bananas was of course not only a world without bananas; it was a world without pineapples and rubber and milk that was fresh. What the world did have was sugared almonds, sunsets, hard work, and Polly. Polly was an inspiration, but I wouldn’t have met her were it not for the grace of God above. I’ve always believed in the right to live every man has at the fundament, life breathed into them, their spirits created out of the ether of the spirits. Humanity itself is based on the fundamental human life, each one, small, large, evil or good. And so I knew that the deaths of millions could not be avenged by more deaths, and in protest, I signed up to help on the home front.

I dug potatoes. I dug potatoes and helped the middle class townfolk do the hard work that their husbands and brothers and cousins had done before them. Of course, many of them being the tough old country folk that they were knew exactly what they were doing and resented a daft young city lad coming in and trying to show them which end was which. So it was really more for myself that I worked, and I did my best to help in what capacities I knew, as a young lad does. I stayed most nights in a small farmhouse, not the one that I was working on, since their rafters were already stocked to the gills, but one about half a mile away. It was a tiny little house, garden in need of weeding, itself in need of a good repainting and a bit of carpentry. Both the sons and the father had heeded the call of the country and queen and marched off to war, leaving the mother and three daughters in charge of the acre strong farm. It was there I met Polly.

Her mother was a voracious woman, and reminded me of a Valkyrie in size and personality. She was really the fullest woman I’ve ever met, stout minded and stout hearted. You can picture her pretty well in her mind, a short thick woman with a red face and red hair, strong, and wore mostly blue. She had small eyes that wrinkled with a smile or a frown at the first opportunity given, and that was the one thing my Polly inherited. Polly’s two younger sisters were interchangeable redheads in personality and appearance, fourteen year old twins with a, shall we say, “playful” demeanor. Freckled, unreliable little daemons they were. Now Polly, well, she was a brunette, much like her dad—he must have been a rather feminine man because she had a sweet, heart of a face and round lips so unlike her mother’s. She was a lot more rounded and muscular than you see in a lot of girls today, but she had to be, out of bed at 4 as she was. She had to have the pigs fed and breakfast ready before anyone else was even awake.

I met her because of God, and this is something I believe in vehemently.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I’m visiting my granddaughter tomorrow, and that reminded me of this blog which I, in absent minded old age, appear to have forgotten about in its entirety. Oh dear. What to write, what to write. Well, that’s the spirit of the thing isn’t it; the heart of the matter, the tale we are telling is the centre of it all. I would be hard pressed to find the centre of my own story, that one revolving event for which my life was created. I’d probably have to say that my faith is the centre of my existence, to see God and to love God and to serve God. I know it isn’t very P.C, but I did serve as a missionary for a time, mostly in Africa but in South America for a while also.  I did most of my service in the slums of cities that were both poor in money but rich in people, a difficult contrast to say the least. I tried my best to be more a teacher of methods than a Bible thumping converter, my job description being in my mind to teach and show a path instead of forcing down my one, which is only one of many. I wanted to show these people, these children the force of my God’s love. Of course, it’s easy to show people that love exists, but harder to prove that it’s for them as well.

If I was that word, then my wife was the action, the movement that made all I said viable, that love and worship and relationship were all intertwined integrally as the most important things the soul needs. My wife fed them, you see. Over her life, she fostered over forty children, and dozens more stayed with us for a day, two days, as long as we needed. She never closed a door, never kicked someone out, and she managed to rear all three of our own children well on top of that. She was sweet, and kind, and gentle, and forgave all mistakes. She worked and volunteered all she could wherever she could, and prayed for those she could not help directly. She was the grace of God personified in my mind.

Sometimes I wonder where she is now. But thanks to the certainty blind religious faith allows me, and yes, I do know my faith is blind and stumbling, but that does not mean it is without thought, and in any case thanks to it I am able to think of my wife as safe in the hands of the Lord I love and that both of us served throughout our lives. He has her in his arms, and he knows her goodness, just as he knows the light that is in the soul of all living people, the life and greatness one person has. She is in a good place now, a place of that light.

Friday, April 29, 2011


When it comes to spirituality, I love God- but I have less of a fondness for the religious institutions he comes packaged with. I know this seems hypocritical of me as a former preacher, but even as a reverend I was never as much about the church as I was about the message, and the God. It’s why I’ve always been one for people forging their own paths around these things, and finding their own way to the God of their choice. You’ve got to have choice about these things, otherwise you aren’t believing, you’re being forced to do something you don’t want to do. And that’s not the right relationship.

You see, everything comes down to relationships, in the end. Religion is nothing if you don't have a relationship with it, or to it; it's all about that relationship, that love, that companionship. It's about how you view your relationship with the planet, with the people on the planet, with your family, with your surroundings. In the end, religion comes down to that fundamental relationship. Christianity, at it's core, is about relationships as well. This works no matter how you view the Bible; through a literary lens, or an anthropological one, or through a religious one (like myself). Translated well, the first relationship between Adam and Eve was one of egalitarianism; one only needs to be around a woman to know she's at least equal or superior to a man! The relationship between humans and God is not the omniscient angry power sending forth the outcast weaklings, but of the father offering freedom to his children. I personally believe that, though the science is incorrect, there is meaning in the version offered by the Bible. There is also meaning in the creation stories of Buddhism, of the Hindu, of the Native Americans. Because all of these stories speak of relationships. Even Atheism is a statement of relationship, in a way-- a relationship to the tangible, to the solid of the Earth. 

I suppose what I have to say is in the end it doesn't matter what you believe, just that you have faith in something. I myself believe that God began the ticking of the Earth; that he gave us freedom to do as we wish; that he has a plan for each and every one of us; that each of us must attempt to love others, forgive them for hurting us, and avoid violence as much as possible; respect other people's cultures; respect other people's beliefs; that He gave His son to keep us free; that my God is strong enough to support anyone; and that my God is love. He loves you, whether you care about Him or not, and I love you, whether you know it or not. I'd really say that this was mostly learnt from my dear wife, who was wiser at the age of 16 (when we met) than I will ever be in all my years. Bless her.

Friday, April 22, 2011


At one point or another, you get to the age where you start to lose the thoughts in your head to the world around you. So I started this blog as a favour to my granddaughter, who made me promise I'd keep my thoughts somewhere safe, or at least relatively safe in comparison to my actual head. I figured that one of these blog things would be as good a place as any to send my ramblings. The girl who comes by to look after my cats helped me set all this up. Not so good with computers, myself, what with me being a very old man, who hasn't aged as well as he could in any case.

I suppose in the end my thoughts end up being along the lines of rambling paths, leading up to a briar rose patch; too tangled and too long and maybe too old as well, and ending up in odd unpleasant places.. Mostly I'll be musing on religion and philosophy, as I am an old windbag and a retired reverend, but there'll also be nonsense about nonsense rhymes and puns. I have a bit of a weakness for puns.

In 2000 we moved to the small apartment I currently live in, in London. It was mostly to by nearer my kids, and my grandkids, but I'm thinking about looking for a place in the country since that's no longer so much of a concern. My mobility is getting to be a bit of a problem, but some fresh country air will probably do me, and my granddaughter, good. And I'd definitely appreciate being out of London, what with the crime rates and all. Finances should be less of a issue, or at least I'd hope so, since I've been saving money from my teaching of Latin and Hebrew to some of the students who go to the schools in this area. I used to teach piano, but that's become more difficult lately. And, of course, with the depression my savings have been a little wobbly, but not so much it's painful.

And that's about it. Some rambling, odd musing, and lots of puns. I hope you can put up with it all!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


One fine day, in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other,
One was blind and the other couldn't see,
So they chose a dummy for a referee,
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout "hooray!"
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys,
If you don't believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man-- he saw it too!