Wednesday 25 March 2009

Our Wondrous Island Heritage, Ch. 32

(Please note, this is a cross-postular event from my other blog, which is no more exciting that this one, but is a different colour. Consumer choice, and so forth.)
'This groin and pungent land...'

Shakespeare, the Mermaid Tavern, just after closing time.

England has a rich and fascinating history of folk traditions that some people made up in the 19th century, then cleverly backdated to the era of King Ulfwang the Far Too Sarcastic (c. 897-897). But how significant are our ancient customs and practices in these materialistic times? I’ve no idea but I thought I’d list a few anyway:

In the village of Monty Stubble in Suffolk, residents gather every May Day to ‘strongle the lumgits’ – that is, to terrify estate agents by putting them in a light trance, then claiming that nobody wants to buy Georgian farm labourers’ cottages because the roofs are too low. 

Strummocking is a North East South West Gloucestershire term for having another drink when you know you shouldn’t and don’t really want one anyway. The introduction of larger wine glasses has led to widespread female involvement in strummocking, a controversial development as giggling and shoving is frowned on by purists.

Hurdle-me-dongler is a game played by trainee shepherds on the Isle of Wight, but not too near the edge. The dongler, a small shrub with a marked list, is placed near a redundant chartered accountant and the hurdlers rush towards it shouting ‘No Pot Pourri!’ The first one to give up wins a purely decorative bunion.

Clappo Day is celebrated on 1st August in secluded hamlets in the old county of Westmoreland, and also – due to a clerical error by Disraeli – in East Tonga. Clappo, a man dressed as a tin of pork luncheon meat, runs around the village making amusing noises with his armpits until the Turgling Provost (the oldest resident who can recite Deuteronomy backwards) gently subdues him with a sock full of gravel. 

Semolina Sal was a much-loved prostitute and part-time borough surveyor in the Dorsetshire town of Perming Fluid. When a woman feels she is being taken for granted by her husband she may invoke the spirit of Sal by standing on the common in her underwear and crying ‘Skimpy Drawers and Belly Bumptious, Look at Me I’m Bleeding Scrumptious’. She is then arrested and cautioned.

Old Flockle is a spectral ferret said to haunt the Cheviot Hills on every third Tuesday in the month, except during leap years, when he manifests himself as a cynical macaroon. When Old Flockle appears you may ask him three questions about your destiny, provided that the answer to each can be rendered as a low squeaking noise.

Wednesday 18 March 2009


It's been a while since I last posted. I am very sorry and have been spanked. In fact, that's probably why I haven't posted for a while. Haaaaaa! Thank you, Eric Pode of Croydon.

Now, fear not bold fictioneers, ST15 is well under way and will be out by the end of May, if I'm lucky and spared and so forth. In the meantime, a fact. There's a new player in town, in the crazy world of quality publishing. Ex Occidente Press is based in bouncy baroque Budapest*, and full of Eastern promise. If the quality of the books matches the talents of some of the authors listed, I think we will all be spending our way out of this pesky recession. Oh yes.

And now, back to the grindstone, Mr Croydon.

*no, it's Bucharest, and I'm wrong again. But whichever it is the books look spiffing.

Thursday 5 March 2009

Epic Fail - it's now even harder to subscribe to ST

I'm about to remove the link to the British Fantasy Society, as they closed down their online store WITHOUT TELLING ME! I am peeved about this, and they have lost a member. Oh well, credit crunch and all that. It's a few quid saved. 

So, basically, there are now two ways to order ST. You can send me a cheque drawn on a British bank, or you can send me that funny foreign money. I will look at setting up a PayPal account, but I am very, very wary of anything financial that occurs online. Frankly I think sending cash through the post is marginally safer than trusting total strangers with my bank account details. But let's see what happens.

Update Friday 6th Mar: apparently the BFS has had major problems with its site and - incredibly - lost the email addresses of those using its store. Wow. They want me to continue using their store for my micro-business. Not sure I want to with that kind of track record. Any thoughts out there? Suggestions? Recession recipes?

Monday 2 March 2009

The Old School Tentacle

This just in:

'Arguing that students should return to the fundamentals taught in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon in order to develop the skills they need to be driven to the very edge of sanity, Arkham school board member Charles West continued to advance his pro-madness agenda at the district's monthly meeting Tuesday.'

The full story here.

Supernatural Tales 56 - contents

The next issue - due out in the autumn - will see a mixture of familiar names and some newbies. I hope, as always, that the stories find fav...