Category Archives: Don and Wen

Lair of the Black Shade…

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…A flutter of recognition flicked across his gaze.

“What is it?” Asked Wen, her icy tone slicing through the summer haze like a frosty stare.

“There’s an old lay, I can’t quite remember how it goes…”

“Try!”

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“I don’t know, something about a green valley between two hills…”

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“And a sentinel of stone which has to be appeased…”

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“Before entry into the living rock is granted…”

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“The last bit goes on about the embrace of a One-Eyed God, or something…”

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“By Odin, I know that place!” shrieked Wen, leaping to her feet.

Moments later the Beast was again roaring along the lane.

Anyone would think she was glad to be back on the road…

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Dear Wen: Wednesbury…

France & Vincent

Dear Wen

I suppose ultimately ‘Odin’s Steed’ is the eight-spoked wheel of the year, which he rides like the wind and which could almost be yet another parallel with the ‘Christ-Spirit’ that blows where it listeth…

Repton and Breedon would be good at some point but I also have a yearning to spend some time in Bakewell this weekend and not just for the tarts…

There is a hill-fort to the left of the bend as you approach the bridge into the village and I would quite like to have a shufty at the crossroads, which may have once sported our Saxon Cross from the frontispiece of Aethling…

I know it now makes a lot of sense for the crosses to be in the churchyard, for all sorts of reasons, but can you imagine what it would be like coming across one in original situ…?

It is possible that the…

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Way Old Time…

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‘Of circular possibilities’…

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‘Eyeing the Chasm’…

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‘Extending a welcome’…

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‘An Other Time’…

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‘Presence is everything’…

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‘Two O’Clock Shadow’…

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‘There was an Old Woman’…

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‘Who looked out’…

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‘Through a Shoe’…

Dear Don: Saxon Sisters…

France & Vincent

nicks 012Dear Don,

It’s been a bit hectic round here this week, what with one thing and another, but I did manage to dig up our Saxon sisters… not literally, you understand… though I’m working on that….

I did find a superb church dedicated to one of them, though at Castor. No Pollux… Definitely one of ‘ours’… you should see the medieval wall paintings of St Catherine! Not to mention the green men and the carvings on the capitals… It is a bit off our patch for now, being Peterborough way… but I think there may end up being a visit at some point…

nicks 016Speaking of wall paintings, I felt the need of a little peace after the busyness this week and called at ORC. Thought I could test the new camera while I was there. Battery died after just a few shots though. I was really surprised… you’d expect the…

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Dear Don: Wednesbury…

France & Vincent

Dear Don,

Still cross-eyed from the editing bBakewell Imbolc 001 (95)ut Doomsday should be ready for off by August as we planned. I can’t believe how much stuff there is in there… or how much more we have already for Dark Sage! All sorts of stuff keeps cropping up, now. Did you know that Malham Cove, according to one legend, was made by one of Sleipnir’s hooves? There’s even a suggestion that Santa’s reindeer might have a basis in the eight legged horse of Odin.

Such a rich vein of mythology to look at… I feel as if my education has been sadly lacking, you know! Why do we not get taught this stuff in school? I remember you telling me that it was the search for the mythology of Albion that had carried you into the research that led to Crucible of the Sun.

Bakewell Imbolc 001 (59)Funny, really, I suppose we…

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November? How did that happen? Plus #BookReview Mister Fox by @SCVincent #GraphicNovel

Barb Taub

Remember, remember the fifth of November…—Guy Fawkes chant

On Monday my neighbors in our little village gathered on the beach to celebrate Guy Fawkes day and Bonfire Night. For my American readers, this is basically like the Fourth of July, except it’s usually really cold. And we have a big fire. And instead of watermelon and beer, we have hot soup and whisky. And instead of celebrating our independence from the King of England, we celebrate um… not blowing up the King of England. And we burn a Catholic (well, in effigy, anyway, although I think this year’s Guy was orange, with a yellow wig and teeny hands…)

So actually, it’s absolutely nothing like the Fourth of July in America. But there ARE fireworks, and little kids DO run around with sparklers, and people clap and “Ooooh!” at their favorite rockets, and it IS a hella lot of fun!

BUT…that…

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Names Matter: nimmy nimmy not…

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…Well, she felt that horrud. Howsomediver, she hard the king a coming along the passage. In he came, an’ when he sees the five skeins, he says, ‘Well, me dare I don’t see what ye will ha’ your skeins ready tomorrer night as well, an’ as I reckon I shorn’t ha’ to kill you, I’ll ha’ supper in here tonight.’
So supper and another stool was brought for him and down the tew they sat.
Well, he hadn’t eat but a mouthful or so, when he stops and begins to laugh.
‘What is it?’ says she.
‘Why,’ says he, ‘I was out a huntin’ today, an’ I got away to a place in the wood I’d never seen afore. An’ there was an old chalk pit. An’ heerd a sort of hummin’, kind o’. So I got off my hobby, an’ I went right quiet to the pit, an’ I looked down. Well, whar should there be but the funniest little black thing yew iver set eyes on. An’ what was that dewin on, but had a little spinning wheel, an’ that were a spinning a wonnerful fast, an a twirlin’ that’s tail. An’ as that span sang:
‘Nimmy nimmy not… I’m tha’ Tom Tit Tot…’
Well, when the mawther heerd this, she fared as if she could ha’ jumped outer her skin for joy, but she di’nt say a word.
Next day, that there little thing looked so full of malice when he came for the flax. An’ when night came, she heerd that a knockin’ agin the winder panes. She oped the winder, an’ that come right in on the ledge. That were grinning from are to are, an’ Oo! Tha’s tail were twirlin round so fast.
‘What’s my name?’ that says, as that gonned her the skeins.
‘Is that Solomon?’ she says, pretendin’ to be afeared.
‘Noo, t’aint,’ that says an’ that come fudder inter the room.
‘Well, is that Zebedee?’ says she agin.
‘Noo, t’aint,’ says the impet. An’ then that laughed an’ twirled that’s tail till yew couldn’t hardly see it.
‘Take time, woman,’ that says, ‘next guess, an’ you’re mine.’ An’ that stretched out that’s black hands at her.
Well, she backed a step or two, an’ she looked at it, and then she laughed out, an’ says she, a pointin her finger at it:
‘Nimmy nimmy not… Yar tha’ Tom Tit Tot…’
Well, when that hard her, that shruck awful an awa’ that flew into the dark, an’ she niver saw it noo more.

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Little Acorns…

France & Vincent

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… A paper flyer blowing in the wind clings to my ankle.

I stoop and peel it from my trouser leg, unfurl it and read…

‘…LITTLE ACORNS…’

A Puppet-Play Figured in Three Acts

FEATURING THE REDOUBTABLE MR PUNCH

                                                                       

THE PUPPETS:

PUNCH

STATS-MAN (dress-coat and top-hat)

JUDY

OSAMA THE EXECUTIONER (Moor with straggly beard, caftan and turban)

                                                                                                                       

I can see the wooden booth, its canvas covers rippling noisily in the sea breeze, from my vantage point on the top promenade and the close bunch of predominantly small forms huddled before it.

I walk down to the beach and reach the back of that small huddle just as the drum rolls cease… the curtain is raised, and the cheers of the audience go up…

            Punch is busy scanning at a scanning machine.

            PUNCH: (Humming) Hi-Ho… Hi-Ho…

He lifts a piece of…

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Names Matter: gonned…

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Well, the next day, har husband he took her inter the room, an’ there was the flax an’ the day’s vittles.
‘Now, there’s the flax,’ says he, ‘an’ if that ain’t spun up this night off goo yar hid.’ An then he went out and locked the door.
He’d hardly goon, when there was a knockin’ agin the winder.
She upped and she oped it, and there sure enough was the little oo’d thing a settin on the ledge.
‘Where’s the flax?’ says he.
‘Here te be,’ says she. And she gonned it to him.
Well, come the evenin’, a knockin come agin to the winder. She upped an’ she oped it, and there were the little oo’d thing, with five skeins on his arm.
‘Here te be,’ says he, an’ he gonned it to her.
‘Now, what’s my name?’ says he.
‘What, is that Ben?’ says she.
‘Noo, that ain’t,’ says he. An’ he twirled his tail.
‘Is that Ned?’ says she.
‘Noo, that ain’t,’ says he. An’ he twirled is tail.
‘Well, is that Don?’ says she.
‘Noo, that ain’t,’ says he. An’ he twirled his tail harder, an awa’ he flew.

Well, when har husban’ he come in: there was the five skeins riddy for him. ‘I see I shorn’t hev for to kill you tonight, me dare,’ says he. ‘Yewll hev yar vittles and yar flax in the morning,’ an’ away he goes.
Well, ivery day the flax an’ the vittles, they was browt, an’ ivery day that there little black impet used for to come mornin’s and evenin’s. An’ all the day she set a tryin’ fur to think of names to say to it when te come at night. But she niver hot on the right one. An’ as that got to-warts the ind o’ the month, the impet that began for to look soo maliceful, an’ that twirled that’s tail faster an’ faster each time she gave a guess.

At last te come to the last day but one. The impet that come at night along o’ the five skeins, and that said, ‘What, aint yew got my name yet?’
‘Is that Nicodemus?’ says she.
‘Noo, t’ain’t,’ that says.
‘Is that Sammel?’ says she.
‘Noo, t’aint,’ that says.
‘Ah well, that’s sure to be Methusalem?’ says she.
‘Noo, t’aint that norther,’ that says.
Then that looks at her with that’s eyes like a cool o’ fire, an’ that says, ‘Woman, there’s only tomorrer night, an’ then yar’ll be mine!’ An’ away te flew.

to be continued…