Monthly archives: November 2006


Wednesday, Orange Wednesday

Last wednesday, Members of Team Spinneyhead made the trek to the local cinema to watch Daniel Craig in his new film, Casino Royale.

Daniel Craig has been in some memorable films such as Layer Cake and some not so memorable ones (such as Tomb Raider).

So… On to the nitty gritty, what did Team Spinneyhead make of the new James Bond…

Tim: The film is a bit oddly placed when compaired to the rest of the bond movies, given that it is the first, but set in the present. The DB5 makes an appearance and does the new Aston Martin DBS. Gadgets are light on the ground (Bond does has a few, but no Q). Apart from the scene where the Aston DBS gets destroyed, I liked the film (I liked the DBS too much to enjoy that bit). Not as funny as Woody Allen’s Casino Royale, but well worth the money any day of the week. Overall: 9 /10

Ian: It was definitely trying for a back to basics feel, and the action sequences are great. It’s been suggested that they were going for a Bourne Identity/ Bourne Supremacy kind of grittiness to make the series more relevant. I have to say they didn’t quite succeed if they were- the glamourous scenes in the casino and beach resort.

Highlights- the free-running chase, for more of the same see the fun District 13, the DBS crash (it takes a lot of nerve to write off three supercars for the sake of a good shot), “You died scratching my balls!” and the revelation that M has a home life.

Less good- without spoiling the plot for you, there’s a bit toward the end that just doesn’t fit comfortably into the film, everyone is acting at odds with their established characters and you just know it isn’t right. And the camp Swiss banker was hamming it up way too much.

Amazon Links:

James Bond Ultimate Editions Collection
Casino Royale – The Novel

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So Much To Answer For- Part 20

The office buildings in the Science Park were identikit. It was only because he knew the company name that Joe could find the right one. “I’d like to see Sarah James.” he told the man on reception.

“Is she expecting you?”

“No. But if you can tell her Joe’s here to see her.” The message was passed on and Sarah arrived within minutes.

“Hello stranger.”

“Hi. You want to go for a walk?”

The professional reply died on her lips. She nodded. “Okay.”

They stepped out into the car park It wasn’t very scenic, but they could walk. Joe set off around the perimeter.

“Did Tommy visit you?”

Sarah was silent. They stopped walking. The silence stretched out. “I didn’t kill him.”

“I hoped that was the answer. What happened?”

“He was waiting for me. Like he knew when lunch was. Waiting almost exactly where you are now.” Joe looked down, then scanned the car park and its surroundings.

“I didn’t know what to do. For a moment I just stood there. Then he came toward me and I ran. I don’t know what I was thinking. I just ran.

“There’s a gap in the fence, just over there.” Joe looked where she indicated. He couldn’t see anything, but he believed her. “I’m shorter. And I know it’s there. I ducked under it.”

“It?”

“There’s this bit, sticking out. There was a noise. I went back and there was blood all over the ground. His throat was cut open, he must have run into it.”

Joe hugged Sarah. She was crying.

“I didn’t do anything. I made my way back to my car and went home. I called in sick for the rest of the day. I didn’t call for an ambulance or the Police. I should have called for an ambulance or the Police.”

“It wouldn’t have made a difference.” Joe lied. He didn’t know how much of a difference it would have made. “The Police are here.” Sarah tensed up. “Just tell them what you told me. It’ll be okay.” He really hoped he was right. Across the car park Stevenson, Wood and Rachel got out of the car.

Part 21
Part 19
Part 1

Other fiction- check out Heavensent, the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I recently wrapped up, or download Another Education/Ruby Red or Ten Years Asleep.

Donate Now I’ve started writing again I’m unlikely to stop, but it would be nice if I could eat during my breaks. So please feel free to donate some money to my starving author fund by clicking on the PayPal button below.


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Frightened to Death by John Humphries

The Today programme comes from the Royal Society today, discussing science and its future (move to India, they still understand its importance). One of their teaser comments for an upcoming item was “Were hundreds of Cumbrians really scared to death by fairies?” I think I missed it, so I may have to listen again to hear just that bit and see if it’s related to my own Frightened to Death by Fairies images.

Update I just caught it, and it’s the same document, from Lamplugh parish, as I based my Fairies pictures on.

And here’s the news item at BBC Cumbria- Dead funny: Archives Service digs up bizarre burial records

PS I apologise for the comment spam on some of the pictures. I try to weed it out, but I haven’t caught all of them.

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So Much To Answer For- Part 19

A third visit to the MRI, this time flanked by armed Police. “This place is beginning to look familiar.” Joe said to no-one in particular. He looked around and everyone was looking back.

Tattoos was rolled into an operating theatre for immediate attention. Joe and Rachel were hustled into a cubicle, with one armed guard outside. They sat side by side on the bed. “I’m sorry for getting you into this.” Joe said after a while.

“I let myself get into this. I could have bailed at any point after you told me about identifying the body. But, you know, it was all a bit thrilling.” She added in a little voice, “Even the nearly getting killed. Is that wrong?”

“This isn’t a normal week. Normally they’re quite boring.”

“Well, we’ll just have to base our relationship on the sex then.” She laid her head on his shoulder and held his arm.

They swung their legs for a while, listening to the activity beyond the curtain. “Did you just quote Speed?”

“Yeah. What can I say, I like Keanu.”

“Don’t know if I’m talking to you any more.”

“What? You didn’t like the Matrix?”

“Well, yes. But the sequels were shit.”

“I guess.”

“Who’s Kevin?”

Silence. And a horrible cold feeling that he’d said something wrong. Rachel cuddled in closer.

“How do you know about Kevin?”

“You mentioned him this morning. You said that Hugh hated him. I assumed ex-boyfriend.”

“Fiancée. Ex-fiancée.” That seemed to be all the information he was getting. Then, “We were together for three and a half. Nearly three and a half years. He left me, four months before the wedding.”

Joe stroked her hair, kissed the top of her head. “I guess in the end I loved him more than he loved me.” She shrugged, “I kept trying to tell myself it was for the best. But… You know how it is.”

“Yeah. Been there. It’s hard to move on. Even when. Especially when they have.”

“The romantic walking wounded. That’s us. That was a year and a half ago. I kept trying to get over him. I tried speed dating, friends of friends, all sorts of things. It might just be the group I mix with, but they all seemed to be versions of him. It felt like, anyway. So I just sort of gave up, started concentrating on work.

“It got so bad even Hugh was telling me I needed to get laid. My brother, the big over-protective would be guardian of my honour. Holly suggested a fling with one of our artists. Not very professional, but she’s the boss and I think she’s done it a few times. Then the Manchester shop came up and Hugh told me about you and, well, you know the rest.”

“I’m just a fling?”

Rachel bit his shoulder, which seemed an odd response. “I wasn’t supposed to…. to like you so much.”

The curtain was swept aside. Irwin and his sergeant entered. The inspector glared down at Joe whilst the sergeant drew the curtain closed. “You are in deep shit.”

“Deeper shit than being shot at?”

“You got away with it last time. This time we have you at the scene of the crime.”

“They were shooting at us!” Rachel exclaimed.

“Don’t try to cover for him, or you’ll go down for aiding. You’re under arrest. We found the bag with the money.”

“The bag with the money?”

“Sergeant.” The sergeant moved the curtain aside and picked up something from outside. The back pack looked a lot like Joe’s. “Is this your bag?”

Joe started to reach for the bag, then thought better of it. “That’s not my bag.”

“Take a closer look.”

“My back pack was stolen two days ago. There’s a Police report and everything. That bag’s the same type, but it’s newer, it’s not split along the zip seam. And it won’t have my fingerprints on it. Not yet and not if I don’t touch it. Isn’t that true Inspector?”

“We found it in your house.”

That revelation did bring Joe up short. He could think of no good reason for it to have been there. “So?”

The curtain swept aside again. Kay Wood and a short, balding man stepped in. “Detective Inspector Irwin. I believe you removed vital evidence before SOCO arrived to log it. That rucksack, in fact.”

“It’s his.”

“Really? You see, the evidence is contaminated now. We don’t even know if the bag was handled by Mister Wilkinson before you gave it to him.”

“I haven’t touched it.”

Irwin and the newcomer exchanged a look. “Sergeant, please take the rucksack away, bag it and present it as evidence. With a log of where it has been since being found in Mister Wilkinson’s house, if you don’t mind.” The sergeant left. “Evidence tampering is a serious offence.”

“Bollocks. He’s knee deep in this, and this time he’s not getting away with it.”

“I reviewed the case files. Mister Wilkinson was exonerated.”

“He ruined a good officer’s career and him and his slut are going to….”

Irwin was knocked over by the punch, stumbled out of the cubicle and hit the next table over. He slid down the frame to the floor and clasped at his burst nose. Rachel flexed her hand, checked she hadn’t broken the skin on her knuckles. Everyone was looking at her. “I don’t like being called a slut.” She hopped back onto the bed. “Plus he’d just admitted to framing my boyfriend.

“I guess I’m in trouble.”

“You’re unner a’est.” Irwin muttered.

“Whatever for? We all saw you trip and fall.” the bald man replied. Wood gave him a questioning look.

“Wha?”

“You could let this go, or we would have to make statements about the reason miss…. This young lady whose name I do not know yet, hit you. She will not be the one going to prison under those circumstances.”

Irwin glared. He was proving to be quite good at glaring. “You should get that injury seen to.” the bald man told him. Irwin stomped off.

“Mister Wilkinson. I am Chief Inspector Stevenson. I run the Guns Task force. DC Wood is my most recent recruit.” They shook hands. “Miss?”

“Evans. Rachel Evans.” They too shook.

“We found your rucksack, the one that is really yours, in a car abandoned by the gunmen who turned the Albanians’ car into modern art. You can have it back when we close this investigation. Which I hope will be soon.”

“There was a Transit van as well. The shooters had a Tranny.”

“Can you describe it?”

“It was a Transit van. White.” Joe shrugged. “The other bag? The one Irwin found?”

“We believe it was left in your house by Hill. The tattooed man has been talking, explaining what should have happened. It is amazing what pain medication will do.

“It seems Hill was the go between for the deal. He would hold the money until the customers confirmed they had the merchandise then facilitate the exchange. Somehow he convinced the Albanians that you were to be trusted holding the cash whilst he waited for the goods. We believe he planned to double cross them and leave you to deal with it.”

“That sounds like him. You don’t know that I wasn’t in on this though, do you? You did find the bag at my house. Bastard must have left it there when they let him in.”

“No, we do not know that you aren’t involved. I could say that you have an honest face, but mostly I believe you because Constable Wood does. I have a lot of faith in her judgement.” Joe looked at Wood. Her expression was unreadable.

“So the Albanians really did kill him?”

“We don’t believe so, no. It may have been the buyers, in some sort of triple cross, but we don’t know for sure.”

“They said something about that. About attacking me to get the money.”

“Do you know what he might have been doing in the Science Park?” Wood asked.

“The one behind the University?”

“Yes.”

“That
‘s where he was killed?”

“Yes.”

Joe wanted to lie. He really did. He stared at the floor, aware that everyone was watching him. Rachel took his hand. “Yes. I do.”

Part 20
Part 18
Part 1

Other fiction- check out Heavensent, the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I recently wrapped up, or download Another Education/Ruby Red or Ten Years Asleep.

Donate Now I’ve started writing again I’m unlikely to stop, but it would be nice if I could eat during my breaks. So please feel free to donate some money to my starving author fund by clicking on the PayPal button below.




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So Much To Answer For- Part 18

“Mister Hill was good business for us. Good business, but a little, how to say it, small time. We have guns, Albanian army and police guns, out of the country during the troubles a few years ago. He has customers. First in the ones and twos, then larger. Then a biggest order.” Tattoos was feeling talkative. Big Bastard was concentrating on driving the BMW X5. They were on Princess Parkway heading into the centre.

“Paid for with money he stole from me.”

“Really? He was telling us you gave it willingly. It was good for us and for him. His customers were not so lucky. They give the money, fifty percent mark up, but the Police attack before we have even shipped a quarter of the merchandise. They go to jail.”

“I nearly went to jail.”

“But you have a good lawyer?”

“I had my innocence.” Joe took Rachel’s hand. They were being allowed to see where they were going, which seemed ominous. “Where are we going?”

“To the delivery point. Container arrived this morning. Customers have keys for it, will be unloading it now. We see if they have our money or if you lie to us.”

“I’ve got nothing to do with your money disappearing! Rachel has even less! If you’re going to do this at least let her go.” Rachel squeezed his hand.

“Hostage is good. Useful.”

They had slowed to a crawl in the traffic. Joe tried the door handle. It was kiddy-locked.

The X5 made its way around the centre and ended up off Cheetham Hill, navigating the post industrial warren of repurposed warehouses and factories. Joe had spent weeks the previous year photographing these buildings but still he was lost. They turned into the car park before a small self storage unit. There was a shipping container in one corner and four men were unloading its contents into a Transit and 5 Series BMW. “Ah good. They are still here.” Tattoos announced.

Why did the bad guys always drive German cars, Joe wondered briefly. Big Bastard opened the door from the outside and Joe and Rachel got out. He paid them little attention after that. Joe motioned toward the gates with a nod of his head. Rachel pointed. Tattoos had produced an AK47 and Big Bastard was holding a tiny machine pistol.

The X5 was between them and the four men unloading the container. Big Bastard stood near the rear and Tattoos walked around the front of the soft roader. “You double cross us.”

One of the men continued loading the van with small, tightly wrapped bricks. One stepped forward to reply. The other two moved toward the 5 Series. “Hill double crossed you. He told you he,” the speaker pointed at Joe, “was holding the cash. Then we were to rob him, take the million and split it. But Hill double crossed us too. He” indicating Joe again, “never had the cash. Never even knew about it, most likely.” Joe remembered waking up on the pavement, his bag stolen. “We’ve all been had.”

“Return the product to us.”

“No fucking chance.” He turned and walked back to the BMW. The two who had been standing by the 5 Series were now sat on the back seat. Joe could see that the nearest one had something on his lap. He didn’t need to know much about body language to see that things would likely get very dangerous very soon. He gripped Rachel’s wrist tightly, glanced at her. She was pale. All her attention was on Big Bastard.

Tattoos raised his AK47. “You give back merchandise.”

The two men in the back of the 5 Series stepped out, raising Kalashnikovs of their own. Joe pulled Rachel to him and dived for cover.

Contrary to what the films tell you, car bodies don’t stop bullets. The X5 was going to quickly turn into a sieve. Joe pulled Rachel down and dragged her to the front wheels. Here he held her tight and huddled behind the engine block, hoping it would provide some protection.

The guns weren’t as loud as he’d have expected. They were firecrackers almost lost in the sound of smashing glass and thuds of impact. There were shouts and screams. Some of them might have been Rachel and Joe’s.

After a while the noise stopped. There was one last squeal of tyres under acceleration then silence.

Joe looked down at Rachel. Had he got her out of the way in time? She was holding him incredibly tightly and he her. There didn’t appear to be any blood on either of them and she was breathing. “Are you okay?”

“I think so.” said a little voice.

“You can let go of me now.”

“I don’t want to.” She did loosen her grip, however, and looked up at him. “You saved my life.”

“You can owe me.”

There were sirens approaching. Joe looked around. Big Bastard was face down on the pavement, a mess of holes in his back and blood pooling around him. Rachel looked at the body, tutted, then looked away. In the other direction lay Tattoos. He wasn’t as shot up and, as Joe stared, he moved. Joe jumped.

“What? What is it?”

“The one with the tattoos is still alive.”

Part 17
Part 1

Other fiction- check out Heavensent, the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I recently wrapped up, or download Another Education/Ruby Red or Ten Years Asleep.

Donate Now I’ve started writing again I’m unlikely to stop, but it would be nice if I could eat during my breaks. So please feel free to donate some money to my starving author fund by clicking on the PayPal button below.



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The Male Pill

The BBC is reporting that scientist has discovered the necessary chemicals to stop men ejaculating sperm. apparently, the man’s fertility will return within a few days after he stops taking it.

UPDATE: Don’t forget, Ian’s brand of contraception is available from the Cafe Press Store, entitled “Must Not Mention Sheep”

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Model call

I’m on the lookout for nude models again. I have an idea for a photo collage in the style of David Hockney’s polaroid pictures. The plan would be to do a 360 degree portrait of a standing nude or triptych of her in bed shot from the foot of the bed and either side.

This is just an idea, something I’d like to try some day, rather than a project for immediate completion. But if anyone’s up for it now, obviously I won’t say no.


Thanks for the memories and the urls

I make no secret of my identity and I’m quite happy knowing that anyone can find Spinneyhead if they come looking for Ian Pattinson. If it’s someone I haven’t talked to in a while I’d hope they’d get in touch, even if they’re an ex-girlfriend. Regina Lynn, Wired’s sex columnist, isn’t so sure about the wisdom of bumping into old flames online. Or, in this case, letting them know that you’ve been checking them out.

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Sustainable living quiz night

The 8th Day vegetarian cafe is holding a sustainable living quiz night on Tuesday (28th). There will probably be a How to Save the World for Free team. I hope we don’t embarass ourselves.

In conjunction with ‘Action For Sustainable Living’, we’re hosting a Sustainable Living Quiz Night for you to find out how much you really know about living an eco friendly existence. Expect to be excited and amused, challenged and interested in a fun packed evening of entertainment. Tickets cost £3.00 which includes a light vegetarian buffet and drinks will be available from the licensed bar in the café. Arrive at 7.30pm for food with an 8pm start.

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Weekend round up

Rather than a whole bunch of little posts, here are a few snippets, complete with headlines.

No More NaNo For Now

I know I’m supposed to battle on doggedly until midnight on Thursday, but I’m not going to finish NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve got an interesting part 1 to expand upon, but no clue where part 2 would go.

The Muppets take Manhattan

Following the announcement of Harry and Meg’s engagement came the news that the wedding will be in the States and the reception over here. Tim and I immediately invited ourselves to the wedding and started planning some sort of Spinneyhead does America thing.

No Dice

Pretty girls dressed as dice don’t like it when you point out that they’ve got their numbering all wrong.

What the other half reads

As I’m about to return to Post & Publish and make it all about relationships I figured, by some twisted logic, that I should read a bit of chick-lit. My entirely arbitrary choice (from a charity shop) The Trials of Tiffany Trott and Come Together.

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