Teach your children ignorance

The American home schooling trend is driven by parents who want to protect their children from the horrors of a secular education, such as sex education and evolution, and teach them a heavily biased and God based curriculum. Even though they’re doing it because they love their children, it strikes me as a form of child abuse and part of a slide toward the sort of fundamentalism they claim to be fighting in the Middle East.

And God said, "Let there be Peanut Butter!"

A silly YouTube clip of Creationists arguing that evolution is not real because Life has never spontaneously appeared in a jar of peanut butter. From the comment thread-

On the other hand, this clip proves evolution. Because not all Creationist talking heads can get attention and money from the fundamentalist base, they are in a “struggle for subsistence”. Those who are more simpleminded, idiotic, obsequious of fundamentalism and disparaging of science than their colleagues will survive. Dumb ideas must be continually adapted to an increasingly irrational environment; differential illogical success rewards the most nonsensical ideas. “Peanut butter disproves evolution” is a transitional absurdity between “bananas are proof of design” and the next even more ludicrous sound bite that this hominid sub-species will think of.

via BoingBoing

Man is 5

there was a guy
an under water guy who controlled the sea
got killed by ten million pounds of sludge
from new york and new jersey
this monkey’s gone to heaven

the creature in the sky
got sucked in a hole
now there’s a hole in the sky
and the ground’s not cold
and if the ground’s not cold
everything is gonna burn
we’ll all take turns
i’ll get mine, too
this monkey’s gone to haven

rock me joe!

if man is 5 [3x]
then the devil is 6 [5x]
then god is 7 [3x]
this monkey’s gone to heaven

Pixies – Monkey Gone to Heaven

And I hope to God I'm not as numb as you make out

When I first saw you
Something stirred within me
You were standing sultry in the rain
If I could’ve held you
I would’ve held you
Rip it up and start again

Rip it up and start again
Rip it up and start again
I hope to God you’re not as dumb as you make out
I hope to God
I hope to God

Orange Juice – Rip It Up

(Also, Rip It Up and Start Again, all about the Post Punk movement.)

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A Sort of Homecoming

Home (Page) at last

Home again, home again. Or not.
I’ve moved into my new house, which is nice. And empty. And I’ve finally got internet access, albeit dial-up, back so the world is no longer safe from my inane wittering and sarcastic opinions.
Oh, and I managed to turn commenting on. Say something.
Posted by Jim at 9:16:48pm

Comment by Steve at 10:02:28pm
You so funny.
Comment by Jim at 11:32:22pm

– – – – –

Unfurnished. I hadn’t really thought about just how empty the house would be. Right now the only furniture I possess is the TV stand and bean bag in the living room and the computer desk and chair upstairs. It’s all very minimalist. IKEA- the Swedish god of flat pack- calls to me.

I’ve heard that sleeping on a hard surface can be good for the back. I hope it’s true, because the only thing between me and the floor is the spare duvet. With it as a ground sheet I feel like there should be a tent above me. My two suitcases are on one side of the bed, storage with handles, and all the boxes I packed my life into are clustered by the door or trailing off to the other rooms. Maybe I could build a fort, barricade the door and feel safe from all those unfamiliar creaking and popping noises the house makes as it recuperates before the ‘morrow.

– – – – –

Lost and Found

toothbrush, toothpaste etc.
Carter USM- 101 Damnations cd, which I thought I’d lost but turned out to be in a CD-R case amongst a pile of Verbatim disks I ‘requisitioned’ from my last job.
No. I can’t sleep.
Posted by Jim at 2:19:32am

– – – – –

Ah, the joy of the lie in. I haven’t found the radio alarm yet, so this morning I was woken by the shrill sound of my mobile. I turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep. Finally rose at eleven. I was half showered before I wondered where I’d packed the towels. So now there’s a trail of wet footprints all around the house.

I have a month’s pay due. Extra time to find a new job, one benefit of the ‘agreement’ I came to when they sacked me. So I spent the afternoon printing out CVs and figuring out where to send them. I should just relax and take the money for a couple of weeks. All in all a very, as in not at all, productive day.

– – – – –

Cabin Fever

Okay, so I didn’t leave the house at all today. Which is sad, I know. So tomorrow, honest, I’m checking out the neighbourhood. I’ve been away for a while, so who knows what I’ll find.
Posted by Jim at 11:36:41pm

They tore down paradise, put up a parking lot.
Comment by Steve at 12:08:03am
I’m going to be in town tomorrow (this) afternoon. Give me a call.
Comment by steve at 12:47:16am

– – – – –

New buildings going up, old buildings coming down. I was like a tourist on the bus, sat on the top deck looking left and right all the time to see what had happened to all the places I remembered. After a while I took to running ‘Dirty Old Town’ through my head, not quite humming it but doing the rhythm by clicking my teeth together. It must have looked like I was worrying at a particularly small piece of chewing gum, the funny little tack tack movements my jaw was making.

It was certainly grey enough for a melancholy song. The big ugly concrete wall is still standing at Piccadilly Gardens. The least they could do is commission some art for it. I can’t believe they turn the fountains on on such an overcast day.

I’d decided on any coffee shop that wasn’t Starbucks, which narrowed it down to about three. Even then I could see an outlet of the coffee colonialists from my window seat. I settled down with a copy of the Guardian and a fairtrade latte and savoured being early.

Steve wandered in quarter of an hour later. He nodded in my direction and pointed at my cup. “Latte.” I mouthed. He nodded again and headed for the baristas.

I made space for the tray. My empty mug went on the table behind, the Guardian curled up faithfully at my feet. Steve landed the tray and tried to move his cup onto the space that was left. “You don’t call, you don’t write…..” he tutted as he sat down.

“Well, you know. It was only going to be two months. And then I hadn’t been in touch for two months and then…..” I made the shrug that said ‘And then everything went to shit and they decided to blame me for it.’ Everyone foolish enough to ask had received an e-mail ranting about the stupidity of middle, upper and line management and didn’t need a recap. “You using up holiday again?”

“One day I’ll be organised and plan a proper one. They only let me carry five days over.”

“Brazil. You want to go to Brazil.” That’s a lie, I want to go to Brazil. I must stop projecting.

“I’d settle for Bournemouth.

“Actually, no. I wouldn’t.”

We sipped coffees and watched the wet shoppers go by.

“You should have sent me a message. I could have helped you move.”

“Everything I own fit in the back of a small van with room to spare. It wasn’t a big job.” This struck me. There was something wrong about it. “I’m sure I used to own more. I mean, I can remember when I could get everything I owned into the back of an Escort. Last time I moved I swear I needed a tranny van.

“I must have left so much shit at my parents’ house.”

“You don’t know?”

“I guess I got too wrapped up in all that corporate bullshit. I….” Another shrug. I’m getting better at stopping myself. Plus, I’d had another realisation. “Oh shit. I left all my porn with my parents.”


“Well. It wasn’t porn porn, you know. More sort of…… erotica.”


“Erotica. Stuff like books on oriental erotic carvings. And stuff.” Vague hand waving gestures that could mean anything.

“Can we stop talking about your porn?”

“Yeah. Sure.” Back to drinking our coffees and looking out of the window.

“What’s the gossip?”

“What do you know?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well.” Steve began ticking things off on his fingers. “Mike and Rachel are engaged.”



“They were engaged for the Millennium. At least, I think they were.”

Steve shrugged. A ‘nobody ever tells me anything’ shrug. “Tom and Graeme have split up.”

“No surprise there.”

“Neil has a new girlfriend. I swear she’s only ten.”

“He’s breaking the album rule?”

“I think she was born after he bought his last album, let alone his first.”


“Oh definitely his last album on vinyl. She’s much younger than that.

“What else? Oh yes. Bob and Louise have split up as well.”

“Shit. Now that is a surprise.”

“Not to some of us.”

I figured I’d leave that one alone. “Anyway, I was thinking of going record shopping.”

“That sounds like a plan.”

– – – – –

3(?) feet tall and rising

Damn those record sales! I just bought five new CDs.
It’s true- I can resist anything but temptation.
Posted by Jim at 6:38:27pm

– – – – –

Notes This is from the original incarnation of Post & Publish, written a while ago. As with Boyfriend Season, it’s going to be expanded upon. I’m seeing the story coming together as four “seasons”, starting in Spring, with Jim’s emotional progress mirroring them in some way.
The Album Rule (a phrase first coined by Brian, and which I asked permission to use ages ago) is going to be yanked out of the Spring section and form a major part of the Summer part. Autumn is Boyfriend Season and Winter allows me to wrap stuff up. I’ll be publishing bits and pieces here then putting together a full manuscript. If you’d like to be in my test group for that manuscript get in touch.

Other fiction- check out So Much to Answer For, the crime tale I wrote last October, Heavensent, the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I wrapped up last year, 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.

Fiction, ,

Married with a kid when you should be having fun

The US government tells its citizens they shouldn’t be having sex until they’re in their thirties and married.

90% of Americans tell their government to get stuffed and let them get on with it.

In other sex news- Wild Pink Yam. Doctor Gillian McKeith, otherwise known as “the scary poo lady” has formulated Wild Pink Yam, for the ladies, and Horny Goat Weed, for the gentlemen, as Fast Formulas to help with sexual and general well being. I found out about Wild Pink Yam through listening to a conversation at work. Allegedly the in depth review of its effects, second hand from the one person in the building who admitted to using it, was “Oh my God!”

I receive a few dozen emails a day telling me about natural alternatives to Viagra, and I ignore them all, so I’m naturally sceptical about such claims. On the other hand, I’m nowhere near as snotty since I started taking Echinacea every day, so I can accept that some herbal cures really do do what they promise. I’ll believe in Wild Pink Yam if I can find a young lady to test it on and observe the results.

(The Specials, Too Much, Too Young)

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Boyfriend Season

“Autumn is boyfriend season. With the nights drawing in and the weather getting worse it’s the right time to have a man to keep you warm and stuff.”

I was with Lauren and Vanessa, a few pints into the night somewhere in Didsbury, when Lauren had dropped this concept into the conversation.

“And in Spring you can dump them because there’s so much else to do.” Vanessa added.

I think I did a guppy impersonation for a while. It was only later that I thought that men are at their horniest in Spring. It’s all sunny and the serotonin levels are rising again. I’d probably have been told that that’s just the way it goes.


Tis the season to be hunted
Important message for the Brotherhood of Single Men!
It’s Boyfriend Season.
They’re after you, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Or let yourself get caught. Whatever.
Posted by Jim at 00:52:34am


I really ought to have asked what a boy does to attract attention during the season. Preferably early on. It could be useful information.

I’m not looking for a relationship, but, then again, I’m not not looking. You know how it is. And the sort of relationship I’m not looking for is a long term one. I don’t think I’m wired for one night stands, flings or seasonal affairs.

Unless the right woman suggests it.

So I’m meeting new people, trying to give a good impression to as many women as possible and having conversations about dating to suit the weather. There’s a whole world apart from the geeks I know and love and it’s quite interesting.

Just so long as they don’t ask me to do tech support.


Sue kills mice for a living.

Not, you know, herself, physically. She does have little hands, probably small enough to wring a rodent’s neck if the need arose. There’ll be a fetish site for that sort of thing.

No. Sue formulates the poison that goes into those mouse hotels, or whatever they’re called, the black or brown plastic boxes with little circular doors you see on the exterior walls of cinemas and the like. Her aim is, perversely, to make the tablets less toxic. If she can kill the mouse quickly and have the poison break down there’s less chance of it getting into the food chain.

God help me, but I found this fascinating. So much so that I sought her out after the speed dating session and we talked some more. It helped that she’s cute. Short, slim, very dark hair, pale. Perhaps a little too pale, she does look like someone who spends her days around poisons. In a room full of topped up tans, Rimmell and hair gel her unpainted pretty face drew me.

I didn’t ask for her number. I don’t know what the etiquette is about that, and she didn’t ask me. I ticked her name on the list, however, and hopefully she did the same for me.


The boyfriend season thing’s becoming a meme. I’ve had a couple of comments and a few people have mentioned it in emails. I’m waiting to see how long it takes for someone to tell me it as if they think I don’t already know about it.

In the meantime, the local chapter of the Brotherhood of Single Men is trying to imagine what sorts of lures we could be using.

“Shouldn’t the hunters be the ones using the lures? We are the prey, after all.” Steve observed.

“Ah, they have their feminine wiles to use as lures.” I can’t believe I said that. This is what happens when you drink strange spirits people bring back from holiday.

“T-shirts with big targets on them.” Bert suggested, “Or that say ‘This space available to rent’ and point at the crotch.”

“Mount me.” I offered.


“T-shirts that say ‘Mount me’.”

“Oh. Right.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of a duck call kind of thing.”

“What would it sound like?”

“Wa-Hey!” Bert offered.


“Get yer tits oot for the lads.” Me.

“Not going to work.”

“I have chocolate.” Bert again.

“That…. Now that might work.”


I really, really hate Neil.

Oh, okay, that’s a lie. I love him to bits, in a totally heterosexual way. But he’s getting laid, so I’m very jealous.

She’s a Phd student, “Companion Animal Learned Behaviour.”


“Pet psychology.”

“You’re joking right? They do postgrads in pet psychology? How?”

“Have you ever tried to out-think a cat?”

“Fair point. So what are you doing in the pub with your sad single friend when you’ve got a hot doggy shrink to go home to?”

“She’s got some sort of open session on. ‘Bring in your gerbil and we’ll deal with its Oedipal problems.’ That sort of thing. It won’t be done for a while.”

“I was hoping it was because you still loved me.”

“Nah, sorry. You’re last month’s thing. I’m just slumming with you ’cause she lives across the road. Bar billiards?”

Two games, and another pint, later, his phone rang. “Hey honey.” he glanced out of the window at the flats across the road. “Really? How come? Oh, well, that’s cool. Just take all your clothes off and I’ll be right over. Bye bye.”

My shot had gone so horribly wrong that I’d knocked over all three pins. Mental images.

“I’ve got to go. Finish this if you want.” Neil waggled his half drunk pint.

“She isn’t going to be waiting there naked you know.”

“She might be. And would you pass up the chance?”

“No, I guess not. No doggy style, though. Might remind her of work.”


Maybe Neil’s girlfriend can introduce me to a few of her friends.

Or maybe not. The last time we went to a student party Steve and I got drunk and started reminiscing about the early nineties.

There are only so many times you can hear, “I was only four!” before you start to feel old.


Larger offices tend to have a demarcation along employment status lines. The perms look down on us temps because we don’t have their security. We look down on them because that security so often leads to lack of imagination and risk avoidance. Morlocks and Eloi, where it’s always the other bunch who are the knuckle dragging devolveds.

Karen was another of the temps at work. We’d developed a nil carborundum kind of camaraderie against the management stupidity. It was her last day on Friday, so we went for a few drinks.

She’s quite buff, goes to the gym twice a week, to maintain the flat stomach and muscle definition. I refused the offer of an arm wrestle. Cycling does wonders for the definition of my arse and legs, but my top half is flabby and weak.

One by one our band of Eloi disappeared, off home to S.O.s and cats. In the end it was just Karen and me. Somehow we’d made it to the Kro on Oxford Road opposite the University. It was that flux period, between the after work drinkers going home and the party animals getting dressed and heading out.

Karen cycles as well. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Perhaps I should have suggested a ride, but there’s an inner ten year old that just can’t accept the possibility of being beaten by a girl.

At some point before closing time we went our separate ways. I don’t strictly remember the bus ride home. Not that I blacked out. It’s just that I’ve made it so many times it all passes me by unless something particularly interesting happens.
I can’t believe I didn’t get her number or email. I think sh
e knows about my blog.


Sue chose me!

Hungover and befuddled I checked my email. I nearly blocked the message from the speed dating site. It proclaimed ‘Susan wants to see more of you!’ and I was about to mark it as spam when I recognised the site name in the email address.

Sue put a tick next to me on the website. As I ticked against her on my page we get each other’s emails to do with as we please. I was far too hungover to do anything and decided to leave it for a while.

Steve owed me a fry up, so I headed over. Somehow he convinced me to pick up the bacon and sausages on the way. There’s something not quite right about that.

Bert had been photoshopping and now his desktop is a picture of Alyson Hannigan as Vampire Willow, saying “Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m hunting boyfriends.”

We like the idea of being hunted. We don’t believe it really happens, though. Any woman caught making it easy for a bloke would be kicked out of the girly club.


Sue emailed me whilst I was out. Is it a bad sign that she’s capable of being that coherent on a Saturday morning?

She wants to get together some time, tonight even, if I’m free. I guess if I take some paracetamol and drink enough water I’ll be able to pass for sentient by the evening.


Food and drinks in Metropolitan on Burton Road. We met early evening, before the pre-club crowd filled it. It was as awkward as you’d expect at first. I bought her a drink (Directors, good call) and we found a table.

“So….” I began, but couldn’t think of what to say next. ‘Why did you wait nearly a fortnight to tick my box?’ would probably sound too judgemental and/or desperate. I sort of waved my hands and smiled.

“Sorry I took so long to complete the feedback. It’s been hellishly busy the last few weeks. I just got back from three days in Germany yesterday.”

“Sounds interesting.”

“Not really. I didn’t get to see anything of the area. It was all meetings, trips around chem labs and late meals at the hotel. I got some reading done.”

“What sort of stuff?”

“I’m re-reading all my Pratchett.”

“Oh. I started doing that last year.”

We discussed the Discworld for a while, and somehow it segued into hobbies. Thankfully, nothing Sue does in her spare time involves cruelty to small furry animals. We ate, and drank a bit more, then it became a bit too crowded.

Her place was only a couple of street away. It seemed logical that we should end up there. It was a single bedroom flat on the first floor. I sat on the sofa and checked out the living room whilst she broke open some wine. It was good to know I’m not the only one who’s so untidy. It wasn’t messy, it was just that paperwork, books and magazines were filed in piles on available surfaces.

She brought a bottle of white and two tumblers and sat right beside me. One glass later she was draped across my lap and I was pushing and tugging her top off.

She’s got tiny tits with responsive nipples that seem, relatively, large. I couldn’t keep my hands, lips, tongue and, occasionally, teeth off them. She squirmed a bit, made a lot of appreciative noises and finally went tense and then limp with a little “Wow”. The flush on her pale skin was very sexy.

Having made her come just by concentrating on her breasts I had sealed the deal. We took things to the bedroom.


Coffee in bed. Sweet.

The bedroom’s tidier than the living room. Two bookshelves completely filled, a dressing table and two cupboards. The only signs of disarray were the suitcase and our discarded clothes from the night before.

It was good coffee, too. “I buy the beans from the health food shop. They’re FairTrade.” Sue explained.

She was wearing a big baggy top, looking tiny. Her hair framed her face and she looked worryingly young. “I nearly didn’t tick anyone from the speed dating night. I kept telling myself no-one would be interested.”

“So what made you change your mind?”

“You seemed a nice guy, and interesting. And I was a bit horny. And, well, it is boyfriend season.”

Notes I did think of posting this in parts, but then decided to present it in one piece. “Boyfriend Season” was written in October whilst working on an IT helpdesk. It was inspired by a conversation very like the one that opens the story (see my own version of the Boyfriend Season post). Sadly I haven’t seen the women who introduced me to the concept since that evening.

I’d like to expand upon this story. I was experimenting with minimalism when I wrote it and on re-reading it I think I may have stripped away a little too much. I’ve stated my aim to incorporate this into a novel about a blogger to be called Post & Publish. I see it being the second, of three or four, distinct parts of the novel. Parts 3 and 4 will concentrate on Jim and Sue’s relationship developing and the lives of their friends. I’ve only got this lightly sketched out at the moment, it’s my New Year writing project.

Other fiction-

So Much To Answer For, a crime story also written whilst I was on the helpdesk.

Heavensent is the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I recently wrapped up.

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 22

All thoughts of salvage and sculpture from the remnants of the garage had been abandoned. Pete had ordered a skip and Joe had shovelled his studio into it. Then he’d trimmed the hedge and pruned some of the trees and thrown the branches on top. The skip was still only half full. Joe was looking for new things to throw into it.
Rachel arrived before he found any new junk. She gave the skip a wide berth, and stepped back from Joe when she saw his soot stained hands.

“You’re looking at On The Wall’s new Manchester shop manager.”

“Cool.” Rachel’s smile seemed a bit forced. “Not cool?”

“I was talking to Hugh. I think he wants to come up here and castrate you.”

“Oh I can deal with your brother.”


“Yeah. I know loads of places to hide.” That got a genuine smile. “Should I talk to him? Tell him my intentions toward you are entirely honourable. Or, at least, only as dishonourable as you’ll allow.”

“I’m worried I’ve upset him. I don’t want to upset him. He’s the most important man in my life. Yes, more important than you. More important than my father, or my step-dad. He’s the only one who’s been there all my life.”

“Okay. I won’t make jokes.”

“Don’t be silly. Make jokes. Be yourself. Remember that you were his friend long before you started sleeping with his sister.”

“I can do that.”

“Did your friend take the money?”

“Sarah? Yeah. She didn’t want to. I sat there and let her tell me all the reasons she wouldn’t. I learnt some stuff I’d rather not have, and will never repeat. Then I just slid it across the table. She looked at it for a while then picked it up. God knows what she’ll tell her fiancee.”

“Nothing. I wouldn’t.”

“I’ll remember that.”

“Can we stay at your place tonight?”

“I only have a single bed.”

“So we’ll have to snuggle.”

“Okay. You’ve convinced me.”

Part 23
Part 21
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.

Fiction, ,

So Much To Answer For- Part 14

The alarm went off at 7:00am. Joe flailed around and found the snooze button.

The alarm went off at 7:09am. Joe flailed around and found the snooze button.

The alarm went off at 7:18am. Joe flailed around and found the snooze button.

This repeated every nine minutes until it was half past eight. Joe decided he should get up, despite the hangover.

One look in the mirror reminded him that it wasn’t the beer that had caused his bad head. His right eye and cheek were bruised, and the cut above his eye was red and prominent. He checked the rest of his body. There were small bruises on his arms, chest and legs. He’d looked worse after a tumble from his bike, but not much. He put a water proof plaster over the cut and had a shower.

He dawdled over breakfast, savouring a second cup of tea, and left the house with just enough time to get to the studio by ten. He hurt too much to get excited about a day with Rachel, no matter what he had been thinking the night before. The overcast sky meant there was no sun to warm his aching joints and soothe him.

A street away from the garage Joe smelt smoke. It was too late in the year, and too early in the day, for someone to be burning hedge trimmings. And there was an odd chemical undertone to it. He searched for a plume. Finding it he did a quick triangulation, estimated where it was, and panicked.

He ran the rest of the way to the garage. No matter how obvious it was, he held out hope that he was wrong. And he couldn’t see the source of the smoke until the last moment. But he knew what he was going to find, and when he reached the drive of Pete’s house the garage, his studio, was burning.

Now that his worst fears were confirmed, Joe felt strangely calm. In fact, he wasn’t worried as much as he was sure he should be. He pulled his phone out and took a photo of the flames, then called the fire brigade. When they were on their way he contacted Pete. And then there was nothing he could do.

The hedge that ran down one side of the garage was lost, and it was too hot to get close enough to move the stuff stacked against the other side. At least there was a large gap between the house and the garage.

Joe took more photos. He was envisioning a print- the soup tin but with a collapsing structure. There was board and canvas in the garage, two completed paintings, one spec work in progress and a few sketch books and photos. Finished paintings were distributed around bars, clubs, friends and family. He had lost two weeks’ work at most. Painful, but not fatal.

But his friend’s garage was burning down and it could be his fault. He took some more photos.

“I saw ’em do it.”

Joe looked around and down. The kid was about eight and cute as anything. “A big bastard and a man with tattoos.” Where did she learn language like that?

“What did they do?”

“They threw something and it set on burning.”

Joe heard sirens for the first time and noticed the fire engine turning into the road. He guided the little girl out of the drive way and to a safe spot on the pavement. “Will you tell the policeman what you saw?”


The fire engine pulled up and the crew deployed quickly and started pouring water onto the fire. Joe took more photos.

A fireman walked over. “Is there anything in there that may explode?”

“There are no compressed gasses. There is some turps. About a litre.”

“Do you know how it started?”

“I saw them do it.” the kid piped up. “He isn’t a policeman.”

“But you should tell him.”

The girl recounted what she had seen. This time there were more details, though some sounded like fabrications. It seemed the big bastard and the tattooed man had walked up to the garage, ignoring the house, smashed the small window on the door and held something up to it. Then they had walked away and the tattooed man had thrown something at the door and it had caught fire. The fireman gave Joe a questioning look. Joe just shrugged.

By now there was a crowd. The girl’s mother – or elder sister or cousin, it was hard to tell- came up and dragged her away. “What ‘ave I fucken told you about leaving the fucken garden?” Which explained where the language came from.

“Don’t you want to….?” Joe asked the fireman.

“I’ll write it up. The Police will question her later. It’s the house across the road, I don’t even need to ask for an address.

“The fire’s out. Do you want to check it out?”

“I guess.”

“You’re lucky it didn’t spread to your house.”

“Not my house, but yeah.”

Pete arrived whilst they were picking through the wreckage. “Fuck.”

“Yeah. Err, sorry.”


“At least it didn’t spread to your house.”

“Yeah, but, your stuff. What the fuck happened to your face.”

“It’s not as bad as it looks. Some of it could make a sculpture or something. But your garage.” Joe gestured at the roof and walls that were no longer there.

“It’ll be insured.”

“For arson?” the fireman asked.

“Fuck. I don’t know.”

DC Wood turned up, and a round of statement taking began. A WPC was sent to talk to the child. She didn’t arrest the mother, despite the colour of language aimed at her. “Nice neighbourhood you live in.” Joe commented. Pete shrugged. He hadn’t had time to check his insurance policy and still didn’t know if the garage was covered.

The fire engine must have driven off, because when Joe next looked around it had changed into a yellow Smart. Rachel stared at the devastation. “Oh my god.” she whispered, “All your work.” Then, “What happened to your face?”

“Oh you should see the other guy.”


“Not a mark on him. There’s not that much lost.”

Wood was giving Rachel a suspicious look, almost unprofessional. Pete turned to Joe and raised his eyebrows. Joe nodded. “You must be Rachel.”

“I am. I’m really sorry. I recognise you, but I can’t remember your name.”


“This is your house isn’t it?”


“At least it isn’t damaged.”

“That’s what everyone keeps saying. I was more worried about Joe’s work.”

“Now that’s a sign of a good friend.”

“This is Detective Constable Wood. It’s arson and she’s investigating.”


The smile wasn’t reciprocated. “Hello. I’m done here. I’ll be back in touch.” She picked her way through the debris.

“You two need beers.”

“I need to phone my insurers.” Pete shook his head. “You two go. Besides, there’s only room in that thing for the two of you.”

They left Pete staring at the carnage and shaking his head. “Will he be alright?”

“Probably. He’s done more expensive damage himself.”


“Maybe. Where are we going?”

“You’re supposed to be my guide.”

“Where are you staying? Somewhere near Piccadilly? Leave your car there and we’ll find somewhere.”


Part 15
Part 13
Part 1

NaNoWriMo Progress

Notes Lots of cross talk today, and much use of the word Fuck.
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 4

“Do you know a Rachel Evans?”

“Can’t say as I…. Why?”

“Wants to buy my stuff for On The Wall.”


“Art shop. Mind if I google them?”

“Go ahead. Laptop’s in the living room.”

“Ooh, you got the wireless sorted.”

Pete entered the living room with a Bodum of green tea and two mugs. “You know you haven’t mentioned Tommy Hill yet. I was expecting full on ranting from you. How hot is this woman?”

“It’s not about the hotness. It’s that I’m sure I should recognise her.” Joe scrolled down search results and clicked one almost at random. “She’s very hot. And very little of it’s painted on.”

“You going to shop him?”

“Don’t know. Considering how the Police treated me last time I don’t think they deserve any help.”

“You might get your money back.”

“Doubt it. They’re a bunch of arseholes. Well, most of them are.”

“I noticed you asked for Woods.”

“It was the uniform. And the keeping me out of prison. Otherwise, just a bit too uptight for me.”

“And you have your art bimbo to fantasise about now.”

“Just because she’s blonde doesn’t mean she’s….”

“Hugh Evans.”


“Hugh Evans. Didn’t you share a house with him back in the second year?”

“You know I’m crap with names.” Joe was deep in thought. “Yeah, I think I remember him. Whatever happened to him?”

“Haven’t a clue. Didn’t he have a kid sister?”

“Of course he did. Cute kid, bit of a tomboy. We used to take her climbing trees in Platt Fields and try to sneak her into the students’ union. She visited a lot, I think their parents were divorcing.”

“You think it could be her?”

“Could be. But she’d only be….” Joe stared at the ceiling as he did the mental arithmetic. “God, that was fifteen? Fourteen, fifteen years ago. She was twelve, thirteen. That makes her…. Yeah, that makes her about the age of this Rachel I met today.”

“But is it the same person?”

Joe shivered. “Gah! I hope not. I used to boost that kid up trees. It has to be wrong to have dirty thoughts about someone you used to treat as a kid.”

“Tell you what. You get me a picture of her and I’ll have the dirty thoughts for you.”

“Fuck off.”

Part 5
Part 3
Part 1

NaNoWriMo Progress

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.

Fiction, ,

American Jesus

Writing avoidance is in full effect. I’m ripping all of my albums to MP3 and drinking a lot of tea.

However, this can just about qualify as being related to what I’m planning to write for NaNoWriMo. The USA In Bible Prophecy: The Foundation on which the Answers for Today will come to Light!. I’ve decided to do a silly allegory about Global Wierding, how the increase in belief in the supernatural and denigrating of science is speeding up a break down of reality. I get to have elves and imps and The Rapture whilst making fun of the sort of people who believe in them- cake had and eaten. This book is a prime example of the sort of nonsense I’ll be taking pot shots at.

Did Christ know of this North American Continent? … Sure he did. Did He know this great nation would be Christian from its beginning? … Of course he did. Is it possible that this nation, the greatest Christian super power of all time, known to Jesus Christ, was never mentioned, indicated, or foretold in the Bible?

Many Christians today have not been exposed to what our forefathers believed and understood. Whether through God’s purposeful blindness or due to modern-day revisionists intense desire to rewrite our Christian American history, the fact remains, we have lost our true identity, our heritage, our Israel roots. It’s time our people awakened from their sleep and learn not only their true history but also their destiny that is unfolding, even now, according to God’s Divine Plan.

This book clearly shows that America (Zion) is the land set aside by God Almighty to be the place of regathered Israel. Sermons and documents by the Founding Fathers testify to their belief that they were the Israel people of the latter days, and that the Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled in their undertakings. It would be wise for us who are living in these last days to take a closer look at the past generations of our great nation to relearn what they knew about America’s critical role in Bible prophecy.

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More pole dancing problems

If you are going to buy a Peekaboo Pole Dancing Pole (aff), just remember to keep the physics of its use in mind, and look out for the wall. Also, remember that it is still not a toy, so for the love of God, think about the children! (But don’t go too far into the Mail’s comments section if you want to retain your sanity.)

Both via BoingBoing

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"In the midst of life we are in death"

MAN, that is born of a woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O LORD, who for our sins art justly displeased?
Yet, O LORD GOD most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.
Thou knowest, LORD, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, LORD most holy, O GOD most mighty, O holy and merciful SAVIOUR; thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.

Which all seems so unnecessarily negative. Having spent several hours wandering around Southern Cemetery I’d say quite the opposite. In the midst of this sprawling park dedicated to death there is nothing but life. Trees are everywhere, several dripping apples over the lucky souls memorialised beneath them. There were blackcurrant bushes and ivy wrapped around headstones and squirrels running everywhere.

After I’d been wandering around for an hour and a half the man who was emptying the various bins into the back of his Transit pick up stopped to ask if I was lost. I couldn’t really explain that I was just pottering, and I didn’t want to tell him I was collecting images for a set of background images for renders.

L S Lowry‘s buried somewhere in Southern Cemetery, so I read last week, but I couldn’t find his memorial. I did, however, happen upon those of John Rylands and John Alcock. The real tales of the city are in the ordinary graves, however. There were far too many to take in in one day. I was brought up short every so often by memorials to children and babies, and I did like the very Dickensian name of the Workmaster family. I’m not a religious person, but I did feel the need to pay respect at the war memorials, one for civilians and another for servicemen. Simply placing a hand on the stone seemed to do the job, I don’t know how or why.

I wandered around Southern Cemetery for around three hours, and I could probably go back and spend longer, concentrating on one area to see if there’s any family tales to be told.

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