Going for a Walk

Far be it from me – about 1473 miles as the crow flies providing there is no French air traffic control strike – to make any such claim as to the veracity of what is about to be now undertaken. But occasionally these things need to be aired and aired in public. That is what she more or less said to the judge anyway. He - being of a more open frame of mind than the judiciary were once renowned for - agreed there was some merit to her claim. However, he said that such open and frank displays could…

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Not Unusual in Itself

Ryan didn’t believe it. That was not unusual in itself. There were a good many things Ryan didn’t believe in, such as astrology, healing crystals, ideologies, Gaia, religions, politics, ghosts, reality television, fate and several other things he was too busy not to believe in at the moment. However, he did believe in an external reality… until now. Ryan had always liked those stories; novels, films, TV programmes, that played around with reality, altering perceptions, questioning what is and what isn’t real. Are we all living inside some god’s dream, inside a computer programme? Is this a dream? Are we…

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Recommended Read: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos – Jordan B. Peterson

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos - Jordan B. Peterson Notes: Since I first heard of him, a few years ago now, Peterson has since become something of an internet and media sensation. So any encounter with this book is bound to be coloured by what preconceptions the reader has of him from what they’ve seen and read about him in the media or what his now legions of followers say about him. Both of which often distort what he says more than clarify it. As I said, I came across some of his video lectures and interviews…

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The Theory of Pie

In the past, people often thought the universe was unchanging and eternal… at least until the invention of the pie. Philosophers, after Plato, thought this world was somehow an imperfect copy of some ideal existence. This world was a mere shadow cast on the cave wall, of the perfect world. But as Francis Bacon discovered centuries later in one of his earliest true scientific experiments, putting pasty around some meat changes everything. Although, the Greek philosophers, notably Heraclitus, had first noted that people rarely wanted to eat the same meal twice in a row. So, shoving some meat, veg and…

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The Mystery of the Disappearing Queen

‘You missed a good story in the inn last night.’ Helm shrugged. ‘I have little time for storytellers. They’re all liars.’ Tolg sat down beside the shepherd, both watching the sheep. ‘Oh, this storyteller is new. He hasn’t visited our village before.’ Helm muttered his thanks as Tolg passed him the wine bottle. Helm drank deep; watching sheep was a thirsty business. ‘Anyway,’ Tolg said. ‘This storyteller told us a new tale - about the Queen of Amboria.’ Helm stopped drinking. ‘Where?’ ‘Amboria.’ ‘Never heard of it.’ Helm swallowed, even though he was clutching the bottle in both hands where…

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Recommended Read: Beneath the Ink – Kath Middleton

Beneath the Ink - Kath Middleton Notes: This is a fascinating book. It starts simply enough with a couple both getting tattoos. But something goes wrong with the tattoos. From there develops a story that has elements of science fiction, horror, political thriller and other genres within it. Not being too enamoured with genre divisions, demarcations and expectations I do like it when a novel crosses genres, altering and blending them in interesting ways to make something greater than its parts, and this one does it very well indeed. In many ways, it reminded me of a John Wyndam novel…

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Llamas and Bureaucracy – A Crisis in the Making

Still, I suppose you know what llamas are like. Most people these days have at least some familiarity with what was once regarded as exotic wildlife - at least in places far from their natural habit – through the medium of the TV nature documentary. Although, even these days, there are still some people who are surprised by the llama’s natural antipathy towards any form of bureaucracy. Many wildlife programme-makers have been somewhat lax in this regard, and not just with llamas. Often, they prefer to fill their programmes with sweeping panoramas of herds migrating across the great plain in…

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The Hauntings

‘Come back,’ she said. I turned. There was no-one there. There never is. The voice comes at odd times with no real pattern or purpose. Like the visions of her, the mirages, the sightings – whatever you want to call them. They happen in various places both inside the house and outside it. I have seen her - and heard her - at different times and places from the attic rooms down to the cellar, along the remnants of the smugglers’ tunnel, as well as along the cliff and down on the beach. She speaks as if she knows I…

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Monday Poem: The Frozen Fields

The Frozen Fields We drift through mists that hide the day. The night will close in on us, and the cold Will make us huddle protectively inside. The rain will fall, almost frozen, hard Like the ice of sadness that freezes Then shatters the delicate heart of one Who has known love and seen it die Alone and uncared for, out in the frozen fields Of a time lost to it and bare of all traces Of the hearts it once held, beating together Inside itself, as though something so strong Could never be beaten or could ever die.

The Philosophy of Bacon Sandwiches

‘Each donkey is unique in its own way. Then again so is each mandolin. However, approaching the wrong donkey with the wrong mandolin is not recommended. Nor – for that matter - is approaching the right donkey with the wrong mandolin.’ As many of those who have studied philosophy will recognise, those are the words of the great post-neo-realist prephenominalistional philosopher Bert ‘Bert’ Presupposition. Not only did Presupposition come up with what is undoubtedly the greatest examination of the complex relationship between donkeys and mandolins in the whole of philosophy, he also claimed with evidence to back up his claim,…

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