Monday, 30 September 2019

Creepy Castles to visit

...if you are lucky enough to be in the UK this Fall.


Sunday, 29 September 2019

Robert Arthur

A break from M.R. today.

When I was a kid I read a story about some magical stamps. It was a story that really captured my young imagination. Every once in a blue moon I think about that story and wonder about it. I couldn't quite recall all the details of the story or the title or even the author's name. Occasionally I would do a google search in an attempt to find it online but no luck. Until now.

I finally found a thread (posted 2 years ago) in which someone identified the story! It's called Postpaid to Paradise (later re-titled The Marvelous Stamps from El Dorado) and was written c. 1940 by Robert Arthur.

An anthology in which it appears is available here on the Internet Archive. Should I read it though? Will it stand up? Or should I be happy with my vague magical memories of it?

By the way, Arthur also worked with Alfred Hitchcock as well as editing several anthologies for young readers. I recognize this cover for Ghosts and more Ghosts.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Drink of the Season

It's a bit sweet but I like it! Read reviews here.


Bad Tattoo Brewing in BC

Friday, 27 September 2019


Well, thanks to the multitude of craft breweries in the province there'll be plenty o' tasting!

More info at the source

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

At Winners

They've been slowly upgrading our main mall. The Winners/HomeSense has been moved to a different, and larger, spot. It's certainly less chaotic.

This is what was on the shelves a couple of weeks ago. A focus on felted home-made looking objects and, inexplicably, glittery accents.

Friday, 20 September 2019

The Hex

I'm having an M.R. James fiesta...ah, festival...conference...sabbat?

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

For your listening pleasure...

UPDATE: September 22, 2019

Not sure what happened to the link for this post. It had been my attempt to embed an MR. James book from the internet archive. The link isn't working now.

So, let's try this podcast with a guy who played MR James.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Terror

Imagine what they might find...

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Saturday Morning Cartoons

So, last week my husband and I got on to the topic of Scooby Doo. Have no idea how we got there but he was asking me if I watched the cartoon. Of course, I did. I was a young girl into spooky things and mysteries so, of course, I watched it. But I had fractured memories of it.

My husband is five years younger than me and likes to pull my chain on occasion so he was like, "Oh, so you must have been about 30 when that was on."

"Ha," says I. "Nope, pretty sure I was about eight."

To back up my claim I grabbed the trivia machine (what I now call my cell phone) and looked it up. Sure enough, the original run was from 1969 - 1976 putting me in the right time frame to have been eight years old.

Wikipedia provided all sorts of info regarding Scooby Doo, Where are you! which I proceeded to read aloud to him. Apparently, in the original pitch the characters had different names, Geoff, Mike, Kelly, Linda, and Linda's brother W.W. Their dog was called Too Much, a sheepdog (like in the Archies) and played the bongos. The show was called Mysteries Five (like their band). It didn't fly with the Network so the idea was reworked. And among the new ideas was a) drop the band idea b) change the names, c) change the dog species, d) change the name to Scooby Doo, Where are you. The name was inspired by Frank Sinatra's popular recording at the time of Strangers in the the chorus part he 'scats' doo-be-doo-be-doo.

Okay then.

But then I read this, "Scheduled opposite another teenage mystery-solving show, ABC's The Hardy Boys, Scooby-Doo became a ratings success, with Nielsen ratings reporting that as many as 65% of Saturday morning audiences were tuned in to CBS when Scooby-Doo was being broadcast." - Wikipedia

The Hardy Boys!? I don't remember that being part of my Saturday morning line-up!

Found some episodes on YouTube...just remember tho that this is the 70s. Apparently all young people were in bands that toured around in vans. Kinda like the current skoolie trend...minus the band. Because now people are digital nomads and work from their vans as photographers, writers, coders, or lifestyle influencers.

They did predict that the digital economy would mean it wouldn't matter where you lived as long as you could the hive mind.

What price freedom, eh?

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

At Michael's

Was there looking for art supplies for class. Truly.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Hurricane Dorian - Lesson learned

Truly devastating hurricane for those hardest hit in the Bahamas.

People here in Newfoundland often make small jokes about bad weather. Yesterday, at the comic shop, we were all talking about the hurricane. We've all seen its track and know Dorian will likely hit the west coast of our island a couple of hundred miles away from the Avalon. "We might get some wind, but here we just call that Tuesday!" joked a customer.

Like many other places used to bad weather we've seen storms come and go. The rain during Hurricane Igor hit with a ferocity we were not expecting and the river level, just below our back deck, rose quickly in a matter of hours. It went from a few inches to over 6 feet -- just above the retaining wall built for a once in a century flood. The river only stopped rising just as it began lapping at the feet of the furnace's oil tank. That, combined with the unexpected storm we experienced back in Doha have left me more than aware of how quickly things can change. That unexpected storm in 2016 blew out awnings, took down big heavy trees and flooded our street. At its height I ran out of the house in my pjs, in an effort to locate our cats. I still remember how loud the wind was and the sight of our male cat making his way towards me in water up to his chest. The storm didn't last long but, wow, while it blew, it felt apocalyptic.

What Hurricane Dorian has taught us, I hope, is that despite what you may have experienced in your lifetime, we are now beyond that. Dorian was unprecedented in terms of the wind speed, surge, and, ultimately, its duration. Sure, we all believe we can handle some high winds and rain for a few hours but imagine, just imagine being pummeled by the wind for hours on end to then have to endure being submerged in rising sea water for another round of seemingly endless hours. And then think of yourself now hanging onto one lone remaining tree after just having seen your pet drown. Or clinging onto the edge of a roof after just having placed your son up there for safety only to see him blown away. These things happened to people in the Bahamas. And it's truly heart breaking.

So remember that the next time you are warned to evacuate. The next time you pack your stuff and leave to spend a few hours in a shelter or at a relative's place in another province or state. Or when you find yourself taking down all the plywood you spent hours putting up for seemingly no reason. And don't wait till a hurricane is approaching to prune back trees around your property. And don't poo poo warnings about its track or its strength or the possible damage these storms can bring.

Yes, sometimes the experts get it wrong and maybe seem unnecessarily alarmist but maybe that's because even the 'experts' are unsure about what's going to happen these days. And finally, remember, that no amount of inconvenience, bad sleep, bad food, boredom, or even prickly relatives can come close to what the people in some areas of the Bahamas had to endure during those over 40 hours when Dorian stalled above them.

My heart goes out to them.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Gretel? Hansel?

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Empire Grave

Orientation today. Tomorrow classes start. Urgh. Probably won't be a ton of posts this month. And, to be up front, I've scheduled most of my posts for the month of October. What's a girl to do?

I've already had my first anxiety dream about school...over a month ago. Hope that's not an omen of what's to come. In the meantime, here's an appropriately ambivalent and rather anxious feeling tune for the day.

I don't remember how I stumbled across Azar Swan (aka Zohra Atash). I know when I heard her track, Over, several years ago I was sure it was Kate Bush! But more electronic and edgier...You can't wash away murder for example.

According to Wikipedia some of Zohra's inspiration comes from a...

"...sleep disorder, childhood hallucinations, and synesthesia are the impetus for much of Azar Swan's lyrical imagery, which she has described as "living in the space between dreams and reality" and "hallucinogenic realism". Subject matter ranges from anxiety, language, war, bestial hunger and weather, with lyrics mainly written while in a hypnagogic state. Atash has been vocal about her experience as the child of Afghan refugees, as well as her experience as a woman navigating complex cultural experiences and identities." - Source

So, maybe that's how I should approach this school term...full of opportunities to turn that anxiety and trepidation into fibre art!

Monday, 2 September 2019

Disappearance & Tragedy

Granger Taylor's disappearance happened at a time when mental health issues were somewhat confusing for people and not always dealt with. Not sure things have changed all that much. And I'm not sure I totally agree with how this doc was put together. In the end this is not a story about UFOs but the loss of someone through suicide.

Not an easy issue even today.

If you are in a crisis, call 1-833-456-4566, available 24/7, or visit Crisis Services Canada for text or chat options.