Monday, August 31, 2015

Sound, Voices and Places

There's always a problem with places. Take Shire Hall in Monmouthshire. Was a time when Shire Hall was the courthouse in the town of Monmouth. It's not any more, as I understand it. Then there's Monmouthshire itself. It was a county in Wales, probably still is. And there's a whole thing with the little details that turn to smoke in memory and disappear. So there's a problem with places.

And there's a problem with the sound of voices. A description is easier done when the category of sound already exists in the mind of another. To draw it, to make geometry of it, is one thing. The other part is the relationship a person has with the sound. When I first heard the sound of one of those little battery driven alarm clocks, I thought "That's not too bad." Now when I hear it, the sound pretty much gives me heart attack and not in a nice way.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


It has to be a Rabbit in the Vegetable Garden eating the very late season Venture Beans. This is not an ordinary Rabbit. It's a sick, mean creature engaged in some kind of psychological warfare against the Gardener. It would be OK if he wiped out the entire row as a part of his evening routine. There'd be a period of mourning, a moment of intense foot stamping, followed by an "Oh well, not meant to be" and life would go on.

But not this Rabbit. That would be far too decent and upright for this Rabbit. Instead what he does is nibble off the leaves of just a couple of plants, and I have to admit it's a very neat nibbling, he doesn't waste anything, or do random trampling or wallowing in the row. Then next morning, another couple of Bean plants nibbled to within an inch of their lives. He's not even supposed to be in the Vegetable Garden for goodness sake. How he gets in, I've got no idea. He's probably got a ladder.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Heroic Heroes and Hume

Probably best not to retire for the evening with the vague idea that a contemplation of Hume could be entertaining. It's not. His major and most startling contribution appears to be that if something can not be given a number then it's not really worth thinking about. Without a number it's a dust bunny, amusing for the occupation of kiddiewinks and has no place at the adult table. Hume was a wig wearing Scotsman, he died in 1776.

And this is all very well were it not for the suggestion that from just a brief glance it would seem Hume's radical idea now dominates our species. The number nuts have pushed out much that is necessary for cohesion, and have just kind of said "To hell with it." Which would be fine if it wasn't for the suspicion that number nuts believe what they're doing and that number is the key to a natural order of things. Which of course is why we need heroic heroes like Timotei Candlemass and Don Quixote.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Vestry of Monnow

The Vestry of Monnow is an event that occurred soon after the Norman Conquest, and it's the title of a book in The Rabbit of Usk. The actual date is a little obscure, the actual location is equally obscure but at least whether or not it actually happened is no longer up for debate. The point being that in all matters religious there is no requirement for empirical evidence, except when determining an individual's worthiness to be counted amongst the saints.

And too, it might be useful to note, the determining of an individual's worthiness is more often a political matter than it is an empirical question. Granted the current era has long considered wealth empirical evidence of worthiness, but hardly ever is wealth evidence, empirical or otherwise, that marks an individual as an heroic hero as opposed to an ordinary common or garden sausage eating hero with foreign investments. This is of course no more than one open minded writer of pulp's view, there will be other probably less well informed opinions. And tomorrow I will proceed to denigrate the empirical philosopher Hume.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Turkey Youth

Young Turkey grow very quickly. They all still look a little fuzzy, and their elders are clearly irritable with them. The youngsters are less obedient than they might have been, some more prone to Bolshevikism than others. 

Amongst the Turkey young, there's been very little predation. No doubt once they can fly, their nighttime in the trees is safer. Have to wonder what it might be like to roost in a tree without going to sleep and falling to the ground. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chavery and Stuff

The likableness or otherwise of our heroic hero has recently come under review by COPT. A ramshackle loosely affiliated QUANGO. And while your writer of pulp is struggling to dismiss their criticisms as ranting chavery there is an element within The Rabbit of Usk that could well be seen as crying out for censorship. Incidentally the twenty first century word Chav is English/English usage for that sub group of individuals that might once have been given the title Lager Louts. And I guess back in the Dark Ages Chavs would have been called Boat Loads of Vikings.

Suffice to say that your writer of pulp has huge sympathy for all forms of chavery and he has assured the Committee of Proper Thought that his heroic hero when not wholly engaged in denigrating the Norman maintains an open mind on such subjects as Otter Hunting with Beagles, the Stock Market as Casino, Global Warming, The Beaver Menace, Money in Politics, Private Ownership of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and the list is a long one. Sadly COPT has reacted poorly to being called an apostrophe in the cooling of the universe and will no longer answer my emails.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Te Deum

This past year there's been a great concentration upon The Rabbit of Usk in these pages. Precipitated I suspect by an understanding of how short time is and how quickly it passes. On the other side of this coin is the very strange idea which I guess is best explained in terms of the grave stone. A more lasting structure around which a mind might gain solace. Oddly, "Bunny was Hungry," three words that say it all, doesn't quite do it.

Then there is a growing awareness in your writer of pulp that the world of people is probably doomed. It's an ancient idea which for several hundred generations many have drawn comfort from. Arguably it's the genesis of religious belief, it's the better description of the world as it is and always has been, an anomaly in a collection of galaxies the earthly astronomer refers to as The Local Group. And indeed these pages have long been devoted to exploring the existential.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Behold The Man or I

Your correspondent has been doing his best to avoid the pronoun "I". Possibly he's been reading prose where "I" has reached the point where it gets on his nerves. He sees "I" more than once and the content of the prose ceases to be of any importance whatsoever as he enters some kind of fugue state and starts ranting in a most irrational way. It probably has something to do with getting old.

Then there's the expression "your correspondent," another wholly irritating, pompous ass description, a sort of PBS nut eating moment. And the phrase "your writer of pulp" figures up there with the far away call of books being slammed closed, or more properly books being subjected to the delete button. However life does appear to go on, and the completely inadequate title The Letlander is enduring the attention of editing, and yes it's a "ripping yarn" with a great many spelling mistakes.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ennui and August

Always important toward the end of August to give serious consideration to attitude and posture. Exercise is critical, discipline is useful, avoid the comment section of the online newspapers, don't even think about contributing to Facebook, try not to answer emails from the political parties, avoid answering the telephone, read the works of the great minds. Stand tall, be brave, check the sock supply.

And there are blessings to count, there's no weeding in the winter, there aren't very many spiders, a person doesn't get buzzed by hordes of angry young Humming Birds, it gets dark early so going to bed at seven o'clock in the evening makes more sense, and there's nothing quite like the coziness of eight or nine blankets and the woolly nightie. In short it's a win/win all round.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Random Weather Forecasting

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has a Climate Prediction Center. Where I live, NOAA predicts an equal chance of temperatures and precipitation being either below or above average for the winter months.

The Farmer's Almanac will present it's view of the coming winter within the next couple of days. The rumor is that here where I live the Almanac will predict a cold and snowy winter. All of which is just a little dull, so here's my prediction. Winter 2015-2016 will be warm, sunny, an occasional frost, the odd smattering of snow and Spring will arrive promptly on March 1st.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Moment in the Gymnasium

The obsessions of others are sometimes interesting. Not always, but sometimes. An "Outsider" quality in some obsessions can manifest in objects, they can make very little sense to an observer but as objects they can tickle curiosity. And your correspondent is slowly realizing that his own obsessions might call for some sort medication, or correct posture, or perhaps deep breathing exercises

The argument, however, is that while all living things, because each and every one of them is essentially an anomaly, are necessarily obsessed. Sadly we are not Euclidian geometry. But the pejorative term "obsession" is only applied to behaviors that appear to produce nothing useful or which are incomprehensible. In other words we're all obsessed, but within the context of a particular environment some are better at concealing it than others. And it's true mental gymnastics are a great source of comfort and joy. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Letlander as Book Five

There's a theme of "plodding" in The Rabbit of Usk. Mind you what a "theme" might be your writer of pulp remains uncertain, yet "plodding" he understands. Plodding is another way of saying "I will hit my head against this brick wall, and continue to hit my head against this brick wall until one of us surrenders." Fortunately the Sabean Genre is wholly forgiving, and allows for such things as Book Five Point One, which is why some call the genre, prolix. High praise indeed for a Sphinx.

Yet there could be a white flag in my future. It seems to me that One Small Boy, is not only an irritating title but it's more of a prelude to an understanding of time upon earth that's necessarily vague, so I placed it in the mind of another. Out of it emerges the myth of being in a  far away place and time. A glimpse of our hero prior to his venturing into the world. The agony of childhood, a combination of what a person remembers and what they didn't know. In short there's a good chance The Rabbit of Usk will be ten books and a Prelude. So it's a win/win in my world.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Letlander and Edward Lear

The Letlander looks a great deal better as a title on a cover page that has drawing by Edward Lear.  It's a drawing from the Owl and the Pussy-cat, that moment when the Owl offers to buy the ring from the end of the pig's nose, and it's a sad fact that your writer of pulp is rather fond of the Owl and the Pussy-cat poem except for the Runcible Spoon bit. Which in his opinion brings the whole poem to a grinding halt.

In negotiations with our hero, and in an off hand moment the suggestion was made that possibly Edward Lear's Owl and the Pussy-cat should be quoted somewhere in the pages of The Letlander. A difficult moment, our hero can on occasion appear totally irrational. "You've never folded a limerick napkin have you?" My answer was no. "Well when you have get back to me!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Tribulation, excellent word, that emerges from a Latin word for a threshing-sledge. Then there are rods and flails. And it's all about being upright and decent under circumstances of intense scrutiny. Which well describes any visit a person might make to a bank.

It's kind of like someone's parlor, carpets, flower arrangements, and if it happens to be raining there's a suggestion that wet or muddy shoes might be inappropriate. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Letlander as Title

The trouble with titles is a writer of pulp assumes they'll emerge over time. Of Arthur Bryant's many books, two books, The Years of Endurance and the Years of Victory, a history of The British against The French at the time of the French Revolution up to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo might well indeed be titles that emerged over time. I don't think he sat down and said to himself, "OK, I'm now going to write the Years of Endurance." But he was a man with a soft spot for post first world war fascism, and really big into the idea of Great Men, one of his own hero's being William Pitt The Younger.

He had a whole thing happening with "National Character," as a Tory he seemed to know what "National Character" was, and so on reflection his titles probably came first. But Arthur Bryant is buried now, he died in Wiltshire in the January of 1985 at the age of 85, so any questions I might have for him would probably be answered by his estate and various disgruntled entails. The thing about it is a writer of pulp has a story in his mind, some of it on paper and then titles start oozing around. They don't pop up and say "Hi, I'm the title." It's more of a clearing of the throat. And the title The Letlander, sucks.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Turkey Flight

Saw young Turkey fly. Came as a surprise, they looked too small to be able to fly, about the size of a small Partridge, I reckoned they had to be much bigger. And I too have always wanted to be able to fly.

They fly well, gain height quickly and straight into the safety of trees, where they disappear amongst foliage, stay very still. But if you wait a while, one by one they drift back to where they'd been feeding.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hotel and Catering

There's something horrible about the hotel and catering industry. Paying someone else to make your bed and cook your food kind of summarizes it.

Indeed I'm very prepared to argue that when the final chapter of our species is written it'll be titled Hotel and Catering.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Edward Lear's Owl and the Pussy-cat recalls a loving relationship between an Owl and Cat who sailed away to the land of the Bong Trees where for a shilling they purchased a ring from a pig. It was a Turkey that married them and the relationship was then consummated by dining on quince which they ate with a Runcible Spoon.

And it's true a person can spend a lifetime wondering what a Bong Tree is, wondering what happened to the ring from the end of a pig's nose, asking a few probing questions about the Turkey, who apparently lived on a hill, and generally becoming irritated by the Runcible Spoon. Either way somewhere in The Letlander a raging Helen Cromby broke Albert Cromby's Runcible Spoon, and it was indeed a consummate moment for your writer of pulp.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Self Interview

It could well be time for your writer of pulp to re-interview himself. Ask the probing questions, come away with more sensible answers than last time he interviewed himself. Interview. In the world there's an assumption that an interview is between two people. The idea of self interviewing lacks gravitas, sort of weak minded, and kind of sad. What sort of probing questions can a person possibly ask themselves? And at the same time what sort of probing questions, don't already have a series of possible answers? "Why do you write?" "It's cheaper than going to the dentist."

There is an argument which suggests that writing is a self interview. Whether or not we think in words and sentences is an area others might have to deal with, my own view is that "Yes we do!" But those words and sentences are long way from being written words and sentences. And indeed, in the course of my time upon earth I have written a great many sentences which two hours later make no sense whatsoever. This I'd argue is the essence of a self interview, and at the same time it's kind of the essence of writing. What's inside and what's outside will always be two different things. And sometimes it's tempting to go to the dentist where you can ask someone else to interview you. Come home shiny-toothed and a great deal poorer. I think they're called workshops.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book 5.1

Missed seeing the Turkey and assorted Little Turkey around the back door this morning. Must try to get up earlier in the day. Mind you it's difficult to move around in the outdoors without disturbing Turkey nurseries. Can only think that Coyote, Feral Cat, Bobcat and Barred Owl have joined the ranks of The Peaceable Kingdom and they too are cooing along with the Community of Turkey.

The blooms of Winter Squash have been put to good use. The Artist fills them with something like Goat Cheese, pops them in a hot oven. Along with mashed Potato, green stuff and Tomato, it's kind of like going to heaven, and there's hardly any washing up so it's a win/win for the late riser whose obsessions have led to a degree of pacing and muttering around the number 5.1. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


It would be very difficult to think of an E-book as precious. I say this on the understanding that nothing of unlimited supply can really be thought of as precious. The hand illustrated, hand written manuscript would be unique. An edition of a printed book would be limited to a particular number of books. But take something like A Windral and there are trillions and trillions of copies available. Such a shame A Windral isn't edible.

Then there's the argument that insists the content of an E-book might be worth reading. A tricky area for a writer of E-pulp who might find himself tempted by the idea of what the professionals call Decorative Accents. You can't just leave an E-book lying around on the coffee table or the beach blanket. Certainly you can leave the E-book reading device lying around, hang it on the wall next to the Picasso, but not the E-book itself. It's an extraordinary progress, and yet nothing has actually changed since long before Homer.

Monday, August 10, 2015


The recent literature on immersive hasn't really defined the word. The assumption your correspondent has made is to say that immersive-ness is to get so lost in the moment of the activity that all else ceases to matter, which suggests that immersive-ness is up there with authentic. The Carpenter immersed in his work, with no care for the world beyond his or her hammer and chisel. Some, probably in the past, have considered this sense of immersive-ness as the gold standard around which society is best arranged. But I don't think that's what the literature means by immersive.

The literature goes on to argue that while there might have been a time when opportunities to immerse were limited to something like reading a book more recent innovations and technologies available to sections of the earth's people have resulted in a increased arena of immersion with a consequent dramatic shrinking of attention span. Better perhaps to put the whole problem into in the perspective of Pong, a computer game which some years ago was very much the rage for those of us unallied to any sort of useful activity. Yes indeed it's a long journey traveled since the pen and inks of an illustrated manuscript.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

JB Tito

I have seen three photographs of Josip Broz Tito which kind of stick in the mind. The first from the nineteen twenties or thirties when he was political prisoner, the second from 1942 when he was a leader of resistance, a Partisan in Dalmatia, a communist rather than a Chetnik, and the third photograph is from when he'd achieved the stature of a Statesman and President for Life who sometime in the seventies Orson Wells called the greatest man in the world today. There was a movie deal involved and actors are fickle.

The great man died in 1980, they had to remove his leg and he succumbed to gangrene, but more important in in the first or second year of the 1970's our hero may have waved at Tito. The man might have been in a big limousine, in the city of Zagreb and it was barreling down the road between the Railway Station and Tomislav Square. Others were waving, and there was considerable head nodding, someone clearly said "Tito," someone else might have said "Broz."

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Five Point One

Never been certain the extent to which stubbornness is a flaw. Without it a person makes mistakes. With it a person makes mistakes. And here, it's possible The Rabbit of Usk's Book Five Point One is little more than an act of stubbornness. What is the matter with your writer of pulp other than the usual derailments.

Could well be some sort of elderly hormonal activity deep in the limbic system. In some of my fellow creatures this sort of crazed limbic activity, unbalanced by anything remotely reasonable leads to something like a run for the American Presidency. Tragic that in your writer of pulp it leads to something like Book Five Point One.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Five Point One

Book Five Point One of The Rabbit of Usk, is kind of like if you're on your way to town, you've survived the pre-travel anxiety, you're almost at the traffic light, and you remember you've forgotten why it is you've made the effort to go to town. Then you have to ask yourself, "What are my options?" A familiar experience for many of us, I'm sure.

 One option would be to go home and start again tomorrow. A second option is to park the vehicle in the grocery parking lot, try not to look sinister, and think calmly back over the previous days looking for moments that might be a bit blurred. A third option is to go into the grocery store, grab a cart and just wander round hoping that something will jump out at you. Book Five Point One is like option two.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Autumnal, not a very pleasant word, but there's a hint of it in the air. There are many who welcome the cooler weather, and were your correspondent just a little bit reasonable he would too. No one really knows what happened to him, but the more likely explanation would be some kind of bump on the head.

Don't know what it is about the four seasons, but they really mess with a person's calendar, they shoot up a person's routine. However, the challenge they present are a series of catastrophes and as every one knows without the challenge of catastrophe members of our species probably would never have learned how to speak to each other.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Foucault Lizard

An obsession with Compost Piles around this time last year led to some very odd behaviors. This year your gardener has made bold efforts to avoid mentioning Compost Piles. However the Compost Pile Foucault Lizard population is in excellent form. Probably four little ones. They are very small and they possess the naivety of so many young creatures. They kind of look at you, they swish their bright blue tail and say "Hello" rather than running to a safe hiding place as they should do when they are older.

I would have thought that emerging from an egg a tiny creature would pretty much know almost everything it was ever going to know, and an urge to run away from alarm would most likely be one of them. But I guess in the great majority of living things there's phase which I'll call  "The Exploration of Cute Factor Phase." A very risky strategy, I'd argue. But it did work for Kittens and Puppies. It is possible a young Foucault Lizard's charming "Hello" is deceptive, and what it's actually doing is wondering whether I'm some sort of food.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bambi, White Ant and Trophy Hunting

Of the three young Deers, one of them will grow into a major problem for the Gardeners. He or she is already confident around the domicile, and might already have done a little nibbling of ornamentals. It's the kind of thing that puts some sort of perspective upon the weirdness of Trophy Hunting. My own view is that the hunting Dentist or whoever it is that felt the need to shoot a Giraffe should fly by private jet to the nearest airport and shoot this Bambi before all hell breaks loose in the Perennial Border. They can call it Alfred the Terrible, and it'll look good on their mantel next to the Elephant

Mind you, in Book One of the Rabbit of Usk, our hero and his friend watch a professional White Ant Queen Hunter at his work. There was certainly no trophy room in those days, and by way of disposal, the Queen Ant Hunter swallowed the Queen Ant alive and still wriggling. She was about the size of his thumb, so we're talking pretty big.  Both our hero and his friend reckoned the Queen Ant Hunter was a kind of super hero and either got some kind of a buzz from eating Queen Ants or was totally nuts.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rough Morning

A propensity to leave the rails, go crazy and agree to fill in a questionnaire was a major error on my part this morning. Nor was it a simple questionnaire."Between one and ten rate your opinion of Fruit Loops?" Nothing as simple and straightforward as that. Oh No! It was a whole twenty, and on reflection, totally unnecessary questions. And quite pointless saying never again, because these lapses are like commenting on Facebook, they just seem to suddenly happen!

The reason for the questionnaire, any questionnaire, has nothing whatsoever to do with product improvement. It's all about bonding the questioned to the questioner. Around question five I found myself trapped in a maize of conflicting emotions, I didn't feel I was being asked the questions I wanted to answer, I was sulky and rebellious. But by question fifteen it was kind of like being at the Dentist, a person just agrees to everything. Stockholm Syndrome, I think it's called. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Number One on the Dung Beetle List

Beyond the immediacy, the near horizon, the Compost Pile, the Nearest and Dearest, the ubiquitous nature of the local Bunny Rabbit population, the inadequacy of Bunny Rabbit fencing, and I guess once pen is put to paper it's kind of a long list but the point is there is an enclave inside of which your correspondent has his being and outside that enclave he has really very few identifiable interests. And in my view there's something here that cries out for a top ten list!

And if a person was to get serious about a Top Ten Global Interest List there has to be a division between a Beauty Pageant type top ten list and a top ten list that probably better reflects a semblance of the apolitical. In other words things like World Peace, an end to Diphtheria and Hunger and all such shiny baubles that could be quickly achieved if there was such a thing as cooperation between nations are a given and putting them on a top ten list strikes me as being ridiculous. I guess too, we're talking an insular minded dung beetle type Top Ten List. All the same, number one on your correspondent's Dung Beetle List would be
Obnoxious? You bet!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Windral

Very worst from of propaganda is the top ten list. But pictures are up there. Internet links are somewhere in the middle. Either way A Windral has passed through a wall of some sort, and I could wax on about the ripping nature of this yarn, the perfection of its structure, its interesting use of apostrophe, it's excellent grammar, and its supreior speffing.