Friday, 27 February 2009


He smells of crisps and beer.
She's in love.

Dogman on holiday

He likes the beach does dogman, the warm breath of the breeze ruffling his fur, the tickle of waves making his thighs tingle. Mmm, but remember he’s part dog and not all dogs like to swim, so he never goes completely in.

And so the surfboard by his side never skims a wave but is a prop...literally, when he’s beered up. But then again thank God he doesn’t go for a dip as there’s nowt worse than the wet dog smell is there?

So, here he is on the beach eyeing up the babes, pretending he can surf, swigging back the ale, pink tongue licking his glistening, pointy teeth.

Duffy and the Devil

Squire Lovell was returning from hunting one winter’s day when he passed by a cottage where a young lass called Duffy was having an furious row with her step mother and a right lot of swearing was going on too! 

The Squire, feeling sorry for Duffy, invited her to live at his manor where she would spin and knit for him, little knowing that Duffy was in fact very lazy and hopeless at spinning! 

In a short time Duffy was installed at the manor and put to work carding and spinning a pile of wool up in the loft. One day a devil suddenly appeared right before her, a bucca boo who had lusted after the pretty young maid for quite a while! He smelt of burnt clothes and charcoal and said,

“Here I am at your call young lady, ready to do any work you ask of me, if you’ll agree to go with me at the end of three years to my realm...unless by chance you can tell me my name.”

Duffy, seeing three years at least of an easy life, agreed to the devil’s deal and the rest of the household on hearing the rumble of the spinning wheel in the loft, thought Duffy to be hard at work, when in fact it was the devil. Each day she in fact sneaked off to the mill where the women gathered to grind grain and gossip. 

The devil meanwhile kept to his word and produced the finest stockings that ever were spun which the Squire wore to church each Sunday. They were much admired by the congregation; young and old alike desired to feel his legs and the silkiness of those superb stockings that survived all the furze, brambles and bogs when the Squire went hunting.

He never again had scratched legs and was so delighted by her work, on returning from hunting one evening, he grabbed her and proposed marriage to the pretty young lass, little knowing she had had to stuff an admirer who had come to court her into the oven to hide him!

So, the Squire and Duffy were married and the years went by and the Squire came to be dressed head to toe in the devil’s handiwork. Duffy continued to go to the mill where she told Betty, a cunning witch, the deal she’d struck with the devil as three years were nearly up and she was no nearer knowing the devil’s name. Betty thought on it a while and hatched a plan, telling Duffy to make sure the Squire went hunting the next day.

Well, the Squire took quite a bit of persuading but eventually he went out hunting. When he returned at midnight he was singing snatches of a song and was laughing like a madman.

Finally calming down he told her about how he’d been chasing a hare that led him to a grove and there he saw a devil dancing with witches around a fire, and Betty of the mill was amongst them! The devil sang,

”I did knit and I did spin
For three years to the day
Tomorrow she shall ride with me
Over land and over sea
Far away, far away,
For she can never know
My name is Tarraway.”

And the witches sang the chorus,

“By night and day
We dance and play
With noble Captain Tarraway.”

The Squire was so excited by the song and the sight of witches flying over the fire on broomsticks he shouted out, “Hurrah!” and in an instant a blast of wind swept away the fire and all was dark and silent! The Squire drank another flagon of cider and rolled dead drunk on the floor so Duffy covered him with a blanket and crept to bed. 

The next night the Squire went hunting to try and find once more the witch’s gathering and Duffy was left on her own. Of a sudden the bucca boo was stood in the doorway dressed in his devilish finery, come to take Duffy to his sizzling underworld realm. A very anxious Duffy insisted she’d much rather stay at the manor but the devil was adamant she tell him his name otherwise she’d have no choice but to leave with him. Said Duffy,

“Mr Devil, aren’t ee lord Beelzebub?”
“No young lass, how could you confuse me with such a one! For the second time I demand of you my name!”
“Well, it must be Prince Lucifer.”
“Don’t be so ignorant! For the third time I ask you my name!”
“Well I reckon it is Tarraway!”
“Aggghh, I’m too proud of my name to deny it, you are right, I’m fair beaten.”

Taraway disappeared in an instant with a flash of lightening, thick smoke and the stench of brimstone.

Duffy’s life had been saved by the cunning of Betty the witch who had made the devil reveal his name. From that day onwards though still terrible at knitting, she did the best she could, and the Squire once more had to get used to the scratches of thorns whilst out hunting.

Monday, 23 February 2009


He came over with a grudge the size of a lorry, his face smeared with oil.
He’d been fixing his car he said.
This was not a good day to ask him for a favour.

Angels & Devils

Cut his finger and out grew a tree
From the acorn of blood came his ancestry
Climbed down the tree to sit at the roots
Where angels and devils like ivy grew.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Rabbits & Worms

He had rabbit ears and a habit of hiccupping whilst drinking beer. I said he should forget it, I wasn’t interested in dating a rabbitman but he just grinned, his buck teeth glinting.
As I got up from the pub bench he pulled me back and tickled my ear with his whiskers and put a paw around my waist. His nose was quivering. I looked around hoping no one had seen this embrace, then looked him in the eye and said, ‘No way!’
With that he jumped up and over the bench, a tear glinting on his face. 'But it's not my fault i was born this way!', he cried and began to tell me the story of his life.
I'd best stop here as I swore his secret I'd keep but, blimey, what a can of worms it was, that night at the pub by the dock where the seagulls screech.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Giant Bolster

I'm tellin' an old tale now, old as hills and ancient as trees. It's about a giant who roamed these parts long before you or I ever spoke of double-glazing, ring tones or the property market.

He was gruff as the gales that batter the Land's End peninsular and vicious with it. He wasn't too nice to his wife either and fell in love with the chaste St Agnes, patron saint of Celtic Cornwall. 

Being a nun she just wasn't into the whole romance thing, especially with a married giant. But Bolster continued to woo her with dead cows and by blowing the morning mists away.
Be glad you can't smell how bad his breath is...enough to make birds drop out of the sky, dead, for miles around...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Betty Trenoweth

Betty Trenoweth is a witch from the Land's End area of Cornwall. She used to fly around on a piece of yellow-flowered ragwort in the days before railways and radios and mobile phones. She's renowned for her shape-changing abilities and can transform herself into a hare in an instant. She can even talk to animals and put them under a spell, which is what she's done to this pig. She whispered in it's ear so it'd follow her home, to be fattened up and eaten along with tatties and a sprig of herbs. Special herbs, mind, that give her the ability to fly, see into the future, and into other people's minds.
So be warned, if you ever happen to be up on the moors near Land's End and you see a tall lady in a black hat...

This is a tale told by the folk who knew her years back.

One Thursday at the end of harvest Betty went to the market to buy a pig to fatten up for Christmas. She had nearly agreed on a price with the seller but pretending she didn't really want the pig and saying she wouldn't give a farthing more, she turned her back and went to look at some others with the intention of scaring the farmer into lowering  his price. In the meantime her cousin Tom offered a little more and purchased the sow.

When Betty returned to say she would have the sow she found Tom the new owner and was fuming as you can well imagine.
"Well if I don't have her you’ll find the sow the dearest bargain thee hast ever had." Tom refused to give up his purchase and Betty went off mumbling threats and curses, and shaking her bony finger at Tom.

Tom got the sow home, put her in a sty, filled the trough and firmly fastened the door. When he rose early next morning he found the door open and his sow rooting in a neighbour's garden and it took many hours to get the troublesome beast back into her sty again. In spite of all he could do, scarce a night passed without her getting out to do some mischief that Tom would have to pay for.

Months passed, during which the more the sow ate the leaner she became. One day Old Betty met Tom and said, quite friendly-like,
"Well, Cousin Tom, how is thy sow getting on, will she be fat ready for Christmas? I hear she is very troublesome; perhaps you had better sell her to me.”
Tom replied, "I'll drive her to market and sell her for less than I gave, rather than you shall have her!"

More time passed and Tom, finding that his sow had eaten and destroyed more than she was worth and all the time getting leaner, fastened a rope to her leg and started early one Thursday morning for market, determined to sell her for anything he might be offered.

The sow walked quiet as a lamb till she came to a stream but she wouldn't cross the water; he tried to push her across wheel-barrow fashion, holding her up by the hind legs; then he endeavoured to drag her through the water, but she turned right around, bolted between his legs and the rope slipped from his hand. She ran up the moors over hedges and ditches, Tom following through bogs, brambles and furze for many miles till all his clothes were torn to rags with the thickets.

At last Tom caught hold of the rope and tied it round his wrist. No sooner had he done that a hare leaped out of a bush beside the road crying "Chee-ah!" It ran down the moor, the sow following, dragging Tom along, till the sow bolted under a bridge so far as the rope would let her.
Tom by good luck had his knife in his pocket and cut the rope but he could neither drive nor coax his pig from under the bridge! About noon Tom got very hungry yet he was afraid to leave his sow and go to the nearest house that he might have something to eat because whilst he was out of sight the bewitched pig might bolt away, no one could tell whither!

So he sat down beside the bridge in case someone might pass by then near sunset who should appear but Old Betty with her basket on her arm and knitting in her hand. She walked clicking her needles, knitting all the way, and looking as demure as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. When she saw Tom sitting beside the road she seemed all surprised and said,
"Cousin, is that you? Have 'e sold the sow and got drunk on the profit, that you have missed your way back?"

"Well, Old Betty, is that thee? I must say that thee hast beaten me hollow." Tom replied. "The sow is under the bridge and thee dust know it well for who but thee crossed the road and went over the moor in the shape of a hare? Thy friend, the devil, lent thee his hounds, I suppose, to drive her in.”
"Well, thank the powers," said she, according to her custom when anyone came to grief, "As you are a cousin of my own, I'll give 'e the value of the sow still, and that is about half of what she cost 'e because she's now gone to skin and bone, and it’ll take months to fatten her up again."
"If you will give me something from your basket to eat and what you offered, you may take her and be damned to 'e!"

Then the dame went down to the mouth of the bridge and called "Chee-ah! Chee-ah!" and the sow came out and followed her home like a dog! All who heard Tom's story agreed that the hare was no other than Old Betty in that shape and they wished they could send a silver bullet through her (lead has no effect on a witch-hare). Betty kept her pig many years and she became the parent of a numerous progeny.

After Betty had gained her ends with Tom Trenoweth nobody dared deny her anything she coveted except Madam Noy who was a strong minded lady who kept the best hunter and hounds which she coursed with daily as she rode over her farms, across hedges and ditches, to inspect her lands. She took great pride in her poultry, above all in her rare breed of hens with large tufts on their heads, called coppies.

Now Betty knew that Madam Noy refused to give or sell any eggs from her coppies yet one morning she put on her steeple-crown hat, took her stick and hobbled down to Madam Noy’s where she sat herself on a stile till she saw the Madam coming from a barn with a bowl of corn in her hands to feed her poultry.

"Good day to your honour," said Betty, as she went up curtseying and nodding to Madam, "Dear me, how well you are lookan, you're gettan to look younger and younger I do declare, and what beautiful hens you've got, the finest in the parish I do believe. I don’t suppose you could you spare me a dozen eggs?"

Said Madam Noy, "I've no eggs to spare! Dust thee think that when I've refused to sell any to my own sister or to my cousin, that I would spare them to the likes of you?"
Betty replied, "If you won't sell me some eggs you shall regret it heartily, me dear."
"Now go thee  home and what business hast thee here pryin’ about the place, covetan all thee can spy with thy evil eye, I'd like to know. Be gone or I'll set the dogs on thee, don’t think thou that I'm afraid of thy witchcraft."

Madam Noy and Betty continued their threats until Madam Noy snatched up a stone, threw it at Betty and hit her with a blow that made her jaw rattle. Betty limped to the stile mumbling to herself. Standing on it she pointed her finger at Madam Noy, making the lady shake in her shoes, whilst she waved her out-stretched  hand and ill-wished her by saying,

"Mary Noy, thou ugly, old, and spiteful plague,             
I give thee the collick, the palsy, and ague.
All the eggs thy fowls lay, from this shall be addle,
All thy hens have the pip and die with the straddle.
And before nine moons have come and gone,
Of all thy coppies there shan't live one:
Thy arm and thy hand, that cast the stone,
Shall wither and waste to skin and bone."

Madam Noy was never well from that day on, her coppie’s eggs were always bad and all Betty's spell took effect. Before six months were past she lost her every one of her coppies and her arm withered to skin and bone. She was never to ride with her hounds again and  rarely left the confines of her home. 

My Mate

my mate had to be very patient. i mean, there're so many icky blokes out there, and lasses come to think of it. she'd been through years of torture doin' the whole internet dating thing and met up with beardos, blokes with stick legs and huge heads, the meek, the freaks, the dubiously sleek...
and then ralph came along, well, hit her head on cos he wasn't lookin' where he was goin' down aisle 3 in the supermarket by the spring greens (bit healthy for both of em they are.)
he apologised and they both headed for aisle 5- biscuits, crisps and cake mixes. and 10 minutes later love bloomed in the cafe where coffee was only 99p a cup and tasted ok really for the price.
sweet, eh?

Saturday, 14 February 2009

i shouldn't've said that...

'damn, i shouldn't've said that.'
thus intoned sally, unheard by her mate rach due to her on-going argument with a mobile phone.
it was midnight outside the dog and duck where taxis swallowed up bare-legged lasses and lads with fags, threadbare moustaches and hoods up, their thin hips slung with a low belt.
mouthy kids swaggered across the road where i drove, trying to run em over.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

down t' pub

i was down t'pub t'other night in a hail storm, it being february, and i sat in the corner opposite the door eyeing the weary, belligerent and bored customers who shook hail from their anoraks as they sat down, hunching over beer and still disgruntled by the fact they had to go outside if they wanted a fag. 'bloody smoking ban' they muttered through their wretched, curled lips, as they lifted the insipid ale for a guzzle.

then the door was thrown open as if by the most bitter blast of a northern winter and there, stood in the doorway's dented frame, was a woman of tall stature due to the sharp heels of her synthetic white boots. and her hair was a right mess, dripping with the melted hail of the devilish night. and she lifted her right hand and stretched out a pink-varnished index finger and muttered, 'don't split hairs with me, boy' to the bloke sat in the corner, beer in quivering hand, scared shitless.
and with that she swung around in a cloud of perfumed nicotine and slammed the dart-scarred door behind her. myself and the other shoddy folk down the blue robin turned at once our eyes upon the bloke in the corner to ascertain the reason for such discontent. but he upped and offed and we returned to our beers, crest-fallen. however, i did discover two days later they'd come to heads over the positioning of their patio heater and mrs griffiths mentioned some issue they had over facial hair.

this in not an uncommon occurrence round these parts i have to say.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

the rain it raineth

...the rain it raineth and it poureth but finally it stopped. so that's me happy, and my dog. and a million people smiled. and i have to keep this story short as my blokey is waiting and i do get engrossed on this computer thing...

so, today's pic is a blokey who was a bit fed up...of the rain, the gales, the feisty seagulls, the narky people about town with a grim twist to their, er, grimace.

yer, he was pissed off. but then he decided to have a dance, in the park beneath dripping trees where blackbirds pulled worms. and he began to enjoy himself, in fact his heart began to sing until he just couldn't keep it in and a huge, huge song flowed out of his throat like love and bird song and spring sunshine and tipsyness.

and here's a picture i sketched of him when i was walking my damp dog in the park this morning.
looks lovely doesn't he?

Monday, 9 February 2009


i happened to be walking up on the moor t'other week and lo i did behold a mighty beast, a huge wolf-dog in a raincoat with claws sharp as razors and a fag in his left paw. and he said unto me, 'where goest thou?' with a gruffness to his voice that bespoke of a thousand cigarettes smoked.
and i was most afraid of this mighty beastman and did shiver and shake and quake rather a lot in my black boots that alas leaked when it rained, and it was raining so i had very wet feet. and i uttered unto him in a weak, thin voice, 'i'm going to town to get some bread and some soya milk and some chocolate as i fear i am about to run out.'
and the beastman did say unto me, 'then let me befriend you as i do so love a fine bar of expensive chocolate and i find it everso hard to discreetly walk the aisles of these supermarkets as you modern folk do call 'em so if you don't mind i'd like you to do a bit of shopping for me...
'i'd like some rolling tobacco and papers, some whiskey, as my teeth are everso bad these days and make me howl through the night and a wee tot helpeth to numb the ache...and some chocolate digestives and cream for my supper and, least i forget, some oats to keep me regular as these mice and rats i eat are not as nutritional as the little girls and boys and grandmas and woodsmen i did swallow up in days gone by.'
with that he gaveth me a silver coin and asked that i return the change to him but it was a 5p piece, i believe he understood not the demon inflation, or else he was taking the piss. but as he was 7 foot high and smelt like a wet dog that'd just rolled in badger shit, i dared not question the coinage and slipped it quickly into my pocket beside my mobile phone and damp tissue.
thereupon i left the beast of the moor to wander hither and thither until i returned with his shopping. and i was mighty relieved to have survived the meeting with beastman, legend of the ancient moor.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

strange bloke & a pirate...

there was once a pirate around these parts whose name has long been forgotten, though some remember him as being tall, some remember the bells he hung in his black beard and others remember the long green coat he wore and swung around to great effect whilst emphasising certain gestures especially when he was under the influence.
this story has nothing to do with this picture, alas.