30 September 2005

So Long, Marianne










This, originally posted July 2004, was the fourth and (so far) final karaoke doodle. As with all the other songs, I claim no credit for the words which I obtained permission to use from Leonard Cohen's agent (as with all karaoke doodles except Heavenly Aeroplane where the words and music are listed as 'traditional' on the record sleeve). As I say every time (and one day I swear I'll make it true), I'll do some more of these when I find the time. All requests happily considered - email your suggestions.

28 September 2005

Make Room For the Mushrooms

(Images from July 2004...)


During the summer of last year I discovered that a strange loophole in the law was allowing various 'head' shops in Leeds (and elsewhere) to sell magic mushrooms 'legally'. And not just the magic mushrooms I had picked on the slopes of Kinderscout ten years earlier, and on the school sports field ten years before that, but obscure foreign magic mushrooms that I had read about in biographies of Burroughs and Ginsberg, in books like LSD & The American Dream, that I had dreamed of venturing deep into the Amazon to try for myself. Suddenly I needed to venture no further than Leeds which was a bit disappointing in terms of stamps on me passport but much more within the stunted reaches of my limited travel budget.

Over July and August I trecked deep into the heart of Leeds and tried small amounts of Mexican and Thai mushrooms. I had an enjoyable time on all of them but never the full blown psychadelic trip I had enjoyed so much as a youth and young(er) man. Finally, to mark my 35th birthday in mid August, I necked 20 grammes of a 'sort of' mushroom known variously as truffles and philosopher's stones, and travelled to cartoon pixieland for six hours where I giggled. It was very therapeutic.

That was the last time I tried mushrooms. Prior to that I had craved an excess of all my usual druggy escapes - specifically ecstasy and cocaine - imagining that I would find in them a refuge from if not a panacea for my sickness. After my six hour stint in cartoon pixieland (anybody who has read any Jim Woodring comics will have an idea of where I mean, although the bit I visited wasn't as twisted/dark as the bit Jim maps out), all such chemical cravings left me for a considerable time and I generally felt healthier in mind and more at ease.

Since then I have sworn off all drugs - except occasionally alcohol and anything prescribed - but still regard a trip into cartoon pixieland, should I choose or feel the need to make one, as an essentially healthy diversion (as long as it's only a very very occasional diversion) although I haven't chosen to do so or felt the need for long enough to do anything about it. I did hear something on radio 4 around easter suggesting that the mushroom loophole had been sewn up or plugged or whatever they do to such holes. Whether the sale of magic mushrooms is entirely and unambiguously illegal now or not, friends of mine have made use of a local 'dial a magic mushroom' service which delivers to your door (or wherever you happen to be when the mood takes you).


27 September 2005

Birthday Card (New)

It's me sister's birthday tomorrow. I think she's 25. I hastily scribbled this for her. Much to the amusement (not to say incredulous amazement) of we wot've known her longest and best, she's regarded as deity, star, all round wonder woman where she works. I guess she is and it just took somebody else's view of her for us to notice.



The above image was in my head before I set off camping at the back end of August. Sadly, reality let me down and it rained only once - the storm that caused flash flooding near Newcastle, that we experienced the scouring and forked-lightning majesty of from the safety of a hired car as we topped the moors around Bedale, that had blown itself out completely by the time we got back to my still dry (and hence wonderful) new tent. Unlike the triangular and square tents of my youth, tents now are universally curvy - some igloo shaped, some (like mine) reminiscent of windtunnels and others unions of the two in strange and homely combinations. Cars have gone the same way - the square things of the seventies and eighties are now eggs. Caravans have reversed the trend and metamorphose from egg to box as the mid-twentieth-century that birthed (or laid?) them is left further and further behind. Anyway, much relaxing fun was had by all. There's something about not hearing traffic all the time which instantly evaporates the constant stress of city life, and the starscapes over the Yorkshire Dales are the best I've seen in England - worth getting up for at 4am (alright I got up for a pee but I didn't mind getting up for a pee every night once I clocked those skies). Must camp again before winter arrives and the Groke stalks the land. Must move to somewhere with star bejewelled night before the city knackers my heart and soul...

23 September 2005

GoG#96 chapter two - Privilege

(Re-post from June 2004 - if this is your first experience of Guild of Ghostwriters # 96, please start with chapter one...)


That's as far as the illustrated version of this tale goes for now although I do plan to continue and complete it when I find time and inspiration. It's probably best not to hold your breath. If you really want to know what happens to the writing career of the King of South Yorkshire and the Peak District, email me (guildofghostwriters AT gmail DOT com) and I'll send you the original prose version in MSWord format.

Self Pity - blind in darkness/seeing through gloom

(These, from June 2004, illustrate a state of mind and existence I endured then and had hoped I was putting behind me but alas they also feel slightly less irrelevant than I would have hoped more than a year later. Please make sure you read them both...)



21 September 2005

Proper Jobs

(I am reposting this, from July 2004, out of sequence because it is a question I find myself even more pressingly grappling with a year or so further down the line. All advice greatly appreciated...)


19 September 2005

Big Ugly Giant

(From June 2004)


16 September 2005

Only The Bath Has Been Changed...

(From June 2004, the moment I realised my memory was working well enough to try amateur theatre again...)


A couple of things - have been in North Wales with Suomalainen Nainen and her parents improving my spoken Finglish (my spoken Finnish is sub-toddler - basically I can point at things and sometimes say their name - "Horse (hevonen), lisko (lizard) etc"), hence the unannounced AWOL. Also, I fiddled with blogger template so I could have a 'read more' thingy for the Wayne Rooney gag but it seems to have added 'read more' to every single entry, even when there is no more to read. Apologies to any and all who have clicked this in vain. I shall remove it as soon as I work out how.

Break My 'eArt

(From June 2004, after a commentator ended their scathing criticism of the previous cartoon by suggesting I '...might as well write "Break My Heart" on the nearest woman...')


10 September 2005

7 September 2005

Reasons For Taking Drugs

(From June 2004, in the chemical wake of the aforementioned trip to Liverpool when I still very much did drugs...)


5 September 2005

An(other) Interview Wiv God


(This, reprinted from 25 June 2004, the morning after England's exit from Euro 2004 at the feet of Portugal, has nowt whatsoever to do with Natalie's brilliant and ever expanding serialised blogcomic, Augustine Interviews God which everybody should check out now if they haven't done so already)

M. B-B in "Be Careful What You Wish For"


(From June 2004)

3 September 2005

Press Conference

From June 2004. When I got home from Liverpool, I made three lengthy text only entries marking the first anniversary of the attack which left me with a broken jaw and turned me into a fearful hermit for the best part of a year. Then I posted this...


GoG on tour 2004

Back after a week of camping and giving blood to insects in the Yorkshire Dales. Nothing new for now so here are a few somethings from June 2004. These marked a visit to Liverpool which started my itch to move here several months later...