Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bone fide

Where are the bones of St Edmund? It's not a problem I would normally bend my mind to, preoccupied as it usually is with football, poetry and what to have for lunch. But I've just finished reading a book on the subject and it seems that they are not where they should be, i.e. here at home in Bury St Edmunds, seat of the former shrine to the once patron saint of England, martyred in 869 and so on. I never doubted that they were stashed locally but, according to this compelling book, the skull is in a church in Toulouse (where they venerate the old boy a lot better than we do), the skeleton sans fibia is (or was) in a private chapel in Arundel, and only a few of the teeth are somewhere in this borough, kindly donated by the nice people in Toulouse during the 60's.
What is the truth? And is it important? Well, I think it is. If Dan Brown can make a fortune with his tall tales of the Holy Grail and a bloodline right down from Jesus to the present, then surely I can milk success from the true story of a saint's lost bones, pulled (literally) between England and France since Mediaeval times. The search is on...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tuna friendly

Blackbirds like tuna! Especially when dried and processed with vegetables and who knows what else in brown chunks designed for (and eaten by) cat-up-the-road. This is the evidence: forget raisins, seed, old apples and special concoctions packaged by the RSPB; £2 something a bag gives them protein, vitamins, flavour and hopefully nothing else. I mean, they wouldn't eat it if it wasn't good for them, would they?

Thursday, March 16, 2006


This is a picture of cat-up-the-road eating. We tried feeding her indoors but one day she had a few too many chunks (possibly the tuna) which, when mixed with milk, seemed to set her stomach 'on edge'. Hah. The consequence was a lot of brown liquid on the kitchen floor. This happened twice; I had to clean it up, now she is fed outside. Looking at this photo I do feel a bit guilty (it's been a cold winter round here) but after all - she has got a fur coat. Don't look at me like that: in all other ways I am the perfect (surrogate) owner.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Casting off

I am seriously (again) considering self publishing. It's come up recently at the writers' group and after a quick look on the Web it's clear that the technology for POD (Print On Demand) and short run digital printing is moving on. Publishers like Matador and Grosvenor House offer reasonable packages and professional services, including marketing, which is the essential skill for anyone printing their own work. An article from the Guardian online is a useful guide. Other sites and services I am looking at are Authorhouse and Lightning. I have 48 pages of poetry ready to be printed, plan to provide my own artwork and hope to get 250 copies printed by May. Now to get those quotes and see how reasonable it really is! Watch this space.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My new maxim

Life is long and blogs are (or should be) short.


At last, an enigmatic ok on feedback from the Chinese cameraman. No thanks, glad to have it, best camera in the world, a privilege to do business with you etcetera. Zip, nothing. Perhaps that's all I should expect, what with their inscrutable reputation and all.

Friday, March 03, 2006

View from a window

Here is a picture taken from my window today, here in Bury St Edmunds, a fine frosty morning, the sun trying to break through that low mist that settles in the early hours. It's a sign that the pace of the year is picking up. This is a marathon not a sprint, I call to some blackbirds who sit outside the back door waiting for catfood. They don't want advice, just dry bits of Chicken Chunks. I'm a vegetarian, so of course I don't eat chicken, but the blackbirds love it. We leave it out for the cat-up-the-road who seems to have adopted us. Even before we began to feed it. There was a Hitchcock moment yesterday when about 6 birds were keeping vigil on the patio just waiting for deliverance! Sometimes they don't wait for the cat to finish before starting in. The cat's not bothered, why should it be? It's a question of energy expenditure: chicken chunks don't move that fast...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Post haste

Still no news on the camera (see last blog). Has it or hasn't it? Arrived I mean. I have been tracking it on the Post Office website; the last they knew it had been handed over to the Chinese postal system for delivery. So, I await confirmation (or feedback through eBay) that it is safely in the hands of the buyer. It is open-ended, a transaction uncompleted, and I don't like that - I need wholeness, a mandala of satisfaction, knowledge that everyone is happy and that positive vibes are reaching me through the ether. Will keep you posted.