Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 2015 Coven Awards - A Year In Review



 Welcome to the 2015 Coven Awards, and thank you for enduring yet another year at Castlette DeVice.
 Yes, although we've celebrated ten years of this blogging lark, this is only the seventh Coven Awards ceremony due to three rather slack years.
 Yeah! We're looking at you 2011, 2012, and 2013. 
 You may be pleased to know that this year's awards show will not be as drawn out as last year's tedious affair.
 That's what you think!
 Yeah! We got our second wind when creating the award headers and now there are loads of them!
 Oh, dear gods... We'd better get on with it then, I suppose. As usual, I'll recap our blogging efforts through the year.
 And I'll present the various awards.
 Right. Take a deep breath and don't look down as away we go: 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bertie the Balloon and other books


 Here we are - the final book post of the year. And what a year it's been. We managed to trounce last year's total of 39 books read by an amazing 20 books!

 56. Bertie the Balloon at the Fairground, by Kim Robinson & Aneta Neuman

 OK, yes, this is a childrens' book (and a Christmas gift for Babyzilla), but I still read it, so it counts! And it's written by one of my best friends, so I just have to feature it here.
 It's a delightful little story of a red balloon named Bertie who get's blown away from his home with Clancy the Clown, and has a series of adventures throughout a fairground. At the end of the story, Bertie eventually ends up with a little boy and is ready to start a new adventure.

 The whole story is told in rhyme and is beautifully illustrated. The first production run of 500 copies has pretty much sold out, but Kim's having another 500 books printed, so if you know a little girl or boy who might like Bertie the Balloon at the Fairground, please message Kim at the Facebook link above (or contact me with your request and I'll sort it out for you).

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cromer Crab Cadavers


A collection of crab tails
 In A Witch Wanders Toward Winter, after being presented with only crab claws, Hound asked what happened to the rest of the body parts.

 Well, a few days ago I took another walk on the beach, and - Abracadaver! - discovered the missing pieces of the puzzle:


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Stop & Go


 Usurping lx's oft asked question "Did I win yet?" in the comments of the previous Items of Interest post was Dinahmow. And I have great pleasure in announcing that, "Yes. Yes you did win!"

Oh dear. The Ampelmännchen seem to have polished off my decanter of absinthe!

 The Items of Interest were, of course, the Ampelmännchen that lx gave away as prizes here

On an absinthe high, the Ampelmännchen hallucinate flying saucers!

Congratulations Dinahmow!

 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Items of Interest: Crystalline Green...

...and red.

 Blimey! We haven't had one of these Items of Interest posts since January 2011!

 For those of you who are new to this, or have forgotten what to do seeing as it's been nearly five years since the last Items of Interest post (which brought us the infamous "nylon netting shower pom pom on a string thingamie"), the rules are as follows:
 Just guess what these particular photos are of and, if you're very lucky, win a prize (yet to be determined)*. And I don't mean the photo on the left here as that's the logo image (from The Towering Disco Inferno). No. The photos are below (after the jump).

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Witch Wanders Toward Winter


Cancer pagurus cheliped star
 Right. I suppose I'd better publish those photos I promised a couple of posts back. There are a selection from my wanderings in Cromer, Overstrand and Northrepps from the past month or so.

 Oh, and be warned - there are quite a few to trawl through. I did consider splitting these photos up to cover three posts, but decided to bore you all senseless in one go, rather than spread it out. Aren't I thoughtful?

 On with the show, I suppose. After the jump, Cromer is up first:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cedplop, the Christmas Killer


 Before I post pictures from yesterday's wanderings, I must first bring to your attention a crime so blood-curdling and diabolical, that you may never sleep again: The calculated and brutal murder of the Christmas robin.


 This icon of Christmas joy and glad tidings was mercilessly plucked out of the air and extinguished of life with a neck-snapping bite-n-shake combo.

 What sort of monster could commit such a callous and cruel act, I hear you clamour? 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

LCARS preview of North Norfolk witchery


 I had sent my tinfoil mini-Broom, Silverbolt, off on a survey mission to see whether it was worth getting off my backside and heading out for a walk. 

 Here are some of the telemetry data it returned - and in handy-dandy LCARS style, too (see previous post).


 Well, the weather looks OK, and some of my marker sigils are still in one piece, so I think I'll head out. I'll post some photos from my travels when I get back.

 See you all soon!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

LCARS Cusp Ship Status


 Yes, I know it's been a while - I missed the first of the month post! I haven't much to report, except that I've been over the Cusp sorting out a few things. Nothing I can share here at the moment, though.
 But, here's a little something the Host knocked up while we were inbetween realities:

 Some of you may recognise certain elements of it - some being more obvious than others. And just in case you didn't know (The Very Mistress MJ, I'm looking at you), the design is based on the LCARS (Library Computer Access and Retrieval System) displays from the 24th century-set Star Treks.
 So, shout out in the comments when you find something that looks familiar.

 P.S. This post brings this year's total to one more than those of 2012, 2013, and 2014 combined! Only six more to go to match the heady heights of 2010's 89 posts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Upstairs, Downstairs


 No, not this one.

 Or that one on the right, which is the dizzying view from the top and bottom of the stairs at work.

 Strictly Come Dancing put on an 'Upstairs, Downstairs' themed Lindy Hop opening routine for their annual visit to Blackpool on Saturday night!



 If you watch Strictly, who are your favourite couple? Mine are Kellie & Kevin, with Jay & Aliona coming a very close second.
And doesn't Jay look like a young Thor? Phwoooaarr!!

 That's pretty much all we have time for at the mo, but we should be back in a few days, and we'll try and get around to visit you all, too. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Walk Like An Egyptian, with Brenton Thwaites


 Or, Run Away Like An Egyptian, perhaps?

 This looks dreadful, but Brenton Thwaites is in it, so I shall simply have to see it. I just hope the visual effects aren't finished yet, as those in this trailer look a little ropey.




 Oh, dear...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What can he mean, special machine?*


 Time for another book update as I have nothing else worth posting at the moment.
 

 52. Trillions, by Nicholas Fisk

 This childrens - or, young adult, I should say - story, is a surprisingly chilling tale.
 In a small town, a peculiar rain of tiny, multi-faceted, toroidal objects fall. Millions of them. Billions. Trillions! Within hours, they have fallen all over the world. Initially, they appear benign, but soon start to link together forming copies of manmade objects, including tanks, missiles and bombs. One boy finds a way to communicate with them. He asks what humans should do for the Trillions and they reply: "Hate us".

 I love this book so much! I first read it years ago when I was a boy and have read it many times since. Even though I know the story inside out, I still get something new from it with every read.
And those two words - "Hate us" - read in that context never fails to send shivers down my spine!

* Post title from page 44.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A bit of Sparky Malarkey


 I don't normally do this kind of thing for bloggers who have given up the ghost, but I'm going to make an exception in this case, as it's the birthday of original Coven member and my one-time stalkee: Timothy "Elizabeth" Leng, aka Sparky Malarkey!
 Plus, it took me ages to make this card, so I want to show it off (although the photos are really very poor - Phone must have been having a bad day).

"From starry treks through Facebook, to the stables of blogs past"
Teedjé (because his initials are T J) Leng came about after a Facebook comment conversation in which I suggested Tim could be a joined Trill (Leng being the symbiont). The cosplaying bit may become clear when you see the final photo.


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Who is the Muddy, Solanum Sallet-eating Cowbag?


Surely these two aren't responsible?
 I've been having a look through the stats for this blog over the last few months - as is my wont - and have discovered three posts that have garnered an awful lot more page views than others published around the same time, and also older posts, too.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

Good Evening, Starshine


 Well, another Samhain has passed.

 We hope you all had a wonderful Hallowe'en, and are ready for the latter half of Autumn? 

Sunset at Cromer Lighthouse yesterday - Samhain begins here!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallowe'en Creepycous-cous*


 Amongst the leafless trees and shrubs, the haphazardly placed statues stood cold, wrapped in dark shadows, and edged in dull moonlight.
 "They're weird, aren't they?"
 "What?"
 "The statues. They look like people." Allan inspected the weather-softened features of a slightly plump, stone woman as their dog, Monkey, sniffed around in the dead leaves at the statue's feet.
 "Isn't that what statues are supposed to look like?"  Patrick called back as he continued ahead through the grounds.
 "Well, yes, but these look like actual people. They're not posed, or stylised, or... or... I mean, this one looks like it could be wearing jeans and a t-shirt! Shouldn't they be wearing robes, or armour, or something?"
 "I suppose."
 "And have you noticed" Allan raised his voice as Patrick retreated, "that they're all looking down?"
 "I suppose."
 "And they look a bit... Surprised."
 "I suppose."
 "Oh! Will you stop saying that!"
 "I suppose." Patrick laughed and headed through the statues towards the rusted iron gate set in the perimeter wall. "You know" he shouted, barely looking over his shoulder, "legend has it that these were all real people once. They turned to stone when they heard a dog speak."
 "Right" said Allan as he rolled his eyes and waited for Monkey to finish weeing over the weathered statue's shins. 
 As Patrick disappeared from view, Allan turned and looked down at Monkey. "Come on. Let's go home and get some tea." Monkey looked up expectantly at the word "tea" and wagged her tail. Allan smiled at the happy dog. "And you'd better not talk, OK?"
 "I won't" said Monkey.

 § 
  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Magic Carpet Ride


 I took a ride on a flying carpet today. I swore I'd never use one of the things after this little incident, but as it was Indescribable's and she wanted us all to go out as a family, I grudgingly agreed (she still has her broom, but the carpet is roomier and more practical now she has a babyzilla and another little horror on the way).

 Broom, understandably, was livid. Until I pointed out that the whole point of the flight was to show Babyzilla the sights of Cromer, and that with her on board, stickiness, whining, and various bodily excretions were pretty much guaranteed. Funnily enough, Broom quickly relented, and seemed happy to stay propped up in the umbrella stand with Hat for company while we were out.

 So. Here are some photos I took while Indescribable rather cack-handedly piloted her flying carpet. Needless to say, as this was the middle of the day, we used an obscuring spell to remain unseen to all and sundry below.

As before, hang a left at the lighthouse...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wanton for Well-Built Warlocks (and other distractions)


 Well, it's been another of those weeks. Fortnights, actually. Sometimes, living on the Cusp gets right on my thre'pennies!


Click to be terrified!
  Sunday, 14:49 - Narrowly avoided being cocooned in silk, then sucked dry*, on a walk down Overstrand High Street.
 I forgot about the giant spider that lives at the end of the road...

* By the spider, as in: liquify my insides then drink them. Not anything untoward!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

And they were scalded to death*


 Oof! I'm back!

 I know it's only been a few days since the anniversary, but we've been remarkably busy with work and socialising
Yes. I know!
 So, I'll leave you with the Host's latest "books read so far this year" update. While you're looking at or ignoring this, I'll do something about answering the comments in the last post and will also have a flit around your blogs, too. 

 See you out there!

~ ~ ~

 This book post is a bit Star Trekky this month, plus there are rather more books here than in the normal book posts, but that's because we didn't publish a book post back in September what with all the Tin Foil Hat rigmarole.
 Anyway, on with the show:


 43. Stories To Tell To Children, by Sara Cone Bryant

 This charming little book was first published over one hundred years ago in 1911. And the edition that I read (pictured on the right) was reprinted in October 1947 - I found it in The Parents' bookcase while packing things up in preparation for decorating.
 I must say, I was rather surprised by the amount of animal characters whose lives came to a sudden, and rather casual and callous end. I suppose, in that respect, some of these stories are much like the original fairy tales (which were warnings rather than sweet little tales to tell to children).
* Post title from "Another Little Red Hen" on page 86.


Friday, October 09, 2015

Tenth Anniversary Tin Foil Toasting!


video

 Hello, and welcome to this double celebration event! Yes, not only is it the 10th anniversary of this blog-
 And my arrival in the 21st century!
 Yes, that goes part-and-parcel with the blog thing. Now quiet while I get on with this.
Hmmph!
 Where was I? Oh, yes: Not only is it the 10th anniversary of this blog, but we will be revealing the winner of the Tin Foil Top Hats and Tiaras Competition!
 Before we announce the winner, we'd just like to thank you all for coming, and for your continued support over the years.
 Yes, whether you're an occasional visitor or a long-time lurker, a Flying Monkey or a Coven member, or even The Mistress-
 Who has been with us almost since the beginning. Although, she was called MJ then...
 I was getting to that! Ummm... Yes. So a big thank you to everyone who has put-up-with and played in this little corner of the Blogworld.
 Right, then. On with the show!

 The comment and email votes have been amalgamated and counted and I'm pleased to announce that every single eligible tin foil hat was voted for. However, the clear winner of the 2015 Tin Foil Top Hats and Tiaras Competition, with twice as many votes as the next highest entry, is...
 
  § 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Is... Is that a bridal Stormtrooper?


 Due to some pushing and shoving around the chapeaux gallery, and some people breaching the velvet rope barriers to have a grope at the tin foil exhibits (poor Hound is in even more agony now - although, from the look on his face, it's not all bad...), I've had to employ some security.

 Not knowing really what to look for in a security guard, the lovely Dinahmow stepped in and provided this Imperial Guard (looks like she snatched it straight from its wedding - fab bridal outfit!):
"I do" - Dinahmow's Imperial Guard in the midst of its own wedding.
Apparently, that's Nefertiti under there - I wasn't aware she had a part in Star Wars...


 Anyway, you can continue to peruse the Tin Foil Top Hats and Tiaras Gallery below and vote for your favourite either in the comments or by emailing me (email address in my profile). You have until midnight (GMT) Thursday 8th October to vote, and I'll be announcing the winner on the 10th anniversary of this blog which is Friday the 9th October.

 Good luck everyone!


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Tin Foil Top Hats & Tiaras Gallery 2015


Oof! I'm awake. I'm awake. Here I am!

 Welcome to the Tin Foil Top Hats and Tiaras Gallery! As I'm sure you're all aware by now, this foil encrusted occasion is being held to celebrate the fact that we've managed to keep this blog going for ten years!
Ten interminable years.
Yeah, what a bloody palaver it's been. We should have given up back in 2010 instead of dragging this old carcass into another year.
 Hey! Shut up. We got back into the swing of things last year, didn't we?
I suppose...
 Ug. Who invited them? I thought you said the SubCs were going to be visiting Grandma Rosecrypt today?
 Well, that was the impression they gave. Irritating little sods.
 Anyway, we'd better get on with this as I feel we're losing the audience, so back to the matter at hand: In a little under a week - Friday the 9th of October, in fact - this blog will turn ten years old.
 And, it will also be ten years since I, Inexplicable DeVice, arrived here in the 21st century! Well, my mind, anyway. My body got a little charred just before I set off, but luckily The Host was here to land in.
 I don't know that I would call it lucky...
 Oh, hush. You sound like the SubCs! 
 Right! On with the show - and wipe your feet before coming in (you can hang your coats and whatnot in the foyer)! 

Friday, October 02, 2015

"Can you smell cum?"


 I've just returned from The Parents where I was forced into gruelling manual labour (painting door frames & cabinets, moving bags of compost and cleaning the inside of car windscreens), and caught a most distinctive smell as I cycled up the Northrepps Road.



There must be linden trees in the woods surrounding Northrepps Cottage.

Thanks for that, Prime Minister.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Music to watch Tin Foil go by


 Right. As I'm sure you're all* coming into the home stretch with your tin foil hats (and the like) now, how about a little music to keep you going?
 Apologies for the adverts in the videos - I looked for non-official vids without advertising, but they were either crap quality or didn't exist (and, yes, I checked ViewPure, too)



 I've also been quite partial to Kim's "Never Trust A Stranger" and "Four Letter Word".

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Terrifying Tin Foil Timescales


Fang is just bursting with
excitement to see the Tin Foil
Top Hats and Tiaras
Competition submissions.
He's even practising his best
Mr Burns "Excellent" impression
for the occasion!
 I hope you're all just bursting with ideas for the Tin Foil Top Hats and Tiaras Competition 2015?*

 Well, those of you who have yet to submit an entry/entries, anyway...

 Right! You now have a week—yes, one week—to construct, photograph, and submit your entry to help celebrate/commiserate the 10th anniversary of this blog. I shall need all entries in my 'in box' by midnight Saturday 3rd October.
 Although the likelyhood of any/all of us being awake to sift through them at midnight is highly doubtful.
I'm sure we'll need an early night after the excitement of another week of Strictly Come Dancing!
 That's true. I suppose that as long as your entries are submitted by the time we get up on Sunday morning, that'll be OK.

 Well? What are you hanging around here for? Snap to it!



* Yes, I've changed the competition's name.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Time for Tin Foil


 The time for terrifying tin foil tyrannosauruses tinkering is upon us!

 Yes, it's the 
2015 Tin Foil Hat (& other accoutrements) Competition!

Save money - Buy your tin foil in bulk!
 To celebrate the 10th anniversary of our arrival here in the 21st century, and the beginning of this blog, we've decided to host another tin foil hat compo.

 For those not in the know, a gift of tin is traditional for a 10th wedding anniversary, hence the hi-jacking of the tin bit to coincide with our 10 years of blogging.

 This compo shouldn't come as a surprise to you, what with the prompts, warnings and reminders that we've posted so far.
 
 Oh, except dear Savvy, who has displayed an uncanny ability to remain completely oblivious:

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Worst Witches


 I thought I'd just pop in with a quick status report. I'm including both my sisters in this as I don't want you to think that it's just me who is finding this witching lark to be a tad taxing at the moment.

• Indescribable - A rubbish Wicked Stepmother. I mean, she actually gets on with her three step-children, and even took one of them camping (yeeuch!) along with Babyzilla!

• Inexcuseable - A non-mad Cat Lady. Despite a promising childhood, Inexcuseable has stubbornly shown innate skills of common-sense and level-headedness, and has never had more than three cats at any one time. Plus, she's coherant, bathes regularly and never throws her cats at people.

• And myself - A witch of such bad timing and memory, that I've neglected to push kids into ovens on numerous occasions; and I keep forgetting to be "busy" refurbishing Castlette DeVice with gingerbread, marzipan, and the like, whenever Mum-Ra and Dad-Ra (aka The Parents) want me to decorate their house. Consequently, I'm not finding much time to skip around your blogs and be sociable, and my home is being slowly devoured by the neighbourhood children.


Bugger.



P.S. Remember that it'll be the 2015 Tinfoil Hat Competition soon, so make sure you're stocked up with foil. I'll probably announce the compo at the weekend.

P.P.S. And just so you know, at least one of your number has already furnished me with their Tinfoil Hat (and accoutrements) compo submission, so you'd better get those tinfoil thinking caps on!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Abuzz with tits and tails


 The garden has been a hive of activity recently, as the following photos may attest.

 Plus, it's absolutely tipping it down here at the mo, so the sunshine in most of these pictures is a welcome respite.


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

I've got my eye on you!




 No. Wait. I haven't.

 It's the first of the month so a new post is required, but as I've been a little busy lately, I haven't got anything finished, so you're going to have to put up with this.

 Normal service should resume shortly.

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain*


 Just got time for a quick update of books read since the last book post.


  38. The Martian, by Andy Weir

 This was a fantastic read! Thrilling, gripping, emotional, and believable. I actually choked up in a couple of places because I was so engrossed and invested in the plight of the only man on Mars.

 I can't wait for the film, now.


* Post title from page 14.

 39. The Long War, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

 This is the second book in this series about the discovery and exploration of parallel Earths. It continues the adventures of Joshua Valiente "the Hero of Step Day", Monica Jansson, Sally Linsay, and Lobsang the Tibetan motorcycle mechanic reincarnated as an Artificial Intelligence. New characters include Maggie Kauffman, captain of a twain (airship); and Nelson Azikiwe, a former vicar. 

 40. Wilde Stories 2015 (the year's best speculative gay fiction), edited by Steve Berman

 I think I saw a review on io9 for this anthology, but I can't find it to link to just now, so may be I saw it somewhere else?
 Anyway, this book collects 13 short stories in which one of the main characters happens to be gay, or at least have some sort of homosexual experience but which isn't the focus of the tale!
 There are some weird, dark stories amongst this collection, some of which I didn't much care for, but a few I found to be quite fascinating: The Oily Man by Alex Jeffers - a period piece about a man in a foreign land who is visited by a local "monster"; A Gift In Time by Maggie Clark - a tale of a man capable of time-travel who is infatuated by his boss's assistant; and Werewolves of Northland by Patrick Pink - a very sweet story of the only werewolf in a small town discovering another like him. 


 41. Long Shot (Star Trek: Seekers 3), by David Mack

  The third in the Seekers series was a non-stop action and adventure story about the USS Sagittarius crew's discovery of a world where the laws of probability have been shot to Hell! The writing (as always from David Mack) is excellent, and there's some great character work, but I just couldn't believe in the premise.


 42. The Long Mars, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

 This was by far a more interesting read than The Long War - The story was neither here nor there for me, but the discoveries that Captain Kauffman and her crew make while traversing the Long Earths, plus the discoveries made by Sally Linsay throughout the Long Mars were riveting.  



 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A reason to be a witch


 After the excitement of all those pens, pencils and papers, there's nothing much to report here. The Host assisted Indescribable and Babyzilla to return from whence they came yesterday.
 They were here camping, so Inexcuseable's husband helped them pack up and I kept Babyzilla amused and out of the way. I've also been doing some maintenance both here and at The Parents'.
 And we've just got back from the woods behind Castlette DeVice in Northrepps. Here are some photos, to prove it (as always, click to enhance):

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pens: The best friends you can have!


 Following hot* on the heels of LX, Dinahmow and Ms Scarlet, I hereby bring you the Pen Meme. But first, an introduction from Pauline Campbell Jones:




Saturday, August 15, 2015

Of Brownies and Bees


Exceedingly gooey cherry shortcake brownies
(made by my own fair hand, of course)
 It was all go here on Thursday. One of my Hags had come to visit, but no sooner had we settled down to gossip with tea, coffee and homemade brownies, when we were rudely interrupted by a low, loud droning noise. In less than a minute, we could barely hear ourselves think nevermind take notice of the juicy tidbits of gossip we each were disclosing. There was only one thing for it: We had to investigate.

  Vacating the comfort of my hurriedly tidied living room, we grabbed our brooms from the umbrella stand in the hall and left the house (via the back door, naturally). A quick and low flight amongst the tree tops brought us to the cliffs and the lighthouse, and there, heading slowly along the cliff edge towards Overstrand was the source of the noise: the most enormous bee we'd ever seen!
An enormous bee at the lighthouse cliff in Cromer

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Two Months 'Til The Tinfoiled Ten!


As you can see, this young man in his
tinfoil shorts is attempting to withhold
his excitement at the prospect of another
Tinfoil Hat Competition
 As promised, here is the first reminder for the be-tinfoil'd 10th anniversary of my arrival here in the 21st century-
 And of this blog!
 Yes, that too. I hadn't forgotten.
 Good, because it's the blog that has made all this possible.
 OK, OK! I said I hadn't forgotten. My, you are a bit mardy this morning, aren't you?

 Anyway, getting on with the show: The 9th October this year will be the 10th anniversary and, as we mentioned before, we'll be holding another Tinfoil Hat Competition to commemorate the auspicious occasion.

 I still haven't decided on a theme, so anything goes - Let your juices run wild! Your creative juices, that is, as tin foil is notorious for not having the capacity to mop up errant spillages... 

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

In through the Out door


Not my actual hulking blond delivery god,
but a fair approximation thereof
 This morning I was so distracted by the hulking blond delivery god at work, that I walked in through the out door (think more "Raspberry Beret", by Prince, rather than the titular 1979 album by Led Zeppelin).

~

 As I approached the office, the shrunken lump of coal I call my heart skipped a beat when I saw a white van outside. He's here! The only thing that makes walking into the building pleasurable. Yes, I know I'm objectifying him, but I don't know his name and I'm certainly not going to talk to him, so what're you going to do? 

Monday, August 03, 2015

Solanum Sallet


 Ug. I've been invited to a gathering, a cauldron party*, and I can't get out of it. To make matters worse, I've been given a recipe for a potion or somesuch that I'm expected to bring.

 I'd better get started as I'm due there in an hour. 

Ingredients:
  Nightshade roots
- Hmm... I wonder which sort? Solanum dulcamara? Solanum nigrum? I hope it's Solanum tuberosa as I have a bag of Désirées that are starting to sprout...

  6 fl ℥ of sour milk from a cow frightened under a full moon - Good gods. I can't wait until 29th August to scare a cow, so ::rummages in the fridge:: this sour cream with a use-by date of 31 July will have to do. It still smells OK, and the 31st was a full moon...
  1 heaped tablespoon of an unbaptised virgin boy fat/cockerel egg emulsification - So, mayonnaise then. ::rummages in the fridge again:: And this one made from virgin olive oil is the closest to it that I've got to hand.
  Mentha longifolia, finely chopped - Ah. Horse mint. Well, I'm not going out for that now, so spearmint from the garden is going to have to do.
  Crown of Basilisk, finely diced - Well, I don't have any of that either, but I do have basil, so I'll use that instead. Dammit! I knew I shouldn't have put that newly hatched basilisk down the waste disposal unit.
  Allium schoenoprasum stems - What the- ? Oh, chives! I have these! Maybe this recipe won't be such an unmitigated disaster after all?

 Now to concoct this diabolical recipe. Apparently, it only takes half an hour or so...


34 minutes later...


 After all that, I've ended up with bloody potato salad!



 Bugger.


* Very similar to a Tupperware party, but with less of that plasticky, stale air smell.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

For Sale: Houseboy novels


A Houseboy in Wonderland,
by Charles "Jammy" Dodger
 I need to make room on my bookshelves for an impending delivery of new Star Trek novels, and after practically no wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have decided to part with some of Witchface's treasured Houseboy collection.

Hey! How very dare you! Those are all priceless first editions!

 First editions, maybe, but the only way they're priceless is because nobody in their right mind would pay anything for them! They're cheap and nasty tat that likely originated from some dire airport newsagent. 

 Oh, very well. They're free to a good home, so just help yourselves.

 As usual, click the pics for small-print magnification.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mud


 Good job I posted the previous post when I did, as the past few days have been cold, wet and windy, and the garden now looks like a tidal wave has hit it!

 Things are so bad that I've had to enlist the assistance of a couple of the more outdoorsy-type warlocks from that coven in the next village.
 Although, I'm already regretting it as my gin reserves have somehow dropped to alarmingly low levels, and all they seem to be doing is uphill gardening...

 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A - Z of This Witch's Garden: A


 Because my mind has inevitably gone blank, I can't think of anything else to post but this: 
Cedplop the Annoying relaxing near some catnip
(probably after he's ruined something).
The first in a series of gardening and plant-related posts. I did kind of start this a little while ago with a Spring Garden A B C, but Cedplop ruined it (because he's a little ruiner), so I thought I'd give it another go. Originally, I was going to do the whole A-Z in one post, but it would have been rather large, and too much like hard work to sort out all the photos. So, instead, I've decided to break it down to one post per letter.

 I suppose we'd better begin with A, then? And remember, the photos are just a click away from being engorged to breath-taking proportions! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cowbag


 Ug. What a week! And we're only half way through it.

 After our week and a half holiday, we returned to work on Friday just to test the waters, then had the weekend to get over the horror. Mondays are always ghastlier than a thousand ghouls, and this Monday was no exception. Work wise, anyway. Having returned home at 6:45 pm, boiling hot, hungry, tired and grumpy, Indescribable called. Yes, she and Babyzilla were at The Parents!
 Indescribable wanted to go and see Jurassic World, but didn't have a Babyzillasitter as The Mother and The Father were going out. The last thing I wanted to do was 'zillasit, but unluckily Inexcuseable stepped in. She said she'd look after Babyzilla so I could go to the cinema with Indescribable (as she didn't want to go on her own). Oh, great. Going out on a 'school night'. And a Monday, at that!
Gitface (in black) and Car (in red)
 By this time it was 7 pm and the film started at 7:10, so you can imagine the rushing around that took place. I quickly de-worked (got changed), stuffed my face with a melted and partially-reformed Wispa bar (that had been in Inexcuseable's husband's lunchbox for the past week) and a couple of biscuits, hightailed it over to The Parents' in Car (which was still reasonably cool inside as I'd had the climate control on for the drive back home from work) closely followed by Inexcuseable and her husband in their car, had a quick cuddle with Babyzilla before dumping her on Inexcuseable and jumping back into Car with Indescribable. We made it into Cromer in excellent time (it's only a couple of miles away), found a parking space right by the cinema, and got our tickets and Minstrels* (no queue - yay!). And, unlike the last time I went to Cromer Regal Movieplex, the air-con was working - thank the gods!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How to Train Your Drag Queen


 I watched this strange film the other day. In it, a Viking village is attacked by hordes of drag queens. A lucky shot from a young Viking man's catapult brings down Lola, a big, black drag queen who he captures and imprisons in an airport lounge. His friends, Connie and Muriel, who normally live in the lounge, dress up as dragons to try and infiltrate a Northampton shoe factory, but are found out by a conservative French couple who are visiting their prospective son-in-law who owns it. The faux dragons then make goo-goo eyes at Channing Tatum who was in the factory commissioning a pair of gravity boots. Meanwhile, the Viking rides to Northampton on Lola to rescue Connie and Muriel, even though his dad, the Viking chief, forbids it. When he gets there, he steps on the maid's unshod foot which inexplicably comes off, necessitating a replacement made of -
 What!? What are you going on about?
 The film we watched.
 Don't you mean films?
 Do I?
 I think you do! Weren't you paying attention?
Oh, don't stop him. We were wondering what happens next.
Yeah!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Baby Sitter From The Black Lagoon*


 Another month, another "books read so far" post. And with just two exceptions, all these books listed here are re-reads. I haven't written summaries or info about all of these books as, quite frankly, I can't be bothered. I may come back later and do them.

 Probably not, though.


 30. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett

 
As I have been partial to a bit of Terry Pratchett in recent months, when it came to choosing a book to read to while away long journeys or dull dinner hours, another Pratchett novel was a given. But which one?

 After some humming and hahing, and a recommendation from someone at work who had just re-read it himself, I selected The Amazing Maurice. As it has been some years since I last read this, and thanks to a poor memory, I couldn't really remember much about the plot and characters. So, it felt like I was reading this anew.
 The premise is that an intelligent cat (Maurice) along with his stupid looking kid (Keith, the Piper) promises to rid towns and villages of their rat infestations for a fee. The rat 'infestations' are actually a clan of intelligent rats (Dangerous Beans, Sardines, Peaches, Darktan et al) who travel with Maurice and Keith and pretend to be normal rats when they get to the target town/village. This is the story of what happened when they reach the poor town of Bad Blintz and uncover an ongoing scam orchestrated by a Rat King and some human rat catchers.