Frivolous Monsters

Journey’s End

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little boy who read a blog post which mentioned how Bagpuss, the stripy cat from the classic stop-motion TV series, had come to Salford. To cut a very long story short I rushed to the Working Class Movement Library to discover that their exhibition was on the radical roots of his creator Oliver Postgate; their Bagpuss only figurative.

All I wanted was to have my photo taken with Bagpuss and so, after the staff of the WCML allowed me a sad snap with their false idol, then and there I declared it my life’s aim to find and meet the real one. You have a dream, you make it happen… Either that or you just sit around for long enough until he does come to Salford.  Bagpuss 02 Read more…

Saying Shoo to a Goose

I once found a good-looking Asian checkout girl in Tesco who had piercing blue eyes. She was a right Peter O’Toole. I didn’t have the courage, the first time I saw her, but on the second occasion I asked what I thought was the obvious question.goose Read more…

Tastes like Orange – Part Three

I got an empty seat a couple of rows behind their table, fascinated by the exchange, and I started making notes. Well you would, wouldn’t you? I had to know how this story ended.Virgin Trains Class 390 Pendolino Standard Class Interior

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Tastes like Orange – Part Two

Stepping onto the platform of Macclesfield train station I looked to my right, to see a cluster of people anonymously milling about, whilst to my left there was an interesting-looking brunette with strong features and wonderful thick eyebrows sat alone on a bench. How long do you think it took me to decide which to investigate?orangina (500x333)

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Tastes like Orange – Part One

It was amidst World Cup fever that I got on the bus for the short hop to the station. I say fever although I rather think that whichever rancid strain of Nazi bacteria it is that’s responsible might actually have succumbed to the nation’s last useful dose of penicillin as the local atmosphere had been muted in comparison to previous years when every car fluttered tacky window flags and the local pub, in a fevered expression of patriotism, sloshed the red paint to make the exterior resemble a giant flag of Saint George. England Football Flag Pub

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Hot Floating Buttocks

Despite the sweltering heat we’re experiencing I finally got the wherewithal to get out the house and set off on the trek into town, clinging to the shade along the way, where upon reaching my destination I got to witness the strange sight of lots of odd men – and they were all men – wandering around in their big coats, which they had fully zipped up, as if it was completely normal. One was even wearing the hood.Long-legs-woman (500x299)

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Cover-aggedon – Part Two

There is a scene in the famous film Clerks, which follows a day in the life of two American shop employees, where they observe a character they call The Egg Man who’s a crazed guidance councillor that comes in searching through all the cartons determined to find the perfect dozen eggs. And I thought of that scene as I stood by the counter in WHSmith that day; raised hart rate, nervous sweat on my brow, desperate for my next hit – maintaining a complete collection of all the Doctor Who covers of the Radio Times – when I found only space where the magazines should have been.Clerks Egg Man Walt Flannagan Guidance Counselor Read more…

Cover-aggedon – Part One

It was on the walk into town, just past the college which I’m an alumnus of, where I bumped into someone that I used to go to school with. The shame of being an on-going failure in life; a failed scientist and a failing writer still living in my parents’ back bedroom, means that I’m often keen to avoid former acquaintances in the flesh as I dread the inevitable question: And what do you do? Meeting the Queen’s a right bugger.Viktor-Oliva-The-absinthe-drinker-1901 (500x310)

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In the Name of – Part 02

Real people have archenemies too. Mine is a nemesis vanquished by my ancestors. Killing dragons with might and intelligence is one thing, but the inherent mastery over a particular species of animals is another. The Saint Patrick snake allegory is apocryphal – the ice age being responsible for the lack of snakes in Ireland – but consider the proof for the Pied Piper of Hamelin.Pied Piper Postcard 500

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In the Name of – Part 01

I have a unusual surname which, like most people, is derived from my ancestors; who they were, where they lived, and what they did. If you’re a Thatcher your relatives were roofers, a Cooper and they made barrels, or if they worked in a foundry then you may well be a Smith. My ancestors, the ones that counted, were none of those: they fought monsters and were the original medieval superheroes.Gargoyle 03

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