Back in July I began uploading this here blog about Mogwash – my first blog, the one I started back in 2006, originally on WordPress.org. Anyhow, it is done now, I have uploaded and edited the original posts… and added some fresh content. This was my summer project. I did this to re-engage with my creative writing, creative writing being the reason I started to blog in the first place… I thought it might help to remind myself why I turn up here, tap on keys, and press the publish button. I’ve enjoyed this project, and I’d like to spend more time writing, but not necessarily blog posts… I want to carry on writing my book… back in 2010 I managed to write 20,000 words…. I might only keep 2000 of them, but I would like to finish it.
The Wonky Words blog will now revert back to erratic posts about lettering and calligraphy… although maybe not in the same vein as it was before; one thing I have accepted is that I am totally crap at graphic design… I was always more narrative based and three dimensional, but I like calligraphy, it can be relaxing. For normal blogging I’m back to the Blogspot, where I will occasionally pop up and say hello to anyone who still has me in their blog reader or on their blogroll.
I am so grateful to the bloggers and calligraphers who turned up here and read these confusing ramblings about Mogwash-cum-Luddley… that really was a kindness! Much appreciated! Many thanks to the Bottle Hunters on my sidebar.
Extra special thanks to Mr Peter Wells – A new friend and a good read; Mr Mags, Mr Lax, Mr Devine, and Monsieur Pain – all have gone beyond the call of duty and all five will one day receive an exciting map of somewhere that may well lead them to a great something…. :-)
News reaches us of the strange disappearance of Richard Etherington-Smythe. Speculation has it that the sat nav system on his ride on mower malfunctioned and he was last seen by friends and neighbours mowing his way through the Butterfly Sanctuary and Bee Reserve at Moggins Meadow, 5 miles south of his 25 acre ornamental gardens at Mogs Mill Manor. In the unlikely event of anyone finding Mr Etherington-Smythe, please telephone the news desk at The Mogwash Mouthpiece immediately. Please note, he is not thought to be dangerous.
Also worthy of mention is the aspiring graffiti artist who, in an attempt to emulate the popular artist Banksy, has been using his mother’s Cath Kidston stenciling set to leave his tags across the village, most extensively in the bus shelter, in the grade II listed phone box, and all over Mrs Fitzpatrick’s hand built alpine rockery [with water feature]. Please note that we at The Mogwash Mouthpiece will not tolerate such blatant misbehaviour; we know who is responsible for these senseless acts vandalism and will be passing on the relevant details on to the appropriate authorities in due course.
Finally, we have received several complaints regarding a website known as Wonky Words. Does anyone know what this site is supposed to be about? The Mogwash Mouthpiece feels that this site is in some way responsible for the German archaeologist who has begun excavation work in the car park next to the scout hut. His name is Mago and he claims that he has been given permission to dig for ancient artifacts in the area known as Mogwash. We would like to assure residents that we are looking into this matter and will report our findings in the Christmas edition of the Mogwash Mouthpiece – on sale in the newsagents from October 21st.
“. . . the Christian Boltanski we have come to know is an artful construct, an out-and-out fiction that underscores the impossibility of ever really knowing anyone else, as well as the never-ending struggle to understand ourselves. It also suggests just how much a desire for meaning makes us susceptible to illusion.”
Gumpert, Lynn (1994) Christian Boltanski, Flammarion
As a new day dawned over Mogwash, I resolved to put petty grievances aside. Sebastian and I could spat no longer seeing as our latest altercation had led to a ripped pair of lycra bell bottoms and an unromantic scuffle on the village green – we both agreed that writing any sort of sex scene purely to gain readership would be embarrassing, unseemly, and completely out of character… yet, somehow, the contents of Bottled Truth had been retrieved.
The Joker Bottle
As for the bottle of greed, it still lay undiscovered, dirty and abandoned, hidden in the hole where I had left it many months previous. It was time to be open and honest. The stark truth was that I had not left any clues on my blog. I understood that my legions of fans would be devastated and disappointed by this revelation. Those that followed my ramblings with almost religious relish, would feel duped and cheated. I had been brought to my senses by impending legal action – an overzealous fan had misinterpreted one of my quirky quotations as being a grid reference for a property just outside of Greater Manchester. Five prize winning flower beds, three ornamental rose trees and a garden gnome had been destroyed in less than twenty minutes. Naturally I would take full responsibility, but this madness had to stop… it was time to come clean, time to get serious, time to make riddles with real clues…
….she staged what was to become her most controversial piece of work. In May 2007 she was discovered to be writing a blog that alluded to the possibility of a bottle filled with priceless jewellery being buried somewhere within the vicinity of Luddley-cum-Mogwash. Her neighbour, Sebastian St. Johnson, revealed this to be a hoax after he broke into her home and stole the Bottle of Truth; he smashed the bottle open only to find a message that read:
Due to my lengthy absence, Sebastian had joined the local Abba tribute band in a concerted effort to dampen his despair at losing a witty, intelligent, modest and humble friend. Most evenings he could be found posturising in The Mogwash Arms, dressed in a chest flaunting white ruffled blouse teamed with black lycra bell bottoms and surrounded by fellow members of the used tea-bag Collectors Club in similar attire. After a few slugs of Campari he would impress onlookers with a range of ambitious oscillations including an inventive interpretation of a traditional Cossack dance, the climax of this routine being an impressively well rehearsed hand jive.
Reactions to my return were somewhat muted, indeed my first venture into the Mogwash Arms was greeted with hushed voices, muffled murmurs and the odd snigger. I was bewildered, hurt, confused, perplexed, and lots of other words that describe being baffled. Feigning kindness, Sebastian took me to one side and, possessed with the spirit of a pantomime villain, he slurred into my ear….
‘I knowww wherrr-ya-bittle-fortune’sss-burried… [dramatic pause as he swayed and dribbled a bit]…..I’m-gonna-put-ann-end t’all this flippin’ nonsense.’ He threw back his head and laughed with what can only be described as psychotic relish.
It was only when I arrived home that I realised what was behind his errant behaviour; Bottled Truth had been broken, shards of glass shivered in the fire place, the contents replaced with what appeared to be a brown, washed and pressed tea-bag of the Earl Grey variety….
During my absence it appeared that some members of the Mogwash community had wholeheartedly embraced the ideas of contemporary art. For example, Mrs Fitzpatrick, who lived on the fringe of the village in the six bed-roomed neo-Georgian barn conversion known as Rose Cottage, had obviously benefited from our little chats because she had casually assembled and installed a startling piece of sculpture on her block-paved driveway. As a trained artist, with trained artist skills, I could comprehend and appreciate her efforts on a much deeper level, efforts that to the uneducated eye may have been mistaken for the unwanted contents of a dilapidated shed in a skip. With my artist’s eye I could appreciate the exquisite juxtaposition of gold lame evening gown and broken pitch fork as being a subtle metaphor for a society in crisis, emphatically highlighting the intrinsic cruelty of cultural disinclination and disintegration.
I was envious and slightly in awe of her talent, she had even gone as far as to cleverly leave her art piece unmanned so that any passing artist could redefine her vision by adding or subtracting objects, meaning that the piece was continually in a state of flux, forever evolving . . . The addition of a moldy mattress brought a whole new perspective to the project . . . it was enthralling to witness this mutating masterpiece. I contributed in a minor way by donating a bottle of air.
I had to accept that times were changing and I was no longer the only eccentric artist in the village . . .