Category Archives: Bottled

What happened in May?

After several weeks on the fainting chaise I began to feel better. My recovery had been slow, arduous, and beset with challenges, for example I felt as though an ominous cloud had been stalking me daily, I couldn’t shake it, so instead I decided to take a photograph to illustrate the darkness of my unwanted companion.

To illustrate a post featuring a sky.

To escape the cloud I hid indoors and pretended it wasn’t there, although I could still hear it leaking into my conservatory. I tried to make a note to get my roof fixed, but couldn’t decide whether to use copperplate, italic, or a modern calligraphy style. I concluded that my indecision was because it was all getting a little bit too much. I decided to stick my thoughts together with a drawing of a crow, as this was obviously the best way to make a note.

Though in the midst of muddlement, I knew there was a course of therapeutic action available to me, which was to lay quietly on the fainting chaise and read a pile of books [one at a time, NOT consecutively].

And lo, after several weeks I did begin feel better though less than robust, after all, I did still have a Temporomandibular joint disorder; Tinnitus; and a misdiagnosed knee condition, but, I also had a theory: my chronic ailments were somehow related to that damn wax effigy I’d sealed in a bottle back in 2006. I had unwisely used my own hair, and material from my clothes to make this glorious work of art…. blah, blah, blah… I think we have been here before….

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Please note that the pin located on the right of the doll’s head [my left] and the pin stabbed into the left knee [my right], correspond anatomically [within accepted parameters] to my current jaw and knee issues.

I concluded that the only way to be completely well again would be to break the bottle and remove the pins from the effigy – plus, if my theory was correct, then did I really want to find out what the remaining pins would do?

It is now June 2021, and I am still a bit nuts.

Mapped!!!

After being inundated with requests, from places far and wide, and even from Uranus, I have finally made the definitive map of Mogwash. I have spent the past week studying cartography so that I can bring you a map that rivals the Tabula Rogeriana; a map so map like that it can’t possibly be called anything other than a map. Using the finest materials available to me, and working on it for at least 5 minutes a day [Tuesday AND Wednesday] I am now delighted, nay overjoyed, happy beyond ecstatic, to bring you Mogwash the Map. It is rendered in white ink, with the occasional dash of coloured pencil, on the back of a manila envelope. I know, the craftsmanship is exquisite!

map-on-back-of-envelope-in-cursive-calligraphy

My rationale for rendering it on the back of an envelope is so that you can take it anywhere and it’ll never look out of place. For example it looks cute propped up on the mantelpiece; it looks appropriate casually placed on a chair; and it is ideally suitable for resting in a wicker waste paper basket.

Here is Mogwash on my mantelpiece:-

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And here is a close-up:-

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Anyhow, I am sure that you are bored with my pontificatings and are desperate to re-read about all the places listed on the map so I have thoughtfully provided links so that you don’t have to go scrambling up my annuls trying to find the relevant posts. It’s okay, you can thank me later!!

  1. The bizarre woodland adventure.
  2. Mogs Mill
  3. Mogwash Manor
  4. The Mogwash Arms
  5. No.3, Mogwash Mansions
  6. Scout hut and carpark
  7. The bus shelter
  8. The Grade II listed telephone box
  9. Village Green
  10. Viridian Venus
  11. Rose Cottage
  12. The Onion Gallery
  13. Sebastian’s House
  14. Scarlet’s Attic

Now isn’t it good to know where everything happened? I’m sure you are thrilled.

Meanwhile, I have more news from the mantelpiece [my goodness, it has been an action packed week].

empty-macallan-bottle

I finished my bottle of whisky! I opened it at Christmas, it had been languishing in my drinks cupboard for some time and I was too skint to buy a big bottle of Bells, so I opened the Macallan instead. I put a dash of it in my milk at bedtime, or use it to liven up a glass of coca-cola. It tastes really, really nice! Anyhow, yesterday I thought I might replace it so hunted it down on the internet HERE. Oops.

Mapping Mogwash!!!

For the month of July a few of us have challenged ourselves to make a map. Dinah has already started, so I thought it only polite that I join in. Of course I am going to make a map of my fictional village, Mogwash, how could I not? But where to start?

Because Mogwash was created by my own fair hand I decided to take a photograph of my palm. After cropping the picture, and adding a few filters to make the lines darker [yay, that worked well, why did I bother?] I had this image:-

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In the palm of my hand

So I simply printed it off and traced over the lines…. and yay, I have something that could be mistaken for a map!

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First sketch of Mogwash!!!

Yep, I went a bit wrong in places, my eyesight is wonky, like this blog, but it is the first preliminary sketch and it will change an awful lot through a process of decisions. The next thing I do have to decide is how big I want it to be, and what type of surface to use.

I wonder where the scout hut is where Mago the archaeologist dug up the carpark? Where is the Onion Gallery? WHERE IS THE PUB??? Where does Moonchild Etherington-Smythe live? Where is Mrs Fitzpatrick’s hand built alpine rockery? All should be revealed over the coming weeks! I kind of think I’ve got a lot of reading to do, and a hunch that I’ll still be tinkering with this map cum December…

Shards of Glass….

….flew across the room when I flicked on the light switch in my studio. The lightbulb had exploded. I sighed and went to the kitchen for a dustpan and brush. Thankfully no glass had become precariously lodged in the ceiling. Those days were long gone. Or were they? Were these frequent near death experiences related to a bygone era? A long-lost plot? An unfinished paragraph that I had begun in 2006? I gazed into the middle distance and looked thoughtful.

Some hours later, after I had finished thinking and looking pretty at the same time, I ascended the stairs to my purpose-built garret at the bottom of the garden. They were still there where I had left them some years previously – a large cardboard box, and an old thick notebook stuffed with diagrams, maps, menus and all manner of paper ephemera. There was nothing more in the garret other than these items. I lifted the flaps on the box, faded, dry, and dusty, and counted the bottles within, there were two missing, which was no surprise. I pulled out the smallest, the first one I’d made. It contained a wax effigy pierced with pins. I rolled my eyes, how stupid of me to make the effigy using my own hair and clothes.

wax-effigy-in-bottle-on-mantelpiece

On my mantelpiece today….

“I had misguidedly seen fit to use my own hair and clothing to produce the wax effigy, all silly superstitious fears had been pushed aside as I dispassionately pierced the effigy of myself with pins.”

wax-effigy-in-bottle-uk

No wonder I have tinnitus….

It seems I had unwittingly cursed myself with misfortune. Thankfully during my long spell of thinking I had had a couple of interesting thoughts. Perhaps all was not lost. Perhaps I was taking these explosive mishaps a little too literally? Perhaps the mishaps were merely signs? Signs to tell me that I was on the wrong track; signs telling me to return to where it all began.

To be continued. Maybe.

Whatever Happened….?

bottled up revenge

Bottled Revenge

“Whatever happened with the messages in bottles? I am new to this blog – so the answer may be posted somewhere – but I’m not sure what direction to go to find it.” Asked Jean, several posts ago.

As I read the question on my screen a single tear rolled down my cheek from my left eye. My right eye is somewhat lazy, not so prone to gratuitous displays of emotion and thus remained dry. I often think about the bottles and wonder if I should dust them down, discover what they were all about and follow the direction they were taking me. Even Charmaine is now burning with curiosity after she stumbled over them in a blog post way back in 2015. Thankfully her stumbling didn’t cause any breakages. No cuts. No grazes. No electrocutions.
Perhaps it is time to publish some explanatory notes? Perhaps now that everyone has lost interest, now that everyone is fevered with the evils of politics and buffered by the occasional hurricane, perhaps now it is time to examine the bottles in more detail?
Anyhow, it is something to ponder on…something to face.

Another Invitation of Sorts [Tales From Luddley-cum-Mogwash, Part 44]

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Bottled Temptation

Moonchild Etherington-Smythe, owner of the Viridian Venus gallery, gathers the post from the doormat as she breezes into her colourful domain causing the tassels on her sequined scarf to fly in her wake. She is no longer just a small time gallery owner; thanks to her huge online profile [13 million followers on Instagram and 50,000 Likes on her Facebook page] she is now also responsible for running a network of crafty workshops across the UK, and Malta. Workshops include: Whittling Abstract Spoons [spoons without handles and vice versa]; How To Express The Sound Of A Vacuum Cleaner Through The Medium Of Paint [ever popular]; How To Write Like A Two Year Old [inky fun, no previous experience necessary, only £60 per head]; AND, Generic Retailing [how to sell new-found skills online within five minutes of learning them]. Moonchild is proud of her artistic success. She is proud to be such a creative inspiration for so many people and, she is proud to be at the apex of the crafting pyramid.

Moonchild flicks through her mail before taking off her velvet coat and flinging it on the counter. A grey envelope draws her attention, she turns it over and caresses her name and address with her stubby ring stuffed fingers. The address feels raised, as if embossed.

addressed-envelopes-with-calligraphy-uk

A Peculiar E

Moonchild is familiar with the craft of calligraphy, she smiles and nods approvingly as her eyes settle on a distinctive, wonky ‘g’, and the curvy, very peculiar ‘E’. Someone after my own heart, she thinks. She pauses and decides against tearing the envelope with her fingernails, instead she takes a pair of mini pinking shears from beneath the counter and carefully cuts a shark tooth row across the top of the envelope. She tries to guess the nature of the invitation, because surely this has to be an invitation?
Within the envelope there are two pieces of brown cardboard taped together to protect the inner content. Moonchild snorts and expertly makes short shrift of the tape, she tosses the cardboard into the bin and places a black and white photograph of a bottle on top of her velvet coat.
What sort of game is this? She wonders. She turns the photograph over to reveal a scribbled time, date, and address: 8pm, 21st November 2045, Mogwash Village Hall, Mogwash. As a squally wind causes the gallery door to swing open, a memory recollects, and Moonchild is chilled to the bone.

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A Bad Memory?