…smashed the bottle open only to find a message that read:
To whom it may concern….
Please Mind The Gap.
St. Johnson was adamant that this message proved beyond doubt that the Bottle of Greed was merely a result of Blue’s imagination, and her affection for pseudo-intellectual flimflam. When confronted with St. Johnson’s accusations regarding her subterfuge, Blue was reported to have smiled wryly and hinted at the possibility of there being numerous Truths.
With the benefit of hindsight it is easy for us to mock the doubting St. Johnson, he was, after all, a catalyst character for many of Blue’s improbable plot twists, which saw him drunk and slumped in a bus shelter; performing robust Abba impersonations in the Mogwash Arms, or being arrested for assault. It is easy to understand why St. Johnson has spent so many years trying to discredit Blue, and why he was inspired to write the best selling pantomime script Please Can You Make it Wear Big Pants. And a Knitting Pattern Would Be Nice. Considering the animosity between the pair it came as something of a welcome surprise to see them reunited for the first time in more than 20 years at last night’s opening show.
Peripheral characters at the event included Taramind Dewhurst, Moonchild Etherington-Smythe and Mrs Fitzpatrick, who elbowed each other for paragraph space, and were as eager as the rest of the gathered crowd to hear….
From the Scarlet Blue Journals 25/10/2032
It is all very well to make promises, keeping them is altogether another matter. Somehow I have to remember who I am, where I am, and what I am supposed to be writing about. This might be easy for most people, but it isn’t for me.
During the long hot/cold/windy/rainy British summer/winter of 2007 I was involved in a dramatic incident that left me with a fatal head injury and a not unattractive limp. Since this incident I have been trying to piece together fragments of a cherished project that I had been working on prior to this life changing event.
Sometimes I am haunted by black and white images featuring bottles. Sometimes I feel a compulsive urge to address grey envelopes, with white calligraphy, to long lost strangers who lurk in the smutted crevices of my memory. Sometimes I have completely lucid moments when I can recall the names of characters who are relevant to the plot… such as Sebastian, Moonchild, Rupert Etherington-Smythe… and there is another indistinct character I see, a character who digs up a car park next to a scout hut in a place called Mogwash… yes, I remember — a German archaeologist called Mago. Lovely Mago! And he is searching for something! After reading a series of nonsensical ramblings on a disused WordPress blog he came to believe that a great fortune was buried within the vicinity of a small English village called Luddley-cum-Mogwash. I see him with a map which, after a scuffle and some energetic Morris dancing, was taken from him, confiscated before he was deported.
Oh what a fuss that old blog caused!
In my darkest hour I remember that it is I who is responsible for creating this pother; this tumult; this pandemonium. In my darkest hour I remember that it was I who created, and buried, the Bottle of Greed….
1st April 2015
I winced as I read the comments on my previous post. How could I have made such a glaring error? No, not the one about the lion feasting on caribou… but the one that alluded to time travel. Thanks to the wonders of modern day technology I could, and would, rectify my omission. But this was not the same as getting it right the first time and my legion of readers, followers, trolls, pixies, and people who regularly clicked onto my website looking for a crossword solution [please see Calligraphy Tip No. 1 – Thickening Downstrokes], had been left bemused, baffled, perplexed and perhaps even a little befuddled. This was not what they had come to expect from me.
My head hurt a little as I fiddled around in my WordPress dashboard, I was still recovering from my Easter over indulgence and felt a bit sick, but a post had to be written, mistakes had to be corrected, relevant quotations had to be found, a Pot Noodle had to be photographed, a used teabag had to be ironed, the sound of a vacuum cleaner had to be recorded, and invitations had to be delivered…
8th April 2015
Taramind Dewhurst, the immaculately groomed curator of The Onion Gallery, held the envelope in her grubby little hands. She had always had small hands, even as a child, they were delicate but had a firm grasp on her paperwork. She turned the envelope over and caressed her name and address, which felt raised, as if embossed.
A double constrictor knot…
Not printed then, she purred, knitting her brows into a double constrictor knot, which is unflattering on anyone of any age. Taramind was familiar with the craft of calligraphy and it was not a craft that she particularly cared for, she preferred the clean lines and balanced features of printed fonts, but she had to concede that this calligraphy had an awkward, yet modern charm. She hesitated before ripping the envelope open, as a lion would do before feasting on a caribou, and tried to guess the nature of the invitation, because surely this had to be an invitation?
She reached across her desk for her letter opener. Taking the antique bronze dagger from its sheath she made an opening incision, thus removing precisely 2mm from the top of the envelope. Within the envelope were two pieces of brown cardboard that were taped together to protect the inner content. With a concentration that caused her brows to knit once more, this time into a pair of socks, Taramind picked at the tape with her manicured nails. Two hours and one broken nail later, Taramind placed the contents on her blotter.
What sort of game is this? She wondered in italics. Why would anyone send her a photograph of a Pot Noodle? She turned the photograph over. There was a date, 21st November 2045, and an address for a village hall in a place called Mogwash….
An invitation of sorts….
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.