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Two wrecks at low tide

A local history group searching along the coast for WWII pillboxes in Kent (spoiler: there are a shit ton of them) has discovered a previously unknown Tudor shipwreck. It was probably a merchant vessel. They’re probing it now.

The article mentions another wreck on a beach in Sussex. I think that’s one I’ve seen myself. I can’t tell you how underwhelming these things are in person: dark knobs in the general shape of a boat.

Still, if they decide to dig up the cargo — that’s when it gets cool.

Me, I ate something that disagreed with me today and I feel shit. I feel kind of shit. Not like ‘throwing up’ (or shitting) shit, but not good.

July 16, 2018 — 9:55 pm
Comments: 10

The things you find on eBay

Introducing the FCD MK5.2 Ghost Box Spirt Box Portal All wood design Paranormal ghost hunting. I’m sure he means ‘spirit’ – it’s a ghost detector.

His picture really sells this thing, doesn’t it?

FCD MK5.2 GHOST BOX PORTAL (New for 2018!)
This is the all new wooden case FCD ghost box device. I have been working on this new design for a while now and I believe this unit has one of the clearest and loudest sound systems in such a handy portable case.

Features: All wood case, loud clear sounds, individual tone and bass controls, continuous sweep, digital display, sound to light indicator, Aux In to play your apps through the box, Aux out to record and attach effects boxes, adjustable multi-directional antenna, uses 5 volts batteries or at home usb, carry handle and rubber feet.

The device is lovely to behold and incorporates the 5th Element crystal too. All hand made from the ground up. Watch the video for a demo of how it sounds and operates before you buy.

Made to order, £110. For a hand crafted, polished wood box incorporating a fifth element crystal, I think that’s quite the bargain. There’s video on his auction listing. It sounds to me as though it picks up (slightly disturbing) snippets of stray radio signal, and it would be easy to attach meaning to them.

Now, I won’t have Nigel savaged, please. I think he’s perfectly charming.

June 25, 2018 — 8:21 pm
Comments: 25

Happy Solstice

This was the oh-so-spiritual scene at Stonehenge at sunset today. Frankly, I find it preferable to the elderly hippie cosplayers they usually feature in these things. As the Evening Standard put it:

For many thousands of years, Stonehenge – England’s ancient prehistoric world heritage site – is visited over the summer solstice as a place of worship and celebration.

Individuals, or those in a group, assemble at this ancient site to conduct their own ceremonies or celebrations – the only stipulation of which being that they are respectful and tolerant of others around them.

As respectful and tolerant as you can be in the dry-land equivalent of a public swimming pool in high Summer.

Whatever. The exact time varies. I couldn’t work out if that article was this year, but whatever year it was:

In the UK, the longest day begins at 4.43am and ends at 9.21pm, which means that in Britain, we will enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight on June 21.

The solstice itself is the exact time the sun shines over the Tropic of Cancer, which this year will be at 11:07am BST.

Which makes it tomorrow, but there’s some dispute whether to observe it on the 20th or the 21st, so…you know. Follow your conscience.

June 20, 2018 — 9:55 pm
Comments: 11

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you’ve had a splendid holiday weekend. Let me tell you about our Sunday.

We went to a fundraiser for a cat sanctuary. Eventually.

We got grievously lost. We’d been to this place before, but Uncle B was unsure of the last few miles and asked me to put the postcode into the satnav. Somehow, it was the wrong postcode entirely.

Forty minute trip took us two and a half hours, mostly up country lanes. Country lanes. Hereabouts, they often aren’t wide enough for two cars to pass (sometimes barely wide enough for one car to squeeze through), with thorn hedges on either side, blind bends and crazy farmers (and livestock) roaring up the other way.

The picture is from a Daily Mail article about a Polish truck driver who got stuck in a lane in Devon, but you get the general idea. This is not a fun driving experience. There is often a lot of backing up involved.

So we were late. There were no more plants at the plant stall or cakes at the cake stall and the cats were all hot, tired and sick of visitors. I got hissed at a lot.

To cheer ourselves up, we stopped at Waitrose on the way home to buy some treats. As Uncle B put our loot in the back of the car, the keys fell out of his pocket just as the hatched closed and the whole car automatically locked itself up tight.

Hour and a half for a service call. Luckily, our man managed to get it open without breaking anything.

Half an hour later, we rolled up on a little town just as a policeman put out the ROAD CLOSED sign. They do that when there’s the slightest accident: close the roads both ways. So it was back onto country lanes, but this time jammed solid with all the detoured traffic in both directions.

Magic.

We got home eventually, and luckily our Saturday and Monday were pretty awesome. We’re about to go sit in the garden, burn things and drink wine.

How was yours?

May 28, 2018 — 7:58 pm
Comments: 6

Crimes against nature

Vertical money!

Vertical.

Money.

Colorful money was bad enough. Plastic money is awful. But vertical money? Get thee behind me!

They cannot resist fiddling with the levers and buttons, can they? I mean, it’s next year and it’s Bank of Ulster, but it will be spendable throughout the UK. I might even have to handle one of these.

We’ve joined the ranks of Bermuda and Kazakhstan. I hope they’re pleased with themselves.

May 24, 2018 — 7:28 pm
Comments: 8

Huh. That’s weird.

Last night we watched a short film called A Welcome to Britain. It was a WWII film made for American GI’s, going over the basics of how to interact with war-weary Brits. Not too heavy-handed, mildly charming. If you’re inclined’ta, you can watch it for yourself here.

It was narrated by Burgess Meredith, who I don’t suppose was particularly famous in 1943. In the very last scene, he lounges in bed, pops a cigarette in a long cigarette holder and does a sort of Penguin impression. See picture. Uncle B and I both sat up and pointed and made “ook!” noises.

I wondered if maybe the cigarette holder was a Burgess Meredith ‘thing’, but no. IMDB says:

On the television series Batman (1966), he developed his grunting Penguin laugh out of necessity. Meredith had given up smoking some twenty-odd years earlier, but his character was required to smoke with a cigarette holder. The smoke would get caught in his throat and he would start coughing. Rather than constantly ruin takes in this matter, he developed the laugh to cover it up. “Actually, it was a pretty funny noise for a penguin to make,” said Meredith. “I sounded more like a duck.” Needless to say, Meredith gave up smoking again immediately after the series ended.

Which is weird. But it also says this, which is even weirder:

He was fascinated by the subject of non-human intelligence, particularly dolphins. He once believed that a dolphin somehow called to him for help in the middle of the night while he was staying at a friend’s home on the beach. He ran out and found the dolphin, caught in a net under a dock down the beach, although there was no way he should have been able to know it was there. He released it, saving its life. He believed it had made some sort of connection with him, perhaps telepathic, to call for help.

Something to think about on a Monday evening.

May 21, 2018 — 8:44 pm
Comments: 12

Please! I beg you. Make it STOP!

Say, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a royal wedding tomorrow. Because, you know, WE HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE FOR WEEKS. Seriously, I can’t even tune into Classic FM. This keeps up, I’m’a punch a princess, I swear.

We went to the supermarket this afternoon to pick up a few bits and pieces and, stupidly, we got there just as the local elementary school let out. Suddenly, the store was FLOODED with princesses. Yeah, they let the little girls all dress up today. For some stupid reason, it took me a minute to realize why we kept getting stuck behind sparkly logjams of gauzy little girls.

This brings up several interesting points. Like, they’re still gendering kids (none of the boys were dressed up as anything, and certainly not as princesses). Also, most of the little girls obviously already owned princess outfits.

Also, they haven’t tried to make the little ones cynical about the monarchy yet. This is interesting because all of the adults I’ve encountered are cynical as shit about most of the royals in general and this wedding particular (even people who usually aren’t, like my mother-in-law).

Anyway, we’re keeping well away from the TV tomorrow. One of our neighbors is having an all-day party, which she is rigorously not billing as a royal wedding party. So I’m thinking of bringing along something royal wedding themed, just to piss her off.

Have an awesome and princess-free weekend, y’all.

May 18, 2018 — 9:59 pm
Comments: 21

y u do dis?

Anybody understand seagulls? I grew up a thousand miles from the sea, so I don’t have the usual seaside prejudices about gulls. On the other hand, they’re a mystery to me.

In the town where I work, the rooves are covered with little clumps of moss. And every Spring, the gulls pluck the moss off clump by clump and drop it on the sidewalk. I mean, seriously — the sidewalks are covered with flattened mossburgers where people have walked on it.

Today, I had to sit through a meeting on an upper floor, and I watched a gull on the roof across from me busily snatching up clumps of moss and tossing them over the side.

I know what you’re thinking – they’re building nests. Well they’re not. Okay, maybe they are, but I don’t see them doing it. I see them plonking them into the road deliberately. Last year, I was talking to a lady in the street when a wet ripe moss splatted onto her head. She said, “eh, they do that.”

They do! Buy why?

Think on it, get back to me, and have a good weekend!

April 27, 2018 — 9:18 pm
Comments: 19

Coven meeting

Not natural:

In 1977, sculptor David Nash cleared an area of land near his home in Wales where he trained a circle of 22 ash trees to grow in a vortex-like shape for an artwork titled Ash Dome. Almost 40 years later, the trees still grow today. The artist has long worked with wood and natural elements in his art practice, often incorporating live trees or even animals into pieces. The exact site of Ash Dome in the Snowdonia region of northwest Wales is a closely guarded secret, and film crews or photographers who are permitted to see it are reportedly taken on a circuitous route to guard its location.

I’d freak the hell out if I ran across this in the woods.

‘Tis a Monday and I’m behind on everything. Beg pardon while I go strip a chicken carcass (a roast chicken, not one of my girls. Yes, it does make my head hurt).

April 23, 2018 — 9:00 pm
Comments: 9

Okay, NOW it’s Spring…

At last, they’ve let the new mamas and babies out in the fields. We have them on two sides (behind us is a house and across the road are the yearlings, too young to breed). I’d forgotten the racket lambs and they mamas make, night and day.

…meeeehhhhhhhhhh…
…AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…

Call and repeat. I love it. The Silence of the lambs is a thing, but we don’t have to be sad here. They move all the sheep to Winter pasture after harvest, so we never know who lives and who dies. The ewes I say good morning to today are the lambs I went SQUEEE over two years ago. It’s the circle of life, fam!

Ah, but I know what you’re thinking — that thing in the picture isn’t a lamb. No, it’s a pepper. A sweet pepper with the improbable name of Gogorez.

They’re billing it as a “beefsteak pepper” – short and fat and fleshy – and they’re promoting it super hard. Uncle B., the seasoned gardener that he is, is immune to such marketing nonsense.

But I’m not! He’s growing me a Gogorez!! SQUEEE!

April 3, 2018 — 7:15 pm
Comments: 7