Saturday, November 21, 2009
My grandmother, Clare, who I'm named after (Liz being short for Clare-Elizabeth), worked part time as a cleaner on Rochdale railway station many years ago, as well as in the refreshment room on certain days. One day she happened upon two seemingly abandoned skeletal doggies tied up to one of the benches on the platform. Taking pity on them, she spirited off to the refreshment room to see what she could find to satisfy their obvious hunger, returning soon after with meat and potato pies.
As the grateful dogs settled down for a doze after their delicious meal and Grandma was planning her next job of contacting the RSPCA, a very angry gentleman approached her, demanding to know what the bloody hell she thought she was doing.
"Are these dogs yours, then?" she asked, adding when the man answered in the affirmative, "So you're the cruel sod whose left 'em half-starved, are you? I want your name so I can give it to the police!" She then proceeded to lecture the "cruel sod" on how one should care for one's animals, stating that she bet he had made sure he'd had his breakfast that morning.
It wasn't until the station master showed up, hearing the kerfuffle, that Clare realised her mistake. The station master explained, where the dogs' owner had failed to get a word in, that these particular canids were not starving; they were greyhounds on their way to an important race and were promised a decent meal afterwards because they couldn't run on a full stomach. Never one to back down, though, Gran insisted that the man shouldn't have been racing his dogs anyway if it meant them waiting for their breakfast and she refused to apologise.
Muirhead`s Mysteries is back after my five day spell at the Friary of Saint Francis at Alnmouth on the coast of north-east England.Those of you living abroad may have heard of the record-breaking rain fall we have had here. Alnmouth missed the worst of the rain and wind, which affected north-west England and Ireland.
As far as Forteana and cryptozoology are concerned, it was a fruitful occasion. As far as spiritual matters go, unfortunately I was too worried about various things to make much progress, but that`s another story. The things I was worried about had nothing to do with the CFZ I hasten to add.
In chronological order, I start with an undated item. Near the entrance to the Friary there is a framed print comprised of a map of north-east England with small drawings and handwritten comments about these drawings.This item is on that framed print – 'At Whittle Quarry a toad was found in a stone where it had lived 1,000,000 years (they say). It immediately died.' (1) Unfortunately the date when it was found and who 'they' were was not mentioned.
For the next item, the date is given:
“1544- The famous Bamburgh sea-devil. (2) “Obviously it must have been famous at one point.
“In 1765 a woodcock carrying a great diamond was shot.” (3) This happened near “Mary`s Isle”
Now jumping ahead to the 20th century; I met a man fom Hereford who told me that he had heard that about 10 to 20 years ago a member of the SAS had seen a single wild cat (as opposed to a puma or panther) in the Brecon Beacons area of Wales. The wild cat was supposed to have died out in Wales by 1870! I have left the man from Hereford my email address and he is going to contact me if he finds out any more information.
The Church Times of November 13th 2009 had a charmimg but sad story of the death of an albino squirrel in Dorking, (Surrey?). The story goes:
'Conspicuous absence: flowers have been left in the churchyard of St Martin`s Dorking, in memory of an albino squirrel that lived there until it was run over by a van last week. The squirrel, known to locals as Albi, Snowy or Percy was a popular figure in the town centre, and “peacefully co-existed” with the grey squirrels for about three years, said the Vicar of St Martin`s the Revd Richard Cattley. “Children used to stop and watch him; he was quite a character. He got quite tame, and people would get quite close to him.”' (4)
Lastly, a strange bird story:
'Budgies mystery. Bird lovers and exhibitors watched on in horror as 38 prize budgies keeled over and died during a show Fanciers feared a gas leak caused the tragedy but after investigations by experts there was no explanation for what happened at the village hall event in Gwynedd,North Wales.' (5)
1. Framed picture.Friary of St.Francis. Alnmouth. November 2009.
4. Untitled story about albino squirrel. Church Times. November 13th 2009.
5. Budgies mystery. The Journal. November 17th 2009.
And now to finish off with , an appropriate selection of lyrics from Flood 2 by the Sisters of Mercy
And her hallway moves,
Like the ocean Moves,
And her hallway Moves
Like the sea
Like the sea
She says no no no no harm will come your way
She says bring it on down,bring on the wave
She says nobody done no harm
Grace of God and raise your arms
She says face it: and it’s a place to stay..
Affirmation in this sorry direction arrives from, of all places, the CFZ site this morning (20th Nov), with the discovery of a team of killers in Peru who, after waylaying unwary travellers, hitchhikers and the like, promptly murdered them, removing their connective tissues and body fat to be rendered down and sold to the cosmetics industry.
Horrifyingly, the news networks confirm that the story, at least for the most part--and as far as can be ascertained-- is authentic, proving once again that reality is frequently so much more revolting and terrifying than the worst horror movie.
I also love zombies--Zombie Flesh Eaters is my all-time fave, closely followed by I Walked With a Zombie and Night of the Living Dead. But again, it would take some stretch of the imagination to entertain the notion of corpses rising from the grave to cannibalise human victims, even in your local Wetherspoons.
Today in 1877 Thomas Edison revealed his latest invention, the phonograph, to the public.
And here’s the news:
Like humans, ants use bacteria to make their gardens grow
After mastodons and mammoths, a transformed landscape
Was there a Stone Age apocalypse or not?
Wallaby mauls girl in surprise attack
Vampires not good role models for Catholics, declares Vatican
Hmm, the sparkly vampire books must be a real pain in the neck for the Vatican.