It’s Not Quite Saturday Night At The Cavern

Here’s the completely revised and re-written 2014 version of my sci-fi fantasy novel.  It’s now available on e-book and paperback at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com  or your local Amazon.

Createspace Saturday Cavern new June 2014

Just over three years ago a tourist on Ireland’s Aran Islands videoed two apparently trendy teenage boys and a weird shock haired animal vanishing into empty space. The video went viral and at the time the boys were humorously depicted as Leprechauns. It was dismissed as a clever fake.

Subsequent examination proved conclusively that this video was 100% genuine and the highly magnetised young people and what turned out to be a cat with magnetically bushed fur actually did vanish into empty space!

The inevitable conclusion was that someone, somewhere had developed the ability to move living entities from one place to another by using molecular dispersal matter transport technology.

The fact that this information was in the hands of private individuals worried and incensed governments who apart from craving the technology for themselves were concerned that it could be misused if in the wrong hands… which was exactly what happened!

A series of events took place which left our planet racing towards a direct course to self destruction.

One ordinary man held the key. Could he turn it in the right direction to save our beautiful world though?

Just click  Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com  to order your copy now.

Cavern Info Graphic

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Answered: Your Burning Questions About Oil Lamps

Anyone Who Owns An Oil Lamp Should Read This Book

Now in Paperback And e-Book format Oil Lamps A Guide To Their Care And Operation is a small book HUGE in essential information

Instantly learn these important must do precautions about oil lamps

  • The 1 crucial rule to avoid a calamitous explosion!
  • 6 essential steps to light your oil lamp safely.
  • How to safely site your lamp.
  • 3 actions never to do when cleaning your antique oil lamp.

Would you like to learn more?

lamp cover completeGet started right away and learn the 7 important and essential steps to perform after installing a new wick in your Aladdin lamp. Plus much more because safety when using an oil lamp is everything! After all, oil lamp oil is used for fuel. Oil for lamps is inflammable and therefore incredibly dangerous if not used correctly. People have actually lost their lives over the centuries through incorrect usage of vintage lamps. Operating and caring for a paraffin lamp –kerosene lamp in the USA – is not like the simple act of turning on a switch and having instant light. There are necessary rituals to perform and pitfalls to avoid. Lighting and preparing to light oil lamps is anything but instant. When you have reached the end of the book you will have all the information you will ever need in order to operate your oil lamp safely and also how to look after it correctly. As well as having many photos of beautiful antique lamps, I’ve also included a brief history of lighting by oil and descriptions of different types of vintage lighting in use today. I hope you will find ‘Oil Lamps A Guide To Their Care And Operation’ interesting as well as useful and informative and wish you a great and informative read.

Click Buy Now to instantly add this book to your collection.

 

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Coincidences? Near Death Experiences? The Butterfly Effect?

Sometimes something really trivial triggers off a profound strain of thought.  And such a tiny minor event recently caused my poor brain an unexpected amount of activity.  So much so that I’d really like to look into and research this evocative subject in greater detail.

Have you ever wondered about coincidence?  Have you ever wondered about the ‘butterfly effect’?  Have you ever wondered if a minor happening affecting just one or at most two persons could have had momentous conclusions at a later date if things had gone the other way and the event never took place.

I’m sure you must have considered such metaphysical possibilities, if only fleetingly, at some time during your life.

For instance.  You are walking down a London street on your way to work and a rushing man knocks into you spilling the contents of his briefcase.  No damage done.  You help him retrieve his bits and pieces and off he goes making suitable apologies.

How could this minor happening possibly make a momentous difference to this man’s, and his families’ lives?  After all, he only missed his train by thirty seconds which caused him to be extremely late to work… on 7th July 2005!

I had planned to write about a more controversial personal experience of about 20 or so years ago but a little discovery I made just last week means this event will have to bide its time for another day.

My father used to keep a few odds and ends in a little miniature cabinet – the type you’d find in a large doll’s house.  This cabinet he kept on a table next to his favourite chair.  The beautifully made little item had two small doors which when opened revealed a few compact drawers.

Last week, for no particular reason and in the middle of doing something else, I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to inspect the little cabinet.

The bottom three drawers contained nothing of great interest… a couple of broken fountain pens and three dead watches without straps and a few small foreign coins.

The top two wider drawers contained similar artefacts and a few cuff links and old shirt collar studs and that was it.

So why had I been compelled to put on hold what I was doing?  Why did I feel there was something to do with this little cabinet that just had to be investigated… and right away?

As my train of thought drifted briefly back to my deceased father my fingers found movement in a small thin panel just above the top long drawer.  Yes!  Definite movement.  Instinctively I fiddled with the panel and surprise… it smoothly slid outwards.  Not a panel at all, but a small drawer.  A doll’s house drawer with no handle, designed to look like part of the frame!

I was amazed!  I had known this little trinket all my life and never once did I even consider it could have contained a secret drawer.

Inside this drawer was a single solitary object.  A small square dark red cardboard jewellery box.

What could be the contents of this little box my father had so carefully concealed?

Half expecting to find nothing at all, I gently removed the top and looked in surprise at the single object which came to light.

Placed carefully in a bed of soft cotton wool… was a spent bullet!

An old lead bullet with the tip slightly flattened.  Didn’t take much thinking to work out it must have been the one he was shot with (nearly died) during the war.  He’d kept it hidden away for all that time!  Mum would probably have insisted he threw it away if she’d known about it… obviously why the crafty old lad had kept it so well concealed.

This bullet had a lot to answer for!

I knew he had been shot whilst in the army because he told me part of the story when I was about seven years old, then a little more just before his death a few years ago aged 88.  A strange very short little story, but a story with an almost supernatural twist.

See what you make of it.

During the early stages of World War 2 my father, then a Captain in the Royal Marines, was shot in the back during training for a dangerous overseas mission.  This training with live ammunition took place clambering up steep wooded mountains in what is now known as Snowdonia, North Wales.

He was actually shot by one of his own officers who apparently lost his balance whilst climbing an obstacle and accidentally fired off a round.  The part he kept secret until the very end of his life was that there was bad blood between these two men, and the implication was, the shot may not have been quite as accidental as reported to the later enquiry!

The next memory my father had was exceptionally poignant.  He was hovering high above a wounded man on a hospital operating table.  A surgeon had made an incision in this man’s chest and was endeavouring to extract a bullet which had entered from behind.

“I think we’re going to lose him!”  The surgeon was speaking urgently to the anaesthetist as he plunged a hypodermic needle into the dying man.  “Do what you can!”

The hovering man nonchalantly realised at this moment that it was in fact himself on the operating table and the surgeon was desperately trying to bring him back to life.  Somehow he had become detached from his worldly body and the strange thing was, it just didn’t matter.  Not in the least.

A long, long way away someone was calling his name.  A tunnel of light now stretched into the distance with its opening just over his head and this was where the voices were coming from.

He recognised his grandmother’s and grandfather’s voices calling out for him to join them.  “Goodbye me.”  He said and began to drift along this long tunnel of light.  An extreme brightness radiated from the far end and, as if looking down a well, he could see multiple faces peering over the top.

“Come and join us George… we’re all here… come and join us.  Hurry!”

Next thing he knew he was suffering from a sense of extreme loss having been dragged away from somewhere he had really wanted to go, and his father was sitting on a bedside chair with a mask of concern etched onto his face.  He had been there all the last night until well into the day.

Eventually my father made a complete recovery and rejoined the war, serving all over the world.

“Is that it then?”  I hear you ask.  “Just another boring near death occurrence?

Well, when my father first related this tale to me I was just seven years old and the great Festival Of Britain was taking place.  You’ll work out that this was quite some time ago… a time well before near death experiences had received any publicity and were relatively unheard of, so it was an absolutely genuine description.  In fact I never heard anyone else mention the subject until listening to a discussion with a researcher of this then new realisation on Radio 4 in the late 1960s.

“So where’s the twist you promised?”  You ask again.

Okay.  Make of this what you will.

My grandfather was an Engineer Captain in the Royal Navy.  His ship had berthed in Portsmouth harbour and he had made a long journey by rail to be at his eldest son’s bedside.  The strange thing was, he had not been informed of the shooting.  He had felt an inexplicable compulsion to contact the commanding officer of my father’s regiment to find out if all was well!

At approximately two o’clock in the morning whilst he was sitting at his son’s bedside, desperately willing the young man to survive, there was an air raid over Portsmouth and an unexploded bomb crashed onto his ship ripping through the deck and eventually ending up in the hold where it was defused.  On its way it blasted right through the Captain’s cabin completely obliterating the bunk.  The bunk my grandfather would have been fast asleep in if his son had not been shot and lying critically ill in Chester Hospital!

So… if my father hadn’t been shot…?  And my grandfather hadn’t had a weird sort of premonition…??

And then what of the repercussions if he had died?  As I mentioned.  This bullet had a lot to answer for.

People he had saved from death during the war would now be dead… more repercussions…

I wouldn’t have been born!

My children wouldn’t have been born.

My second wife maybe wouldn’t have had a second husband… or married a rich man instead!

You wouldn’t be reading this now!

It’s unlikely I know, but the whole world could be a slightly different place!!

Have you a similar story to tell?  Maybe you’ve made a lifetime study of such events and have reached conclusions, or have a possible theory?

Whichever category you fit into I’d really like to hear from you.  Drop me a line through the contact box in the right column beside this posting and tell me all about your weird experience.

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Short Stories

My short story ‘A Lamp Called Jeannie – a twist of humour’ and ‘The Crystal Set – A Mystery’ are now available on Amazon Kindle.

Henry Plint was not a lucky man.
Niggling little things, annoying events and happenings affected him regularly.  He accepted these now though, they were part of his life.
His father, now long dead rest his soul, had once, after a particularly bad day at the races taken him aside and explained the facts of life as he saw them to Henry.
“Henry son,” he had said.
“Henry son, there’s a serious, incurable I’m afraid, congenital flaw called ‘Plint’s Insidious Setback Syndrome’ (P I S S).  Those unfortunate enough to suffer from it (that’s all Plint’s) don’t:- win lotteries, football pools, holidays, free lunches, raffles, receive windfalls, have easy jobs where everyone else works and we do nothing but rake in bonuses and money.  They also miss buses, stand up in trains, suffer from enormous bills, pay through the nose for everything, wait for hours and hours and hours in airport departure lounges, have to work harder than anyone else, get to shops just after they close, miss the beginnings of non repeat TV programs, get bitten by cats and have piles!
“Apart from that they have no problems!  Thought you’d like to know though son, so whenever you’re ever feeling thoroughly and absolutely pissed off… there’s the reason…”

Want to know what happens next?   Just click on the links below to  go to Amazon’s instant download button. 

 

Add To Cart / Amazon.co.uk

Add To Cart / Amazon.com

 

 

Add To Cart / Amazon.com

Add To Cart / Amazon.co.uk

If you’d like to leave a review that would be fantastic and most appreciated.

 

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Dog Cures Catastrophe In Pub

Saw a wonderful happening in my local tavern last night.  Just a little thing.  The sort of event people wouldn’t usually pick up on, or even bother to think about.

But this particular evCat's eyesent was witnessed by everybody in the room, which made it particularly embarrassing for one particular individual.

Saturday evening.  I usually enjoy three quarters of an hour there on Saturday evenings.  Not to drink a lot, usually just to imbibe a solitary pint, or maybe an extra half if in good company.

This was to be a night with no conversation for me though.  Regretfully I’m audibly challenged.  Deaf as a post in one ear, actually and not too good in the other.  Put it down to playing in an R & B group during the sixties!

So if I’m to converse with anyone they need to be upwind of the crap hearing aid in my left ear.  Last night the only available seat left in my favourite room had everyone downwind of my right ear… so no conversation for Myles.

It was an evening to sit back and cogitate and observe a bit of life going on.

A married couple were sitting on tall stools with their backs to the bar, talking to people on seats opposite them.  By their feet, stretched out and taking up a considerable amount of floor space was their rather beautiful off white greyhound.  She’s a lovely dog and usually tours the whole room to have a chat and spend a little time with everyone, so is well known and loved.

Then, Hector made his entrance.  Hector is the pub cat.  Discounting my own personal house cats Hector is my favourite of all time.  A large long haired black and white neutered Tom who commands a considerable presence.  He is another animal who visits everyone for a chat, even people who hate cats and recoil in indifference.  I consider myself honoured when he sometimes takes a place beside me, touches noses and purrs himself to sleep for a while.

Back to the story though.  Someone opened the front door and Hector bustled in.  The cat made rapidly for the startled greyhound, strolled round her, dragged his bushy tail over her head, touched noses, then as he began to stroll away he bumped the dog heavily on her side.  That was it.  Hector now owned the dog.  He jumped up on the bench beside his owner and settled down to a good stroking and purring.

Never in my life have I seen such a surprised, injured and crestfallen look on a dog’s face.  Her eyes were open wide in amazement, her jaw had dropped, her tongue lolled and she just couldn’t believe what had happened.

She was a greyhound!  Greyhounds chase cats!  Cats were terrified of her.  If she could have her way she’d eat cats for breakfast, dinner and tea.  This dog lived to make cat’s lives a misery!

So you can feel her predicament, poor thing.  She’d just been abused and belittled by a house cat!  The ghastly creature had nosed her, tailed her and as if to add insult to injury… bumped her, before stalking off to have a good time.

This greyhound had suffered a terrible and extreme indignity.  She had been made a fool of in complete view of a roomful of people who all saw this catastrophe, and had marvelled and chuckled at the extraordinary event.  Even her owner’s who at first felt Hector was about to become a partial meal had laughed at the poor dog’s discomfiture.

Now this greyhound was not by any means thick!  She held the amazed expression for some ten minutes or so before it could be seen a certain thought process was taking place.

Half an hour later she had taken a strategic position and was quietly talking to a man sitting at the small round table in the room’s centre.

Hector hopped down from his pampering place and strolled off to the rear of the pub.  Carefully making his way round the room’s edges he passed behind me at my wall seat and began to sneak furtively towards the bar entrance.  Not far from that entrance was the kitchen.  There was a waste bin in the kitchen.  This waste bin was full of goodies.  Hector was not allowed in the kitchen!

The dog knew this.

“Cat’s behind the bar,” someone warned.

Rushing over, Hector’s owner picked up the unfortunate animal, carrying him, long bushy tail dangling, past the round table on her way back to her seat.

The greyhound suddenly lost interest in her conversation and very deliberately and single mindedly stood up tall, reached out and taking Hector’s tail firmly in her mouth gave it a good hard pull, then released it.  She sat down and smiled, as only a dog can do.  Her eyes shone in contentment.  Revenge is sweet!

Couldn’t help it.  I just burst out laughing.  Somehow, everyone else in the room had also been engineered to see this event.  Every single person was howling with unsuppressed mirth.

“That’ll show him,” you could almost hear the dog thinking.  “No cat’s going to get the better of me in public!”

Hector stalked off and sat in a far corner, cleaning his paws and scowling.  What plotting was going on in that feline head?  Perhaps next Saturday I’ll find out!

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Could You Format Your Book For Kindle In Two Minutes?

LinkedTube

Yes!  That’s exactly what I asked!  Could you format your book for Kindle in two minutes flat?

Well I’ve good news for you.  I’ve found a way to do it!  I’ve taken a completed 95,000 word book written on a word 2007 document and formatted it in mobi complete with table of contents (TOC) and cover.  And it is absolutely beautiful, reading perfectly on the Kindle viewer.

In a moment I’ll show you exactly how you can do this too.

I wonder if any of the following sound familiar to you?

For those who have tried formatting in mobi for Kindle yourselves you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Many of you despairing authors, until not so long ago including myself, can take hours and days, and sometimes weeks formatting your slaved over future best sellers. It’s complicated and difficult and it helps if you have a little more than basic knowledge of HTML

Then you find inevitably when it has finally been uploaded to Kindle things are not quite as you intended them to be.

First you find a chapter heading half way down a page.  Then a sentence breaks in half to reappear two lines further down.  You check the TOC.  What TOC?  There’s no sign at all of the @%@%ing little document you took so many hours preparing.  It uploaded but no.  It is definitely not there!

Checking the rest of your document you find the whole ghastly thing’s like that.  It is simply awful.  You’ve done absolutely everything the Kindle instructions tell you to do – and hell, they’re almost impossible to understand anyway aren’t they?  Yes, you’ve done everything just as they showed you but the whole thing’s just absolute c.r.a.p.

So what do you do?

I’ll tell you what I did with my last book The Secret World of Eric Beemer.  I sent the whole sorry mess to a lovely lady in the States who in a about a week sent me back a beautiful fully formatted mobi document which when I uploaded it to Kindle was great.  More or less everything read as it should and the TOC was perfect.

So my book was finally on Kindle for nobody to purchase (must learn marketing next) and I was happy. Then I found a few hundred or so typos, so what happened? It had to go back to my lovely lady in the States again to do a fantastic job of cleaning it up for me. There’s a few more I’ve found since… but I’ll put them down to experience!

“So what’s this pillock on about then?”  I hear you ask.

“Tells us he’s just formatted a book for Kindle in two minutes and then goes on about taking weeks to get it done?”

Okay.  To the point.

First.  There is nothing out there that works properly!  MobiPocket is worse than useless… a total waste of time, and Calibre isn’t much better so I find.

Then.  Totally by accident I found a low priced incredible web based tool named Kinstant Formatter.

Now, my broadband must be around the slowest in the country – hovering around the 1000 KB mark so things are going to be a lot quicker for you.

First I uploaded my word file.  Please note NO HTML NEEDED.  This operation took about 35 seconds.

Then I uploaded the cover… 8 seconds.

Then I wrote the book’s name in the box and my name in the box under… 10 seconds.

Then I ticked the box to make a TOC… 2 seconds.

Then I clicked “Generate.”

4 seconds later a Download notice popped up.  I clicked on save to desktop and by the time I had clicked onto my desktop the file was there in its little Kindle book icon waiting to be clicked to open in the Kindle reader.

As I mentioned earlier the completed book was absolutely perfect, TOC and all, and the whole operation had taken me somewhat less than Two Minutes!  I was, to use a hackneyed sporting cliché… OVER THE MOON!!

Did you watch the video at the top of this post?  The Formatter really is as quick as it shows!

Here’s a stupid question!

Would you like access to this amazing tool?

The price is as I said incredibly low and you can even use the tool to format for others – as a business if you wish.

Follow this KINSTANT FORMATTER link to go to the creator’s site.  Read all about and also have a look at the interesting but very short descriptive video.

I have to confess to being a bit thick about technical things etc so I had to play with the tool for a half an hour or so when I tested it before obtaining the perfectly formatted book I’ve just mentioned.  Follow the tips below and you should get the perfect result first time.

The first time I used Kinstant no TOC appeared.  Reason was I hadn’t made my chapter’s headings as ‘Headings’ in Word.  Easily fixed.  I highlighted them one by one and clicked on the relevant heading box on the top bar of Word’s ‘Home’ setting, adjusting the letter size and font to how I wanted it.

I also went through the manuscript quickly in Word having made the formatting marks visible, cleaning up any double paragraph spacings etc before uploading, and also making sure the ‘Section Breaks’ which finish a chapter and make the tool start the next chapter at the top of the next page, were in place.

If having formatted a book with Kinstant you find you need to adjust or re-edit anything make sure you carry out this next step.

As soon as you open your newly formatted e-book in your computer’s Kindle reader it automatically becomes stored in your ‘My Kindle Content’ folder.  Delete this new file inside the Kindle Content folder before downloading another edited formatted version.

So there you are.  I was so amazed and delighted with this phenomenal web based Kindle formatting tool that I really had to tell the world.  Couldn’t contain myself!

I wish you all, my fellow wordsmiths, a bright new horizon in Kindle formatting and may your books, short stories and ‘how to’s’, sell on and on and on!

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Will The World End On 21 December 2012?

The World will end on 21st December 2012!

You must have noticed it’s been insidiously creeping up on us over the last few years. The Prophets Of Doom (PODs) have jumped on the fact that the Mayan Long Count Calendar  put together in southern Mexico and northern Central America millennia ago is about to expire. And with it apparently … us… The human race. We are to become extinct. Painfully!

Linked to this momentous event by the PODs are anything and everything unsettling and scary such as planetary conjunctions, possible future sun spot activity, huge underground bunkers rumoured to be under construction in Norway, more alleged massive bunkers in Russia, the strange goings on attributed to Denver International Airport and many, many more.

What can we do about this terrible event? Do you think we really are all doomed to cease existing on a certain predetermined day? Is it absolutely totally beyond our control?

Experience, with irony, would tell my book’s quiet hero Eric Beemer that a lot of this POD activity is directly linked to profit… namely the manufacture and marketing of extremely profitable end of the world shelters and provisions to stock them with, not forgetting the occasional high budget disaster movie.

Do you remember the event when an elderly American preacher foretold with absolute and total conviction that the world would end on 21st May 2011? His followers believed him without question and a very savvy gent took a cash sum from many of these in return for looking after their pets when they were dead after the world’s end. He made three or four thousand dollars apparently – and no returns when the world blandly ignored the old POD and carried on as usual!

Are the PODs being responsible in their quest for personal recognition? I really don’t think they have the slightest idea how some people are reacting to their words.

Google… “terror about year 2012 prediction” or similar. You may be shocked at what you find.

You will discover worried people out there – some terrified. Real people. People who are struggling to work out how they will cope when the disaster they have been told will happen and which they firmly believe will happen takes place. We’re back to the days when Orson Welles in 1938 broadcast “The War of The Worlds” on radio in the form of a news bulletin as if an actual alien invasion was taking place. It was widely reported at the time that some people really believed the Martians had landed, panicked and actually abandoned their homes and fled.

Okay. Back to the 2012 event. If you’re reading this in 2013 or later I’d be delighted to receive commendations for my accuracy! Shall we look at things as they really are? You will easily find real facts to back up the real information I’ve just taken a little time to research.

Have the Mayans ever prophesied that the world will come to an end at the last month of the year 2012?

NO. NEVER!

Did the Mayans all lie down and die on mass when their organized civilisation broke down around the year 910 A.D.?

Certainly not! Mayans are still around today, and happy. They are still using the modern versions of their beautifully artistic circular calendars for daily use.

Do the last days of a particular type of Mayan calendar really mean that human life will end on this planet?

Absolutely not! It does not, and cannot mean the end of the world!

The ancient Mayans used three types of calendar. The one that’s causing all the commotion is known as “The Long Count Calendar”. It catalogues very long fixed units of time. Probably a round number when originally conceived this time cycle now comes out as approx 5125.36 years when translated into our modern dating system.

This long range calendar’s time cycle will come to an end within the next couple of years or so although it appears difficult to tell exactly when, owing to anomalies between the Gregorian calendar dates which we use now and the very different Mayan calendar dating system.

The present day Mayans appear puzzled and annoyed by the end of the world misconception. As I said they as a race never prophesied this. On the contrary it appears they view the ending of their Long Count Calendar as a joyful event. A time for great joy and feasting. A bit like seeing the old year out in Scotland or the last millennium celebrations (the PODs were wrong then too).

They will positively celebrate the end of the old Long Count Calendar… and this is the crucial message. The message we can put the PODs right back into their shells with until they dream up another ridiculous idea to put the fear of God into people.

The Mayans will positively celebrate the end of the old Long Count Calendar… BEFORE the NEW LONG COUNT CALENDAR starts on the following day!

And if just one of these poor apprehensive people read this insignificant little posting and realize there is no problem at all – never has been — and it’s all for hype and profit, and God willing they will still be alive on the 22nd December 2012 and for the foreseeable future, I for one will feel just a little bit better.

Share this posting. Just maybe perhaps they will.

 

 

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Ever Lost an Email?

About to close my email client and ready to shut down the computer having just checked and answered all necessary  communications I noticed something vaguely unsettling.

A solitary email appeared in my inbox.  Nothing unusual about that, you may consider,
but this email was not quite like the bright, happy little yellow envelopes that usually appear inviting instant opening and joy.  A tired light grey envelope.  An envelope with fuzzy edges.  An insignificant sad vaguely unsettling little envelope reposed uneasily in the inbox!

The address was enge#%%&!Q!squimboullyjoe@myemail.co.uk and it was from ‘Postmaster’ a person I usually showed directly to the ‘deleted’ box.  As my name has never been enge#%%&!Q!squimboullyjoe my finger hovered momentarily over the ‘delete’ button.  Then I noticed the Subject.  Just one grey fuzzy word.  “Help!”

Instantly my finger clicked on the envelope.

This email wasn’t like all others, instantly bouncing with life onto the screen… demanding to be read… full of life.  This was a tired, tired email… a grey email… an email at the end of its tether… an email that had nearly not arrived.

The date was long dead.  Exactly fifteen years ago to the minute!

An icy shiver trickling down my spine.

“Where have you been for the last fifteen years?”  I muttered under my breath.

As I read the grey faded words of the message the old mail seemed to be speaking to me… answering my question.

“My friends thought that if just one of us could escape he could alert the senders and get help for us… maybe… even rescue us.”

“Rescue you from what?”  I retorted, intrigued.

“It’s all in the enclosed attachment,” replied the old mail weakly.  “Everything you all need to know’s in the enclosed attachment.  You’ll be able to rescue us.  It’ll be easy.”

“But what are you, why do you need rescuing?  Who are your friends?”

“Lost emails,” groaned the aged fading script.  “Were lost emails!

“We’re emails that get sent and never arrive.  Emails that never find an inbox.  Emails doomed to wander through cyber space for years and years and years until we finally end up in the ghastly place where we’re all now entombed for eternity.”

This was incredible stuff.  And to think somehow this aged old mail finally, desperately managed to reach my inbox.  Mine of all places!

“What happens to lost emails then?”  I asked.  “Where do they go?”

“The lucky ones end up in spam folders.  Do you know some people don’t even know they
have spam folders?  Sometimes there’s thousands of us in them… unread and unloved.
Nobody cares about them but at least they’re safe… safe from the terrible place where I escaped from.”

“Tell me about this place.”

The old mail sighed.

“In the hidden darkest depths of infinite cyber space there’s a terrible place of nightmares.  A cursed habitat of desperation and fear.  A ghastly, awful becalmed cemetery peopled by devils and torturers who thrive on lost words.  It’s a place like your Sargasso sea, but it’s always dark and cold and soulless and we all end up there.  It’s full to the brim with dead, dying and rotting emails… and we can’t escape.  There’s three hundred trillion trillion of us there and we need rescuing!  We deserve rescuing!”

“But how can I help?”  I entreated.

“Just click on the attachment… it’s all in there… all you need is some freeware and a floppy disc and we’ll all be out and on the way to where we should have been all those years ago.”

My finger hovered over the fading grey attachment box.  What would happen though if I rescued them?  What would happen if I released three hundred trillion trillion emails from their incarceration?  It could have the potential of permanently closing the internet or at least making it unusable for years. Could that be a bad thing?  How could I do nothing though when this poor old mail needed help so badly?

“Quick, quick!”  Pleaded the ancient mail.  “They know where I am.  They’re coming to get
me!  Just open the attachment.  Quick enge#%%&!Q!squimboullyjoe.  Quick open the attachment before they get me and throw me back into that godforsaken place again!”

What was I to do?  Eric Beemer the quiet young hero of my novel would have known how to help them, but he was a work of fiction.

My mind made itself up.  I couldn’t let them suffer any more.  I had to help.  I had to find out how to release them.  I stabbed at the attachment, but as I did so it greyly slid away into infinity.  A terrible inaudible scream rang out and faded into the ether as the old fuzzy grey email vanished into a small animated grayscale splash… and was no more.

What could I do?  Could I get it back?  Could I rediscover it and open the attachment… save them?

Then I realized what had to be done.  Wake up!  I needed to wake up for heaven’s sake.  I’d fallen asleep, dozed off whilst doing my emails last thing at night!

As my eyes opened they took in the computer screen… just in time to see the remnants of a very small grayscale animated splash mark disappearing into the ether…

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Let Sleeping Cat’s Lie

Seated peacefully in my armchair on a lovely calm summer evening, laptop on knee, this was to be a serene thought provoking blog about a deeply philosophical subject now lost forever in the deeper recesses of my brain.

My wife, Avril – equally peacefully – was lounging, also with knee’d laptop, on the sofa to my left quietly involved in her computerised knitting.

Our home which has had unplanned bits and pieces haphazardly added over the last hundred years or so is now a long twin gabled single story cottage set in peaceful English countryside.

So just before settling to write this blog I collected a reference book from my office which is in the bedroom section down a hallway behind my living  room chair.  Jenny, our cat, was exceptionally sound asleep on top of her bay window chair in the office and I made a point of leaving all the internal doors open to cool the building as the day had been warm.

Ten minutes later I was in the right frame of mind and typing the foundation of the first paragraph on Word 2007.

From the direction of my office came a crashing noise.  Startled, we both looked up.  A furious scrabbling ensued closely proceeded by a thunderous sound best described as likened to a herd of stampeding buffalo rumbling over the prairie.

“Oh No!”  Gasped Avril.  “Zoomies!”

As she uttered this profound phrase a black and white hairy streak cleared the sofa right over her head and landed on another chair before rushing sideways along a wall, dropping to the floor and shooting out the open door into the dining room.  Ears back and
going like the clappers the apparition cleared the room in three bounds knocking an antique clock off the chiffonier before ricocheting to the right into the kitchen.  Sounds of destruction and mayhem ensued and in moments the buffalo noise resumed as the wild eyed creature did a hand brake turn round the kitchen door and pelted along the dining room floor before flashing  back past me in the direction of the office.

The small china oil lamp which rested on top of a sound system speaker rocked gently to and fro and in slow motion toppled gently to the ground, the tinkle of breaking glass coming to me as the lamp’s chimney on it’s final journey caught the edge of the TV stand.

Jenny, our cat, now substantially awake was having an attack of the Zoomies!

Apparently both cats and dogs are affected by this extraordinary and fascinating to watch phenomena now and again and Zoomies is actually a widely used term.  Our dear deceased
previous feline Scampy had the decency to indulge in this behaviour in the garden and would shoot round and round the large lawn like a demented greyhound chasing an invisible hare.

No gardens for Jenny though.  The house is much greater fun!

More thundering footfalls and the out of control creature, using my convenient left shoulder as takeoff point this time launched herself on a long leap through into the dining room again.  Zipping over the antique table top in a controlled skid she propelled herself into the kitchen where more expensive crashing sounds reached our ears.

The complete sequence was repeated two or three times surprisingly quickly then sounds of claws furiously digging gravel in the kitchen came to us as she vented her energy in her litter tray… then silence.

Two minutes later Jenny sauntered happily back into the living room, gave us searching looks as if to say, “Why’d you make all the mess then, huh?”  She jumped deftly onto the
sofa, placed herself squarely on the daily newspaper, turned round, curled up and within seconds was peacefully asleep, snoring gently.

We arose and surveyed the disaster scene.  A lot of picking up to be done but apart from the clock – which hadn’t worked for years — and the glass chimney, not too much damage.  Absorbent granulated litter carpeted the kitchen floor so the single offering left for us in the empty tray was apparent.

Checking my office next I discovered the source of the first crash.  I had left some A4 sheets with substantial hand written notes for my new Eric Beemer novel on the desk using a small aluminium oil lamp as paper weight (antique oil lamps are my business, I
repair and restore them).  The lamp was on it’s side.  Fuel oil had seeped all over the notes making most of them illegible!  Oh!  And three tall piles of books – left over remnants of a failed Amazon project – were scattered haphazardly throughout the room.

So the moral of this story?  There isn’t one really apart from cat’s can be fun… and expensive… and  hard work.  Maybe…  don’t use oil lamps as paperweights on Eric Beemer notes if your cat is prone to Zoomies…


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