Save the date

Never mind Easter or street parties – don’t forget that April 24 is St Mark’s Eve, where if you sit in the church porch from 11pm to 1am you’ll get to see the rotting corpses of all the people who are going to die in the area in the coming year. Fun! Although it only works if you do it three years in a row, so you have to be pretty dedicated.
Or alternatively you can see your future husband’s face in your smock. All good info!


Defence cuts? Don’t worry – as usual, GK Chesterton has the answer:
“I for one will confess that the only thing on earth I am frightfully afraid of is a little girl… If the Prussians were invading England, and I were holding a solitary outpost, the best thing they could do would be to send a regiment of Prussian girls of 12, from which I should fly, screaming.”
It’s a good point: who here can honestly say they could stand firm in the face of an army of 12-year-old girls, all staring contemptuously, giggling and whispering to each other? Osama bin Laden himself would feel hot around the neck and find he had important business elsewhere.

Holiday tips

On holiday in Suffolk? Lovely! Don’t forget to look out if you’re in the Beccles area, where on this day every year three ratcatchers playing musical instruments are supposed to reappear from the maw of hell. One for the album.


If you’ve noticed a bit less linking around here lately, it’s because I’m now doing a lot of that stuff on Twitter, so you should really follow me there.
If you’re not on Twitter – don’t be scared, it’s a friendly and useful thing once you get going.

Dancing statues


For bank holiday weekend fun, why not head over to the village of Burrough Green in Cambridgeshire, where, according to the Paranormal Database, on this night every year the two statues that stand above the door of the school come alive and dance on the village green. Should definitely be worth seeing.

Deckchair Day

Inspired by the recent enforced quiet in Britain caused by the volcanic ash, I have come up with a suggestion. One day a year when the whole world switches off its phone and lounges quietly in a deckchair at home. No planes, no cars, no DIY. Lazy people manage this quite well already, but their fun is always spoilt by busy types, banging or sawing or travelling about even when they don’t have to.
Allowable noise: birdsong, children playing (within reason), tea-sipping, page-rustling, bees buzzing (no wasps), cork-popping, chuckling at a remembered joke. No loud snoring, keyboard-tapping or annoying conversation – preferably no speech at all, apart from a whispered ‘thank you’ if someone hands you a piece of cake.
We’ll all be better for it, I promise. I suggest July 12, the birthday of Henry David Thoreau, a master of peaceful living. Let the preparations begin!

This Profession Is Not Crowded

Popular Science has put its 137-year archive online (found via BibliOdyssey), which means hours of harmless fun searching for old pictures of space travel for us all. This February 1920 edition features some very of-their-time issues:
But what I’m really fascinated by, among all the cures for bow-leggedness and stammers, are the many ads for money-making schemes, which have some excellent career suggestions:
You can also find Big Profits in Vulcanizing, and Get Bigger Pay through Electricity. Most promising of all is The Police Key, which “opens almost everything”. “Every householder should have one”, they innocently suggest.

Let Cake Month Begin

According to the Venerable Bede, February, or Solmonath, was the “month of cakes” for the Anglo-Saxons, when they offered cake to their gods.
Some people seem to translate it as Mud Month or something to do with sprouting cabbages but we won’t worry about that.
So, off we go – a month of cakes, starting now. Why not start by baking this Betty Crocker Colorvision cake from the Fifties, above, which seems to be made of spam.