The Beginning: The story of the Bookshelf Elf

I just wanted to share with you a situation that has been happening for some time now, in the cottage where I live. I had noticed several years ago that when I had purchased a book and come back from the shop I invariably left it on my “to read” bookshelf, i.e. to be read at a later date / time/work notwithstanding.

But the book seemed to disappear as if by magic when the time came for me to read it. After a period of time (I am not the brightest star in the cosmos), I had reason to believe that there must be other agencies at work. So after coming back from one of my usual book shop visits clutching a bag of wonderment that was later to be perused and enjoyed, I sat in a quiet dark corner of the room where the items had been placed as a trap. After many hours of waiting…nothing happened. So I continued with my normal routine, but returning again to the “to read” shelf it had once more been relieved of a literary gem that my eyes had not yet had the chance to caress!

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I came upon the ruse that I may be able to catch this little purloiner of my precious print with the smell of a cooking bacon sandwich (well it would bring me out of hiding anyway!). So I commenced with the frying of the bait. After a few minutes, there, to my surprise, it appeared at my knee.

Now, I know you aren’t going to believe this and will write if off as childish fantasy fiction, but really, honestly, absolutely – it’s true – I have a Bookshelf Elf!

To be continued…

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The Deal: The Bookshelf Elf (Part II)

The little creature hovered around my lower legs, its nose raised and sniffing intently. Small beard like hairs around its chin and mouth twitched, drawing the scent into its face. Its large eyes moved quickly back and forth. It appeared a little nervous but intrigued by the meaty scent.

‘So you like the smell of a bacon butty?’ I asked.

‘Oooh, yes!’ replied the creature. Actually, its mouth never moved – the words just appeared in my head as if they had been spoken and then remembered.

‘Don’t you speak?’
‘Not in the way you do – we transfer thoughts and ideas. We also don’t write like you, that’s why I love your human books’
‘So it WAS you who took my books?’
‘Are you going to give me that bacon sandwich or not?’

This left me in a bit of a spot. I wanted to find out more but suspected the creature would disappear once it had got the butty.

‘If I give you the sandwich will you stay and ‘talk’ for a while?’ As an added incentive I also took an unread book from my pile and put it on the counter just out of its reach. The creature looked with big brown eyes confusedly and longingly between the bacon butty and the book, not knowing which it desired more.

I gave in and presented him with the sandwich. Between greasy mouthfuls, he explained why he stole the books off my shelf and read so avidly. In Elf world, the Elvish language is written on a page, just like a note to me and you, but as soon as the words are read by the intended recipient they leave the page and join the ether and swirl around forever in time never to be read again but permanently a part of the Elf collective consciousness.

Of course this means they have no library. In its search to understand humans, the Elf wished to read and share with the other Elves so that they could have more knowledge of us. I explained that I didn’t mind the Elf borrowing the books but I needed them back to be able to write reviews for my blog.

So we made a deal. The Elf would have complete access to all my books and the occasional bacon butty and in return, it would write a review for me to post.

‘But can I trust you?’ I asked.

By way of contract he scribbled rapidly in Elvish on a pad I had lying beside me. I looked down and the words or ‘ideas’ came immediately to my mind: the deal was done!

As I looked at the paper, in a moment, just as quickly as it had appeared, the scrawl lifted off the paper, slowly at first and then more rapidly swirling around before it gently vapourized in a whirl of gold and tiny stars. It was then that I realized…. The Elvish had left the building!

To be continued…..

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#TakeBackControl

bacon buttyIMG_0326

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The EU and UK Gov issues

Woodland GardenI used to like the EU, but the last number of years (14) have noticed the increasing bullying tactics used by them, not just here but Greece etc etc, and now we have not a democracy in this country but an autocracy, which is blindingly obvious with Cameron et al constantly telling us (their paymasters!!!) what we should think and do! how to bring up our kids, and all the other stupid pointless nannying laws that are coming out of westminster/cardiff and holyrood…
WE ARE NOT CHILDREN! WE CAN THINK FOR OURSELVES!!!

My suggestion is if the NO campaign wins, It should be a requirement to disolve Parliament and these feeble employees that we have employed! (after all we have all made mistakes..so lets not dwell on it!)

And call for a general election across the board within 6 months!
I am posting this on here because I cant on twitter!
Please share if you agree. With everyone and anyone you can!

Thanks

Mr B Griffiths (Lifelong UK citizen)

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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
It’s a while since I read a truly spooky sci-fi thriller but Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation definitely hits the spot. The first in the Southern Reach trilogy – be aware that you will have to get the next two if you read this one!
A team of five women are chosen to enter, record and map the mysterious and secretive Area X, a large and apparently unspoilt quarantined area on the US coast. Even before they arrive one of the women drops out and it isn’t long before the remaining four start to feel the extraordinary effects of this remote place. None of the women are allowed to use their names. They are simply identified by their specialisms: the Biologist; the Psychologist; the Surveyor; and the Linguist. The Biologist tells the story through her journal, recalling her past when her husband, a member of a previous expedition, returned from Area X inexplicably changed and with little memory. The team soon realise their lack of specific instruction, vague purpose and poor tools and equipment are not going to be sufficient to cope with the potential dangers and terrors of Area X. But what is it that really lurks out in the reed beds, lighthouse, abandoned village and “tower” and will the Biologists’ unbending scientific approach keep her from ‘changing’?
The question of whether this is truly an ‘alien’ landscape or a reflection of normal lonely people battling the everyday world with metaphors of danger, insecurity and horror at every turn is one that continuously arises throughout the book. This is not only thought provoking but truly a page turner with vivid and involving descriptions. I think I would quite like to visit Area X!
Cy Griffiths
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Rawblood by Catriona Ward

Source: Rawblood by Catriona Ward

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Rawblood by Catriona Ward

RawBlood

Walpole, Poe, Shelley and Stoker would be springing out their graves in true Gothic fashion to read this new novel. It is Gothic Horror for the 21st century and superbly done, especially for a first novel. If Ms Ward wishes to continue with the genre I foresee she has a long, gory, mysterious and successful time ahead of her!
This is the type of novel that should be used for modern English Literature exams with complex and entwining themes separated by decades or centuries yet returning inexplicably to a fascinating set of timeless social caricatures. The only question one might ask is will it, in classic custom sit in one’s idling mind for days, weeks and possibly years with revelations and understanding just out of reach?
Obvious themes such as blood (Rawblood?), the use of animals to engender emotion, the exploration of mind, madness and ‘therapy’, the opposing traits of courage and cowardice, and the inequality of women, social class and life in general are so indicative of Victorian gothic horror that it is hard not to draw comparisons. Now that would be an interesting academic study…
Review by C Griffiths
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Tree, Nothing more nothing less.

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Holy Spy by Rory Clements

Holy Spy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Spy by Rory Clements

 

Holy Spy is the seventh in the John Shakespeare series. These Tudor spy thrillers follow Shakespeare, the Queen’s intelligencer, and a number of now familiar character in plots which revolve around actual historical events. Holy Spy explores the Catholic conspiracy of 1586, in which a number of prominent English Catholics plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, free Mary Tudor and place her on the throne by opening England to a Catholic supporting Spanish invasion. At the same time John Shakespeare’s former lover stands accused of murder, a crime he is sure she did not commit and one he must solve if she is to avoid the noose.

 

I found this particular Clements novel rather slow going in the first half, although the second sped along nicely in Clements’ usual style. Despite this the main story is as fascinating as ever, rivalling modern spy thrillers in its complexity and interest and drawing upon accurate historical detail which renders it genuine and sympathetic. I rather lost patience with the secondary story which felt rather convoluted and drawn out but overall I felt this did not detract too much from the enjoyment of the book. For readers new to Clements I would personally recommend the other novels in the series over this one but I am sure established Clement fans will not be disappointed.

You can purchase this title from http://www.lovereading.co.uk

 

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Awesome Ranorshire morning!

morn

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November morning in Radnor Hills!

IMG_0769 copy

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MOVEMBER MUTT!!! full of moustachioed manic mischief!

Movember copy

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