Savvy Book – The Familiars

Not sure whether I was lured into Stacey Halls’ novel, ‘The Familiars’, by the magic of witchcraft, or by the main character Fleetwood Shuttleworth. Fleetwood, besides being a Christian name, is, of course, the place name of of yet another of the many coastal locations (i.e. greasy and grimy docklands) lucky enough to have been…

Silly Poem – Conwy

In the smallness of it, I lift up coffin lid and hide in the spaciousness of all that is mine for keeps.   As, in grandeur, my ancestor, Edward I, looks down from his castle tower, perusing all that is his, whilst longing for his own little place in which to be.   Copyright owned…

A Continental Appearance

Wearing last Friday’s incontinence pad, he ambles on into a game-playing cafe in Colchester, thinking to play with the crowds. The crowds, thinking otherwise, disperse and exit. Out in the streets of a Roman stronghold, a centurion gives his orders, and the games continue; continental soldiers, with drip-drying-dangly bits, and wiped-with-shared-sponges bottoms, being impervious.  …

From Somewhere – Shrewsbury, c.1390-1453

Sir John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, c.1390-1453 (Jay Cool’s 16th Great Grandfather) Transubstantiation Some say she was brave, some a feminist, and others lust after her luscious red locks. Most of us can easily conjure up an image of a breast-plated woman of muscly Neanderthal stature, standing up high on a chariot urging her terrified…

Day 5.4: Bridgnorth Hotspots

You left me down on my knees, in a church in Bridgnorth, asking Jesus for blessings for all and sundry – and you thought that was it? Think again! Granted, it takes me some time to detangle my varicose veins (must fork out for a leg tattoo sometime) from the intricate tapestry I am kneeling…

Bone Chin

1946 – Spike Joe Cool (1939 – present), Jay Cool’s father, of Single Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire Foolhardy. Spike, like his predecessor Humphrey Kynaston of Myddle, could only be described as the perfect embodiment of the phrase ‘bull in a China shop’. Spike, just like his mother Joan Cool of Albrighton, was forthright and fearless. And,…

To Everywhere – Aberdeen, 1978

Aberdeen, Grampian Region, 1978   Cat Litter   A terrace of dark, dull and dank grey-granite eyesores. Duthie Terrace. Cold, wet and dreary. Aberdeen. Our new home. “Turn back!” “What?” “Turn back!” screeched my mum. “Turn the car around right now! We’re going right back where we came from!” Amused, I watched as my dad’s face turned…

Feckless Fools: Part Three

Sir Humphrey Kynaston (1468-1534), Jay Cool’s 12th Great Grandad & 15th Great Uncle, of Myddle Castle and Nescliffe Cave, Shropshire My Great-Granduncledad-Something Humphrey Kynaston did, of course, do what all of my genes do best. He fled. Fled from his wife, his children, and his tumble-down castle [1]and his …. No, he didn’t flee from his…

Feckless Fools: Part Two

Sir Humphrey Kynaston (1468-1534), Jay Cool’s 12th Great Grandad & 15th Great Uncle, of Myddle Castle and Nescliffe Cave, Shropshire For, some years earlier, my Great Granduncledad Humphrey had been extremely disloyal and wasteful, abandoning his first wife and two children, leaving them to fend for themselves, having spent all his inherited wealth on good…

Back to the Myddle: Day Four of an Ancestral Adventure

Back to Myddle: Day Four of an Ancestral Adventure Following up on a tip from some locals at the Red Lion last night (yes, I did manage to tempt my children back out of the Lodge, with the promise of treats from the dessert menu!), I meet up with my Uncle, and pay a visit…