Alternative Living

I live far, far away in a cold, cold cave. Curled up, warmed by a horse’s breath. Knowing that, in the morning, I will ride out on my mount and look down at passers by, feeling smug. Pitying them for their dull routines and their motorised lives, as women and men – both – drone…

Making My Way Across Counties

‘My body is a small cave door it’s a slick whale  a jubilant sea of tall grass that sways & makes its way across countries’ (lines 1-4 of ‘::Searching for My Own Body::’ by Yesenia Montilla.)   Out of a small cave door, he came forth, and a birth came forth from whence emerged another…

Day 1: Misery on the M6

It’s time. It’s been a year of a year in Sudbury, Suffolk and something is lacking. It’s time for a pep-me-up, a bit of a filler, a return to centre-court – a top-up! A top-up with a back-up! “Is it our sort of a holiday, Mum? Or, your sort?” “Well, …” “Mum?” “It’s a …”…

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,…

Feckless Fools: Part Four

Sir Humphrey Kynaston (1468-1534), Jay Cool’s 12th Gread Grandad & 15th Great Uncle, of Myddle Castle and Nescliffe Cave, Shropshire On awakening, bright and early, or more likely befuzzled and early, with a splitting headache, Lots-of-Greats Granduncledad Humphrey [1]needed a quick fix. What better than a ride into Shrewsbury for a little therapeutic impulse shopping at…

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 Eight of an Ancestral Adventure

Back to the Myddle: Day Eight of an Ancestral Adventure Reclamation. Whether I be at home in Shropshire or in Suffolk is a dilemma that can only be solved by checking out my territory – by a full survey of my lands and properties. I can’t believe that I once stood in a classroom, zoning out the…

Back to the Myddle: Day Five of an Ancestral

AdventureBack to Myddle: Day Five of an Ancestral Adventure Sadness reigns. We’ve just spent our last night at the Red Lion Lodge and, with a loaded car and deflated children, it’s almost time to leave. All is not lost, a delivery lorry, blocks our exit from the Red Lion car park. Abandon ship, children. We…

Back to the Myddle: Day Two of an Ancestral Journey

Back to Myddle: Day Two of an Ancestral Journey The plan today, is to take a trot along my Great (lots of Greats!) Uncle Humphrey Kynaston’s old haunts, up at Nesscliffe, but, first, my children need some fresh air to wake them up and warm them to the idea. Getting out of the lodge door…