Sacrificing my left eye

I went to the opticians last week. I rather regret it. They tell me I might be going blind in the left eye due to the pressure of the alien in my brain (large Alien Vein Monster) pushing behind the eye. They’re sending me off to Moorfields Eye Hospital.

For several days I fell into a pit of misery, I swam about in the horror slime ditches of my mind, I spitted bile at all who came near me and imagined endless pictures of eyes being dissected. I can’t imagine life without drawing or painting, i have drawn since I remember being alive. How unreasonable the Gods are being, not only do I have to cope with their rather unglamorous visitations, they also send me blind?

After a week I calmed down somewhat.

It’s probably not that bad. I know a brilliant artist and comic illustrator who has lost the use of one eye and he is still brilliant. Also far worse could have happened, 20 years ago they told me I only had 10 years to live so things are pretty good really. I might look good on stage with an eye patch. I struggle around for some deep meaning to make the potential loss of sight in one eye have a purpose – my hallucinations have increased over the last few years, although I assumed it was the brain alien it could simply be me filling in the gaps where I can’t see. Or rather peeping into the “Other World”. I see all sorts of things now days, insects, Wolves, donkeys, elves, doves, ravens, goblins (particularly in woods), faces in the blandest bits of walls, now I’ve got used to them they make life more interesting.

Perhaps it will be like Odin, sacrificing an eye to gain knowledge!

(Okay, so he was the right Eye, but I’m not worrying about details)

Now my eyes are aching and itching. All this discussion of eyes makes me feel squeamish, please don’t comment with stories about eye problems, I won’t be able to cope.

Now I’m going to strut and pose around my flat pretending to be Odin.

“Always look on the bright side of life…”

The Devil and the Parsley Worm.

Image from Cunningham’s encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs

Tonight the Rude Mechanicals are supporting Ann Pigalle, a woman with an amazing voice, great sense of humour and amazing sex drive. Tonight we are a duo/trio, at the Dublin Castle, Camden. Thanks to all the beautiful dancing divas of last Friday, you were very much appreciated at the gig. Give yourselves a big snog ( I’ve no idea how, use your imagination).

The devil has been visiting me again in his waistcoat. He has a sweet smile and a monk’s tonsure, but he’s not fooling me!

I ask him if he’s the Devil and he smiles and tells me no, but he is the Devil’s helper.

He has gone for now, but has left behind large black insects to spy on me.

He has also left behind parsley, which seems to be his favourite greenery. As any expert on folk law will tell you, parsley is the devil’s vegetable.

Jo Fisher has made paper containing some leftover remnants of the parsley, She says she will paint a parsley worm on it. The parsley worm eats parsley and then turns into a beautiful black butterfly.

I don’t know what he wants of me, strictly speaking I don’t believe in him.

Midsummers Eve – love spells and flower crowns.

Rude Mechanicals new logo sown on to a t-shirt

This Friday is the Rude Mechanicals midsummer gig!

Celebrating midsummer in a cavorting exuberant mayhem. I have a brand new dress, we have new songs. There will be music and masks and dancing and magic, and possibly possession, should the nature spirits wish to talk to us

Flowers and herbs were traditionally believed to hold extra magical powers during midsummer celebrations, wearing a flower crown harnesses magic and helps you have good health throughout the year.

Love can also be greatly encouraged on midsummer eve, try out one of these spells if you are after a fond caress:

1. If you roll around naked in a wheat field, your future lover will appear in your life within a year. Dew was believed to have a healing effect and rolling in it was supposed to make you beautiful and healthy. Dew was even collected in cloths and pressed into bottles for the year to come (I might try that).

2. Collect eight different types of flowers from as many meadows. When going to bed, put the bouquet underneath your pillow. You will see “the one” in your dream.

3. In the wee hours of the night, climb up somewhere high – on a hill, on top of a fell or a big rock. To a place where it is easy to hear surrounding sounds. Your future lover will come from the same direction as the first sound of the morning. If you hear music, it means an approaching wedding. If you hear a child crying, it is a sign of birth.

So, come crowned, rampant, wild and magical on Friday if you can, and if you can’t dance crowned, rampant, wild and magical wherever you may be, for this is summer and it deserves celebration!

“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

Friday 21st June 2019

373 The George Tavern, Commercial Road, London. E1 0LA

Starts 7.30, £5 on door.

Werewolves and bureaucrats

masterful - wolfQuick note to anyone who fancies coming to the gig on the Friday 21st June, it is the Friday and not a the Saturday as I originally put in the poster. It was, of course, to test you.

My dad just hypnotised me. It was very interesting. He is trying to help lessen my epilepsy. He asked me how I visualise a seizure, I said it is like being a werewolf. He told me to visualise the werewolf getting smaller and smaller till it is a little obedient puppy. I couldn’t do that. I think this may be because I feel like I am a werewolf, the werewolf is me. Like a werewolf I am wolf only part of the time, and I can not control the change. If I view myself as having an illness then I am ill, four seizures a week is not easy to cope with, but if I view myself as a werewolf then I am a beast, and although this can be embarrassing, confusing and distressing, it is also strong and ferocious and very much alive. Does anyone get cured of being a werewolf? Usually they just get killed don’t they? I wish to go down howIng and growling and clawing everything nearby, not lying in a hospital bed.

( the comparison of a seizure to being a wolf is highly inaccurate!!)

Other parts of the hypnotism involved going down into a beautiful garden and sitting on a bench feeling good about everything, then going through a door in a tree and into the corridors of my mind. These were long thin corridors with red carpet and orange lighting, all very Twin Peaks. At the end I got to a big wooden door with a golden door knob. I pushed the door open slowly and inside was a large old office with wooden panelling and a musty smell. There was a big window at the opposite end to the door letting in very bright light, and a very large old desk running from the window towards the door. Lots of people were around the desk, preparing for some kind of meeting, they are mostly suited men and the whole thing feels very official and authoritative, bureaucracy. I walk across the room to the window and look out. There is a large court yard with large white Festival tents scattered around. One of the men preparing for the meeting sees me at the window and pulls a curtain across to stop me looking out.

I look round the office instead, there is a large abstract sculpture in one corner that looks out of place in the office, it looks rather like an alien space craft. Everything here has a slight sinister feel to it.

My dad asks me how I feel in this office and whether I want to spend more time looking around. I find the office is making me feel quite uneasy so i leave it, go back through the corridors and into the garden.

So, what is my subconscious trying to tell me? Do I want to go out to play but the authority figures keep me trapped in dark intimidating offices?

Should the werewolf eat the bureaucrats?

Woof!

Failure, history, and the Brick-a-brac Emporium

Here is the poster for the Rude Mechanicals next full band London Gig, I might make a limited number of A3 linocuts posters for it, perhaps

The book on tidying has failed.

It was too harsh.

I was brought up not to throw things away. My family were very poor when I was a kid, everything could be “made use of”. This book on tidying has had an odd effect on me, rather than throwing things away I am making things out of the old throwaways even more. All rubbish has a history.

My artwork usually involves recycling old things, and this book has made this more so. I cannot throw a piece of cardboard away now, because it could make a good paint book cover, box, altar. Glue two pieces together and it makes a good paint board. Other rubbish inspires curiosity: What was it? Was it useful? Had it emotional connection for someone?Was it once loved?

On the good side it does mean I am making more stuff out of some of the rubbish I had stored in cupboards, on the bad side my house is still a cluttered tip and I can’t walk past a bin without thinking “ooh that would be useful”.

I’m very pleased with the sketchbook l’ve made entirely with rubbish, cardboard boxes and thrown out paper. It is Coptic stitched so easy to leave open on a particular page. It is blank but has my occasional doodles throughout.

Thought I might try selling some Coptic stitched sketchbooks from waste products in my Bric-brac Emporium , for yes I now have a small emporium ( that is intentionally contradictory) on this website. As you’ll see from the buttons at the top. I call it Bric-a-brac because it sells art and objects made from recycled and reused materials. Not that there is much for sale in it at the moment, but with time…

I might even take my Bric-a-brac emporium along to the gig with me on the 21st.

It will fit in the suitcase.

The Cockroach God is very angry

Cockroach illustration on handmade paper

Cockroaches are a highly disrespected group, that is very true, and this could be why when I let the cockroach god enter my head and possess me there was so much anger there I had to stop. I was very surprised, hadn’t expected so much aggression to suddenly enter me, it scared me and I had to end the ritual before something dangerous happened, before I lost control of myself and hurt someone. Instead I lite candles on fairy cakes and gave them to the audience to give as offerings to the god, along with the moulding mushrooms and banana skin brought by participants earlier ( thanks to Dr Cos for the cockroach like sound track). I’m told cockroaches are particularly fond of slightly rotting sweet foods.

Cockroach’s are exceeding useful creatures in the wild. They are scavengers that eat almost anything. They are the dustbin men of the Forest cleaning up everything’s waste, transforming it so it can go back into the ecological system. Like dustbin men they are unappreciated. We all like to turn away from our own dirt and what happens to our waste, which is possibly why it is now causing such severe environmental problems.

I admit to killing cockroaches myself. I’d moved into a new flat which had concrete floors and no carpet. I couldn’t afford to buy carpet at the time, so a friend said he was clearing out his old shed and there was an old carpet in there I could have. Great, I thought, but I had not appreciated the wildlife that came with it. The cockroaches were huge! And it seemed they just wouldn’t die no matter what I did. I remember trying to wash them down the sink and flush them down the toilet, but they just kept climbing back out.

It is thought that cockroaches would survive a holocaust they are so tough. In tests they’ve been found capable of surviving far more radiation than a human ever can.

They have been around for millennia, they are well evolved into their job. But humans are very talented at laying waste to whole species and insects are dying off.

We all rave on about the bee now, and how she must be saved, but what about the humble cockroach? Without ’em to clean up the forests are in big trouble, and without the forests we are in big trouble. Yet I don’t want cockroaches wondering around my flat. Even though tests have shown they don’t carry all the disease popular culture bestows upon them, I still don’t want them crawling across my kitchen. Somewhat of a dilemma.

I remember reading once the writings of an anthropologist who stayed with a family in a remote part of the world. Every morning the family would leave food outside in a particular spot as an offering to a god, by the next day the food would have disappeared. Curious about this the anthropologist stayed up one night and watched what happened to the food. He discovered that ants were meticulously taking the food away. On further inspection he realised that the family home was in fact on top of an ant colony and that leaving the food out every day made sure the ants did not come into the family home and take the family food. Cunning.

Perhaps a similar solution could be found for creatures like the cockroach by giving them more forest to inhabit?

Yet as we all know this is an old request, more local woodlands would help solve many problems, but seeing as my council seems to particularly enjoy chopping down trees, even in parks ( to stop homeless people from sleeping there apparently, though me thinks finding them somewhere to sleep in, say, those very many empty buildings, might be a better plan) I can’t see this happening fast.

Last night I dreamt I was riding through a forest on the back of a giant flying cockroach. It was very good fun. Here is a poem/riddle that an anonymous blog reader sent me, in a further attempt to placate the Cockroach God:

In my kingship I like gold, in my kingship I am armoured

little forest lord, 

                         

drunk on cochineal.

Like the wafer I am each and I am all

Indissoluble

In my kingship I like it here, to defile your homes with my russet.

 

From the bulb a golden rain,

and a black one.

Altar to the Cockroach God

Sunday Gods

The colour black absorbs all.

It is hungry.

It is the god of darkness and death, but it is not bad or good, it is just itself

and it has a dark sense of humour.

( yes I’m getting a lot of seizures at moment)

It is in the carpet and the wallpaper, in my mouth and under the bed.

I think the colour white reflects all and is the god of life.

(I’m talking as a painter, don’t ask me about physics!)

Everything I see is given from it

Life rejoices in its presence

It is not good of bad, it just is itself

It is in the wallpaper and the carpet

In the emulsion paint covering my bathroom walls

And the white of your eyes

It has a very innocent sense of humour

(My head hurts)