Last night I dreamed I went to the charcuterie house again…

On they walked and walked, till suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade.    “This is chocolate!” gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall.    “And this is icing!” exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children…

How To Throw A Swedish Crayfish Party or Kräftskiva

Sweden is an unusual country. What happens there is this. Most of the year they exist in a black dark. A few months of the year the sun is out all the time, even at midnight. At this time all Swedes shut up shop and go to stay in little red box houses on the…

I’m Fondue You

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the natural birth of fondue was long ago in remote Alpine huts when, snow-bound and with only stale bread crusts and cheese rinds left to eat, some genius melted the cheese, added a dash of home-made kirsch to stave off the cold, and created one of the most…

Dancing Lions & Lucky Lettuce

This is the time of the year the terrible Nian comes out of the dark to feed, and roams the neighbourhood looking for vulnerable people it can snap up and crunch down. The Nian was originally indigenous to rural China and was close to extinction in the 1800’s, but over the years has interbred with…

Halloween – the poet, the witch and the eel

Halloween is a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands. This year was no exception, at our dark shrouded hovel. But why am I talking about it, when I should be poeming about it? Up in old East London Things roam on claw’d feet We dare…

Killing the Corn-Spirit or Hello, Dolly!

In the village of Siddington in Cheshire in the shadow of the monolithic radio telescopes of Jodrell Bank, lives a gentleman with an unusual hobby. Raymond Rush makes corn dollies, and at Harvest Festival time decorates the local church with over 1,000 of these sinister pagan relics. In his workshop next to an old hand…

Bunny Chow & Pinch Punch

Saying “Pinch punch” and spitefully poking somebody or just saying “White rabbits!” before midday on every 1st of the month is a popular folk tradition whose origins have become hazy with the passing of time. Almost nobody remembers now that the “pinch punch” was a symbolic blow to cast out evil spirits from people around…

A Flaming Fête With Flowers

Midsummer bonfire Flowers of flame flare out bright Live on as embers As the Sun passes over the Tropic of Cancer and hangs directly overhead, we celebrate with flowers which represent the Earth’s energies, water to represent the water sign Cancer, and fire which represents the Sun.   While the mystical hordes gather at Stonehenge…

The Séance

The word “séance” has come to be most associated with a group of people gathering and sitting to attempt to contact spirits, either loved ones who have passed away, or other entities who roam the alternative planes of reality. These entities are generally held to comprise of remnants of the ancient gods and pagan spirits….

Out Of Your Skull

Won’t somebody think of the worms? Time was, a worm in a bottle of tequila was all the rage, everybody loved the tequila worms. They proved it was all natural and made of agave plant, not something brewed up in a lab. Some said they were aphrodisiacs. Some said they were hallucinogenic. Agave farms needed…