22 June 2013

Purchase your Horrified Press releases here and claim a free digital novel with every purchase!

This is THE place to purchase your paperback/Kindle/ebook versions of all the Horrified Press releases.

As you know a lot of my work will be upcoming on this imprint, and this will be the best place to purchase a copy should you wish to support and enjoy my offerings. Not only will I owe you a huge gratitude of thanks but so will the ever growing roster of hugely talented authors that have contributed to Horrified past and present.

As a thank you, each purchase you make via these links entitles you to a FREE ebook novel from Horrified press. For nowt! Gratis!

Just make sure you email your lulu order number to me at dweatherer21@gmail.com

The following are now available for your enjoyment:

The two links in bold below contain my short story "Once a Butchers Wife".

Tales of the Undead – Hell Whore vol 2'


Tales of the Undead – Hell Whore vol 2'
 

Tales of the Undead – Suffer Eternal’
www.lulu.com/shop/nathan-jdl-rowark-and-rita-dinis-and-aj-huffman-and-nels-hanson/tales-of-the-undead-suffer-eternal-anthology/ebook/product-20949554.html

‘Tales of the Undead – Suffer Eternal: volume II’
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‘Tales of the Undead – Hell Whore’
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When you purchase your Horrified Press titles from Lulu.com, e-mail me your Lulu.com order number and receive a FREE digital novel from Horrified Press’.

9 June 2013

The 75th Cosford Air Show 2013

Firstly, let it be known that I am in no way any kind of plane buff. I don't know my F-18 from my F30. Sure I am from a proud military family and I know how to march in step, but terms like drag and Lead Pursuit is all but Greek to me.

This was my first ever air show, and though I had no real expectations I found the experience completely enthralling from start to finish.

Amongst the Parachute drops and model aircraft flypasts nestled a few truly spectacular treats. I witnessed a fifteen tonne Chinook dance through the air with a grace hitherto unimaginable. The ferocious sound of its twin rotors buffeting the crowd as it faced nose up, before spinning away and falling towards the Earth. I saw an Army Core Lynx helicopter perform a back flip, and an Apache attack helicopter spiral backwards the length of the runway, as though it was performing some kind of heavy duty ballet manoeuvre.


 

The 'Red Arrows' demonstrated just why they are such a highly respected National institution with a breath-taking display of high speed precision flying and balls out bravery. Having only ever see them during flypast I, along with the entirety of the crowd was left spellbound by performance. Nine aircraft flying less than six feet apart at speeds of 300mph plus is truly a sight to behold!

 

The Battle of Britain Memorial flight comprised of a Spitfire, a Hurricane and a Lancaster Bomber was indeed an emotive experience. The Compere of the afternoon going into great detail to recall the amount of aircraft and her crews that were lost during World War Two whilst they made their series of passes. Lancaster crews had near enough a one in two chance of making it back home, a statistic that confounds belief in this modern age of War. If it was possible to fly with dignity, then these majestic aircraft were the finest examples. The PA announced their final approach and remarked simply to "be proud". And I was.



My personal highlight of the show was the appearance of the RAF Typhoon (also known as the Eurofighter) which was firstly out of sight before we even glimpsed it and caught the announcer totally off guard also. The cutting edge of today's Air force, 67.5 million sterling could not fail to impress. One could hear it literally tear the air around it, creating a truly apocalyptic sound. Never before have I ever heard anything so loud.


At one point it slowed right down and appeared almost to hover above the airstrip, before engaging its twin afterburners to speed away and make a vertical dash towards the stratosphere. The car I was leaning against shook, the kick it generated blew hats from heads and I fell totally in love. The skies were so clear you actually see the wings slice the air and disperse it evenly around its elegant shape. A modern miracle of technology ascending to the heavens leaving an audible fury in its wake. I imagine the pilot got a hell of a kick from his performance.

The 75th Cosford Air show was not only a celebration of aviation history, but also of mans mastery over machine. Each demonstration was performed by pilots at the peak of their abilities, and it was inspiring stuff indeed. The event made me feel something I had not felt for many, many years. I saw the world as a child again, full of awe and astonishment, once again believing anything is truly possible. If I was a few years younger I may well of signed up to her Majesty's Air Force right there and then, but I always was the impressionable type...



7 June 2013

Why doth ye sucketh so Diablo 3?



Diabolo 3 promised so much. I pure ordered the game gripped by a fervour of excitement which makes the disappointment all the more bitter.

If you like tiny one-dimensional characters, carpel tunnel and colourful numbers, then this is the game for you. I Don't enjoy any of those "gameplay mechanics".

What about multiplayer I hear at least one of you mumble? Well, I tried it once and ended up roaming a graveyard completely alone for 5 minutes. Then O threw my laptop in the bin.

The story is pretentious nonsense that not even the most anal of fantasy fans would give two Orc shits about. The narrative takes itself so seriously I found myself laughing in despair at its po-faced delivery.

I return to it now and again, on the off chance that it is me that's flawed, and the game isn't actually a repetitive exercise in tedium and hand pain.

Nope, it's not me, its you Blizzard. I thank the gaming gods I'm not the sort of sddictive personality that would find this compelling.

20 May 2013

Truth and Legend..


Oakamoors’ fabled Chained Oak has fascinated me for a great number of years. One of only two chained trees in existence (the second is a chained Fictus tree located in Wayanad, India,) I often wondered whom would decide to take up heavy hand forged chains and bind the Oak, and more importantly what possessed them to do so?

The tree itself is one of the oldest in the area. The size of its exposed roots, the thickness of its trunk and the length of its branches indicate a large number of years of growth. I have read estimates that age it at almost one thousand years old. Whilst I am no expert in ageing trees, it clearly is a few hundred or so years older than anything in the vicinity. It is important to note at this time that during the 18th and 19th century the area was logged extensively. This tree chained or not at the time must have commanded a certain degree of respect for it remained untouched.

The popular version of the Legend runs thus:

In 1830 on one stormy night, the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury (Charles Talbot) was returning to Alton Towers from a visit to St Giles RC Church (which is located in nearby Cheadle) when he was stopped in his tracks by an old woman, who was standing in the middle of the path.

She begged the Earl for coin, to which he cruelly refused her. Angered she uttered the now infamous words:

For every branch of the old Oak that falls, a member of the house will die

The Earl sought refuge within the Tower walls as the storm raged on. A stray bolt of lightning severed a branch from the old Oak and sure enough, that night a member of the Earls family suddenly and mysteriously died.

To prevent further anguish he ordered the same Oak chained tight, hoping this would secure any further damage to the tree and therefore keep the curse at bay.

Indeed, it is a fantastic story, and during my investigations it was deemed necessary to try and find the origins and truth (if any) that this story contained.

The legend itself has existed for a great many years, yet its origin is still unknown. Through personal correspondence I can confirm it was popular amongst the locals since at least the 1970’s but I suspect it dates much earlier than this.

My research however has found a few flaws with this popular version of the tale. For one, Charles Talbot (the 15th Earl) on whom this version is based died in 1827. Therefore he could not have encountered the woman or chained the tree in the year given (1830.) Secondly, the path was oft spoken of as used to visit St Giles RC Church. The church itself was commissioned by the 16th Earl (John Talbot) and was not completed until 1845. So even if the story is based on the wrong Earl, the dates quoted and the reason for travel still do not tie in.

There is a second version of events that is somewhat lesser known. The story is that in 1821, whilst again travelling back towards the Towers, the Earls son (which earl is not specified) was struck upon the head by a falling Oak branch and killed. Hence the Earl ordered said tree to be chained to prevent further accident.

The main issue with this version is that Charles Talbot had no children, and John Talbot had only two daughters. From a practical point of view, anyone who has visited the site will note that the Oak itself is set far back and high above the riding track. If indeed any branch would fall it would more than likely roll down towards the pathway, and not fall directly onto a passer-by. It is simply set to far back.

However, there is a recorded incident that did indeed occur on that very pathway in 1821, though no details were reported other than it was a “riding accident.”

My research has shown clear differences between fact and tale, yet still the Oak stands, draped in worn iron with secrets yet to yield.

 

14 May 2013

Chained Oak Movie back on!

OK, the news is finally out. My recently published piece "The Legend of the Chained Oak" is to be made into a movie, co produced by Dean "Midas" Maynard (the producer behind the originally planned chained oak movie) and myself.


Cast and Crew are in place and we are ready to roll. The film will be shot in various locations across the country but will include Oakamoor and Alton. We intend to utilise as much local talent as possible during the production of this movie, which both Dean and I see harbouring huge potential! We want all of our friends and family to help push this project far and wide across the web to bring attention to not only the beauty of the Staffordshire Moorlands, but to help tell one of Britain's best loved legends to atruly  international audience! With your help sharing trailers and updates we believe this to be possible.

We have a teaser trailer ready to release which I cannot wait to share with you all. I am very excited by this project and hope that it will help raise my profile and give me a more noticeable platform with which to promote my work.


I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and taken time to read/like and comment on my work thus far. Without that constant feedback I would never of sent the piece to Dean in the first place, indeed it may well of languished on my hard drive, unread and forgotten.

Thank you

Dan

28 April 2013

Previously in 2013...

I realise I have neglected this blog for a while now, so please accept my apologies while I recap on recent events...

The year that by all accounts should never of existed (according to those ill-informed Mayans anyhow) started with a whimper as I found myself out of work. Having spent the best part of seven years tied to a desk inhaling stale body odour and printer fumes, I feared for the future, and to a lesser extent I still do.

I find myself as a full time father, the job market and I yet to find any common ground. Trying though it is entertaining a toddler with little money and driving a beat up 13 year old Punto with one working wiper, this year could be the most challenging and yet rewarding thus far.

The time away from KPIs' has given me the chance to really throw myself into my writing, and after switching styles from Comedy to Horror I have had more than a little success!

The next few months see the publication of my work, and I am excited and proud in equal measure! I worry I will be unable to produce the kind of quality I have thus far, a welcome pressure but a pressure all the same. Writing sets my mind free and to be published was a dream. Now that It is reality I want to push on and develop further as an author. My motivation is simple, I wish to make my daughter proud.

One last word before I return to my latest work. I am to be part of a big announcement very very soon. Big at least to me anyway! For this may be the making of Dan Weatherer the writer, or merely another step towards where I wish to be. In any case, its a huge leap forwards, and as long as I am moving in the right direction...that can only be a good thing.

Dan

11 April 2013

Down and out?

The facts:

Lowest scorers out of the 96 league teams

Lowest point to games ratio this year

5 points banked this year...4 needed from next 6 games (at least).

No wingers, reluctance to play attacking midfielders, tactically devoid of ideas. Confidence on the pitch and the stands is shot.

Is Tone the man to break character, take a few chances and galvanise the entire club? Will he bring Pennant out of the wilderness? Will he play Charlie Adam in his best position and field two out and out strikers? Will he drop the dead wood? Will he give one of the greatest centre forwards this country has ever produced time playing to potentially keep us up and end his career on a high (albeit a low high!)

Will he balls.

Championship here we come.

27 March 2013

Back to the future?

I used to tell myself I would never go back. That I would never wish to re-live my childhood, but that changed recently.

A time I told myself I had long left behind has dominated my thoughts these past few months. My journey through life likely at its half way point, I look back at the choices I made and the people I left behind.

Regret is an ugly emotion that refuses to be pushed back into its designated space once released. Teasing with the possibilities of "what if?" When over thinking is a habit thats hard to break the days can seem long and cruel.

Life has panned out as such, living in the past is unhealthy and futile. No matter how hard you wish its is fixed in time and can not be tampered with in this lifetime.

Letting go is hard. Really hard, but in order to live in the here and now it is a necessity. Wounds heal with time, even though some leave a scar

X

23 March 2013

4,398,829,698th


The figure aboverepresents the number I was born out of the Seven billion plus who are alivetoday. Of all the people who have ever lived I came into the world at 78,957,355,349th.That’s a hell of a lot of people.

Our name thoughwe like to feel is unique to us is not. The serial number we are we are givenat birth however is.

Is it wrong to striveto be more than a number, to think outside of the pre-packed box societyattempts to package as life to us from our early years of exposure to Educationand Religion?

We like tobelieve we are born free, our choices are our own and that any path is possible.It takes a rare spirit to break from the conformity of the masses and forge hisown destiny regardless of other’s opinions. The artist creates because it is inhis/her soul, not for any monetary gain or claim at greatness. It is who theyare.
I would not call myself an artist. I still live andcreate well within the box, but oh how my spirit longs to kick off the shacklesof a mundane and leave the world and its false freedoms behind to truly unleashmy inner voice.

22 March 2013

Adrift in black seas

Offer me light and I shall seek shadow,
Give me food and I choose to fast,
Show me cause to believe and I will strive to debunk,
Feel Love for me and I withdraw and become guarded,
For mine is the mindset of the damned, and no joy or affection shall dwell within.

21 March 2013

Children make it look so easy

My daughter is an only child, I plan on only one and I have been blessed with a happy, healthy little angel.

I sometimes worry about her social development. As I am out of work she is unable to attend nursery, of which she was a huge fan. Her language and imagination developed in leaps and bounds and it was heart warming to see her part of an extended family. It broke my heart to take her out of that environment.

So, presently shes stuck with her dear old Dad, and dear old Dad gets short of ideas to entertain her with. I worry this were stifle her development.

Which is why I am so happy to see her mix so well with other children when We take her out. With baby forever by her side she mingles seamlessly with groups of children, identifying the leader and making herself part of the fun through enthusiasm and laughter.

She has a confidence her Father lacks to this day, and he is very proud of her indeed.

X

Nightmare In Stoke on Trent

Sleep, the welcome reprieve from a day filled with the toils of modern life. A chance to rest the mind and body, to process the days thoughts and emotions and the chance to escape to a world of your own creation. However for some like me the inevitable promise of sleep fills us with dread.

I have suffered nightmares from as early as I can remember, to this day they have the ability to keep a hold of me during the waking hours also.

The first reoccurring nightmare I can recall involves me visiting the bathroom as a boy of about age 6. The room is as ever cold, with toiletries in the window and a damp towel thrown over the side of the bath. At this point I an unaware I am dreaming. I proceed to use the toilet when the light flickers and dies. The door which I kept slightly open for just such a case slams shut, and a Demonic voice hisses "DANIEL". It is then that I awake. For years I have hated anyone using my full first name for that very reason.

These days my nightmares consist of situations and memories passed, coated in layers of misery and self loathing. Other times I see horrific images of people I never met displaying terrible cruelty to each other, powerless to stop them.

The worst include people I love/have loved. I lose them time and time again and each morning the feeling of loss is as powerful as it was in reality. My head has a tendency to torment itself.

Whilst no firm explanations exist as to why some suffer restless sleep more then others, I attempt to harness these visions and feelings and use then in the creative writing process.

If I must endure these nightmares the lest I can do is to bring them to life for you, dear reader.

16 March 2013

Imitation = Ban

It came to my attention during another sedate family get-together that the do-gooders in their infinite wisdom are starting to ban those electric cigarette smoking aids from public places.

Now, these are aids designed as an alternative to patches and gum ideal for the smoker who cant quite kick the act of smoking. They give out zero toxins and are perfectly safe to use around children.

The reason for this ban I hear you cry? Well, because it looks like you are smoking when you use one and smoking is naughty naughty.

I'm almost inclined to purchase one myself and lord it around public buildings happily puffing away and correcting these idiots who are offended by my plastic ciggie in a loud and patronising voice. Sounds like a great new hobby I may of hit upon.

My main concern with all of this PC Health and Safety do gooder bollucks is where does it end? When do we as a people stand up and say " you know what, you are offended at my life choices...so what pal, fuck you and the horse you rode in on!"

What will be the next habit/consumer able the PC Police deem anti-social or morally degrading? All its gonna take is one more toddler to swallow a piece of 'Juicy Fruit' and that'll be the last of chewing gum. Maybe.

Free country my ass.


14 March 2013

A labour of love

I want to become a writer. Some of you knew that, most of you probably did not.

My motivation is such that I feel I need to share my dreams and ideas with the world, and that If I choose not to I have failed myself. I want to die knowing my words provoked feelings in people I may never of even met, even if it is just one person.

Sometimes I journey into a place so far removed from my daily life I leave reality behind. Entire days and their labours go unnoticed, the guilt I feel at missing such time is considerable. Indeed I seem to have an uneasy relationship with the passing of time, regardless of what I do I always feel I have pissed away this most precious of gifts.

It would be worth it, at least I hope it would if my time spent searching the void of my mind for inspiration bore fruit. As of yet I do not believe this to be the case.

To write honestly I risk pain. Pain to those I love, to those I have loved and also to myself. Yet I am compelled to try. I can only hope the readers forgive my sacrifices and understand their necessity.

I am reading "Stephen King -On Writing" at the moment, and I would say to an aspiring writer that this is a must. One of the key ideas he promotes is the idea of a 'writing space', free from noise and distraction. As a full time father, this revelation has left me feeling a little flat. I have no quiet escape in which to concentrate my thoughts to paper, nor can I see one in the future.

I yearn to write. It helps me to feel human when most of the time my mind is set on auto pilot. I miss so much beauty, so much simplicity as its buried in layer upon layer of the mundane. I feel the majority of us do the same.

Writing sets me free, its a feeling I wish to share with the reader. I fear whether this will ever be possible, but then I always was a worrier.

6 March 2013

The sound of trouble

Firstly, its important to clarify that I don't consider myself to of been a bad kid. I never stole (apart from modelling clay that one time when I was in class one,) I never beat anyone up and I never drank alco-pops in the park long after the slide had last been ridden.

I was however blessed (or cursed if you were a parent of my accomplices) with an active imagination and a desire to experiment with all the tools, chemicals and practices the local Police and school teachers go to great lengths to explain the dangers of.

It was Summer, I was fifteen and home alone. My parents had headed to Wales for a week in the Sun. I had refused to go along, citing my age as a sure sign of my maturity and trustworthiness.

The fields were green and well trodden, the football lying in some neighbours garden that was inaccessible to us, even with my superior climbing skills (which regrettably I have since lost. One time I climbed the steel lamppost in our street with just a pair of wellies and a desire to impress!) We were bored.

Then I remembered the small amount of explosives my father kept in a tuppaware box at the back of the shed. "Son" he began: "These are for scaring birds, and I'm not supposed to have them. Also don't tell your mother".

Now I never saw a reason to frighten birds before I swear to you, but on that day I decided the mocking flock of blackbirds sat high up amongst the branches overhead were going to get the bejesus scared out of them.

I took one of the grey powdery tubes out of the box (I later found out that some of them had split and spilled their greyish gunpowder contents all over the remainder and onto my fingers) and I struck a few matches in an effort to light the fraying string fuse. Eventually one took. Panic lurched my arm forwards and the amateur firework span out of my hands and exploded mid flight. The noise it made was beyond any volume my teenage ears had ever experienced. The blackbirds dispersed en mass in a glorious shower of excrement. Victory had never been so sweet.

For an encore I decided to light one that had been placed inside an empty cola can, in my mind this would be like a mini hand-grenade. My friends had their doubts but this only spurred me on.

The blast was magnificent, strips of aluminium falling to the ground like silver rain, sunlight dancing off each tiny metallic piece of debris. I had created a vision of beauty from a tool of chaos.

Thats when the neighbours started to shout and began to inform the police.

My friends vanished. I ran crying to the brook at the bottom of the field before realising the futility. I had nowhere to go, my brothers in arms had abandoned me to my fate. Reluctantly I trudged back to house where a stern looking police officer in a flak jacket greeted me.

He informed me there had been complaints of someone firing off a shotgun, and that if need be he had a rifle in the car. My bottom lip would not cease trembling. A neighbour of ours came out to explain the reality. He couldn't of done enough...anyone would think he was diverting any potential heat from his business of selling non existent computers, he really was quite charming.

So it was decided rather than a night in the cells I was to be remanded in the custody of my Grandmother. A call was placed out at the holiday camp for my parents to call Staffordshire Police at once.Of course they made sure they finished their game of bingo first.



3 March 2013

Ghost-Busted?

Venue - Alton Towers 2/3/13

Host - Paranormal UK/The Haunting

Weather - Clear Starlit skies, damn bloody cold though

As this was my first organised ghost hunt I was a little apprehensive, not knowing what at all, if anything to expect. A total of 60 or so guests and 20 staff (including 4 mediums) had made base camp in the Chapel area of the Towers ruins. Seasoned spook hunters and newbies alike huddled together in the cold eagerly awaiting the start of an hopefully eventful night.

We were split into teams numbering around the 15 mark, and given a list of locations (which included: The Chapel, kitchens, Banquet hall, First floor, Hex and the Gardens/Glass houses) and our investigation start times for each.

So, what did I discover about life after death during my six hour vigil? I present here a rundown of the phenomena I witnessed, and my honest opinion of said events.

GLASS WORK

When our guide asked if anyone wanted to partake in a bit of Glass work, my immediate fears switched to my distinct lack of glass blowing ability. I need fear not, as all was required was a slight touch on the top of an upturned glass tumbler with the side of your finger (to lessen the amount of pressure each of us may unwillingly apply and therefore dictate a false movement) whilst our group guide calls various questions into the surrounding gloom.

I witnessed the glass respond at various speeds/patterns, seemingly to the questions asked. At first I thought our group medium was influencing the glass as I watched his arm closely and he seemed to move a fraction before the glass started on its travel.

He then stepped away from the group and I replaced him. I can assure you the glass continued to move, in some cases quite vigorously. There were 4 guests as well as myself touching the glass at this time, and no staff were in contact with it. Each of us seemed to have a relaxed touch on the glass. What impressed me most was the sudden change of direction and dead stop of the glass. That would require a definite semblance of control from one of us, and I can honestly say I could not see from which of us it came.

In summary while it is entirely possible that some of the movement could of been caused by one of us, In my opinion whilst I was in touch with the glass I would struggle to name which of my colleagues it may of been.

TABLE TIPPING

Now I have seen Derren Brown fake this, and out of all paranormal activity I would say this is the one I am most dubious about.

I witnessed 4 or 5 team members seemingly be contorted by a small tables erratic movement. As I did not get hands on with this experiment I could not comment on to its validity.

At one point the entire group sat around a rather large heavy circular table (pinkie to pinkie I believe the technical term is). After several minutes of calling out the table did indeed begin to rock, seemingly in response to the questions asked. Again I was impressed by the sudden dead stop of such a large table, but with so many physical hands on the surface of it, I cannot rule out physical involvement by any one of the team.

EMF DEVICE

The device that measured Electro Magnetic Field activities peaked at most of the locations we visited, again seemingly in response to any of the questions asked by the guests/guides. Whilst it looked pretty impressive (as all areas read at 0 upon entering and exiting) outside interference cannot be completely ruled out.

Now, call me a cynic but being told a device with flashy lights measures something, and the device with flashy lights actually measuring what is claimed are too different things entirely. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the device was designed to be triggered via a switch held by an individual. I am in no way deflecting blame from myself either,  we were instructed at the outset to switch off our mobile phones as this can interfere with the EMF and cause false readings. I cannot switch my phone off (thanks Apple) as the button is broken. I also suspect I was not the only one who did not comply.

In summary, I may of inadvertently affected EMF several times.its also possible there was an individual with a control switch. Of course It could also of been paranormal activity, but it is important that I discuss the other options.

STONE THROWING

Hex was perhaps the most intense location we visited. The darkness therein was total, and the cold was noticeably much more apparent here. The group sat dotted around the inner sanctum in the pitch blackness, again calling out to any spirits present.

Distant tappings were heard, but could easily be attributed to the metalwork/wood responding to the cold air.

At two points a stone was heard to impact within our location, one very close to where I was situated. Although possible evidence of poltergeist activity, it is important to remember we were all sat in the darkness, you could not even make out the person next to you, and that they could easily of been thrown/kicked/knocked by a member of our group.

Towards the entrance to the ride our medium and several guest spoke of a presence by the large double doors. Several people claimed to see some kind of light moving across the panels, and one guest photographed what he believed to be orbs.

Cold, tired and a little underwhelmed by this point I decided to bite the bullet, and much to the protestations of the group walked up to the doors in the hope of seeing/feeling something out of the ordinary.

I didn't.

MEDIUM

At one point there was the group medium, myself and one other guest. he proceeded to tell stories of Charles Talbot and his bullying ways. He named three children and an old man, stating the year 1887 was important.

The performance was a committed one, however much of what he claimed can never really be proven but it did help to bring a bit of atmosphere and history to the nights proceedings.

Edit: my research has dug up the following...

Charles [Talbot], 15th Earl of Shrewsbury
1st son and heir of Hon Charles Talbot (by his second wife Mary Mostyn, 1st dau. by his second wife of Sir George Mostyn, 4th Bt. of Talacre, co. Flint), yr. bro. of George [Talbot], 14th Earl of Shrewsbury
born
8 Mar 1753
mar.
23 Sep 1792 Elizabeth Hoey (d. 13 Feb 1847), 1st dau. of James Hoey, a printer, of Dublin
died
s.p. 6 Apr 1827 (bur. at Heythrop, co. Oxford)
suc. by
nephew

No children, no significance for the date 1887.

This information does not tally with the stories recounted by our groups medium.


CONCLUSION.

I may of entered into the evening expecting to much, but I came away a little disheartened.

Now I believe the grounds do indeed hold some kind of energy, the building and the history are fantastic and deserve to be experienced by as many people as possible.

In terms of a Ghost Hunt though, there were so many people on sight that it was almost impossible to generate any kind of atmosphere, as you could hear people talking/laughing in different parts of the Towers and we would frequently be interrupted, breaking any semblance of progress or mood. I witnessed a few lights, flashes and other audible phenomena, but due to the amount of physical activity in the grounds most of it could easily be written off rightly or wrongly as distinctly not Paranormal. It would be interesting to go back one day with just the one group. Indeed if similar things were witnessed again their paranormal credibility would be increased ten fold.

I would recommend a night like this to the curious ghost fan, but a smaller group investigation would defiantly be preferable if I was to embark on one again. I don't scare easy and was heartily disappointed at the lack of atmosphere.

Dan "I want to believe" Weatherer

27 February 2013

The rightful path?

From the benefit of age comes wisdom, and wisdom is the conclusion of that ugly term hindsight.

Decisions made after much pondering or the toss of a coin send ripples far out into the distant future with effects no person can ever truly predict with any degree of certainty.

All of us at some point have worked backwards through our lives to pin point missed opportunities or lament poor decision choices.

What is the correct path? How do we know if we choose wisely?

The truth is you won't ever know for sure. Life is not a video game where can reload segments and choose to follow a different route. Let your conscience be your guide, and if in doubt do it anyway...whatever it is.

We live once. We should strive to be the best we can be and have a positive effect on those we encounter in our travels through life. If you leave people behind smiling you have achieved as much as is humanly possible and should have no regrets. Regret is an emotion that sucks at the zest for life, making one hollow and bitter. Don't allow it to consume you for you will miss the joy and beauty if the world around you.

2 February 2013

Paranomality?

I've had a strong interest in the Paranormal for as long as I can remember. Sure, I'd go as far to label myself something of a Ghost Geek in that I have read and studied countless stories, pictures and videos. My internet search history would rival that of Mulder and Scully for its sheer oddness!

I'm not a full on raving loon believer as theres a lot of dross and fiction out there, but I'm also not a full on sceptic either. Some things cannot be explained by conventional science.

Here's where you come in. I want to hear about any experiences you have had past or present that you couldn't easily explain away. Maybe a medium or fortune teller was eerily accurate in their reading of you, or maybe you may of seen a ghost or UFO?

Whatever the story please either PM me on Facebook, or drop me a mail on:

Daniel.weatherer@yahoo.co.uk

I know sometimes I write for laughs but this would be strictly confidential and not at all a pee-take.

Some of you may of told me your stories already but I would like to document them properly this time, my memory aint what it used to be.

Thanks in advance,

D.

31 January 2013

Retro Grade

Scrolling through my Playstation 3 hard drive I stumbled upon this little gem I can only assume came to me vis PS Plus.

Loading it up I didn't really expect to find much to like but lo and behold I find myself smitten with this rhythm/shooter hybrid.

In a nutshell, it plays like Guitar Hero (you can even play the game in your plastic axe in a dedicated mode). Presented as an old skool 2-D side scrolling shooter the objective is to "undo" your ships shots as time flows backwards. Indeed you begin the game at the final boss and must travel backwards through your missions undoing the laser death chaos you had previously dished out.

This is were the guitar hero aspect kicks in as your shots travel along horizontal lines, right to left, and you line up your ship unfiring these shots, dodging enemy shots which travel left to right all in time to a great 8 bit electro soundtrack.

It sounds complicated, and to the casual observer is totally mind boggling, but one you get past the onscreen craziness and let the feel of the music guide you rather than the visuals, it becomes a joy to play!

The soundtrack really makes the game, I feel its far more inviting to play than it's largely more popular stable mate Dyad, which is tricky at the best of times.

I urge PS plusers out there to give it a go, I'll see you on the leaderboards!

28 January 2013

The Legend of Porno Hollow (Cheadle edition)

Let me tell you a tale from the now distant days of my heady youth. Some names may of been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

It was a summer much like any other. The sun burned high and long as one afternoon melted into another. Towards the end of the previous School term a rumour spoken only by a knowledgeable few in hushed frantic whispers regarding a hidden stash of 'adult' publications came to my attention. Indeed if the story were to believed, Cheadle was sitting upon a veritable Aladdins Cave of x-rated material.

So it came to pass one weary Tuesday that myself, 'P' and 'M' embarked on our quest for the towns low rate 'Holy Grail'.

The rumours spoke also of a code of gentlemanly conduct wherein should said nudie mag stash be discovered, upon leaving the site it must remain as you found it in order that future generations are able to enjoy its fruit. Probably sometime around tea-time later that day.

Our research had pointed us to a secluded tree lined spot on the edge of Cheadle High School grounds. The air of menace as we tip toed cautiously through enemy territory was noted, but P's encouragement of "eyes on the prize boys" egged us on further.

In the distance we saw small pieces of paper dancing along the ground carried by a gentle breeze. The clouds began to thicken and the sky turned ominously grey.

Something cold flapped at my face. Instinctively my hand jolted to wave away the face invader but I met only air. With a grim realisation I peeled the offender from my face. In my hand I held a torn piece of a magazine, no larger than my palm. picturing what looked like a badly kept beard. M came over to check over my mystery assailant, turned a sickly shade of green and refused to go no further. P had ran on ahead and was busy poking a stick into the base of a tree excitedly. He motioned us over, I obliged leaving M shaking his head and muttering incessantly to himself.

What greeted my arrival at that hallowed Oak I shall never forget. A good Catholic boy, I was totally unprepared for the raw, naked truth of late 80's pornographic material. Page upon page of fake tanned, big haired and unpruned females lay scattered about the ground. Those glossy plastic smiles haunt me still.

We left hastily, vowing never to tell the awful truth of our discovery (though I suspect P went back later that day for another gander).

What became of that cache of sin no-one really knows. Some say concerned teachers gathered it up and condemned it the fires of hell. Others say "you know ...druggies" in an unconvincingly accusing tone.

Me? I like to think that even though that area may now be a housing estate, the planners kept that tree and that little piece of urban folklore now takes pride of place in some unknowing householders garden, treasure and all.

24 January 2013

EXIT


                                                                               

The tips of my gnarled trainers catch a blast of frigid air and for the first time in what seems like an age I feel something again. I stand tall, a brief wave of nausea shudders through my body as the drop before me flickers sharply into focus. The streets below me belch thick black smoke, an acrid stench fills my lungs and the taste of burnt meat lingers in my throat. The sky chokes on the cities festering odour, the Sun blanketed by the fumes of decay.

The world decided it had need for me no more some months ago. Deemed too old or to free minded to be a productive member of society my position at the Bureau of Progressive Change was stripped from me. A regular income deserted me almost as quickly as my Wife. The Bitch could rot for all I cared, she was only ever happy when the cheques were coming in. My daughter is the one I missed the most. Days without her were empty and lifeless. Time mocked me by elongating each hour, each minute, stretching each second to allow maximum misery.  As the damp on the walls climbed and the food ran out a forgone conclusion I had attempted to hide from for so long fought its way into my mind and began to dominate my thoughts.

Walking the streets desperately seeking an example that life was worth living I saw a commotion up ahead. A group of four or more white shaven headed youths were pelting a house with bricks and screaming racial abuse at the hidden occupants. One of the group began splashing the contents of a gas can over the front of the house, and in a matter of seconds the house was alight, a beacon of division and hate.

A white face appeared at a first floor window, barely visible through the smoke and flames. A white face holding a white baby.  The orchestrators’ of this flaming monument looked at each other in shock, devoid of ideas and absent of any type of action. The woodwork began to spit and crack loudly, masking the cries of anguish and pain within. A door a few houses along flew open and ejected its angry occupants onto the street. The Indian males of the family made for the visibly stunned group of skin heads with knives and metal bars.

Reaching into my pocket I fished for the crumpled piece of paper with the hastily written address. I knew it was nearby, and now I had my answer. I closed my eyes to the fiery tomb in front of me, the heat attacking my eyelids. Turned my back to the men bleeding onto each other and made my way away from the women cradling their dead sons in the gutter.

The door to the kill-house was firmly shut. The authorities of course knew such places existed, but looked upon them as a form of pest control. Vermin paid to be gotten rid of, lessening the already heaving burden on society. I punched into the key code and made my way to the 15th floor, flat 153.

Graffiti adorned the walls from a time long passed, the ascending stairways were dank and claustrophobic. Oddly shaped objects littered the floor intermittently and the smell of death hung menacingly in the air.

Candlelight flickered and a churlish giggle echoed from somewhere deep inside number 153, shadows danced across the walls allying to the several occupants within. A dog carcass hung above the open doorway marking the point of no return.

Mind now set I entered and was confronted by a large burly man wearing a pigs head as a mask. Flies buzzed and picked at its flesh, the man made a gesture to the table to his right, and another smaller built man to my left urged me forward with the nozzle of his shotgun.  From my brief flirtation with research I understood this to be where you made payment and chose your means of execution for your target. I eyed the handgun cautiously, the steel glinted in the candlelight and beads of damp were clearly visible on the metalwork. The meat cleaver and the chainsaw looked even less appealing, if ever such a term could be used to describe the implements of your own death.

There was a half open doorway further back in the recesses of the flat, a crack of daylight fighting its way into the gloom. I emptied the contents of my pocket onto the table, my life savings and the address fell into a heap over the blade of the cleaver. I nodded to the door. Piggy drummed a fat oily finger on the table, the dead eyes thinking this request over. With a muffled grunt, he took the money in his greasy fist and stood aside. A sharp jab in the ribs, the shotgun again as the clown attired man ushered me towards the battered door in the back of the flat.

I reached tentatively for the handle, turning it loosely the door shuddered open. Daylight flooded my vision and for a moment all seemed tranquil and pure in the whiteness of the sky. My eyes adjusted all too quick and the fetid housing and smog ridden skies quickly reformed again, claiming my dream as its own nightmare.

And now I stand here on this ledge, master of my own pre-determined destiny. Life is cruel, and cold, and remorseless in its punishment. It had given and taken in unequal measure. My choice of death was my final curse to life. I stepped forward from the edge.

Air rushed past my body unable to fight back my plummet to street below. The ground rushed to greet my exit into oblivion. Finally I will be free.

20 January 2013

Rule Brittania?

This is a post I have wanted to write for a while now, but have felt oddly unqualified to do so. I'm no statistician or football historian able to recite results and players from eons ago, I'm not even what some may call a "hardcore" supporter. I am however a follower of Stoke City Football Club and therefore feel thats qualification enough for this forthcoming analysis.

For the past two to three seasons there has become a growing discord amongst a rising group of supporters regarding Stokes' style of play, league aspirations and the management style of Tony Pulis.

On the one hand you have those who agree Tony is the man best placed to steer the good ship Britannia to premier league safety season after season regardless of pitch performances and fan satisfaction, and on the other those who wish he would mix it up a little and go for the throat a little more rather than trying to kill games off and take a point where possible.

Now, whilst true that football is a form of entertainment, most do not choose to follow their team based on high league finishes and silky smooth football (some indeed do but that a whole different debate). Its also true that watching the average Stoke game can be somewhat underwhelming and more than a little predictable, especially away from home.

I believe Tony is a realist. Pretty football can get you bankrupt. You need a lot of financial clout to play nice tippy-tappy football as you need genuine players of top quality to keep bringing in the three points when you take so many risks on the pitch.

The club is in a strong position financially, and although a chore to watch at times, I believe Premiership football is virtually assured. He has done wonders keeping a solid spine in place, lesser managers would of cashed in on Begovic, Shawcross et al.

So to the fans who want high octane drama week in week out, I don't feel Tony is gonna take those kinds of chances that could lead us into a relegation scrap. Football today is also a business. The most successful business grow slowly and don't take rash chances on fads or fly by night ideas.

Stoke fans would do well to enjoy one of the only steady success' this city of ours has at present.





16 January 2013

Introducing the Grand National Burger?

So, it appears unbeknownst to the British consumer some of our 100% beef burgers have been padded with horse meat.

While not harmful to ones health, indeed horse is eaten in vast Quantities in China and Russia. Italy and France consider it a delicacy, but here in Blighty that kind of thing is taboo. We give horses Pet stature, and we are hardly houng to start throwing Lassie and mittens onto the family barbecue xnytime soon!

So why did the burger company add up to 29% (in some cases) horsemeat to thrir supposedly all beef product (also neglecting to add this fact to the ingredients list).

Moral outrage is surely a reason they decided not to go public, and the gamble to hope nobody notices and keeps buying the meat doesn't look to of paid off now. Sales can only fall at this point.

The real reason one has to assume is purely down to cost:

Whole sale Beef cost on average £1.21 a pound.

Whole Sale Horse costs on average 50p a pound.

If you are substituting a third of your product for an ingredient half the price, well the maths is beyond me but theres a substantial saving in there!

So, a means to and end as this possibly family owned burger factory struggles to keep its head above water in these times of recession? Highly likely as the cost of beef and fish is well documented as climbing in price in the media.

My only concern is where else have these types of emergency money saving tactics been employed? Will the Consumer ever find out for sure?



10 January 2013

Out of retirement

So, the Gigolo is back. Or at least will be online again very soon. I ve missed the ones and twos and decided to pick up where I left off.

A few things have changed since my day mind. There will be no vinyl (as I sold it all) and my music collection is a lot more diverse than it used to be. I'll be looking at deconstructing tracks with my sampler alongside the more traditional full on party banging sets.

What struck me is how easy it is to get your music out there these days. Of course that means theres a lot of dj's to rise above if you wanna make it.

I'm under no illusions, my time has passed, but i'm gonna be posting mixes for you to stream if you so wish, and im gonna have a damn good time making em!

Digital Gigolo

7 January 2013

4am

I sleep through the nightmares of others.
Of battles fought in a different time.
Of comrades lost I never knew.
Blindly Carrying out the whim of a faceless Commander, questioning the insanity of man and his unfaltering dedication to a cause that matters not beyond the borders of a nameless land.
I 've watched men die by hands not my own.
Fought for a love my heart never belonged to.
Vivid and loud, a taste of smoke and blood.
Every synapse, every sense on fire.

The waking call lifts me from chaos and I am my own flaws once again.
Grateful my mind holds not memories like this.
My demons pale next to the Ballard of war.