Tuesday, January 23, 2007

more about cancer

Well..it's been a while since I last posted...I've started the chemo and so far so good. I went into the cancer unit a couple of weeks ago and they fitted a 'picc' line. This involves shoving a largish needle into the vein of my inner left elbow and feeding a thin plastic tube with a wire inside it (for rigidity) into it and following the vein up my arm and across my chest to the mastectomy site. It was facinating watching it being done....I felt like I was being 'borged'!!! Once they'd taken an X-Ray to make sure the line was where it was supposed to be...the wire was removed, a valve added and the whole thing stuck to my arm with sticky stuff so it wouldn't catch.

The next day I went in for my first treatment...I was warned about various side effects (constipation, diahorrea, hair loss, nausea, hair loss and numerous others, hair loss)...oh...and my pee turning red because of the colouring in the drug. The actual administration of the drug was simple...just injected in (via the line). Afterwards I felt fine...and have continued to feel fine apart from a little tiredness (ok a lot...I fall asleep at the drop of a hat) mouth ulcers and chronic indegestion.

One thing I have done is chopped my hair very short...it was half way down my back but I've been assured I will lose it....so I figured get rid of in now before I start shedding over the furniture like a long haired labrador.

To be perfectly honest I feel a bit of a fraud...none of the promised symptoms have manifested themselves as yet and it's only a week and a bit to my next dose. I was expecting to be laid low by the whole thing and as yet this hasn't happened...I felt a bit fuzzy round the edges for a couple of days....then nothing major...I'm not complaining mind you...hell...if all I get is indegestion and hair loss...I for one will be grateful.

Well...thats it so far....as I said..nothing major, I'll see how I feel after the next dose of chemo and post any changes....as I've said...I doubt anyone will read this...but what the hell...at least I've got a permanent record of what has happened!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

More about cancer

I drifted in and out of consciousness for most of that day and dozed intermittently through the night, the next morning I was awake and alert. I was absolutely starving so when breakfast came I ate everything that was offered to me. Later the doctor came round and had a look at my mastectomy scar and nodded knowingly telling me that if I wanted I could go home that day. I was exceedingly pleased by this news as I'd rather do my recovering at home than being stuck in a hospital. When hubby came to the hospital I told him the good news, then phoned my mum, who lives 50 miles away. She jumped in her car but alas got caught in traffic so we ordered a taxi to take us home. Mum wasn't best pleased by this, but I just wanted out of the hospital, I'm not the best patient in the world and hospitals are not the best places to be, I find them depressing at best. Once home I felt a lot better, I sat on the settee whilst hubby fussed over me and mum arrived not long after. At this point things got a tad out of hand, mum wanted to help but in all truthfulness there was nothing for her to do, I felt awful about this as she'd been a tower of strength and it felt as if I was cutting her off, the truth is, I just wanted to be alone with hubby for a bit, he too had been through hell and back and I just wanted to sit with him and have a cuddle.

That night I was a bit scared of sleeping in my bed as I had a drain fitted in the wound and was afraid of either ripping it out or lying on it so I slept on the settee. I had to order hubby to bed as he wanted to stay with me but after threatening dire consequences if he didn't, he obeyed.

The next day I tried the exercises I'd been given to do and was quite surprised, they weren't easy but neither were they as hard as I expected. The day was spent being waited on hand and foot by hubby and various friends came to visit, with flowers and grapes. Emptying the drain was a bit yukky but it had to be done. Hubby stayed at home for a few days and then went back to work with some trepidation. I promised him that I would call at the slightest sign of anything, but I didn't see the point in him staying at home, by this time it was obvious I was going to be ok.

The next thing was the waiting, waiting to find out whether the cancer had spread or not, I tried not to worry about it, but my mind nibbled at it constantly. We had one visit to the hospital so the nurse could check my scar and she pronounced it 'coming along nicely'.

At last the appointment with the surgeon came and hubby, my mum and myself trooped into the little room and waited for the surgeon. He came in and shook our hands and waffled on for about 10 minutes, by which time I was ready to strangle him. Then he told me what I had been waiting for....He said they had got all the cancer and that my lymph nodes were clear. He then told me that I would need chemo and hormone therapy, but these were standard and just a precaution.

To say I was relieved doesn't even cover it, I don't think I will ever be able to describe how I felt. We all left the hospital walking on air and went to pizza hut. My two sons were digging out my front garden for me that day and I'd promised to feed them. Whilst we waited for the pizzas we went to toys r us and my mum bought me a Winnie the pooh balloon!

We got home with pizzas and I told the lads the news and once more there were hugs all round and a few tears.

I haven't mentioned my lads much in this, but they too have been towers of strength, my youngest who is 18 isn't given to emotional displays but showed his support in small ways, giving me a hug now and again and making me tea (to which I am a hopeless addict). I know he was as scared as I was and he deserves a medal for holding it together when a lot of lads his age would have fallen apart.

My oldest lad lives with his wife on the other side of town and he too deserves a medal, throughout this he never wavered in his belief that I would be ok and was always cheerful. Without him I don't think I would have retained my sense of humour.

Thats about it really, no dramatics, no woe woe thrice woe, losing a breast is not as traumatic as I thought it would be. Admittedly I'm one of the lucky ones, a quick chop...Some chemo and hopefully all will be well. I haven't felt diminished by having just one boob, my life hasn't changed in any fundamental way and I'm still a woman. I'm grateful that I'll be around for a few more years certainly but apart from that....life goes on.

I wish I had some profound piece of wisdom to pass on to any cancer sufferers out there, but alas, I don't. Just remember that your families love you dearly and they are there for you, don't feel guilty about imposing on them, because they are more than happy to be imposed upon!

Oh...and one last thing.....Be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

12 November

Ok...after my last rather hysterical blog...things have moved on apace...I got a phone call from a nurse at the hospital saying that the surgeon who was going to operate on me had opened up a day and she was phoning all his 'ladies' to see whether they wanted their surgery brought forward...I immediately said yes as the thought of waiting was weighing me down quite heavily. So on 1 November I was admitted into hospital and had my boob removed. No biggy really...I was given one of those god awful hospital gowns....a lot of people came to see me (anaestheologist...recovery nurse etc) and two docs in training..nice girls both of them...they asked if I mined if they asked me some questions..which I didn't and they also had a feel of the cancer mass...I joked that my boob hadn't received this much attention in years! They asked how I felt about having the mastectomy and I replied truthfully that is really didn't bother me that much....I'd rather lose a boob than my life. My mum and my hubby were there for moral support...it's been hard for both of them but they have both been towers of strenghth. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything and my stomach was making some rather perculiar noises.

About 5 hours after I was admitted I was taken to the operating theatre...I had to walk...which surprised me somewhat...I assumed I'd either be wheeled there in a bed or a chair..but thinking on it...there was no reason why I shouldn't walk. Once again they confirmed who I was and then was taken to a small side room where I lay down on a bed and various needles and moniters were attached or stuck in me. The anaesthetist injected me with something that 'would make me a bit sleepy' and I remember distinctly saying 'whoa' about a minute after she had. Next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery ward and asking what the time was...anaesthetic plays havoc with my time sense. A while later I was wheeled up to the ward and there was my hubby and my mum, still waiting for me. I drifted in and out of conciousness for the rest of the day and when I came too a bit more, the surgeon came to see me again...checked I was ok and said the op had gone well.

I'll write a bit more tomorrow as I'm tired now!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

22 October

Nothing much has happened on the cancer front...my next appointment is on Friday, when they'll do all the groundwork...take blood samples and blood pressure etc. Had an ok day yesterday...until night time, still can't sleep, my mind runs away then and I can't help the thoughts...what if it's terminal, what will I do, will I carry on with treatment or not. Should I start planning my funeral, what songs do I want? There's one that I've always liked, called 'Wonderful Life' by Black. Should I start selling my collections of various things I've collected down the years? I don't want my family to be burdened with the cost of a funeral. All these things and more, I hate this. Cancer is not just a disease, it's an alien that takes over your life, colouring all your thoughts.

During the day...it's bareable, I have enough things to keep my mind from going into overdrive, I can cope....I'm beginning to dread night times though. I'm trying to keep this low key for the sake of my family...they are worried enough and certainly don't need to see me juddering apart at the seams.

Anyway...I've got spuds to peel, my oldest son and his wife are coming over for dinner and as the cliche says...life goes on....writing this gives me an outlet for my frustrations and fears so if I sound melodramatic...tough...hehe.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Ok...as opposed to all my other tales..this one is true, it's October 19, 2006 and this morning I was told I had breast cancer and would have to have a mastectomy, not the best news in the world from my point of view. I've decided to write down my feelings and stuff on here...probably no one will read it, but it's kinda cathartic so what the hell.

I found the lump 3 weeks ago, on the bottom of my boob and made an appointment to go and see the doc...she pulled me about, jiggling my boobs and feeling my armpit (thank god I'd shaved them the night before) and told me she was going to make an appointment at the hospital for me (for the benefit of any american readers, we have in England, the National Health Service, which we pay for through taxes..basically health care is free). The appointment duly came and I got myself over to the hospital...after waiting for a while I was ushered into a room and told to take off my shirt and bra. The radiologist then asked if I minded a girl watching...she was thinking about becoming a radiologist herself so I said no, I don't mind....I like to encourage learning.

I was confronted by this large machine that looks a bit like a transformer (robot in disguise) and the radiologist got my boob and flopped it on the machine, pulled and pushed it about until she as satisfied it was where it was supposed to be and then squished it between 2 plates...contrary to what I've heard, it wasn't painful (although this may have had something to do with the fact I'm quite big boobed), just a little uncomfortable. X-rays duely taken, I was ushered back into the waiting area, the nurse telling me that the x-rays were developed immediately and the specialist would look at them there and then. After about 20 minutes, I was called again and this time told I was going to have an ultrasound scan (same thing they use for pregnant women.)

This is when I knew something wasn't right, but I stripped again and this time I could see the lump for myself...it looked huge, but of course it wasn't that big and the nurse took more photos, (isn't technology wonderful). Again I was told to get dressed and wait which I duly did. After another 20 minutes or so, the specialist came in and, looking suitably grave (I guess it wouldn't do for him to have a big grin on his face) he told me that he wanted to do a biopsy, explaining what was involved. He gave me a local, then produced this big needle that looked about the size of one of the guns on the Death Star. He stuck it in my boob and I heard 2 clicks..no pain though.

He said that these would be sent away for tests but after looking at the x-rays, ultrasound and having felt the mass himself...he was pretty sure it was cancer. I think I already knew but I went numb. A word of advice...if you are going to hospital for any tests...make sure you take someone with you. I was given an appointment for friday and sent on my way.

I went home and cried but then pulled myself together, I didn't want to tell anyone else until my hubby came home so I busied myself not thinking about it. When he came home I told him and we both just looked at each other for a second and then he hugged me. At this point I went completely to pieces and had another good cry, as did he. I then phoned my mum and told her the news. I texted my oldest son and asked him to ring me when he got home but unfortunately he got the text whilst he was still at work so I was forced to tell him. Not the ideal way to find out your mum has possible cancer....poor kid. I told my youngest son when he got back from work and he took the news pretty stoically.

Friday came and accompanied by my mum and my hubby, we went back to the hospital to be told it was definitely cancer and that the team of specialists who had looked at it thought it was better to have a mastectomy as just having a lumpectomy may not catch it all and there was a chance it could flare up again, he then informed me that after the breast was removed it would be 4 to 6 weeks before they decided whether or not I needed any other treatment (hormone, chemo or radiotherapy). He was very sympathetic and gentle, my mother asking questions that hubby and I wouldn't even have thought of.

So this is where I am at the moment, next friday I have to go and have bloodwork done and anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks from now I will be considerably lobsided. I'll try and keep this post going, but honestly it depends on my moods, yesterday I was just about convinced I would die, today I'm a little better, I'm not sleeping well, but that's to be expected, I can cope ok during the day, but at night, when it's all quiet it hits me. I don't want to start taking sleeping pills just yet so I'm hoping my brain will eventually accept what is happening and shut up.

That it for now, before I go, let me just say, I'm not looking for sympathy, it's not my style, but to any ladies who read this, please, I beg you, check your boobs regularly, and to any men out there, nag your ladies to check their boobs...hell...do it yourself, but please...check them.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Ah, a visitor, I get a lot of those but only one in several generations actually finds his way into the secret chambers. Sit and let me tell you my story, you may be interested.

You wonder about me don't you? Who built me, what my purpose is, the same thing that people have been wondering for centuries, digging away, imagining they will find riches or wisdom. First let me tell you I am not the only one of my kind, every world in the universe that supports life has one of me, I'm not alive in the conventional sense of the word, in your simple terms I could be described as an artificial intelligence, a sophisticated computer if you will.

As to who built me and my compatriots, we built ourselves, it's a paradox I know, so don't try and understand it, it'll just confuse you. As to my purpose, why, that's easy, I record. I've been here since the first signs of life in the primordial oceans, I've watched it struggle, overcome hardship, evolve, die and re-emerge. I've watched the oceans recede and rise again and the continents drift on their inexorable paths.

I've seen animals beyond your imagining evolve and die to be replaced by even stranger ones, I've watched the first strugglings towards consciousness, the first civilizations and the deaths of empires. Did you know the first civilization was sub aquatic? No, of course you didn't. Of all the civilizations that this planet has spawned mankind is definitely the most arrogant yet. I watched the dinosaurs as they roamed at my feet and if it hadn't been for that comet I think they would still be the dominant life form. Some of them had started evolving rudimentary intelligence, it was fascinating to watch. I was here when mankind evolved from the apes and I watched them with awe, of all the species on this world they have the most potential so far. They have come very far in a very short time. Of course I measure time differently than you do, what is a couple of million years to me, I will live forever.

I record everything, every man, woman and child, their lives, loves, hopes, dreams and ambitions, nothing is secret from me, not even your innermost thoughts for that is my function. When the universe tires and dies we who record will remain outside of time. The universe will die and be reborn and when it is, we will nurture it, give it all the knowledge we have gathered from the one that came before. Life is a cycle you see and the next universe cannot exist without the knowledge from this universe.

So I sit and watch the millennia march by, waiting to pass on my knowledge, enjoying this world until the time comes for me to leave and await the end. I've done this more times than I can count and the creation of a new universe still thrills me. I've spoken to my brethren and we are all in agreement on this, the birth of a new universe is always a joy.

Some of your kind think I was built by aliens, I find this funny because on other worlds, aliens think that my counterparts were built by aliens, which one of you is the alien eh? Some worlds worship us as gods, others don't even know we exist, I chose this form because I liked it, the first civilizations were growing up in this region and I knew it would be a good place to be. I've never regretted my decision. In the last universe I miscalculated slightly and ended up in what I can only describe as a tree, although one that was slightly larger than your Everest. It was one of the few times I had to use all my drones. Oh yes we have those too, you call them 'ruins' or 'monuments'. Stonehenge is a drone as are the ziggurats in South America, the stone heads on Easter Island. Others are not obvious, outcroppings of rock that appear to be natural, like Uluru in Australia or The Giants Causeway in Ireland, I have my ears and eyes all over this planet.

We are always given names, that is something that all intelligent life forms do, name things, it's one of the few commonalities there are. I appreciate the need immensely, as a recorder I know the importance of names. I have had millions of names in my life some flattering, some not but until I am named by the natives I cannot be absolutely sure I've been accepted. Naming something gives it familiarity. I know I have an air of mystery about me but that is not a bad thing either, it protects me, I believe you call it 'hiding in plain sight'.

You have to go now, before you are missed, you won't remember this conversation, but you will remember one thing.

Your visit to the Sphinx will be one of the most profound experiences of your life.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

May 22 - June 21
Characteristics: Adaptable, Versatile, Nervous, inconsistent.
It's ok to come in isn't it, we don't want to bother you, we saw Taurus and he said you were nice.
We like visiting, it's fun and it gives us a chance to see what the rest of the universe is up to. Did you hear about Aries and Cassiopeia? Oh, you did, sorry, well it's the gossip of the moment, we heard that Cassy was pregnant. We don't believe in gossip though, it's nasty. You know that Scorpio thinks we are to close, He says we should try getting away from each other. Stupid scorpion, what does he know.
We tried it once, but we missed each other so much, twins aren't meant to be alone. We don't like it. Hey, did you hear about Cancer, one of his claws got burned, he tried to grab hold of a nebula. Anyway, what's happening in this part of the universe, it looks kinda exciting. It is? Oh good, maybe We'll move to this part of the sky.
We can't? Why not, I don't see why not, it's not as if it's full or anything, you just don't like us. You do like us, that's alright then, we wouldn't mind moving if you wanted us to you know. We aren't too sure though, it's a bit boring here. We know we said it was exciting but we've changed our minds.
We have to go now, we promised Pisces we'd go and look at his scales, they are very pretty, but he needs them cleaned every millennia or so.

Monday, June 12, 2006

April 21 - May 21
Characteristics: Patient, Loving, Jealous, Inflexible.
Aries said I could visit, said you were holding open house, took me a while to find the place, nice by the way, glad you haven't got any china, don't know why but it always seems to break when I'm around.
He's a good lad, lacks discipline though, these youngsters today, they don't know what it's like. Things have changed since the old days, time was a constellation knew what was what, but now, they want to move around, no respect, that's the problem.
I noticed Aries making eyes at Cassiopeia, he'd better back off, she's mine. She's a lovely woman you know. Beautiful too, we've known each other a long time and I'm damned if some young goat is going to come between us.
I've been teaching Gemini to play the flute, got talent those two have but they are a little impatient sometimes, still, they'll get there in the end, I'm sure of it. I like teaching, who do you think taught Sagittarius archery, Virgo says I'm a natural.
I'd better go, don't trust Aries to not go sniffing around Cassy whilst I'm not around. Thanks for letting me bend your ear, it's been great.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

21 March - 20 April
Characteristics: Energetic, Impulsive, Quick Tempered, Selfish
Hiya, just thought I'd pop in for a visit, I'm Aries, you know, the Ram. Pleased to meet you, hope you don't mind, I was in the area.
How am I? Well, not bad, could be better I guess, it gets a bit boring just staying in one place and not being able to move far, I was going to and pay Cassiopeia a visit, but Taurus said it wasn't allowed. Damn he can be so bullish at times. So what if I moved for a couple of hundred years?
Anyone would thing the universe would end if I moved even an inch for long, did I ask for this gig? No, I was just stuck up there without so much as a 'by your leave!' If ever I found out who decided what my job was, I'll, I'll ram him!!
Most of the others are so serious, except Libra, you can never tell what he's thinking, he just sits there and well...balances...He's so even tempered it's sickening. Sagittarius is no better, all I did was borrow a couple of her arrows, from the fuss she made you think I'd pinched her sacred butt. I was going to give the back to her but I think I'll give them to Orion instead, at least he can have a laugh.
I've had my eye on Cassiopeia for a while, I think she's really hot, that's why I wanted to get a little closer but as usual I had a huge lecture from Taurus, Pisces and Virgo. I hate Virgo, she's so damned pompous, no wonder she's still a virgin, who'd put up with her nagging??
Anyway, I'd better go, I think I'll go and tease Capricorn for a while, he's way to sensible for his own good.
Oh, hope you don't mind but I told the others that you were open for visitors. Didn't think you'd mind, a word of warning though, when Taurus drops by, make sure you hide the china!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Ultimate Question

I'm going mad, it's so not fair, how come I get asked this damned question?

It's not as if there wasn't anyone else to ask, I mean, I'm surrounded by others who are exactly like me!!!

There I was happily munching on this nice clump of grass I'd found when the alarm went up that there were hyenas on the prowl. I really hate hyenas, they are always so bloody happy! I went to my allotted station, well annoyed I was, I was hungry but duty is duty and if I ever want to make my mark in the herd I've got to be vigilant. I spotted them straight away, a whole pack of them, filthy things, I once had a conversation with a dung beetle about hyenas and he said they were a necessary evil..hah!!

They were just walking around pretending to mind their own business, but you could see they were just looking for an opportunity to cut one of us out of the herd. Well, they weren't going to succeed, not on my watch, I called over a few others and we mock charged them (we aren't stupid enough to actually fight them) and they ran away giggling, by the great plains of the serengeti I hate that laugh, it sends shivers down my spine.

We were all a bit surprised when they just lay in the shade of an acacia tree and watched us, I tell you, I've never seen hyenas do that before, I hate when they start doing things differently, it makes everyone nervous and the leader of the herd (a stallion way to big for his hooves in my humble opinion) gets very twitchy and starts taking it out on us lesser mortals.

They eventually got up and wandered away, much to our relief but a few hours later they were back. The leader of the pack slowly walked towards us and when he got within shouting distance he asked for a parlay!! Surprised? We were all speechless, hyenas never ask for parley! Mr 'I'm to big for my hooves' told me to go and talk to him and I had no choice but to obey, well it was either that or look like a total coward!

I've never been so terrified in my life, I just knew I was going to be eaten but the hyena lay down and didn't even growl. I got as close as I dared and asked him what he wanted.

'Not much' he answered, 'We just want you to settle an argument'

I looked at him in disbelief and he continued 'Are you zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes?'

With that he giggled and ran off. I stood there like an idiot for a while then went back to the herd, I reported what the hyena had said and Mr 'I'm too big for my hooves' just looked at me and said, 'stupid hyena, who cares what stripes we are?'

The trouble is, it's been bothering me ever since, I've asked all the other animals on the plains and I keep getting different answers.

I'm having an identity crisis!!!!

Friday, April 14, 2006


Ok could the meeting come to order please, I know it's been a long time and we have a lot to go through, can you hear me at the back there Pluto? Look it's not my fault you're so far away, it was your choice. Settle down please.

I'll just read the minutes from the last meeting we had, lets see, when was it? Oh yes a billion years ago, we really must get together more often!

Actually, I have to admit, I lost the minutes, well it was a long time ago, I know they're somewhere, sorry.

Lets get straight down to business, I've had quite a few complaints lately and there is a lot of back biting going on, this must stop! I'll go over some of these concerns not if no one has any objections. Yes Mercury, what it is? Look it's not my fault your sunburned on one side, get some sun cream.

Now, there have been a few complaints about you Jupiter, quite a few of the others think that that storm has been going on for quite long enough, yes I know it's a pretty colour but come on, 300 years?

And you, Saturn, there have been complaints that you are becoming insufferably smug about your rings, you aren't the only planet with them you know, would it be so hard to let the others have a few of them it's not as you haven't got plenty to spare and do you HAVE to have so many moons? Jupiter, you're the same, for goodness sake share them out a bit more equally, give a couple to Venus, Mercury and Pluto.

No Venus, you can't have all Saturns rings instead, that reminds me, at last meeting you said you were ready to start experimenting with letting some bacteria grow, what happened? Earth has managed to sustain a thriving community, it's about time you did the same. No it won't ruin your figure!

Neptune, you've been lying on your back for quite long enough, it's about time you straightened up, you look ridiculous.

Uranus, stop sulking, yes I know that people make fun of your name but it's the one you've got so just snap out of it.

Mars, I hear you've been having visitors, will you stop hiding the machines that the bacteria from Earth keep sending, you know how much it upset her. At least she's kept to her promise, what have you done lately? No a microbe is not enough, I expected better, I'm very disappointed in you.

On the plus side, I must commend Jupiter for the excellent job he's doing gathering up all the stray comets, keep it up son, good work. Yes Saturn what is it? You think you've lost a couple of moons? For goodness sake, how many times do I have to tell you, keep an eye on them, it they stray it's no ones fault but yours.

We need a little pride here guys 'n gals, I got an email from Andromeda yesterday and 5 of her planets have got bacteria, 5!! We are starting to look a little pathetic, even the nebulae are laughing at us, so I'm issuing a final warning, I don't want to but you leave me no choice, this project has gotten way off track. Saturn, if Titan doesn't start producing bacteria I'm taking him away from you and giving him to someone who will appreciate him. All of you planets who have moons that can sustain bacteria, hop to it and Venus and Mars, I want to speak to you both personally.

There is one more thing I must address, it's a little embarrassing for me, I've has a little problem with solar flares, but I've consulted with an expert and he says it's perfectly normal for a Sun of my age, so Mercury you can stop giggling all the time.

Oh whilst I think about it, Pluto, PLUTO can you hear me? Good, you've got to tidy yourself up a bit, there are rumblings around the galaxy that you aren't a planet at all, no don't start crying, it's your own fault, you look like something the meteor dragged in.

Now, we will hold another meeting in 10,000 years and I want to see significant progress people, I'm not going to be the laughing stock of the universe! Now get out there and do what you do best.

And Mercury, I don't like apples so it was a waste of time trying to suck up to me, next time, try pears.

Monday, April 10, 2006



This tale was inspired by a newspaper article I read about a woman who went slightly mad due to her 'time of the month'.

Oh God, it's coming, I can feel it, I don't need a calender to tell me what time of the month it is. It rages inside me, sometimes a tiger, sometimes a rat, tearing and gnawing at my insides. I can feel it trying to escape, the ravening beast that takes me over. It wants to be free.

I try not to let it, God knows how I try, I've tried all the remedies, all the drugs, all the old wives tales but it's always there, just waiting, waiting for the opportunity to escape and rain havoc upon my world. It rips its way out of me and I can't control the beast and a part of me doesn't want to, a part of me wants to release it, let it have it's way. I want to share my pain with the world, I want to scream and curse at the unfairness of it.

But mostly I do keep it under control for ultimately I am afraid of the beast. If I let it out, will I be able to cage it again? If I let it run free would I lose myself to it forever? It is part of me and I am part of it, it is the primevil in me, the wild woman who wants to kill and eat raw red meat, wants to run forever and never look back, it is the part of me that wants to inflict the pain I feel on others, it is the part of me that does not think, but snaps and snarls not caring who is in the firing line.

I promise myself that this time it will not win, it will not be allowed to bare its teeth, I will conquer it once and for all, I will not allow the beast to rule my life, but I know it is an empty promise, the beast always wins.

God I need chocolate.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sea Dragon

The old man sat at a table nursing a mug of beer, anyone who didn't know him would immediately guess he was a sea dog, his hands were calloused from years of hauling on wet hawsers and despite his years his arms were thickly muscled.

He nodded to the barmaid who wended her way through the tables, her skirts making a slight swishing sound as they brushed against the floor. She took the mug and went back to the bar, filling it up from the large keg. The barman and owner of the pub, a small man with a permanently worried face looked at the sailor and shook his head, 'Tis a shame' he murmured 'To see a man like Joshua brought low, he was a fine man and a good sailor.'

'What happened to him?' the barmaid asked, piling a plate with bread, cheese and ham.

'Of course lass, you are new here and have not heard his tale, go and ask him, but don't be afraid, he's touched, but harmless and his tale is entertaining.'

The barmaid took the ale and food over to the sailor and whispered timidly 'Sir, my master says you have a tale to tell.' She waited, looking ready to bolt.

Joshua looked at her, his eyes a muddy blue and he nodded slowly, 'Aye lass, I'll tell you my tale, sit.' He indicated to the chair opposite him and she slowly sat down.

'What's your name lass?'

'Kitty, sir.'

'A pretty name, tell me Kitty do you believe in dragons?

Kittys mouth dropped open and she snapped it shut, 'N..n..no sir, I don't' She glanced at the bar hoping her master would beckon her over, but it was too early and there were few customers.

Joshua laughed, 'Don't worry, Miss Kitty, I'm not going to bite you, but I will tell you a sea tale, be a good girl and fill my tankard again and old Josh will tell you a tale that will change your mind'

Kitty did as she was bidden, surprised when the landlord didn't object when no money was offered. She placed the full tankard in front of ale in front of the grizzled old sailor and ventured 'Have you seen a dragon sir?'

Joshua took a long pull of beer, wiped the foam from his lips and answered 'Aye lass I have, I've seen the leviathan of the deep and what a magnificent beast it is. Twas 20 years ago now, I was second mate on a ship out of Plymouth Harbour, we sailed the seven seas trading cotton, silks, spices and even slaves, our captain was a fair man and we always got a bonus at the end of every voyage.'

Joshua's muddy coloured eyes grew distant as he remembered, his mind travelling back to the ship he had called home for so many years.

'Ah lass she was a beautiful ship, 'The Golden Lady' she was called and she looked after us well,
she did. We were on our way back from Zanzibar, the sultan there was a rich man and he paid handsomely for english goods. We did well on that trip and we had loaded up with trade goods to use as barter with the tribes along the coast of Africa, for a handful of beads you could get ivory, hides, gold and diamonds.'

'We were but a handful of leagues from Madagascar when a storm blew out of the east, none of us had seen such a storm, it was as if all the gods of the sea were angry, the waves were as big as the great dome of St Pauls Catherdral in London Town, I've never seen the like and the gods willing, I never will again. The captain ordered the sails shortened and we tried to run before it, but it fell on us like a ravening beast.'

Joshua stopped and drained his tankard, thumping it down on the table when he was finished. Kitty stood up without comment and went to refill it. 'I'll pay for Joshuas ale' she assured the landlord.

He smiled 'Don't fret yourself lass, I'll not go bankrupt for want of a few coppers.'
Kitty nodded her thanks and returned to Joshua.

'Sir, where did you see the dragon?' Kitty asked as she set the mug in front of him.

'We barely survived that storm, we were blown far off course and we lost 8 good men to the sea, the ship was almost wrecked, we lost the mainsails and the main mast was split through and the hull was leaking. The captain ordered us to make what repairs we could and tried to figure out where we were. He set a course and we started limping towards where he thought land was.'

'On the third night we were becalmed, I've never seen the sea so still and there was St Elmo's Fire dancing around the masts, it was a strange sight, Kitty and I don't mind admitting that I was more frightened than I had been during the storm. There was a feeling in the air, like a memory of things passed. At just before 9 bells one of the deckhands started screaming and pointing aft and the captain and me, we went to see what all the commotion was about.'

'What we saw none of us will ever forget the sea was boiling like a pot on a fire and from the there rose a beast, golden it was and so beautiful, it's hide shone even though it was night, higher and higher it rose from the sea and then it took flight, oh such a magnificent animal it was, I would give my hope of salvation to see it again. It flew north and before we could catch our breath it was back, it headed straight for us and we thought we were doomed, but before it reached us it dived back into the water with a scream. It was the cabin boy who noticed the orcas on our starboard and it was then we realised what it was doing, it was hunting.'

'Now Kitty, you don't know what an orca is, but they are the wolves of the sea, they are fearsome beasts that all sailors dread, they are cunning and dangerous, and this beast, this dragon was hunting them, twas a sight to behold and we stood, the whole crew and watched as it fed. When it had done it once more took to the sky flew over us, circling us 4 or 5 times before once more disappearing into the sea, leaving us alone.'

'We made land 2 weeks later almost dead from hunger and we told our tale, but we were not believed, some people said we had imagined the whole thing, others accused us of demon worship, but let me tell you this Kitty, we didn't imagine it, it was a true beast and a beautiful one.'

Joshua paused and reached under his shirt, pulling out a chain, 'See this Kitty?' He held up the chain and dangled it in front of her, hanging from it was a large leaf shaped object that glowed with an inner light, 'This is one of its scales, I found it on deck after it went back into the sea.'

Kitty reached for the scale and gasped, it was heavier than it looked and softer than she expected, it felt like leather and she thought she felt it pulse slightly as she touched it. She looked at Joshua with shining eyes and he nodded, 'Aye lass, you've just touched a dragon.'

Kitty got used to seeing Joshua in the weeks and months that followed and always spent a few moments with him, no matter how busy the Inn became. Her master did not mind and even seemed to tacitly approve of the attention she gave the lonely sailor.

One day Joshua didn't arrive, instead a letter was delivered by a young lad. It was addressed to Kitty.

She took it to her master as she couldn't read and he opened it and read the contents to her.

Dear Miss Kitty,

I've signed up to a ship that is going to Madagascar, I have enough money to buy a small fishing boat and I am going to find the dragon, I have something that belongs to it and I must give it back, God willing I will return in a year or so. Thank you for believing an old salt like me, I will always treasure your friendship.

Your True Friend


Joshua never returned.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Zeus musing

Hmm, what shall I do today, I wonder? I'm getting a bit tired of chucking thunderbolts around, gets a bit boring after a while and anyway, Hephaestus hasn't delivered my next batch yet, I think I'll send him a memo. Maybe later, I can't be bothered at the moment.

I saw a nice looking girl the other day when I was down on earth, I think I'll go and seduce her, I'll have to be careful though, Hera is keeping an eye on me, can't get away from the woman! What's the use of being a god if you can't have a little fun now and again? She takes my little affairs so damned seriously.

I mean, it's not as if she's as pure as the driven snow, she's had her fair share of dalliances. Do I make a fuss? Well a little but nowhere near as much as she does. It's getting harder though, apparently my reputation is getting around. There was a time when I could just toddle down to earth, have an orgy and be home in time for the ambrosia and nectar party, but now, it's all changing.

Athena doesn't help, she gets all high and mighty and starts spouting off about 'womens rights', what in the name of hades are 'womans rights'?? Demeter keeps going on about the beauty of nature and saying women should get back in touch with it, Aphrodite is off on one of her 'beauty is truth and truth is beauty' things. This is all very well but it doesn't make my life any easier, how am I supposed to get my leg over if all the women down on the lower planes are busy thinking? Maybe I should write a memo.

Eros is getting just as bad, he keeps drifting around polishing his arrows then getting all doe eyed when he shoots them at people, it's sickening, I think he's taking this whole 'love' thing a bit too seriously. I've told him time and time again, don't overdo the love thing, it makes other people jealous, but does he listen?

And Ares, don't even get me started about Ares, the boy needs to be taken down a peg or two, he's getting way to big for his boots. War has it's place but the Elysian fields are getting overcrowded. Pluto has done nothing but whine for the last 3 years about bad housing conditions and how Tartarus has been going steadily downhill. I wonder if I should send Ares a memo.

And I've got Neptune on my back, he keep ranting about his 'children', they're fish for crying out loud, I made fish so people could eat them, not so they could be mollycoddled. I just can't seem to get that through his seaweed addled brain. He comes up to Olympus, dripping water everywhere and makes my life miserable, babbling on about cod and herring. I think I made a mistake allowing him to become king of the oceans. I think I'll send him a memo too, threatening to demote him, that should keep him quiet for a while.

Aha, Hepaestus has arrived with my thunderbolts, he does beautiful work, a real craftsman, I can forgive him a lot because of that. I notice Hera has been sending a lot of work his way lately, I wonder why, it's not as if he needs the money, and I can't imagine she fancies him, he's as ugly as an egyptian god.

I'd best keep an eye on her though, she gets these ideas sometimes, probably from talking to Athena.

These thunderbolts are truly excellent, I think I'll try a few out now. Ares is down there somewhere, I wonder if I could hit him from here. That would keep him on his toes.

And it's better than sending a memo.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

How much do you love me?

You stroke my arm with feather light touches, sending shivers through me.

'How much do you love me'? You whisper

'You know how much I love you' I whisper back

You nibble kisses along my neck, knowing what it does to me.

'How much do you love me?'

'More than I can say.' I breathe

Your lips move onto mine and I sigh as you kiss me.

'How much do you love me?'

'More than the moon and the stars'

You caress my leg, your hand moving higher

'How much do you love me?'

'More than life itself.' I quiver

'Oh good, it's your turn to make a cuppa'

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Warning, if this was a film it would be for over 18's, don't say I didn't warn you!!!!

I'm a killer.

I roll the words around in my head and I like them. I'm a killer. I've killed hundreds in my career. Not indiscriminately, not with bombs or poison gas, but personally. I have been killing for nearly 10 years now and I still get a thrill from it.

I started my career when I was 25, I killed a man for money, it wasn't an elegant job I'll admit but the feeling of power, oh man I wanted more of that. So I killed again, I killed the man who paid me to kill. After that I had to stop. I wanted to do it again but I knew that if I wanted to go on killing I would have to be careful. I decided the first thing to do was to be normal, get a job, nothing too menial but not to obvious either. So I became a desk jockey, Mr Normal, that's me. I don't do anything flash, I'm not too withdrawn, I flirt with the women and go for drinks with the men, I join the office activities but not too many. I drive an average car and have a totally clean police record.

If you passed me in the street, you wouldn't look at me twice, I'm just another drone in a big city. But, I have a secret. I'm a killer. I'm very careful, because I want the thrill to last. It's like a drug, one that hooked me totally. I know I'll get caught one day, law of averages but I don't sweat it. When the net closes in on me I'll accept my fate and blow my brains out. They won't parade me in front of the press and make up news stories about me. I'm writing this to make sure that the facts are kept straight.

This will be left on my computer and discs will be sent to all the major newspapers at the right time. This is, if you like, my last will and testament and I will keep adding to it until the time comes.

I'm no ordinary killer, no sleazy junkie, no disgruntled relative, no drive-byer or gang thug. I kill because I can. Because I must. Don't get me wrong, I don't hear voices, I wasn't told by
God or the Devil to kill. No, I kill because I enjoy it. Just that, nothing more. I'm not a psycho or a sociopath, I have a conscience. Hell, I think I have a highly developed conscience, but I'm sure the shrinks will say otherwise.

The plain and simple fact is I like it. I like the hunt, the process of choosing my next victim, it's better than sex. The kill itself is my ultimate goal though, you can taste the fear, the terror. I vary my methods, but one thing stays the same, I must be there to watch. I watch as the light dims from their eyes and I wonder what they are thinking. Some go quietly, just fade away, others fight, I love the fighters, watching them gulp for that one last breathe, watching them not believing that it's happening to them. My God if I could achieve that every time I would be a happy man. Power, it's the ultimate power, the ability to stop another person from existing and there's nothing like it.

After a kill I go and find a hooker, I'm so wired I need to get rid of some energy and in this city, there are plenty of them who will accommodate me. I've killed a few whilst I was banging them, just to see what it was like. I liked it. That bothered me a little but I find that now I don't care, nobody else does. I stabbed the first one, my god she bled like a stuck pig, but that was fine, it added to the experience and I'm all for new experiences.

The second one I strangled, I didn't mean to but as she bucked and thrashed under me I found that I could reach new heights. It was the best sex I'd ever had. Now I only strangle them after a particularly good hunt and kill. It's my reward to myself.

That's all for now, the sun is down and I'm going out to hunt, if you open the attached file, you'll find names of all my prey, like I said, I want to keep the record straight, I don't want others taking credit for my kills.

See you in the funny pages.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Demons exist you know, I've seen them. Oh I know what you're thinking, you think I'm nuts, crazy, one beer short of a six pack. I expect that, I'm used to it but listen, demons exist.

How do I know? Easy, I've seen them, they walk among us unseen, wreaking havoc. Those humans?, the ones that we call evil men? Not really men, they were once but they made a pact, not with the devil, but with a demon. These demons, they are smart, not like they are portrayed in the movies. They can trick and cajole and promise and sometimes they even keep their promises. The problem isn't the demons then, but with what we want, we always ask for the same thing, it's so predictable, we ask for fame, power, good looks. Nobody asks for something unselfish, something to help others. If just one person did that the demonkind would be helpless, but no, we think only of ourselves.

That's the irony, demons too want redemption and they have been seeking it for thousands of years. All it would take is one selfless wish, just one person to ask for one thing without thinking of themselves but demonkind are drawn to the selfish, like calls to like.

I know what your next question is going to be, How do I know all this? I'll tell you, I've been studying demons since I took my vows. When I was a young woman I entered a convent, I found that the secluded life wasn't really for me but I still felt the calling. I left, unsure what to do with my life when I saw my first demon. It looked directly at me. I was chilled to the bone but in that moment, I knew what my lifes work would be. I scoured libraries and when they didn't yield much I turned to the internet. I found some useful information there but my greatest source was the religious community. I started by questioning nuns who always referred me to the parish priest. It wasn't long before word got out and I was approached by a man who said he had useful information.

We arranged to meet and to my surprise I taken before a group of men I recognised from television, all were religious leaders and all represented different faiths. I was told that I would be given every resource at their disposal to aid my quest. The reasons were explained to me, I had a gift, there are others with this gift and they too are seeking answers. I took the vows willingly and set to work, I read all the diaries and notes that previous seekers had left and started my own diary.

Then I spoke to a demon, it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. We talked at length, me and the demon, it told me what was needed. Once again I was struck by the irony, for by telling me about redemption, it had made it impossible for me to be of any help. I would not be able to ask for my hearts desire without that small doubt, the small voice in the back of my head asking if what I wanted was real or a way to rid the world of the demons. I have condemned you too, but with good cause. I want all who read this to search their memories, think hard and try to find one person, that one person who someone must know, that one person who is selfless, who cares for others over themselves. This is the person we must find. If you know this person, do not talk to them but contact me immediately, for this person will be the saviour of demonkind.

And if you ask why should the demon realm be saved, look around you, look at the horrors that infect our world.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


'You're new' A blonde girl stated, seemingly unaware that she was stating the obvious.

'Yeah' I answered, rooting around in my pockets for my swipe card

'Here, let me' She swiped the door and stepped aside, letting me enter first. 'I'm Beth, accounting, if you need anything, give me a yell'

I worked the first hour or so before the need for tea made itself felt and did the dutiful thing, newbies are supposed to make everyone tea so I took names and orders and went in search of the kitchen. I spotted Beth and half smiled at her and she jumped up, grabbed teacups off various desks and joined me.

'You'll get used to what people drink, but don't let them take advantage, everyone has their favourite mugs so for Gods sake don't get them mixed up. This is Mitchells mug,' she carried on seemingly not pausing for breath. 'He goes to wife swapping parties, apparently him and his other half are right swingers' She paused. 'He has tea with no sugar'

'This is Anne's mug, she's having an affair with a bloke in facilities, they're always at it, like rabbits those two are, mind you, her husband is having an affair with the same bloke, so I suppose that's ok. She's black coffee, 1 sweetner.'

'This one is Dan's mug, he's into bondage, apparently he's got this leather body suit he likes to wear and a cupboard full of whips and stuff. He's tea 2 sugars.'

I opened my mouth to ask how she knew all this but she was unstoppable.

'That boring white mug is Chris's, He's on his 4th wife and looking for number 5, watch out for him, he's charming but all he wants is another notch on his bedpost. He's tea 2 sugars.'

'This one is Tim's, he's a transvestite at weekends, but don't let that worry you, he's as nice as ninepence. He's white coffee no sugar.'

'This last one is Freda's, she's a lesbian, but not one of those man haters, she's tea no sugar.'

'Thanks,' I managed to mumble as she drew a much needed breath.

'Now, how do you take yours?'

'Black tea, 2 sugars,' I replied. ' I don't like milk'

'Ok, so what do you like, do you have any hobbies?'

'Well, I'm an avid reader, I like science fiction and fantasy' Knowing that I shouldn't have said anything, I realised that I had fallen into the clutches of the office gossip.

'Ooh, so you like aliens and stuff' Beths eyes widened innocently. 'Have you ever been' her voice lowered and she whispered 'kidnapped?'

I mentally resigned myself to my fate and decided to have a little fun 'Oh yes, in fact, my husband is a martian, I met him when I went to a sci fi convention, of course I didn't know he was an alien then.'

Her eyes widened even more and I could see her mentally rubbing her hands.

We distributed the tea and I got on with my work, it wasn't long before I had my first visitor to my desk.

'So you met Beth eh?'

'Yup' I nodded 'So what's the word?'

'You're into illegal aliens and keep several in your house for your personal pleasure.' The woman held out her hand and we shook, 'I'm Freda by the way, you know, the non man hating lesbian.'

She started back to her own desk and then turned 'Does your husband really have a harem?' she winked.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gorilla Enclosure

I've met several of my kind now and we've exchanged opinions, on the whole they aren't good, quite a few of us are a little disappointed. We never congregate for long, for some reason we don't feel the need. We talk for a while and then move on.

The world seems dimmer somehow, as if the light has been filtered, everything is pastel, washed out, the reds and blues pale and used, like old paint left too long in the sun. The trees look dusty and the sounds are muted. Even the sun isn't as bright as it used to be.

Animals shy away from me, cats give me a wide berth and dogs bark at me until I leave their sensory range. Oddly, cows don't notice me at all, which confirms what I always knew, cows are stupid. I drift around with no aim, observing but not interacting, seeking something, but I'm not sure what.

I saw something today, in the distance and for the first time in I don't know how long, I felt interest rather than the indifference that has been my constant companion. The sun seemed to regain its brightness for a minute or two, so I've decided to investigate. It was strange because it only seemed to shine brightly in one place, even though the sky was clear.

I wended my way to where I thought I had seen the bright place, ignoring the traffic and people all around me, not really hurrying but with a sense of purpose. I found my way to the general area of where I thought I had spotted it and gaped in amazement. The world was alive here, bright and clean and full of sound. I spotted several of my kind, including a few I had spoken to and they were all grinning from ear to ear, we had found what we were looking for.

No one told me that the door to the afterlife was in the gorilla enclosure of London Zoo!!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Today I became a hunter.

I knew that this day would come. It is the law and only a very select few avoid this fate. The thinkers and the touched ones do not hunt. I am blooded now, I can walk with my head high and take my pick of the females who are kept for us.

I was one of the chosen, one of the few who were selected to make their first kill in front of our leader. This is an honour reserved for only the best of us and my father made sure I was the best.

His lessons were harsh and more than once I cursed him, but when the leader herself cut out the liver of my prey and held it to my lips, I knew I would honour him this night. I have been chosen to lead the newest of the legions to be formed. We start our patrol at dawn 2 days from now for tonight we celebrate.

My legion will be the best, I have great plans, we will keep our borders free of our enemies and they will fear the name of the 'Vulture Legion' for that is the name we have been given.

My father came to me before we left the city 2 weeks ago, he warned me that if we fail in our duty we will be sacrificed to the gods. I did not understand then but I do now. The enemy is relentless. I have lost over half my men and there is no respite, they come with their magic and we are helpless. I have seen horrors that I know are illusions but I cannot resist them. I have seen dead men rise and tear the throats out of their former companions with their teeth. My sleep is plagued by nightmares and my days by horror.

A few of us have managed to escape the slaughter and like cowards we hide. We cannot go home, we will not bring shame on our families, so we few have followed the enemy back to their own lands, hiding and avoiding their patrols. After 3 weeks we spied the first city and I truly despaired. It is like nothing I have ever seen, it sprawls endlessly and must house millions, this race will overrun our lands. I must warn my people.

I will be sacrificed to the gods but that is the price I must pay, I will do it gladly in exchange for the chance for my people to escape, to make a new home away from this ravening hoard that will surely come.

They came at last, on the day of my sacrifice and the gods answered our prayers, as I was lifted to the altar and the voices of the people were raised in supplication and prayer I saw the great wave that would swallow our lands and destroy our enemies.

The gods were cruel, they destroyed our enemies but they also destroyed my home and I alone survived to tell the story of Atlantis.


Whilst trivving one Saturday afternoon, a nameless person named Kev asked if I do requests and suggested spiders.

I didn't take it too seriously as I know virtually nothing about spiders apart from the fact that they have lots of eyes and and way to many legs. But then I got to thinking...so this is my short tale for Kev the spider lover.

I like being a spider, it's a good life, lots to eat, no real worries as such and as a bonus, I get to scare people. I never really understood why humans are terrified of us, I mean we are a lot smaller than them, one well placed boot and we are squish city. I guess its sort of compensation, they hold the power to throw books and stuff at us, so we get to scare them. I've got a sweet deal at the moment, I've moved into a place where the human isn't bothered about me. He just ignores me and I keep his flat free of flies and other lower life forms. Least I can do really, it makes a change from dodging missiles.

I found out he was moving soon, I'm not to happy about this, I've just got my web the way I want it, took me ages to get it just right, I'm fussy even by spider standards apparently. It's a nice web...lovely and symmetrical. I really don't want to have to move when my human leaves but if the next lot are not as nice as him I may have to.

I've just had an idea, if my human moves maybe I could move with him, I've always fancied the idea of travel, but as a spider the opportunity doesn't occur too often. Yes, that's it, I'll go with him, he's started packing, so all I have to do is find a small corner in one of his crates and I'll be away. I don't think he'll mind, after all, I do keep his home fly free.

I wonder where I'm moving to.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006





This report will detail the events of the last 6 weeks.

The crash and subsequent retrieval of the alien and its ship have been subject to a media blackout. All the usual measures have been taken. The public now believe this event to be nothing more than another 'false alarm'.

The spacecraft has been transported to our top secret facility and the alien taken into custody.

All attempts to communicate with it so far have failed.

Our top engineers and designers are still working on the craft in the hope that we can backward engineer it and apply it to our own technology. Dr Anedio is quietly confident that this is achievable. The technology involved seems to compatible with our own.

The fuel is something we have never encountered before, however alternatives are being considered and we feel that we will find a suitable replacement.

The alien is an enigma, we have our best linguists and psychiatrists trying to communicate with it at the moment but progress is slow. It has been suggested that it actually has no intelligence and merely a trained animal of some kind.

We have given it a thorough medical examination which have produced some remarkable and startling results.

The creature is bipedal, has an array of internal organs that the medical team are still unable to explain. So far we have resisted performing surgery as we feel this would be counter productive if the alien does prove to be intelligent.

Speculation as to where the alien came from has been rife amongst the team but as yet we have found no indication of a planetary origin. There are indications of lettering on the side of the craft, however these unintelligible due to re entry into the atmosphere.

Please refer to the attached schematics for details on the craft.

Medical observations are also attached.



The medical team have made a breakthrough, the creature is indeed intelligent.

It calls itself man.

Do you feel it my sisters?

I feel it, the pulse beat that calls to our kind, the distant throbbing more felt than heard, it calls us. It is our time.

We have hidden from the eyes of man for longer than the oldest tales, becoming legends and myths and we have waited.

I alone remember the coming of men, I alone knew that they were our doom, that they would hunt us, kill us. It was foretold in the stars. I alone knew that we would have to hide in the deep places of the world, watching for all these millennia, biding our time. I have watched this race of man spread over the earth creating and destroying. Never in my long memory of the worlds have I seen their like, capable of such beauty and such hideous cruelty.

But now, now they are a spent race, they have killed the world and it is our time again. I rejoice and mourn in this, rejoice because I feel the cry of the murdered world and know that at last it is our time. Mourn because the race of man is about to die.

Come my daughters, awake!!

We have much to do, we were created for this purpose, stretch your wings and fly with me, celebrate our task for it is more than a task, it is a sacred duty given to us and us alone.

Our Mother Goddess came to me in a dream and I know now why we were made to stay on this world, this once green and glorious place. We are here to bear witness, to observe and to record, to spread the tale of this murdered planet to the stars, to warn, to teach, to destroy.

Come my sister daughters, it is our time, once again this world will see the flight of the dragon and know fear, for fear is what they deserve. We must finish our task quickly and fly between the stars, spreading the story of how a race was giving a beautiful planet and how they ruined it, how they bickered and fought and made war on each other. How they stood by and watched whilst children starved. How they grubbed in the earth for worthless stones. How they sold their very souls for worthless trinkets. How they thought themselves superior. Mankind will be an object lesson.

It is our time. Destroyers we are but for a greater good, this once beautiful, vibrant planet has earned a period of rest, earned a chance to renew herself.

Come my sisters, we have work to do.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

this isn't mine but I liked it so much I'm posting the link

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Why do you hate me?
Is it because I am black and you are white?
Is it because I am white and you are black?
Is it because I am not from your country?
Is it because my God has a different name than your God?
Is it because my way of life is different from your way of life?
Is it because I am fat?
Is it because I am beautiful?
Do you hate me because you are threatened by me?
Do you hate me because you were told to?
Do you hate me because your leaders say you should?
Do you hate me because it is what others do?
What have I done to earn your hatred?
Why do you hate me?

I don't hate you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Not So Pearly Gates

Well, this is marvelous I must say, sitting here, consigned to the 2nd circle of hell with some minor demon chewing on one of my kidneys. I lead a good life, die with the minimum of fuss and manage to make it to the pearly gates, even met St Peter, nice bloke, takes his job a bit seriously but I suppose with his responsibilities it wouldn't do to be playing practical jokes.

I was assigned my cloud, harp, wings and handbook, pointed in the right direction and set loose in heaven. Finding my cloud was a bit difficult, they all look the same but after asking around a bit I located it. It was a nice cloud too, fluffy in all the right places. I settled in and read the handbook, not much to it really, lots of thees and thous but the gist of it was 'don't mess with the mortals'. Shame really, I would love to have put the scare on a couple of people, ah well.

Anyway, I decided to have a look around and meet the neighbours and who do I bump into? None other than that little twit who used to steal my lunch at school, Joe Green. Well, I couldn't help it, that little monster stole my lunch for two whole years and before I knew what I had done I'd smacked him a good 'un in the jaw. Things like that stay with you all your life (and death). To be fair I did pick him up afterwards and straighten his wings for him but how was I to know he was the head of the 'department of punishment for angels who didn't follow the handbook'!?

The upshot of this was that they held a tribunal and reexamined my life and what do you know, they found that I had cheated on my english exam when I was a kid. Talk about unfair, I mean since when is cheating worse than stealing??? Even Gabriel looked at me as if I was something nasty stuck on his wings. They didn't even let me have a defense lawyer, that disappointed me a lot, let me tell you, I thought heaven would be a bit more democratic.

When it came down to sentencing, Joe Green smug bastard that he is, asked for the maximum penalty, expulsion from heaven. And they did, I couldn't believe it, I was speechless. Before I know it I'm down here in hell. I was brought before Lucifer, who for some reason wanted to look into my case himself. My God does that guy think a lot of himself, he's still whining about being kicked out of paradise, you think he'd have gotten over it by now. He told me that according to the rules I have to have my kidneys eaten for 100 years, but after that, if he thinks I'm suitable, he might have a position for me, something about tempting angels, apparently the woman who held the post before has moved on to better things. I wonder what the benefits package is like.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Boredom in space

God space is boring, you earthers have no bloody idea how boring space is! You sit there looking at your pretty pictures of fancy nebula with their artificial colours and you think space is great, believe me, it ain't!

Come and do a 5 year stint on my transport and within a week you'll be chewing your own ankles in frustration. And it's not just my ship before you start to point fingers! Ask any deep spacer and they will say the same, Space is BORING!!!!

Forget all those old 20th and 21st century TV shows, they lied, there is no fancy light show when a ship goes to faster than lightspeed. In fact, there is nothing, nada, zip. The jump to ftl (faster than lightspeed to you non tech types) is slightly interesting. You can feel the power building in the engines and then the lurch as the ship jumps, but you can't even watch the transition because the flash would blind you. After that you have absolutely nothing to look at, after all, you are going faster than light so it never quite catches up with you.

If you're lucky you will have a short haul delivery, a couple of weeks, that's not too bad, you can just about keep yourself busy but if you get a long haul....you are screwed, you can pack as much stuff as you like to try and keep yourself sane but in the end, the boredom wins. I specialise in long haulers and I know every trick in the book when it comes to fending off the dreaded beast. Hell, I wrote the damned book, it's required reading if you want to get your long haul license.

Come to think of it, I've actually written quite a few books since I started this gig, done a bit of painting too, you might have seen a couple of them, apparently they are quite sought after by the bigger corporations, I've been told they look good in the lobbys. I've got a couple of PHD's, one from Oxford and one from MIT, oh and a BA from the university of Beijing. I'm a pretty good clarinetist. I am a damned good photographer if I say so, I've taken pictures of every inch of the ship, inside anyway (you can't EVA at ftl). I'm a fair horticulturist, I once managed to grow a hybrid of a sunflower and a rose, ugliest damn thing you ever saw. I can speak 24 languages (not that there is anyone to talk to out here) and I even invented a better mousetrap.

But damn, space is boring!!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Ok, I admit it, I'm shallow!! There, I said it!!! Actually I'm hoping that the previous statement will have caught your attention because I'm not really that shallow but what I do need is comments. If you have read any of my blogs you will know I like to write, the problem is I need feedback, I really need to know what people think of my scribblings because it's hard to write in a vaccuum. I have a thick hide (actually that's a lie, I haven't) but it doesn't matter, I would just appreciate your comments and thoughts on my attempts to join the world of the amateur writing.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

"Do you know the colour of pain?" A voice whispered in my ear. I shook my head, trying to find the voice that had been asking me the same question for what seemed like an eternity. I wanted to answer, wanted to make the pain stop because yes, I knew the colour of pain.

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Yes" I wanted to scream "Pain is blue" I thought about the colour of my pain, the sharp blue of knives.

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Pain is purple" I wanted to tell the ghost voice and I thought of the dull purple of old bruises

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Pain is red" I tried to explain "The red of burned flesh"

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Pain is yellow" I thought "the yellow of a fires flame."

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Pain is pink, the pink of a throat screaming for mercy."

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Pain is a rainbow" I whispered

"Do you know the colour of pain?"

"Pain is white" I realised "The colour of pain is pure and unsullied"

And with that thought, I died.

Friday, January 13, 2006

My life as a smiley

Hi, I'm an emoticon, also known as a smiley but most people call me emote. I've asked Sherri to write a short piece about my life as I believe I am very misunderstood.

I come in many guises, from the basic smile to the very complicated alien but my role in life is really a very simple one, by using me you can make a statement mean something else entirely. Put me behind the statement 'I hate you' with my sticky out tongue and you know that the person who typed it is joking. I like helping people express themselves when mere words are not enough, and I get very upset when I am abused. I am after all a sensitive soul and was created to make the world of chat and emailing a little more fun. I realise that sometimes I am used inappropriately but please don't blame me for that, it's not my fault, I have no control over where I am put, really I don't. If I had my way I would vet the people who use me and have a proper client base and would have rules and regulations for my use.

However, this isn't possible so I must be used and abused as people see fit, such is the life of a smiley. I would like to do more but being a little yellow circle with eyes, there isn't much in the way of alternative employment, although I did actually start out as a badge in the 70's and made a short return in the 80's with the advent of acid music alas these didn't last long and with the exception of appearing on the 'Watchmen' comic (written very well by Mr Alan Moore) the offers of jobs have been noticeable by their absence.

So you see, I have to do the best I can with what destiny has dished out to me. I am on the whole content with my lot, but please I implore you, don't abuse me, use me kindly and with thought.

I have to go now but before I do I would like to wish you all happy chatting and emailing and remember, a smile goes a long way.

ps. Thanks to Sherri for writing for me...it's a bit difficult to type without arms.

Your friend

The smiley

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The sun rose over the mountains, softly illuminating the crags and spires, chasing the shadows from the deep places. As the air warmed, birdsong filled the air, exuberant in its variety, the dew on the grassy meadows sparkled, glistening like a million diamonds thrown by a careless hand. As the sun climbed higher the clouds painted themselves in hues of purple, pink and gold.

A woman strode across the plains to the north, gazing keenly around her as she took in the view, absently brushing the hair from her face. Glancing behind her she sighed and slowed down, waiting for her companion to catch up. He gazed at her with sad eyes and her expression softened "All right you old fraud" she grinned "We'll stop at the next village and get breakfast, it's only a couple of miles" Reaching down she scratched the large golden dog behind the ears.

Later, sitting at a rough wooden bench outside a tiny inn, the woman tucked into the food that she had requested, the dog munching on a large ham bone at her feet. She observed quietly as the village came to life around her, people going about the business of living.

After paying for the meal and the lunch she now carried in a bag slung across her shoulder, the woman and the dog resumed their walk, entering the forest that climbed up the mountain that was her destination. The trees were tall and stately, climbing high into the air, keeping the temperature comfortable for those on the forest floor. The small animals could be heard in the undergrowth snuffling carefully through the leaf litter for tidbits. Once she spotted a bear and pointed it out to her companion who sniffed disdainfully, as if bears were somehow beneath his dignity to notice. As they climbed higher the scenery changed, the forest thinning out and giving way to alpine meadows dotted with huge boulders. In the distance she could hear the call of a hunting bird and she looked up, her hand shading her eyes from the sun as she tried to locate it.

At midday, the woman and the dog sat high on the mountain eating lunch and admiring the view afforded to them. Below them the world lay resplendent, the forest, rivers and plains a patchwork with no pattern, the colours blending together to create a picture that took her breath away.

"Damn I do good work." said Gaia softly, standing and brushing the crumbs from her lap.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


The moon was a small silver sliver in the cloud dotted night sky, its light dimmed further by the streetlighting. The man stood in the doorway, contemplating the street around him, his eyes roaming, stopping occasionally to examine something in greater detail. He puffed his cheeks out in a silent sigh and was about to light another cigarette when he heard the soft scuff of shoes on the pavement. He faded back into the doorway as a lone walker passed him, unaware of how close he was to danger.

The man was unremarkable to look at, average build, average height, average clothes, the sort of person who fades into the background and is never noticed. His appearance however, belied the turmoil in his mind. "Choices, it always comes down to choices" he thought, stepping forward again, his eyes fixing on the one thing he had until now been avoiding. He lit his cigarette, squinting through the smoke at the bright lights opposite him.

He knew that eventually he would have to enter this world, the lights beckoned to him like a siren song. He started across the road, flicking the remains of his cigarette away from him as he squared his shoulders. "I can do this" he thought, "It's a simple thing, in and out, no fuss no muss."

The doors opened for him as he stepped from the darkness into the light and his senses were assaulted by the sights, sounds and smells of this place. He hurried passed the others who had been drawn here, anxious now to get his task over with. As he drew closer to his destination he slowed, his feet suddenly feeling as if they were encased in concrete.

He reached his goal and his heart lurched, "No." he whispered "This isn't fair" He looked around, his eyes wild. "I can't do this, how can I do this, how can I choose between jelly babies and dolly mixtures?"

Monday, January 02, 2006

Trog Hobbies

One thing you will come to expect from your trog is an endless succession of hobbies. Trogs have very short attention spans and because of this the various hobbies they experiment with will vary wildly.

Your trog will, in the space of a month, go from playing chess to dicing with death on a skateboard, from building little forts in the garden to rollerblading down hills that would make a mountain goat pause.

Depending on what tribe your trog belongs to will to a certain extent determine its choice of hobby, but even within the tribes there is a huge variety to choose from.

Your trog will demand all the equipment needed to pursue its chosen hobby and will level accusations of meanness and cowardice at you if you do not provide what it needs. If you decide that the hobby your trog has chosen is reasonable, i.e. will not result in the whole neighbourhood being thrown into anarchy, it would serve you well to do a little research. Find out from other trog owners what the consequences of the hobby are, what safety equipment is needed and how long you will be tied up in the accident and emergency room at the hospital.

Once you are satisfied that your trog will not break any local laws or blow up the world, the next step is to make a show of reluctantly giving in to your trogs demands, this is vital as if you accede to quickly it will make your trog suspicious and it will discard its hobby immediately and try and find a more extreme one.

Once your trog has been convinced that you have given in to its demands, you can then start to lay the groundwork for rules. Your trog will not like this but there is a little trick I find works admirably. Start by making such outrageous rules that even a saint would be hard pushed to keep to them, then gradually discard them for the more sensible ones, you trog will be so grateful at not having to wear a bright purple woolly hat it will not notice that the rules left in place are for its own good.

Buying the equipment is the next hurdle, your trog will not want you to go out and actually buy it the equipment it needs but will expect you to hand over large amounts of money so it can do this itself. This decision is entirely up to the individual trog owner and also depends on the trogs chosen hobby. A good compromise is to agree for the trog to buy the essential items and for you to buy the safety equipment needed. Whilst you are shopping for these it is also a good idea to make a great fuss of buying first aid items, make sure your trog is with you when you buy plasters, bandages, slings and crutches. Do this with great melodrama and fuss and if possible shedding a few tears. This is a good way of impressing on your trog the need for safety.

Once everything is purchased, gloated over, displayed to all its tribal peer, it is in the lap of the gods what your trog will do, it may actually pursue its chosen hobby or discard it for something else. If the latter happens, it is best to grit your teeth and say nothing. The more fuss you make, the more extreme and expensive the next hobby will be. Wait 6 months and if your trog shows no sign of becoming interested in using all the equipment you spent so much money on, gather it together and sell it on e-bay, this way you can at least recoup some of the money spent.

Your trog will eventually discard some of its more extreme hobbies but some will always a special place in its heart which is why occasionally you will see middle aged men and women doing something that is totally unsuitable like skateboarding, bragging how once they were the best in the town/country/world. This is usually followed by a trip to the hospital.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Educating Trogs

Educating trogs is difficult at best, near impossible at worst. As a trog owner you are bound by law to see that your trog goes to school and is educated to some degree, the level of education of course differs from country to country. Alternatively you can home educate but for this you must have a strong mind and constitution, however the rewards are sometimes greater and worth the effort.

Your trog will resist all efforts to be educated with a degree of passion that is difficult to believe, they are convinced that they already know everything and persuading them that they don't is an unenviable task that all trog owners must face.

All trogs are convinced that, due to their natural abilities and personality they can become, with no effort, a fighter pilot, brain surgeon, captain of industry, leader of the free world or ruler of the universe. You must disavow your trog of these notions gently but firmly.

Once your trog has resigned itself to the inevitability of being educated, you will face a battle of wills everyday. Your trog will try any ruse to get the day off school, complaining of an upset stomach, lightly dusting its face with talcum powder to appear pale, wetting its face to make it appear as if it is suffering from a fever are just 3 of the tricks it will use. Do not be fooled by these.

Your trog will complain constantly about its teachers and will try and convince you that the school you have chosen for it is totally unsuitable. Various accusations leveled at the teachers will be that they are:

Unable to do their jobs
Totally unsuitable for the teaching profession as they don't know what they are talking about

Listen to your trogs complaints then explain that although it thinks that it is correct, this will not prevent you from waking it up the following morning to send it school.

Sometimes your trog will have a genuine grievance, the difficulty is separating this from the general whining that it does every day. If you find that this is the case, deal with it immediately, and you will win serious brownie points with your trog.

Homework is always a contentious issue, your trog will think it is acceptable to do it's homework on the bus or walking to school. Do not allow this to happen, insist that all homework be done in the evening, preferably before supper. As a side note, the threat of withholding its feed is a good incentive for a trog to knuckle down and get on with said homework.

Do help your trog with any projects it has to complete, but, do not be tempted to take over your trogs project completely, you are there as support only and any attempt to interfere will be resented, listen to its ideas and try to build on those, under no circumstances belittle its thoughts on the subject at hand as this will be construed as direct criticism and will sent your trog into a sulk. Do buy (within reason) the materials your trog needs to complete its project, once again, this will score brownie points.

Exams are a very traumatic time for trogs, always be supportive and offer to revise with them.
This has a two fold effect, your trog will be pleased with the help and you can be assured that your trog has the understanding necessary to complete it's exams competently.

If your trog resists being educated, it is perfectly acceptable to resort to bribery. Start small at first and as your trog grows older you can increase your bribes by increments.

Eventually your trog will resign itself to being educated and may even come to enjoy the experience. It will occasionally have relapses but as it grows older it will realise that education is a vital part of rejoining the human race and will come to look forward to this.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Troglodyte Caves

A troglodytes cave (or bedroom) will be cause for much misunderstanding and arguement. Trogs consider their caves sacred and will resist any attempt made by any but a chosen few to enter it.

A trogs cave is a wonderous and dangerous place to visit, always be aware of booby traps. More than one researcher has been maimed because of inattention to detail. Before attempting to enter a trog cave, all safety precautions MUST be observed and all protective gear must be up to date and checked.

Never enter a trog cave whilst the trog is occupying it, your trog will immediately go on the defensive, the best time to enter is when your trog is otherwise occupied, preferably on a day when you know it will be gone for a few hours. It will take you this long to clean away all the accumulated mess.

Below is a list of the equipment you will probably need:

Rubber Gloves
Safety Boots
Protective Eye Goggles
Face Mask
Hazmed Suit
Black Bin Liners

Please note that the Hazmed suit is essential, you will find things in your trogs cave that defy scientific explaination.

You should also have an incinerator installed or failing that, a woodpile ready with which to burn any suspect items you find, while this may seem a little extreme, I have found that this is the only way to ensure the safety of the wider community.

Before entering a trogs cave, I suggest that you fortify yourself with a strong drink, this has a twofold effect, the first is to bolster your courage and the second is to kill any germs that may elude your face mask.

When first entering a trogs cave, be prepared for anything, do not be intimidated by the seemingly impossible task confronting you. Make sure you open all the windows as this is the only time the cave will get any fresh air circulating. I find that the best way to start is to clear a small space, then find any knives, forks, cups, mugs and plates that have been discarded. DO NOT touch the contents of these items but immediately put them in the sink with plenty of boiling hot water and bleach and allow to soak whilst you are tackling the rest of the cave.

The next thing to attempt is the sorting out of clothes, trogs are incapable of hanging anything up and will discard clean and dirty clothes indiscriminately, sometimes it is best to assume everything is dirty and wash the lot. By now you should be able to see some of the floor and the bed. Change the bedsheets and make sure the dirty ones are placed in a bin liner for incineration.

The mess on the floor will be personal to each trog and it is up to the individual trog owner to determine what should be discarded and what kept. I find it advisable to make three piles.
One for 'Definitely To Be Incinerated', one for 'Not Sure' and one for 'Definitely Keep'.

The 'Not Sure' pile will be the largest, there will be several unidentified objects that whilst obviously not a health hazard, will defy your attempts to catagorise them. Do place them in a corner but do not take them out of the cave. All 'Definitely to be Incinerated' items should be placed in black bags and sealed.

A word of warning, it will be very tempting to read any personal items found in your trogs cave. Resist this temptation as your trog will never trust you again if you succumb.

When you have successfully mucked out your trogs cave, take the 'To be Incinerated' bags and burn them immediately. Wash and re-bleach the plates, mugs etc as many times as you deem necessery.

Be prepared for a temper tantrum when your trog returns to its cave. This is inevitable and there is no way to avoid it. Endure the abuse and then feed your trog comfort food. When your trog has calmed down and assured itself that its most cherished possessions are safe, it will forgive you.

Mucking out a trogs cave is a twice yearly task and although your trog will object strenuously and make wild promises about keeping it's cave tidy, do not believe them and resign yourself to this bi-annual task.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Bonding with Trogs

Bonding with trogs is fraught with difficulty. Apart from the language barrier, there are several other obstacles to overcome.

As mentioned, the language barrier is always a problem, even if you are fairly fluent in troglish, there is huge scope for misunderstanding and this will impede the bonding process. Oddly, it is sometimes easier to bond with your trogs tribal peers than with your own trog. I wholeheartedly encourage this as it will make your trog more tractable to your overtures. However, do not try and speak troglish to them, this will only make you an object of ridicule. Speak in your normal native language, trogs will understand every word you say (although they will sometimes pretend otherwise).

Do try and understand your trogs wants and needs, no matter how bizarre they seem. While this will aid in the bonding process, beware of overcompensating, under no circumstances must you give in to your trogs every whim. You must balance between practicality, expense and giving your trog the occasional treat.

Trogs will expect you to provide them with sundry items which you consider totally unreasonable, for example, a car/plane/space shuttle. You must explain to them why these items are not available to them. Do not be surprised when your trog has a temper tantrum when informed that these items are denied to them. Do not be tempted to purchase any of these things for them for the sake of a 'peaceful life'.

Under no circumstances buy your trog a pet. They will assure you with great conviction that they will be the primary carer of said pet but this only lasts about a week, after that, your trog will conveniently forget and you will then find yourself with the unenviable task of not only having a trog to look after but also a trogpet. This will be a major setback in the bonding process but can be compensated for by blatant bribery.

Do make a show of giving in to your trogs demands occasionally, this will aid the bonding process immensely as your trog will think it has won a major victory. This is best done with great melodrama, as trogs appreciate grand gestures.

On a more subtle level, although trogs are convinced that they need nobody outside their tribe, always make yourself available to them when they feel the need to talk, this does not happen often but when it does, it is time well invested. Trogs are unable to express their deepest feelings easily and will skirt around the subject they really want to discuss. Do not try and hurry them, if you have an appointment, cancel it immediately as once your trog finds the courage to express itself, you will be tied up for hours. Do not ridicule their fears and worries as to the average trog these are matters of great importance, even if to you they seem silly. Never forget, a trog is at heart a very fragile creature and its ego is easily bruised.

Meal times are an excellent occasion to bond with your trog. They will always come out of their bedrooms (or caves) to feed and you can then discuss important issues with them. Never let a trog take its meal into its bedroom. If you do this you will have lost one of the few opportunities to observe your trog and make sure of its general health and wellbeing.

On the whole, bonding with a trog is at best a hit and miss affair, just when you think you are making progress, your trog will suddenly change its whole attitude and demeanour and you will be back at square one. But it is also a rewarding process, your trog will, in an unguarded moment, surprise you with a small gift or even a hug. This is a sign that all your hard work is paying off and that you are successfully bonding with your trog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Entertaining and Understanding your Trog

As a long time Troglodyte researcher, this is perhaps one of the hardest areas of my ongoing effort to understand trog society. That troglodytes need to be entertained is without question, however, trying to find what holds a trogs attention is near impossible to pin down. As they first enter troghood you will find that they are content to play with the same toys as pre-trogs and will continue this practice for at least a year, sometimes as long as two and in very extreme cases this can last for three years.

Eventually however, they will grow away from the toys of their pre-trog years and these will then either be discarded (usually under the bed) or passed down to younger trogs. The main problem with this growing away is the void left behind.

This is where the problems really start, for as a trog grows older, its attention span grows shorter and this can lead to major problems. The mid teen trog is a creature of impulse, but at the same time must feel as if it belongs to the wider community of trogs. This can lead to the first true dilemma that a trog must face: How to fit in and yet be an individual.

As you study trogs, you will notice that they all look more or less the same within their own tribes. The dress codes of the various tribes is surprisingly rigid and once accepted into a tribe, it is incredibly rare for a trog to switch allegiance. The tribe is where trogs seek their entertainment.

The most extreme tribe I have found so far is the 'Goth'. The Goth tribe of troglodytes are fascinating to observe, they tend to be highly intelligent (by trog standards) and seem to take great delight in shock value, this, I am coming to believe is how they keep themselves amused. As with all tribes, they congregate in groups and because of their outlandish dress tend to be seen as dangerous. I can, however, report that this is in fact a myth, Goth trogs may look violent but although they will defend their tribe if threatened, prefer to be left alone to listen to their music and swap make up tips (uniquely amongst trogs, both male and female engage in this activity). Their preferred entertainment seems to be anything black, preferably with either skulls or demons on it. If you own a Goth trog, the best way to entertain it is to buy it a copy of 'The Exorcist, Directors cut' which they find highly amusing and will derive hours of pleasure from watching.

Another tribe of note is the 'surfer'. These are native to the North American Continent only. These trogs tend to be attractive, self assured and almost totally brainless. They are unique in several ways. Their language has evolved into something that even a dedicated researcher like myself cannot hope to understand, although with time I hope this will change. Surfer trogs have a strict hierarchy and they tolerate no deviation in dress code or behaviour. The alpha male of the tribe is always, and there are absolutely no exceptions to this rule, the most handsome of the tribe, and is paired with the prettiest female. They rule with a rod of iron and the rest of the tribe defer to their every whim. There is one advantage to owning a surfer trog, entertaining them is simplicity itself, the only thing a surfer trog wants is a surfboard and money, if you can provide one or the other you will have successfully tamed your trog.

In Great Britain, there is a tribe of trogs that I consider extremely dangerous and would advise extreme caution when approaching them. These are the 'chav' trogs. This tribe is immediately identifiable by it's loud and tasteless jewellery and by the fact they begin breeding at a very young age, it is not unusual to see the females of the tribe accompanied by several offspring. Chavs are dangerous because they have no code of honour, whereas most other trog tribe will leave each other alone, chavs will seek out trouble and even instigate it. Having said this, chavs are extremely loyal to their own and to my astonishment, will count parents as part of the tribe. Entertaining a chav is fraught with difficulty and I suggest that you take a social worker with you if you wish to attempt communicate with one.

As for entertaining a trog, whichever tribe it comes from, I have found two things that seem to apply across the board: Gaming consoles and mobile phones, all trogs, no matter what tribe they come from will be more than pleased to receive either. A trog without a mobile phone is seen as a threat by other trogs, so if you want your trog to fit into its chosen tribe, make sure it is fully equipped to do so. For a small initial outlay, you can be assured that no only will your trog be entertained for hours, it will also be accepted into the wider trog world.