Friday, August 27, 2010

Quote of the day.

Fafa regarding her ambitious philosophy thesis:

"I thought I could circum-navigate Russel's paradox of definability... I was so fucking stupid!"

I checked in on you.

I checked in on you. Your blog. You're dying. There's a reason artists kill themselves round this age. The inability to transform. To become more than they are. To move past binary paradox of creative validation and financial survival. To move past self conscious passion. Being a punk at this age isn't cool. Neither is being a professional. Worshiping at the church-of-cool is false and you know it. but you don't know how to get past it... is there something more? have you reached a climax? Or are you still posing? You do have a beautiful, sensible face... good luck moving forward. You're empathetic fan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

gonna be them on me blog

Regarding this post:

me: You know I went to bed at 8.30am last night?
I don't ever have such a bad insomnia problmen
problmen...
11:39 AM panister: everything ok?
me: interesting word
uh
maybe
11:40 AM something in particular keepin you up>
?
bord gás?
me: hah
no
maybe the moon
well
I wrote an anxiety blog based on scrawlings I came out with when I couldnt sleep
11:41 AM was good, made sense. But didn't help me sleep
panister: yea i used to that
would fill pages and pages
with noncoherent babble
think it just made things worse
11:42 AM brought me even closer to the internal argument
now i just try and step away from thoughts altogether when i'm like that
why do you thyink you're feeling anxious?
me: hmmm
11:43 AM I'm actually not feeling very anxious
11:44 AM But, a bit sad and feeling unable to express myself with worrying about financial survival and creative validation
panister: oh ok
me: yeah real things
panister: maybe you're being too hard on yourself
11:45 AM me: probably definitely
panister: sure the dole will always be there
along with other such social safety nets.....
me: OH GOD
11:46 AM panister: you're one of the most creative people i know
after jamming with you for a while or hanging or whatever, i go back to my friends and they seem so stationary
11:48 AM me: whhhaaaat
aw
thanks
I've felt so fucking static
personally
no drag monkey boy in me anymore
11:49 AM I want her back
panister: maybe the more you do, the higher your standards get
i get like that too
11:50 AM i watch videos of the old tranny chainsaw psycho me
i don't really do that anymore
but there was also loads of things that the then-me couldn't do, that i can do now
suppose it's moving on
11:52 AM me: yeah
I guess I miss being that wild
feeling like I wanted to be this tumbling child ya know
11:53 AM panister: ya i remember you writing about that in one of your things
me: oh yeah? oh yeah. I remember
panister: maybe the needs just not there to tumble
11:54 AM cos you have yer cabaret, photography, film making, writing and all the other stuff that maybe you weren't doing before
11:56 AM me: I'm actually beginning to work on an article looking at the fragmented nature of my creativity
I started it ... before I went to sleep. It's insane.
I have to revisit it
Really insane
in a good way, but unpublishable.
panister: unpublishable unshmublishable
11:57 AM me: hah
no really
11:58 AM panister: but yea sometimes id be at a party or whatever
nad everyone would be all over the place
and i just wanna go home and listen to slow music and lie on the floor hehehe
me: yep
11:59 AM panister: and i also get nostalgic about when i was small
but then i forget that there was also so much sitting around doing fuck all when i was a kid
12:00 PM staring at my penis in the bath kinda thing
12:01 PM me: yeah totally
When I get all soppy about missing my childhood, I try and remember how I fucking hated it a lot of the time
panister: yea
12:02 PM me: It's so hard when you are wee
panister: horrible yellow lights and being coverd in piss all the time!
12:03 PM i think guilt is the price you pay for being attached to what you do
me: horrible yellow lights???
12:04 PM panister: i think i've become used to how most lights in houses have ayellow tinge to them
me: uuuugh
panister: like they turn white walls yellow at night
me: did it really freak you out when you were a child?
uuugh
12:05 PM panister: em it's associated with a certain starkness
me: that's stangely disturbing me
panister: hehehe
me: I always had a grudge against energy saver lights
I like bright bright!
fairy lights
12:06 PM panister: fairy light is a lovely set of words
warm candle light is nice
suppose it's better than crawling around in the dark
looking for your baby-mash
12:07 PM i remember being around 5 0r 6 and finding bits of my umbilicle cord in my belly button
i can't imagine what else it was
12:11 PM Hey must be off!
Have a lovely day!!!!!

A short film based on the music of Noise Machine. Stranges noises keeps our hero up and bizarre lights play tricks on his mind. Features "obrienfk" and "Panister Fatheroy"


Will Eames and the drowned rat.













ⓒ Aoibheann and Eames.

Final Shemped.

Some silliness from the second last hair cut I had (I find hair cuts more contextually and temporally informing than dates), produced online from a night of insomnia. As was the last post.

Final Shemp (www.myspace.com/finalshemp) who lives in San Fransisco likes to chop up my Cixous Ghost music and make them, well, Shemped. We have an ongoing collaboration.

This video is a clip of the first few secs of my hearing a Final Shemp Cixous Ghost remix for the first time and my reaction to it. I have subsequently sampled it for a new song. Also, I should note that the entire remix is 9:58 secs long and that I have no idea which Cixous Ghost track it is.

www.myspace.com/ghostchips
www.myspace.com/finalshemp

Expect a split release in the future.

I have become so sensible.

I have become so sensible. I feel so detached from my ways of expressing myself. They have become formulaic, too thought out, careful, self-conscious, neurotic - but I lack the desire to express to people how I feel. I have become overly aware of myself. Disinterested in adding to a pool of creativity and expression that is lost in the over-saturation, the populous of human being's art and self-expression. The illegitimate existences, the illegitimate work, the illegitimate lives, the cheap, the flitted over. The usurped. I feel I have come undone, become unattached. Overly aware of the world, overly wary of myself. I have become schooled, professionalised in my desire to create. It has become about survival, not expression, self-protection, not art. What was once raw and urgent and free now feels completely absent. I have lost touch with myself in gaining control of myself - or making careful and thoughtful decisions, in being wise, healthy, wholesome, I feel I have become, absent. I struggle with my opinions, I struggle with my security in what I know, what I think, I struggle to be, acceptable. I feel sad that growing older has led me away from myself. Financial need and professional aspiration has alienated me from me. If boyhood represents absolute freedom, have I, metaphorically speaking, become a man? I find I cannot sleep. I find I am sad with the possibility or no possibility - imagine a conversation which can go nowhere, a longing which can go nowhere, is this an end? Then what is next? Continuously remembering youth? Is this where I am? I feel sad that the scatterings of the creativity of my early 20s no longer fits me. I feel sad that they didn't get to see much of the world because I didn't push it, or realise it. And now I have to deal with adult attitudes and expectations of myself - and still I search for my vocation - my eternal question; what will I become? What is it that I want to do? Being is foreign. I know what I am, can describe it with several vague words and indefinite labels, but where does my passion lie? I have been full, full of passion. I have been bursting at the seams with passion, but now, right now, I struggle to relate to my passionate self - I feel lobotomized - alzheimered - amnesiacted - I remember, but I have no attachment, no self-recognition, total alienation. Like I've been beaten numb, actually.

They say it takes 10,000 hours of activity to become an expert. I do not fit in an obsessional, autistic framework for learning and for practice, never have. I am industrious, but my weakness is time and indecision. And place - I cannot reach my full potential because I do not fit society's required characteristics for "worker". I think my aspirations are possible but I feel conflicted, alone, at a loss... I hear of success stories all the time with people who I can identify with but it always seems like they knew something I didn't, I missed the boat, or lacked a necessary skill. I often feel dumb. Like my self-indulgence which has felt so fruitful, can only ever lead to someone else's success at a stretch. The photographer's perhaps? And I wonder do I even have a master work within me to leave for recognition after I'm dead? (It feels unlikely because the passion feels long gone and the activity, anachronistic and mediocre, often) It would be nice to be recognised, and I mean, being seen valid, to sease pretending to be unproductive so I can survive, because there is no place for you in the recognised world. It's a devastating lie! A myth! And how is it that I work so hard to be honest with myself, in my work, to be authentic - no - truthful to my calling, because my self-indulgence is my calling, it is the only way I can be, IT IS ME! But the possibilities for that manifestation are overwhelming and sometimes they disable me. So little time, so little time to decide. Is it too late?

I can't sleep from mourning the loss. I can't stop, from mourning the loss, the bad habits and facts which separate me from my work, my art, creativity. From myself.

(Brought on contemplating past music making and personality. Particularly this video of me performing with Janey Mac on the 7/12/07)

Monday, August 23, 2010

A night in pictures from a bad camera.

This blog should be called 'bunch o' cunts', just because those were the type of terms being bandied about on Saturday night, or 'A night in pictures and Trannies', but I don't want to fall into my old blogging tendencies: Coarse and Vulgar. Unlike the following photos...

This is where it all began. Me riding my Terry Dolan across town in a corset and bondage boots like a proper weirdo. Believe me, it's easier to cycle over concrete in those boots than to walk in them, or should I say, to walk in Frieda. That is their name, Frieda. Bedroom boots that I insist on wearing outside whenever night falls and the mood takes me. On my bike and over the hills of Dublin like some kind of bikesexual witch. My appreciation for women on racers and in heels began when Ana X cycled hers in tottering stilettos through Berlin. She had a shaved head too, for aerodynamic speed no doubt! Wahh?!

Later, exiting the front lounge, I was frantically trying to sum up how I felt being on-bike-in-heels when a rowdy car of hooligan boys started whooping and carousing in their excitement of being out and about in the big shmoke. When the excitement had died down, just before they went on their merry, testosterone induced way one in the back shouted: "Bunch o cunts!". It certainly did set the mood for the evening.

We were going to Nimhneach.
I spy cyber bum.
And lazer beam eyes.
We should have a caption competition.
That see-through skirt was bought in River Island. Those pervs!

This has to be the worst smoking area in the whole world and the filthiest aspect of the entire fetish night, but I reckon it was the only place we could take photos - which is a good thing. I did stick it out because I was having the most interesting conversation with one of the bondage guys who let me drill him with questions and spoke at length about his love for rope work. He also gave me a cigarette which was like tobacco wrapped in a bay leaf with a tiny pink string to indicate when to stop smoking it. Declan later told me that it was a Beedi from India and was super pleased just at the sight of the butt (which I had wanted to keep) that I decided he should have it. What he wanted it for is a mystery.


The corset got lots of attention, as it should, it was a very special gift.

It's been awhile since I've met anyone other than Our Lady by the name of Mary. Mary was as pristine at the end of the night as she was at the beginning. Smoking straights like a robot while her 6ft tranny partner in crime reclined in a swivel chair shouting "Beirut, I never heard Beirut, is it like Chicago then or something?" They are my new favourites. There will be many many funny things said between us.


Actually, as I am writing this blog, I'm realising that the highly secretive and respectful nature of the fetish scene in Dublin and my own eagerness to be respectful in turn is making it quite difficult to disclose the stories. Although I will tell you this, there is a couple I love who are on the scene. They are probably about 80. The woman has a vast ass and tiny feet in tiny little shoes and spends the whole night bent over the A-frame or her husband's knee (I've never seen her face) while he, propped up against the nearest supporting structure himself, spanks her for hours. I saw him speaking in her ear the last time, I wonder what he was saying.

On the way home
This guy had his mind blown out his headphone while struggling to understand Miss Elizabeth's existence. He gawped, he groped, he disbelived, before offering a thumbs up and stepping in for a photo.


Then I burnt two pots worth of popcorn kernels.

Baffling FUN.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eoin Moylan...

... has been looking in our Window.
See his peeping-Tom project here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dublin Peeple.


"I'll tell ya what you do. Don't pull her by the hair, hit her straight, right on the puss. That's what ya do. She'll be expectin' ya to pull her hair. Giv'er a smack on the nose, grab her down there and then ya bate her... but hopefully it won't come to that. So, any plans for the weekend?"

Dublin:



I'm very pleased with my city. The pleasure started at Bunny's Hutch - my new favourite place to go for the sights and sounds of cabaret - and continued to the nearest late night bar with a vase of peacock feathers (for I had the performative company of Lisa Donegal), where I spent too much money on Gin. No gluten for me no more, no siree, makes for expensive outings. Hiss! And so with gin flooding the gates of my personality, we stayed up too late squeeling over Beth Anderson and plotting the Beth Anderson experience and subsequently, the Beth Anderson cult following: "There was life before Beth Anderson and then, there is life after Beth Anderson... and what a life! What a world!". And after we did that we slept some, slanty ways and woke up to the shakes, not from Gin, but of the outside world and Board Gás being legally annoying at 8.30am.
On with the day and off to work with the bauld child Lisa (not bald... well, how would you spell that phonetic bold? First I wrote phrenetic... which is actually a word. I swear.).

First stop St. Vincent's near Mountjoy Square where I bought these for €1.


I should state at this point that when I'm hungover, I have much greater freedom in what I'd like to wear, and the habitually overwhelming neuosis of identity versus external expression via clothesz cease to bother me. And it just so happened that I was going fabric shopping with my friend and co-member of RAG magazine Angela who is making me a Nun costume (for my performance with the Pony Girls on the 8th of October in the Complex, oh yes).


If you are into dress making and don't already know about this place, or if you are into amazing buildings in your city that you don't already know about, then you should make a trip to T.W.I international on Mountjoy Square. Now, go! Angela was overwhelmed...


It was about time I actually spent some money in this place since I'd been there half a dozen times before trying to decide on a fabric for my Victorian Gentleman's suit. I found one! A gorgeous heavy (bad for spotlights, but good for Winter) daylight-grey wool. I say daylight-grey because you know those clouds that populate the Irish sky on most days? Yeah, pretty much that colour. It's Gawgeous and it will be mine:


(Tipping the Velvet fans PLEASE take a look at this blog)

Anyway, having stopped for some Chinese mange, I parted ways with my fabric fien-ed friend and pottered into Chapters to search out Angela Carter goodness, but ended up buying Germaine Greer's The Boy. Phew! What a collection of images! It was pricey, as Oort books tend to be, but the first page I opened to find a discussion of Narcissus and I was sold, or rather, the book was. It spurred me to seek out Ovid's original tale of Narcissus, which I found in - what the clerk told me was his most important book - Metamorphoses. I hadn't considered that the tale of Narcissus would be in print! It reads:

While he seeks to slake his thirst, another thirst springs up, and while he drinks he is smitten by the sight of the beautiful form he sees. He loves an insubstantial hope and thinks that substance which is only shadow... Unwittingly he desires himself; he praises and is himself what he praises; and while he seeks is sought; equally he kindles love and burns with love.

In the next episode of my life, I walk down Moore Street and fall in love...



She was playing the keyboard like a child. When I asked if I could take her picture, she fixed her hair and said "yes, you can do dis". Ping!

What happened after that? More suits...




And Dummies:


And then a quick visit to a new discovery of mine (yeah sometimes what ya don't see is right on yer front door step yadda yadda yadda) Sé Sí aka Lucy's. They take deposits... I'll be in there, a lot!


Maybe it was my hungover vibes, or styles, or maybe it was my decidedly 'day in town' attitudes, but many many strange and interesting people came into my life that day, the man quoted above, the beautiful pianist, the clerk with three fingers, the tuxedoed man gazing from his window and the woman who got away, for I didnea think to ask for a snap... but I do know she owns a shop on Dean Street and has no qualms about approaching a stranger in Spar and asking her to take off her jacket.

Funnily enough, I had noticed her on the way into the Spar. She was walking the other direction, saluted a slim girl on a squeaky bike and said in passing "...in a junkie's house". Just for the record she was talking to someone when she said that. Anyway, a slightly eccentric looking older woman wearing a wide brimmed hat saying "...in a junkie's house" is sure enough to get my attention. Next thing I know she's quizzing me about my jacket while I que to pay for eggs.
"Excuse me, where did you get that jacket?"
"Berlin"
"Where do you live? Are you local?"
"Yep, just down the road"
"Where abouts exactly do you live"
"Really, just down the road from here"
"Would you mind taking off your jacket?"
"Uh, I'm actually in a hurry to get home..."
"It's just because I own a shop"
"Oh yeah?"
"It's called... Bohemia!" (long pause)
"Cool..."
"On Dean Street"
...

I'm going there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blackbird is back!... or is it Chou Chou... can't seem to make up my mind...


God has delivered me an angel with a Hasselblad instead of wings! His name is Will Eames and he is my new collaboration, a lovely, talented, camera toting, film developing exciting young photographer who will be working closely with me from now on with various creative projects, ideas and performances.

Watch out!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Quote of the day

When commenting on the nature of the 'full-stop', Jon said:

"Your brain doesn't have punctuation marks, that's why you get in so much trouble"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Emmo's "Books are dying, books worth saving".


Recently, I returned to my family home to sort through some old belongings, mostly books. When I visit my old bedroom it's like time-travel. It reflects my personality circa 2005 - 2007, my preoccupations as an undergraduate and my absolute immersion in the realm of (lived) ideas at this time.



(Please note the Beauty Myth and SCUM manifesto next to the best of Bizarre magazine... SCUM being the 'Society for Cutting Up Men', By Valerie Solanas - the one who shot Andy Warhol. A new friend of mine struck up a conversation about modern feminism with me last night... it's funny that Valerie Solanas is described as a radical feminist writer... I think there should be another term for violent separatist ideas... but that's a blog for another day. Also, I never read the Sylvia Plath Journals, at least not yet).

But, I have been lucky. I come from a house of avid readers and thinkers. Both my family homes are packed with books, the consequence for us kids being a genuine affection for the medium and an appreciation for the particular kind of magic an environment of diverse print can evoke, especially in children. I had the happy pleasure of revisiting some of my favourite children's books, it was both strange and delightful! The books of my childhood have had a lasting effect, there is no doubt about that, from the things I find funny, to my taste in houses and the ambitions I have for myself! The act of telling a story, of hearing it and a mixture of seeing it and imagining it was really important too. My favourite book then and to this day is Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales:


Calvino encorporates the best aspects of oral story-telling traditions in this old tome of a book which is now romantically falling apart with musty, yellowing pages, it squeals the realm of childhood fantasy. I also have a new edition, but it isn't half as affecting as this earlier edition. Calvino collected stories that existed mainly in the spoken traditions of Italian tale-telling and reworked them for publishing. Returning them to their original oral state, I went through a stage when I was about 16 or 17 of learning stories from Italian Folktales so as to retell them for the entertainment of my walking companion on our way to school: if we weren't sharing headphones and listening to Korn, we were laughing at The Mangy One, about a young woman who had to disguise herself as someone with the mange by wearing a liver on her head. 'Oh the good old days, are gone, are gone, forever'.


When deciding on bedtime reading, or rather, story telling, I remember using the titles as a method for selection, with alluring names indicating adventure and mystery such as, The Dragon with the Seven Heads and Bellinda and the Monster, but also, The Slave Mother and The False Grandmother and good old Silver Nose!

I did have my favourites though, stories I would return to repeatedly. One of the more memorable tales is Apple Girl, which was about a King and Queen who longed for a child but could bear none. So they prayed and prayed and one day the Queen became pregnant, but rather than deliver a child, she produced the most beautiful apple anyone had ever seen. So, without much comment on this phenomenon, the parents set about taking as great care of their apple-child as though it were flesh and blood. Each day they placed the delicious apple on a golden tray and set it on the balcony. And each day a young maiden would emerge from the apple and comb her hair in the sun. A neighbouring King, standing on his own balcony caught sight of the maiden and immediately fell head over heels and rushed to the Apple-Girl's parents to ask permission to keep the apple himself, to which, as is the case in many of these stories, they agreed. So off the neighbouring King went with the Apple and promptly locked himself in his quarters, mesmerized by the beautiful maid who continued to emerge, not a bother on her, to comb her hair in the sun. But one day, the smitten King was called to war and entrusted his man-servant to keep safe watch while he was gone: in no circumstances was the loyal servant to allow anyone entrance in The King's quarters during his absence, for if anything was to happen to his beloved fruit...! Enter the step Mother (not all stories in Italian Folktales follow this pattern, but it just so happens this one does). Bewildered and curious in extremes to her step-son's recent familial absence, step Mom successfully drugs the servant, enters the room and spies the Apple... "So this is where my son has been all these weeks! Locked up in here with this mesmerizing Apple!" Taking a small dagger from her basque (common for a Queen in the land of Italian Folktales), begins to poke and prod the Apple with it and from the wounds, flowed blood. Frightened, the Queen retreats, but not before her step-son returns, sees his maiden has been injured and takes his revenge on his Mother... so when that deed is done, ofcourse the lovers can now move onto the next level of their relationship and actually hang out, maybe even get married... I can't quite remember, but typically, poor Mom often gets the end of the stick, and sometimes worse.

Artist Ross Clarke (who I have mentioned a number of times by now) made me a gift of an illustration to accompany Apple Girl, for I had infected him with my love for the tale! What a talent he is.

Speaking of Moms:


There were lots of Cats:

And these lads:


If Italian Folktales was the most read book, the most poplar authors in my house were Janet and Allan Ahlberg. What made these books so good was Janet's illustrations. Really imaginative and lush! My favourite Janet and Allan Ahlberg book is Jeremiah in the Dark Woods which featured a little boy named Jeremiah Obadiah Jackenory Jones, who may be the earliest influence on my desire for Victorian Gentlemen's suits prior to my obsession with the Sarah Waters' BBC drama adaption of Tipping the Velvet.

Jeremiah, you are stylin'!
His Grandmother is an archetypal strong female role model and like all good children's books, it features delicious looking (and smelling) baked goods - strawberry jam tarts in this case, the very reason Jeremiah sets off into the woods in the first place!

Wolves in top hats and other classy fairy tale revealry is found in The Jolly Christmas Postman, where the protagonist, said Jolly Postman, delivers the Christmas post to a host of different characters. The clincher is, you can also open the post and read the letters or play the games and see what everyone is being delivered for Christmas! WEE! And like Santa, the postman gets to enjoy a dosen cups of tea and a variety of delicious mange.




And yet another Janet and Allan Ahlberg book. This one had great illustrations of stockings as far as I can remember... I may be completely off on that score actually, Nevermind! I just have this memory of clothes hanging up and drying in a kitchen... may well have been nappies... must make time to confirm memory... :

I mentioned earlier the influence these books had on my taste in houses... The GORGEOUSLY illustrated Loosing Willy is about a young boy who lives on a ship "that is always ship-shaped" and constantly looses himself, his clothes, and whatever else is going. You can see him dismantling there down below:

Winnie the Witch lived in my dream house and had dream house keeping talents as well. At first she lives in a completely black house, but unfortunately for her, she keeps tripping over her also black cat. She's a pretty furious character and decides to colour the cat in all different and humiliating shades, before realizing that it's the house that needs to change and, in sparks of fire-crackers and colour, Winnie transforms her gothic abode into a colourful but still awesome abode. I used to love comparing the before and after pictures (she also has amazing washing and beds!)



And there was Hildild! A very industrious crazy lady who hated the night and slept all day just trying to fight the night, capture it, burn it, frighten it and eventually, spit at it. I used to ADORE the images: Her perch over-looking a sleepy town with rolling hills and twinkling stars, and those millions of little steps and secret places and details to make it personal, livable. Besides the story, I would pour over the image of the house, paying much attention to the various details the artist had included, like the ladder running up to her window, the wood for the fire, the allotment in her garden, all provoking a sense of independence and security. She had all she needed, and a dog! Except, she did have a frustrating and sad preoccupation with the night.

But part of the pull to these books for me as a child was their WEIRDness. And they often were Weird. The weirdest books we had were the Frog and Toad collection by Arnold Lobel. When I see these books now I have a physical reaction to them - they make me creep out! They were inoffensive and mild, but the style of illustration and the often surreal narratives created a sense of loneliness, emptiness and discomfort in me as a child, but I don't necessarily think this was a bad thing... it was kind of engaging.



The Occult.
Before I read books, before my parents read Italian Foltales, before before before, my Dad told us ghost stories. These were the BEST stories in the world and he would tell us the same ones over and over and over; in the car on the way home from visiting relatives, while the night time swallowed us and all we could see was the moon and the road under the headlights and we would make sure our feet were tucked up under us, away from the darkness underneath the seats; at birthday parties when all the friend's were around and the curtains were drawn shut to keep out the light and at hallow'een with us kids in our fancy dress, watching the flames of the fire, manging the door-to-door takings. My parents were not ones to discourage our youthful fixation with the darkness, witches, banshees, ghost horses, and other magical entities that populated the landscape of our imaginings. They even facilitated our witch craft:


This was a BRILLIANT book, on one side it was Ghouls and on the other Vampires:

And this is the kind of stuff I read later, in my early teens, and being honest, I still revisit them now at age 26 when I'm home. Usborne Spinechillers series, including puzzle books were great! I have tried to find other issues in this series in my local library with no joy, but I'd quite like to find the other stories in the collection. They also did three-in-one books which were tote awesome.

Bringing us way back! WAY back to 1983, the year before I was born and Ladybird's Spine Tinglers and Comic and Curious Verse, possibly the best children's books EVER.

The most memorable story in Spine Tinglers is 'The Hairy Toe', where, well, I'll let you read for yourself:

I wish I had taken more photos of the innards of this gem, but I can always do that again. So so so good! There is a poem in called something like 'My Sister Jane' (by someone well known as far as I remember). Jane is "a bird a bird a bird", "it never would do to let folks know, my sister's nothing but a great big crow"... Anyway, it's brilliant.

One that I think we must have borrowed from a library, had such a lasting impression on me that I felt the need to track it down online, so as to pour over it again! After many failed attempts I eventually found it, with the few details that my memory had saved. Another ideal house/ self-sufficiency scenario, The Maggie B is a story about a little girl who dreams about owning her own boat. She and her baby brother go sailing the seven seas, with a small farm and fruit trees on the deck of her tidy boat. When the storm comes, she braves it, before cooking a delicious sea-food stew and baking some treats while the rain and wind whip round outside.

This book actually lives in my current house, which has a spiral stairs suitable for any good witch. But I'd love a boat house eventually... maybe even with a pelican and fruit trees on deck!
(Will have to take my own photo of the Maggie B and do it justice!)