Thoughts that occupied my mind last night, Or why are there no werewolf adaptations of ‘Pride & Prejudice’?

After I went to bed last night my mind became occupied with the above question. Don’t ask why, there’s no explaining the bizarre leaps my brain makes sometimes.

I’ve read vampire versions of P&P, zombie adaptations, seen modern film adaptations, and obviously read the original multiple times. I recently heard of modern settings for the story in a crime fiction context. I’ve yet to come across a werewolf version though. Maybe such a book does exist and I’ve missed it?

Any ideas anyone?

So, there I was puzzling over the fact that the recent trend for adapting classics for the ‘supernatural fiction’ section of the book shop had yet to throw up an example. I should have been sleeping. Instead I tried to work out how it would work. I think I might have come up with a workable idea. I’m going to have to see. I might even put a sample chapter on here, if I think it works.

Best be off now,



No peace all week

This morning, while I was feeling in low spirits, I wrote this rant.

By the time I finished work tomorrow I’ll have worked nine days out of ten. And on my day off I went to college all afternoon. I haven’t had any time away from people. The result is that right now I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. I can’t escape from all these people; even when they don’t need me for anything the constant presence of other people, the constant noise, is driving me mad.

I need to get away, go somewhere quiet, with no people, for a day or so. But I can’t, I have to go to college and shopping, the library and to visit friends.

I want to cry, but crying at work is a bad idea, people start asking what’s wrong, and apparently ‘I’m tired’ isn’t a good enough reason to be mardy.

Damn it I have to get back to work now.


I apologise to anyone who normally reads my blog for my reviews. I’ve been going through some stuff lately and it’s leaked in to my writing.

You might be interested to know I’m feeling slightly better. I talked to the duty manager at my work and when I explained that I was exhausted and it wad affecting everything he was very understanding. Actually talking about why I was feeling so bad made me feel better.

Roll on 2pm tomorrow. A decent night’s sleep and I should start to feel better again.

Thanks for reading, normal service will be resumed ASAP


I should be writing up short stories…

But instead I’m crocheting granny squares. I think it might be because I’m tired and I can crochet while half asleep, whereas I prefer to be vaguely aware when I write.

I probably won’t get any writing done until next week now. The reason for this deplorable state of affairs is that I’m doing a little over time, to cover a full-time member of the tech department’s holiday. I usually only work weekends so working nine days out of ten is killing me. I’ve had today off, but spent all afternoon at college, so now I’m exhausted again. Basically, I’ll finally be able to get back to my scribbling on Monday, after college. I probably won’t want to look at a computer at that point.

When did I get so busy?

I only work part-time; that should leave plenty of time for reading, writing and staring longingly at books, CD’s and gig tickets I can’t afford right now, but I don’t seem to have much free time.

To be fair though, working part-time has been good for me. I’ve been able to earn a little bit of money while still having enough time to get a couple more qualifications and spend time reading, reviewing and other writing. I still need my medication just to cope with work, and I need to sleep a lot of the time (so nothing new there), but I’m managing a little better. It helps that I’ve moved departments at work as well. I’m marginally less bored, my hours are pretty much guaranteed and the people I work with are nice. They think I’m weird, but at least they’re happy to tolerate me finding a quiet corner to write in when I get really bored. Also, the manager signed my holiday forms so I have a couple of weekends off in October. I’m going to see Reckless Love, who’s new album is out at the end of August (it’s on my to buy list already) , and HIM, who I may have mentioned on a couple of occasions.

On the subject of gigs I’m planning to go to later in the year, I plan to go to see Alter Bridge in mid-October and 30 Seconds to Mars in late November. There is also a possible plan to go to Amsterdam in early November in the works as well. Depends on flight, trains and hostels, total cost and whether it’s manageable. While there I may go to see 30 Seconds to Mars, as a few of my friends/acquaintances will be going.

I’ve never been abroad before, which is a shocking thing for anyone my age to say, or so it would appear, from people’s reactions.

I’ve been thirty for nine days now, and I actually feel quite good about it. I had all sorts of plans when I was younger; none of them involved being at home still, and working a low paid part-time, if semi-professional, job because I live in a back water and am psychologically incapable of full-time work at the moment.

The pressure is off; I failed to live up to the expectations I and everyone else had of me. I’m out of my twenties and now my life is probably set. I’m never going to be a great scientist, or even a half-way decent academic, because I made a complete hash if it all. So instead I’ll do what I wanted to do before I got talked into choosing a ‘sensible’ career, a choice I regret making. I like playing in labs, really I do, and studying at Durham was brilliant, but I really would have been happier if I hadn’t felt pressured to give up hiding in libraries with my head in a book or scribbling stories.

So, feeling like a failure because I hadn’t lived up to expectation I went off to Download to celebrate my birthday, and do you know what? I had a complete change of heart. As we were packing away the tent it struck me; that part of my life is over. I don’t have to live in the shadow of ‘might have been, should have been’ any more. I accept that failure, and now I’m going to make a successful life for myself without that shadow hovering over me. Yes, I’m broke, and I live at home still, but so what? I get to read books, listen to music, watch films and plays, and go to gigs or do other bits of travelling, and write about it. I accept that right now all I earn is a few free books, but free books are free books! I’ll work on that, give me time to build my confidence and a scrapbook of writing, and maybe I’ll get some paid writing work. It’s cool if I don’t, because I like writing and I wont stop, but it would be great if I could earn a little cash from it.

Until then, I’ll keep working at the factory and dreaming.

And that blog post was way longer, more emotional and honest than I get in public, and actually covered thoughts I hadn’t planned to share with the world. See this is what happens when I’m tired; I can’t control what gets written down. My brain to fingers filter goes away (my brain to gob filter is non-existent anyway). I think I should probably stop rambling now, make my sandwich for my packing-up for work tomorrow and go to bed.

Download Festival Part 3: Saturday and Sunday

Well, I’m back on-line and trying to write this review while watching the series ‘Hannibal’ and being sociable. Look at me multi-tasking!

I saw a few more bands on Saturday than Friday. I saw a range of bands, some I hadn’t thought to see, and I missed some of the bands I wanted to see, for various reasons.

The first band I saw was:

Katatonia on the Zippo Encore Stage

In my notebook I’ve summed them up as ‘loud Scandinavians with long hair. They’ve been around for a while’.

I really enjoyed watching them. They are quite heavy, which I like, but I couldn’t actually discern the words.

Next I watched Lit play, again on the Zippo Encore Stage

One of my friends used to really like them when we were kids, back in the 90’s/00’s. According to Shelley, at some point they dropped off the face of the Earth. Their appearance at Download therefore made Shelley quite happy. I don’t know what I thought to them, some of the songs I liked, most of the set I found a little insipid. I only recognised one song; I must have heard it at some point.

After Lit I went to the Main Stage to see

Alice In Chains

I was looking forward to seeing them but was in the event actually quite disappointed, though they seemed popular in the Arena.

Next up Motorhead

Oh, I was looking forward to seeing these legends.

They were really fun to watch, although it did drag slightly. The two drum solos, while incredibly good, made the set seem unnecessarily long.

Returning to the Zippo Encore Stage to see Jimmy Eat World

By this point in the day I was tired and hungry, so I probably wasn’t listening as closely as I should have done, which is not great when you’re writing about bands and their music. Anyway, eventually I did manage to raise a bit of enthusiasm for the set.

I staggered on through to QOTSA back on the Main Stage

They were okay, I couldn’t really hear what was being sung, but I liked the music.

I had planned to stay to see Iron Maiden but all the cigarette smoke set off my asthma, and it was too much for me. I ended up going back to my tent. Due to the acoustics of the site I could hear Iron Maiden anyway. I could hear the crowd’s reaction as well; they went down very well with the people who managed to make it through the second day of Download.

And on to Sunday

Sunday was great.

I started off the day right down the front of the main stage singing along to Sacred Mother Tongue. They happen to be one of my favourite bands, so I was in heaven, just a little bit.

I first saw them at the Halestorm concert I went to in Nottingham in March this year and only saw half their set. Since then I’ve kept an eye on this Northamptonshire group. I waited impatiently for their new album and reviewed it (see

They lived up to my expectations entirely. It was so good to see them on a larger stage and in front of an appreciative crowd. Clearly people had made the effort to drag themselves out of their tents, probably with a hangover. And they appreciated the bands efforts as much as I did.

Next up, because my friends wanted to see them, Cancer Bats, still on the Main Stage

As good a front man as Liam Cormier is, I can’t say I particularly like this band. The band have a devoted following but their style of music doesn’t appeal to me. Again, I prefer singing to shouting. I just don’t like that sort of punk, though I know it’s quite a common genre these days.

Next, another band I really couldn’t wait to see, Stone Sour, played their set in the evening. We sat up on the hillside and watched. I could just about hear. The problem was that someone over in the Pepsi Max Stage were rather loud and it was irritating. They acoustic set, which I would love to have heard properly was practically drowned out.

It was still enjoyable, Corey Taylor is an excellent singer and can write a good song. The crowd certainly liked him.

After Stone Sour came Gaslight Anthem

They’re okay, I’ve never seen or heard their music before but I quite enjoyed the set. It was easier, marginally, to hear them than Stone Sour. Mainly because the racket from the Pepsi Max stage had ended.

30 Seconds to Mars

After Gaslight Anthem came Jared, Shannon and Tomo. The Echelon were very excited, and I had a few friends down their. When Jared started getting people on to the stage one of them was feet from getting up there. Then there was an accidental crowd surfer and they refused to let any more people onto the stage.

The new songs were definitely tighter in performance than the older songs; Jared seemed to get bored of singing then and got the audience to do the work instead. Shannon is still a talented drummer, and evem Tomo had a go at drumming at the start.

They announced their UK tour in  November. I’m going to the Nottingham gig.

Jared’s voice isn’t as strong as I thought it would be. To be fair, we got distracted.; I’ll tell you why later.

In between 30STM and Rammstein we took a trip to the Zippo Encore Stage to see a bit of Limp Bizkit.

They played their ‘classic’ Rollin’ – it was practically a sing-a-long. After listening to a couple more songs we got distracted by the arrival on the Main Stage of


I only saw the first half-hour or so – I was tired again – but impressed by the pyrotechnics. I’m not sure what I think of their music though.

And now for the most entertaining part of the evening.

During 30 Seconds to Mars’s set a person got stuck on the zipline. They cot bottled while they waited to be rescued. The a bottle fight started. There are videos somewhere on you tube. I shall go and find one.


Disappears to YouTube to find said video.———————————-

Returns from YouTube


Thanks to whoever recorded that and put it on youtube.

Right, it’s getting late and I have to be up for work in the morning (I’m doing overtime this week – expect random sleep-deprived blog posts). Sorry that this post is a bit disjointed and not as detailed as I would like or expect, but it was a busy weekend and I was trying to take it all in. Problem with that is I didn’t write as much down as I should have.



A brief look at Midsummer traditions in northern Europe

It’s midsummer weekend, the time of year when it finally starts to look a bit like summer is putting in an appearance and I get next to no sleep. Midsummer is not celebrated now in England but it was once, and it occurred to me that it would be interesting to see whether other countries have traditions. I know that in Finland, at least, midsummer weekend is a public holiday. I know this because one of my friends is Finnish and she complains about the excessive drinking.

After doing a tiny amount of research I’ve found it is or was a fairly common festival in northern Europe; in some countries, especially Scandinavia, it is the most important holiday after Christmas and New Year. A common feature of these celebrations is their association with St John the Baptist and bonfires.

The bonfires are older than the St. John connection by all accounts. There are 4th century references to the Aquitainian custom of rolling a fire wheel down a hill, there are 13th century references to bonfires and fires wheels on Midsummer Eve in England, as well as references from the later centuries to bonfire traditions, and contemporary Scandinavian practice. The significance of the bonfires has been given as a blessing, a means of purifying livestock and people. The best I’ve read, from the middle ages, is that it’s a great way to scare off dragons.

The only connection to Saint John is that his saint’s day, 24th June, is coincidentally at the same approximate time as the midsummer solstice. It has been suggested, repeatedly, that this is a deliberate association made by the Christian authorities during the conversion period in order to convince people to convert from their own religions to Christianity. I happen to think there is a grain of truth in this suggestion. Since John the Baptist was supposed to have been born six months before Jesus, and the birth of Jesus had been decided on as the 25th December, ergo John the Baptist must have been born 24th June. In addition there was an order given by Rome that temples should be reconsecrated as churches and feast days re-dedicated from ‘devils’ to the honour of the Christian god.

This subject is going to need much more research than I have time for this evening, so after this incredibly brief look at the Midsummer traditions of northern Europe, I’m going to get back to my books. Mountains of books to read and review. Maybe I’ll have a proper essay written for next midsummer.



Download Festival 2013 review Part the second: Friday 14th June 2013

On Friday afternoon we finally got in to the Arena and had a look around before we started listening to a few bands. Mostly we wanted to see Papa Roach and HIM on Friday, everyone else was incidental.

The first band we heard, at least a little bit, was

Emperor Chung on the Pepsi Max stage

This band is a heavy rock five-piece from the Midlands.

I quite liked what I heard, although we didn’t stay long, because even outside the tent the bass made my chest hurt. They definitely lived up to their description ‘heavy rock’. They’re very heavy, but in a way I like.

Eventually we retreated to the main stage.

At the main stage we got ourselves comfortable on the grass under our ponchos, and settled down to listen.

And fell asleep.

And that is a mark of how unimpressed we were by the acts on the main stage on Friday.

About three in the afternoon we decided to join the queue for the HIM signing at the Kerrang! tent, and watched

Papa Roach on the Main Stage while we did.

Jacoby Shaddix gave a very good impression of an over-excited child, just to be at Download Festival. He kept calling everybody ‘Mother fuckers’ and bouncing around. The crowd didn’t seem to respond well to his attempts to get circle pits opening up. They played a mix of songs from their new album and some older songs that everyone recognised.

Later, after some wandering around, tea, collecting a further friend, we returned to the Arena to see

HIM on the Pepsi Max stage

I’ll be honest, HIM were one of the main reasons I decided to go to Download this year. They packed out the tent, despite the competition of Slip Knot on the Main Stage. But then I suppose if a band disappears for three years then their appearances will be popular. It was only their second show in the UK since they came back with ‘Tears on Tape’, (the first was at the London Barfly on 26th April 2013). They performed a mix of songs from the new album and their classics, including ‘Wings of a Butterfly’ and the ever-popular ‘Funeral of Hearts’.

As ever, from what I’ve seen – I’ve never seen HIM live – HIM’s stage show is not showy but enjoyable. They looked like they were having fun; Ville made jokes with the audience, Linde, Mige and Gas had fun with each other on the stage.

Ville’s acoustic guitar has been making an appearance at recent gigs and Friday night was no exception. It was pretty much constantly in hand, and when it wasn’t he was clutching his mike stand. Something has to replace his old crutches of cigarettes and booze, now that he can’t smoke on stage and has had to cut down on the drinking. He was even sober, as far as I could tell from a distance.

One thing I did notice was that Ville couldn’t quite hit some of the notes these days. It was still a great set, and I wish it had been long.

They are touring here at the end of October. I’m going to see them at Rock City in Nottingham, I can’t wait.

I had a good time on Friday, especially in the evening, I soaked up a few bands though I didn’t exactly take in names. It was an experience, being surrounded by all the different bands, hearing bands I’ve heard of but never listened to. I now know what bands I don’t like, as well as the ones I do.

Back tomorrow with a review of Saturday and Sunday’s bands.




New books from the library

I went for a trip to the library today, to take back a book and came home with three more.


I’ve read a few Jasper Fforde books, so I thought I’d give this one a go. It features a recurring character Thursday Next.


It’s been a while since I read any classic horror and one of the librarians brought this book to my attention.


I love Tom Holt’s comic fantasy, this is the first historical fiction novel of his I’ve read though. I’m a decent way into it already and it’s very enjoyable do far.

Expect reviews sometime in the next few weeks.

Got to go to the day job tomorrow, so I shall disappear for a few days. Bye,