June already. Who would have believed it could arrive so soon.
A couple of interesting things happened to me recently. The first is LinkedIn which I have done a complete U turn with. I thought it was rubbish but it has proven to be a useful tool. I have joined three groups which are of interest to me but more importantly have started my own. Most of the groups cater for the larger companies while few seem to concern themselves over the more ‘cottage industry’ type businesses. As Napoleon once said “England is a nation of shopkeepers.’ Bloody right too. It is what built an Empire and no matter how unpleasant empires are the bedrock of any great nation is the wealth of home grown small businesses. So then with that in mind I started “Welcome to the Machine” a group whose sole purpose is to present poets, artists, artisans, authors and small to medium sized companies in a favourable light. Not only that but to have a forum for debate. I thought of people like Rui, Doriandra, Ruela, Cristina, Tictac, Michael, Roger, JB, Matina and so on. A worldwide group made up of creative business people whose core trade is their talent. In reality the group is nothing more than the concepts expounded by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc nearly a hundred years ago. It is effectively Distributism but without a Catholic doctrine. Anyway, the group now has four members. I will see how it goes.
Below is Dave Vigor's image that he made for my blog alter ego some years ago. I thought the idea of having a skeleton in a suit talking on a mobile appropriate for the group logo.
The other exciting thing came from an E-mail from Cheryl Leaning where she attached a word document and a photo. The document was from Scots comedian Martin Moir and the image was one of him pulling a rather aggressive face. Cheryl requested written humorous responses, no longer than one A4 side. I have sent mine back and now will have to wait and see what reaction I get. The piece will be used on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Shocking doesn’t describe the event well enough. Horrified, terrified out my wits is perhaps a more apt, better description but then again who wouldn’t have filled their newly washed and neatly pressed Calvin Clein boxers? The bloke looked like a less than sane refuge from “One Flew out of The Cuckoo’s Nest.” It was the fact of the face that did it for me. It wasn’t an ugly face, quite the reverse in fact but it was the expression that sat curdling the features of said face that was most alarming. It was that demented, I-have-just-eaten- a-baby-nappy-and-all look that sent my sphincter into sudden overdrive. I guess a naked hirsute man covered in garish and vividly descripted tattoos is an uncommon site to be greeted with on a hotel landing. I don’t recall bumping into one before at least not without a glass or three of absinthe or some non-prescriptive drugs that High Street chemists never seem to sell. Well, perhaps in certain areas of Brighton maybe on a Saturday night but that’s an over indulgent memory and a story for another time. I have nothing against hairy arsed men with tats; live and let live is my motto but seeing a chap positively frothing at the mouth with teeth bared and gritted like he has a keen appetite for your throat is, to say the least, a little alarming.
I also have to add at this point, a slight digression I know so please forgive me, that tall men with a massive expanse of chest muscle who tower over you like a Troll from Mordor are not necessarily large in every other department. Maybe I shouldn’t have been looking down there and you may wonder why I was but when faced with someone who looks as if he is about to bite your head clean off your shoulders life sort of flashes quickly before you forcing you to take on board all you can before rushing off to meet your maker. Anyway, I won’t dwell on the scrotal region. Enough to say this chap’s caber would have been easy to toss.
It was at this point that the not so jolly and not particularly green giant spoke; when I say spoke that doesn’t do justice to the odd sounds that left his still firmly clenched Hampstead’s. It was like a tidal roar of s sibilant tsunami spoken in a very rich brogue.
I cannot faithfully record the number of R’s that he managed to mangle into the word arse. If I could then it would be several paragraphs long. Nonetheless, and still uncertain of what was attached to the man’s bottom let alone why a nude tattooed gentleman was requesting me to remove whatever it was residing there, I took a look.
If the sight of graffiti covered Scot with nipple piercings and a growth of hair that would make Wolverine envious had been weird, then what greeted me now defies the term surreal. A Chinchilla with jaws firmly locked on the man’s posterior was hanging on like grim death. By the look of it nothing short of industrial strength dynamite was going to shift it. It was one of those rodent like dogs that folks like Jonathon Ross like to dress in chequered waistcoat and a satin bow tie.
The man again repeated his urgent plea with the same amount of rolling R’s thrown in.
It’s at times like these when men are divided from the boys, when heroes step out of obscurity into the realms of legend, when working men become the stuff of myth. The only thing to hand that I could see was one of those big as your arm fire extinguishers. I lifted the red device and brought it down sharply on said beasties head. It let out a sort of whimper, the man let out a sort of yelp then the dog fell dead to the floor.
“Was that your dog?” I asked a little nervously.
“Girlfriend’s frigging thing.” The now friendly ogre replied as he lifted the furry corpse off the Wilton.
“Sorry.” I said.
“No worries, I never liked the little bastard anyway. Thanks.” and with that naked tattooed giant and deceased dog disappeared into nearest room: funny old world init?
It then turned out that I hadn't read the brief properly. What was required was a descriptive piece so that any artist, withour knowing the subject, could paint an image of Martin Mor. Here then is the second piece I submitted...
Imagine a large man but not fat whose face appears to be showing signs of aggression as the teeth, buckled, bent and one discoloured, are bared with the lips curled back in a snarl. The eyes are glaring and blue/grey, the eyebrows arched demonically. The nose hangs crocked over a sprouting moustache. The face has a beard, a curious mix of ginger and grey that grows wizard like and forked down to the man’s chest. The hair on his head is brushed back into a pony tail the end of which hangs thrown over his left shoulder.
The shoulders and chest, which is broad and muscled, are both covered in a glorious, vivid display of tattoos that are represented by groups of flowers in bloom, a swooping Eagle with talons extended and what appears to be the M6 motorway running down the man’s right arm. There even appears to be a nun wandering around by his armpit. It may not be a nun but a monk; in any case, I really would advise them to bugger off before he sees them. The nipples are pierced with two circular silver rings both of which have a tiny ball at the base.
The man is hirsute for even through the garishly coloured tattoos clumps of hair show- white and ginger, curled and long. The man would make an ideal candidate as a super villain, one who would undoubtedly end up battling Wolverine from the X-men. He has that kind of savage, primal look that suggests heads being torn from shoulders and new-born babies being digested nappy and all in one foul bite. He would be the Yeti or Sasquatch the Big Foot.
A dark line of hair runs down his stomach like an arrow head inviting those brave enough to follow where it leads. Fortunately common sense and the trim marks on the photograph prohibit any such thing.
Think hairy arsed Hell’s Angel with a bad migraine. Think Norse Viking arriving late at night wanting nothing more than a spot of rape, pillaging and general slaughtering of innocents. Think Thor with attitude and you have the picture of Martin Mor.
I have finished reading Virginia Woolf‘s “Orlando.” No wonder she is so highly regarded in the literary world as being one of the greats of the 20th century. Her prose is flawless. Now, on Paul’s recommendation, I am about to read Wally Lamb’s “The Hour I First Believed.” One chapter in and I am hooked. Very American but very good too. Gripping stuff and not at all typical thriller material.
all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?
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