Monday, November 30, 2009

˙ʎɐqə ɯoɹɟ pɹɐoqʎəʞ ɐ ʎnq ı əɯıʇ ʇsɐl əɥʇ sı sıɥʇ
Brilliant, Yet Scary Robot

Bigdog, from Boston Dynamics.

There is also the less scary, but still sort of creepy Little Dog. There is something that is almost, but not quite, organic about the movement of these robots that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Facebook - Universally Popular

Did you know Darth Vadar has an account.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Album Review : New Frustration - Guns On The Roof****

For Fans Of : Rancid, The Wildhearts, Green Day, Bad Religion, Stiff Little Fingers

I'm quite sure that if GOTR came from Los Angeles instead of Leeds they would already be playing to packed theatres instead of busy pubs, and that's as much the fault of the British music fan, we're so open to anything American and so closed off to our own great bands. I first saw GOTR performing with another awesome Yorkshire band, G.U. Medicine, at a back room pub gig in Huddersfield, and they were both tight, furiously energetic bands, GUM in a metal sense, GOTR as a melodic punk outfit.

New Frustration is probably the best bit of new British punk I have heard in ages, this is the sound of a tight outfit who write catchy hard pop punk numbers and perform them with precision and drive, really, if you're thinking that Bad Religion are getting too long in the tooth, that Green Day have sold out, or it's just too long to wait for another Rancid album, then please do buy a copy of New Frustration, you won't be disappointed.

For your money you get 15 tracks of highly enjoyable bouncy punk with fast controlled riffs, passionate vocals and the odd big chorus here and there. There is a general good quality to the album that it makes it hard to pick stand out tracks, it is pretty much all killer, no filler, but still, 'Last Night' and 'So Tired' raise the standard a little further.

This is highly infectious stuff, a couple of spins and you'll be wishing for a loud, sweaty mosh pit to get involved in, GOTR pump out the sort of songs perfect for live performance, loud, immediate, raucous and anthemic in a punk fashion.

New Frustration is a powerful and accomplished album from an exciting and talented British band, you will hear echoes of Rancid and Stiff Little Fingers along the way, but presented as affectionate familiarity rather than plagiarism, it might not be climbing new heights of originality, but in terms of presentation and entertainment value it is very good indeed.

You can get some free samples of GOTR's excellent melodic punk from their Scrobbler page.

For Your Entertainment And Delight......

......Nowiy god by Steklovata.

Although, I could swear they were singing 'lovely goat.'

I have no idea what is going on in this picture, but sadly I employ one of these people......

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pale Is The New Tan

Lots more strangely coloured people over at Pale Is The New Tan Blog
Dear Mandy (An Open Letter to Lord Mandelson) - Dan Bull

Another spot on protest song from the wonderful Dan Bull.
Question Of The Week

So, we're on the settee watching Life with Keira Knightley and Cheryl Cole, and we will be eating pizza (although some fool of website writer left curry off the choices, duh), pizza you said, but what topping ?
Trawling The Depths Of Human Misery

I didn't consciously realise when packing my holiday reading selection what a concentrated heap of evil, spite and awfulness I had gathered.....

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen : Little rich girls mope around

Catcher In The Rye - J D Salinger : Spoiled rich kid hates everything

Lord Of The Flies - William Golding : Lost boys amuse themselves with murder

On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan : No sex please we're English and uptight

Night - Elie Wiesel : The Holocaust as seen by a survivor

Push - Sapphire : Incest, rape, brutality and the death of joy

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte : The endless Gypsy's curse

No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy : Everyone's gotta die, by shotgun

Good Lord, it's lucky I'm a fairly happy person, because that was a few thousand pages of evil and sadness, only slightly alleviated by reading a couple of Armistead Maupin's light and frothy San Francisco soap operas in between.

On a slightly surreal note, I just noticed this sticker on the cover of Push..."WINNER - Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival", right, so the film of the book is thought to be great, but that does not actually say anything about the book itself. You cannot draw a line between a film based on a book and the book itself, otherwise you would have to assume that the brilliant and wonderful Hellblazer (filmed as the execrable Constantine) is a huge and steaming pile of manure. If the book has won an award, then it is sensible to indicate that, but to point out that a film translation of the book is award winning seems odd to me.

That said, having read Push, I would be interested in seeing Precious, as the book has been re-named for film. I would imagine that some scenes, in fact quite a few scenes, will be upsetting and unnerving.

Has anyone seen either The Road or No Country For Old Men ? Are they any good ?

I did see a few movies when I was away, the Disney/Pixar animation Up was pretty good, I enjoyed The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, and Sam Rockwell is very good playing two versions of the same man in the nicely paced and thoughtful SF drama Moon. The next film I'm really keen to see, in all its 3D glory, is Avatar, I do like a bit of Sci-Fi.
Twilight Sequel Cancelled

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ian's 40th Birthday

L-R Standing, John, Beverly, William, Dan, Margaret
L-R Seated, Shelley, Ian, Elizabeth, Doug, Meg, YS

I think Ian had started celebrating at 11am, this was 6pm ish at a Mexican restaurant, he seemed even more 'merry' when we left the rather lively sports bar at 10pm.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tonight's Special

A bucket of frogs on sale in a Chinatown fish shop, you could also buy them prepared rather than croaking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nano Update

I'm still writing, my word count as of today is 30,273 , so although I have slowed down since the good start I made at the begining of the challenge, I am still on track to 'win' Nano 2009 by the end of the month.

I did get a bit bogged down in where the zombie novel was going, but I introduced a new element to the book and it has spurred me on again.

'The shots produced an instant response in the denizens of the town. At the sound of the shots each of the numerous shamblers had turned to the sound and had started walking towards us, as I watched they walked directly into cars and fell over, others came up against walls and were halted for a moment. A horrible inexorable tide had begun though, those that had fallen righted themselves and came on again, those thwarted by walls slowly climbed them, often falling over the other side, but then they got up again and walked on. An army of disease and death flowed towards us.

“We need to go soon mate, we can’t do anything here,” Carl was back and was gazing at the scene below us with his binoculars.

“Agreed.” We had made a plan for this, in turn, so that we kept half the guns loaded all the time, we fired a fusillade of shotgun blasts into the air, this seemed to concentrate the zombies efforts and more were appearing from doorways and street ends. I dropped three old tires we had brought over the nearest wall, doused them with a bottle’s worth of petrol and set them alight, then we left.

On the drive back we left painted notices hung on walls and at road junctions, Helen and Eileen had made them.




At the Farmer’s Arms we had left the door locked with the keys in the lock so people could let themselves in, we had left plenty of water and a little food, some booze, a lantern and fuel for the fire. The windows had been boarded over. We had not left any details of where we were living though, nor any weapons, anybody that could make it this far was most likely already armed."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ride The San Francisco MUNI

The MUNI is for you if......

*You are allergic to soap

*You like to hold long, loud, rambling, theological discussions with yourself

*You enjoy shouting "Fuck it, give me a dollar" at regular intervals

*You have an alcohol / cocaine / heroine / methadone / crystal meth / all of the above, addiction

*You have a brown paper bag filled with something disturbing that is leaking red / white / green / luminous / radioactive / all of the above, liquid

Come on down folks, ride the MUNI, it's the people's bus service.

(And for the remainder of the day, I will be travelling by taxi)
Oakland Raiders 10 - Kansas Chiefs 16

You don't have to possess an in depth knowledge of a sport sometimes in order to be able to see where a team is going wrong, and in the case of the Oakland Raiders yesterday, it's because they simply cannot catch a football. I lost count of how many throws reached the intended player, but were then fumbled and spilled, the Raiders need simple catching practice.

What was the match like as a spectacle ? Well, the stadium was less than half full, and we spotted about half a dozen Chiefs fans, but the home crowd made a decent enough noise when the match started, then it just tailed off. Much like watching the ice hockey in Toronto last year, I enjoyed the game, but the fans (for all their fancy dress and proud displays of team colours) are a quiet and insipid bunch. There is no singing, no chanting, just little bits of cheering when the Raiders were doing well, which wasn't often, and a bit of jeering when the Raiders were doing badly, which was quite common.

Perhaps part of the reason for this is the length of the game, American footy is played for an hour, split into four quarters, but the actual length of the match was a touch under four hours, there are numerous times in each segment when the teams just stand around doing nothing, waiting for the tv advertising slot to end perhaps ? But this disjointed style of playing does not help to build and maintain an exciting atmosphere, honestly, test cricket takes place at a faster pace than American footy.

On the positive side though, there are the Raiderettes, lots of lovely young ladies in spray on costumes, I would have taken more close up pictures, but security confiscated my telephoto lens.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Academy of Science, San Francisco

This is the cafe, it's a really beautiful modern building.

Friday, November 13, 2009

You Said...

That on the whole you would rather be watching Life, but you couldn't decide whether you would rather have Keira or Cheryl on the couch with you.....

San Francisco

This is a nice city, apart from the financial district which could be the centre of any major city in the world, SF has a very distinct architectural style which really seems to set it apart from other places. Colour is also prominent here, many of the buildings are very colourfully painted and decorated.

We had a full day in the city today so we took an open top bus ride around SF and back across Golden Gate Bridge, that was quite breezy, then we had a look around the Fisherman's Wharf area, went to the aquarium, ate at Bubba Gump's and then got back on the bus again to see the rest of the city. Tonight we might walk up to Chinatown.
Lombard Street, San Francisco

Meg was itching to drive down the curviest street in San Francisco.

She took the hairpin bends with ease, laughing like a maniac whilst I did my normal "Oh my Lord I'm about to die" thing.

The view from the bottom. She let have a couple of minutes to calm down, then she found 'The Steepest Street in San Francisco."


The road on the other side of that yellow zebra crossing seems to be a cliff edge, when we drove across the junction the road down was so steep you couldn't see it over the end of the bonnet, it was just like driving off into thin air.
Muir Woods National Monument

The home of big trees.

Really big trees.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review : The Catcher In The Rye - J D Salinger****

"In 1981, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book in public schools in the United States."

That fact sums up the protagonist Holden Caulfield, he may have become an icon of teenage angst and rebellion, but what is he angry about and rebelling against ? Salinger's creation is both very clever and unlikeable, the boy's inner thoughts are nihilistic and aggravating, he sees almost everything as being false and shallow, phony, but he himself likes, enjoys and loves almost nothing, save perhaps his younger sister.

The book still has resonance for teenagers today, I can remember having some of the feelings that Holden Caulfield has, the fear of growing up and accepting your adulthood being expressed in disdain for and a lack of appreciation of other people and their likes and opinions.

Caulfield's opinions about other people are neatly exposed when his younger sister challenges him to find a single thing that he loves or enjoys doing, and he can find nothing of consequence.

The basis of Caulfield's loathing and prejudices are not fully explored but are alluded to at the end of the book when it appears he is residing in a mental institution of some sort, which in turns calls in to doubt whether he was just an angry young man, or whether there was some medical problem underlying his perception of the world around him.
Book Review : Sense And Sensibility - Jane Austen*

I know this is going to bring about a groan of horror from some of my literary friends, but I hated S&S. Reading Austen should be reserved as a punishment for naughty schoolchildren.

I think it is Austen's use of language that drove me up the wall, this is quite a slow moving book, the plot, such as it is, doesn't rattle along and the novel is built upon the language, but oh what turgid prose it is. If Melville's Moby Dick was guilty of constant and long winded digressions, then Austen should be tried for using the largest quantity of words to say very little indeed. There were whole paragraphs (and Austen doesn't shy away from long paragraphs, whole pages sometimes) that I got bogged down in and could exact very little actual meaning from.

This is a dreadful thing to say after reading a book, but I think I'll have to watch the film to see if it makes any more sense.
Sun And Champagne

Meg in the sunshine at Mumm vineyards, Napa. Also, yes I know it isn't champagne because it's made in the USA, but it is made from the same grapes, by the same grower so it is the next best thing.

There are 1.2 million bottles of fizz in this aging room, and we saw at least 3 rooms like this, that's a lot of posh party wine.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Chimney Rock vineyard, Napa Valley, California.
Meg's Monster Truck

Meg wanted to hire a big vehicle to drive this in, so we got this, the Chevrolet Planet Destroyer, how big is it ? I was out of breath walking from the boot to the passenger door, and we accidentally ran over a Humvee on the drive up.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Long Day's Travelling

I don't think I have ever been so tired setting off on holiday, we locked up at work after a dinner for 55 at about midnight, and shortly after 1am we were on our way to Leeds courtesy of Mum & Dad In Laws Taxi service. Leeds station in the small hours of a Saturday morning is mostly filled with drunken revellers of the type whose eye you don't want to catch for fear of unexpected violence.

Nevertheless we arrived at Manchester airport safely, most of the pissheads having got on the same carraige we went to the other end of the train. We grabbed an early breakfast at 5am, got the connecting flight to Heathrow. We were both exhausted by now, in the Heathrow lounge we had coffee and Meg snoozed a little, I did a little writing and then finished reading Sense And Sensibility.

The flight to San Francisco was fine, plenty of space and comfort in our business class pods, thanks to Mrs YS winning at the casino. Meg got quite a bit of sleep, I could hardly stay awake when I was watching a film, but then when I extended the chair into its bed form I just couldn't get to sleep.

The time difference is minus 8 hours, so we had a strange sort of Groundhog Day Saturday, got the rental car (when I say car, I said Meg could have a large vehicle if she wanted, she's rented a thing so large you could fit my own car in the boot) and drove up the Napa Valley, crossing Golden Gate Bridge on the way. I have taken photos, but I seem to have forgotten my camera lead, so photo blog posts will have to wait. *Bought one*

We were really tired last night, so we didn't go to any of St. Helena's posh restaurants, but just settled for a perfectly nice Mexican meal at Armadillo's, and then in bed at 7pm.

It's 6am now, I'm up early because my body clock is out of synch, we have nothing planned today and all day to do it in, lovely.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Can't You Just Be Normal

That was the cry, almost in unison, from chef Phil and waitress Georgie a couple of weeks ago as I enthused over some recent musical finds. Via the wonderful African music blog Awesome Tapes From Africa I had downloaded some songs by a Ghanian singer and musician called Onipa Nua, and from the massive and eclectic WFMU On The Download archive I had come across a selection of famous songs condensed into sixty seconds and was raving about the double time version of Eleanor Rigby.

And then the shout went up.

Well, it appears that I can't be normal, the processed chart music industry holds very little interest for me, I don't care for the ultra slick, over rehearsed style over substance approach of the X-Factor factory farm method of producing short lived record company cash cows, I'd much rather be having a few pints at a small venue watching a new band doing their best and performing their own material.

The breadth of music available to people has expanded massively with the digital recording revolution, there are ten times as many albums being released today as there were in the 60's, yet the music industry keeps on proclaiming that the death of music is upon us. It isn't the death of music, but it may well be a tidal shift in the industry and in the way that we purchase and consume music. When a band can record their music and put an album directly onto the internet for download they don't need to get record company backing to get their songs out to the public.

Free legal downloads are available on the net in huge quantities, bands put out free music to entice new fans and hopefully persuade them that their music is good enough to be worth purchasing next time around.

Today I will be driving the staff mad with some more recently discovered music, Dirt Star who is a Chinese indie musician singing in Mandarin and English, you can download both his albums for free from the link, and The Fuck'androlls, an Asian (sorry, I can't find any more info on them) indie rock band with a really dirty garage sound, you can download their 3 track demo EP from the Last.FM link for free.

Here's to new music, to not getting old and comfortable in musical taste, to pushing the boundries, to driving my long suffering staff right around the bend.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hard Rock Hell III

Stage times

Last year the timings ran very close to time, so now it's time to pick and choose which bands I most want to see. The 3 stages are all very close so you don't have to spend more than a minute or two walking from hall to hall.

Thursday - The Viking Fancy Dress Heavy Metal Ball
17:30 - 18:00 Riot:Noise
18:15 - 18:50 New Device
19:05 - 19:35 Raw Glory
20:00 - 20:40 Attica Rage
20:55 - 21:35 Marshall Law
21:50 - 22:30 Beholder
22:45 - 23:20 GMT
23:45 - 00:30 Special Guest

That's a good start, I'm looking forward to RIOT:NOISE and New Device (although where's my album Amazon ?), Marshall Law are a good old NWOBHM band so I'm glad there's no-one to clash with them, Beholder are ok, Guy McCoy Torme though are bloody awful, as musicians they have played in some of the big classic rock bands, but their most recent album is really poor pub metal stuff. It might be an early night then, although I'd be interested in seeing who the as yet to be announced Special Guest is.


18:00 -18:45 Logan
19:00 - 20:00 Gun
20:15 - 21:05 Ratt
21:15 - 22:30 Terrorvision
22:45 - 00:15 Monster Magnet

00:30 - 01:30 Sonata Arctica

15:20 - 15:55 Hysterica
16:10 - 16:45 Waylander
17:00 - 17:45 Korplikanni
18:00 - 18:45 Die Apokalyptischien Reiter
19:00 - 19:40 Delain
19:55 - 20:25 Flash Lightnin
20:40 - 21:20 Black Spiders
21:35 - 22:10 Sons Of Merrick
22:30 - 23:30 Edens Curse
23:45 - 00:25 Winterborn
00:45 - 01:30 Tribal Law
01:45 - 02:30 Total Rock Winner

12:00 - 12:40 Imicus
12:55 - 13:30 Arthemis
13:45 - 14:30 Voodoo Johnson
14:45 -15:15 Remedy
15:30 - 16:00 9 x Dead
16:15 - 16:45 Dead against the rest
17:00 - 17:45 Hanging Doll

Friday has worked out well, only one clash amongst the bands I really want to see, I know Ratt are a classic band, but they might lose out to the up and coming Brit rockers Black Spiders, I saw BS supporting The Wildhearts and they were really good.

18:15 - 19:15 Mayra Roxx
19:30 - 20:10 Rogue Male
20:30 - 21:20 W.A.S.P.
21:40 - 23:00 Queensryche
23:20 - 00:40 New York Dolls

01:00 - 01:45 Lauren Harris
02:00 - 03:00 Spit Like This

12:00 - 12:45 Pig Iron
13:05 - 13:45 Tigertailz
14:00 - 14:45 Quireboys
15:00 - 16:00 Girlschool

16:20 -17:10 Hydrogyn
17:25 - 18:15 Witchfynde
18:30 - 19:15 Demon
19:35 - 20:25 Angelwitch
20:45 - 21:25 Susperia
21:45 - 22:30 Evile
22:45 - 23:35 Onslaught
23:50 - 00:20 Goatwhore
00:40 - 01:20 Skeleton witch
01:35 - 02:30 Toxic Holocaust

12:00 - 12:40 Cloven Hoof
12:55 - 13:35 Dumpys Rust Nuts
13:50 - 14:40 Tyson Dog
14:45 - 15:30 Marseille
15:45 - 16:30 Saracen
16:45 -17:30 Elixir
17:45 - 18:15 Hammerhead

Saturday has worked out well for me too, no clashes at all, so I can wander off between bands and catch an act I don't know as well. Poor old Spit Like This, they had to open Stage 2 at midday last year and went down really well, this year they've got the 'dead on your feet' slot, 2am when all the punters have been boozing for fourteen hours. Tigertailz did this slot last year and I must admit I was falling asleep on my feet.

Three days and nights of heavy metal, beer, vikings, beer, glam rock, beer, bad fast food, beer, spam beer eggs chips spam and beer, I'll need a holiday when I get back, and a liver exchange.
Question Of The Week

Yorkshiresoul readers said last week that if they were watching television, then Life is the best thing on the telly at the moment, followed closely by Strictly Come Dancing.

This week's question delves into equally serious intellectual territory, who is the most attractive woman on the planet ? If your choice isn't on the list, add her in the comments.
Book Review : 20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill****

This is the second collection of horror short stories I have read recently, and Hill's wildly inventive and eclectic collection is far superior to the formulaic repetition of tales by Ambrose Bierce that I struggled through.

As with all short story anthologies, there are some good stories, and some not so good, but the good ones in 20th Century Ghosts are really good, clever, inventive and unsettling.

'Pop Art' which sought to explain the problems of being an inflatable child born to normal parents was wonderful, a simple but weird idea well explored, 'Voluntary Committal' has an autistic boy who builds models and cardboard castles, and gates, gates which lead to other places, 'Bobby Conroy Comes Back From The Dead' showed a really neat twist on the horror theme in which a couple playing the part of zombies in a film explore their past and current relationship.

Good stuff, and it made me want to read some more of Hill's material, some of the stories have a Stephen King feel to them, and that's no bad thing in the realm of terror and suspense.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

One - The Death Of Sam Berry

On the day before I found Eileen I witnessed Sam Berry walking up Cam Lane, checking the cars as came towards me. I was on the far side of the wall, hidden from Sam’s view, I already possessed a shotgun, indeed I had used it earlier that day to kill Thomas and Margeret Scoresby whom I had been lodging with. Something about Sam’s gait was troubling me, when I first caught sight of him lurching up the lane I thought he had been injured and nearly called out him, but then prudence kicked in and I hid behind the dry stone wall and watched him through the crenels.

Sam staggered from car to car, at each one he fumbled with door until he got it open then thrust his head inside, he peered inside the car for a few moments and then pulled back and moved on to the next vehicle. At a black 4WD Sam couldn’t get entry, the owners must have locked their car and then set off on foot, Sam roared incoherently and slapped the side window, the sound of an angry human voice on the otherwise quiet morning made me nervous. In front of the Subaru was a red Peugot, Sam wrenched open the rear door of the small car and pushed into the back seat, disappearing from my sight. I spent a few nervous minutes wondering what Sam could be up to, checking the field behind me to ensure nothing was creeping upon me, and breaking and checking the shotgun, habit.

When Sam did emerge from the Peugot’s rear seat his face was coated with dark blood, at least I was sure now.

“Hey Sam, “ I called, he looked up and then came shambling towards me, his left leg hanging and dragging with every forward lurch. I raised the shotgun when Sam got within two car lengths of me, then he spoke, his voice was guttural, rough and evil sounding, not anymore the gently accented voice of the bloke I’d met in the Farmer’s Arms a few times.

“They were down there, all away,” he grunted.

I took a step back from the wall, in danger of losing control. Before he spoke I was controlled and about to despatch a flesh eating creature, but hearing him speak threw my mind into a spin.

“What Sam ? What did you say ?” I kept the gun trained on him but I was trembling now, the barrels weaving in small arcs.

Sam stepped right up to wall, his hideous gore coated visage with its blank expression only feet away from me.

“Talk to me Sam, please, come on” I was pleading, desperate, tears of fear squeezing themselves from my ears and blurring my vision. “Just talk to me, tell me you’re alright.”

“They were down there, all away,” he repeated, then he roared and jumped up the wall his hands frantically grabbing at the top stones. I pulled the trigger and the gun barked, and again, Sam’s head blew apart in a red spray, his corpse fell back away from the wall and into the lane. At the gun’s report a pheasant broke from cover near the wall and leapt into panicked flight, crows jumped cawing into the air from the stand of trees opposite. The double echoes bounced and rolled around the valley, I cracked the gun open all the way ejecting the shells smoking onto the grass, with the gun reloaded I looked over the top of the wall. Sam Berry died on Cam Lane on a Tuesday afternoon, I didn’t bury him, there were already too many corpses in the lane for me to bury them all, so I said a short prayer for Sam Berry and turned for home.

Day 4 - 12,760 words written.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

One - A Zombie Apocalypse NaNoWriMo Novel

Oh God that was so stupid.

I’m terrified, scared in a way I havn’t been since the first days, I’m running, stumbling breathless over a field, the fear propelling me across the long hummocky grass. Two fields ahead of me I can see Sleath Farm, if I can make it there ahead of the girl then I should be safe. Looking over my shoulder I can see the girl is following me, she isn’t quite a runner, but she seems to be moving just a bit faster than a stumbler.

I reach the gate in the first dry stone wall and perform an ungainly vault over it, my booted feet slamming down into the mud on the other side. With a gasp I shy away from the pile of gore lying close to the wall, a ewe, long dead and rotting, that scare would have been wryly amusing on another day, but today with the girl following close behind me it just adds to my terror. Before I can pull myself together I have run a few paces along the wall parallel with my original route, looking over the chest high stones I can see that the girl has altered her own path towards me, I turn away from the wall and run again towards the farm.

By the time I have reached the second gate the girl is still struggling to get over the first wall, her co-ordination seems pretty good when she’s walking, but getting her limbs organised enough to climb even the relatively easy face of the wall is presenting her with problems. Good, it gives me some more time. I take the time to climb over the second gate, no point now in risking an ankle injury. The girl has now scrambled on top of the first wall and as I watch she tips herself over and falls onto the ground, for a moment my hopes rise, perhaps she has broken her neck, perhaps she has killed herself in her headlong tumble. After a few moments though she begins to rise slowly, using her arms to grab handholds on the wall and tugging herself upright, getting to her feet takes her the best part of a minute, but I stand with my hands on the gate watching her scramble herself onto her feet.

I don’t recognise her, she’s in her mid twenties perhaps, but it is hard to tell, her face is discoloured and puffy, her hair twisted and matted with dirt. She looks dressed for walking, waterproof trousers and coat, hiking boots, a woollen glove on her left hand but nothing on her right. A lot of people tried to escape to the Dales when it started, when none of us understood what was happening, she’s probably one of those escapees who ran from cities thinking their meagre knowledge of hill craft might save them. They came with their rucksacks and tents, with whatever weapons they could find, with what supplies they could scavenge and carry. The roads leading up into the more remote Dales are still clogged with their cars and 4wd’s, with their bodies.
1,666 Words A Day

That is my target for November in order to complete this year's NaNoWriMo.

The deluge today has pretty much flooded the course and all my booked golfers have gone home, so I can get started on this year's attempt, a zombie holocaust end of civilization novella provisionally entitled 'One'.

You can check up on my progress here Yorkshiresoul Nano.
Unintended Hilarity in Sense And Sensibility

"Don't you find it colder than it was in the morning Elinor ? There seems to me a very decided difference. I can hardly keep my hands warm even in my muff."

Really Miss Dashwood ?! I hardly know where to look.