So cats eat blossom?



bigger cat

These pictures show my neighbour’s ginger cat, sitting in a small tree, licking the blossom. He was up there for ages, shuffling about, slurping away. Very odd. Have any of you seen this before?

‘Sometimes even the wrong train takes you to the right station.’

The Lunchbox.

Weather: sunny

Mood: good

Word of the day: Cowcat – person whose function is to occupy space

Coming home tonight, all trains going my way were cancelled. So I just grabbed the first train leaving the station and tried to work out where it was going by looking it up on my phone. There were signs up – on the platform, in the train, but they all said different stops to each other, so that didn’t help. My phone stuttering in its connection wasn’t ideal. Then the tannoy announced ‘Ignore all the signs saying where this train is going. They’re all wrong! This train is going to mumble mumble mumble.’ So that didn’t help either. I made it home by sheer luck. You’d think that train companies would have learned how to deal with a crisis by now.

Jinjing and Hamoudi were in the kitchen cooking up soup. I made some toast, hoping that Hamoudi would elaborate on the dead people tales. Instead I listened to Jinjing slagging off Neville because he never cleans up after himself and leaves plates of meat lying around for days.

‘I mean, has he ever done any cleaning since he’s been here?’ asked Jinjing. Hamoudi nodded, keeping his head low as if he could duck beneath the anger. Anyway I got a bowl of soup out of it.

cat in tree

An owl and a pussycat and mushrooms



‘I’ve got wild staring eyes
And I’ve got a strong urge to fly
But I got nowhere to fly to.’

Comfortably Numb

Weather: blue skies

Mood: happy

Phrase of the day: nosom para oblake (Serbian) – conceited. Literally – ripping clouds with his nose


I decided to get out of the house today and take a trip into central London. I wandered around Waterloo station, I like to follow the train tracks to see what’s about. And I stumbled across this garden outside St John’s church. It was filled with mosaic covered ornaments and benches. It was like treasure buried in London.

Mosaics are always impressive to see, the sheer patience and staying power. It’s the kind of thing I see and think I’d like to do, but I know I’d get bored with in half an hour and end up with a few bits of broken plate on an old chair that I don’t want to throw away.


Back home I tried to talk to Hamoudi again, but he was trapped in the kitchen being talked at by Neville, who was listing the names of cloud formations. Normally I feel sympathy for someone whose social skills are lacking and doesn’t know that he’s boring people, but I genuinely don’t think that’s the case with Neville. I think he can read cues fine, and knows people want to leave the conversation, but carries on anyway. I think it makes him feel important. It sounded like Hamoudi got away by escaping out the back door of the kitchen onto the fire escape. He’s still in the garden now, pretending to look at the apple tree.


It’s Friday! And I’m wrecking things!

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”      

Pablo Picasso


Weather: somebody washed out the world and left it colourless

Mood: see above

Word of the day: POETS – learned this today, it means Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday. Mike is trying to introduce this to boss Jill as a concept, talking about it loudly when she’s around, asking her “Who’s your favourite POET, Jill?” Jill responds to most of Mike’s schemes with a weary sigh. She has the patience of a table.

I waited until everybody was out of the kitchen, then threw the hedgehog cake-face away. Couldn’t stand the decapitated cuteness anymore.

I was driving the van in our yard today, and had to do a 360 degree turn in a space that doesn’t really allow for it. I still haven’t figured how to know how close you are to things behind you, so I managed to back into a fence. Got the wire hooked into the back of the van, didn’t realise, drove forward and ripped it apart. No one was around, and it was a lazy day, so I spent it putting up a new fence. The one I damaged was pretty shoddy anyway, and I found a nice bit of hazel fencing out the back. For the rest of the day Mike was being all nice, saying,

“You see, you just saw that fence didn’t look good and sorted it out. That’s what you’re like, you’re a fixer. You always sort things out, don’t you?”

Which was a very sweet thing to say, so I didn’t mention that it was my fault the fence was wrecked. Think I got away with it.

I was hoping to see Hamoudi and hear more about the dead people he says he sees. Does he see them here too?

Instead the kitchen was filled with Jinjing and Neville. Neville was cooking up a roast. I don’t want to be judgemental, but he either eats a LOT of meat or he’s throwing it all away. Neville was lecturing Jinjing on Chinese history, listing the dates of all the dynasties. Luckily I’d bought some popcorn on the way home, so dinner is sorted.

Duel identity

Before today, I hadn’t noticed the fruits of an Elaeagnus. They’re like jewels.

Weather: Sun and hail happening at the same time, that should mean a magical rainbow, but there was NOTHING.

Mood: a bit dazed

Word of the day:  Aceldama   (n)  site or scene of violence or bloodshed

Last night the bathroom light cord wouldn’t switch on, no matter how I pinged it, so I had to clean my teeth in the dark and then wait until this morning to see if I’d sprayed toothpaste everywhere.

Got to spend the day with Mateo today, he always avoids me when we walk the same way to the tube station, so I assumed he didn’t like me much. It turns out he’s generally reluctant to talk to anyone, but once he relaxed a bit we got on well. He looks like a weathered Leonard Cohen and can build anything out of anything. If we find a bit of metal tubing or a sheet of plastic dumped in the gardens, our boss will say, ‘Take that back to Matee-o [how everyone pronounces his name] he can build something with it.’

Anyway, today we were building a climbing frame for Clematis out of some packing crates. Went pretty well in that nothing collapsed and it looked smart at the end. I also got to hear Mateo ‘s story. I started by asking him if his name is really pronounced Matee-o , which is what everyone seems to call him. He said no, ‘it’s pronounced Azider’.

‘Ah,’ I said, ‘of course.’

Turns out that he’s a Basque separatist, and grew up under the oppression of the Spanish. Not allowed to speak his own language in the schools, not allowed to have his own name on any official documents, so officially he is Mateo, but it isn’t his name. He reckons Azider is too difficult to pronounce for English folk, so keeps it simple (even though we can’t get Mateo right either).

His teenage years were spent in and out of prison because of fighting with the police. To him it was a war, to the government, they were terrorists.

(The conflict ended in 2011)

Attack of the killer bumble bees (and my hero failure)


Hellrung’s Law: if you wait, it will go away

Weather: a bit gusty

Mood: full of the joys of vim and vigour

Word of the day: vim – meaning enthusiasm and liveliness

Bumblebees never really stopped this winter.  The dreamy teddy bears of the insect world don’t seem to be bothered by cold. And there was one in our tool shed at work today. Unfortunately my colleague Mike was inside the tool shed at the time. He began screaming, flapping his arms at the bee.

‘It’s attacking me! It’s attacking me!’ he wailed, spinning round and round and stumbling over spades and lawnmowers.

‘Just come out of the shed, it won’t hurt you, the door’s right here,’ I said, encouragingly, tapping at the door like calling a cat. It would have taken four paces to leave the shed, he took five times that many trying to hit the poor, confused bee.

‘Argh! It won’t leave me alone!’

‘Because you keep trying to hit it, just walk out of the shed,’ I said.

‘Argh! It’s going insane!’ he said. Finally, by chance he happened on the door and fell out of the shed with a traumatised expression.

‘Are you ok?’ I asked.

‘Inkbiotic,’ he implored, his voice that of one who has known betrayal, ‘why didn’t you save me?’

He asked me several more times that day. Sometimes he would look at me, then look away shaking his head, I had let him down when he needed me most.

Have you ever had the hero-calling and found yourself to be lacking? Let me know I’m not alone.

Anyway, it’s popcorn for dinner again. How long does it take to get scurvy?

A big, awkward giant


‘I seem to be having a tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle’ Arthur Dent

Weather: storm Gareth turned me into a mud Midas. Everything I touched turned to mud.

Mood: tentatively anxious

Word of the day: oofless – poor and oofy – rich

My new job is sort of like my old job, in that I play with plants all day, but now I work with bigger machinery than before, and much nicer people. Today the rain and wind were let loose, so I spent the morning turning into a mud-monster, and the afternoon driving around looking for dangerous tree limbs. I’d never driven a van before this job, and I was keeping that on the down-low from my boss, but these vans are 3.5 tonnes, which feels HUGE. My old car was smaller than a mini and I’ve never driven anything else, so trying to squeeze through narrow roads lined with Jaguars feels like wearing an Iron Man suit in a climbing frame. As yet I haven’t hit anything. Except for a fence post and my boss didn’t see that, so it doesn’t count. Everyone is being very patient.

At home I’m keeping in my room. There are many people milling about the corridors outside, and they seem friendly, I assume some of them live here. I’m eating popcorn for dinner, I’ve got a carton of juice, hopefully I can hide in my room until they’ve cleared.

I’m back! From outer space!

“When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible.”  ― Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses


Weather: sunny with a bitter wind

Mood: happy!

Word of the day: ideolocator – the name for the ‘you are here’ sign.

For anyone who still remembers old inkbiotic, I’m back! How are you all doing? I’ll be taking a wander around to find out in a bit.

I’ve not been here for a while, and I’ve missed the blogosphere and you delightful people who inhabit it.

Part of the reason I’ve been away, is that everything has changed for me in the last six months. I now have a new home, a new job, a new goddamn attitude (actually, I’m lying, the attitude is much the same). I’m still a gardener, but working for a much smaller organisation made up of quirks and oddballs. I’m living in a house with four people I don’t know, two Canadians, an American and another Englander. Everyone seems friendly, but I’m still trying to figure out routines and moods. So all is kind of chaotic at the moment and I’m hoping this will make for entertaining blogs in the weeks to come.

But for now, I’m going to have an explore of the WordPress world. See you soon.

Two More Reviews for Peddling Doomsday

These are the second two reviews I promised, again, by two of my favourite bloggers.

Peddling Doomsday

Firstly The Shameful Narcissist Speakslink here, who writes about gaming, books and her own writing projects. If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, then you definitely have to pay her a visit. Or if you’re just fond of good writing and cats. Here’s her review.

If you want to delve into the machinations of how a cult can draw in and take over “normal” people, this is the book you want to read.  Looking at it from the outside, it’s easy to see what’s going on, but if you really want to believe something because you have nothing else, you will.  That’s how these kinds of people prey on the most vulnerable.  This novel is a disturbing journey, but that’s what makes it worth the read.

And last but not least, Darnell Cureton’s Writing Block, link here, who writes stories and explores writing ideas, always an entertaining read.  His latest story, The Dreamers Door was brilliant, a dark, twisting tale. And the review for my book!

The novel PEDDLING DOOMSDAY by Petra Jacob is a fascinating read. It tells the story of normal people, like you and me searching for a better life. People searching for purpose, for meaning in their lives. Peddling Doomsday tells the story of vulnerable people recruited into a religious cult.

Induction into The Center Of Truth is a gradual process. Our protagonist Deirdre, unhappy with her marketing job, starts reading their media: ‘Youdon’t know how significant you are. We Need You.’ In time she was convinced someone needed her for a higher calling.

Psychology, emotional manipulations, and external stimuli inevitably convinced Deirdre and other followers to sever ties with the outside world. Isolation of recruits leads to reliance on ranking cult members like the Captain, as they are stripped of outside support.

To prevent hiding behind your flaws, followers replaced given names with Cinnamon, Cabbage, Bear, Night and Torque.

Cult jargon – Interference, Brilliance, The Shadows, The Elite, and Defts – only true believers understood the meaning. This cultivated a sense of exclusiveness among members. Everyone wanted to be a believer, to be in the inner circle.

The story tells of Myra, the cult leader sharing the truth that has been revealed to her. She has the answers as to who is really running the world and why a great fight is coming. Deirdre begins to mentally question the soundness of the sect as she is instructed to perform odd rituals. Her paranoia increases while she tries to separate reality from delusion. This story is fiction, but could very well be today’s reality. For that, Peddling Doomsday gets 5 stars – or 5 spectacular Defts as I compel you to like this post.

.5 Stars

Graffiti, art, and the imprint of Gen X

A delightful blog about the artist Keith Haring from canyondreaming, I hope you all enjoy it.


It will be hard not to make this post too personal, but I’ll try.  Keith Haring was an inspiring artist at a time when graffiti was still considered an eyesore and not an art form, a time that I have a lot of nostalgia for. I’m guessing that I might well have run into Keith Haring either on a dance floor (gay clubs were the only ones to play even remotely good dance music in the early 80s, and as Cameo says “we don’t have the time for psychological romance”) or in a mosh pit, and those desperate and proud moments were key formative times for a young suburban kid who wanted to know what all the fuss was about when it came to the energy of the big city and the attitude of contemporary art. That said, I visited Haring’s exhibit (along with Paolo Buggiani‘s work) in Firenze…

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Questions from the Shameful Narcissist

So I’ve been a blog-abandonner for a while now, keeping to the craggy mountains of the Internet, only striding into town when I need a sip of whiskey. Then one of my favourite bloggers The Shameful Narcissist referenced a post of mine, and that got me all inspired. I’m not even sure I’m supposed to answer these questions according to the rules of the blogging award, but then TSN broke the rules too, so we are well into renegade territory, anything could happen. If anyone else also feels inspired to flout the rules of convention and answer the questions, then go ahead, make my day.

The Questions:

  1. When you read do you visualize characters and settings?  As in do the words create images in your mind?
  2. What’s your favorite kind of tea?
  3. What’s the best game you’ve played or watched this year so far?
  4. What’s the best book you’ve read this year so far?
  5. Do you prefer to watch a show one episode at a time or binge watch?
  6. Do you prefer “people” names for pets or “non-people” names (I’m genuinely surprised at how many people are annoyed by the former)?
  7. What would you change your eye color to if you could?
  8. Do you tan or burn (FYI don’t tan.  It’s terrible for you – PSA)?
  9. What’s your fictional/fantasy job, as in, what your job be if you lived in a fictional/fantasy world (I’d be a lounge singer assassin)?
  10. What’s your favorite dystopian city (thanks TWRM for putting this idea into my head!)?
  11. How close is your blogger persona to your IRL one?


The Answers

1.When you read do you visualize characters and settings?  As in do the words create images in your mind?

I always assumed I was good at visualising things, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m not at all, I can imagine details, but whole pictures are beyond me. I think when I read I imagine sensations and emotions, but the actual images are vague.

2. What’s your favorite kind of tea?

I dislike almost all tea, which makes me an outcast in England. I like the idea, and the smell, of herbal teas, but the reality is always way too insipid. I used to live somewhere where we had Anis (it may not have been Anis, but it smelt of liquorice) growing wild, and I’d brew up a few leaves, which created the only nice tea I’ve ever had. I’ve never been able to recreate it. I’m still holding out hope though. There must be another tea out there for me.

3.  What’s the best game you’ve played or watched this year so far?

I’m not a gamer, although games look great, I just don’t have enough spare time at the moment for a new thing. It’s my retirement plan though, I figure when I’m not so mobile, being able to go to some apocalyptic landscape and fight zombies or fly planes will be fantastic.

4. What’s the best book you’ve read this year so far?

I’m reading the Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it’s very entertaining so that could be the best, but the time travel logic is dubious. I’m also listening to the Stand (see below). I don’t think I’d have the patience to read it in book-form (he describes every last detail, he can spend five minutes talking about a character cutting some vegetables) but listening to it when I’m driving makes it feel like I’m living in two parallel worlds: one with traffic, and one with a devil and lots of corpses.

5. Do you prefer to watch a show one episode at a time or binge watch?

Binge, otherwise I forget what I’ve been watching. Although recently I watched the Handmaid’s Tale and found it too disturbing to watch all at once, so I kept delaying. I still need to watch the last episode.

6. Do you prefer “people” names for pets or “non-people” names (I’m genuinely surprised at how many people are annoyed by the former)?

I’m happy with both. I guess if all pets had people-names that would get boring, but variety is good.

6. What would you change your eye color to if you could?

Something very pale or very dark.

7. Do you tan or burn (FYI don’t tan.  It’s terrible for you – PSA)?

I need to live somewhere else in order to tan, in England I reflect the rain and the white skies.

8. What’s your fictional/fantasy job, as in, what your job be if you lived in a fictional/fantasy world (I’d be a lounge singer assassin)?

Great job. I’d live wild in the woods, and drop out of trees when I wanted to impart some wisdom. That’s not really a job, is it? I could probably survive off foraging, wild boar and thievery.

9. What’s your favorite dystopian city (thanks TWRM for putting this idea into my head!)?

The Stand (Stephen King), while I’m not entirely sure I’d want to live in the book, escaping the commute into that intense, seething world is spectacular, and I love it.

10. How close is your blogger persona to your IRL one?

I don’t consciously change, but I’ve noticed most people shift behaviour when they use a different method of communication, so presumably I do. I’m probably more careful online, partly because I’m able to edit and partly because sarcasm tends to go wrong without facial expressions to explain it, IRL I’m more of a loud-faced oaf.