It is strange how the early summer heat can hit one. Later in the year it may indeed be hotter, but one is already acclimatised. But early in the year, when late spring is hotter than usual, people can react strangely to the temperature. I write not to excuse their behaviour, but to explain. When … More Cherry Brandy and foundation garments.
I would not have it said that Morpeth Pennywight was mad. A trifle eccentric perhaps but not actually mad. Certainly I never saw him foaming at the mouth and there are few reliable reports of him biting people. Well he once bit a purveyor of literary criticism but frankly that hardly counts. Morpeth was an … More Lightly edited.
Some years ago the Reed Thatchers’ Friendly Society found itself with a small surfeit of funds. Rather than merely spend it on a splendid dinner for the society officers, it was decided to spend the money on something of civic value. Indeed when I stop to think it about it, it must have been a … More The sanctity of marriage
It has to be confessed that one advantage of the smaller shrines is that they have a more family atmosphere. We might not be able to manage to perform our rites with the split second formality of some of the greater shrines. There you’ll see forty girls perform their steps in perfect time, finishing simultaneously … More Cakes and Ale
I was a lot younger when I first met Tobit, Blare and Wilk in the Sattir’s Drop. I was performing and in spite of that the bar was packed. The three of them were sitting at a table together and I asked if I could squeeze in. One of them, I later learned it was … More The three most wicked men in Port Naain
It has to be admitted that this city has a fair collection of half-forgotten fertility rites. It’s not surprising really, the inhabitants of Port Naain are descended from those who arrived from small villages situated all over the west and north. So as well as the traditional method of ensuring conception, we have many small … More Obscure fertility rites
I’m sure everybody has seen the painting. Two pretty girls in diaphanous clothing frolicking in the waves whilst one of them is kissed by a young man. Such pictures are always more interesting if you know the story and the people behind them. The charming and distinctly beautiful young lady being kissed is Talkani. The … More Seems like a nice girl
One problem about plague years where everybody hides in their houses is what do you do about those too poor to have a home? For us at the Shrine of Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm our major worry was for the mendicants. Given that they had largely been beggars and … More Funding the consequences of folly