Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Abandon hope all ye who enter here...

Found an interesting site, www.entrancestohell.com. There's a European section as well, with a few British entries.

Friday, January 27, 2006


An interesting article in The Guardian today about Stonehenge. I must say, I went there a few years ago and I was quite insulted to have to go to a tacky visitor centre (you can't get to the stones without going through it)and pay to enter the field where the stones are. I can understand paying for a museum or stately home, because there is upkeep involved. Stonehenge is made of stone, it's been there for centuries, it can be left to its own devices like any other piece of rock, surely. I hate the way that it has been touristified. But as Simon Jenkins points out, Avebury is more impressive, anyway. It has gift shops and a museum, but they aren't compulsory, and they don't intrude on the atmosphere of the place.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The legend of Jan Tregeagle

As regular readers of this blog may know, I spent the first 18 years of my life in a town called Bodmin, in Cornwall. Now, Cornwall has many legends, and one I remember very clearly, which fascinated me from a young age, was the legend of Jan Tregeagle.

Jan Tregeagle probably existed in real life, perhaps as a magistrate in Bodmin. He seems to have been a rather evil and corrupt figure, who was rumoured to have swindled an orphan out of his estate. He wasn't a bit like Bystander! After his death, there was a court case which needed his evidence; the court was surprised to hear the ghost of Mr Tregeagle summoned as a witness. The ghost manifested itself, but there was a problem with sending the spirit back to hell. The local priests got together and decided that he could stay, as long as he completed certain tasks. If he didn't complete them or stopped to rest, he would be pursued by the hounds of hell. Basically, they wee keeping him out of trouble.

The first task was to empty Dozmary Pool with a leaking limpet shell. Now, Dozmary Pool is a beautiful, desolate place on Bodmin Moor, which is reputed to be bottomless. They thought that it would keep our friend busy for a bit. There are various other legends about what he got up to, but I think that the links that I provide will suffice. One day, the demons tried to chase him, but he leapt across the water of Dozmary Pool and was saved. You can read some more authoritative versions here and here.

As for the bottomless Dozmary Pool, it's the site of many other legends, and is supposedly where Excalibut was lost. After all, it's a bottomless lake. Apart from when it dried up in 1869 and 1976...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No, this is the strangest sport ever!

How about the ancient sport of worm charming? Well, not exactly ancient, but the first championships were held twenty years ago when I was a twinkle in my parents' eyes. OK, a large sixteen year old twinkle. Apparently you have to vibrate the ground in a way attractive to worms. Or maybe in a way which might intimidate worms into thinking that something really really bad will happen if they stay underground...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Is this the strangest sport ever?

And first on the list of 20 strange things is that fine old sport of bog snorkelling. This is an event that takes place in August, in a small town in Wales called Llanwyrtyd Wells, and it involves snorkelling a 60 metre stretch of murky, muddy water twice. You can't see anything, but there's no coming up to look about, and no obvious swimming strokes either. Oh come on, you know you've always wanted to do it! If you want to get involved in this year's event, here you go!.

For those of a more athletic nature, you can try the bog snorkelling triathlon. This means that you undertake a run of 8-10 miles, then the famous 120 yard snorkel, then a cycle ride of 16-18 miles. Although, if your self image as a cyclist is important, or you want to pull blokes/birds in Wales, bear in mind that you might not look your best once you've completed the bog snorkelling!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Shall I blog further?

This blog is nearly a year old now, and I feel it has lost it's original purpose, which was to feature articles of interest about forteana, strangeness and eccentricity. I'm not sure how well the blog works in other ways, as I don't give away a lot about my personal life, or have a great interest in politics, like a lot of the more successful bloggers. I can't really write about any funny Scary Duck type teeenage escapades, as my teenage years tended to involve amateur sexual fumbling, and reading the novels of Thomas Hardy, rather than doing dodgy things with fireworks. No, not at the same time, although, given the quality of some of the sexual fumbling, Thomas Hardy might have relieved the boredom. Mind you, I've warmed to The Liberal Democrats in the last week or so. Imagine what their Christmas party must have been like, what with Charles Kennedy getting the rounds in, and that Oaten chap doing the actions to YMCA.

Anyway, I've decided to return the blog to it's original purpose for a bit, and I'm going to discipline myself to blog 20 instances of strange customs, events, or stories, in 20 days, starting from tomorrow. And I'm not even going to cheat by mentioning The London Whale, as strange a story as we've seen for a long time. And we all so longed for it to live, didn't we?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

More strangeness

And this time it's from New Zealand. It's amazing the stuff you can find on a beach.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Weirdest headline

Flying Prawn Killed Fur Magnate, Says Widow. Actually, the story isn't as dramatic as it sounds and the claim is a little tenuous. Still, it's a headline to savour.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I've seen it all now....

Now, I've seen some weird stuff on the interwebby thing, but this is just as strange as they come. Which font suits you?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Well, I've munched the last piece of tinsel, taken down the last choccie from the ceiling, and quaffed the last drink. So, what are my resolutions?

1. To do more writing, maybe even finish my novel.
2. To blog more regularly.
3. To laugh more.
4. To get down to see my family in Cornwall more often.
5. To take more exercise, by living more of an active, open air life, not by boring myself stupid at an aerobics class.
6. To take up painting again.

I think that'll do to start with!