Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Loss of a Master Author

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away today, aged just 66.
For those who don't know (as if anyone could not?) Terry was the celebrated comic author of the Discworld series of novels, creating many, many dearly loved characters.

In 2007 Terry announced that he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He made it clear that he would prefer 'assisted suicide' (for want of a better term) before the disease reached critical point.

It is a cruel injustice that a man with so active a mind should fall prey to an illness that would cause his mind to deteriorate. If there is a bright side to his early passing, it is that he was 'himself' to the end.

The last tweets from his Twitter account were from his daughter Rhianna - "Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night." and a quote from the character "Death" as saying "AT LAST SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER;" the final tweet of his account simply read: "The End."

I feel bereft. Silly really, since I never met the man. But his writing touched me; his novels weren't just humorous but also thought provoking, exciting and sometimes heart-breakingly sad. His characters took on a life of their own.

Rest well, Sir Terry. You did good.

Monday, 11 February 2013

'A Matter of Faith' or 'The Complexities of Marriage Equality'

 My faith is of the utmost importance to me. As a pagan I see faith as a living thing, evolving, growing. As we mature, (or, at least, get older) life reveals new mysteries to us, which is how we in turn are led to grow.

 Blind faith is another matter. I have seen far too much of that in the last twenty-four hours.

 This entry has been prompted by a... conversation on Facebook concerning marriage equality. It is a subject that provokes some strong feelings on both sides, which is exactly as it should be. Marriage is not an institution I would want to be taken lightly. My handfasting to Keith is incredibly precious to me. So too, in its own way, the civil partnership that gave our union legal recognition.

 But there is the case in point - a fundamental inequality, biased against same-sex relationships. I call Keith my husband, but it has been pointed out to me more than once that legally he is my partner. We are not married and did not have a wedding; we are in a civil partnership. (Side note: I did try to be civil. For the whole day. It made my teeth ache.) If we can't call our union a marriage, well, that differentiates our relationship from that of a heterosexual couple. It is a line drawn in the sand.

 Semantics, you might say. Others have. But words are never just words, they really do matter. They can be used to label, to segregate, they carry the weight of connotation. If they did not, why would certain sectors of society be so intent on denying us the use of such terms as marriage, husband or wife?

 This is the definition of marriage as found in the Oxford Dictionary:
  • the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife: she has three children from a previous marriage
  • [mass noun] the state of being married: women want equality in marriage
  • (in some jurisdictions) a union between partners of the same sex.
 Fairly straightforward. And not one mention of religion. So why does Christianity (in its myriad forms) hold so much sway over how the term can be used?

 The Church of England is the most vocal opponent to same-sex marriage in the UK, claiming such unions will devalue the institution of marriage. 'The greatest threat to the church in 500 years' it has been said, which of course is all rather flattering... and utter nonsense. Scaremongering, bigotry and homophobia, all passed off as adherence to scripture.

 This should be a secular matter and yet it is not. The whole debate about marriage equality has been dragged down by dogma, stalled by a faith reluctant to evolve and to grow.




Monday, 5 November 2012

Helen & the Sirens

Spent a fantastic Samhain night at The Bedford in Balham, a great music venue! There were three acts on that night, but we were only there to see one - Helen & the Sirens!

Since it was Samhain we decided to dress up a little. My darling hubsand was an evil demon, robed and tattooed with burning red eyes. I was a zombie.

We had a few odd looks on the way, but it was halloween so most people took us in their stride. One teenager did comment, 'Why are they trick-or-treating? They're, like, twenty or something.' Which halved my age. Score!

Helen & the Sirens were excellent, as always. In fact I'd say that this was their tightest performance yet! And they looked fantastic, terrifying, dressed as Stephen King's Carrie. Prom dresses and corsage flowers were liberally drenched with blood!

Most of their set can be found on their EP (which can be purchased here) but they also performed two covers. The first was Justin Bieber's 'Baby', an hilarious take on the song (you have to hear it to understand...) The second, especially for halloween, was a mash-up of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' spliced with 'Tubular Bells' - just perfect!

The whole show can be seen here, although the sound quality doesn't do their live performance justice.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Friday, 28 September 2012

Samhain Festival 2012

Pagan Future Fests are holding a Samhain festival this year on Sunday 21st October. The venue is The Bedford in Balham (full address below), a great music venue... handy, since Inkubus Sukkubus will be playing! There will also be workshops and stalls selling all kinds of goodies!

The Bedford (Pub/Theatre)
77 Bedford Hill
London SW12 9HD

 Tickets are available in advance through their site (here) or on the door. Should be a good one!

Pope Decides Gay People Aren’t Fully Developed Humans

Aged bigot in a dress decides gays aren't fully developed humans. Priests who commit pedophilia are fine though... Full story here.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


Did I know you once?
Or was that just a masque,
Once worn, now discarded?
Reality ill suits you,
A face set in cold, hard lines.

I am unchanged,
Older, wiser, perhaps -
But still, at heart, the child you knew,
Craving your attention.
Denied, ever denied
By the bitterness of shared blood.

If man's love for man is such a taint
In your eyes
That hatred can be made a virtue,
Then better I am tainted!
Should I deny myself, my heart,
For your approval? No.

And so I cut you free.