Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A SNEAKY TRIP TO DEVON...

FELINE GOOD DOWN IN DARTMOUTH...

Hello beasties!!

This time I'm here to share with you some photos from my trip to Dartmouth in Devon - not to mention a spin-off piece that I have written associated with my series, THE BEAST OF FRIENDS - or, at least, with one of the characters from it...

Let's get started with some of those photos, which I took whilst I was in Devon between the 2nd and the 5th October 2015...
 
DOWN IN DEVON GALLERY...

Next time it's time for us to release THE BEAST OF FRIENDS - SEASON FOUR, not to mention the compiled BEAST OF FRIENDS, SEASON 1 TO 4... and I may well make mention of my forthcoming Poetry Café show on October 29th 2015. Oh, the excitement!
 
Anyway, we're heading off now - but coming up we have a new story, set in Devon, which involves Horner (from THE BEAST OF FRIENDS) and a pair of Mystic Cats called Corey and Elsa. It was written over the long weekend of the 2nd to the 5th October 2015 - down in Dartmouth and on my way up and back. This story stands alone, but may well be continued when I head off to Lyon next month. At very least it acts as a prologue to one of my future script books... Ah well!

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

P.S. Thanks to Corey and Elsa for letting me use their photos in this post. Elsa is the one lounging on the stairs - Corey the one drinking from the tap! Thanks also to Julie and Pete Archer for having Calum and I to stay and for showing us around the area! It was great to see you both in your new home; what a beautiful place to live!

HORNER AND THE MYSTIC CATS OF TORQUAY...

(EXTRACTS FROM A DIARY)

Friday 2nd October 2015

So here I am - in Torquay! Yes - I know... How did I end up there? How odd! I blame it on these cats that I've come to see... I really have no idea why these mystic felines have chosen Torquay to live in, but they have. Some might say that it merely adds to their sense of mystery and mysticism. I'm not sure that I completely agree, mind - but I'm not against a little bit of exploration, if I'm in the right mood - although it's a bit of a busman's holiday considering all the travel-writing I have done over the years.

I can't honestly tell you what I hope to learn over the weekend ahead - although some kind of inspiration that might send me in a new direction might be nice. I'll admit to being at a slightly loose end, lately. As I've already mentioned, I've travelled the world as a journalist - documenting my experiences for any who care to read them; I hope to do so again when the right project emerges. Additionally, I've lived for a number of years in London becoming involved with a group of oddballs whom I fitted in very well with and who, not only lived in my house, but also became very close friends; our experiences together were not always good ones, but that was never their fault. Eventually we all went our separate ways and I moved on to help run a library full of ghosts, murderers and wicked imps - not to mention a number of fairly good and magical creatures. It's a long story - too long to explain here and now.

My time at the library recently came to an end and ever-since I've been at a loose end. It was an article in The Beargrrrian Gazette that brought the Mystic Cats of Torquay to my attention. The actual piece was in regard to their singing prowess, which I believe was quite an acquired taste - but the less said about that the better. Anyway, something about that article really drew me in and I ended up sending them a letter, asking if I could meet them - interview them even, for some unspecified project.

So here I am...

I shall be meeting them in a little under an hour. For a reason I've now almost forgotten we have agreed to meet in Dartmouth where accommodation has been arranged for me - in fact that is where I am as I write this. I think there was some manner of concern that the cats might be too well known should we meet in Torquay; but this might be a rumour that they are spreading about themselves and the price of catnip is bound to be cheaper out of town. I wouldn't be surprised, rather like many prominent politicians - if they didn't work in a more touristic place like Torquay, whilst choosing to live somewhere more picturesque themselves.

Anyway, I must go... I shall report back on my return...

POST-SCRIPT...

Well, I'm safely back; if slightly squiffy. I'm not quite sure what I've learnt from my night out - in fact I've probably ended up filling my head full of even more questions - but there you go.

What CAN I tell you?

Well, for one thing I can say is that The Mystic Cats are most certainly quite eccentric characters and I would hazard a guess that their reputations and titles have perhaps been something that they have, rather generously, bequeathed upon themselves. There are only two of them - a ginger and white tom named Corey and a tortoiseshell lady called Elsa.

At least we all got on well, having dinner at a local Indian - talking until well after midnight; everything from the three taboos of religion, pies and politics to "who killed who" in long since defunct soap opera, MAD DRAG QUEENS ON ACID - still one of my favourite shows of all time.

Looking back now, all tucked up and ready to sleep I do feel that I probably said far more about myself than I ever learnt about them. Every time I tried to ask them about their mystic powers they seemed to turn the question on me. They do appear to be very keen for me to come and work for them - but from what I can tell it looks as if what they really require is an agent - and I'm really not sure I want to be getting involved in something like that. That said - maybe I'm imagining all this, it's not as if any money has been mentioned - in fact I paid for dinner. Still, maybe they're planning on unveiling some big job offer tomorrow, although I am afraid that I will have to let them down. Still, it was a fun evening and I'm sure that tomorrow will be equally as enjoyable.

For now, though, it's time for bed...

Saturday 3rd October 2015

Well, today has ended up being quite an education - but maybe not in the way that I was expecting. I'm also really not convinced about the mystic powers of these two cats - although they've definitely got the gift of the gab when it comes to convincing me into buying them dinner. We also agree on bad horror films, their favourite is SCRATCH THE ITCH OF DRACULA - I thought I was the only one who'd ever seen that movie until today! Anyway, I digress...

This morning Corey and Elsa were waiting for me down at the harbour in Dartmouth. As I expected they were full of themselves and there was some talk that I was to witness a magical event at a wedding at Torre Abbey that afternoon. Until then they were very keen that I saw them carry out a number of mystical events in their home town. This involved us going to a local deli on the High Street (guess who paid!) and then continued with a rather strange couple of hours where we sat in their back garden with their friends Daphne and Josiah the sea gulls where they claimed to be communing with the food. I was sceptical, I must say and was expecting - at the very least - a crystal ball; instead they produced a scotch egg. This scotch egg, of course, did not last very long as they ate it after a few failed attempts to commune with a pile of rather delicious looking Danish pastries, which somehow I never got a look-in on. In the end they managed to get a spirit to speak through Daphne - she was a highway woman called Gladis who claimed to have been living for some years in a tin of corned beef. Some of the language she used really made me blush, so I just sat and nibbled on some cheese straws and pretended that I hadn't heard her venting about austerity measures and the future of the Labour Party should it ever be lead by her friend Garbo the Sheep dog.

Before we got there I was actually looking forward to our afternoon trip into Torquay - I wasn't entirely sure what role the two cats were meant to be playing at the wedding, but presumed that it would be something both enlightening and entertaining. It actually turned out that they were waiting tables and expected me to join them - trying to convince me that this experience was in some way magical! The only "magic" I am aware of was the mysterious vanishing of a box of champagne - all fingers were pointed towards a shifty looking ferret called Jorg, who was working the bar - but who later appeared to have never existed. I rather suspect that Jorg was either Elsa or Corey in disguise - but I can't actually prove it. These cats seem to be probably more experienced in the art of crime than in the mystic arts and they have decided to try out some of their tricks on me. I'm really not at all sure what I think about all this. 

Sunday 4th October 2015

It's pretty obvious to me now that I'm being used - that these cats are getting far more out of me than I am out of them and that they are actually not especially mystic at all.

In the morning, on the Sunday, they had me doing all their D.I.Y. - but once again found ways of dressing it up as a trick, a piece of magic or some supernatural experience. They were especially keen when I happened to suggest an easier way of opening tins of cat food; for mystic cats they do seem to struggle with some rather basic day-to-day tasks. It's pretty clear to me now that they grew up as domestic cats with human masters - it would explain a good deal and makes sense of why they seem to be incapable of doing things for themselves.

The weather wasn't as bright and clear as it had been on Saturday, but we still went out and had a potter about on Blackpool Sands. The cats didn't have a car and whereas when we'd gone to Torquay we took a bus - on this occasion we cycled, or should I say I cycled and they just sat there snuggled up in a basket up front.

I should have put my foot down and said no to all this - but I think by this stage I was almost removed from the actual tasks in some kind of "fuzzy" world of disbelief. I'm pretty sure the cycling part was good exercise and all the hammering and D.I.Y. just allowed me to close down my usually over-active thought processes and to take a bit of a break.

There I was, sitting on the steps of a beach hut with a take-away cup of coffee watching the cats frolicking in the surf - and suddenly I knew what must come next. No more aimless wandering - I needed a mission and it wasn't long before I would see something that inspired me. 

It was about half an hour later, before I insisted that we cycled home. I'd ended up buying us ice creams at Slapton Ley and as we sat on the tide wall eating them - as the skies grew increasingly overcast above us - I saw something.

There was a zombie on the beach wearing a small orange sun hut and it was eating candy floss.

"Am I really seeing what I think I'm seeing?" I enquired, almost calmly, turning to tortoiseshell Elsa.

"What do you think you see?" She hissed, but kindly.

"A zombie..." I replied. "And it's eating candy floss..."

"That'll be bad for its teeth..." Corey interrupted and then began to tut.

"But is it really there?"

"Yes and no..." replied Elsa. "We don't see it - but you do... It's a glimpse of your future - a spoiler if you like..."

"How is a zombie in a sun hat eating candy floss a glimpse of my future!" I exclaimed, taking a look back - but now it had gone and so had Elsa and Corey. I could see them already curled up asleep in the basket of the old bike some way away.

Quite how we had that discussion at the same moment I will never know. Maybe, on rare occasions, they are actually mystically gifted after all.

Monday 5th October 2015

As I write this I am on my way to my next port of call, although I haven't quite decided where I intend to stop quite yet... I guess I've sort of come to terms with my little experience this weekend with those two rather odd cats. I did learn a couple of things, it has to be said - although I'm not completely sure that they make much sense to me.

That night after we got back from Slapton Ley they treated me to a large and delicious dinner and one that I didn't have to pay for myself too. From what I can tell I think their neighbours had knocked up this delicious roast for us - but still it's not something one should be grumbling about and so I didn't.

I turned in early that night and all I could dream of was zombies in hats and pink candy floss. This time the zombie was closer and I could make out that he was trying to say something to me - I have a rather queer suspicion that it was nothing any more mystic than the lyrics to The Beatles, I Am The Walrus - but then again the meaning of that song always was pretty obscure.

I have to say that, in the end, I was sad to bid Corey and Elsa goodbye. I think we both probably learnt a few lessons - although it may take a little longer for me discover what I've actually learnt. Still, their D.I.Y. skills are probably pretty amazing now; that's something they can teach to Daphne and Josiah, so that they can take charge of any maintenance problems in future. Ah well! It's amazing what cheeky cats can get away with if they purr nicely!

Despite all that, this time I am willing to bet that there is yet more to come related to this whole zombie - and when it occurs I will make sure to ask Corey and Elsa for their assistance...

TO BE CONTINUED...
 
HORNER AND THE MYSTIC CATS OF TORQUAY will appear as part of one of Paul's script-books during 2016. All contents of this blog are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2015.

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