May 29 2013

Upon the opening of Lancaster Castle

A thousand years shut, they’ve opened the jaws

And welcomed you inside

The crisscrossed mesh, the iron maws

Gawp at where so many died.

Frocked  soldiers in Specsavers smile and beam

History sanitised  by State and given to you

A bad death in irons is given a sheen

And a ‘witch’ always comes with a broomstick too.

It’s an Event, it’s history, it’s bank holiday

So there are unicyles against the wall

To see the grizzly bits you need to pay

Whilst Punch plays on through the pouring  rain.

Desperate graffiti and once stern signs

Ironically photoed on your phone

I am happy to see ‘living’ history

But  those who died here were once yours and mine.

They dropped in their cells , they were choked by their neck

The recent still scary and thus ignored

Why hark at someone’s cell who is still alive

When History makes slaves of us all.

May 11 2013

Wray Scarecrow Festival 2013

Wray Scarecrow Festival Pictorial

In a genteelly malevolent  way, I wanted this to be a teeny bit crap this year. Like when I look at the weather forecast and get more upset than the situation really necessitates when it is 24 degrees in Norfolk and there  is frost on the window of my bedroom. The phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ was always utterly ludicrous especially when brayed from an Eton educated millionaire but I somehow hoped that maybe the people of Wray were also facing austerity and maybe had to make scarecrows out of Asda carrier bags and roadkill. This is because I am small minded and jealous because I cannot afford to live in Wray.

We went there on a bus in the howling wind and rain ( an average of 25 degrees everywhere else apart from Northern Scotland)  I was unaware of the theme for this years event which added a slight frisson of excitement, especially when I first confronted with a grinning torso of a scarecrow strung up high from a little stone cottage and beaming leglessly down. With a fishing rod. I presumed it was not the Paralympics. I still do not know what it was because my toddler started crying.

I decided the theme was terror and nightmares and here are some pictures to explain why. The Faceless Nun is a particular favourite especially as it was half hidden behind a wall sightlessly staring at a scarecrow giving birth. This would make a good film, the sort of film to be found tragically too late in the faeces smeared home of a young serial killer.

The bunting blows flaps wildy, crows shriek but still Wray,  despite the recession has put on a jolly good show.

Big scarecrow- even the bus sign post  is all Wickermanny.

Writers Block- so good that clearly the creator of the scarecrow is really struggling with their second novel.

This cute Peter Rabbit has a book open portraying  the arrival of the murderer and eater of his father and then a row of ellipses…

 Such meticulous attention to detail it made me nervous in case there might have been Peter Rabbit’s murdered daddy depicted vividly also. I realised then I needed to take a grip.

This one foxed me for ages. I just did not get it. Then I realised it was about eating horses. At this point I really struggled with what this years theme could be.

A surprising find in a graveyard. Thus I felt extra guilty for the sexual innuendo I but possibly no-one else saw in the narrative.

A mouse went for a stroll in a deep dark wood then saw a Gruffalo made of rug. This is another one that has made my child not sleep through the night, I suspect because he is now clutching the clever cunning mouse in his ruggy grasp. That was not in the book. And believe me I know the book. Strangely enough the toddler does not want to read it anymore.

This was a good one. It melded together the concept of a Kindle Fire and ‘witches’ being burned at the stake. The witch was terrifying.

Then I saw this.

This MUST be the first scarecrow representation of an unhinged evil dictator…

Oh, hold on…

I just liked the concept of a scarecrow with a gun

The ‘chavs’ in this are scarily good. The attention to detail both impressed and unnerved me. I decide I may not want to move to Wray after all.

I have never seen a Prince William as perfect as this-even the gaffa tape works.

When you put the computer down, her cold brown eyes will still be staring at you,

You will never sleep again.

I thought it was another appendage as well.

When soft porn and scarecrows collide. Just like you’ve always wanted.

The theme of course was childrens books.