Jekyll, my cat.
Jekyll was put to sleep at 11 am on Thursday morning. He miaowed on th way up to the vets as usual, but was perfectly calm once he got there. One of the vets two dogs laid herself down beside his pet carrier and went to sleep. Jekyll was used to them, he never minded dogs as long as they didn't jump up at him. It was other cats he hated, except for Yogi.

Jekyll was found in a shop doorway about twelve-fourteen years ago. At the time I found him he was unresponsive, very passive. I brought him home, and my then cat, Yogi accepted him straight away. Jekyll actually hid himself in my flat so well for a few days that I actually thought he had somehow slipped out. In fact he had hidden himself away, as he was quite ill. When he recovered, he proved to be totally feral. For over a month he lived in my flat as a complete alien. Hiding from me all the time, sneaking out to raid the rubbish, and crap in the sink. He apparently could not understand that some of the food I was putting down was meant for him.

I eventually caught him hiding behind a curtain, and he hissed and spat at me. I stroked him anyway, and he decided he liked it. For a while he would run at me, rub himself against my leg, then run away before I could strolke him. In time, he'd stay to be petted. By the time of his death, I could carry him in my arms on his back, and he'd just purr.

He liked my cat Yogi, but apart from him he loathed all other cats with real venom. When I got Norman the rabbit, he surprised me by taking Norman for his friend, after scaring me silly by trying to stalk him. Yogi died with liver problems, and poor Norman died of pneumonia. When I acquired Jessie Bunny, Jekyll became her big brother, and showed towards her a remarkable patience and affection.

He wasn't much good as a hunter, and the only animal trophy he ever brought to me was a slug. I took the slug off of him and threw it out the window. He promptly jumped out after it, picked it up again, and put it on my bed. He also once bought home asnack-sized packet of cheese.

He suffered a few bumps and scrapes. Got a spiral fracture in his back leg and required an external fixeter. It took me five years to pay off the bills for that! Then he had cat flu. He fell into other people's basement areas twice. This last year he developed a thyroid problem, and then a heart problem. Then his kidneys packed up.

Jekyll had a special liking for marmite, soya cheese and mayonnaise. He wasn't a cat for toys, and loved the great outdoors, and climbing trees. He bit the neighbours and bit the vets, and was loving towards his "family".

I haven't cried much. But sometimes I think I hear his bell, and sometimes I think I hear him miaow. I'm told this is normal.

Happy BIrthday Dr Worm!
I would have sent a message to you saying Happy Birthday. But I can't figure out how.

Happy Birthday anyway!

best wishes

Free Lovecraft Audiobook
I have recorded an audio version of H P Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model". It is available here

for downloading.

There are plenty of other Lovecraft recordings on the Internet Archive. Just type his name into the search box and see what comes up.

I shall be making another recording soon.


Jeffrey Combs - the new Vincent Price?
Ever since I first saw him as the coldly diabolical Dr Herbert West in Stuart Gordon's "Reanimator" I have been haunted by this first-rate actor.

He has starred in quite a few horror movies since then, though mostly he has guest starred to be precise. Almost always taking a minor role to the juvenile leads, who have far less charisma and presence than himself. From "The Frighteners", where he turned in an unforgettable performance as quirky FBI agent Milton Dammers, to "The House on Haunted Hill" and it's sequels where, as Dr Vannacutt, he has stolen the movie away from everybody else.

Jeffrey Combs, who also has appeared in Star Trek DS9 and Enterprise" has been called by many "the new Vincent Price".

Now I love Vincent Price, and will watch him in anything. But Vincent is Vincent, and Jeffrey is Jeffrey. Both unique, neither can substitute for the other.

Ten Unsung Masterpieces of Horror Cinema.
Ten Unsung Masterpieces of Horror Cinema.

On another website , a film critic gave his list of unsung horror masterpieces. I disagreed with his list, and decided to create my own.

In no particular order -

The Nameless, aka Los Sin Nombre. This masterpiece, and I do not use the word lightly, is based on Ramsey Campbell's sterling novel of the same name. It is a creepy tale of a woman who is getting phonecalls from her daughter, who was kidnappped and murdered by a mysterious cult many years earlier. It deals with her search for her daughter, and what happens when she finds her. Most memorable for the cameo by Carlos Lasarte, who can also be seen in [Rec] playing an aging fairy. Senor Lasarte gave the most terrifying performance I have ever seen, yes, even better than Brad Dourif in Exorcist 3. This film is as bleak a movie as you will ever see.

Crazy as Hell. Stars Eriq LaSalle, who also directed. This movie is about a celebrity psychologist played by Michael Beach, who is invited to star in a True Life documentary set in a psychiatric hospital. He has star quality, and he knows it. Shame about the lack of medical expertise. Problems start when he decides that a certain patient is over-medicated. Troubles increase when a new patient arrives, claiming to be Satan. This movie is actually quite subtle, but packs one hell of a punch at the ending.

The Haunted House of Horror This is on the surface your archetypal teen horror movie. Set in the 1960s it involves a group of hip and trendy young things who go to spend the night in a deserted house believed to be haunted. Naturally, someone dies. However, the main bulk of the story involves the aftermath of this event, in which our young people try to figure out whether the house is actually haunted, or if one of their number "did it". There is more suspense and tension than gore and violence, nevertheless this is a brutal movie, and the ending is as full of pity as it is of horror.

Session 9 starring David Caruso, whom I do not like very much. Nevertheless he is ok in this. The rest of the cast are stellar. The movie starts slow and dull, indeed, I thought I'd bought a soap opera by mistake for the first half hour. When the horrors begin, they seem kind of "plonked", they do not make any sense, and seem unrelated to the plot. Do not give up and switch off, because gradually the pieces start to fit together, forming a pattern of monstrous and diabolical shape. Set in an abandoned psychiatric hospital, which our heroes have to strip asbestos out of before it can be refurbished. It seems that not all of the patients have quite left the premises. The ending was truly terrifying, and had me crying out "no, don't!"

Scarecrows A group of bank robbers and tehir hostages are forced to land their plane in an abandoned farm. The fields are inhabited bythree scarecrows, who take objection to the intruders,and proceed to hunt and kill them. This is a rare treat, a gorefest that has genuine atmosphere and suspense as well. Nothing is ever explained here, but then, does it need to be?

The Reaping I have no idea why this fairly recent release sank without a trace. It is a complicated and well thought out story of a recently bereaved young woman who is called to investigate a series of Biblical plagues in a remote Southern town. There she discovers cultists and a child with supernatural powers, who may be either demonic, or divine. She has to make the right choice as to who to trust, and who to believe. In the mean time, there are special effects. Now I am not going to call this film a masterpiece, but it is a bloody good film, and doesn't deserve to be completely ignored, as so far it has been.

The Baby This is one of the weirdest and sickest movies you will ever see. It all revolves around a young, attractive social worker and a severely handicapped yong man. Baby cannot walk, and baby cannot talk, but in spite of that, is a handsome fellow, whom the ladies cannot resist. His mother and sisters have a vested interest in keeping him helpless, and will go to any lengths to ensure he stays that way. Our heroine will go to any lengths to rescue him. Indeed, by the end of the movie she turns out to be quite the sickest person in it; but there's a happy ending for Baby. You may need to keep a bucket by your side when you watch this one!

Visiting Hours Woefully under-acknowledged stalk-and-slash starring Michael Ironside as Colt Hawker, one of the best acted and most deeply characterised serial killers you will ever meet. I first watched this movie at an all-night flea pit cinema in Leicester Square. 90% of the audience were there to sleep. There was actually urine on the floor. But at the denoument of the movie, every member of the audience clapped and cheered. The only other time I saw a movie get an ovation like that, it was "Breaking Glass" played to a punk audience. Michael Ironside is both evil and pitiable at the same time. Best of all, is the way our heroine overomes her feminine conditioning and her social prejudices in order to take him down. One of the first movies I ever saw in which the woman in peril did not rely on a man to turn up and save her at the last moment.

It's Alive The best "monster baby" ever. Ok, so there aren't that many monster baby movies made, but still. Told mainly through the eyes of the baby's father, it is the tale of a bestial brat born with teeth, claws and the ability to use them. The father, appalled at what sprang from his loins, attempts to hunt doan and kill his child, and protect his wife and "normal" son at the same time. I don't want to spoil this plot, but would like to say that this shlocky premise is done with depth and feeling, that elevates it to one of the all-time greats. The special efects are pretty good too, considering the time.

The Horror in the Attic aka The Atic Expeditions This unsung horror has Jeffrey Combs as another mad scientist (he does them so well) and Ted Raimi, (why he gets screentime in anything, I'll never know). You can also see a star of Buffy, and Alice Cooper. Our protagonist, surviving a murder attempt by his demented girlfriend wakes up from a coma, only to find he has consented to take part in a medical experiment. Actually, it's all a diabolical plot, but who are the plotters, and who, if anyone, is innocent? At some moments this plays a bizarre comedy, and at others, like a science fiction movie. But it all comes together at the end. There is a dream sequence that doesn't seem to belong, and at times some of the shenanigans are a bit tedious; however, the strong Lovecraftian air and the complex plot more than make up for it. With uncredited guest appearance by the Necronomicon.

One, two, three... yep, that's ten.

With honourable mentions for "1942", "From Beyond the Grave" and "Kolobos"

Happy Birthday Garak!
Bleuurgh! Saturday.
Today I woke up, fed the critters and went back to bed, thinking I'd sleep until 11 or so. At 12:40 I finally woke. Then languished in bed till nearly two. I have little appetite, and little energy, and in addition to the usual symptoms, I am coughing a bit.

I ate a late breakfast, and then forced myself to go out for bread and other supplies. More lazing about.

I've had a couple of friendship valentines, but no real romance. I sent one, sort of, to someone online.

I played some Atelier Iris, and got really confused by the weapon synthesis thingy. Now I'm watching "The Grudge 2". Not much good at all.

The actor who plays Garak, Andrew Robinson, has his 67th birthday today. Imagine having a birthday on Valentine's Day. That must really suck.

In spite of getting out of bed at after 2:00, I am quite eady to go to bed after the movie. I just hope I feel better on Monday, I really don't want to miss Mandarin class, but if I feel this bad I may do so.

Uuugh cold. Otherwise Good.
London is cold, but what do I expect? Sunshine in February? *wistful sigh*. Instead, more snow is expected.

This week I went for a Doctor's appointment, and was told that my blood tests came back as normal. My throat is red, but not too bad. Blood pressure normal, and weight loss very good indeed. I have a prescription for more nasal spray, and was told that I hadn't given it a long enough try last time, so must persist this time.

Then I had a dentist's appointment, all fine save for one chipped filling. That is going to be replaced with a new one, and my new one will be colourless. Cosmetic dentistry on the NHS!

I have been out several times to see friends, and I have also discovered that my savings have mounted a bit more than I expected. Because the DSS has changed the dates upon which I get part of my benefits, which will now be paid a month in arrears, I cut back my spending a lot. So I can afford to splurge a little.

I have bought some DVD's - now there's a surprise.

I bought "The Uncanny", an anthology of cat-related horror stories, starring Peter Cushing, Ray Milland, Donald Pleasance, Joan Greenwood and Susan Penhaligon. My cat is watching it with me. It also has two extras, which is the real reason I bought it. An interview with Peter Cushing, and a tv news item on his 80th Birthday Party.

Then there is "Torture Garden", another anthology, this time based on some short stories by Robert Bloch. Robert Bloch wrote "Psycho", and was a correspondant and protege of H. P. Lovecraft. It stars Burgess Meredith, but has guest appearances by Peter Cushing, Michael Ripper, Jack Palance and Edgar Allan Poe himself - sort of.

I bought season 3 of King of the Hill for £7.50, plus two movies, "Sick House" and the US remake of "The Grudge 2". I might regret the last purchase, but at £3 something, I thought I might as well give it a go.

Now for the BIG news of my week. Although I said I was no longer interested in a cyber relationship, and have been trying to get a RL date; I met someone online who so floats my boat, I have no desire to say no. He's totally gorgeous, and he's into horror movies, and suits me in other ways too. He thinks I'm gorgeous too!

Over the weekend I also picked up "Atelier Iris", a rather sugary RPG, with a very interesting Alchemy component. I am enjoying it. Regarding Star Ocean 3, I won that game, but am now on the Post-game game. But the dungeons here are so long, I've put them aside for now.

Also this week I finished my commitment to record the Faerie Queene, and also recorded another cha of Part 2 of Gray's Anatomy. To my surprise and delight, over 440 people downloaded part 1 in one week! I thought it would be only a tiny minority of people who would be interested.

All Behind
And I am not referring to my figure.

I'm all behind on my Mandarin. As last Monday London was brought to a standstill by a heavy snowstorm, I didn't go in for my Mandarin lesson. I promised myself I would compensate by studying very hard. Then I barely studied at all.

I doubt very much that there was a class last week, so maybe I won't be behind all the others, but I am disappointed in myself. Must try harder.

Today I intended to edit the canto of The Faerie Queene that I recorded yesterday, but instead I played video games, listened to music and pissed about on the internet - very enjoyably I must add. Oh well, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.

I went to have coffee with friends in Islington, then got some shopping from Holland and Barratt, and bought some bog rolls from a market stall. I also bought a second-hand copy of Atelier Iris 2.

My copy of Disgaea 2 is now knackered and won't load. My bad, I should have put it straight back into its wallet. But now both Disgaea and Disgaea 2 are knackered. I may take them to a game shop I know and get them shaved, in the hopes that they will be rendered playable once more.

I'm also bummed out because I can't find my copy of "Dog Soldiers" which I wanted to watch. So I am watching "Silent Hill" again. Brilliant movie!

Last night I watched "Wicked Little Things", which is a movie about child zombies. It was surprisingly bland and dull, though there was some lovely scenery, and some deliciously atmospheric moonlit scenes. Also Ben Cross was in it, and didn't overact!

I am reading "Terok Nor Day of the Vipers".

So far, so interesting. But I don't think I'm feeling what the writers meant me to feel. For a start, the Bajorans are boring as hell; I'm not in favour of institutionalised religion, so I like neither the Prophets or the Oralian Way; and to top it all, the Cardassian people are hungry - and I always identify with the hungry. So in fact, as I read I'm thinking - "Bajor is boring, hurry up and invade!"

OK, so I know that the Cardassians are the bad guys already. But... they're scaly! I like scaly people. In Babylon 5 I was all for the Narns, (especially G'Kar, rowwwwr!) in Farscape, I went head over heels for the Scarran/Sebacean hybrid, Scorpius. Shame the Scarrans were so ugly. And in DS9, I fell for the Cardassians. As the first ever Cardassian I encountered was played by David Warner, one of my favourite actors, it was pretty inevitable. I can never look at a Cardassian without imagining him naked and wondering which bits are scaly, and which are smooth. Erm, unless we are talking Enabrain Tain.

As for RL - today I went into town and had coffee with my friend Alfred. He's a dear man, whom I have known for years. Makes me wish I was still young enough to go clubbing.

I took some money out of the post office, and bought myself a book on movie mad scientists, and then bought groceries and went and paid the vet some money. Jekyll's meds cost me £63.50 a month. Expensive cat!

Once home, I made a stir-fry and then I just finished recording "Deianira's letter to Hercules" from Ovid's Heroides for Feeling a bit of an idiot as I am not an actress, and could not do justice to the text. Then I edited it and uploaded it.

Now I am about to have tea, toast and marmite, and watch Miss Marple solve "A Caribbean Mystery". I cannot help but wonder what Garak, raised on Enigma Tales, would make of it.

After many failed attempts to post this image, I decided to just post the link." />


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