Signals From Outer Space

“What do you mean they’ve heard us?!” Bellowed plutoCen Kr’Dorir as he shattered his lectern with another of his trademark single punches. Shards of the reinforced and unbreakable plastic/metal compound material shot in all directions around the Council Chambers, causing several of the delegates to dive for cover, and embedding themselves into the reinforced clothing worn by others, in readiness for such a situation. plutoCen Kr’Dorir was positively fizzing – and not in a good way.

Unfortunately, the new Ambassador of Makemake wasn’t properly attired, and a lengthy shard punctured the sleeve on her expensive and delicate tunic.

plutoCen Kr’Dorir simply glared and looked toward his media spokesman. “Sort that” he bellowed, thumbing in the ambassador’s direction, “and then come with me to the War Rooms so we can discuss this matter in private.”

“Me, plutoCen?” Rep Alno Stonerav’n stuttered, as he pulled second-in-command El-Smala to her feet.

“YOU???” the plutoCen was now very red in the face. “Of course not. I was referring to plutoTwo El-Smala. Why on Pluto would I want a media spokesman in a private meeting? You will get the twisted facts when we are ready, and not before.” He then promptly walked out of the chamber and through an old wooden door which led into the really old part of the Chambers.

El-Smala gushingly apologised to the ambassador, and left her in Rep Alno’s hands and promptly followed the plutoCen. Rep Alno looked at the ambassador with a gentle smile. “You know he’s a tad hot-tempered, don’t you?” He asked. The ambassador rolled her eyes and poked a finger through the hole in the sleeve with a sigh.

Through the heavy wooden door, the plutoCen’s voice could still be clearly heard, as though he was still in the room. The remaining delegates in the Chamber gathered quietly round the door, including Makemake’s ambassador.

“What do you mean they’ve spotted our drones? What are drones” followed by mumbled muffling.

“At their airports in their United Kingdom? Our surveillance spheres have been noticed?” More muffled words. “Grounded? Hahaha! That will teach them for interfering. Did they get our sphere?” Even more muffling. “Good! Try another of their countries, just to see how sophisticated the are.”

Another round of muffled words was followed by a very strong string of plutonian expletives, some which hadn’t been heard for several decades. The ambassador almost collapsed in shock, but Rep Alno still had hold of her. She gazed lovingly into his eyes, but the plutoCen’s voice carried once again through the wood and any thoughts of flirting quickly faded away.

“Keep up the interference with their voting options. Their Eurovision Song Contest is coming up, so we can influence their choices if we continue bombarding them with the radio signals.” Muffling. “WHAT??? THEY’VE DISCOVERED THEM TOO??? They think they’re from where?” Muffling. “Distant galaxies? GOOD. They won’t trace it to us then. Keep on.” More muffling. “ALIENS??? They think they could be coming from aliens??? How very dare they! We are not aliens.” More muffling. “Ah. Aliens from other galaxies. I see. Keep them thinking about that country they blame everything on. Keep them focussing on the negatives. Keep confusing them with this Brexit they continually go on and on and on about. Actually, send a sphere over one of their capital cities so that they see it. That will really churn up the thoughts.”

Suddenly, the Makemake ambassador sneezed very loudly, and as the gathered crowd glared at her, some gesturing her to be quiet, the wooden door flung open and the plutoCen stood looking at them all, his face as livid as usual. With nowhere for them to run to quickly, and knowing they had all be caught eavesdropping first hand, they each in turn sheepishly grimaced.

A voice bellowed out from the ambassador’s stomach.

“Ambassador Wamlam, please respond urgently. We have had a malfunction, and half of the plutoCen’s conversation has been broadcast all over the Solar System. Our agents around Earth have picked up the signal, but we don’t think the Earthlings have – or if they have they haven’t got them clearly. We can’t get too close as they are sending up their weather generator clouds again. Please respond as this is a matter of utmost urgency which necessitated breaking radio silence.”

“WHAT???!!!” the plutoCen’s scream went off the scale. He punched through the wooden door, sending shards of it across the chambers, and the gathered delegates once again diving for cover. Rep Alno hastily dragged the ambassador away and was ushering her to the exit, as she tried to pick wooden splinters out of her other sleeve. “This way, ambassador. I’ll get us away. I didn’t like this job anyway… my boss thought the stories I sent back were always ridiculous, biased and inaccurate. I mean to say, you heard it all here first and it still sounds unbelievable!”

Continuing the intermittent Pluto Rising story. You never know, there may even be a part four sometime in the future!



Fakebeard: The Elf that didn’t Fit


Yes, I know it’s July, and we’re just on the other side of quite possibly the hottest heatwave since the dawn of time. And YES, I’m aware that we are entering into a hosepipe ban here in the North West of England even though we’ve had bucket loads of rain over the last couple of days. And YES, I’m aware that paintings of elves don’t normally appear around this time of the year, well, not Christmas elves anyhow… but, I refer you to the title of today’s post.

The portrait is of Fakebeard the elf.

He isn’t a normal elf.

He’s moody. Grumpy. He doesn’t like bold colours. Or smiling. He has three eyebrows rolled into one. And he lives up to his name – he wears a fake beard.

He lives in a pine forest, somewhere very cold and very snowy, in a toadstool covered cottage with black curtains up at the window. He doesn’t like the snow.

He dreams of bathing on the golden sands of a tropical beach, wearing nothing but black and white bermuda shorts and carrying his favourite fishing rod.

He wishes he was a gnome.

In reality, he dances beneath the Northern Lights with the elf-folk who encourage him to join in, but in his mind he’s working in the mines with his gnome colleagues… underground… in the dark… working hard to earn enough money to get to his beach resort.

The thought makes him smile.

The snowball brings him back to his senses.

He hates the snow.

He isn’t a normal elf.

And his beard keeps falling off.

See that last line up there? And this one, for that matter! It’s Six Word Saturday once again.

These posts may not make any sense whatsoever, but they do have a way of fitting in where they should. Mostly.

And this rather random and very rough watercolour is number twenty-one of twenty-one for #WorldWatercolorMonth. Chaos is starting to draw in here at the Mansion, these posts may begin to dwindle out, but I shall persevere. Major changes are commencing in the Bathroom on Monday and already I’ve found a wig on the Landing. Don’t ask. It’s easier that way.

A wordy Six Word Saturday post

And another random watercolour painting for

The Superhero Diaries 4.5: Emily

The Elite Force of Britain: a group of superheroes who joined together to eradicate problem after problem. Recently, the team have been somewhat otherwise engaged. Some are now speculating missing in action. Rumours had it that some superheroes were off-world on a secret mission – a fact now seemingly discounted by N.A.S.A. (the North Atlantic Spaceways Agency; they always get confused with the other NASA) and other folk say the superheroes are busy dealing with more home-grown issues. Supervillains United are having a field day with their arch nemesises being ‘elsewhere’… and ‘ordinary’ folk are now getting slightly worried… Here are two letters from concerned citizens, both coincidentally named Emily (the second letter was found discarded in a tip outside the EFB Secret Headquarters) (the authenticity of both letters has yet to be determined):

Dear Superheroes,

Where are you?

Why have you deserted us?

Mrs Jones, my teacher, says you have gone to teach us all a lesson. To tell us not to rely on others but to trust in ourselves and do our own thing.

I don’t believe it.

My friend, Curtis Ooma, was rescued by you once. He couldn’t help himself. He was seven. He was trapped when the dam exploded. Without you. He’d have gone.

Mrs Jones says the dam exploded because of you, but I don’t believe that. She says it is all in the natural balance of things, and with you not being here the balance will be restored. I haven’t said anything to her, but how can you not being here cause balance? And how can all those evil baddies create balance?

I don’t trust what I’m being told. What I see doesn’t match what should be. If I can see that, at eight years old, why can’t grown ups? I’ve always known that trust is the biggest virtue, but what is trust when there is nothing to back it up?

Where are you?

Please come back and let me trust again.

Let me believe again.

I’m lost without you.

And I’m not the only one.

Love, Emily.

Dear Superheroes,

Where are you?

My name is Emily and I’m nine years old and last week my pet Tiddles got stuck up a tree and Daddy had to climb up and rescue her because it was wet and because it was wet he slipped and fell out and broken his arm.

Tiddles jumped down just afterwards but daddys arm is now very sore and you could have helped if you’d have been here like you did with Monster last year.

Please write back to me and let me know you are OK.

My favourite superhero is Crimson Songbird as red is my favourite colour.

Thank you


Aged 9

And Tiddles

Aged 1¼

The Superhero Diaries 4.2: The Villains’ Code

The Elite Force of Britain: a group of superheroes who joined together to solve one town’s problems, and decided to stick together as they liked how things turned out. Recently, however, the team have been missing. Some on an important mission off-world, others involved in cases on their own. Due to the severe lack in superheroes, the balance of power has switched to another group. The despicable Supervillains United. The wider world at large have been up in arms, speculating just when their protectors for good over evil will return. And also due to the lack of superheroes, newer costumed crimefighters have been taking to the streets to clear them once and for all of the tyranny of the supervillain supergroup. AND where there are groups of supervillains, there are squabbles and arguments and fallings out… meaning some supervillains have also switched sides and joined the ranks of their missing superheroes.

A fact not unnoticed by the SVU themselves. Here follows the text from a flyer that had been glued to a lamppost:

Supervillains everywhere,

I implore you to unite with those of us who have created the greatest team of Supervillains in existence; Supervillains United.

We can use our powers, our resources, our cunning and our skills to our greater benefit if we band together and work together. We can help each other. We can protect each other from our adversaries from the Elite Force of Britain and their associates. We can trap them, discover their secrets, their weaknesses… and we can combine our forces to bring about defeat after defeat to those who stand in our way.

Supervillains everywhere,

You are either with us or not. And if not, you stand against us. You stand with the Superheroes, the very people who want to stop us from living the very lives that we dream of.

If you stand against us, like the Superheroes who stand in our way, you will pay for your chosen path. If you stand with us, you will be protected by the Villains’ Code. Our Code.

To join us, simply fill in the form overleaf and return it to the SVU Headquarters. We know who you are. We await your reply.

We have opted not to include the form, as some folk have been registering other people’s details to join this despicable organisation

As we said in the introduction, folk are getting tired of these supervillains running the show, and have been speculating upon the heroes’ return. Here’s the latest issue of the new Just So magazine (full of super-celebrity gossip):

And in case you can’t make out the headline, it reads “EXCLUSIVE! Elite Force of Britain: They’re Back! And this time, they have friends!”

But, is this headline true? Are our heroes back? And what are the SVU planning next? Find out in the next edition of The Superhero Diaries!

As it has been a while, 4.1 is here. Links to previous instalments are in the Storylines page.

Through the ages (Part One)

I stumbled across a box of old photographs earlier today – and some photos were of me in a past life! I kid you not.

Way back when, long before I was a blogger (and not a very good one for the last few days – I apologise about that!), I was a different person completely.

Back in the year 202AD, I was actually a Roman Emperor. I know! Me! Thomasus of Deva. Apparently, I didn’t last very long in the job, because, according to the limited information I’ve been able to decipher since finding the photographs this afternoon, I was something of a party animal. Far too racy for the hip Romans of the day (and they used to party like there was no tomorrow!) I was deemed somewhat unsuitable for Emperor. The photograph I have of this time is actually a mosaic, but it shows just what a cool dude Thomasus was:

In this lifetime, I haven’t always been as cool. Back in the 1980s, as today, I still had terrible hair (although that came with the bonus of a face full of spots):

I was also the works’ charades champion, but unfortunately, the person who took this photo of me didn’t go to the same Selfie School that I attended, so they managed to get the parts of me into a photo that I usually fail to:

I’ve always been a snappy dresser. Well, with bad hair and spots one has to be.

Back then, I was a very studious person, and used to scrutinise everything I could get may hands on to read:

All that studying meant one thing. There had to be time for parties once again:

(The above photo was one of my early Selfies, where I’d set the timer on the old 110 camera and run around to get into the shot before the time was up. On most occasions, I failed, but some, like the above, I almost made it) Fortunately for me, somebody else managed to take the photo that I failed at:

This trip down memory lane will continue in a future post. There’s a lot of photos to wade through!