Showing posts from October, 2019

Halloween 2019

A ghoulish tale for Halloween - was aiming to record several, but am struggling to string three cohesive thoughts together at the moment (wish it were otherwise). This one draws on Arabic folklore and warns against trusting strange women found in deserts. The folklore of that region is replete with horrors, and I really must learn a few new tales to turn stomachs with.
If I find any time or mental capacity this evening I will add up another story to help get people in the mood for the cavorting of dark forces (and I am managing to avoid a single Brexit joke here).

Infernal Parliament

I am aiming to record a few short stories to set the tone for Halloween 2019, something I started doing a couple of years back. I am starting this seasons tales with this reading of Saki's short story 'The Infernal Parliament' in which a recently deceased British politician finds a home from home in the Underworld - something that will come as a surprise to very few people.
Subsequent stories will most likely either be ones that I have made up on the spur of the moment or based on mythical or traditional accounts of a gruesome nature (like a frazzled wedding reception DJ at the end of a long evening, I take requests should you wish to put in a polite suggestion or two!).

Five men and a dog

I recorded this in 2017 and was convinced I had uploaded it to the blog, but it seems that I haven't. It is a section from a Hindu epic involving the five Pandara brothers (who I have mentioned in another story elsewhere, told at the request of an Indian subscriber to my YouTube channel) depicting the devotion and loyalty of the dog... who turns out to be a great deal more than a four-legged friend. Nepalese Hinduism has an entire festival in November devoted to the dog, Kukur Tihar, which I have mentioned previously on this blog. When I told my hound about it he demanded a day or worship with a flower garland and a feast - typical!

Gallifreyed III

With Halloween just around the corner I have recorded threee short reviews of classic Doctor Who adventures with an occult flavour to them.

The Daemons is a Third Doctor adventure set in the fictional village of Devil's End where a satanic cult led by the Master tries to conjure up an ancient entity that may look like something from Hell but is actually an alien scientist that has been experimenting on humanity.

The Image of the Fendahl is a Fourth Doctor story line featuring another dodgy cult, this time devoted to the worship of an alien entity, the last of its species, which consumes all life. Once again a benevolent old witch comes to the Doctor's aid in fighting both cultists and monsters alike before a sinister skull evolves into a more deadly form.

Finally the Fourth Doctor, this time accompanied by Sarah Jane Smith, encounters another deranged cult, the Brethren of Demnos, in an adventure called The Masque of Mandragora. Shenanigans unfurl in 15th century Italy as wick…

Into the Labyrinth

The Greek myth about the birth of the Minotaur is a rather grim one which certain graphic questions (such as how on earth did Queen Pasiphae survive either the conception or the birth). It is, in part, a salutary tale about the dark consequences of breaking oaths with the Gods.
Some historians have connected it to bull-leaping ritual displays amongst the Minoans, others suggest that it an account of the cessation of human sacrifice (perhaps as a result of a rebellion against whichever priesthood and accompanying regime were in favour of it. There is also doubtless an account of historical political conflict between the Minoans and Athenians, given a storyteller's spin.
It is a curiosity that a bull-headed creature should be regarded as a carnivore rather than a herbivore, but a fair number of cultures round the world have demonic, dangerous monsters with bovine heads. Why this should be so... well, something for future reflection.
Older viewers may recognise the reference in the …

Healing tales

Today was supposed to be a workshop on the uses of storytelling, but unfortunately too few people wanted to attend to cover the costs of hall hire etc. so it was cancelled (but at least I got to have a lay-in!) This recording is partly for the benefit of those who did want to go, but also for some other friends overseas who have expressed an interest in learning more about potential uses of story in healing.
This meander takes in a little of the ideas of Victor Frankl, founder of logotherapy, and some brief snippets from Michael White and David Epston who developed narrative therapy - mostly, however, it reviews Eric Berne's ideas on life scripts (those of Sisyphus, Hercules, Arachne, Baucis & Philemon, Tantalus, and Damocles) and starts to consider ways in which storytellers (not professional therapists) can start to use myths, legends, folktales, and original works of their own to get members of their audience to think about their live anew.
There are other aspects of this …