Tuesday, April 29, 2014



I went to the Lovecraft event at Swansea Central Library on Saturday. In the morning I read extracts from my story 'The Bicycle Centaur', which is one of the stories in the Cthulhu Cymraeg anthology that the event was partly a book launch for. The germ of my story was provided by a letter in which Lovecraft claims to love cycling so much that he is in danger of turning into a bicycle centaur. I explained that far from from being a derogatory satire on Lovecraft's style and concerns, my story is actually an attempt to push the techniques of parody beyond normal parody in the hope of discovering something new. Whether I ever succeed in my endeavors in this regard, of course, is another question.

In the afternoon I took part in a panel discussing various aspects of Lovecraft's work and heritage, dwelling both on the positives and the negatives. This photo (courtesy of Steve Upham) shows the four members of the panel: Gwilym Games, John Llewellyn Probert, Mark Howard Jones and myself... Arranged like this, the four photos look like a "How to Do Jazz Hands" explanatory diagram, starting with the Gwilym position and moving on... Alternatively here are some captions for the photos: (1) "Cosmic Horror? Just like that!" (2) "This is the badly constructed pyramid that Lovecraft's story ghost written for Houdini was set in." (3) "The empty speech bubble has been drawn wrongly. It's behind me and too big and not connected by a stalk to my mouth!" (4) "Cthulhu, how I love ya, how I love ya, my dear Cthulhu!"

The evening of the same day I went to a celebration of the Pagan festival of Beltane at the Roundhouse in Caswell Woods. This was an interesting experience. It rained but we managed to get a fire going anyway. I enjoyed the ceremony. It felt nice and deeply human and I can see the appeal that Paganism has for so many people. I also hugely appreciated the opportunity to play the drums and shakers while one of my friends who had been chosen to play the May Queen was chased around by the May King. There's a comedy aspect to Paganism that is totally refreshing and quite unlike the constricting sombre atmosphere of so much organised religion.

Nice post. A amazing day!
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