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Friday, 16 September 2022






An unconventional vicar moves to a remote corner of the English countryside, only to discover a community haunted by death and disappearances both past and present--and intent on keeping its dark secrets--in this explosive, unsettling thriller from acclaimed author C. J. Tudor.

Welcome to Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And two months ago, the vicar of the local parish killed himself.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping to make a fresh start and find some peace. Instead, Jack finds a town mired in secrecy and a strange welcome package: an old exorcism kit and a note quoting scripture. "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known."

The more Jack and her daughter Flo get acquainted with the town and its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into their rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo is troubled by strange sightings in the old chapel, it becomes apparent that there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

But uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village where everyone has something to protect, everyone has links with the village's bloody past, and no one trusts an outsider.





 “The Burning Girls” by C.J. Tudor – Book Review

  1. Thomas Leonard says:

    A compelling though intricate plot. Maybe too intricate. The ‘mystery’ about Rev Jack was very predictable early on, the details relating to dystonia were unconvincing, and several of the ghosts were unexplained, But overall, a fantastic read

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. We must forgive the author a modicum of artistic license.


      Some favorite quotes from this novel:

      “I remind myself that old age is not a disease but a destination.”

      “Guilt is a little like grief. A cancer of the soul. They both hollow you out from the inside.”

      “We all have our hiding places. Not just physical ones. Places deep inside where we put away the things we don’t want others to see.”

      “Bad memories are like splinters. Sometimes painful, but you learn to live with them. The problem is, they always work their way up to the surface eventually.”

      “We think of love as being unconditional, but very few of us ever want to put that to the test.”

      “I think again how unprepared we are for illness and old age. How we trundle toward it unthinkingly, like lemmings toward the edge of a cliff. The tiny humans we coo over at the start of their lives, we shudder to look upon at the end.”

Thursday, 8 September 2022


                                              REFLECTIONS ON THE QUEEN'S DEATH

                                                                Tom Leonard


                                                       BALMORAL CASTLE

The queen died on Thursday at a time yet to be announced, or maybe it was the previous night, or whenever. Since then the important news about the economy, and about protests and strikes against the new Tory regime, has been knocked off the media by a diatribe of propaganda that will immortalise 'Elizabeth the Great'  into perpetuity. (even though there's lots of adverse reaction in the former colonies). The British population is being told how to think. I have been alive for the whole of her reign, and I see a truly monumental figure and a strong calming influence, together with

(A) Her failure to say anything about Austerity or to abdicate over it. I thought she'd promised to protect all her people, but maybe I was much too naïve. I was a fervent monarchist until about 2012..

(B) Her unfailing support for her armed forces as they helped our upper classes to extract the resources from our colonies and other nations, while, for example, supporting Apartheid in South Africa.

(C) Her leadership of the Church of England and heavy involvement in the Church of Scotland, that are also heavily colonialist. With the exception of some enlightened parishes, these churches are class divisive and not particularly accepting e.g. on LGBT issues.

(D) Far too many palaces, including Balmoral, Windsor, and Buckingham Palace.  Far too wealthy (at least £33 billion, maybe £72.5 billion) much of which came from the colonies.

(E) Several dreadful members of her family, at least two of whom (the alleged child abusers Louis Mountbatten and Prince Andrew) were protected by her to the hilt. Prince Louis (The royal family's much revered Uncle Dickie and the Viceroy of India during the partition) had a long-time propensity for 8 to 12 year old boys in orphanages, at least one of whom later committed suicide. Prince Louis was executed by the IRA in 1979, after being involved in a pedo-ring in Ireland. He was buried, with full ceremony in Westminster Abbey. The Queen and Prince Philip, both shocked and grief-stricken, were in attendance.




(F) The way Princess Margaret's life was ruined by the queen's refusal (while under severe institutional pressure) to let Margaret marry the boyfriend she loved.

(G) The Princess Di/ Camilla tragedy. Diana would have been a truly great queen, but now we've got Camilla.


(H) Her support for racist/eugenicist governments in Canada and Australia that have repressed and physically harmed the indigenous peoples to this very day.

(I) The cover-ups during the Profumo/Christine Keeler scandal, which could well have brought down the House of Windsor (depending on which royal personages participated in the orgies in Kensington Palace with the Russian spy Yvgeny Ivanov). There was a joke circulating at the time that 'Christine Keeler had been found dead under the peer.' Everybody knew who the peer in the joke was. He was president of the Royal College of Science at ICL, which I attended as an undergraduate.

(J) The racial prejudice in the Royal family e.g. just prior to Diane's untimely death, and against the Queen's own great grandson Archie (who wasn't made a prince in accordance with a long-standing agreement and who shouldn't be blamed for his parents' follies).

(K) Her support during her reign for her uncle 'the traitor ex-King', the Duke of Windsor, who wanted to rule Britain as a puppet state for the Nazis, and for his venomous wife Wallis Simpson, 


While I have a vague suspicion* that the queen was hurried along her way (like George the Fifth, Princess Di, and the Queen Mother before her) my major concern is that the media will distort the news so much over the next few weeks, that the Truss regime will be able to get away with all sorts of neo-fascist stuff and further impoverish our working classes, who've felt scared to answer back ever since neo-liberalism set in, in earnest, during the 1980s. It's almost as if the queen's death has been incorporated in some sort of plot.

*Since writing this, a friend has quite independently suggested that the queen could have suffered from a stroke and might then have been given morphine, but this is just a hypothethical construction, Today (11th August) a lady in the choir at my Church came up with a similar suggestion. It has also been suggested that during her last days the queen was suffering from a heart condition (see last picture taken of her hand)


                                                  Credit: Reuters   

                              Last picture of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth


                                       The Queen in Tuvalu in 1982





                                      13th September 2022

Some of my medical friends think that the King may be suffering from congestive heart failure, and that his recent more thickset features could be put down to him taking steroids. Therefore, the Prince of Wales may need to act as Regent, before he becomes King.

A number of Scottish middle aged people do not view Charles kindly because of the terrible way he treated HRH Princess Diana, his beautiful wife before God. It will never be forgotten.

To 'include' Camilla in their marriage generated huge problems for the generations thereafter, and we are all still suffering from the aftermath.

15/9/2022: The King has already 'flipped' and lost his temper about nothing twice in public. He is currently taking 'a day off to rest'. I wonder whether he will make his coronation? In the meantime he has made 100 of his staff at Clarence House redundant, so who gives a fig?

16/9/2022 King Charles has already been booed by protestors in Edinburgh and Cardiff.


A twenty-two year old, very pleasant man Rory is attacked and arrested
 after a relatively mild comment to the thoroughly deserving Andy Pandy. While constrained in police custody, Rory said " Powerful men shouldn't be allowed to commit sexual crimes and get away with it."


The police were violent to a young man, arrested him, and charged him, and all for making a relatively mild comment to Andrew Windsor (who shouldn't have been allowed to participate in this state occasion following his public disgrace). I regard this as neo-fascism, and I now fear for the future of Scotland.



                               Randy Andy proposes to look after the corgis

Much of the Queen's effective 'deification' has been in large part orchestrated by archbishops and bishops in the Church of England, an institution steeped in child abuse. See, for example, Archbishop Earlier this year, the child abuse protector ex-Archbishop Sentamu of York was well received by the Church of Scotland as the obscenely highly paid CEO of the 'niche project' organization Christian Aid. The Church of Scotland, which is as pro-monarchy as the Church of England, also has a history of protecting child abusers. (e.g. its disgraced former Lord High Commissioner, Lord David Steel of Aikwood, who attended the queen's COS funeral celebrations in Edinburgh, protected Cyril Smith MP.) Even now the Church of Scotland seems to be in denial of its own child abuse, and the monarchy turns a blind eye while attending their services and supporting them to the hilt.

See also

                              DAMAGES TO THREE ABUSED SIBLINGS

                              SCOTTISH CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY

                              TYNEPARK (ONGOING) 




24th September 2022: I alluded to these issues this morning during a detailed conversation with a senior elder of the Church of Scotland who believes that the Bible is 'inerrant'. When I said that the Quran expresses the thoughts of Muhammad in a simpler fashion, the elder publicly insulted the Holy Prophet of Islam in the worst possible way, and in a manner already condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. The elder had previously excused rampant paedophilia and the protection of paedophiles in the Royal Family and Church of England on grounds of Christian forgiveness, since quote, "We don't know that they haven't repented." She wasn't prepared to give Muhammad any forgiveness even though he didn't transgress the law and customs of that era.


19th September 2022, 1 pm. I have just watched the entire funeral ceremony in Westminster Abbey.  I wonder what God is thinking? Putting the monarch between the people and their God creates a massive ant/sheep mentality that causes much of the harmful, soulless repression in this world. 




                                     FURTHER RELEVANT LINKS













Saturday, 3 September 2022

INDULGENT SPIRIT: Chapter 7 To the Kappa Solar System


                                      Chapter 7: To the Kappa Solar System




                         7.1:    Saviours of the Species 

After taking a circuitous route around the Mu-Sun, Katrina seemed to take ages to

to travel to the Kappa solar system, and President Drew Rainbow lost count of the

days. She  spent much of the time in the suite in the Palace of the Immortals

which she shared with her three spouses and the angelic Angatums Sall and Crisp

However, she, Sall, and Crisp liked taking the omni-tube to the Hanging Gardens 

of Id, to visit the Angatum refugees who were camping on the upper tiers of the

Ninth Wonder of the Universes.

One Tenth-Day morning, several of the refugees invited the president and her

companions to accompany them down to the Ascension Chapel, where the talking

animals were celebrating High Mass prior to their political discussions that

afternoon in the gardens.

"Angatums are very welcome here," declared Kim Catworthy, bounding up. "Why

 don't you sit with the winged unicorns near the altar?"

The congregation rose and applauded their co-president as Drew walked down

the aisle. Then the winged unicorns hugged and embraced the Angatums, and

invited them to sit down amongst them. The minister, an elderly Zebrid from the 

fourth moon of Planet Athanasius, led the hymn singing and presented a homily 

about the Holy Trinity, and the Saviour Josh's last supper before his Ascension to 


Another minister, a middle-aged winged unicorn from Planet Centaur, took over 

during Holy Communion, and Sall and Crisp helped to hand out the bread and

the wine. Then, during the eating of the bread, the Holy Zebrid Josh appeared

above the altar in golden and white striped manifestation, only to be joined by

the silver-skinned Holy Unicorn Joshi in full substantiation, her wings spread out

wide as if to embrace the entire universe.

"There are many ways to God," declared the middle-aged minister "but she will 

herself remain forever mysterious. To attempt to subdivide her is in itself 


The Trinitarian minister looked startled at that, but didn't say a thing.

                                 7.2 Crisp is Arrested

"I find it difficult to believe that Ophelia is anything more than either a deception

or a delusion," said Drew, as they were leaving, and Sall and Crisp murmured

their agreement. When the minister from Centaur gave the angelic Angatums 

small gifts, their day seemed made. But they were walking down the chapel steps

when they were approached by two Eaglids wearing hooded cloaks.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Madame President," said the Eaglid with the straight

 beak, flashing his K.M.P. (Katrinian Mind Police) card, "but we're here to take

 your companion Crisp Crispus to the Mind Control Centre for questioning on a 

matter of interstellar importance."

"I've not done nothing!" howled Crisp. "Please don't let them. They'll jag me

with scalpatruth!"

"Spot on!" reacted the Eaglid with the deformed beak, with a grin.

Chief Superintendent Kim Catworthy came running out of the chapel. "Stop!" she 

ordered, producing her Special Police ID. "You've no right to take anybody in

without a duly authorized warrant."

"Sure we have a right," drawled the one with the straight beak. "We're from the 

Alert Crimson security cell, and we don't answer to anybody."

When they got Crisp to the Mind Control Centre, they secured his outstretched 

wings to the much-dreaded brick wall. Then a po-faced Novogrian in a military

uniform came in with two huge syringes, both with glistening, six inch needles. 

"Take that!" growled the dour Novogrian, ramming in the first needle. "You're

here because we've heard some tittle tattle among the talking beasties about you 

and President Rainbow."

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg!" wailed Crisp, vibrating from the shock.

"They heard from a tiny festoonette in the bed linen that you were exchanging 

favour for favour with her."

"No I didn't. Take your claws away!"

"Ophelia wept! You could have snuffed our co-president."

"Take that fucking needle out!" howled Crisp. "I only gave her a little kiss."

The second needle dug so deep that it splintered Crisp's left femur.

"Poppycock!" howled the Novogrian, the blood dripping down Crisp's

 thigh. "I think that you discovered her nasty secret when you returned

 her favour. We'll know soon enough. The scopolamine  is already dissolving 

your innards. So I'm just going to sit back and listen while you tell me the whole

lurid story."

The Eaglid with the straight beak produced a needle carved from a whale's 

tooth. "Two thousand grams of  benzilate  for good measure, General?" he 


"That should loosen his tongue." replied the terse Novogrian. "Try to take a

piece out of his ilium ischium."

"I know how to do that, General. It's used to cosh the crazies in the Dread

solar system before they suffocate them with pillows."

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg!" wailed Crisp. The needle pierced the bone

 and the flesh beyond, and his legs turned to jelly.

The drugs went straight to Crisp's head, and he struggled hard and long to 

remain silent. But, when he went delirious, he found himself revealing the full, 

shocking details of Drew's long hidden secret on a stream of verbal diarrhoea

"Wow, I'd never have guessed that!!," exclaimed the general, looking strangely

disturbed. "The paternity of any of the co-president's children is open to doubt."

"There's oodles of  time left for a totally manic Phase 2, General," advised the 

Eaglid with the deformed beak. "Why don't you recover from the stress by  

kicking the silly creature senseless? Then I'll throw him into the Cobbly Corridor."

The general opened his tool kit, and pulled out a spanner. "His frontal lobes could

be packed with state secrets," he replied "Let's extract his wisdom teeth first."

                        7.3. The Co-Presidents Beg to Differ

Drew and Sall were still feeling very anxious about Crisp when they returned to

the Palace of the Immortals. 

Was it because of something I said to the talking vixens? wondered Sall. No,

they wouldn't have even dared to snitch.

Drew needed to make plans with her co-presidents Dr. Chi Kit and Admiral Nam

Nimitch concerning which planets to visit when Katrina arrived in the Kappa-Sun

system. The three co-presidents met in a reception room in the palace, and 

Kyle took the minutes. Drew was bearing a Humatum baby in her womb.


Chi and Drew thought that it would be a good idea to send migrants from Katrina

to Planet Manifold, where there were several indigenous tribes of talking animals,

but which was not densely populatedThey thought that Manifold would be ideal

for the Angatums, possibly for the Zebrids, and for some of the Humatum babies 

who were born to Atum mothers and human fathers during the next year or so.

However, Admiral Nimitch wanted to colonize Planet Petreus and to exploit

the resident Gentoo. Chi and Drew argued that such old-fashioned colonialism

was not 'part of Katrina's designated mission'. Drew recalled that Ophelia had 

told her in a dream to populate Manifold instead of Retreus. She said she was

scared that Ophelia might really be all powerful, and that Ophelia could have

caused the disintegration of Torus and the subsequent destruction of Katrina's 

Seventh Corner because Drew had refused her request to seek the destruction 

of the Angatums.

"Stop being so fucking neurotic! " growled Nimitz. "The Gentoo are

 ripe for the picking and I intend to turn them into a slave nation whatever

 religious faction might see fit to object."

"But their civilisation is over two thousand years old," retorted Chi, "and they're

 all accepting towards other species. Don't forget that we're a triumvirate. You'll

 need one of our votes and the approval of Parliament to get your way."

"You don't know how much I've got on you two shysters!" raged Nimitz. "I could

 destroy both of you in a flick of a forefinger. Would you like me to reveal Drew's

 dreadful secret to Parliament? They'd publicly shame her and then banish her to

 a distant moon."

"Meeting's over!" shrieked the pregnant co-president, running out of the room.

"You're not even a real Atum," howled Nimitz, as she left.

"How dare you!"  raged Kyle, throwing the minutes into the air.

"I could destroy you too!" howled Nimitz.

                          7.4: Into Orbit around the Kappa-Sun

Kim Catworthy located Crisp Crispus a couple of days later, stumbling aimlessly

through the rats in the Cobbly Corridor, with an injured back, his wings twisted

together, and blood pouring from his mouth. He scarcely moved his eyes while

Kim was patching him up, and when she took him back to the palace in a

wheelchair, he propelled himself into a corner without uttering a word. When

Drew took him some soup, he began to sob uncontrollably.