A Shakespeare Scholar and Spy

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/a-shakespeare-scholar-turned-nazi-hunter/

Lovely article! Surely heading for feature film production somewhere? I bet Rachel Weisz would do a lovely job playing Elizebeth Smith Friedman.

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image – Georgia https://www.flickr.com/photos/leechun/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

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hello darkness*

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http://rcdow.org.uk/vocations/blog/a-novena-for-peace-and-renewal/

This is one of the first page results I got from a random-word Google search today.  It’s the one that sprung out immediately and caught the eye on the page, although not the first result as such.  Interesting, huh?  Got to admit, I’m always picking up signs and interpreting messages.  I blame Pam Grout.

This, though?

Sometimes, the universe just needs a kick.

 

Image – Alex Antropov https://www.flickr.com/photos/51686021@N07/ licence https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

*ya know where it comes from.  you oughtta.

 

 

Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water*

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image _foxy on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/27395274@N00/  licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

I was obliged to take a walk into town today, due to transport issues – GOSH-DARN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES, WHY WERE THEY EVER INVENTED?  But there were compensations along the way, abundant compensations.  Primary amongst these were the vetches in the hedgerows and the woods – multi-headed purple vetches, and purple vetches are almost my favourite vetches.  (Apart from birdsfoot trefoil, and that’s an unfair competition, because birdsfoot trefoil is also colloquially called eggs-and-bacon in the UK, AND HOW CAN ANY DECENT WILDFLOWER BE EXPECTED TO COMPETE WITH THAT?)

Vetches are the prettiest things.  The internal combustion engine is the annoyingest thing, but vetches are the derndest prettiest things.

Also the blackberries are not quite yet finished off – or pissed on by Satan and rendered inedible, as the folklore has it.  (It’s the maggits in wild brambles that bother me more than Satan’s theoretical outdoor hedgerow slashes while out on the piss.  Copious amounts of salted water, to deal with the wildlife, can render them uneatable anyway.)

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image Andrew Barclay https://www.flickr.com/photos/electropod/ on Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

There were even some unripe blackberries still hanging high, fruit and flower everywhere, nature in profusion and gloriously fertile.

It rained a little, and I’d forgotten my brolly.  But I didn’t feel I had too much to complain about, all told.  I came back with biscuits, after all – and biscuits are the comfortingest things.

*Brian Jacques.

‘how important it is to play our music while we’re here’

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2017/10/our-journey/

The wisest, most loving response I’ve seen to the Las Vegas shootings so far.

 

Also, remember that one person died yesterday in a spirit of hate, wanting to take as many as he could with him.

But dozens of heroes died in a spirit of love, protecting the ones they loved themselves.  Just looking at the numbers, I think they won.

call of the wild

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“He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.”

― Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/ via https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

Cupcake Kissin’ 88 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

cupcake kissin IMAGE

Download complete ebook for FREE! at https://www.books2read.com/u/bw8PwO

Cupcake Kissin’ 88 – Alex Ankarr

And maybe some of that readiness has to do with Caspar not just being a regular service person, being formally educated, being suitable, being someone liable to be approved by Mack’s parents. Maybe some of it has to do, maybe, with Mack actually having a thing for service people, for slumming if you want to call it that, for being the prince picking the serving wench out of the crowd. Who understands their own motivations, really, when it comes down to it? Who has motives that are perfectly pure?

Maybe some of what Caspar likes is the shiny, handsome TV star, after all. Is he really in a position to judge? Maybe he’s been looking for a white knight, and that’s perhaps a little unrealistic, too much of a weight to put on someone.

But the truth is, Mack wants him, has wanted him, has declared it more than once. Is smiling and warm and pretty damn brave, to do it this way. To do it this way twice.

Caspar wonders if he’s done enough, to deserve somebody like that.

But it doesn’t stop him. He leans forward, right forward, and grabs Mack as Mack grabs him back, and their kiss is loud and deeply un-shy and extremely public. And it’s sweet. It is, undoubtedly, given Mack’s tastes, very sweet indeed, like candy, like cupcakes. So are the cheers, so are the ‘ooh’s and ‘aaah’s. And in the background, whoever it is who’s torturing the piano starts up again.

***

They finish the special birthday cupcakes later, in bed. Mack adores his birthday present. Or rather, all of them. (He gets several, from that kiss onwards.) Mack decides he has a new regular order. In the bed, there are crumbs everywhere.

FIN!

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 87 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

cupcake kissin IMAGE

Download complete ebook for FREE! at https://www.books2read.com/u/bw8PwO

Cupcake Kissin’ 87 – Alex Ankarr

‘And I would like to thank especially,’ he says, and his voice is a little soft now, so that people at the back are craning visibly to hear it, ‘Caspar here, Caspar Rockalde. Who has brightened our lives since he took over Honey Bunny’s, less than a year ago – who has brightened my life,’ he corrects himself. ‘Who is everyone’s favourite barista and baker and bakery service person,’ he says, smirking at Caspar, and it’s funny how it was an insult coming from Adam, and is an endearment coming from Mack. Especially when he’s dressed up like he is…

‘…and in whose honour I am done up to the nines in my very favourite shade of pink, and I think you will all admit that I look damn fine in it – nearly as fine as Caspar himself!’ Caspar thinks, at this moment, that his cheeks are rather probably as pink as his overall, and is glad to have no mirror handy to check up on that. ‘And to conclude,’ Mack says, ‘and I’m sure you’re all glad to hear that I intend to conclude at all…’ Oh, he gets a slightly snide cheer at that, and everyone laughs. ‘I would like to invite Caspar here to blow my candles out. Hey, cut the smut,’ he advises, sharply, at the whistles that receives. ‘And to ask him to take a look at my cake, and to ask him for the birthday gift he deems appropriate, looking at it.’

Well. No-one ever wants to refuse a request from a birthday boy, now do they? And Mack puts his arm, rather more gently than usually, upon Caspar’s shoulder, and draws him close, to look at the cake. And oh, Caspar sucks in his breath, because they’ve fooled him mightily. This is the cake he oversaw, that much is true enough. But they’ve removed all the little figures, and instead someone has done a rather fancy quick icing job, under the happy birthday. It’s of two mouths, kissing, with not much greater detail than that, but very perfectly done – very beautifully rendered. And he thinks of the cakes he has ready for Mack. Who is standing looking at him with great hopefulness, and has not after all required any gesture of Caspar’s own. But has come for him again, has asked again – in public, again, – has pursued him, again. And it seems like more than enough – that Caspar has asked more than enough, too much, of him already, and Mack has come through, has done enough to win and earn him and more.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.