Saker Falcon~


Incoming, at 88 mph! I duck, he nails his prize, and promptly mantles so I won’t steal it. Saker Falcons have been falconry birds for 1000’s of years. They are an endangered species, native across Central Europe to China. This is Katie Pnewski, a brilliant and comitted bird trainer, and bird lover, who works at […]

Source: Saker Falcon~

ten most wanted


Please enjoy another wonderful post from Bon Repos Gites!


halloween is over but the visiting vampires remain
having quit giving interviews and resuming
their solitary lives inside the mother-in-law suite

she seems not to have been seen for weeks now
but they claim she moved out voluntarily
having been inspired by the uninvited intruders

at first she thought they were incorrigible angels
(which of course was an innocent mistake)
or so she was quoted as saying by the authorities

november two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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A Few Quotations On Books




“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

                             Marcus Tullius Cicero



“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”

                                            Stephen King



“We live for books.”

                                             Umberto Eco


“Books are the food and drink for the human soul.”

                                Charles F. French

Celebrate Authors–It’s National Authors Day!


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Today is National Authors Day! Please help celebrate all of the authors in the world, both living and dead. Without writers, the world would be a far less interesting place. Authors create worlds for readers to experience and wonders to view in their imaginations.  Writers are the conscience of society as well as the givers of entertainment. 

I applaud all the authors out there! 


Have A Happy Halloween And A Blessed Samhain!




I want to wish everyone both a Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain!



On the pre-Christian Celtic calendar, October 31 was Samhain, pronounced Soo-when or Sow-when, and it marked the day when the world of the living and dead where at the closest. It is also the end of year, with November 1 as the start of the next year. This day is one of the most important Gaelic/Celtic/Pagan/Wiccan/Druidic holidays of the year!  And please do not worry about the devil–he is not a part of Samhain. There is nothing evil here.

Samhain/Halloween is a day to remember those who have passed and to think of the future.

So, enjoy the day, dress up, have candy, party, and raise a toast and wish all a Happy New Year!



My Favorite Horror Films:10: Horror Of Dracula



After the great horror  cycle of movies from Universal Studios in the 1930s and 1940s culminating in the Abbott and Costello spoofs, serious horror movies vanished for a period. They were replaced by the spate of giant critter movies spawned by the fears of nuclear fallout post World War Two and the ominous threat of nuclear Armageddon of the Cold War.



In 1958, Hammer Studios, a British film company initiated a new cycle of horror films with the release of The Curse of Frankenstein, and Horror of Dracula (the American title) or Dracula (the British title) soon followed.  These films not only allowed this film studio to emerge as a major force in horror films, but also they spawned a new cycle in horror that would span nearly two decades. Horror of Dracula starred Sir Christopher Lee as Dracula, Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing, and Michael Gough as  Arthur Holmwood and was directed by Terence Fisher.



This film dramatically changed the course of horror films.  Prior to Horror Of Dracula, most horror movies, especially  the classic Universal films were shot in black and white; this film was in vivid color. Also changed noticeably from the 1931 Dracula with Bela Lugosi was the pacing and the level of over sexuality and violence. This movie moved at a very rapid pace with condensed action and compression of characters from the book–Dracula by Bram Stoker.  A very lively film score added to the tension and feeling of almost constant movement.



Christopher Lee brought an imposing physicality to the role and played the count with a noble British accent. He showed great strength and mobility in his performance. And this film introduced  the vampire with fangs and blood.  When he emerges in full fury after the vampire girl has attacked Jonathan Harker, he is a demonic image.  This was a representation of the vampire that was entirely new and very powerful.

In Britain, this movie received an X rating because of its, what was for the time, overt sexuality and violence. The women sometimes wore low cut gowns, and Dracula’s attacks carried a not too subtle sexuality, although by today’s standards, this shocking sensuality certainly would be tame or almost quaint.

Horror Of Dracula was a success both financially and critically. Hammer studios would make numerous sequels to this film and would also base the release of other movies, principally on Dr. Frankenstein, on their good fortune. If you enjoy horror films and have not seen this particular movie, I recommend it.

Pilgrims’ Way, Wrotham to Halling


Please enjoy this wonderful post!

Walking Away

It’s pronounced Root ’em. There’s no reason you would know it’s not Wroth-am, I certainly didn’t. Also, it’s Hauling, not Hal-ing. Illogical language. Also you may not know it’s a mile and a half from the train station that bears its name, Borough Green and Root ’em and the walk is uphill. I left my house on an autumn morning, cold with spitting rain, with fleece and raincoat, so of course now Shovell and I struggle, sweating, up the hill because the sun is now beating down and I resemble a boil in the bag TV dinner.

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A Walk from Richmond to Easby Abbey, Medieval Wall Paintings and the Little Drummer Boy


Please enjoy this wonderful post from John Bainbridge.

Country Ways

Once upon a time there was a little drummer boy, stationed with his regiment at Richmond Castle (that’s the Yorkshire Richmond, by the way, not the one by the Thames). Some of his fellow soldiers found a tunnel in the castle and, as the drummer boy was small, sent him to explore its length, beating his drum so that his comrades, walking above, would know where he was.

Easby Abbey

They followed the sound of his drumming across the town square and down to the banks of the River Swale. About halfway to Easby Abbey the drumming stopped. The little drummer boy was never seen again. There’s a monument making the place where the sounds of his drumming stopped.

Memorial to a Little Drummer Boy

A sad little yarn, which we contemplated as we walked through the trees above the Swale on our way to Easby Abbey. Not a very…

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My Favorite Horror Films: 9: The Curse of Frankenstein




Terence Fisher directed The Curse of Frankenstein for Hammer Studios in England, and Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Hazel Court starred. This 1957 movie was the first in the Hammer Studio’s emergence as a major producer of horror films and it was the beginning of a new horror movie cycle. The result was an innovative, fast paced, and  vividly colored film. Hammer Studios completely changed the approach to horror movies of the Universal Studios that had dominated the horror movie cycle from 1931-1945. Color, explicit violence, and sexuality were introduced as central filmic components.

The Curse of Frankenstein was, like so many other movies, loosely based on the great work of Gothic English Literature by Mary Shelley: Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus (1818). Yes, that is the accurate subtitle, although it is usually omitted in most printings of the book.



This movie was highly successful, both financially and critically.  And like Horror of Dracula would, as Hammer Studios expanded their treatments of classic Gothic novels, it spawned a long series of sequels. A major difference between the direction of the following films was the focus: the monster Dracula was the recurring character in the vampire movies, while Dr. Frankenstein, and not his creature was the repeating protagonist/antagonist of the Frankenstein movies. This is also an  important distinction between the Hammer and the earlier Universal movies in which the Creature was the primary recurring character.

The Creature was also a mindless killing machine in this film, and none of the Creature’s humanity was kept from the novel, which is the film’s major flaw. It is, nevertheless, an important film from this era, and if you enjoy or are interested in horror films, then I recommend it.