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Contents Betty Stoggs Yellow Top Dogman On Holiday Duffy & The Devil Angels & Devils Rabbits & Worms Strange Bloke & A Pirate Shouldn’t’ve Said That Beastman Giant Bolster Betty Trenoweth My Mate Squirrel Silk Down t’Pub The Rain It Raineth Rob The Bike Right Place Wrong Time Carbuncle Luv & Stuff Dredge

Betty Stoggs

Betty Stoggs has had a real ale named after her, that’s how famous she’s become. But few of the punters at the bar know her true story...and probably wouldn’t want to if they had an inkling as to what it was about.

See, Betty married big burly Jan the Mounster in the olden days and they had a baby. But whilst Jan was out at work slaving away down the mines, Betty began to slacken when it came to doing the housework and cooking. Her baby was dressed in rags and her bread was like concrete.

And to make matters worse she got in with the gin woman who went from door to door selling more than threads and material. Then one day whilst she was nattering and knocking back the booze her baby disappeared. Betty swore she would change her ways just to have her baby back.

As luck would have it, after a huge search, the bloke from the end terrace came upon the child hidden under a gorse bush, wrapped in a fine blanket and covered with flowers. See, the fairies had taken the child but dawn had come before they had a chance to whisk him away to the Otherworld, so they’d left him til the evening when they would return. Lucky Betty! And did she mend her ways?


Yellow Top

I couldn’t be arsed pretending to like him. I mean, what’s the point of disliking someone if you can’t show it?

Dogman On Holiday

He likes the beach does dogman, the warm breath of the breeze ruffling his fur, the tickle of waves making his thighs tingle. Mmm, but remember he’s part dog and not all dogs like to swim, so he never goes completely in. And so the surfboard by his side never skims a wave but is a prop...literally, when he’s beered up. But then again thank God he doesn’t go for a dip as there’s nowt worse than the wet dog smell is there? So, here he is on the beach eyeing up the babes, pretending he can surf, swigging back the ale, pink tongue licking his glistening, pointy teeth.

Duffy & The Devil

Duffy was hopeless at knitting stockings for the Squire so she made a deal with the Devil- he would card, spin and knit the wool for her. In return she would go to the Underworld with him after three years unless she could find out his real name. So Duffy enlists the help of Betty, a witch who shape-changes into a the form of a hare as part of a plan that involves getting the Devil drunk enough to reveal his name. Life wasn’t easy in the old days...

Angels & Devils

Cut his finger and out grew a tree From the acorn of blood came his ancestry Climbed down the tree to sit at the roots Where angels and devils like ivy grew.

Rabbits & Worms

He had rabbit ears and a habit of hiccupping whilst drinking beer. I said he should forget it, I wasn’t interested in dating a rabbitman but he just grinned, his buck teeth glinting. As I got up from the pub bench he pulled me back and tickled my ear with his whiskers and put a paw around my waist. His nose was quivering. I looked around hoping no one had seen this embrace, then looked him in the eye and said, ‘No way!’ With that he jumped up and over the bench, a tear glinting on his face. 'But it's not my fault I was born this way!' he cried and began to tell me the story of his life. I'd best stop here as I swore his secret I'd keep but, blimey, what a can of worms it was, that night at the pub by the dock where the seagulls screech.

Strange Bloke & A Pirate

There was once a pirate around these parts whose name has long been forgotten, though some remember him as being tall, some remember the bells he hung in his black beard and others remember the long green coat he wore and swung around to great effect whilst emphasising certain gestures especially when he was under the influence. This story has nothing to do with this picture, alas.

Shouldn't've Said That

'Damn, I shouldn't've said that.' Thus intoned Sally, unheard by her mate Rach due to her on-going argument with a mobile phone. It was midnight outside the Dog and Duck where taxis swallowed up bare-legged lasses and lads with fags, threadbare moustaches and hoods up, their thin hips slung with a low belt. Mouthy kids swaggered across the road where I drove, trying to run ‘em over.


I happened to be walking up on the moor t’other week and lo I did behold a mighty beast, a huge wolf-dog in a raincoat with claws sharp as razors and a fag in his left paw. And he said unto me, ‘Where goest thou?’ with a gruffness to his voice that bespoke of a thousand cigarettes smoked. And I was most afraid of this mighty beastman and did shiver and shake and quake rather a lot in my black boots that alas leaked when it rained, and it was raining so I had very wet feet.

And I uttered unto him in a weak, thin voice, 'I'm going to town to get some bread and some soya milk and some chocolate as I fear I am about to run out.' And the beastman did say unto me, 'Then let me befriend you as I do so love a fine bar of expensive chocolate and I find it everso hard to discreetly walk the aisles of these supermarkets as you modern folk do call 'em so if you don't mind I'd like you to do a bit of shopping for me... 'I'd like some rolling tobacco and papers, some whiskey, as my teeth are everso bad these days and make me howl through the night and a wee tot helpeth to numb the ache... and some chocolate digestives and cream for my supper and, least I forget, some oats to keep me regular as these mice and rats I eat are not as nutritional as the little girls and boys and grandmas and woodsmen I did swallow up in days gone by.' With that he gaveth me a silver coin and asked that I return the change to him but it was a 5p piece, I believe he understood not the demon inflation, or else he was taking the piss. But as he was 7 foot high and smelt like a wet dog that'd just rolled in badger shit, I dared not question the coinage and slipped it quickly into my pocket beside my mobile phone and damp tissue. Thereupon I left the beast of the moor to wander hither and thither until I returned with his shopping. And I was mighty relieved to have survived the meeting with beastman, legend of the ancient moor.

Giant Bolster

I’m tellin’ an old tale now, old as hills and ancient as trees. It’s about a giant who roamed Cornwall long before you or I ever spoke of double-glazing, ring tones or the property market. He was gruff as the gales that batter the Land’s End peninsular and vicious with it.

He wasn't too nice to his wife either and fell in love with the chaste St Agnes, patron saint of Celtic Cornwall. Being a nun she just wasn’t into the whole romance thing, especially with a married giant. But Bolster continued to woo her with dead cows and by blowing the morning mists away. Be glad you can't smell how bad his breath is...enough to make birds drop out of the sky, dead, for miles around. I won’t let on as to how this forbidden affair ended, instead I’ll leave the story on a happy note where Bolster is stood on Carn Brea, a hill in West Cornwall, declaring his love for Agnes as the evening sun sets. Sweet.

Betty Trenoweth

Well, Betty Trenoweth is a witch from the Land’s End area of Cornwall. She used to fly around these parts on a piece of yellow-flowered ragwort in the days before railways and radios and mobile phones.

She is renowned for her shape-changing abilities and can transform herself into a hare in an instant. She can even talk to animals and put them under a spell, which is what she’s done to this pig.

My Mate

My mate had to be very patient. I mean, there're so many icky blokes out there, and lasses come to think of it. She'd been through years of torture doin' the whole internet dating thing and met up with beardos, blokes with stick legs and huge heads, the meek, the freaks, the dubiously sleek...

And then Ralph came along, well, hit her head on cos he wasn’t lookin’ where he was goin’ down aisle 3 in the supermarket by the spring greens (bit healthy for both of them they are.) He apologised and they both headed for aisle 5- biscuits, crisps and cake mixes. And 10 minutes later love bloomed in the cafe where coffee was only 99p a cup and tasted ok really for the price. Sweet, eh?


A true story told by a true woman. Honest.


He smells of crisps and beer and his moustache didn’t put her off. She's in love.

Down t' Pub

I was down t’pub t’other night in a hail storm, it being February, and I sat in the corner opposite the door eyeing the weary, belligerent and bored customers who shook hail from their anoraks as they sat down, hunching over beer and still disgruntled by the fact they had to go outside if they wanted a fag. ‘Bloody smoking ban.’ They muttered with their wretched, curled lips, as they lifted the insipid ale for a guzzle.

Then the door was thrown open as if by the most bitter blast of a northern winter and there, stood in the doorway's dented frame, was a woman of tall stature due to the sharp heels of her synthetic white boots. And her hair was a right mess, dripping with the melted hail of the devilish night. And she lifted her right hand and stretched out a pink-varnished index finger and muttered, 'Oi, don't split hairs with me, boy!' to the bloke sat in the corner, beer in quivering hand, scared shitless. And with that she swung around in a cloud of perfumed nicotine and slammed the dart-scarred door behind her. Myself and the other shoddy folk down the Blue Robin turned at once our eyes upon the bloke in the corner to ascertain the reason for such discontent. But he upped and offed and we returned to our beers, crest-fallen. However, I did discover two days later they'd come to heads over the positioning of their patio heater and Mrs Griffiths mentioned some issue they had over facial hair. This in not an uncommon occurrence round these parts I have to say.

The Rain It Raineth

...The rain it raineth and it poureth but finally it stopped. So that's me happy, and my dog. And a million people smiled. So, this is a pic of a blokey who was a bit fed up... of the rain, the gales, the feisty seagulls, the narky people about town with a grim twist to their grimace.

Yer, he was pissed off. But then he decided to have a dance, in the park beneath dripping trees where blackbirds pulled worms. And he began to enjoy himself, in fact his heart began to sing until he just couldn’t keep it in and a huge, huge song flowed out of his throat like love and bird song and spring sunshine and tipsyness. And here’s a picture I sketched of him when I was walking my damp dog in the park this morning.

Looks lovely doesn’t he?

Right Place Wrong Time

Just one of those days... She mislaid the scrap paper scawled with the details as to where she’s meeting Jim, a keen angler and Formula 1 fanatic she has nothing in common with. Just as well really.

Rob The Bike

He works in the Bristol area procuring bikes for those of limited means.


It's just one of those days...she's had trouble with the neighbours... & her mum. They disagree on just about everything. Especially marmalade & eggs...& politics & how long a skirt should be & how to make the best chocolate cake.

Not that this lass does a lot of baking...she’s out on the town too much to cope with ounces & whisks, oven temperatures & cooling racks. She’d much rather be sat skim-reading the paper whilst forgetting to text a mate about where they’re gonna meet before the club to get cash out at the cash machine so she doesn’t have to rely on the generosity of random strangers when it comes to beer...or random blokes to be more precise. But, as you can see, it’s been a day of complications which if I had the time I’d divulge the details of, I would, but I don’t as my dog needs walkin...well, dawdling, as he’s the world’s slowest greyhound.

Luv & Stuff

This lass had a stroke of luck in the love stakes....she’s all loved up cos the door to door salesman actually was her type & not at all bad looking considering he was wearing a creased grey suit & pink tie the first time she lay eyes upon him. Ok, so he wears white socks & his ears are like rashers of bacon, but she sees through such imperfections to the real inner man. Honest. & I ain’t being sarcastic.


I was walkin my dog & dew glistened on the grass & blackbirds were singin’. The town had yet to awaken, there was none of the hussle & rush of a weekday morning with car doors slamming & schoolkids smokin’ by the park gate. So there I was, appreciating the fine spring greenness about me, when I caught a glimpse of a foot stickin’ out of a bush.

It was Dredge. Of a sudden the foot twitched as if tickled by a fly. & then slowly but surely the Dredge rolled out from under the bush. She straightened her skirt & put a fine pointy shoe over her gnarled toes. She opened an eye. Focused. Cursed with the effort. Stood up. & seemed to glide across the mowed grass of the park like she was an angel...or apparition of death. & maybe she was. A ghost of Dredge past, present & future. A symbol of rebirth in these uncertain times...

Right Place, Wrong Time  

short quirky stories with colour illustrations

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