Words and Ramblings

Here We Come A-Wassailing

Super Bad

Save Cressingham Gardens

What's a bloke got to do in your job to get the sack?

Children react to Cameron's 'Mother jibe"

Fire Exit-Lost Souls

The troubled soul beneath the sad, the lost, but the stunning eyes, looking for true answers in the dark scudding sky.
The false smile, the pretend laugh and haunted vile dreams.
Abandoning hope is of course an option, flick it away like an unwelcome fly.
If only I could scratch away your pain and anger; like an itch can be resolved in a moment.
I know how it is to simply walk, or rather scuff along; a rugby scrum with black angels.
Blood red demons, and their perpetual screaming, from every available corner, from every hollow chamber of filth.
Stone steps, padded walls, high, unreachable windows. Panic stricken, manic anxiety and utter depression.
I can see how cold it is for you, despite the sweating out of scolding hatred.
Close those wonderful eyes;
take a long, deep breath,
be comforted by the thought,

the uplifting feeling,
that there could well be a light,
at the end of your suicide.

BBC London - Cressingham Gardens Judicial Review
Cressingham Gardens. BBC Radio London Covers Cressingham Gardens win of the Judicial Review
Pripyat - Mon Amour
Black Aquarius

Matthew Sweet explores the dawning of the age of Black Aquarius - the weirdly great wave of occultism that swept through British popular culture in the 1960s-70s. From journals like the Aquarian Arrow to the diabolical novels of Dennis Wheatley, lurid accounts of satanic cults in the Sunday papers and the glut of illustrated books, part-magazines, documentary film and TV drama, it was a wildly exuberant seam of British pop culture.

Flowering from the more arcane parts of the hippy movement but mutating into something quite different, why was there such a huge crossover appeal for the British public? Was this a continuation of the Sixties cultural battleground of restrictive morality being secretly titillated, or was it something else - something darker? These questions certainly puzzled factual television at the time.

The age of Black Aquarius matched the late Victorian craze for the occult in its intensity and popularity, and certainly drew from some of that era's obsessions - dark dimensions, secret rites, unearthly energy - but filtered through 'the permissive society', through a hugely eclectic counterculture, swinging sexual liberation and new kinds of consumption and lifestyle. And while dark forces were summoned in the grooviest of Chelsea flats they were being unearthed in the countryside too, a fantasy of pagan ritual and wicker men, of tight-lipped locals and blood sacrifice at harvest time.

Contributors include Mark Gatiss, Katy Manning, Caroline Munro, Kim Newman, Highgate Vampire hunter David Farrant and Piers Haggard, director of 'The Blood on Satan's Claw'.

Producer: Simon Hollis
A Brook Lapping production for BBC Radio 4.

Hear the program on radio 4 iplayer

Below, Tim d'Arch Smith having his say on the matter.