Category Archives: Melancholy

Wandering in a Fantasy World

On a rainy Sunday a few weeks ago, our car climbed into the hills above Lake Taal, the fog allowing for brief glimpses of the now familiar – but no less picturesque – view.  No journey is complete without a bit of drama and this comes with a drive over a narrow section of road that is being repaired, and has an almost sheer drop on one side, that was one thing to thank the fog for, obscuring the stomach lurching drops that would be visable on better days.  The reason for our trip is to visit what was once promised as ‘the Disneyland of The Philippines’, but the owners ran into financial problems and so it is now a mere shell of theme park.

Greeted by the sight of turrets over the treeline, it all started to look as familiar as it did out of place.  As the car turned we were greeted with a vista of what resembles one of those German castles that looks like it’s come straight from a fairytale.  It was an impressive introduction as an approach to the car park.  I didn’t get a photo of that but I don’t think it would have done it justice had I done so.

A few years ago I did a post on abandoned theme parks and that melancholy feel, real or as in this case, possibly just imagined by myself.  It does get the imagination going and reminded me of Helen Cresswell’s The Watcher’s: A Mystery at Alton towers which is a tightly plotted adventure and well worth getting your hands on for a bit of escapism.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 24/07/2018 in Melancholy, The Philippines, Travel


Tags: , , , , ,

Hot Air and a Partially Remembered Stair

Is it too early to have a beer at 10 in the AM…how early is too early? With everything pressing in my day completed by around 9AM, I have been spending quite a lot of the day indulging in listening to some loud music of days gone past…stuff that brings back the malleable miracle of memory that haunts us ( if we choose), or as in this case just serves to cycle up the good mood-a-tron which is located somewhere in my head.

Good moods are conducive to my thinking and probably explains why recently I have only been able to do book reviews and not look for inspiration in the wider world.  All this thinking had me in mind of my struggles for non book related posts and how things change in general.


I remember once, going up to the roof of a church tower.  It was a classic accent with a spiral stone staircase, the type where you have to keep to the outside or risk slipping all the way back down.  At the time I was maybe 8 or 9 and it was an epic climb, going round and round the central column.  it was the return journey though that I am thinking of.  I had in my young and possibly sticky hands a balloon eraser that day.  If memory serves it was blue with bits of green, red and yellow on, a classic eraser then.  I don’t remember much more about it than that.

I dropped this eraser and couldn’t find it on the darkened stair, I knew roughly where it fell but all I was rewarded with was severely dusty hands for my hunting troubles.  Now I am 32 and thinking back to it, I am struck by the image of this balloon, that ultimate symbol of human freedom to be blown about willy-nilly that is now consigned to the dark begrimed and  forgotten confines of a seldom visited place. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 11/04/2014 in Life, Melancholy, My Writings, Poetry


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Post Dream Post

Bear with me it’s just gone 3:10 in the AM and I’m writing this for a post later on this afternoon which in my infinite wisdom I probably won’t edit at a better time of day, it begins thusly:

Whilst attempting to emulate Martin Luther King and have a dream, whilst at the same time be as non fussy about it, in the process as Joseph, he of the technicoloured dream coat (‘any dream will do’),  I hit upon a strange nostalgic dream, that covered a varied amount of things.

Cathedral Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 05/01/2013 in Melancholy


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Keeping Those Cockles Warm

The weather has been worse than Scrooge at Christmas recently, which neatly reflects my view on shopping for it this year so far.  Still lethargy and annoyance aside, you need to keep warm at this time of year and as people haven’t put up their Christmas trees, then kindly left their curtains open for me to peer into their homes yet,  I have to find other things that keep me warm, so here are a few things that always make me happy and toasty inside:

First off is a piece of music I love from a really underrated film Sunshine, I am normally a cheesy 80’s film soundtrack man but this always conjures up the vastness of space and reminds me of our smallness in the grand design and of the absolute power might and majesty of the sun.  Also there is a feeling of connection with the ancient sun worshipping peoples that this film manages to convey, a primal urge if you will.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 26/11/2012 in Lists/Ephemera, Melancholy


Tags: , , , ,

Spatially Challenged

What have I learnt this evening?

  • I have no perception of quantity when it comes to choosing a pie.
  • I will go any distance because a free lift is offered.
  • Quality time can be spent in a car, even if it is going to Doncaster.

It is always nice to learn things and of course wander about life’s big questions whilst travelling in a car at night, whilst also pretending to be an ultra aware navigator.  The stars are always one thing to consider in their colossally far-off aloofness, the vast distances and amazing nebulae, the abstract concept of the infinite reaches of space and all of that cosmic stuff, but on a motorway all the light pollution unfortunately scuppers the idea of contemplating the wonderful night sky. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 26/10/2012 in Melancholy


Tags: , , , , , ,

The Final Observations of Melancholy

So this wasn’t even meant to be a series of posts, it just popped into my head to try and awkwardly link up two posts that I already had in the pipeline with one that made sense in the pub after the odd pint or two.

It has taken me a long time to decide what accompanying visuals to put with this post, but I have finally decided to treat you to some Caspar David Friedrich paintings, he is one of my favourite artists, so any excuse to get him on the blog then. I particularly like the solitary person and bleak nature scenes, some which I am hopefully thrilling you with  here (and of a decent size to boot), if that is indeed the word.

I had no idea where these posts would go, other than to be a haphazard exploration of an emotion that has been behind so much creative work over the ages and defined whole movements which have changed the perspective of how we view ourselves and our surrounding universe.

Summing up then should be a fairly difficult task, and to be fair I thought it would be, however it turns out to be surprisingly easy.  Mainly because I realised that however mired in the dark depths of melancholy any one person chooses to be, there is always a certain amount of leeway for other sensations such as hope, positivity and indeed happiness. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 03/10/2012 in Melancholy


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Observations of Melancholy Part 3: The News Where You Are – Catherine O’ Flynn

I had a dream last night that I picked up some sandwiches which were of brown bread not white. It was horrible. Now I am listening to the Ghostbusters theme and I feel better, so now you know my mindset, I shall begin.

Having read Catherine O’ Flynn’s fantastic debut What Was Lost, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this, then I did and subsequently proceeded to leave it for eight months sandwiched between a Manic Street Preachers biography and a Stephen Hawking book. Such is life.

The story focuses on the anchor man of Midlands TV local news, Frank. A man who hired a writer to give him gags to inject a bit of humour into the usual banal reports, the jokes though were so bad he has become a local legend and cult figure.

From this humble man a multitude of stories issue forth and are weaved together in intimate fashion, these range from the hit and run of an old friend, his family life and coping with the general humdrum style of life.

‘I wonder sometimes who we make this programme for. People who desperate to hear us repackage press releases from the fire service?  People who demand no greater interactivity than an email address on screen?  People who can’t focus on anything for longer than a minute and a half?  All we do is bombard people with these random, decontextualized jumbles of facts and faces. Did you ever wonder who actually watches this programme?’

asks colleague Julia and it’s a fair question. Lets get this out of the way first. There are two types of people who watch the local news, people who are invested in it for some reason, maybe they are on it or care about local life and then there are the rest of us who are perhaps a more cynical bunch. We’ve seen the same things repeated endlessly, we don’t really watch it because it doesn’t really relate to our lives in any considerable way, for all intents and purposes it is just watched out of habit.

In essence one of the key themes of the book is this exploration of relevance in an increasingly fast paced and ever changing world.  As well as being set in a newsroom in Birmingham there is the back drop of the continuing urban renewal of the city and the changing of the old memory laden buildings that have become outmoded and outdated. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 29/09/2012 in Fiction, Melancholy


Tags: , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: