Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions - Bovine Avoidance

I've just come back from a week in Northumberland. We stayed near Lindisfarne and, in such northern climes, my thoughts naturally turned to the simplicity of Celtic Christianity - the uncomplicated life, the closeness to nature - and to Basil Bunting. Here is the great man's advice to aspiring poets:


1. Compose aloud; poetry is a sound.
2. Vary rhythm enough to stir the emotion you want but not so as to lose impetus.
3. Use spoken words and syntax.
4. Fear adjectives; they bleed nouns. Hate the passive.
5. Jettison ornament gaily but keep shape

Put your poem away till you forget it, then:

6. Cut out every word you dare.
7. Do it again a week later, and again.

Never explain - your reader is as smart as you.

We could all do to remember such advice in the coming year; and maybe take time out to visit places like Holy Island, and get away from the bull that seems to be endemic in our culture.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Black Death Audiobook

My book The Black Death has just been released as an audiobook. It's available on Audible here. No one told me that this was out - it seems the author is usually the last person to know!

The Templars' Lost Treasure

A bit more info about The Templars' Lost Treasure - including a photo of three out of work actors wearing costumes - can be found here.

For those who may miss it, you can sleep easy: it's being repeated almost immediately! (And I kid you not.)

Deus lo volt, indeed...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Return of the Philosopher's Secret Fire

Just a quick plug for a book I love: Patrick Harpur's The Philosopher's Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination has just been republished by the good people down at The Squeeze Press.

It will make your Christmas a far more profound affair than may have otherwise been the case!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Templars' Lost Treasure

I will be appearing in a National Geographic documentary entitled The Templars' Lost Treaure, which will air on 21 December 2009 at 2100 in the UK. Apparently it will then be repeated over the Christmas period.

All I can tell you at the moment is that it is a French programme that has been recut for the UK, with myself and Helen Nicholson being inserted as the English-speaking experts/voices of sanity.

I'm not sure whether to add zut alors! or merde! at this point. But anyway, the interview - conducted in St Pancras Old Church - was fun to do. I'll post more info when I have some.

The churchyard, incidentally, was used by the Beatles for the photos that appear on the inside cover of the Red and Blue Albums.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Templar Documentary

I am being wheeled out again in front of the cameras to hold forth on our old chums, the KT. This one's for a major broadcaster - I've been warned to not say the name - and will go out sometime before Xmas. More into when the Bishop allows...

Meanwhile, the Channel 5 programme, Secrets of the Cross: Trial of the Knights Templar, is now out on DVD. Avail yourself of a copy forthwith at yon vendor. (Click on 'Templar Documentaries' in the menu on the left.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Radio 4 Appearance

I was featured in a Radio 4 programme yesterday together with fellow Westonian Nick Harding. Weston's New Pier recounts the story of... Weston's new pier, after the last one burnt down in the July of last year. The programme is still up on the Radio 4 site, and can be listened to again here if you missed it. Nick and I appear about halfway through. I attempt a Watney's Red Barrel rant about sunburnt holidaymakers eating saveloy and chips on the Beach Lawns, but I think Eric Idle would have done a better job...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Reading in Glasgow

I'm making a long overdue return to the world of readings this Friday, when I will be appearing at “Reading Allowed” at the Tchai Ovna Teahouse in Glasgow's West End. Also on the bill will be
David Manderson, Alan Riach (who is launching his latest collection), Janet Paisley, Donny O’Rourke, Dave Dick and Lynsey Calderwood. Live music will be provided by Wing and a Prayer. Kick off at 2000, all welcome.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Knights Templar in Paperback - Now Available

The new paperback edition of The Knights Templar: The History & Myths of the Legendary Military Order is now available. You can get a copy here.

The book is revised, mainly in the final chapter on Templar myths and mysteries, plus I've also added a new Afterword which details some of the new research on them. Interestingly, this research - undertaken by academics - seems to suggest that some of the myths about the Order might have some substance to them... 'No smoke without fire,' as the old saying goes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Templar Documentaries Now on DVD

The first two Templar documentaries I did, The Templar Code: Crusade of Secrecy (History Channel) and Secrets of the Code (an independent feature documentary, narrated by Susan Sarandon) are now available on DVD here.

They're both NTSC (i.e. North American) discs, so you'll need a multi-region DVD player to watch them.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Goings on in Stone Circles

On Saturday, I found myself taking part in a Druid ceremony in a stone circle to celebrate Lughnasa (AKA Lammas - see the 891 Filmhouse Blog for a tad more info). During the ceremony, we played a game to symbolise the war and trade we presume ancient Britons to have indulged in. This basically took the form of running across the field, trying not to get tagged by the opposing side. I was sadly tagged, at which point I had to freeze on the spot. (I was one of 3 people from our side to get caught.) At this point, the rest of my side had to ransome me and the 2 others - and I can happily report that the ransome paid was a bottle of Old Peculier! Very apt, methinks.

On similarly pagan/heretical lines, I will be turning my quill to revamping The Gnostics soon, as a new edition is due out at Yule (AKA Christmas, the 12 Days of Consumer Overkill), and I would like to put in the few things that I actually forgot to put into the first edition. I'll put up an Amazon link to the new edition once one appears.

Until then, may your God go with you, as Dave Allen used to say.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Editions A Go-Go

The Knights Templar will be out around the middle/end of next month in its first UK paperback edition. This is a newly updated version of the book, which essentially means I've been tinkering with the last chapter again, and have also added a new Afterword.

In further developments that I have heard about on the grapevine - i.e. I found out on the net, not via my publishers - that The Gnostics is also receiving the paperback treatment in December. I'm not sure at the moment whether this will be an updated edition or not.

And while on the subject, there are distant rumours of a new edition of Andrei Tarkovsky planned for 2010-ish. (Further distant rumours suggest that I have in fact finished New Waves in Cinema at last. These rumours are sadly unfounded...)

In the meantime, you can always investigate the works of the great UFOlogist John Keel, who has just Left the Building. Recommended titles: The Mothman Prophecies, Our Haunted Planet and Operation Trojan Horse, while Patrick Harpur has some interesting things to say about him in Daimonic Reality.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Templars & the Shroud

New Evidence links our old friends the Templars with the Turin Shroud. Go here to read all about it.

The new edition of my book on the Templars new edition of my book on the Templars is due out in September, as is the new Dan Brown novel. Surely a coincidence? Or are the Illuminati still at work and moving behind the scenes?

Monday, April 27, 2009

John Michell, 1933-2009

The great John Michell has left the building. Cancer. He was 76. More here and here.

I met him once, back in February 1988 (I think it was) at Gothic Image in Glastonbury. It was the launch party for Dimensions of Paradise, I seem to recall. And if there's one book that re-enchanted my relationship to the English countryside, it was his The New View over Atlantis.

So, if you're in Glastonbury today, head over to Beckett's and raise a toast to the great man. Otherwise, stop and be silent for a moment. Better still, go for a walk in the woods and think about eternity. I hope John is in some celestial tavern, talking alignments with Stukely over an ale or two.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Templars in Scotland

Yes, the Templars were all over Scotland, Hugues de Payen married a Sinclair, they all escaped in 1307-12, the fleet landed there, they helped win the Battle of Bannockburn and it is also the part of the world where I finished the revised version of the book, which is due out in June. The book contains a number of new earth-shattering revelations, including a recent photo of Lord Lucan at Rosslyn Chapel (applying a bit of Brasso to the Holy Grail with Jim Morrison supplying the bread and wine)... Yes folks, it's all true. And none of it. But at least the book is done and coming to a website near you soon.

On another note, today is the 627th anniversary of Nicholas Flamel's second successful transmutation. I wish he were here now to help me transmute the MS of my latest book into something coherent and finished...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Amazon Store Launched

A quick plug for my newly-launched Amazon store, on which you can purchase the various tomes I have authored so far. You can find it here. I may expand it to include books I like and want to plug, such as Mercurius, The Chymical Wedding, or anything by Messrs Ford, Carver, or Burnside. But for now, it's just me.

And please raise a glass - preferrably a good Greek red - in Sir John Tavener's direction tomorrow, January 28th - it's the great man's birthday:-) I received his Piano Music and Ex Maria Virgine
for Xmas, and they are superb releases indeed.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Knights Templar - Paperback Edition

The Knights Templar will receive its first UK paperback publication in June.

A paperback edition has been available in the US for some time, but this UK version will be a superior tome in every way, in that it will retain its cover - de Molay in all his finery - and will also be a revised edition, with further sections being added to the final chapter, including A Very Interesting Fact that I have recently come across... (Well, possibly more than one!)

By June, I should also have finished my next book, the long-gestating New Waves in Cinema which, by the time of publication next year, will probably end up being called Old Waves in Praxinoscopes.