Guest Poem – Screw you Poppet by Queenie

illustration by Lisa Cole
illustration by Lisa Cole

Screw You Poppet

Freezing my arse off
Planting violets in a grave yard,
To inconspicuously gather
Goofer dirt,

It was simpler,
Choosing the fabric, black silk
Symbolic of you’re annoying slickness,
Matching the colour of you heart.

Now I sit, needle and thread.
Unleashing my domestic goddess
I damn as I darn.

I stuff you soundly.
With dirt, your scribbled signature,
A photo, complete with
Ingratiating smile.

I name you.
I feed you.
I bind you.

With ruby ribbons,
Your hateful mouth,
Your woeful groin,
Your interfering hands.

A last kiss
Before I bury you deep
In the frozen earth.
A final thought

Screw you poppet.

More by Queenie can be found at

Guest Poem – Toolbox by Angela van Son

illustration by Lisa Cole


If I had a hammer
I’d hammer your skull in the morning
I’d hammer your toes in the evening
All over your shoes

If I had a drill
I’d drill your eyes in the morning
I’d drill your ears in the evening
Blood all over your shoes

If I had a wrench
I’d wring you neck in the morning
I’d wrap myself around your middle in the evenings
Lick your shoes at night

If I had pliers
I’d pull your nails in the morning
Put them back in the evening
Say sorry at night

If I had a screwdriver
I’d screw you in the morning
I’d screw me in the evening
There’s a screw loose each night

Reposted with permission from Angela van Son

You can see more of her words at

Guest Poem – Request by Angela van Son

torn out heart “May I?”

He took her hand
and gently put her fingers
on his heart
flexing her phalanges
in such a way
that her long nails
tore his flesh
He made her rip
and tear
his heart out
lay it on the ground
and stomp her feet on it.

“Yes you may.”

Reposted with permission from Angela van Son

You can see more of her words at

Keeping Flower Beetles – Smaragdesthes (or Chlorocala) Africana Oertzeni Tank Setup

This is how my beetle tank is set up. I’m not saying it’s perfect, I still have to get the substrate to retain a bit more moisture but they are breeding and it’s working for me.

The tank is a starter fish tank – 12 inches x 8 inches x 10 high.

At the base of the tank put some white rotting wood and some bark. They seem to like to attach their cocoons to something. Avoid conifers and aim for oak or beech.

Setting up a pet beetle tank Add substate. A good 5 inches at least. Mine is a mixture of rotted down oak and beech leaves, some peat, some moss, twigs, some special soil to keep spiders in and some John Innes Number 3. It’s quite course and I think if it was finer it would retain water better. I collect leaves and put them in bags to rot down but I’m careful not to get them from very polluted areas or areas where they spray insecticide.

Sunstrate for a pet beetle tank

Add larvae. Here’s some I made earlier! I’m really proud of these because they are the first ones born at home.

Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni larvae

They will burrow down to the depths and you won’t see them for months.

They then form a coccoon out of whatever is at hand, mine are mostly using moss. These look a bit like large, egg shaped maltesers and are easy to miss as they do like to stick them to things.

On top of the substrate I have some slightly rotting leaves, some twigs for the adults to climb on and some mossy and licheny twigs. They love lichen.

I feed mine fruit and veg. They like sweet potato, cucumber, sweet pepper, courgette, banana (banana skin is just as good), mushrooms and sometimes carrot. They like their food slightly on the turn.

I spray with water every few days, if it looks like it needs it.

Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni

This is what the tank looks like from the side.

The top is covered with a sheet of perspex that I can slide back under some aluminium mesh. This is my air hole control method.

I have a heat mat to the side of the tank, it’s on a thermostat and set to 22. It is bitterly cold in my house most of the year, sometimes 8 degrees or less and I don’t think they would appreciate that.

Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni

There is a really good forum called which, unlike most of the other invert forums has a special section for beetles, so you don’t have to trawl through loads of posts about spiders. I learnt all I know from BugNation and I still have a lot of learning to go.

The Ghoulies at the Stag and Hounds April 14th 2013

The Ghoulies at the Stag and Hounds

The Stag and Hounds is one of my favorite venues. It’s a crumbling pile of a pub with wobbly floors, chandeliers, a real stags head with a manky ear, nice beer and very often lots of new bands.

Last night, denied the death metal gig we thought was on elsewhere we stumbled upstairs at the Stag to find the Ghoulies playing.  Any lead singer who starts a song with ‘Here’s one for all you ladies out there tonight…..DIE!’ gets my vote, I’m immediatly very impressed. There is a whole load of big beard action going on, a drummer who almost levitates and screaming teenage angsty vocals with fantastic dirty hypnotic guitars. They describe themselves as ‘Hammer House Rock’  and to make it you mix even amounts of  60’s surf sound, some really clever bass riffs, the Munsters, early Dr Who sound effects and some booming Beefheart. Bake upstairs in a falling down pub for half an hour and you have the Ghoulies. Fab, just fab.

Not quite the Whole 30 – The Mostly Vegetarian version

If you saw my earlier post about the Whole 30 you will know that I didn’t get on with it. The idea is to eat loads of protein, a reasonable amount of fat and hardly any carbs – a bit different than my normal, mostly vegi, some fish and meat heavy on the pasta and bread diet. I gave up on day 10 with terrible stomach aches (apparently not uncommon if you are not used to eating loads of meat) and a taste of death in my mouth. Not fun.

Anyway, the good bit about the Whole 30 was that apart from the stomach and taste, physically I felt great, I dropped a few pounds and I had loads of energy. So, I’m trying a revised version with less meat but no grains or sugar.

There is a Whole 30 shopping list for vegetarians but it’s a bit vague about what legumes you can eat. It does say that these forms of protein are ok:


then there are some weird things I’ve never heard of like Natto and Kefir and Edamame which I’ve seen at Yo Sushi but not been terribly impressed with.

Then for second choice it says tofu and ‘various beans’.

A very helpful moderator on the very quiet  Vegi section of the Whole 30 forum said

“You can eat lentils and beans if they are soaked and rinsed before cooking to remove phytates. And finally in this area, you can use hemp or pea protein powder. You can find many of these foods in health food stores and at Whole Foods.
The soaking and rinsing process for beans is like 12 hours of soaking and several rinses.”

So, here we go;

Day 1

Breakfast – cabbage, courgette, carrots softened in butter with 2 poached eggs

Lunch – vegi soup with lentils (not rinsed to specifications), yeast flakes, yoghurt and a drizzle of oil

Snacks – all of my Graze box (oops) but way better than laying into the strawberry dessert I have in the fridge for my son.

Dinner – Vegi Thai green curry with more veg and lots of fresh coriander.

I’ve no idea how much I weigh as the scales are broken, I’ll go by clothes that fit me again if I lose any weight. And I’ll be looking on here for recipes that don’t contain too many bizarre ingredients – Until tomorrow……