Wednesday 30 September 2015

Monster Memories: ‘The Loch Ness Monster’

Back in July of 1983, my grandparents (frequent visitors to Scotland) visited Loch Ness. Having travelled up with their yellow Ford Capri II 2000 with a caravan in tow they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary before returning home with a Scottish souvenir for me, a plastic Nessie (made in China). That souvenir started me on a life long fascination with Loch Ness and its legendary beast, the interest was spurred on by Peter Maddocks’s Family- Ness cartoon series along with any other Nessie monster related movie or series I could find. Shows such as Michael Aspel’s Strange But True? repeats of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe’s Fortean TV. When I wasn’t watching those programs I would read any book I could find on the subject (my favourite being The World of the Unknown: Monsters by Carey Miller) along with The Unexplained magazine. Thirty years later I would finally visit Loch Ness for myself with Mrs Jones, we cruised the loch seeking out the monster on our honeymoon. Looking back on it all it started with that one plastic toy that my grandparents gave my four-year-old dinosaur loving self. Sadly, the toy went missing (I suspect my mother gave it away to a jumble sale appeal- but I couldn’t prove it in a court of law) and since becoming an active eBay user I have sought out to track down another monster… But in a manner of speaking I did find another, I found this brass one… It is the exact design as the one I had before, only it has been cast in brass. The seller gave little to no information on its origins only that her father would cast items in brass and had done so with this toy back in the 1980’s. This being the case I treat it as a unique piece of artwork. A piece that reminds me of that plastic toy I once knew, the grandparents that presented it to me and the journey it took me on.

My grandparents at Loch Ness, July of 1983
Some more 'Monster Memories' and 'Prehistoric Pinings'…

Monster Memories: ‘Monsters in my Pocket'

Monster Memories: 'Spooky Chews'

Prehistoric Pining: Dinosaur Books and Publications

Prehistoric Pining: Dinosaur World, Colwyn Bay

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Friday 25 September 2015

The Eccentric Party of Great Britain

Back in January of this year Lord Toby Jug formed The Eccentric Party of Great Britain and announced that he would be standing as a prospective parliamentary candidate at the general election. A former long-standing member of the Monster Raving Loony Party and clearly inspired by the late, great, Screaming Lord Sutch (a friend of Lord Toby he backed Lord Sutch at numerous gigs!) frankly, I like the cut of his jib and joined the party. His policies included putting super-glue in lip balm to reduce obesity and fitting a coin slot meter to mobile phones to reduce their use. Photos of Katie Hopkins, Jeremy Clarkson and Russell Brand would be placed at all UK entry points putting anyone off from staying for longer than is strictly necessary reducing immigration woes. Lord Toby promised that if he were elected he would only claim teabags as expenses and only take half of his MP's salary giving the rest to charity. He stood against Boris Johnson (DON'T BE A MUG.... VOTE LORD TOBY JUG!) and polled 50 votes.

Last weekend St Ives in Cambridgeshire hosted the first ever Eccentric Party of Great Britain Conference. Sadly I couldn’t make it but I have it on good authority that a good time was had by all and many a pot of tea and fruitcake was consumed. Amongst the various activities of the day the alternative aristocracy was formed when Lord Toby brandishing a sword that once belonged to Lord Sutch, knighted various members of the party! Members of a shadow cabinet were also appointed and one of them was yours truly being elected Viceroy of Wales and Minister for Monsters! A genuine honour that I gladly accept!

Shadow Cabinet Appointments 
Boney Maroney - Chairman
Lord Bungle - Deputy Chairman, Membership Secretary and Minister for Beards
Sir Joshua Francis - Vice Chairman and Minister for Rock 'n' Roll
Peter Berni - Minister for Didgeridoo's
Miss Pugh - Minister for Mental Health
Heather Korbey - Minister for the Disabled
Dame Celia Mole Strangler - Minister Without Portfolio
Lady Prompt - Minister for the Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Arfon Jones - Viceroy of Wales and Minister for Monsters

I very much look forward to meeting up with these fine people at the next conference. Be sure to look out for future eccentric goings on and check out the party website, better still why not join the Eccentric Party of Great Britain? Remember to vote for the Eccentric Party of Great Britain we dance to the beat of a different drum!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Friday 18 September 2015


In a preceding post marking the sad passing of Neil Armstrong in 2012 I mentioned that I am actually a post moon landing child and that man has not been back to the moon in my lifetime. Yet despite missing this important event I still understood its importance and held a life long interest in those early missions and the brave men that took those first important steps into space. That is why I was thrilled and delighted last weekend to meet a hero. Last Saturday I met Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11 and the second man to walk on the Moon on that historic July 21 back in 1969. I would list all of Buzz Aldrin’s achievements, awards and honours but I am going to try and keep this post fairly brief but suffice to say meeting him at this years Autographica event in Heathrow was a genuine honour (in fact I told him so). He was over in the UK promoting his new book Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. He hopes that the book will inspire children to travel to Mars when they grow up underlining his hope that we will have colonised Mars before 2040 (a vision I also share). Before I end up writing another paragraph with ‘hero’ in it I will close it here by paraphrasing that that last weekend I met Buzz Aldrin…hero.

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


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