Whoever said sunlight was the best medicine? Someone, probably - sounds like the sort of thing somebody might say. Anyhow, whoever they are, they're a fool and I hope they choke. Sunlight is awful, and something ought to be done about it.

I may feel differently in a few days, but right now the daystar and I are not on speaking terms. For the first time in a long. long time I got up the energy to venture out of my room, laptop and microphone in tow, and made a nice little recording nest for myself by the window. Twenty-six minutes and thirty-two seconds later I realized that I had nearly baked myself to death, and barely managed to drag myself back under cover of darkness. Cue three full days of nonexistence and several more of miserable lethargy. In fine: I'm later about uploading than I intended. The best laid mouse-plans, etc.

Anyhow, this installment is a charming little number from 1818. Extracts From Gosschen's Diary, No. 1 - there are no further extracts, at least not that I've been able to turn up, but perhaps they're being released on a bicentennial basis. If so, stay tuned for the next installment in August year-after-next. This one ought to be a special treat for fans of both knife-wielding maniacs and Robert  Browning; it was only after recording that I realized this gory gem must have been the inspiration for 'Porphyria's Lover'. As to whether the unhappy protagonist also inspired Bobby B's bit about opening hearts and looking inside them, I am not scholar enough to judge.

Read it for yourself here: Extracts from Gosschen's Diary No. 1
If you'd told me a month ago that I would muster the energy to do not one, but multiple podcasts, I should not have believed you.

Well, I suppose it's one podcast, two episodes thereof - but that's hardly the point, is it? The point is that I'm tremendously impressed with myself. I've been doing other things, too; I have now dipped my toe properly in the social media cesspool. Which is a dreadful metaphor, but anyhow, I've got a Twitter:


Say hello, won't you?

Best of all, the détente with my hosts continues to improve. Tentative status upgrade from Not Actively Hostile to Cautiously Chummy. I had a lovely conversation with J about what does and what does not properly qualify as an "atrocity," and my mini-fridge privileges have been restored. All in all, it has been a tremendously promising few days. And what better way to celebrate than with a tale of anguish and terror, eh? This one is from the musty pages of Blackwood's Magazine - one of the transitional fossils in horror literature's evolution. Edgar Allen Poe thought it was quite good; who am I to argue, eh?

If you'd like to read it for yourself, I'd strongly suggest you find an original bound copy - feels better in the hand, and smells fantastic. This one's a bit obscure, but I did find what looks to be a faithful reproduction: The Man in the Bell, by William Maginn. It's an Angelfire page, so you know it's built to last.