Paul O’Grady…..Petition Against Octopus Farming….. Thinking About Bones - Again…..Bookan…..

by Bernie Bell - 07:31 on 30 March 2023

Paul O’Grady…


To quote one of his friends….

He pushed every boundary of comedy without being offensive.”

I liked him…


To quote Paul….

“It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It’s  the rich what gets the pleasure,
Ain't it all a bleedin’ shame.”

By Billy Bennett

Paul knew his music hall songs – and knew the value of his vaudeville heritage – ‘All together now…’

‘A life in pictures’….



Petition Against Octopus Farming…

Remember ‘We’re Doing It Again’….  http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16200 ?

I received the following petition from Avaaz…

"Scientists are outraged by plans for the world’s first octopus farm, which would see a million of these highly intelligent creatures crammed into tiny tanks every year, and then killed painfully by being frozen alive. Plans for this giant octopus torture chamber have been submitted to local authorities in Spain – add your name calling for a ban on octopus farming!  


Octopuses are seriously smart. They can use tools and solve complex problems, and even feel pain and fear!

That’s why scientists are outraged by plans for the world’s first octopus farm in Spain, which would see a MILLION of these mostly solitary creatures crammed every year into tiny tanks, then killed painfully by being frozen alive in icy vats to feed the food market.

It’s torture on an industrial scale.

But we can stop it. Plans for the farm have been submitted to local authorities – and a massive outcry can help stop it! Add your name now and Avaaz will deliver our voices to local authorities and the EU demanding that octopus farming is banned before it starts!

The viral documentary, My Octopus Teacher, showed the whole world how aware and intelligent octopuses are. And everywhere we look, evidence is pouring in that humanity shares the planet with animals and even plants that can feel far more than we ever imagined. Our community has stood up many times for the rights of other-than-human species – now we need to do it again.

Let’s help stop octopus farming – sign now!

In hope and determination,

Martyna, Bert, Joanna, Nax, John, Christoph and the entire team at Avaaz"

More information:


Thinking About Bones – Again…..

After writing about ‘Placing Bones’…   http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16217 …. I was thinking that it’s very likely that someone has already compared what happened in cairns to what happened/happens in ossiaries – but it only occurred to me when reading ‘The Name of the Rose’.

This got me thinking, again, about the spoil heap at the Ness of Brodgar…. https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/ , and wondering if, under the spoil heap, there might be  a subterranean ossiary where privileged pilgrims from outside Orkney could deposit the bones of those who mattered to them?  Mebbe?  Just thinking…

Someone might find it, sometime…..

Then I remembered sending the following to a patient archaeologist in April 2019….


“I haven’t sent you a dream for a while. This one took place night before last.  In the dream, you were excavating what I thought was a cellar. It was underground, and big. You asked me to take part, but I said I can’t ( I am quite knackered, these days).  So, you gave me a piece of wood, about 2 feet long, 4 inches wide and maybe an inch and a half thick, and said it would help if I kept it. I know – makes no sense – dreams often don’t.

Then, you found a skeleton – a whole skeleton of a grown-up – curled up on it’s right hand side, as they often are.

The thing is, at this point in the dream, I felt  that this was me.  Can you catch that feeling?  It was extra-ordinary.  Not that I imagined if it was me. I was lying in bed, asleep, curled up, and …….the skeleton, was me. I felt that I was that person. Extra-ordinary.  Not at all unpleasant, or worrying – just –  an extra-ordinary experience.

When I woke up , I couldn’t make sense of the dream. I told Mike about it – he said it could be to do with ancestors and a recent piece I wrote, about…….people fading away…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/12/30/im-beginning-to-feel-like-dracula/ .

As he said this, what came to my mind was……”The Ness is stirring.” That the Ness, and those there, are waking up, stirring, getting ready, and contacting me again.  I am the person who is the skeleton. 

Then I realised that what I’d presumed to be a cellar, as it was underground,  wasn’t a cellar. It was underground, definitely - it was about the length of our house. You don’t know how long our house is - say the length of the average long Orkney bungalow – like a langhouse, but modern. And about maybe half again more than the width.  I realised that this space is under the spoil heap.

I know - I go on about the spoil heap - and have said before that I felt how that area is to do with death – with the preparation of the dead. 

I sent you this - 14. 6. 2014 – it’s along similar lines…………….


‘Last night, I had a dream, or a kind-of a dream.  I was definitely asleep, so, I suppose, a dream we must call it.  I'm turning into Yoda, there!  This is the dream:-

There was a knock on the door, and there was - an archaeologist of my acquaintance.  I was surprised, but he came in, and said that he'd come to clear something up.  He wondered why I'd not sent one of my screeds for a while, and with the next dig coming up, wondered had I anything to say.  I explained that I'd said the main stuff years ago, had sent anything else which came along, and also had been ill. 

I said that the main thing is to shift that soil heap.  I've been wittering at Mike about that for about 3 years.  It's bleedin' obvious that there's something there - look at the lay-out of the buildings. I've also had it in my head, that there's something......I won't say 'special', as it's all 'special', but something different, and that matters, on that spot. 

Then he took me up on the hill above Brodgar - just down from Bookan - and I stood and scanned the whole area. 

I said, again, that the soil heap really must be moved.  Then what came to me is this...........What will be found there is something different, and to do with people.  Not necessarily bones, but to do with people.  Could be ashes - I know, they didn't go in for cremation but - maybe in a transitory phase between different burial practices?  Then it hit me.................people - folk from away. 

If Auntie Glad died on her pilgrimage, what would happen?  Her folks would want to take her home.  You don't leave your ancestor in ‘a corner of a foreign field’ if you can help it, even somewhere as special as Brodgar ( 'Brodgar' being short-hand for the whole she-bang). 

So here it is...............Auntie Glad dies.  Maes Howe is for the big nobs.  The local cairns are like parish churches, for the local people.  The folk around Brodgar welcomed the visitors, but would they be prepared to have them in their cairns?  So some of the visitors would take their Auntie Glad home with them - some would, maybe, leave them here to be.....processed.......by the people 'in charge' at the Ness. 

This might be ex-carnation, or cremation, or maybe just keeping someone's skull  (as the seat of the mind/person, whatever).  If ex-carnation - that would need to have been at a distance from the general goings-on.  Brodgar is a place of life and celebration of life, you wouldn't want dead folk quietly rotting on, say, Salt Knowe for instance.  Maybe Bookan?  Anyhoo......dead folk are left in the care of the folk at Brodgar to be collected - in whatever form - by the loving relations - next time. 

And maybe that's what's there, under the soil heap.  Maybe.  What I get, and have had for a few years, is that the soil heap must go, and there's something......special, different, extra....under there. 

What I get now, is that's it's to do with people.  I know the whole thing is to do with people, but you know what I mean.  Not necessarily just bones, not necessarily just ashes, maybe just a skull, or even a hand bone ( hands being what we do things with - instruments of spirit). 

I'm sticking my neck out here, and it may not be so.  Who knows - 'til you shift the soil heap!!!!!

The possibility that I'm suggesting for the place at the Ness is that........the 'remains', duly and respectfully 'prepared', could then be kept somewhere separate, until collected.’


I think the place in my dream is under the spoil heap and that when you excavate – oh Lord -  I’m going to stick my neck out – you’ll find a skeleton – a grown-up.  There is the baby, ‘Nessa’….  https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/04/28/on-being-more-than-the-sum-of-our-parts/ – but this is a grown up -  though a small one  - me!”


Mebbe?  Just thinking…



I mentioned Bookan in the above piece of writing.

Here’s a very informative piece about Bookan, by Sigurd Towrie….


And my Bookan bit, included in the Procession….



Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/01/26/poetry-corner-life-lived-as-an-emoji/


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