Thursday, 29 April 2010


Well the good news is that the good ole western is back on the shelves of a British store.
So there I was in our local branch of Waterstones when I just stopped dead in my tracks. Right there in front of me was a display of westerns. Not the greatest display but a display just the same.
After checking out the shelves I found more titles tucked away including Pete Dexter's 'Deadwood'.
So, let us give Waterstone's a great big hand.
Now, we just have to give W.H.Smith a wake up call.
And, yes, it goes to show that the Tainted Archive's Wild West Monday initiative does work.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A FISTFUL OF LEGENDS: Darke Bounty by Peter Averillo

At the age of sixteen most kids are studying for their GCSEs; chatting on Facebook or their mobiles or taking time out playing on a games console. True to form Chantel was no differant to any other teenager yet she was adding another string to her bow as a writer.
In her own words writing was not at the top of her agenda - she did enough of that at school. Like many of her age she did keep a diary and dabbled in poetry writing.
So why attempt a western? And in an age when young people were unaware that the genre existed.

"The challenge. I took a book to school and found a boy who did read westerns. He had not heard of the writer but when I told him that it was about the way child abuse had affected the bad guy it raised a lot of interest among my friends. I mean the writer highlighted things that affect us in the modern way of life."

So, the story itself. Three men hold up a stagecoach driven by a female known as the breed woman. It is said that it is bad luck to hold her up and that proves true as a bounty hunter catches up with each of them.
A simple story but there is so much more within the prose.
A female bounty hunter - could such a person exist?

"Yes, such a person could have existed.
The internet has been a good place to go. First off, Charlotte Parkhurst better known as Charlie or Charley Parkhurst was a female stagecoach driver though she dressed as a man to do it. After her death stagelines did take on female drivers though they were just a handful.
Then there was Sarah Skull (or Scull) who shot down twenty three men. More than Billy the Kid. Add to the list Pearl Hart the stage robber and haulage wagon driver and Belle Starr who led a bunch of outlaws. Makes me wonder if Martha Jane Canary (Calamity Jane) did more than is attributed to her.
So along those lines a female bounty hunter like Morgana Darke could have existed - but, then, as the Sheriff Rick Blaine says 'what man's going to admit to be taken by a woman.'
But then again each character has their part to play and I think that it all comes across."

What was your ideas behind the creation of your character?

" I wanted to get away from the stereotype. You know, the woman who had to rely on a man to back her up. Read books like 'Lone Star' or 'Angel Eyes' series there's always a hero there. Nor did I want a character who was some kind of sex object. Something like 'Hannie Caulder' who does what she has to after the death of her mentor. A liberated woman who was not totally feminist. A survivor.
Morgana Darke, is also half Romany gypsy. Most times a gypsy turns up in a movie or a book then they are Basque gypsies. But there were Romany's who settled in South Carolina and Tennessee and some of those moved west. Their roots go back to the 1600s and were brought to America as prisoners on the transportation system. Many were horse traders."

Why did you write under the name Peter Averillo?

"Read the story and take a look at Morgana's last lines."

Friday, 9 April 2010

Australian Rules Football: ST. KILDA v COLLINGWOOD

So there we were bacon sarnies in hand and a good supply of coffee savouring the atmosphere of the scene at St.Kilda's ground at Etihad Stadium.
The Saints were at the top of the league having won their first two games and were about to face off against the Collingwood Pies.
From the start it was a very physical game and the Pies looked determined as they opened up the scoring with one goal and a behind netting them 7 points. But the Saints hit back with two goals of their own and two behinds.
The first half was marred by an injury to forward Nick Riewoldt who was taken off with a suspected hamstring problem after a marking contest.
The first two quarters were tight and the Pies showed some real skill with passing and possession. Though scoring goals had problems. All through a game that swung the lead between the teams there was always a 3 point difference.
By the halfway point and an exciting third quarter that produced nothing of value it looked as though the Pies were going to win the match. It was during this third quarter that defender Sam Fisher was knocked unconcious. He returned to action half way through an exciting final quarter.
The Saints came on to the park looking as though they were the hungrier side to win the match and hammered home three goals in what seemed as many minutes. The Saints emerged as victors.
Final Score: St. Kilda: 10 - 9 - 69
Collingwood: 4 - 17 - 41

Monday, 5 April 2010

Blu-Ray: And The Point Is?

Having an HD tv it was suggested that I invested in a Blu-Ray DVD player.
OK - so off I toddled and bought one along with a copy of the new '2012' Blu-Ray DVD.
Plugged it in and put in DVD but when I pressed 'Play' nothing happened.
At first, I thought, dodgy player. Then I thought maybe it was the DVD at fault.
So I checked the DVD on my son's player and he got the message 'Play Prohibited'.
But when he clicked the OK button on his remote we were up and running.
Yet, still no go on my own player.
Went to the troubleshooting section of the Instruction booklet - but no help there.
Right at the back there was a note in capital letters that (I've condensed this bit) explained that Blu-Ray discs were constantly evolving to the point that not all Blu-Ray discs will play.
So, it seems to me that both manufactures of these DVD players and the discs need to get their act together.

On the plus side - and there is one - when I shoved in a normal DVD like the newly released Spaghetti Western 'The Great Silence' I was gobsmacked by the clarity of the picture and the crispness of the sound quality.
In fact, the normal DVD looks just the same as the more expensive Blu-Ray discs. So when you see dust swirl around John Wayne's boots you see dust not a smoky dust cloud. But then this may be down to the fact that the picture you see is boosted to 1080ps (whatever that is).

I guess like all things new there are always plus and minus about them. I like things that do what they say they do but I won't be investing in any more Blu-Ray discs. I'd sooner spend my money on a film that plays just as good as one that costs twice as much that might not play on my player.