Greenfingered Growths with Murdoch Brimley (Pts 1-4)
by James C. Holland, 3.24am Sept 10th 2021

Hello, my green-fingered friends! Bless my beard it’s a cold ‘un. As I write this my fingers are more blue than green. Serves me right for buying fingerless mittens!


I hope you are preparing for next month’s Wyrmmas when the worms head north for the winter. At this point their eight-year cycle, all the earthworms in Bear Creek seek even colder climes where they “chill out” by hanging from rocks and branches and eventually becoming encased in ice. They are often mistaken for icicles!


So, remember, kids! If you are exploring northwards and decide to have an icicle fight, be careful that the fun of throwing solid shards of ice at each other isn’t interrupted by finding a worm thawing on your face or in the hood of your jacket. It may be alarming for you, but just think how the worm feels at being awaken early from its icy slumber!


Us keen gardeners will miss their presence round these parts. Our worms eat through the soil, breaking down the rotting vegetable and animal matter into a lovely rich loam. I know Mr Tompkins, the grave digger, hates Wyrmmas! It takes that much longer for the newly dug graves to settle!


That’s right. Without them, you may find that your compost takes longer to mulch down. For this
reason, I recommend that you chew your food an extra thirty-two times before you spit it out into the compost bin, at least until April.


I’d also suggest getting out into the garden with a fork, breaking through the frosty topsoil, and having a bit of a chew on what’s underneath. There’s no particular method to this. Just grab up whatever clumps of soil you can, shove them in your mouth, give it a bit of a going over with your humanoid teeth and spit it back into the ground. Then rinse and repeat. (The rinsing is not only good for catching any soil that might have stuck in your teeth, but also give a bit more moisture to the garden.)

 

If you don’t want to do any chewing yourself, you may want to invest in some Vermillionwort. It’s
not a plant that’s native to these parts, but it has wonderful bitey roots that will tear into the soil and give it a good going over.


Vermillionwort does have a tendency to take on the form of any humans that have touched it, so remember to wear nice thick gardening gloves. But if you forget, don’t worry. As long as you smash the tendrils and roots merging into human form within an hour or two, you should be fine.


Failing that, a line of salt along the door jamb should keep any vegetable clones of yourself or your family from entering your home. I recently found a very familiar pair of feet taking shape in my back garden and, needing to nip out to get some Thainwaile rooting powder before the shops shut, the best I could do was put a ring of salt around them until I got back.


You can imagine how humorous a scene it was when I returned home to find a naked adult version of myself made out of vegetable fibre, pacing back and forth within the salt circle as if trapped by invisible forcefield! It did make me chuckle. Although I didn’t realise my belly had gotten that big!


I believe that Mrs Wrought from no. 26 may have stumbled across this very humorous scene as she was cycling home. But don’t worry! I didn’t accidently break the line of salt with my toe in the melee, the plant-creature didn’t escape and I haven’t been replaced! I just called my wife out to have a look and we had a good laugh together before I bludgeoned it to death with a garden hoe (The creature that is, not my wife. Don’t believe everything Mrs Wrought tells you!)


Please get in contact via the Gazette if you would like to purchase any of my homegrown Vermillionwort seeds. Also, if there are any Thainwaile experts out there, is it meant to have this
blue glow?


Happy gardening!


Your (flesh and blood) pal,
Murdoch

oOo

Hello, my green-fingered friends! Spring is here! The bees are abuzzing and the worms have returned to their holes. Even my Eaves-Ear Fungus is blooming and I only cultivated the spores a couple of months ago! Unfortunately, the verdant garden has attracted “land snails”. I am constantly picking them up and throwing them at the garden wall as hard as I can. It’s quite satisfying to hear their shells shatter and watch the quickly dying goop slither down to be recycled into the soil. But it’s a slow process!


Snails aside, I’ve had many compliments about the new flowerbed in my front garden. Please drop by and have a look if you’ve not seen it yet. It’s a variety of pink hyacinths planted in the shape of two figures holding hands – myself and Mrs Brimley. Yes, I am a sentimental old romantic under my grubby and frayed gardening gear. She has said this herself during one of our conversations which we’ve had indoors which is where she has been these last couple of months which is why you haven’t seen her.


I had the idea for the display around Valentine’s Day and planted the bulbs following a pattern staked out with twine. I recommend Boyle’s Twine if you can get it. It’s very hard to break.


“But Murdoch,” I hear you cry as you throw your copy of the Gazette to the floor, “You can’t plant hyacinths in February and have them come up the same spring! You must have planted them in the fall!” 


If you would please pick the newspaper up again… Thanks. Now, I can explain. It’s all down to a mix of green-fingered know-how and my own specially-homemade compost. Nothing more suspicious than that. 

 

The compost I call, “Soil and Green” because it’s regular soil but with a special ingredient which makes everything bloom. It’s soil… and green! Obviously, I can’t tell you the special ingredient. It’s a “trade secret”! Haha! But it includes a particular bonemeal produced through an age-old process of bludgeoning, crushing and grinding.


This is all I could tell the Sherriff when he visited the other day …and he was quite insistent about it! Apparently, one of our Bear Creek residents has been spreading rumours that myself and Mrs Brimley have been murdered and replaced. I said, “I think I’d recognise if I weren’t myself. Bless my beard!” and I tugged at my beard to show it didn’t come off. 


But there was more! They claim my romantic flowerbed is just the hyacinths outlining the two bodies buried beneath!


What nonsense! How ridiculous! I said to the Sherriff, “Dig it up! Have a look if you must! I certainly don’t mind but my many visitors will be upset. I wonder which neighbour would be most distraught to find the police have destroyed the flowerbed only to produce no recognisable intact body parts? Mr Eggers? Miss Plumridge? Mrs Wrought?”


He would not be drawn. But I must say it’s a sick individual who can come up with a story like that.


The Sherriff stayed with me and Mrs Brimley, who is inside the house and quite happy by the way, to investigate further. He was with us for a couple of days so I introduced him to my gardening practices and a couple of new plant species. Happily, I can now tell my neighbours that he’s come round to our way of thinking and the flowerbed will remain unruffled. The garden is growing stronger and bushier.

 

I’ve got a new Vermillionwort bush now. Oh! And I didn’t even tell you about the Eaves-Ear Fungus. 


Amazing things fungi! I say, “fungi” using the plural, but really it is one giant organism. A vast outreaching network of interconnected mycelium that, since I seeded it, has spread under the town. I can now simply put my ear to a bloom and hear what anyone is saying! I’m sure Mrs Wrought will bear this in mind the next time she has a problem with my gardening. No need to ring anyone, Mrs Wrought! Just speak out loud, wherever you are, and I will hear you!


I will have to do some pruning this week. I don’t like hurting the plants but it’s for their own good. It’s like the snails. I kill them to maintain the balance of nature. It’s nothing personal. If only I control the tiny minds of the snails so they just ate the stalks that needed pruning, then there would be no problem! …Now there’s a project to work on!


Please get in touch with Bear Creek Gazette if you wish to purchase any Soil and Green. I have recently acquired some more bonemeal and have plenty in stock

oOo

Hello my green-fingered friends! I like to think of this column as a pleasant stroll down a garden path whilst chatting about soil, leaf, bee and bloom, but this week I must first address the disappearance of Mrs Wrought.

 
It’s all anyone would talk about at the barbecue I held for the Sheriff and friends (which inspired a couple of great gardening tips, as you’ll see later). People kept jokingly asking what I had done with her. At least I hope it was a joke! I was as surprised as everyone else to see the ‘For Sale’ sign outside her house. I called the realtors and was told she had “fled town”, that she had been sobbing hysterically, refused to speak and only communicated by scribbling on the notepad that was tied to her waist. Poor Mrs Wrought. If anyone knows where she is, please let me know and I will send flowers.


Anyway, I had a lovely time with my many neighbours who have not fled town. Not yet, anyway! Haha. The Sheriff and I kept our distance from the barbecue itself as, coincidentally, we share an allergy to naked flames, but we saw how much people enjoyed eating meat, imbibing alcohol and breathing smoke!


However, the morning after, I was left with several plastic bags full of aluminium beer cans and other detritus. My experience is entirely sustainable and organic. I had forgotten that some beings create such dangerous waste! Luckily, I have a couple of natural remedies. Firstly: the Lunar Lemon!


If you’ve ever visited the Moon, you’ll know it is not an easy place to grow fruit. (Not that I have been there myself! Haha.) So, I suspect the Lunar Lemon is named for its otherworldly appearance. It is a purplish yellowish blueish greenish orangish colour, depending what angle you look at it from, and produces a natural high. Best of all, it doesn’t need an artificial container! The lunar lemon pith, or husk, can survive in a vacuum, and yet is entirely biodegradable. You may drunkenly fling it into a bush without it breaking down into plastic microfilaments or poisoning the water table. Bliss!


So, if you, dear reader, are ready for a summer lovin’ good time, please now locate the complementary Lunar Lemon which is wrapped inside this issue of Bear Creek Gazette. I have one here and will record how to administer it, as follows:


   1) Slice the lemon into four equal segments. (You can share it with three friends if you are feeling sociable!)
   2) Sprinkle your lemon segment with sugar. (It has a slightly bitter taste. I like it but some prefer a sweeter Lunar Lemon.)
   3) Place the segment in your mouth, like so, and grip it tightly between your mandibles or human teeth.
   4) Now, just sit back and wait for that warm tipsy feeling! The experience lasts about eight hours. Oh, removing the lemon from your mouth prematurely can cause permanent damage to your brain. So don’t cough! Perhaps I should have started the instructions with this. 

   5) Keep it together. The Lunar Lemons do NOT cause hallucinations, so you needn’t worry about that. But they DO reveal the way the world really is, so you will see a multitude of watching eyes floating in the air around you. Humans can’t see them normally, but these watchers from other dimensions are everywhere on Earth, at all times. On the whole, they’re quite friendly and even goofy! As I look out the kitchen window, I can see one chasing a bee. How silly!
   6) Don’t get paranoid. A few of the Disembodied Interdimensional Eyes, it has to be said, are visibly envious and wish to take over your planet, but I wouldn’t worry. How are they going to do that without physically being here? All they can do is gather information and, as we all know, information isn’t power. Especially when…

Update:


It’s the evening. You may have seen the black cars with tinted windows roar into my little nook of Bear Creek and heard shouting and banging. Well, it was the FBI who interrupted my train of thought, broke down the door and trampled my azaleas! The door I don’t mind but I am a bit annoyed about my plants. They are currently digging up the flower beds. Feds in the beds! Bless my beard!


Of course, they found nothing suspicious when they burst in, just me in my gardening overalls at the kitchen table with a lemon in my mouth and Mrs Brimley sat opposite with her feet in a large flowerpot.


Yes, she’s perfectly fine as I keep telling people. She hasn’t been able to leave the house as she has to keep her feet in a flowerpot full of Soil and Green. It’s good for her arthritic arches, though she’s a bit embarrassed about it. And she’s lost her voice so I had to do all the talking.


Luckily, I knew the FBI were coming so I’d put the kettle on whilst still in my trance state. You see, the visions of Disembodied Interdimensional Eyes are not restricted to the circumference of Bear Creek like the Eaves-Ear Fungus, which lets me listen to the gardening needs of all Bear Creek residents. If you know how to befriend the D.I.E.s, they can blink messages in morse code or even share visions of this, or other, dimensions.


So, I can now give you an update on Mrs Wrought. She’s fine. She has moved to Vulture Gulch where she feels she can be herself and talk to who she likes, including men in black suits. The flowers are on the way, Mrs Wrought!


Oh, the second idea for combating mankind’s pollution problem! There’s another type of fungus I’m working on… but I can’t talk about it now. Dealing with the FBI really cuts into your writing time! You’ll find out eventually. Read it here first!

Please contact Bear Creek Gazette if your complimentary Lunar Lemon is missing.

oOo

HELLO FRIENDS WITH FINGERS THAT ARE GREEN! It IS MRS BRIMLEY ELIZABETH (MRS)! MR BRIMLEY HAS TOLD YOU ABOUT ME. AND ME ABOUT YOU. HE SAYS YOU READ HIS COLUMN ON THE GARDEN. AND WE HAVE TO MAKE ONE EACH TIME TO APPEAR NORMAL. SO, HE IS BUSY BUT I AM HERE TO DO COLUMN. 
I DO NOT KNOW ABOUT PLANTING SO MUCH HAVING ONLY DONE IT ONCE AND NOT IN THE RIGHT WAY AROUND. But I KNOW ABOUT CAKES I REMEMBER AND COFFEE MORNINGS AND SAYING HELLO TO NEIGHBOUR. I think I am dead. 


THE CAKE IS THE PRODUCT OF LOVE. I HAVE SEEN ON TV HOW THE OLD LADY MAKES THE CAKES AND SEXUAL INNUENDOS AND THE YOUNG LADY MAKES THE CAKE AND SEXUAL INNUENDOS. I UNDERSTAND THE INNUENDOS BUT NOT SO MUCH THE SEX AS WE REPODUCE ASEXUALLY OR WITH HELP OF INSECTS. Did I die?


MR BRIMLEY IS AWAY POTTERING WITH HIS FUNGUS. ALWAYS THE FUNGUS. WHEN HE IS GOING TO COME HOME AND REPRODUCE ASEXUALLY THAT IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW AS A HUMAN WOMAN THAT IS NORMAL. HAHA. SHOW US YOUR BEES!


you are not supposed to come back when you are dead


YOU NEED FLOWERS FOR THE CAKE I KNOW. MR MURDOCH BRIMLEY ASSIGGNED HUMAN MAN HAS PLENTY OF FLOWERS IN GARDEN. FLOWERS ARE ONLY TEMPORARY SO I DON’T MIND TAKING. I HAVE TAKEN AND HERE ADD TO BOWL AND STIR WITH ENORMOUS WOODEN SPOON WHICH IS A STICK WITH A BOWL ON END MADE FROM POOR DEAD TREE. 


i remember the void


I REMEMBER THE VOID. IT WAS EMPTY AND VAST. AIRLESS AND EARTHLESS BUT HAD RADIATION. A SEED PLANET FLOATING IN THAT. HOW COULD THAT BE. SUCH A DANGEROUS LONELY EXISTANCE. NO SUN OR WATER.


i remember the water/ floating in a warm sea/ sun through the waves/ a holiday? murdoch laughing as i splash


MURDOCH SAYS YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO COME BACK AFTER YOU ARE DEAD. COPY FIRST, KILL AFTERWARDS. WRONG WAY AROUND MAKES MIND COPY PLANTING SLOW AND DIFFICULT. VEGETABLE MIND WHILST PREVIOUS MEMORIES MIND SLOWLY RECREATED FROM. ANYWAY, THIS IS NOT MAKING CAKE. 


I HAVE GROUND FLOWERS INTO STICKY BRIGHT PURPLE PASTE. NOW ADD SUGAR. THERE IS NOT SUGAR HERE. SO I WENT TO BEES. MURDOCH SAYS TO STAY AWAY FROM BEES BUT I JUST WANTED TO GET A LITTLE HONEY! ADD HONEY TO MIXTURE AND STIR WITH POOR TREE SPOON.


i remember this spoon/ it was my mother’s / and the bowl/ it was from iris/ iris wrought! /she knows / the new murdoch keeps muttering about her


YOU NEED Eggs FOR CAKE. IT IS WEIRD TO ME THAT HUMANS WOULD EAT OTHER Animals BUT THAT IS WHAT WE DO ISN’T IT! SO/ I ADD HALF A POT OF FISH EGGS TO THE MIXTURE AND STIR FOR THE POOR TREE WHOSE PARENTS I HOPE ARE NOT READING THIS. 


what am I doing? This is disgusting/ You need chicken eggs, not caviar, you stupid


tHEN of course ALSO ADD three eggs FROM OUT OF Hens. mIX AND MATCH OF EGGS GIVES PUNGEANT EXOTIC TANG OF 


Iris! He was planning to replace half of humanity with plant people. He thinks it’s fair to replace half and preserve the other half / But now


IgNORE OTHER VoiCE


aND LASTLY ADD THE BUTTER. bUTTER IS SOMETHING CALLED Shea Butter I found IN BATHROOM. It was mine/ IWAS HERS. YOU CAN RUB IT ON YOUR SMOOTH HUMAN SKINS OR PUT IN CAKE. tHE OPTION IS YOURS


/but he’s changed his mind. He’s seen that humans are polluting the environment and damaging


IGNORE. gIVE IT one final whisk with your DEAD TRREE CREATURE TO bring all the ingredients together AND THEN BURN IN OVEN FOR A WHILE.


And he doesn’t TRUST US so he’s going to take CONTROL of the minds of the half of humanity that are left using


“Et voila!” aS THEY SAY IN ANOTHER SECTION OF PLANET. THAT IS CALLED FRENCH. I DID an evening class back in ‘87. MIXTURE HAS BECOME ONE. CAKE IS READY.


] Cake. IS READY


                VUGIUCUOVVIIIIiiiAM I DEAD?STFYUFYSTUFU


And the cake is ready. I’ll admit it’s quite an unusual flavour, but then it’s good to try new things and wouldn’t it be a boring column if I told you about the usual sort of cake that you make every time? Bless my ears!


I will be selling slices of this “exotic” cake with a cup of delicious coffee at the Coffee Morning next Thursday to raise money for the Bear Creek Charity for Homeless Cats and DOG CREATURES. Hopefully we will raise enough to get them new kennels anD CAT HUTCHES/// 


I think I will bake a selection of my famous Battenburg and Coffee cakes to go along with this more “exotic” or “experimental” one. So don’t be scared. Come on down!


IRIS HELPMEIRIS IRISHELPMEIRIS i IRIS HELPMEIRIS IRISHELP MEIRIS IRIS  HEL PM EI  R I S IR      IS H E L     PME   I RIS IRI  S  HELPMEI RIS IRISHALPEME IRIDSH HELPME HIAHRIESH HELP ME EHHILP ME IRIS


Note to editor.


Hello, Mr Buck. Please could you help tidy this up?  I have crossed out some bits that don’t make sense to me now I HAVE FINISHED MAKING IT/ I am new to all of this and don’t know if this is the right sort of thing. Murdoch will be back next week.

EDITOR’S NOTE:
No changes have been made to this week’s column as we are uncertain what it is meant to be. 


Please contact Bear Creek Gazette if you would like to purchase a slice of Mrs. Brimley’s “exotic” cake.


Murdoch Brimley is away.

oOo

(cont. here)