brownie-6-16-art-decoThe Battle for Liverpool

The following image was taken from the docks in Birkenhead by an ARP Warden during a winters evening in 1942.  The gentleman, now deceased, wished to remain anonymous.

He said the air was clear and cold as he and his fellow wardens brewed up a cup of tea to stave off the chill for the long night ahead, looking out for Mr Hitler’s Luftwaffe.  At around 22:30 hours, Mr X claimed he and his colleagues felt a rush of warm air over their heads accompanied by an electrical, tingling feeling all around them.  Small sparks appeared to hover around all metallic objects.

Mr X pulled out the Kodak Brownie six-16 camera from his bag (he was a keen amateur photographer and always carried his camera whenever on patrol), as “… you never know when something may happen!”.  From an interview in 1976 Mr X claimed the following…

“Looking in a North Easterly direction towards Liverpool, a large, glowing, egg shaped object appeared in the sky.  It was difficult to gauge how big it was but it looked pretty big.  There was a faint humming sound which we could hear all the way over in Birkenhead.  We saw the search lights appear over the water and I decided to take a snap as it was something we hadn’t seen before.  We all heard the ack ack guns going off, but it didn’t look like they hit the object at all, even though we saw tracer fire appear to hit it directly”

He went onto to say the egg hovered for around 30 seconds further, then drifted slowly upward and away, before shooting off  “… very fast like…”, in a Northerly direction.

…continue reading The Battle for Liverpool

Posted in Archive Imagery, Historical Notes, The Collection

summerholsThe Grand Tour

Greetings regular subscriber.  The holiday season is upon us and I apologise for the lack of postings herein.  Morris is on his Grand Tour, and myself and other minions are taking time to get House Zaus in order while he is busy.  It may not be Paris, Berlin and Rome (he’s been banned from all three!), instead he’s been to Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

All was going well until he arrived at Whitby Abbey, whereupon he proceeded to inform other visitors of the time his Uncle Warren met a certain Romanian Count and attempted to jab a spike through his heart.  He became most agitated when no one believed him and decided to take his ire out upon some waste baskets.  He was given a public nuisance order and asked to move along.  It was most embarrassing for one of my colleagues who had to go and pick him up, especially when they were leaving.  Morris was still rather upset and proceeded to shout ‘It’s bloody boring here.  All fossils and chip shops’ from out of the car window.  Needless to say he was brought straight home and never made Filey.

Next week, he’s off to Morecambe, Blackpool and Fleetwood.  I think he maybe better behaved as I believe he’s premièring his One ‘Man’ Show entitled ‘Scandal’* at Funny Girls.  He’s spent most of his spare time sewing sequins on his costume and choosing appropriate head wear for each musical number.  The other minions and I are still attempting to bring some order to the House Zaus archives, libraries and collections.

* Morris is hoping to take ‘Scandal’ to the West End sometime in the New Year.  More news will be forthcoming as it isn’t finished yet.

Posted in Addendum, The New Guard

MusicalNotesA Musical Dynasty

The House of Zaus has always been musical.  The Good Doctor, a maestro of conducting and a percussion genius, could play the sistrum* and make warlords weep and cities crumble. His conducting (especially of Wagner), would make orchestras cry for their mothers, and his version of Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ brought the house down… literally.

However it is the younger Zaus who piques our interest at this point.  You may be familiar with Morris and the Dazzlers, but less familiar with another of Morris’s musical endeavours, The Morris Zaus Project.  Described by Morris as a blend of progressive funk, soul, jazz and electronica, he played several dates in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Cheam where the reviews were less than kind.  The Cheam Evening Gazette described it as… ‘Four hours of my life I will never get back.  Four hours of tooting, hooting, banging and thumping, accompanied by the strangled sound of someone choking on a biscuit’.  Hamburg World said… ‘Nein! Nein! Nein!’, and The Rotterdam Daily News simply stated… ‘Hulp Ons…’, roughly translated as ‘Help Us…’.  His 27 minute opus ‘Funk for Triangle’, which, in effect, is 27 minutes of repetitive banging on a triangle, is something that needs further work.  He is hoping to continue working with ‘The Project’, though many musicians are reluctant to collaborate on account of Morris’s strenuous rehearsal schedule and harsh criticism.

Recently, Morris has taken to wearing a One-man Band ensemble around the house.  This can be rather irksome for those of us trying to work peacefully.  However, his knee cymbals give away his location and thus we can move to safety, before he finds us and enforces us to watch his rendition of ‘The Sound of Music’, complete with nun outfit and goat.

*N.B. It is noted the Egyptian sistrum possibly originated with the worship of Bastet.  The goddess with the head of a cat.

Posted in Historical Notes

Pat-BooneNemesis

Being a long lived and adventurous character, Dr Zaus had several nemeses.  The most notable of these being Pat Boone, the American singer and actor.  Unfortunately, we don’t know the reasons why.

It all came to light when myself and several other clerics were settling down to watch ‘Journey to the Centre of The Earth’, the 1959 film based upon the novel by Jules Verne (see further postings regarding Jules Verne).  The good Doctor had come to visit, and, as it was a special occasion, brought us a box of truffles to enjoy during the matinée.  Not having seen the film previously (and being a close friend of M. Verne), he decided to join us and pulled up an armchair to watch.  It must be pointed out at this occasion the armchair had not been seen in our current location by myself or any of the other clerics in the room.  This aside, we blew out the candles and settled into the film.

Mere moments later, when Pat Boone in the role of Alec McEwan came on screen, Dr Zaus sat upright and rigid in his chair, his whiskers quivering with unrepentant fury, truffles thrown to the wind, eyes blazing with the very fires of heaven itself.  He leapt from his seat with a preternatural speed, shook his fist at the screen and roared ‘Damn you Pat Boone’.  Our ears bled and he forbade us from ever watching the film again. In later years, a couple of the clerics with me on that fateful day, accidently saw several seconds of the movie when Rumbelows first introduced video recorders.  They spontaneously combusted right there and then in front of horrified shoppers and sales assistants on Wolverhampton High Street.

As previously stated, we do not know the reasons behind this animosity, and I suppose we never will.  Dr Zaus was a complex character and kept many records that will take an eternity to study.  On a lighter note, this incident is believed to be part of the inspiration behind the song ‘Della and the Dealer’ by Hoyt Axton.  If you will remember the tale, there was Della and the Dealer and a dog named Jake and a cat named Kalamazoo, who, by their actions, had to leave Tucson in a pick up truck and a chap named Randy Boone is murdered.  For a time when the good Doctor was conducting anthropological studies in ‘The Colonies’, he went under the pseudonym of Dr Kalamzoo, as he felt locals would be more forthcoming if he had a familiar sounding name.  Please bear in mind this was during the early ’70′s in the Southern and Bible Belt states of America.

Posted in Historical Notes

ouroborosThe Zen of Zaus

The Great Work was known to have been a Zen Master.  Some of his words however have been slightly altered as it was thought the Hoi-polloi would not understand the original, and true meaning.  The acknowledgement of zen master Sêng-chao/Sõjõ – ‘Heaven and earth and I are of one root, the ten thousand things and I are of one substance’, was originally spoken by Zaus as ‘I Am All-I Am Zaus’ when asked the question “Master, where does the universe begin?”   Sêng-chao/Sõjõ decided this was not in the best interests of all to learn.  I believe he was punished by a cuff across the back of the legs.

When asked the question ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’, Zaus answered ‘The sound of one paw clapping, is the sound of one paw slapping an apes head’.  Animal lovers should not worry.  The ‘ape’ Zaus referred to is us.  This author finds these little snippets fascinating and more will be posted when a need for calm is necessary.  Remember… Do not speak, unless it improves on silence… meaning ‘Keep quiet ape, I’m thinking’.

Posted in Chronicles, Historical Notes

discoDazzler Dates

Fans of Morris and The Dazzlers get out your diaries, dates are tentatively set for the comeback tour. Unfortunately there are only three dates available. This is due to the fact only three venues are willing to allow them back after the rumpus they caused last time.  They are set for early March and April of 2012, and will be held at the Ludlow Arts Centre, High Wycombe Recreational Arena and Budokan Stadium, Tokyo.  For those unable to attend these festivals of music and wonder, Morris is planning to make a documentary and concert dvd special.  All available from this website.

This author weeps.

Posted in The New Guard

Leonardo da Vinci-Human ProportionContrivance’s and Contraptions

Warren Zaus was a renowned ‘tinkerer’.  A potterer in sheds, an alchemist in the laboratory, a browser in the library.  He created many items we take for granted in the 21st century.  The bedroom slipper, bombay mix and the ‘ewbank’, are all believed, by this author, to have come from the mind of the great work.

Figure 1: Hussar for slippers

The bedroom slipper.  Beloved by many on a chilly morning, berated by those searching and finding only one of the brace, half chewed and abandoned by an excitable puppy, under the bed. The first mention of slippers in is the 12th century, in what is now Vietnam.  The trend of slippers spreads east to China and Japan, where taking ones outdoor shoes off when one entered ones home was common practice. In the English speaking world, the first mention of the word ‘slipper’, referring to an item of footwear, is from the 15th century.  The popular gentleman’s slipper was first introduced by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, Empress of India.  A luxurious creation of velvet outing, silk lining and leather sole, Warren is known to have owned many pairs of slippers. Warren is also known to have travelled in the Far East quite some time ago, during the Song Dynasty, and came up with the idea of having something comfortable to wear other than his travelling shoes.  His most infamous slippers are his moleskin slippers with the peacock feather lining.  Cities and Empires have fallen under those mighty creations, and yet they remain remarkably comfortable.  His everyday slippers include a pair given to him by Arthur Conan Doyle, and are of a robust and thick velvet of midnight blue.  The lining of the finest scarlet silk, and a sole of soft calf skin, he generally teams these up with a smoking jacket and cap of similar hues.  His favourites were a gift from Prince Albert himself.  Enthralled by Zaus when he visited Osborne House unexpectedly, and without invitation, in the summer of 1853, he took tea and cake and enraptured the family with tales of travel and adventure. Albert wished to give Zaus a gift when he left.  Warren pointed out the prince’s slippers and said… “I like them”.  To which the prince cried…  “They are yours”.  They are of a mustard coloured moleskin, with red lining and tassel.  Morris owns only one type of slipper.  White, towelling mules.   These can be heard flip flopping about whenever he’s had a bath.

…continue reading Contrivance’s and Contraptions

Posted in Chronicles, Historical Notes

parting-red-seaSticks, stones and swords

There are many strange and unusual items in the Zaus Collection.  Boxes, crates, envelopes and whole rooms hold treasures beyond measure, priceless and irreplaceable. I have the honour of cataloguing this abundance of riches, and feel a lifetime of work is ahead of me. Three such items are held in one of the vaults located in the north of England.  As this vault is the closest to Zaus House, this is where my cataloguing begins.

Figure 1: Aaron's Staff

The first item is a wooden staff.  Made of cedar wood and roughly five feet in height, it is just plain wood with no added ornamentation.  Little is known of how it came into the collection as it is not recorded as being found at any of the archaeological digs, sponsored by the Zaus Foundation.  It is believed to have come into Zaus hands around 400 years ago when a previous factotum was travelling through Anatolia and the near East.  It has been dated to approximately 1200 BCE and has salt crystals from the Red Sea embedded in it’s wood. There is little else to say about it other than on occasion it turns into a snake and periodically, anyone standing close by breaks out in boils.

…continue reading Sticks, stones and swords

Posted in The Collection

RebukeThe Serpent’s Rebuke

There has been much written concerning the Nag Hammadi Scrolls, discovered in the Egyptian desert in 1945 and the Dead Sea Scrolls, found in a cave 20 miles east of Jerusalem between 1947 and 1956.  Certain correlations between the two sets of documents have been recorded and released for public scrutiny and discussion.  However other documents, The Book of Thomas and the Sophia of Christ to name two, have been kept out of the public interest as they do not correlate with the way organised religion has interpreted the beginning, middle and end of human existence.  One scroll in particular has been held back.  Due to it’s inflammatory nature, those in authority believe it may bring about total chaos in all corners of man’s influence.  Church and State, not too dissimilar to one another, have held their silence.  Now, I feel man is ready to learn of this scroll, The Scroll of The Serpent’s Rebuke.

…continue reading The Serpent’s Rebuke

Posted in Chronicles

T.RexFunk Soul Brother

Several years ago, Morris wanted to enter the arena of the ‘exploitation’ film.  Focusing on the ‘blaxploitation’ movie and ‘creature feature’ genre, it would blend the two into a mix of 70′s Harlem cop film and the dinosaur movies of Ray Harryhausen.  Film titles ‘Punks in Pangaea’,  ‘Afro Cop Vs Big T’, and ‘Stop! Or my velociraptor will get you’, are titles that Morris wanted to take further into production.

He himself would takes the title roll of afro haired cop Marvin ‘Baby’ Jones, where the trilogy (to be known as the  ‘Brother in Paradise’ trilogy),  would revolve around him falling through a hole in the space time continuum and joining forces with rebel gang ‘The Punks’, to stop the creatures of Pangaea from coming through and wreaking havoc on 1970′s New York.  The ‘Big T’ of the second title is referring to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and though not coming from the Paleozoic era, the fun that could be had with a T’ Rex in Times Square was too much.  The third and final movie would be back in 70′s New York, where Morris has to revert to cop status and chase down his temporary allies of the previous movies, but with the aid of a velociraptor who saved his life at the end of the second film.

Filming actually began in early 2007, but after 3 days of shooting Morris fell off his stack heels whilst running, tripping on the enormous 48″ bell bottom trousers he was wearing.  Consequently, he spat out his proverbial dummy and filming has never resumed.

Posted in The New Guard