This is an Albion Event

by Scribble Monboddo

Playing with stationery is good fun for hands and eyes, but sometimes it's helpful to have something absorbing on the old wireless at the same time - and it rarely gets more engrossing than the astonishingly convoluted magical realist universe created by Julian Simpson.

Julian's a television director too, and that's less interesting (obviously) but his stint on Spooks did rather helpfully introduce him to the splendiferous Nicola Walker and the positively ubiquitous Tim McInnerny. Both pop up with remarkable regularity in Simpson's radio dramas, which rightly win awards for creative use of sound and cover just about every sort of paranormal conspiracy trope there is. The earlier stand-alone dramas are a little tricky to track down at the moment, although for those willing to search internet archives they are still available - no link here because, ya know, lawyers, but Boolean logic is your friend.

Pick of the bunch has to be the astonishing Mythos, a three-part series featuring a crime-investigating ghost, giants rampaging around the Queen Mother's castle and Our Tim attempting to nuke London, which is even more entertaining than that description probably sounds. Mythos also brings in the third classic actor in Simpson's intriguing world, David Calder - yes the original Star Cop, for those with very long memories. This too is worth hunting for on the internet, including via that well-known video streaming site, where it currently plays over still images.

Easier to find, and rather longer than all of the above, are the three podcast-style Lovecraft Investigations, which update some of HP's prolix Cthulhu wibblings with all manner of British myth and legend, from the truly horrific Mathew Hopkins to the more recent mysteries of the Rendlesham Forest Incident. Still available on the Beeb's own site, they are well worth downloading and enjoying at your leisure. You might well need a notebook to keep up!

Which brings us to the other reason for mentioning Julian Simpson here, because, as he reports on his own blog, he's a Nero's Notes subscriber. Well, of course he is! The least we can do is return the compliment. So, if you have some listening time on your hands, treat yourself to some gloriously pan-dimensional multi-layered out-there fantasy - and in the meantime we can recommend to the man himself the Moleskine Cahier and the Stálogy Lined Notebook, both available covered in, errm, a pleasant green. He's already got a Parker on hand...