White Hound multi-topic website

Go to graphics version if preferred

Those of you who go in for astral projection and associated shenanigans will know that what you appear as in astral is not your physical self but your self-image. This is why people who project their astral self to others generally appear as being the age at which they felt most like themselves: it's also why it's important for your self-image to include clothes. What's less well-known is that your self-image can be anything you can imagine being with sufficient conviction: I used to work with somebody who always manifested as a very small, plump dragon, for example.

The white hound is my thing for being in astral. It's actually lifted from a very creepy song, the author of which I have forgotten or never knew, about warrior robots in the shape of giant dogs which guarded a city. They were never intended by their designers to have any independent life or minds of their own, but the chorus ends:

They're stone and steel and cable fine
They're never flesh and bone,
But I have seen them hunting,
When they thought they were alone.

The website comprises the following parts:

Theatre of Cruelty
The true and tragic story of Eric Cullen, the Scots comic actor who played Wee Burney in the BBC comedy Rab C Nesbitt - an outstandingly good and likeable man of great talent who suffered appalling cruelty, first from a vicious paedophile ring and then from the British tabloid press, before becoming the victim of a particularly bizarre miscarriage of justice (also a mate of mine).

Introduction to the Rat Race
A beginner's guide to keeping rats as pets, including information on the care of the ship rat (Rattus rattus), plus some rat-related literary oddments, artwork and merchandise. Includes advice on health-care, housing, feeding, hand-rearing etc. and the general pros and cons of rats as pets, with many photographs.

Fan Fiction
My own fanfics plus links to a couple of thousand good ones by other people, ranging from the frivolous to the deeply serious, mainly based in the Harry Potter universe and with a bias in favour of stories about Severus Snape. Also a series of essays on subjects such as how to write convincingly British-sounding dialogue and settings, how to spot a Mary Sue and how to not write one, and the likely real-world locations of various places in the Harry Potter books.

Find the lady: a family history
... with particular reference to my great-grandfather, Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant George Shirran of the Black Watch; my grandmother, Ethel Maud Shirran a.k.a. the Kazini Elisa Maria Dorgi Khangsarpa; my grandfather Bertram Langford Denis Rae and my father Roderick (Rory) Denis Edward Langford-Rae; but also taking in the Shirran, Tawse, Franklin and Langford Rae families more generally.

Random thoughts on assorted subjects, including how we know that evolution is happening and an overview of the different elements of Biology and how they interrelate, intended for children of about eight years and up and to be used by home-schoolers as a framework on which to build.

This was originally the online outpost of my shop in Edinburgh, which dealt in pagan and eclectic religious supplies; Celtic art etc. The shop closed in 2006 due to a decline in passing trade, but I still have some stock available and can arrange Tarot readings etc.. I am so far as I know the only person in the world outside North America who makes and sells 100%-pure bayberry-wax candles.

The Murder Which Never Was
Summary of the story of Kenny Richey, a Scot on Death Row for a murder which nobody committed because it never actually happened - described by Amnesty International as "one of the most compelling cases of innocence" they have ever seen. Somewhat superceded now by Kenny's release in 2008, but still worth preserving I thought - especially as many people will no doubt assume that his subsequent erratic behaviour proves he was guilty after all. But the fact that he was a schemie little rough-neck before his arrest and is now a traumatized, emotionally disturbed and medically sick schemie little rough-neck has no bearing on the fact that all the available evidence indicates that the fatal fire was an accident.

The Mansion of E
... is an outstandingly good, long-running SF/Fantasy web-comic by Robert M Cook. The art is quite cartoony but the world-building and plotting are excellent, and the characterisation and dialogue are second to none. At point of writing it's been on the go for over nine years, runs to well over three thousand strips and has still only covered the one densely action-packed day. Because it is so very long, I found that pegging back and forth a day at a time looking for some particular plot-point was onerous, even with the aid of the strip transcripts, so with the author's blessing I set up an alternative version in which all the strips in a given chapter appeared on the same web-page and could be scrolled through in a more comic-book-like way. Go to the strip's own home-page for daily updates, a comments-box and various support services such as the archive and forum. Go to my comic-book-layout version for an easier way to read the back issues, a page of background information and a synposis.

This fairly mixed bag of topics inter-connect in strange ways. Kenny Richey's one-time fiancée's mother was a friend of Eric's. On the anniversary of his ludicrously inappropriate imprisonment Eric 'phoned me, depressed and very drunk (because a friend had given him a case of ice lager and hadn't warned him how strong it was!), and demanded "Cheer me up!" I said "But, something hopeful has happened today - a litter of baby rats has been born" and he cried "Oh, fantastic!" and got a real kick out of it. A photo' of the last survivor of that litter, Clementine, appears on the ratty part of the website: she lived to be nearly 3½, making her one of the three oldest rats I've ever kept.

My family history also connects oddly with the fanfiction section, especially with Snape: for my late father Rory Langford-Rae attended Ampleforth, a school which for several reasons is believed to be one of the main models for Hogwarts; he was, if not exactly a spy, almost certainly the sort of person who does the sort of thing the government doesn't let you talk about for thirty years; and he died at thirty-eight, the same age as Snape, in circumstances which probably weren't as accidental as they were cracked up to be. I only found most of this out years after I became a Snape fan.

And if Eric himself had ever done a website it would no doubt have included both a deeply serious section offering advice to victims of sexual abuse, and something on long-haired chihuahuas.

Claire M Jordan