Scott Wood describes himself as "a freelance writer of no reputation whatsoever", so I asked him if he'd like to write something nice for The Magic Net and he said yes. Given that;

  • He once phoned me up in the middle of the night and said, "B&Q, so wonderful you just have to tell someone."

  • Absolutely slated "Zoen Nostalgia" and did a horribly unpleasant character assassination on me in the same review.

  • And got me in deep shit with the Sea Nymphs for cancelling a gig at the last minute and being too scared to tell anyone...

...I'm actually rather surprised I'm still talking to him at all!



Turn Off The Internet And Do Something Less Boring Instead...

 Thinking about them one day I realised Wombles are not what they first appear. I’d been reading a fair bit on the Good People. Pixies, elves and hobgoblins and their kin (don’t ever use the ‘f’ word when talking about them, it brings terrible luck) and I worked out that Wombles, far from being some freakish cross between voles and afghan hounds, are a modern manifestation of the Good People.

 Look at the facts: fairies (shit) live underground, Wombles live underground. Elemental beings such as the Wood Wife and the Wild Hunt are thought of as guardians of the trees and the forest. Wombles, our little perma-culture critters, take damned good care of the litter blown common.



 Wombles live on the peripherals of human society but have been known to help people out in secret ways, as would nixies and boggarts such as Yallery Brown, Tom-Tit-Tan and Tom-Tit’s German cousin, Rumpelstiltskin. However, cross the Good People


Hello, come in, nice to see you. Take a seat, oh, hang on, I’ll just move those. There. Oh, yeah, don’t worry about them, they’re a clean pair, I think. Anyway, welcome to “Turn off the Internet and Do Something Less Boring Instead”, my very own niche in the Magic Moments empire. You’ll have guessed that I’d prefer it if you don’t follow the advice of the title straight away and it’d be lovely of you to come back to read any future issues of this inter-zine I may happen to write. The point isn’t to order people off the net (“All magic lights and the most strange language, ‘tis the Devils own picture box”), I’ve made mates over the net and learnt things both fascinating and utterly stupid. I’m also not sure what I’d do without sites like “The Parking Lot Is Full” (though no more new cartoons) and “Goth Babe of the Week” (ahem). I just need to remind myself that the internet, like books, fanzines and other reading material, are great but they’re not the actual world, they’re a means to an end, not the end. Or to put it another way, the internet is the map to the pub, it isn’t the six pints of Grolsch, double egg and chips, the banter or the laughter. It’s not the game of shit-head, the dodgy band blaring away in one corner or the hazy eyed, gorgeous person you know you MUST attempt to flirt with before they’re swept away by their graceful, long legged and beautiful partner who hasn’t got a Spicy Nic Nac caught in their hair.

The point isn’t really to get you to go to the place I’m going to write about either, though if you do get to check it out, fantastic, let me know what you think. There’s magic, wonders and treasures everywhere, in places you go to every day, places that are miles away and places that exist only in your own head. You really just need to be ready to see them. That’s what I think is true of the world.

 So in honour of Dr Magic's secret origin, let us hail that great green space that is Wimbledon Common. You know Mick's story, he landed on Earth in his Ford Escortron and for the first five years or so he lived with the Wombles of Wimbledon. I lived there for a few years, before moving to the more suitable climes of south east London, but the Wombles had a burrow in my heart long before I ever set foot in SW19. They’re small, they’re furry, they recycle stuff that stupid humans litter the clean earth with and their little snouts twitch when they eat or think. How could anyone not love them?

or allow yourself to be tricked by them and havoc will ensue. So remember if you do find yourself on Wimbledon Common, you should respect the Wombles and their space, otherwise Wellington will turn over the pots and pans in your house and Uncle Bulgaria will steal your children, leaving strange eyed furry babies in their place. As for the pant-dampeningly scary McWomble, I’m sure that each time he appears in all his lightning and wailing bagpipe music, some member of the Scottish gentry drops off their perch. He’s a banshee with huge, ginger whiskers, brrr.

 Wimbledon Common, like Hampstead Heath and any other wooded or quiet areas near a mass of buildings is a bit of a haven. People sneak in there to have sex, tramps take refuge and people often explore their odder tastes in secrecy or with like minds there. A friend told me about a bloke she encountered swimming in a pond that’s by the road Parkside. He was in full wet-suit and snorkelling gear but the pond is only about two inches deep. It dries out in hot weather. The rubber suited chap sat up in the pond, took a photograph of my friend and then carried on with his splashing about.

 I was pleased to hear recently that the local tramp, the Bob-Bob Man is still going strong. He lives on the common and is called the Bob-Bob Man because he never talks, he walks along going “Bob, bob, BaaRRRR!” to himself. It’s like he thinks and speaks in music.


 The common has a windmill. It doesn’t work and I’m not so impressed, I mean, Brixton has a broken Windmill tucked away in her flanks but the Wimbledon windmill is said to have a ghost. Park rangers who have lived in the cottage next to the windmill have heard a chain clank or footsteps there at night. The windmill is now a museum, and fearing a break-in, the ranger would investigate but find no one. His four dogs, whom he expected to bark at any intruder, stayed quiet. Previous tenants of the cottage have reported a recurring bloodstain on the bathroom wall and a damp patch on the floor which still kept appearing after the main suspect, a dog, was away in kennels. Dogs and cats in the cottage would stop and stare at one patch on the wall but I personally think they do that just to freak us humans out. One tenant of the cottage was so upset by the supernatural incidents that they ordered the place exorcised. Frustratingly there isn’t any more details of the exorcism or what provoked it in my account of the windmills ghost and, at present, I can’t be arsed to it investigate myself.  
  Above: Dr. Magic, still in little green man form, soon after landing on Wimbledon Common. Well, you surely didn't think Scott had made it up?