Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers. March 14th of the Year of the Translunary Washing Machine

Ah Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea! Such a wonderful place! Full of whim and whimsy and bears! Here we continue to document the correspondence between Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea (a town, definitely not sentient in its own right) and the Airballoon (still unnamed, which Mila thinks is somewhat unlucky).

The following is an extract from the spell journal of Mila of the Well, from one of the Lost Journals which sadly fell overboard while the airballoon was being cleaned, and became the basis of a religion observed only by small fish. Luckily, Mila of the Well is used to losing journals to water and has extensive copying spells.

Today we narrowly avoided a large lightning storm. It was a near thing, but we were given enough warning to be safe. I’m considering that we could have another windsock. It’s always good to have a lot of windsocks. If nothing else, the sylphs like them and that is an advantage to have.

You’d think after all this time I’d be getting better at water magic, but shapeshifting has always been my strong point (and how funny that outside of Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea, when I say that it is true for all the time and not an always truth that might change with history!). Laura, at least, seems to enjoy that fact…

Notes on a spell for the love of stars (not sure what use this spell has!)

  • I’ve used pentagrams before, so I do know what I’m doing there.
  • The dragonfly wings can be substituted with damselfly wings or the legs of waterboatmen. However the toenail of a mole really can’t be substituted for anything else at all. NOT AT ALL!!
  • The rhythm of the chant really is more important than the words.
  • Expect fireflies.

The following message was delivered by Very Persistent Albatross.

TO: Laura Lovelace, The Woman In The Well AKA Mila of the Well

FROM: The Tatamount Gazelle

RE: Your monthly update of highlights from Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea, March edition

Dear Laura Lovelace and The Woman in the Well AKA Mila of the Well,

We’re overjoyed that you’ve continued your completely voluntary subscription with us, the Tantamount Gazelle. Bringer of news and entertainment! Your subscription fee of T5.00 has been taken from your wallet by a small yet mostly harmless curse. Side effects may include losing your wallet, losing the hand you had in the wallet when the curse activated, sneezing, itching, rashes, mucus, and a specific longing for a house in Wales with yellow lintels that wasn’t actually your childhood home.


Lyrics to When Will the Daffodil Beast Run Free Once More? definitively decided by the Tantamount Lyrical Association, who were immediately attacked by a mob wielding pitchforks, folding chairs, and several illegal trombones. This only goes to show that folk music is dangerous business.

A jellyfish claiming to be a member of the Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea Shadow Council has been proven to be a normal jellyfish. The jellyfish in question, who was called Andrew, was using a disguised jetpack to float. The Shadow Council were asked for comment, but did not respond.

Dewdrop the goat, most popular member of at least one of the town’s councils, caused a complete scandal when she performed a Morris dance despite having no formal training!

“Flamingoes are definitely not building a volcano,” says flamingo spokesflamingo.

And finally, for your enjoyment, a selection of the best looking gazelles. Rated on majesty, beauty, running speed, and leaping. Looking at the gazelle gallery is MANDATORY and will be enforced by your local large ungulate.

All the best,

Tantamount Gazelle

Attachments: antiviral blessing.20.7.201212.translunary-washing-machine

Gazelle gallery link (contains 35 071 images)

The following note was pinned to the corkboard over the kitchen in the airballoon. It is most definitely reasonable to have a kitchen on an airballoon, and we don’t know why you’d think otherwise.


About stopping for childhood dreams – we’re currently over land that appears to be populated. The Dream Tuning Fork resonated pretty strongly when I tested it, so we can probably hover in the cloud cover for a few hours and siphon some childhood dreams into the engine. Can you switch the filtering system on so we don’t accidentally get adolescent daydreams as well? Those really gummed up the gears last time…

M ❤

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Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers. March 1st of the Year of the Translunary Washing Machine

(I’m having a little difficulty with the layout of things in the wordpress editor, so hopefully this all looks how I want it to! Apologies if not, and I will keep playing until it’s clear.)

Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea keeps communicating with us, despite the fact we’ve changed our address and bought a very convincing fake beard! If we have to hear from it, so do you! For posterity, obviously. Not spite…

Note found on the fridge in an airballoon, stuck in place by a disgruntled starfish

YOUR WELLIES ARE NEXT TO THE FRIDGE, LEFT OF THE NUDIBRANCH! Also, I’ve replaced the clockwork that wasn’t functioning but we’ll need to stop off for childhood dreams somewhere if we want to keep flying. Any ideas where?

Laura xxx

Poem found woven into the airballoon basket

The beauty of

One thousand stars, luminescent,

Shines back from the ocean.

Does the whale know?

The following message was sent by sea otter and wind spirit.The message smelled like mint.

Dear Laura L Lovelace,

We appreciate your frustration with the matter of 31 Pendlewise Lane. In fact, we appreciate it so much that we are planning to exacerbate it by refusing to take action. It is, you see, not our department. You should try the Town council. Or the Parish council. Or, if you are desperate, the local Home Owners Association, but that would be folly.

We enjoyed your bribe – do feel free to write again!


Karen Smith-Delia


Tantamount Shadow Council

Sung by a giggling Mila to a vaguely annoyed Laura, late at night. It was forgotten by everyone except the Ocean, who remembered.

Song of the water-proof electric blanket:

Deep beneath

the deepsome sky

I often sleep

and question why

my toes are cold

my nose is frozen

my fingers shiver nineteen to the dozen

I recall the reason for my lack of sleepy bliss

is that the water-proof electric blanket does not exist…

The following message was delivered by apologetic tuna fish, who did not quite sink the airballoon. Mila was still rather displeased.

Proverb of the day: Money is the root of all evil.Written on a slip of paper given to Mila of the Well in place of legal tender.

Have you noticed a sense of Rising Evil in the world? A general malaise? That the air smells like damp paper and burnt rubber (which we all know is the smell of evil)? That things make less sense and more noise, and you feel like a tiny piece of driftwood helplessly trapped in Arctic ice? This is because of MONEY. Money is the root of all evil. Money causes poverty. Money causes strife. Money causes that irritating sound you hear just at the edge of your consciousness when you are trying to sleep, sort of like if a cheesegrater could whistle. Because of this, we will not be paying you for your services, and have instead educated you on the evils of money. We think this is more than fair, and certainly does not make us part of the problem.


The Incorporated Society of Agrarian Land Management For People Who Wear Tweed

This sign was found floating in the sky, apparently hung from little electrical hooks that connected to nothing. It hummed in a way that could be described as ‘distracted’.


this sign sponsored by Local Storm Pixies

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The Daffodil Beast

Recently, I took part in the online festival Anomaly, hosted by the Eldritch Broadcasting Company. As it was a celebration of the strange and (you guessed it) eldritch, I rather thought it would be appropriate to take something relating to Tantamount. But how does one take an entire imaginary town to an event? Especially when the oddness of Tantamount is somewhat cumulative.

I pondered this, and then remembered that there had been some enthusiasm about the Daffodil Beast. The Daffodil Beast was mentioned in two instalments of Tales From Tantamount, but only in passing: once on a notice from the eminently trustworthy Tantamount District Council advising not to disturb it, and once in a notice about the Waking Up Spring Rituals which include singing. And I thought to myself: well maybe I shall write the lyrics to this pretend song that I made up the title of.

I proceeded to do so with only a little bit of swearing and despairing, and now the song When Will The Daffodil Beast Roam Free Once More? is an actual song with lyrics and a tune! Rumours that it was originally called When Will The Daffodil Beast Run Free Once More? are clearly lies, slander, and damned lies…

So for your enjoyment, here is the section of Anomaly in which you can see (and hear!) me singing this lovely song.

Here is the first ever mention of the daffodil beast in Tales From Tantamount

Here is the first mention of the song When Will The Daffodil Beast Run Free Once More?

If you want to read all the original free blog posts of Tales From Tantamount that is here.

If you want to buy the PDF book (which has been edited and has some extra content) that can be found here.

There is new Tantamount content! Check out this page: Further Tales From Tantamount.

Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers. February 14th of the Year of the Translunary Washing Machine

Being the Continuing and Ongoing record of Certain Correspondence and also Other Stuff between Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea (town) and the Unnamed Airballoon (airballoon). Containing no roses, chocolates, or shiny red balloons: you all know those are banned.

Message undelivered. Error. Contact your server or local wasps’ nest.

TO: The Tantamount Gazette

FROM: Laura Lovelace, The Woman In The Well AKA Mila of the Well

RE RE: Your monthly update of highlights from Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea, February edition




The following delivered by rogue naiad on the swim from Melusine, queen of the Sea (in part).

Dear Mila and Laura,

Thanks for writing my loves, it’s good to hear from you. I’m doing well. Sometimes I’m still a jellyfish and I can’t help but float upwards into the sky, but otherwise I’m well. Of course, I can’t admit to being part of the Shadow Council, and that’s most definitely not what I’m doing here. But theoretically, if there were a Shadow Council, they’d be very tiresome indeed and a lot of detail would have to be thought of while being a jellyfish and I imagine that, although having a deeper purpose such as being a member of the Shadow Council could at times be reassuring, it might also be really very tiring.

This is all speculation.

I am living in the remains of the Pinprick Café, which is less tragic than it sounds as it is entirely haunted by the ghost of the coffee machine. I find it very companionable, and sometimes I feed it coffee beans.

Love, Thora

Paper spat out of the Airballoon Interface Slot at midnight.


Airballoon clockwork due for routine para-normal maintenance. Please perform the maintenance as instructed in the Airballoon Handbook. Please ensure the clockwork is fed, oiled, polished, and told that it is “good” and “functioning perfectly” and “doing such a lovely job”. Failure to do so will result in Distressed Clockwork, and no-one wants that.

Found in the bin on the Airballoon.

DO YOU WANT A TINFOIL HAT?! It will PROTECT your SPIRITUAL VIBRATIONS from the HARMFUL EFFECTS of 7G communication! T600 or equivalent barter for your OWN CUSTOM-MADE TINFOIL HAT!

Send enquiries to Jacinta with bees!

The following found on the fridge, held down by a magnet in the shape of a mer-cat.


Also I made pancakes for breakfast; they’re in the oven warming. I thought we could head west today?

Laura xxx

The following located in the Library of Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea, in among the lending history of one Laura Lovelace. Perhaps it is there by accident?


Last updated in January of the Year of the Translunary Washing Machine

SECTION ONE: Resignation statement

In 300 words or less, explain why you want to resign your position as a Historian of Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea (you may not use the phrases “death rate” or “whistling song” or “resign”):

Enter your Unique Historian Number here. You will have had this 26-digit number whispered in your ear during the initiation ritual after the mind-altering substances were administered:

Explain why it would benefit the Secret Society of Historians to allow you to resign. Do this using bullet points, and in reference to the current theory of interrelational historical relevancy:

Please provide citations for all of the above questions in the space below. Include when you filled out the form in case the citations change:

SECTION TWO: Keeping the Historian Secrets

As you are aware, the Historians are keepers of certain dangerous knowledge that cannot be written or otherwise released into the wild. In no more than 500 words, outline what steps you will take to prevent this knowledge from spreading in the event of your resignation (you may not use the phrase “fuck off you fucking control freak weasel-faced stone-spined soulbuckets”):

Tick this box to acknowledge that, even in the event of your resignation being accepted, the Secret Society of Historians retains the right to hunt you down should they find you passing on secret knowledge:

Tick this box to acknowledge that you understand that, as part of the resignation process, you will be asked to take part in the Forgotten Rituals:

Tick this box to acknowledge that you understand that you may not take up a position in any rival organisation for at least five years after your resignation:

Failure to tick any of the boxes or to fill out this form correctly will result in Affirmative Action, where we Affirm that you are still serving as a Historian and will have to wait until the next Confluence of the Streams of Time to resubmit this form.

Sign and date here:

Return the filled-out form to the Secret Society of Historians, Number 67 Smokey Lane, Brine Street, Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea


There aren’t any boxes! There are no bloody boxes on this fucking form! Can I just draw my own in? Argh!

I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

Who the FUCK are you?!

Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea official grapevine, as relayed to Laura Lovelace by a seagull.

SO! The Chicken-Witch’s house has fallen out with the Chicken-Witch, and moved into the shallows. Coral has grown on it. We continue to remain free of Carrion, which is confusing to us all. And we have all been amused by the antics of the Great Bear as it emerges, hungover, from hibernation.

Proverb for the day: “Dead men tell no tales.”  Found on the back of a postcard in a cemetery.

The Shadow Council would like to draw your attention to the fact that women and enbies respond more positively to necromantic gossip, and that, coincidentally, we are looking for applicants to the trainee necromancy course that begins next month. Apply through the minnows. If you really want to impress us, use dead ones.

Note also found on the fridge on the Airballoon, held in place with Hope and some Minor Threats

Have you seen my shoes? I’m sure I had some, but I’ve misplaced them somewhere and it’s bothering me. I hate having wet feet…

Mila ❤

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Midnight Seabones: A Collection of Queer Poetry

This little collection is now live on my ko-fi shop

Book cover consisting of background image with text overlaid. Background image is a bleak landscape, stony flat land with some scrubby plants. The sky is blue with clouds, andtakes up approx two thirds of the space. In the distance, a grounded boat is silhouetted. Text reads: MIDNIGHT SEABONES next line A COLLECTION OF QUEER POETRY and then a line near the bottom of the cover reads BY MEREDITH DEBONNAIRE

Seven poems for the price of a coffee!
A small collection – one might call it a pamphlet – of queer poetry by Meredith Debonnaire. Contains four poems previously published on the blog, and three written specially for the collection. Served up in PDF format, this is a short jaunt through some personal experiences of Existing While Queer.

Queer as in Fuck You
Sparrowhawk Love
Midnight Seabones
Fuck Gender

Buy it here:https://ko-fi.com/s/127c5eed51

Daffodil Beast art

For those of you not following me on twitter, there is art of the daffodil beast! Behold!

A baby daffodil beast. This one is named Bostwick.

This daffodil beastie was made by Nyx, my platonic spousey, who makes a LOT of rather excellent art over here: https://www.instagram.com/nyx.nocturnus/ If you are looking at this going: hey Merry, what is a daffodil beast? then I can only recommend you read more Tales From Tantamount.

The next instalment of Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers is on the 14th of February.

Poetry Cover Reveal!

Those of you following me on twitter will remember me mentioning a poetry collection. This is a very tiny collection – I’d call it a pamphlet in fact – that I’ll be selling on my ko-fi in a few days once I have the PDF behaving. It’ll be going for £3.50, so you get seven poems for the price of a coffee. Or indeed, cheaper than a coffee in most places round here!

Without more waffling, here’s the cover

Book cover consisting of background image with text overlaid. Background image is a bleak landscape, stony flat land with some scrubby plants. The sky is blue with clouds, andtakes up approx two thirds of the space. In the distance, a grounded boat is silhouetted. Text reads: MIDNIGHT SEABONES next line A COLLECTION OF QUEER POETRY and then a line near the bottom of the cover reads BY MEREDITH DEBONNAIRE

The contents for this wee pamphlet are:

  • Marginalia
  • When…
  • Queer as in Fuck You
  • Stone
  • Sparrowhawk Love
  • Midnight Seabones
  • Fuck Gender

You’ll notice some of those are free on the blog, and some of those are new titles. My main aim with this was simply that I thought it’d be nice to have the Very Queer poems all hanging out together, and that that was something other people might also enjoy. There’s a little bit of final clean up to do on the PDF – I’ll announce it here when that’s live on my ko-fi 🙂

Love as a verb

I couldn’t pass this by without reblogging it – such a thoughtful piece about the nature of love!

Druid Life

One of the ideas that Pagan author Halo Quin has brought into my life recently is the notion of love as a verb. She’s been talking about this around self care especially. Many of us find the idea of self-love disconcerting at best. If it feels really alien as an idea it can be impossible to work with. However, when the focus is on what you can do rather than how you feel, it becomes easier to think about.

It’s worth asking what we can do to take better care of ourselves. What do I need right now? What would help me? What does my body need? What would help my heart? What does my soul require? It’s good to check in with yourself regularly and to think about these things and then act on them. Self care as something we do, rather than as an idea, is a good…

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Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers. February 1st of the Year of the Translunary Washing Machine

Original fiction by Meredith Debonnaire.

Being a found record of Certain Correspondences between Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea, and an unnamed Airballoon. Proceed at your own risk!

The following letter sent by exciteable carrier pigeon from an airballoon, given to a seagull, and delivered to Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea mostly intact.

Dearest Thora,

I miss you. I know this is obvious, but of course it bears saying anyway. I understand why you had to return (temporarily?) but I miss you like blood, like brine, like salt. I miss you like magpies miss treasure. I hope all is well. Come back to us, come back to us safe and happy and whole.

We are currently adrift over an archipelago of lost islands – they have sunk off all ordinary maps and exist only in the memories of those who saw them, and of course the fish and birds. They are gone from maps but remain in the space between migration patterns. We can hear songs sometimes, rising up from them, and music. We aren’t daft enough to try landing, don’t worry.

Time moves differently up here, above the surface. I am still, of course, mostly in a well even on this airballoon, but that has turned out to be unexpectedly advantageous as we have steady supplies of fresh water.

Laura insists we attach a list of recipes for you, though not the actual recipes themselves. Something about “incentive to get back here” I think. The recipes are as follows:

  • Ereshkigal’s food cake mix
  • Mussel stew
  • Pigeon pie recipe, given to us by a pigeon, containing no pigeon
  • Mixed mushroom fricassé (eat with caution)
  • God remains steak
  • Pasta bake with onions

Write us back. Let us know how you are, and if we can help. You’ve only to call, love, and we’ll be there. Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea is much easier to get in and out of than it ever was before.

Love, all

Mila and Laura

The following delivered by overly excited seabass. It was their first time delivering a letter, and we all agree that they did very well actually.

Dear Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea Shadow Council,

I am writing to you in regards to the sale of my property, 31 Pendlewise Lane. I have sent correspondence previously, but was advised that it was eaten by Councillor Dewdrop. This is hardly my fault.

The property in question was left to me some time ago by a now-probably-dead historian known as Syrena, whom I have never met. The Secret Society of Historians have disputed the home ownership, and frankly I am in agreement with them. I have said, multiple times, that I am happy for the Secret Society of Historians to take ownership of 31 Pendlewise Lane, but have been told every time that I must go through a solicitor or estate agent. Seeing as solicitors and estate agents have currently been outlawed in Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea since the Year of the Procrastinating Badger, you will understand that I’m having some difficulty with this. As, technically, a constituent, please advise what I can do about this ridiculous situation.

Attached is the official bribe of T60 and a bag of rhubarb and custard sweets.


Laura L Lovelace

This message delivered by wasps!

TO: Laura Lovelace, The Woman In The Well AKA Mila of the Well

FROM: The Tatamount GAzette

RE: Your monthly update of highlights from Tantamount-Newly-On-Sea, February edition

Dear Laura Lovelace and The Woman in the Well AKA Mila of the Well,

We’re DELIGHTED that you’ve decided to continue your subscription with us for another month! The subscription fee of T5 or equivalent barterage will have been deducted from your personal funds by the likely-angry wasps who delivered this message! We hope you choose to keep receiving news form us 🙂

If you wish to pay by a more conventional means, we recommend screaming in the direction of our direct debits team, who we are reasonably certain are still alive somewhere…


Popular idiot politician, Johnson Johnson, suggests that dryads are just naturally less gifted than Humans. Later found partially eaten by willow tree. Dryad spokesperson has no comments, but we think the situation very fair and reasonable. It wouldn’t be good if Johnson Johnson was ACTUALLY in CHARGE of anything, would it?

Saltlick Bookcavern eats unsupervised children during half-term. Many parents suddenly discovering reasons to leave their kids there.

Town suffers influx of feral flamingoes – they appear to be trying to build a volcano, but surely that is impossible?

And finally, a picture of a very tall man. Gosh he is so tall! We only have a section of his legs available in the photograph. Check the attachment!

And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed this message, and we’ll send you more next month.

All the best,

Tantamount Gazette

Attachments: antiviral blessing.20.7.201212.translunary-washing-machine


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Tantamount will be at the Eldritch Broadcasting Corporation event this Saturday the February! The Daffodil Beast may or may not turn up…. It will be hosted at the Hopeless Maine facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1855362374817938/

Further Tales From Tantamount:The Ocean Remembers by Meredith Debonnaire

Greetings! Some of you will remember, aeons back, that I teased some of the sequel to Tales From Tantamount and then never managed to get the rest of it out (health is a bastard is it not?). Well, here it is! Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers will be coming out twice monthly (we hope!!!) for the rest of 2023. It’ll be free here on the blog, and then (health allowing) I intend to do a similar thing as I did with Tales From Tantamount and gather it together into a bookish form, with the addition of extra content.

If you want to remind yourself what is Tantamount is all about, you can find the free serialisation here, or you can buy a PDF copy (with extra content) here.

The first instalment of Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers is due to be published on February the first. I’ve got a few months worth written in advance, but half the fun of Tales From Tantamount was making it up as I went along!

Further Tales From Tantamount: The Ocean Remembers is an epistolary work centred around characters from the bizarre town of Tantamount-Newly-On Sea. Laura, Mila of the Well, and Thora flew away from the town in an airballoon powered by clockwork and childhood dreams, but Thora has already had to return due to Shadow Council duties. Expect a lot of silliness, and not a lot of plot. I hope to see you there!

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