Archive for December, 2004

A Thaumaturgic accession to the Wunderkammer

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

We went to a six hour epic Dano-Highland luncheon party the other day which gave us occasion to reflect all over again that there are private houses in northern Scotland where the food is easily, effortlessly better than in any of the restaurants of the region (with the honourable exception of the remarkable fish restaurant […]

The Practical Wunderkammer

Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

The Man from Maryport, who has come to stay for Christmas, came out with a stunningly practical suggestion this evening. The answer to the continuing dodginess of the water supply is surely to deploy, for its traditional purpose of purifying a spring, the unicorn’s horn from the wunderkammer.
By the way, the Press and Journal has […]


Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

A good word, don’t you think? — and last night, I realised that I was performing the action in question (I poodlefake, thou poodlefakest, he she or it poodlefakes…). My godmother, of whom I have been immensely proud since, quite apart from being a doctor etc., she went & learned to fly in her […]


Monday, December 20th, 2004

An exchange, as we got into the car this morning and backed it cautiously over a sheet of ice —
‘There’s a skull by the back door. Why?’
‘[The Apparitional Gamekeeper] found it in the wood. He thought it was beautiful, and you might like it.’
‘Whose is it?’
It’s a roe deer’s, […]

The Silly Bitch Club

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

Miss Dog and her Best Friend did a bit of whispering in corners and writing away, after which they informed us that they had become members of the Silly Bitch Club. This apparently has: a magazine, a special magic pencil for doing the puzzles with (pink and sparkly), a pink and sparkly badge to wear […]

Presence of Mind of the Apparitional Gamekeeper

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

The Apparitional Gamekeeper, having disposed tidily of the Grey Tom, spent a meritorious morning chopping wood; he is quite startlingly good at this. The Northern Professor went to church, Glenlochie (another friend of ours; currently poised to revolutionise the food habits of the Young, something I may blog on another occasion), disappeared with the intention […]

A Suicidal Soft Toy arrives in the Tropics

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

To revert briefly to the subject of stuffed Twisbies, the achingly melancholic soft toys modelled after a drawing of the late and prodigious Edward Gorey: the memorious reader will recall the construction of Twisby for dispatch to the tropics to entertain my adored godparents. Here is an extract, a harrowing extract, from my Godfather’s letter […]

A November Vignette

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

To Depress everyone, here is one of the things which wasn’t posted because of the interruption of transmission, being a vignette of how the genteel classes in Scotland received some less than wonderful news from across the unplumbed, salt, estranging sea.
[SCENE: the vaulted kitchen of a laird’s house in the
Lothians. Evening. The Laird’s Wife sits […]

Sudden Death

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

This is the first time I have started my day by ordering an assassination. The one hand, the premises have been haunted off and on for the last few days by a tramp feral tom-cat (grey, rather beautiful), and it became increasingly clear that the poor beast was seriously ill. At which point, given that […]

Back again

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

The wonderful Rogue Semiotician has revived the blog. The previous version fell victim to the spammers– quite simply, the thing was so clogged by Viagra advertisements, messages to that part of the community which believes .jpegs of other people’s sex-acts to be terminally fascinating, Nigerian scams, and You Have Won a Lottery You Never Went […]