A Night at the Museum

“My dear young lady, crime, like death, is not confined to the old and withered alone. The youngest and fairest are too often its chosen victims.”

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Crime Scene InvestigationWe gathered around our Mancunian ‘lecturer’ for Forensic Anthropology.

“Skeletal analysis is all about 4 things: Sex, age, stature and cause of death,” she counted down with her fingers.

“Let’s begin with the golden rule – ‘Sex before maths’! Come on detectives, you heard what I said. Use your noggin, do some loggin’. ”

Some of us turned to each other and sniggered, but quickly scrambled for our notes. Continue reading A Night at the Museum

Yay for the little people

“Xenophilius Lovegood,” he said, extending a hand to Harry. “My daughter and I live over the hill, so kind of the Weasleys to invite us. I think you know my Luna?” he added to Ron.
“Yes” said Ron. “Isn’t she with you?”
“She lingered in that charming little garden to say hello to the gnomes, such a glorious infestation! How few wizards realise just how much we can learn from the wise little gnomes — or, to give then their correct names, the Gernumbli gardensi.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling

Bobbing along in the Gnome-MobileBBC Radio 4. Women’s hour. Good Friday 2017:

“Well, you see, my wife never liked my gnomes. To me they were family. I’d given them names even. They had personality. But the wife said to me one day, ‘Darling, it’s me or the gnomes.’ Simple as that. I love me wife, so the answer was simple. That’s when I heard about the Gnome Sanctuary.” Continue reading Yay for the little people

Springtime in Photos

“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”

Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

From indoors, yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun shone brightly and I hurried out to work. As I stepped onto the pavement a bracing wind caught my light leather jacket, tugged at my loosely-wrapped scarf and made my feet feel naked in my sockless pumps.

Some snippets of March and April (all photos are captioned if you click on them): Continue reading Springtime in Photos

St Paul’s bellringers, ancient societies, mysterious ringing and Harry Potter

crypt St PaulsOranges and lemons, Say the bells of St. Clement’s.
You owe me five, Say the bells of St. Martin’s.
When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich, Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney.
I do not know, Says the great bell of Bow.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed, And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

English Nursery Rhyme, original version (different from above) appeared in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book (c. 1744)

It was dark and the summer revellers and loud tourists had long returned to their hotels and haunts. Continue reading St Paul’s bellringers, ancient societies, mysterious ringing and Harry Potter

IOW: Hovercraft, Intrigue in Cowes and miles of shipwreck coastline

Ratty, the rat from Wind in the Willow’s: “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

alternate endings
Not my pink-nail-polished finger.

Do you remember the ‘Choose your own adventure’ books? The protagonist is “you”, and you are given choices that lead to alternate outcomes. You’d get to a certain page which said something like, “If you want to investigate the noise in the attic turn to pg85. If you decide to put earplugs in your ears and hide your head under the covers, turn to pg76.”

Not great literature, but as a recovering control-freak, I understand the temptation to try and be the mistress of my own destination/life/story. Continue reading IOW: Hovercraft, Intrigue in Cowes and miles of shipwreck coastline

Days out part 2: Libraries, secret passageways and the last Whipping Boy

“It sounded like something in a book and it did not make Mary feel cheerful. A house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked—a house on the edge of a moor—whatsoever a moor was—sounded dreary. A man with a crooked back who shut himself up also! She stared out of the window with her lips pinched together, and it seemed quite natural that the rain should have begun to pour down in gray…”

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

secret garden fulham palace
Our very own secret garden at Fulham Palace.

I looked around to see if anyone was watching. You particularly need to be careful of the room guides. Hubby had wondered off to look at another formulaic painting by Sir Peter Lely. I was safe. Between the great hall and the Duke of Lauderdale’s bed chamber I’d spotted a small door. ‘Staff only’, it stated. This, I suspected, led to a small servants’ passageway. Continue reading Days out part 2: Libraries, secret passageways and the last Whipping Boy

Time travel and being a tourist in my own city

“I had neither kith nor kin in England, and was therefore as free as air — or as free as an income of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit a man to be. Under such circumstances, I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.”

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
(the first of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries)

A study in ScarletIf any of you are avid readers you’ll know the feeling of being in the middle of a few novels at once, of having a pile of unread books next to your bed and a bookshelf/kindle full of #mustreads that taunt and tempt.

A couple of birthdays ago Hubby gave me the novel, A study in Scarlet. Having recently finished Stephen King’s On Writing, I rescued this little red book from the shelf last week.

It’s a small volume of the who-dun-it-crime-scene-forensic-investigation persuasion. It is set at no. 221B Baker Street, London, in the year 1887. Continue reading Time travel and being a tourist in my own city