Posts filed under ‘random’

I captured Captain Jack Sparrow’s Ship.

And it may well be as whacky as a pink tank, but it will make me one of the coolest oul biddies at the retirement home one day. Arrr!


Needless to say, I’d have preferred a Royal Navy one. But unlike pirates, Royal Navy officers never went shopping with a trolley. Interesting historic fact!

25 June, 2013 at 9:34 pm 2 comments

Horatio Nelson got a Make-Over

After the finding-royals-under-the-car-park fad, we now have the give-history-a-make-over craze.

Historical hipsters: Shakespeare and Elizabeth I get makeovers from modern artists

I admit, seeing “Elizabeth I” and “hipster” in one sentence is painful; Shakespeare, however…

For Yesterday’s series “Secret Life of…”, historian Dr Suzannah Lipscom and a team of digital artists have given a number of historical portraits a modern make-over. Maybe nothing for purists, but I think it’s a fascinating idea, though the execution is a bit hit and miss. Marie Antoinette looks like Lindsey Lohan. Maria Theresia is nicht amüsiert.

But this – this, dear friends, is priceless:


In case the title of this post wasn’t a give-away:


Genius! I absolutely love the robotic hand! Now I’d like to see modern!Collingwood, wearing dungarees and battling snails in his cabbage patch in Morpeth.

Well, I have a contribution as well. Beat that!



Well, and then there’s this, of course – yes, we’ve had it before, but it’s so amazing, it deserves an encore. Plus, you can never have too much of a good thing.

garrowextras39 Young Mr. Garrow with a Squirrel (1765) or Andrew Buchan, re-incarnated

2 May, 2013 at 11:16 pm 1 comment

Meet Mark Darcy, Fitzwilliam’s lesser known Brother

He’s so little known even Jane Austen’s never heard of him! But never mind, as long as the littereery geniasses working for the Daily Fail know him…



The more you know!

( Source )


10 January, 2013 at 10:20 pm 6 comments

St. Osram versus St. Hilarius: The Fight over the Eternal Light has ended

Come one, come all, come in, and welcoooooooooooome to the final fight for the title of Eternal Lightweight Champion 2013!

In the left corner, we have the contender:

St. Osram, Patron Saint of light-emitting Diodes!

Lithe and wiry, this much-celebrated figure of spiritual enlightment knows how to place a punch. He’s bursting with confidence, declaring in a recent interview that he was born to be the LEDer of the spiritual boxing world, and that he’s already made plans on how to spend the purse of £ 950.

And now there’s rattling applause for the man, the king, the champion in the right corner,

St. Hilarius, Bishop of Poitièrs!

Known for his hymn-writing as well as his public discussions, this saint is not to be trifled with! He’s held the title of Eternal Lightweight Champion for 655 consecutive years, and many say that St. Osram doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell to win this fight.

But enough with the talking, it’s starting!

Ah, what a sight…

… just look at St. Osram’s footwork, it looks like he’s dancing!

Careful now, St. Hilarius! Now that was a fine hook by St. Osram…

…jab jab jab… cross… what a combination!

But… wow!

That was a completely unexpectedd straight hook, and now he’s out cold!

Was that it? After only a few seconds? Looks like.

Referee Judge starts counting… will he make it?

Even saints have their limits…


…. 10 …
… 9 …
… 8 ….
… 7 …
… 6 …
… 5 …
… 4 …
… 3 …
… 2 …
… 1 1/2…
… 1 …


Ladies and gentlemen, the new Eternal Lightweight Champion is


The crowd goes wild, some fans are fainting! I wish you could see these triumphant scenes!

While the new champion is celebrated by his team, the members of the consistory of the St. Hilarius church in Näfels have fainted. I wonder whether that’s due to the devastating defeat of their champion or because the referee just informed them that they’ll have to pay £ 6’000 in legal fees and compensation? But no need to worry, I see that their lawyer is approaching with sel volatile to revive their spirits.

Ah, I just hear our reporter is having some interviewees… over to you, John!

“Test… test… are we on air? Yes? Good. Well, I’m standing here with St. Hilarius, who lost after a short, but dedicated fight. St. Hilarius – what was this fight really about?”

“Uhm… it was never about the money, you know, but about traditions. Traditions are important.”

“If it wasn’t about the money, why did your management turn down all volunteers who offered to spring in? Including your own bishop?”

“What bishop? I’m the bishop! I’m the biggest! I’m the greatest! I’m the-“

“Ahem, yes, thank you for your time.”

Selected comments of the public on this fight:

“I’d demand a payback of all the fees paid through the years! With interest!”
“Do you still have the receipts?”

“This farmer sold his soul for £ 950 silverlings.”
“Yeah, what an idiot. He should have tried on ebay.”

“A contract is a contract, even if it’s 650 years old. The farmer should have been made to pay.”
“The lawyers of the House of Habsburg just called. They demand compensation for their fallen kinsmen in the battle of Sempach back in 1386.”


The consistory of the church has accepted the judge’s decision. The farmer is happy, traditionalists are disappointed, the judgement, for once, was just. The Eternal Light will shine on, sponsored by a number of volunteers. However, we shouldn’t forget that this story began with a murderer and his victim. I can’t help but wonder if a prayer for their souls wouldn’t be more in the spirit of the whole thing than going to court or buying bottles of lamp oil. But hey, what do I know. I use oil only for salad.

9 January, 2013 at 12:22 am Leave a comment

Update on the Strange Case of the Land Owner who Refuses to pay the Church for a Murder back in 1357

The strange tale of a church in Switzerland demanding that a farmer is paying for a murder which happened in 1357 (1357. 1357!) was one of your favourite stories last year. You’ll be pleased to hear there is an update – the plot thickens, my friends!

A short summary: in 1357 (1357. 1357!) one Konrad Müller allegedly murdered one Heinrich Stucki. To avoid being executed for this crime, he promised to provide the Eternal Light of the aptly named St. Hilarius church in Näfels for all eternity with oil from his walnut trees.

655 (655. 655!) years later, the trees have long gone, and the current farmer refuses to pay about £ 950 for 20 years of Eternal Light Maintenance. Alas the church insists that the current owner of Müller’s land has to pay. While any person with some common sense and decency would think this to be a no-brainer, it’s serious business for the church, and they announced that they’ll take the farmer to court.

But now it looks like Konrad Müller wasn’t a murderer in the first place!

— Theme from Twilight Zone —

Just like in the story of Cain and Abel, old papers talk of a man called Tschudi murdering his brother to claim their father’s land.


Was it fratricide then?

Did Heinrich Stucki live happily ever after and somebody else was murdered?

Are the grumpy ghosts of the Tschudi brothers haunting the church of Näfels?

Or wasn’t there a murder case in the first place?

Saint Osram weeps!

And so did the Bishop of Chur Vitus Huonder, we may assume. He’s responsible for the Näfels sheep of his flock, and offered to pay the bill himself to settle the case peacefully. That came as a surprise, as Bishop Huonder was stuck in 1357, mentally. But be that as it may, neither the president of the church commission nor its lawyer deemed their bishop worthy of a reply. They also refused an offer by the farmer’s neighbour to transfer the “duty” to his own land, and even the judge was ignored when he asked for some common sense.

The church wants its blood money, period.

The court decision is expected any day now. In my opinion, we need neither lawyers nor bishops here, though. We need Sherlock Holmes.



6 January, 2013 at 1:57 am 1 comment

The Strange Case of the Land Owner who Refuses to pay the Church for a Murder back in 1357

I know, I know, 1357 is about 350 years too early for 18th century, but this story will hopefully make those among you who still nurse a headache from headdesking over the decision by the CoE not to appoint female bishops feel a little better about their church. Because it’s always nice to know that God’s Ground Staff is just as ridiculous elsewhere.

Let me take you to the beautiful Church of Näfels, Canton of Glarus, Switzerland. Glarus is one of those places where Switzerland is at its “swissest”, in lack of a better word. Cows, green lands and lots of stubborn people. It was in Glarus where the last “witch” in Europe was executed, the unfortunate Anna Göldi. (To be fair, they did rehabilitate her soon after – in 2008. After refusing a rehabilitation in 2007.)

The French tried without much success to implement new regulations during the occupation of Glarus in the late 18th century; people simply refused to accept the newfangled nonsense. So, considering that we’re dealing with people who are very proud of their traditions, you won’t be surprised that the Church of Näfels is taking a land owner to the cleaners for refusing to pay a fine dating back to 1357. 1357.

In 1357 (have I mentioned it was 1357 already?), one Konrad Müller, murderer and owner of various walnut trees, committed to donate an Eternal Light to the church of Näfels and provide the oil to keep it running. In return, he would not be executed for his crime. After his death, the owners of his land were supposed to deliver the yearly Eternal Go Go Juice, courtesy of the above-mentioned walnut trees.

Fast forward to 2012 (655 years later. 655.), and Konrad Müller’s house has long gone. So have his walnut trees. His land has been split into two lots, and the owners are neither relatives of Mr. Müller nor involved with murder or oil trade. And yet – yet each of them has to pay the church CHF 70.00 a year (that’s about £ 47 or EUR 58) due to lack of walnut trees.

One of the land owners had enough of this deal, and refused to pay for the sins of some bloke who had made a deal with the church centuries ago. “That’s it, I’m not going to pay for this anymore!” he declared, and that was not it, of course, because this is Switzerland, and Glarus, and the Church, and Oh My God TRADITION, so the resident will now have to appear in front of a judge and make his case.

As you can imagine, there are two camps here:

Team “if he didn’t want to pay he shouldn’t have signed the contract, and it’s tradition, what’s been good for 655 years will be good for another 655”


Team “21st century, wtf selling of indulgences, contract is not legal, waste of money and resources”.

Personally, I’m Team “thanks for providing me with something to write about”, but considering that, through the years, the church has earned thousands of Francs with the sin and soul of Konrad Müller, I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t make more sense to get the Eternal Light electrified. I’d be willing to donate 24 energy saving light bulbs to the church in Näfels, if that could help restore peace.

May St. Osram provide some enlightenment.

27 November, 2012 at 3:34 pm 3 comments

Winner of the Yuletide Contest / I’ve hanged Mr. Silvester

Thanks a lot to everybody who participated in this year’s Yuletide Contest! There was a lot of competition for those who sent in the correct answer to the question: “What is Molly Joyful’s favourite Jane Austen novel?” It’s “Persuasion”, of course, and as some mentioned their favourite TV adaptation: mine is the 1995 BBC one with the wonderful Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds.

Many knew the answer, but it was Kerstin from Germany whose number was drawn by Buttons the cat. Congratulations! Your Very Austen Yuletide Parcel will soon be on its way.

In other news, I’ve hanged Mr. Silvester. I couldn’t help it; I just couldn’t resist to make him the centrepiece of my Yuletide decoration, and you must admit that he’s making a very fetching Christmas ornament. The BBC could make a ton of money with Garrow’s Law ornaments – Mr. Garrow baubles! Lady Sarah garlands! And imagine Judge Buller on top of your Christmas tree!

This year’s decoration work was carried out by Buttons & Lorchen. They are specialised in colourful pawbles.

12 December, 2011 at 7:01 pm 2 comments

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Love, Suspense and Sarcasm in the Age of Sail

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