Top Hats and Tentacles

Dear Reader

As I am sure you are aware, here at the Benthic Times we are extremely keen on cephalopods and crochet. We were therefore delighted to find on Messers Smith and Skarry’s most marvellous site a post combining these two topics, namely a televisual instruction on making a Crochet Octopus Mask:

Smith and Skarry: Crochet Octopus Mask

As the winter nights draw in and our thoughts turn from spending sunny days promenading under parasols to wintry days walking rapidly under umbrellas, one needs a hobby or project to while away the time. We are indeed most interested in crafting such a mask.

hat

To show we are neither “slackers” or “amateurs” in the world of tentacular head gear, I present above a picture of a “Steampunk Styled” hat that we have. We have taken the traditional approach of attaching everything we like to a top hat, including our much loved “cuddly” Cthulhu. We hope this shows our dedication to this cause.

Incidentally, the background to this daguerrotype is a small snippet of a piece of art by the wonderful Angela McFall, whose work is also much recommended.

On the Origins of Admiral Isaac Cadwaddler

victorian-name-generatorA Random Name Generator – as we imagine it to look

During an interesting writing session this week, the Benthic Times found itself uncharacteristically stuck for a name for one of our characters. Whilst a ten-mile walk through the countryside would be the normal cure for this malaise, time was of the essence. As such, we turned to that modern miracle, the internet and found this little gem:

Victorian Name Generator

Amongst the many humorous names that we derived is the one that currently graces the title above.

We wish you a most pleasant weekend.

Hermine Moriarty, Temporary Editor

Still Life with Cephalopod

bt-3Happy Benthic Teatime!

The Benthic Times is ecstatic to announce that as from next week, we shall be publishing not just one, but TWO chapters of our gripping, yet hilarious serialised stories.

Dear reader, you are most very welcome, and we wish you the most pleasant of weekends.

The Staircase Mystery

Following our recent transatlantic travel, the Benthic Times are a little airship-lagged and so our regular Friday post is appearing on Saturday. The ink in our well is a little dry as well, so I’m afraid we merely have this picture of a staircase from our pleasant stay at Hôtel St Jacques, Paris. We can wholeheartedly recommend this hotel for its location,  its staff, and for its collection of Victorian ephemera.

staircase-at-hotel-st-jacques-paris

 

Two for Joy

I have discovered this week that Oscar Wilde’s “Bunbury” was likely a portmanteau of Sunbury and Banbury, following a tryst Mr Wilde allegedly had in a location twixt those two towns.

That led me to muse on my own writing and the fact that, in a less dramatic way, I do something similar. For example, Pook and Clackprattle stay at luxury rooms in Manchester Britannia Hotel because I once spent a unpleasant week in a terrible room there.

I pursued the thought to its conclusion and wondered if writers always hide some aspects of their lives in plain view like this. How many secrets of an author’s life are wrapped up in the warp and weft of their narrative, visible only to themselves and blissfully overlooked by the reader.

On the topic of unsatisfactory hostelries, the Benthic Times recently found itself in a hotel that can best be described as “adequate”. In fact it was probably the epitome of adequate.

And although the general blankness of the place worked nicely as a canvas for the imagination, it wasn’t terribly aesthetically pleasing. We did spy, though, these intriguing light fittings. It was most unusual, as we were several miles from the coast. They function as proof that even in the darkest spots, often especially so, one can find something Benthic.

light cropped

 

Formica Mechanica

The Benthic Times is currently enjoying a sojourn in the United States of America. We rather enjoy the country, but we have found ourselves in a few scrapes. For example, in Southern California we were pursued by a species of giant mechanical ant.

Despite their size, they are mercifully slow and so we managed to find an building to hide in. We just shut the doors as one of the monstrous creatures crashed into it, its antennae protruding through the wood. Overcoming our obvious terror, we managed to procure a photograph of evidence of our adventure…

ants

Cat Got Them, Perchance?

As part of the relocation of The Benthic Times we have inherited this lovely ornate piece of fireplace paraphernalia.

fireplace sepia

I’m rather taken with it, but the writer in me can’t help wondering what happened to the original tongs…

“Reginald! Use the tongs to pinch it’s nose, those are toxic fumes spewing from them … oh my word! It breathes fire!”

 

One Thousand Apologies

Dear Reader

We can only apologise from the bottom of what passes for our hearts for our failure to post something last Friday. All we can give in the paltry way of excuses is that we are in the middle of an international house move. We offer this picture of a gargoyle from the Notre Dame in Paris, which will be featuring in a story in the near future, as recompense.

gargoyle_edited-1

 

We are also excited to announce that a new Jennings and Jennings story will be starting next Tuesday. You will gasp in horror, recoil in terror and be otherwise discombobulated by… the Fulham Fiend.

Convivial Drinking Establishment

The Jennings are travelling at the moment (again, I hear you cry). As an unintended consequence, they have failed to supply much of interest for the end of week blog post. However, they did come across this pleasant drinking establishment which they think may entertain the readers. They also promise to post something of greater interest in the following week.

 

HAG sepia

Souvenirs

When travelling abroad, it is of course necessary to procure some manner of souvenir. This has the effect of reminding one of the journey and allows one to share a little of the wonder of the holiday with friends. In that spirit, dear readers, now that we have returned from our sojourn in the sun, we present to you a little “something” we acquired on our way. We hope you like it as much as we do.

squid sepia