Posted on January 30, 2012 by Dan Chambers
Following the progress of Mark’s heroic journey into the Amazon jungle…
“Great Excitement! I have discovered the bones of another explorer and I do believe he was French! The fool!…”
I found these notes the other day as I was packing up to move house. I went to university with Mark Huckerby, and we used to pin silly notes to each other’s doors when we should have been writing essays. It’s probably the reason we started writing comedy together. Nick Ostler decided to get in on the action too when he noticed how much uproarious fun we were having, sitting alone in our separate rooms, scribbling and sniggering to ourselves.
We were at university when email was still a new thing. The only internet-enabled machines were in the university library and our main use for it was, again, to scribble stupid notes to each other and cast ourselves as the heroes in epic dramas. I sometimes wonder whether the advent of the internet would have given our writing a boost or completely scuppered our chances…
Filed under: friends, graffiti, miscellaneous, oddities, writing | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 26, 2012 by Dan Chambers
I found this note the other day, tucked away in an old box with some souvenirs. The corners of the page were greatly yellowed and it looked like someone had burnt the edges so I knew it must be really old.
” The journal of Mark’s exploration of the Inca Amazon jungle with his trusty companion and pack-lugger Dan…
June 1st 1867
The heat is oppresive (sic) and indecent sweat coats my private parts, however the trip proceeds well with Dan’s pungent stench reminding me of the barbarous working class I plan to annihilate on my return to England…”
Click on the picture to read the full journal entry.
Read more of Mark’s obsession with his private parts and the barbarism of the working class soon!
Filed under: friends, oddities, outings, writing | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 10, 2012 by Dan Chambers
What the hell is going on at this wedding? Why are they all so angry? I went into this wedding shop in Dalston and the assistant told me it’s a diorama of the best-man’s speech. Three chairs scrape harshly, three men have risen to their feet in shock as the drunk best man threatens to reveal the whereabouts of the shallow grave they just dug.
Filed under: miscellaneous, oddities, outings | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 9, 2012 by Dan Chambers
Bit dull-looking this one, but according to information on this flickr page, The Boundary Street Estate in Bethnal Green was the world’s first council estate, built 1897.
Its eyes are like those of a herbivorous dinosaur startled from sleep.
Filed under: flatirons, miscellaneous, outings | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 5, 2012 by Dan Chambers
Willard Price’s ADVENTURE series involves the daring escapades and exotic locations visited by brothers Hal and Roger Hunt in their quest to find animals and bring them back alive to sell to zoos. There’s a wonderfully effusive and affectionate writeup on them here at the blog of a Mr A. P. Salmond. TIGER ADVENTURE was the first non-picture book I ever read, in Balham library at about the age of 3. And when the teachers at my primary school agreed to release me from the stultifying bonds of the Green Reader series and go read any book I wanted from the school library I felt overwhelmed by choice and reached for an old friend, CANNIBAL ADVENTURE. There were just over a dozen books in the series, and over the years I read them all, and re-read them, and re-read them. I also remember the language making its way into my own stories… great manly expressions like “he blacked out” or “The men pulled lustily but they could not budge the snake”.
When I was around 13, I realised that I’d read WHALE ADVENTURE so many times that I could quote whole passages and visualise them on the page. And I realised something about my brain – I remember things visually. I remember text by its layout, by the shapes of the paragraphs, the islands of text in the page-coloured sea, even the little rivers of white running down past the words.
The first image (above) is of the cover of TIGER ADVENTURE as I first saw it in 1977 at Balham Library, and below left is the cover of the one I found today in Oxfam in Horsham and bought for 99p!
Filed under: books, illustration, miscellaneous, oddities, writing | 2 Comments »