Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Summer of 2014 Mind Travels"Part 2 of 3

.And the Mind Travels continue.....

Early 1950's_En Route to meet the infamous 11 year old Sleuth Flavia de Luce at Buckshaw Mansion (the family's country Manor) in Bishop Lacey,England_(now known as Chudleigh National Park,England).Landed at Heathrow Airport (built c.1929)_then on to the Railway Station..

_picked up the 3 T's_Timetable,Ticket & Tea and some PIE,with intentions of  re-reading"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie"_
_while glancing at the English Countryside_rustic cottages,ages old,bordered by stone fences and spotted with English gardens along the way and pastures of rolling green ,Manors galore,etc...

..arriving at the Chudleigh Railway Station_read about it's History here: http://www.chudleighhistorygroup.com/teign-valley.html 
                            1950's Train arrival at Chudleigh Railway Station

GUESS who I spotted right away? Pigtails flying,excitement galore_why it was "Flavia" and her crusty old bike she calls "Gladys"!

We got down to business right away.Seems her Father_Colonel Haviland "Jacko" de Luce, a "Philatelist" and former amateur illusionist who spends most of his time poring over his stamp collection_is a suspect in a Murder! 
The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year and features a profile of the Queen Victoria.

                                                    Common Jack Snipe
Mrs. Mullet, Buckshaw's housekeeper and cook, discovers a dead Jack Snipe bird on the porch with a Penny Black Stamp pierced through its beak. Then, Flavia and Dogger overhear a heated argument between Colonel de Luce and a red-headed stranger who shortly turns up dead in the family cucumber patch...Colonel de Luce is arrested for the crime! Flavia had already began her investigation to save her Father! It's on....

No sooner than we're done with solving that WhoDunnit along comes another. I wanted a tour of Flavia's Chemist Lab in a remote part of Buckshaw Manor_inhabited only by her _no time she says,no time,later! Seems a Puppeteer has gone and got himself HANGED! _

...this is going to be a long,long,long Mind Travel Journey!!! Little did I know there was gonna be four more WhoDunnits!
I'm thinking...is this one going to be a traditional English "Punch And Judy Show?

...Rupert Porson has an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. The beloved puppeteer has had his own strings sizzled, but who'd do such a thing and why?  

Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? There’s a German pilot obsessed with the Brontë sisters, a reproachful spinster aunt, and even a box of poisoned chocolates. Most troubling of all is Porson’s assistant, the charming but erratic Nialla. All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can't solve—without Flavia’s help of course! I think Flavia has  finally gotten in way over her head! 

~The Wood,The Weed,the Wag...it chokes the child~Sir Walter Raleigh (Quoted at beginning of book). Wood (used to make a gallows for hanging), Weed (hemp rope for hanging) and a Wag (a smart-aleck, a wit -- someone who thinks they are very clever and keeps making jests and jokes, which others might not find funny _all grow well when they are apart, but if they are brought together,it means "RUINATION". 

*** Interesting Poem to his son _since Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded at the Gallows with his head presented to his wife_of which she keep in a Velvet Bag until her dead_when his head was buried /united with his body!

Up next...we venture into a "BIG FISHY STORY"!

 Flavia reminded me of a passage written in 1592 by Thomas Lodge & Robert Greene_"A Looking Glasse, for London and Englande"....."a cup of ale without a wench,why,alas,'tis like an egg without salt or a red herring without mustard." 
As we rush pass the Colonel,Dogger and Mrs.Mullet having a spot of tea in the kitchen_Flavia shouts ...No Time,No Time for Tea! I'm like really? She hops on "Gladys" with me following on her sister's Ophelia old bicycle_headed to Bishop's Lacey .The Gypsy woman told Flavia's  fortune earlier_NOW_she had been found bludgeoned to death! Some say it was revenge from her abducting a local child many years ago......BUT then again_The Red Herrings are everywhere_this is gonna take some time sorting it all out....since all signs are misleading!Here we go.....

Done and Done!No sooner than I was enjoying a look-about in Flavia's Chemistry Lab_rather "Poison making Lab"_with all the old fixtures,books,potions,Bunsen burners,etc...where I spotted these cool bookends..
And was about to have a chat over Tea_ which she steeped in a vintage glass pot boiler_
SHE exclaims_ "I am Half-Sick of Shadows"...I sighed_it was time for another adventure_
I'd been there since the Summer_it was Christmastime! I thought we were going to whip up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick coming down the chimney_as Flavia wasn't to sure about his existence! However,there was a distraction_Buckshaw had a film crew in the living room_long before "Downton Abbey" filming at Manor Houses_the Famed actress Phyllis Wyvern was present with cast in tow & all sorts of equipment_amid a raging BLIZZARD outside...then there's a MURDER! 
~But in her web she still delights_To weave the mirror's magic sights, For often thro' the silent nights A funeral, with plumes and lights  And music, came from Camelot: Or when the moon was overhead Came two young lovers lately wed; I am half sick of shadows,' said The Lady of Shalott~....Alfred Tennyson                                                              

                             Merry Christmas! 
& Happy New Year...I'm still at Buckshaw Manor_time for another mystery!

 This is gonna be spooky.Now Flavia maybe accustomed to digging around in Crypts of 500-year old Saint's or otherwise_but not me!The English Hamlet of Bishop Lacey is preparing to open the tomb of its patron saint...there's precious jewels in there! What Flavia's dig finds will halt the proceeding in their tracks_the body of the Church Organist,Mr.Collicutt. 

 The Graveyard Poet_Thomas Parnell _wrote this little ditty in 1721 called "A Night-Piece on Death"...excerpt_

      Now from yon black and fun'ral Yew,
That bathes the Charnel House with Dew,
Methinks I hear a Voice begin;
(Ye Ravens, cease your croaking Din,
Ye tolling Clocks, no Time resound
O'er the long Lake and midnight Ground)
It sends a Peal of hollow Groans,
 Thus, "Speaking From Among the Bones" 
***The "Graveyard Poets", also termed “Churchyard Poets” or "the Boneyard Boys” were a number of pre-Romantic English poets of the 18th century characterised by their gloomy meditations on mortality, 'skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worms elicited by the presence of the graveyard. 
 I started to pack my Gladstone_it was time to part from my little friend.On that bright Spring morning of 1951, flowers peeking out,crispness in the air_when Flavia gets the NEWS! Her long lost mother "Harriet" remains will arrive at the railway station.As her family gathered_she gives me a look of sadness and whispers ..."Stay,Please". What's the harm a couple more days with a bright,aspiring Chemist,Amateur Detective, 
  precocious little Hostess with the Most-est....Right? 

As we wait for the train carrying the remains_a tall stranger whispers a cryptic message in Flavia's ear...moments later..he's DEAD!Who was this man ...what did he know? Back home at Buckshaw, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to work fast,finding reels of films stashed away in the attic...she begans to unravel the Secrets of The De Luces' Clan including a visitor in the film...none other than Winston Churchill. BUT...the creme de la creme was the side work in the Chemist Lab....a potion that MIGHT JUST raise her Mother from the DEAD! This is gonna be good..

~The Marble Tombs that rise on high,Whose Dead in vaulted Arches lye...~ Thomas Parnell   

     And in the end..Flavia solves the mystery!

I bid my friend and her family Goodbye! It was an AWESOME 
journey_I learned so much as there was always a favorite book or classical music piece referenced throughout the journey in the book....I have a list now to followup on! 

But the time has come to "Board the Train" and head deeper into the English Countryside around the 1800's! Headed to Kensington,England for a visit with G.K.  Chesterton...all 800 pages....

No comments: