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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Toffee-fuelled delirium

A guest post today by Jamie. After Franklin's recent wedding (see last post) we wound up with glasses of toffee vodka (don't ask) at 2am listening to my wife Roz read letters to the Royal Mythological Society on her new Kindle. (On waking later that day, I discovered to my horror that, despite the confectionary taste, toffee vodka actually is rather alcoholic. An easy mistake to make, I'm sure you'll agree.)

Despite remembering little of the evening's events, Jamie must have been entertained by the badinage of Clattercut and Bromfield as he had a crack at writing his own Mirabilian correspondence. The only snag is, he neglected to give the letter-writer any advice, as is usually the case; for example here and here. So - the floor is open. Over to you.

I am the curator of the Uttersnope Museum in Hartington Nether Quarter, Derbyshire. As you know, the Museum is dedicated to the works of that great 19th century Romantic artist, Obadiah Uttersnope.

Last week, I was working on cleaning up one of Uttersnopes pieces from his Gothic period, a large canvas entitled The Wanderer Amidst the Tombs. This dark and brooding work depicts a young mourner, rain-drenched, pale faced and grief stricken, wandering a wet and muddy cemetery of fog-shrouded tombs and ornate family crypts. Overhead storm clouds darken the sky. I left the work in my office overnight - the next morning I came to find a trail of muddy wet footprints leading from the outer door of my office to the painting, oddly formed, as if someone had walked backwards through the door toward the canvas and then seemingly disappeared. And this when we have had a dry period, without a drop of rain, for two weeks or more.

Also, I could have sworn that the painting had never before shown such a look of ghastly terror on the face of the young wanderer, and nor had it depicted one of the tombstones broken and cast aside, with the grave upon which it rested open to the rain-swept sky. How could I have missed that, after some ten years as curator? I must have viewed this painting a hundred times or more!

Yours in perplexity,
Sir Artorious Featherswill,
Curator, Uttersnope Museum.

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