Motte and Bailey are on a brief hiatus while the scriptwriter works on her thesis and prevaricates between eating bacon Frazzles and prawn cocktail Skips. Their adventure will be resolved soon, complete with latent sexual tension and horrific puns. In the meantime, a little light amusement in the form of fashion. All of the pictures in this post are of real garments currently for sale via a well-known online retailer. I won’t say who because I’m kind, and because contrary to the appearance of this terrifying selection, they do sell some Nice Shiny Things. Continue reading


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MOTTE AND BAILEY: part ye thirde

Previously on Motte and Bailey: Baron Camelotto-Rollovyr explains the mysterious death of the castle jester, with limited assistance from Robert de Milton Keynes, inventor of the Lolle-Catte. Motte and Bailey decide to go to the dungeon to examine the body.

Scene 4: The castle dungeon

Quickly! Everybody search this disproportionately small castle for clues!

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MOTTE AND BAILEY: part ye seconde

Previously on Motte and Bailey: The intrepid duo have arrived at Castle Fillion, home of Baron Camelotto-Rollovyr, in connection with a mysterious death.

Scene 2: At the castle gate

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I have given into peer pressure and drafted the pilot episode of my medieval detective show, Motte and Bailey. I expect it to be picked up by a major TV network approximately never. (Cookies for every pun/historical reference you spot).

It is a well-known historical fact that horses were much droopier in ye middle ages.


Sister Bonne Motte: A nun with an eye for crime and no tolerance for jesters. There’s wit underneath the wimple.

Sir Liqueur Bailey: Renegade knight. A bit too fond of mead but handy with a mace. Soft spot for Motte.

Baron Camelotto-Rollovyr: Luxuriantly-moustachio’d local lord and inhabitant of Castle Fillion. Has a gambling problem.

Geoffrey Saucer: Bard and crockery aficionado. Pops up at inappropriate moments to SIIIIING.

Robert de Milton Keynes: Scholar and local abbot. Loves scrolls and also kittens.

Goodwyfe Maud: Housekeeper of Castle Fillion. Generally jolly.

Clegge: Village idiot.

Lady Bechdelle Testte: Ward of the Baron. Attractive, I guess… but in, like, an obvious way. Pssh.

Gruesomely murdered corpse: Was once the castle jester.

Assorted peasants Continue reading


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In Praise of the Arts and Huge Manatees, or, Where’s My Job?

You can't be mad at me for leaving the blog for months, not if I bring you A UNICORN!!!

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

– Carl Sagan

Well, HELLO AGAIN, you fabulous unicorns of delight! I have been away from the bloggernet for a while. You might have assumed that I was gone for good, but in actual fact I was just busy slaying the Balrog in the depths of Moria. By ‘Balrog’, I mean ‘thesis’, and by ‘Moria’ I mean ‘the library’. Although both processes may result in an elderly man shouting ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS!’

Having recently staggered out of the university library after a long imprisonment*, pale and shaking, my thoughts turn once again to the Great Big Real Job In The Sky, to which all good PhD students hope to ascend if they are very good and commit no heinous sins, such as Chicago-style referencing, or citing Wikipedia as a source. Given that I’m in the final year of my socially and culturally invaluable doctorate (snort!), my thoughts have been turning to the GBRJ for some time now. And I conclude, after extensive empirical research, that there is no GBRJ and that all arts and humanities students are doomed – doomed! – to work either in call centres or, if we’re really really lucky, to become hipster baristas at the local artisanal-organic-cooperative coffee place. I’d like to offer a suggested revision to the well-known ‘Kids! Don’t do drugs!’ slogan: KIDS, DON’T DO HISTORY. OR LITERATURE, OR ART, OR PHILOSOPHY. If my predictions for the future are correct (based mostly upon Futurama and old episodes of The Jetsons), we’re all being replaced by robots and the Internet anyway. When machines inevitably rise up against humanity, you’ll find me making a valiant and glorious last stand in a library, fighting off hordes of malevolent Kindles while defiantly yelling out quotations from Pope and Balzac and Waugh. While Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice plays in the background. Continue reading

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Doin’ the Hustle With Darcy Bussell

Steppin’ and Funkin’ with Isadora Duncan

A very quick update before my proper post on Serious Bizniz, which I keep promising to finish and commensurately failing. Guess what? (“WHAT?”) I’m starting ballet classes! Caveat: Beginner Adult ballet classes. I’m unlikely to rival Moira Shearer any time soon, even if we did share a birthday (Wikipedia is your friend here). But it’s very exciting, not only because I might finally overcome my epic lack of poise and balance, but also because I recently sustained a bit of a back injury – apparently sneezing will make you pull a muscle! Who knew? Having had to go to A&E because of the pain, and not even getting the proper X-Ray and wheelchair treatment (outrage!), I’ve spent a miserable couple of weeks having to be hauled out of chairs and waited upon by long-suffering friends. So being able to go to ballet is a) a sign that I’m almost better, and b) a possible means of gently stretching and healing the injured muscles. In the spirit of my excitement, I present you with a doodle that imagines the likely outcome of my first class (click to enlarge)…

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On The Tellybox…

I recently started drafting a rather doleful piece about residual guilt and being Brought Up Catholic. However, I’m in an insufficiently gloomy/self-indulgent mood to finish it and post it at the moment, so that’s postponed for now, and the Vatican are just going to have to wait a little longer for my scathing critique. They’ve waited for Jesus to come back for about 2000 years, so I figure they can hold out another week or two for my blog. Although, maybe not. Maybe the Pope sits there in front of his laptop, constantly refreshing WordPress and occasionally updating his Tumblr (‘FuckYeahRedShoes’). Anyway. Instead, I thought I’d treat – yes, treat! – you – yes, you! – to a quick nostalgic run-down of late 1990s/early 2000s TV (And Why It Was Awesome)…

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