Where Things Come From



Example No.1: How writing works.

I’ve just returned to writing proper (powered by the miracle of medication). I make no excuses for this. Fantasy world building is exhausting, and it was late.

Example No. 2: Observational Detective Work

Sitting opposite this theatrical ticket agency having coffee with a friend, something bothered me.

I’ve seen the poster enough times – I was sitting with someone who designed it. What was the white floating thing under the title? A flying bed? A ghost car? Neither of them are in the show. 

We sat for a while trying to puzzle it out until the answer literally presented itself to us. Two tourists stopped before the poster and one encouraged the other to have their photograph taken. The  guy in the picture backed up to the poster while the girl taking the shot moved him left and right.

A few minutes later the exact same thing happened. Thing was, both couples were Chinese and both of the guys being photographed were wearing backpacks with two crossbars. The image had been made by the tourists themselves.

Proving you can get observational detail from just about anything.


16 comments on “Where Things Come From”

  1. Jo+W says:

    Well spotted,Chris,on the poster for soup or cauli,fridge,elastic,eggs,pea,halitosis. Not mine but straight from the wonderful Frank Muir on My Word. Thank you sir.

  2. Stu-I-Am says:

    I seem to recall my own ‘fantasy world building’ being aided and abetted by, shall we say, ‘medication.’

  3. Stu-I-Am says:

    H-m-m. Wonder if your observational acuity might be put to good use in identifying UFOs ? A highly anticipated, unclassified report from the US director of national intelligence expected to be released later this month, apparently finds no proof of extraterrestrial activity, but cannot provide a definitive explanation for scores of incidents in which strange objects have been spotted in the sky.

    The only “conclusion” the report comes to is that a vast majority of more than 120 incidents over the past two decades did not originate from any American military or other advanced US government technology. It does not rule out the possibility of hypersonic technology from either Russia or China however or, in the end, — alien spacecraft.

  4. Helen+Martin says:

    I made a rhubarb lemon pound cake the other day but it didn’t inspire me to anything literary at all.

  5. Brian says:

    Hey Admin, now that you are up and about again and focussing on your IT issues perhaps you could sort out an “observational detail” on your Twitter page. The banner image of Yuraku Concourse is reversed; as Julius Sumner Miller would say, why is it so?

  6. admin says:

    I flipped the image because the right way around would have interfered with the roundel. Observational detail applied.

  7. Andrew+Holme says:

    From the world of football( I know, I know) When Inverness Caledonian Thistle, then a lowly football club beat the mighty Celtic in a cup game many years ago, the brilliant headline ran as such, ‘ Super -Caley- Go -Ballistic- Celtic- Are- Atrocious’.

  8. Martin+Tolley says:

    Andrew, I was living in Scotland when the dream scoreline one Saturday was Forfar 4, East Fife 5

  9. Paul C says:

    An old joke on this theme is not very PC now but if an Indian hero ate very little and was frail and barefoot and suffered from bad breath then Gandhi was a super-fragile calloused mystic suffering halitosis.

    Sorry everyone……..

  10. Brooke says:

    I’m a travel writing fan …Freya Stark, Leigh Fermor, Morrison, Chatwin, Thoreau and Theroux, etc. You are among the best I’ve read; your descriptions of walks around London are little gems. Helen’s comment brings to mind Lincoln’s observation about Grant—for those of us who want to write, we need some of whatever you’ve been taking, ’cause the rhubarb lemon thing is just not working.

  11. Roger says:

    When were Inverness Caledonian Thistle anything but a lowly football club, Andrew+Holme?

  12. Peter+T says:

    Rhubamon would be the ancient Egyptian god of rhubarb forcing. Any who disturb his tomb are cursed to a diet of unsweetened rhubarb.

  13. Paul C says:

    Speaking of Ancient Egypt, the honey found in pots in Pharaonic tombs is untouched by time and perfectly edible
    after thousands of years. Archaeologists often eat it..

    My favourite book on Ancient Egypt is ‘The Keys of Egypt’ by L & R Adkins which describes the race to decipher hieroglyphics in the Napoleonic era. Fantastic book.

  14. Andrew+Holme says:

    Jean-Francois Champollion versus Thomas Young. My favourite ever intellectual battle.

  15. Helen+Martin says:

    I don’t know about “often eat”ing that ancient honey. Consuming artifacts is not normally recommended. I do remember something about wheat being found and that some kernels germinated when planted. Not sure about the accuracy of that, though.

  16. Ian Luck says:

    In a previous post, you mention the fragrance charmingly titled ‘Violence’, and give a run down on it’s smell.
    I think a description of any chin whiff so named, should have been left to the Bard Of Woking, Paul Weller:
    “It smells of pubs, and Wormwood Scrubs.”

Comments are closed.