Fandom Friday # 13 ~ September 29th, 2012

Ohhh yes.  It’s THAT time of the week again.  Time for >*queue flashing lights, confetti, and booming voice*< FANDOM FRIDAY!

1.) Seen enough ‘Gangnam Style’ re-make macros and videos?  Are they starting to turn your stomach yet?  Yes?  Well, I bet you’ve not seen THIS one!  It’s only a small one and I promise it won’t bite….much

And now you’ve got it stuck in your head too.  You’re welcome!

2.)  We here at Stormy Petrels looooooves us some Kate Beaton and we’re particularly fond of her ‘Case of the Two Watsons’.   It should therefore come as no surprise at all that HamishMD and I were rather ecstatic to cross paths with THIS – ‘Two Watsons’ ANIMATED!

~ JAM! ~

3.)  I can’t even begin to say where this image originally came from, but does it really matter?

That’s Jeremy Brett talking to some adorable neighborhood children…portraying Sherlock Holmes…portraying a horse groom for the ‘Granada’ filming of Scandal in Bohemia.  Just one more reason why I deeply adore and admire this man.

4.)  Someday….SOMEDAY….When you LEAST expect it….

~ We DARE you! ~

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Of Earthquakes and Untold Tales ~ Conversation with Hugh Ashton – 8/31/2012

This is a new thing for us!  So new, in fact, that we’ve had to create a special category JUST for this!  What you are about to read, my friends, is our very first AUTHOR INTERVIEW!  Though, when I say ‘interview’ I really mean ‘delightfully meandering discussion’, which is to say don’t expect your classic ‘question – answer – question’ format.  You’ll never find it here.  It only took me ten whole days of squeezing this in late at night to get the full 2.5 hours of recorded dialog transcribed, smoothed out, and edited into a readable text.  That having been said, I’ve done my very best to reproduce the feel of the conversation for you.  I’ve naturally had to edit things out for the sake of length and flow (the full transcription was around ten single-spaced pages), but I’ve tried to leave what I thought were the most interesting bits in place.


~ ~ ~

I recently had the great pleasure of spending a couple of hours late one Friday evening chatting with Sherlockian author Hugh Ashton about the writing and publication of his recent string of canonical pastiche.  Hugh, who was born in the UK, but has been living in Kamakura, Japan since 1988, has recently been putting out a lively collection of truly delightful short stories (and also one full-length novel) focusing on the plethora of ‘unpublished cases’ referenced in the canon.  Hugh has chosen to write from the perspective of a third-party editor, publishing the narratives posthumously on Watson’s behalf after having had the good doctor’s infamous tin deed box shipped to him from London.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories and was very anxious to learn more about how Hugh has gone about writing them.

This was the first such interview I had ever tried to lead (sadly, HamishMD was not able to join me on that particular evening) and I was admittedly a little nervous over how it would go.  (Not to mention the awkward self-consciousness stirred up by the knowledge that I was recording my own voice and would soon have to slog my way through it again in order to write this post.)  But the conversation with Hugh started off marvelously with an intriguing discussion of the inner workings of Amazon, followed by a little detailing of life in earthquake-riddled Japan.  I have never actually lived in an area that gets earthquakes, and so I listened with rapt attention to Hugh’s description of how some buildings are built on top of a sort of “rubber foundation” made up of layers of rubber and steel designed to function like over-sized shock absorbers.  I, for one, had never stopped to consider that this was even possible.  It makes perfect sense, really, but my initial reaction was nonetheless to begin laughing out loud; mostly, I think, because I was visualizing a large building jiggling around like a freshly-set Jell-O pudding on a platter.  Not even remotely funny in reality, but hilarious in my head.  It was also very interesting for me to learn that it’s common in Japan for people to have an application on their phones to alert them of impending quakes (there’s even an app for that), which reminded me just a tiny bit of the radio broadcast-based ‘tracking method’ some Midwestern (US) towns use to follow tornadoes from house to house.  Equally fascinating (and charming) was the description of the clever in-home detection system Hugh and his wife employ – A set of nesting dolls set up in such a way that the relative ‘danger level’ of an earthquake can be determined by watching to see how many of the dolls fall over.  It’s funny how the simplest of solutions sometimes really are the most effective.

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Fandom Friday #12~ September 21st

MY GOD, INTERNET! We actually appear to be back on schedule! I must thank my partner in crime-solving, ssigerson, for picking up the Holmsian slack for me. I should be back in action from now on to engage in our usual tomfoolery, with some added shenanigans and, if you are lucky, some madcap hijinks.

Fall always gets me in the mood for Sherlockia. Something about the fog cloaking the lamp-posts, and the click-clack of a walking cane on the cobble-stones….it was on a fall evening some three years ago now where I found myself in the mood for a mystery, with a touch of Horror involved. I dove into The Speckled Band….and then sent a link to my friend. And, well…now we have a blog.  This particular autumn I am enjoying picking out all the Halloween items that would be perfect decor for a Sherlock Holmes themed party. Severed thumbs in boxes for favors, maybe some good “second stains”? We’d love to hear ideas….

1.) Fall is also a great time for costuming. And while ssigerson and I have made it a bit of a hobby, there are those that blow us away when it comes to creativity.

From Here. Unfortunately, we don’t know who this awesome individual is. Who ever you are, good sir, we salute you! We also covet your harpoon. And I mean that in the most literal sense.

2.) During my own Hiatus- one where I unfortunately worked and wore a hoop skirt a lot instead of traveling the world- I celebrated a milestone birthday. I received this as a celebratory gift from my dear ssigerson.

The Tee Image up close. Art by the fantastic Kate Sharron.

3.) While we at Stormy Petrels usually focus on the Rad Bromance that is Holmes and Watson, we mustn’t ever forget the whacky Foe Yay that is Holmes and his nemesis, Moriarty….

I’m pretty sure I should apologize for that one.

4.)  Everyone loves Holmes. And his tasty, tasty brains….


I must admit to having a similar read to the situation, especially in Granada version. Ssigerson was so kind as to document my reaction, circa June 2010. (And she also noted this was sent at 12:55 am)

“OMG Mortimer is a phrenologist!!!  And he wants to feel up Holmes’ head…He’s like ‘SIR, MAY I RUN MY HAND ALONG YOUR PRIOTAL FISSURE, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN’.  But Holmes is all like ‘DOCTOR PLEASE.  MY MAIDENLY VIRTUE’.  And Watson is in the background cackling.  Because he knows that Holmes will only allow HIM to run his hand over his priotal fissures.”


5.) While we squee and giggle, theorize and plot…..this, in the end, is why we love:

Found on thatcoldmask on tumbler.

❤ Vincent Starrett. One of the best of us, and certainly the most eloquent.

Ssigerson will have some meaty items for you quite soon! Don’t forget to check us out on Pinterest!

(Pssst…..HAPPY INTERNATIONAL HOBBIT DAY! Hug a Bilbo, everyone!)

Fandom Friday # 11 ~ September 14, 2012 – Another Double-Post!

JUNE!?  We’ve not posted anything new…since JUNE?!?  Oh for the love of…  *sigh*  Terribly sorry ’bout that!  Truly!  The ‘real world’ has been doing an infuriatingly marvelous job of ruining all of our blogging fun.  But we’re a stubborn little lot and are regrouping to mount a more concentrated counter-attack.  (We defiantly reject your reality and substitute our own.)  In the meantime, we’re going to engage in a little self-imposed penance tonight.  This means that YOU, dear reader, get another ‘two for the price of one’ post!

Here.  We.  Go.

1.)  Well, what have we got here?  I spy a gap just there; on your browser’s ‘bookmarks’ tab – Right between Facebook and Netflix.  An unsightly gap just large enough to house the following collection of six “Design Decoded” articles all on various Sherlockian themes:

     – ‘The Mystery of 221b Baker Street’

     –  ‘Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From’

     –  ‘Sherlock Holmes’ And the Tools of Deduction’

     –  ‘A Modern Sherlock Holmes and the Technology of Deduction’

     –  ‘The Architecture of Memory’

     –  ‘The Scene of Deduction: Drawing 221b Baker Street’

‘Was I wearing a wig just now’?  Most assuredly not.

2.)  While we’re on the topic of people disappearing without warning and then magically reappearing with exotic reading material in hand…

As an interesting aside (well, I think it’s interesting) – I had dinner at the Criterion one evening while in London this last May and there was a young woman there playing lovely, quiet covers of popular songs on a grand piano while also singing her own accompaniment.  This was the first song she played after I was given a seat.  It was beautiful.

3.)  Had enough yet?  No?  Here’s another one:

There, that oughta teach ya.

You can also go directly to the source for this by taking a look at Amy Kinley’s lovely Tumblr page It’s in the Subtext

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