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Watson Cam
Dr Watson reviews his tab at the Hound and Ferret

Dr Watson reviews his tab at the Hound and Ferret

Posts Tagged ‘Blog of Dr Watson’

Still Life – A Novel in One Position

I’ve been considering embarking on a novel based on a peculiar incident in the Affair of the Crimson Goop (not to be confused with the Adventure of the Puce Vomit). ¬†It happened in Covent Garden market where I was chasing the man believed to be behind the whole scandal – the Russian chemist, Dmitri Olevchenko. ¬†It was all such a blur. ¬†I thought I had him when I cornered him next to a fowl stall presided over by¬†a small woman. (Or possibly a small stall presided over by a foul woman, the details are hazy). It was then that he produced a syringe from his jerkin and plunged it into my left buttock. ¬†There was an immediate¬†sense of acute numbness and I was instantly frozen in place, my legs still in a running position and my face cast in a mixture of pain and pleasant surprise.

It was then that he produced a syringe from his jerkin and plunged it into my left buttock.

The effect lasted for what I thought was just a few seconds but in reality turned out to be three days. ¬†A large crowd had gathered and applauded as I finally collapsed on the ground. ¬†Oh, the indignity! However¬†my ego was soothed somewhat by the sheer number of coins being placed into my hat as a sign of appreciation.¬†Such bizarre entertainment – thankfully I don’t think it will ever catch on.

enigmatic, mysterious, unknown man

A rare picture of chemist and villain, Dmitri Olevchenko – this turned out to be a pseudonym but his real name remains a mystery. Oh wait..


Stage Fright or Why I’m Barred from Live Events

I once caused a concert to be abandoned following a huge fracas at St. James’ Hall. ¬†I had hurled myself on top of musical maestro Dr Otto Neitzel after I’d heard a man at the interval saying that he “wanted to murder the pianist”. I went back the following night to offer a formal apology in front of the audience. ¬†It was very humbling but also an incredible thrill as I had always wanted to appear on the London stage.

I’d heard a man at the interval saying that he “wanted to murder the pianist”

However I have a suspicion that they were less keen on me taking the opportunity to play Little Pig Went to Market¬†on the spoons and I was disappointed not to receive an encore – or even get my coat and hat back. Nonetheless it hasn’t diminished my love of live music and I am still allowed to sample the array of exciting talent on display at St James’ even if this involves standing on Mrs Hudson’s shoulders¬†to peer in through the windows.

Show Off

Following a night out at Tchaikovsky’s new opera Queen of Spades it was back to Baker Street for drinks and my rendition of The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery


A Patient Audience

Upon the special request of Inspector Lestrade I went undercover as a surgeon¬†at Charing Cross Hospital in what later became known as the Mystery of the Diffident Nurse. ¬†So successful was my deception that one day¬†while searching for the gentleman’s toilet (undercover work always goes straight to my bladder) I opened a door and found myself¬†¬†in front of a large gallery of medical students who applauded most generously.

Upon the special request of Inspector Lestrade I took the identity of a surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital in what later became known as the Mystery of the Diffident Nurse.

I was most taken aback but not as much as when I was asked to perform an appendectomy on a man who was suddenly wheeled before me.  My General Practice had not prepared me for this moment Рmy only previous surgical experience being the removal of small moles.

Nonetheless I couldn’t disappoint my audience and dived in enthusiastically, confident I would pick it up as I went along. At the end of the case we all had a jolly good laugh about it and fifteen years on¬†I still occasionally lunch with my unwitting patient, although this is sometimes a bit strained since¬†he is now strictly limited to non-solids and can only lie out flat.

Skeleton Staff

Doctors from Charing Cross Hospital describe what will happen to me if they ever see me again


The Hound of the Baskervilles – the Cleft Tor Tour

This week I’ve been re-enacting one of Holmes’ most famous cases – The Hound of the Baskervilles – with my friends from Titchfield Festival Theatre.¬†The production¬†answers many of the questions you’ve all been asking such as:

Who is the mysterious Cecile Stapleton and why does she have a beard?

What is the difference between mist, fog and pipe smoke?

What causes a man to have beef cheeks?


What the hell is a cleft Tor?

Hound of the Baskervilles


My Great Railway Journeys No.3

1 – Stolen Moments – During the hot Summer of 1888 I fell asleep on the mainline route to Sussex and when I awoke I discovered my wife’s wedding ring had been stolen. ¬†I accused everyone on the train of the theft and made all passengers¬†turn ¬†out their pockets and lift their hats. ¬†It was then that I realised I wasn’t even travelling with my wife and indeed hadn’t been married to her for over five years, while the wedding ring was last seen floating down the Thames towards Staines. Everyone took the news very well, showing remarkable sympathy for my situation, and I have to say that the fifty mile walk back via the Sussex Downs really made me appreciate the beauty of nature – and the virtues of staying awake.

2 –¬†Fond Goodbyes –¬†I once waved off a client on the 5.15 from Paddington and was taken aback by their enthusiasm to keep on waving for the first half-mile of the journey, causing me to trot alongside and return the favour for fear of appearing rude. ¬†Unbeknown to me however the poor girl was actually being strangled by one of Moriarty’s men and she was never seen again. The whole¬†sorry affair¬†taught me an important lesson that day – I now send our clients to the train station in a cab.


The Staines Swimming Club formed this day in 1897 in an attempt to salvage my wife's wedding ring from the Thames.  The club is still going strong, unlike Mrs Watson number 3.

The Staines Swimming Club formed this day in 1883 in an attempt to salvage my wife’s wedding ring from the Thames. The club is still going strong and always on the lookout for strapping young men –¬†¬†much like Mrs Watson number 3.




My Great Railway Journeys No.1

1-¬†The Bruce Forsyth Plans –¬†Holmes once tasked me with transporting a set of highly-sensitive documents to a secret location which, on inspecting my tickets, turned out to be East Croydon. I took every precaution, travelling under the pseudonym, Barry Peaseman, and keeping my service revolver tucked into my sock. Unfortunately I was so intent on practising the phrase “my name is Barry Peaseman” that I left my doctor’s case containing the plans (and a ham sandwich) on the platform as the train departed. Holmes never again trusted me with such a mission despite the contents of the case being safely recovered with only minor omissions ‚Äď notably the lack of ham in my sandwich.

2 –¬†The Art of Misdirection – Inspired by one of Holmes’ monographs, I used several of his persuasive techniques to travel all the way to Switzerland using just a pair of opera tickets. Sadly, the reverse was not to prove successful and I was forcibly ejected from La Boheme for attempting entry with a single to Southend.

The undercover surveillance of Professor Moriarty is compromised as we are forced to sit next to him on the Rail Replacement Bus Service at Penge.

The undercover surveillance of Professor Moriarty is compromised as we are forced to sit next to him on the Rail Replacement Bus Service at Penge.





Secrets of Belgium (or ‘How I lost my stethoscope’)

Watson - half man, half moustache - all doctorI am not speaking to Mrs Hudson.¬† In fact I haven’t uttered a word to her for four days. I can assure you that this isn’t an act of pure childishness [yes it is – Mrs H]¬†but rather an act of justified revenge.

On Saturday night we were enjoying our regular game of bridge along with some very regular top-ups of port when I made an informed remark about the situation in Belgium. At this point Mrs Hudson burst into a paroxysm of laughter and wheezing (which reminded me too readily of the Garroted Parson Adventure.)  I immediately brought her to her senses by throwing the remainder of her port in her face (mine was just out of reach) and asked her what was so funny.

It turns out that ‘We’ll always have Belgium’ was some sort of code for hilarity between Holmes and Mrs Hudson.¬† When I enquired more she began asking me about an old case – the Adventure of the Five Bristles.¬† Of course this was one of my favourites as I played a leading role in tracking down a rare broom in a two-week escapade across Europe. Mrs Hudson could no longer contain herself.¬† Picking the glass out of her face she claimed that there was never any such case and that Holmes had sent me away on a fool‚Äôs errand so he could work on one of his experiments in peace.

I was about to protest and dismiss the idea as a prank when I recalled returning to Baker Street after the event to discover the aftermath of an explosion and the smell of pickles.

Miss Dempsey Makepeace and her maid, Phyllis, moments before their treasured broom was stolen. The handle was recovered two years later. Unlike poor Phyllis who still weeps at the sight of dust.

Miss Dempsey Makepeace and her maid, Phyllis, moments before their treasured broom was stolen. The handle was recovered two years later. Unlike poor Phyllis who still weeps at the sight of dust.

I was suddenly enraged ‚Äď for I remembered that the incident¬†had claimed a rather fetching dressing gown with silk tassels – and in a temper I kicked our bridge game fully across the room.¬† This seemed to entertain Mrs Hudson further so I began kicking all manner of inanimate objects in a blind fury.¬† Unfortunately one of them was my half-open medical case and I watched in horror as my stethoscope flew out of the open window and landed on top of a brougham cab heading for Covent Garden.¬† I haven’t the mind or heart to advertise its loss and I have taken to miming it ever since in my surgeries in the hope that nobody notices.

Alas, what tangled webs we weave, to be deceived by those so close.  Now here’s someone knocking at the door.  I hope it’s Mrs H with a groveling apology but I suspect it might be a flower-girl wishing to sell my stethoscope back to me!!

Footnote Рit has caused me to question some disturbing elements of the old Five Bristles case Рnotably, who was the mysterious Dr Llewellyn, are their really three more bristles still unaccounted for Рand what if the man in the old theatre was not a hired assassin but the blind piano tuner he claimed to be?!  And more importantly, did anyone see me shoot him in the foot?


My Top 5 Extraordinarily Beautiful Women – No.2

No list of extraordinarily beautiful women would be complete without the enchanting Audrey Delacroix, known the world over as the Darling of the Trapeze (although there is an on-going trade mark challenge from Britain’s very own Marge Drooping.) Everywhere she went she brought with her that enigmatic Parisian smile, an air of understated class, and a 120-strong caravan of circus performers.

I first glimpsed her from afar when I volunteered to be a human plank in a routine involving some gymnasts and a fire-eater.

I was lying face up on the floor of the arena and there she was ‚Äď high in the awnings of the tent, waiting to fly majestically across the arena. I sat up and gazed at her enchanting visage and at that moment I knew two things ‚Äď one, that she must be mine, and two, that a gymnast was on fire next to me.

Audrey Delacroix - Darling of the Trapeze

Audrey Delacroix relaxes at home

I spoke with her on a number of occasions, using the excuse that Holmes was keen to interview her for a line of enquiry but after several visits to Baker Street with just me for company (dressed in my army uniform) she became suspicious ‚Äď as did her strongman boyfriend, Serge DuPont, who professed a keen interest in the medical profession and talked with me at length about the implications of falling onto a railway line.

One morning I finally resolved to visit her at the circus and pour out my feelings but on arrival at the site the entire caravan had gone ‚Äď and with it my hopes of capturing the extraordinarily beautiful Audrey Delacroix.

[As a footnote some readers will remember the later arrest of Serge DuPont over unpaid licence fees for his barbells following an anonymous tip-off.]


Decorating Baker Street – Painting my Study in Scarlet

Since Holmes and I parted ways Mrs Hudson tells me that I am far too fond of wallowing in the past [and my aprons! РMrs H]. As a result I have decided to spruce up the 221B apartments with a spot of decorating.  For starters I have filled in the bullet holes by packing them with more bullets and covering with Mrs H’s lemon curd.  Secondly, I have replaced the rug that was getting very worn at the centre due to clients either fainting, resisting arrest or dying  (In the case of Colonel Bagshaw he managed all three although I forget in which order) and I have now turned my attention to a spot of architectural design.

I created a lovely archway which I thought would open up the space but it is a little smaller than I intended and failed to attach it to anything useful like the ceiling so we spend a lot of time walking around it and it has become impossible to see visitors if they are sat in the other armchair.  I have also chosen to remove a window by falling through it trying to navigate the accursed archway Рalthough fortunately the pavement slowed my descent considerably. Oh well, it looks like Anstruther will have to look after my practice for a while unless the surgeon can re-set my arm-bones in a permanent prescription-writing position.

Fraser Armitage - a study in nonchalence 1894 (Nonchalence became what we now know as Prague in 1904)

Dr Watson’s friend and fellow decorating enthusiast, Mr Fraser Armitage. Following a smoking accident he had his left-leg permanently set to a nonchalant position and meant he had to carry this plinth with him at all times.



The Truth is Out There (But I’d rather Stay In)

Some might say I have underplayed my involvement in many of Holmes’s cases for artistic and dramatic purposes. They would be wrong.

Although it is true that I may have diminished my role in such tales as The Trolley of Fear (where I appear in print only briefly to request a spare pair of wellingtons) there are many occasions where in hindsight I may have overstated my contribution and I would like to put the record straight.

On re-reading my narrative for The Voluptuous Client I realise I may have exaggerated my part in the spectacular brawl at the Micklegate Public House.¬†I cringe now when I read that I ‘flung myself into the fray with wild abandon to protect Holmes from being overcome’ when in truth I was partly responsible for the affray by claiming I had been cheated out of the meat raffle.

I also regret my over-egging of the undercover role I had during the Curious Case of the Three Mables where I report that ‘I was a model of grim persistence, hiding in the stables for several weeks as part of an elaborate stake-out’.¬†I’m ashamed to say that the whole case only took 48 hours to tie up but I’d formed a sentimental attachment to a pony called Princess Beatrice (my name for her) and I refused to leave for a further ten days while I combed her mane and fed her a secret stash of Mrs Hudson’s cooking apples.

Princess Beatrice - lust for life

Princess Beatrice – lust for life

Alas, one day I went to the stable to find Beatrice was gone, whereupon I sank into a black despair which lasted for the whole of 1896 [and without any apple pie, serves him right – Mrs H].

Ah, such painful memories. And now you Holmes have deserted me too. Perhaps you will one day reappear just like Princess Beatrice. Although unlikely that you too will be running in the 3.30 at Kempton.