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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 ‘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..

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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

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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

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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?

and…

What the hell is a cleft Tor?

Hound of the Baskervilles

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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.

 

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Mrs Hudson offers an Analysis

Psychoanalysis appears to be all the rage these days (my butcher¬†uses his cheese counter¬†to double as a couch) so I thought I’d save the good doctor some pennies and offer my own analysis of his recurring nightmare.

 

Recently I have been having a recurrent dream where I am on the Centre Court of the All England Club at Wimbledon. 

This may be linked to the night that you went for a quiet drink with your nephew and ended up breaking into the Club to have a rally with some mutton pies.  Lestrade tells me that when you were apprehended you claimed that you were the President of the Association.  When that didn’t wash you decided to lie on the grass and pretend you were invisible.

 

 I look around at the spectators who appear to all be holding opera glasses until it dawns on me that they are all using periscopes and bear a passing resemblance to King Edward.

You once told Mr Holmes that you found opera oppressive although we always assumed that was because you were jilted by that awful woman playing Brunhilde.  [Actually I wasn’t jilted, I was assaulted, then married, then jilted РWatson]

 

Lost love - Brunhilde as played by Miss Connie Eckhart.  Miss Eckhart appears courtesy of a legal error.

Lost love – Brunhilde as played by Miss Connie Eckhart. Miss Eckhart appears courtesy of a legal oversight.

 

The periscopes reference may have something to do with the Bruce Partington plans affair Рthat web of international intrigue and espionage Рor it may be connected to your being caught peeking through the side of the bathing machines. [I keep telling you РI thought I’d left my gloves]. You have such a man-crush on King Edward and are forever quoting him to the boys in buttons.  I even saw you pretend to knight one of them with the gas lighter.

 

All England Tennis Club circa 1888 - Mr R J Pinkerton (top left) had a terrific forearm while Miss A Abrams (bottom centre) had an amazing forehead

All England Tennis Club circa 1888 – Mr R J Pinkerton (top left) had a terrific forearm while Miss A Abrams (bottom centre) had an amazing forehead

 

 I look back to the court and over at my opponent.  He is a tall, lean man, athletic without being overburdened with muscle and I’d imagine quite handsome although it is hard to tell as he wears a large bee-keeper’s hood over his head.

I have no idea on this one except to say you are very fond of honey.  And equally fond of unusual head furniture.  Do you remember that you spent all of 1879 wearing a pith helmet?  [I was in Afghanistan!]

 

There is something in his stance that triggers a memory ‚Äď a small nugget of recognition.¬† That walk, those arms, those hundreds of bees.¬† Of course it must be ‚Äď Holmes! I am about to wave and shout ‚ÄėAloa‚Äô when my opponent smashes a perfect ace down the Centre Line and in to my face, fracturing my nose.¬† This is most shocking, especially as we had agreed to only serve underarm.

Hmmm I did once fracture your nose with a coal scuttle. Or was it a turnip?  Could it be related?

 

I wake instantly and reach for my bedside brandy.  What could this all mean?

It means you are an alcoholic. Love, Mrs H.

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Bath Time

I enjoyed a lovely day in Bath Spa recently where I was finally persuaded by Mrs Watson to take the waters. [A fine alternative to him taking the alcohol – Mrs H]

I was mid-paddle when the thought occurred to me I had been here once before with Holmes. Indeed many readers will recognise the case I later immortalised in print as the Adventure of the Bleached Cobbler.

Holmes was always non-committal about the artistic licence of my titles and showed it in this instance by instructing Mrs Hudson to braise and confit my favourite fountain pen and serve it to the Bath Rugby XI. Such happy memories – I wept for almost an hour at which point the bath attendants cordoned me off with a modesty screen and re-routed a public tour.

It should be said that they were also concerned my tobacco might be contaminating the waters. To wit I replied that bathing, tobacco and dignity were the holy trinity of a gentleman. I am not allowed back.

My Life in Bath

Dr Watson demonstrates the infamous bath-pipe combo. The original of this photograph can be found hanging in the National Gallery (first floor toilets)

 

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My New Year’s Resolutions 1914

It is traditional for one to use the festive season as a time of reflection and soul-searching and this year I have distilled my musings into a list of resolutions.

Not only is this a handy way for me to track my progress but it also prevents a repeat of last year’s epic museathon when my aspirations for 1913 were finally completed just ten minutes before I was singing auld lang’s syne to welcome 1914. Here they are more-or-less.

  • Less eating
  • More singing
  • Less port
  • More lemon
  • Less smoking *
  • More shooting
  • More running then
  • Less running
  • Less time spent creating amusing anecdotes in bed
  • More time spent at work
  • Less singing and shooting while eating

A happy new year to all of my readers, I wish you both all the best for the forthcoming year

W

Planking - Mrs H style

Mrs Hudson’s offering for Charades, Boxing Day 1913 – she has refused to move until we guess it.

* does not include essential case-related smoking or the smoking of evidence

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The Lost Diaries – The Bygraves Ritual

I was rummaging through an old tea chest in search of the emergency currant bun I’d stashed away when I came across a selection of loose papers. The pages contained a great many cases which I’d failed to write up in full – indeed some were just a few words scrawled on backs of envelopes [and one of my napkins which I was keeping for nice – Mrs H].

For instance I have absolutely no recollection of the circumstances behind The Veiled Old Codger or one which simply reads Holmes Encounters a Puffin. However I did manage to find an extended paragraph on the mysterious adventure of The Bygraves Ritual – I have included edited extracts for you here.

A telegram arrives from a Lord and Lady Birkbeck urging Holmes to come immediately to Bristol. Unfortunately Holmes is already in Bristol on another case and I resolve to telegram him immediately with the news. Sadly I get distracted by a large moth which terrorises me for several hours and by the time I remember the message Holmes has arrived back at Baker Street and resolves to tell me the whole story of his case over a five-pipe marathon. When I awake in the morning I finally remember the message when Holmes reads an article in the newspaper that both Birkbecks have died in mysterious circumstances involving a casserole dish and some lemon wedges. In shock I finally forward the telegram to Bristol forgetting that Holmes is sat with me in the living room.

The Telegram Lad - the future of communication (not actual size)

The Telegram Lad – the future of communication (not actual size)

Three days later I receive another telegram from a sinister group calling themselves the Bygraves clan who confess in full to having committed the murders. Unfortunately I manage to mix up my papers and use the confession to wrap up my emergency currant bun condemning the story forever to a sticky doughy grave. Oh, how our lives are dictated by the fates…

Case status: unsolved.

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My Top 5 Extraordinarily Beautiful Women – No.5

No. 5 Р Lady Drew Barrymore.

Such a sweet and delicate demeanour as though spring flowers would part before her.  A wispish smile and a coquettish laugh were like lavender blowing in the breeze and her eyes glistened like the pearls caressing her fragile porcelain neck.

I gleaned all of this in the precious few seconds before she knocked me unconscious with a half-marrow. Turns out she was the infamous Basher of Bromley – I only survived a fatal blow by having thoughtlessly left my hat on when entering the house. [sighs] I can honestly say that I have yet to be hospitalised by a woman more beautiful.

The Basher of Bromley

Lady Drew Barrymore – flogged my bonce with a half-marrow

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