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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 ‘pipe’

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)



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.


My Top 5 Favourite Pipes – No.1

No.1  - The Pygmy BlowpipeNo.1 – The Pygmy Blowpipe

While not technically intended for smoking I nonetheless adapted this beauty following the Case of the Slightly-Wonky Dart.  Having confiscated the weapon from a guilty pygmy I took it upon myself to craft it into a very fine instrument to take my higher-grade shag.  Unfortunately, not all of the venom used for its poisonous dart had been completely wiped from the wood and I did spend the whole of January in a feverish state and under the impression that I was a a monkfish.

Luckily, Holmes had concocted an antidote as I had refused to move from the bath in those four weeks and had insisted that sardines be dropped in to the water at regular intervals.  The pipe now takes pride of place above the mantlepiece as a constant reminder of the fragility of life and also of my inability to work with woodcrafts.


My Top 5 Favourite Pipes – No.2

No.2 РLe Butz-Choquin PuffeNo.2 - Le Butz-Choquin Puffe

Not actually sure if this is meant to be a pipe but had a jolly good time smoking it on a trip to Switzerland with Holmes back in the early 90s. ¬†Heady times – in fact I became so obsessed with the apparatus that I insisted on carrying it with me for all of our cases during the year of ¬†’92. ¬†On one particular stake-out I almost gave the game away by setting up the apparatus for a quick puff and accidentally burning down the barn in which we were hiding. ¬†Holmes was very understanding but seemed less concerned when it mysteriously combusted during one of his experiments later that day.


My Top 5 Favourite Pipes – No.3

No.3 - The Cadogan Esquire P BowlNo.3  РThe Cadogan Esquire P Bowl

Handles beautifully with a smooth walnut finish and just a hint of ocelot along the stem. ¬†A trusty friend and a true gentleman’s accessory. ¬† Once killed a man with it in Woking.



My Top 5 Favourite Pipes – No.5

Welcome back dear readers, I trust you threw yourselves into the festivities with gusto and aplomb. ¬†Alas, I can honestly say that Christmas has lost some of its edge since Holmes’ departure. ¬†How I long for the days of finding a blue carbuncle in a goose’s gizzard or feeling the fresh crunch of snow underfoot as I set off to retrieve Holmes from his annual yuletide bender.

To relieve some of the boredom I have been compiling a list of my favourite pipes.  Though too numerous to catalogue all of them here [324 to be precise  Рwhere will they all go! Mrs H.] I have chosen my top 5 to lay before you in all their tobacco-stained glory.


No.5 - The Charatan Gentleman's BezierNo.5 – The Charatan Gentleman’s Bezier

This is more of a sentimental offering, having been the exact pipe which fell out of my mouth when I discovered that Holmes had not perished at the Reichenbach Falls.  There is still a perfectly bowl-shaped burn mark in the rug which every year I ring with tinsel before scattering with shag.