Weather Worn – Day XVII – NaPoWriMo 2014

Heavenly downpour
On sinners and saints alike
It falls torrential

Drenching all souls below
In it’s cleansing shower
Till not one stands clean

It pours down heavy
Breaking through the stormy clouds
Upon the dry ground

The winds blowing strong
Rending roots and beams from earth
Tearing lives and limbs

Cooling the dry earth
Making each who stands witness
Tremble with great awe

Great thunder comes with
Sending shocks through the timid
Making them run, hide

This is the power
The wrath of Mother Nature
Or is it her love?

None shall ever know
And none shall ever tame her
Though many may try

She is mystery
She is unpredictable
She is everything

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High and Low – Day XVI – NaPoWriMo 2014

In a portrait in negative space
Amidst an image hidden in nothing
Behind the veil where eyes do not venture
And perception ends it’s reign

Past human understanding
Beyond history and time
Before all that was
And after all that shall be

Never known
Never to be heard or seen or felt
That’s where
I think my bloody keys are

The House on Baker Street

Sleuthing and mystery fans the world over know the man who lives at the very famous 221B Baker Street. Just around the corner from the tube station is the home of the world’s first ever “consulting detective”, created by the legendary Arthur Conan Doyle. But the creation has since far surpassed the creator. I wonder how the great author would feel about his fictional detective becoming far more renowned than even himself. In a way I suppose it is the greatest joy an author could ever feel – to see his brainchild climb such unimaginable heights. But anyway, I digress.

For fans of the illustrious Mr. Holmes, a quick visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum is a delightful little treat. The house is prepped with knick-knacks and various bits and bobs, including trophies from Holmes’ various adventures. Sitting in the detective’s living room one can just see oneself with his faithful comrade Watson over a cup if tea discussing one’s next great puzzle.

While the quaint house is definitely worth a visit, it isn’t actually the real 221B Baker Street. This is because until 1970 the house, made famous by its brilliant resident, didn’t actually exist. At the time the stories were published Baker Street didn’t actually go up to 221. And when it was extended, the premises belonged to the Abbey National Building Society, who had to employ a person full-time just to respond to all the mail they received for Sherlock Holmes. 221B didn’t come to formally exist until 27 March 1970.

Anyway, that’s my little bit of trivia for you regarding Holmes and his home (ha!), drop down for a visit to discover more!

I’ll leave you with this interesting little thought – one of Holmes’ most famous quotes (which is a derivative of Occam’s Razor) goes as follows: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Well, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Spock (played by the impeccable Leonard Nimoy) says, “An ancestor of mine said that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” So, and this seems hardly a stretch to believe, Spock is supposedly the descendant of Sherlock Holmes! (This little tidbit is made even more delicious by the fact that Nimoy himself played Sherlock in two separate productions!)

NaPoWriMo – Day IX – Les Femmes Sont Le Mystere

Like most stories of betrayal and pain
Ours starts with a beautiful dame
She walked through the front door one day
And life was never the same

She was in trouble, aren’t they always
She had  a mystery for me to unravel
She had a fella needed pinning down
So I went and hit the gravel

In the end there was no fella
Least not one I ever met
And some how in helping her out
I got myself caught in her net

Dames is a beautiful thing they say
They’ll play you like a fiddle
They is an agonizing enigma
Wrapped in a pretty little riddle

Shoulda kept my nose out of it
Should’ve let her walk right off
But something about her innocent smile
Made me turn soft

Yeah I fell real hard
And she took me to bed
Man was I a fool
Must’ve been outta my head

Next morning I woke
Not a sign of hide or hair
She disappeared like a phantom
In the cold night air

Never found out what she wanted
Why she ever knocked on my door
But I’m still hoping
She’ll come knocking once more

What Are The 39 Steps?

Based on the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock (which in turn was adapted from a novel by John Buchan) The 39 Steps, playing at the Criterion Theatre, is just simply brilliant, both conceptually and in its execution.

The entire cast comprises of only 4 people playing scores of roles. It is genuinely baffling to see them move with such lightning speed and never once miss a beat. Using fast costume changes and excellent comic timing the players keep the stage in constant movement, giving the play a quick pace that is enjoyable and at the same time creates a sense of action and drama. The script is genuinely witty and it doesn’t have to stretch very far to get a laugh. The combination of comic timing and straight-faced humor had me in fits for most of the 100 minutes of run time. But even though the plot revolves around murder, espionage and mystery, that doesn’t prevent the players from breaking the fourth wall once in a while and including the audience on the joke – a technique that if used minimally and subtlety can be good for quite a few roars.

The most remarkable thing about the play (apart from the 4 player cast) is the amount they manage to do with as little as they use. There are no set changes to speak of. Each new scene is set with the use of props, which there aren’t that many of. Brilliantly, the actors themselves do the work of generating most of the “special effects” – no wind machines, just sound effects and actors flapping their jackets; no elaborate props, just four chairs and a steering wheel to simulate a car – at times it almost feels like the plays we used to put up in college, with little or no budget. The difference of course is they have an amazing way of playing along with the joke, which makes it all the more easier to appreciate the scene and laugh along.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Hitchcock references, or shall I say homages. Some are quite evident, for example when someone looks straight at you and says “Vertigo!” but others are possibly a little more subtle. Keep and eye and an ear out for them when you go see the show.

And you simply must go see it. To quote the official site “Book Now and avoid incredible disappointment” The 39 Steps

An amusing story to close with – The friend who I went to the show with got herself some ice-cream in the interval, as she always does. The only flavor they had was “Hazelnut and Caramel”, which didn’t sound too appealing to her, but she was coaxed into trying it. After trying it myself I turned to her and said, “that just tastes like Butterscotch”, to which she responded, “Oh my god you’re right. It does… Maybe they don’t have Butterscotch in England, maybe Hazelnut and Caramel IS Butterscotch”. I was so amused I just had to share this brilliant observation!