Professor Humperdink III

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30.12.07

Short lecture

While teaching a bat to stir apple crumble
Professor Humperdink started to mumble.
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“I don’t encourage thought so I'll keep my lecture short,
Remember, everyone has been busy,
By the end of December, the readers have been round the Sun,
It’s a long way to spin,
It’s a long way they've spun. Frankly, I’m amazed.
However, this continuous rotation provides an explanation,
As to why they’re so dizzy and dazed,
(And, possibly, feel the need to fart).
Also, in this orbiting around,
They may have simply come unwound,
But that is just conjecture on my part.”

Trains and telescopes


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Corona of the sun during the eclipse: Nebula in Lyra: Spiral nebula in Canes Venatici: Crab nebula in Taurus: Saturn: Mars: Comet: Fluffy thing: Jupiter: Solar prominences: Moon.
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Owing to overindulgence over the festive season, we are as sick as two twisted lamas and obesely behind schedule. Furthermore, as Voinovich and his band of pirates and renegades, who want their gold back, are just a few miles behind us, we travel on, as fast as we possibly can.
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Aunt Humperdink, saying that Juan’s telescope was too small, gave him a larger telescope as a Christmas present. We use aunt Humperdink’s private locomotives, and Juan’s ship, to get back to the mainland, quickly loading the telescope, we leave by balloon. We spend the time drinking Juan’s ‘Festive Special’ batch of whisky, and using the new telescope, I sketch the night sky. Fortunately, the wind has picked up and we hope to arrive in time for the New Year celebrations.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary









28.12.07

Trains and toys

1. Fairlie type South African Government Railways. 2. “Locomotion No. 1,” the first passenger locomotive in England, Stockton & Darlington Railway, September 27th, 1825. 3. Mountain type. Paris, Lyons & Mediterranean Railways, France. 4. “Flying Scotsman,” London & North-Eastern Railway. 5. The first passenger locomotive in the U.S.A., Mohawk & Hudson Railroad, September 24th, 1831. 6. Steam turbine locomotive, Swiss Federal Railways. 7. “Broadway Limited” Express, Pennsylvania Railroad, U.S.A.
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1. Egypt, A.D. 200. 2. Ancient Greek “Boy on goose.” 3. Roman Egypt, about A.D. 200. 4. Cyprus “duck” 400 B.C. 5. Archaic clay dog. 6. English wooden doll, about 1850. 7. Ancient Greek doll. 8. Egyptian, 18th dynasty. 9. Cyprian clay doll 500 B.C. 10. Egyptian wooden doll, about thirteenth century. 11-12 English wooden dolls, sixteenth century. 13. Rocking horse, seventeenth century. 14-19. English penny toys, late nineteenth century.
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Ineffably behind schedule and, because of a series of crashes, most of my available aeroplanes being out of action, we are forced to travel by train. To pass the time I sketch some of the toys that I gave to my young nieces and nephews for Christmas.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

26.12.07

Pip


Pip
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Abusively behind schedule, we are further delayed by Juan insisting on visiting Pip, a meadow-pipit that made her nest in Juan’s brother’s beard, when he was working undercover as a hermit. Pip is very well but, like so many of the younger generation, her son is lazy and taking advantage of his parents. Juan tells Pip it’s time to throw the boy out, this is always good idea and we travel on, happy in the knowledge that Pip will heed Juan’s excellent advice and reclaim her territory.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

25.12.07

Harry


Harry
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Harry, irritated
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Woke up Harry, to wish him a happy Christmas. He doesn’t appreciate this at all and, ill natured, prickly and irritated, he curls up and goes back to sleep.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

24.12.07

Hat harvest


Oehmichen-Peugeot helicopter No. 2
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1. Rainbow. 2. Zodiacal light. 3. Sunspot.
4. Eclipse of the sun. 5. Lightning.
6. Spectre of the Brocken. 7. Waterspout.
8. Aurora borealis. 9. Mirage.
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Harvest
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Offensively behind schedule, we are further delayed as my Peugeot travels exasperatingly slowly. We spend the time drinking the latest batch of Juan’s whisky, and I sketch some natural phenomena, or, possibly, the results of Juan’s whisky. We land in aunt Humperdink’s hat farm just in time to help with the harvest.
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Professor Humperdink's Diary

23.12.07

Birds and stolen words


Buzz and Bzz, with friends
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1. Chinese: tea. 2. Mexican: cocoa. 3. Dutch: toy.
4. Spanish: rapier 5. Hebrew: jug. 6. North American Indian: moccasin.
7. Persian: Orange. 8. Hindustani: bangle. 9. Portuguese: Apricot.
10. Australian: boomerang. 11. Syrian: damask. 12. Norse: knife.
13. Egyptian: papyrus. 14. Latin: jovial (Jove). 15. French: castle.
16. Turkish: turquoise. 17. Greek: Bible. 18. Saxon: sword.
19. West African (?): canary.
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His Majesty King Bongo Mbo of Bali
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1. Mary. 2. Skylark. 3. Tree pipit. 4. Nightingale.
5. Goldfinch. 6. Robin. 7. Song thrush. 8. Sedge-warbler.
9. Skylark. 10. Blackbird.
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Ghoulishly behind schedule we are, again, delayed, as we have to spend some time learning English with two orphans, Buzz and Bzz. Tragically, their parents were abducted whilst strolling on Clapham Common and bees, who fed them honey over the summer, temporarily adopted the children. During the first autumn and winter, whilst the bees were asleep, a squirrel family, who fed them nuts and berries, fostered the children. With the spring, the toddlers were able to gather left over sandwiches for themselves, discarded in the rubbish bins provided on the Common. During the summer months, there were rich pickings for the children, which included the remains of barbeques and the edible debris left behind by the thousands of people attending the summer fair and music festivals. The children were eventually found, stealing hot chestnuts, from a stall during the September fête and, presently, are being rehabilitated into the ways of proper children. Buzz still has a tendency to scamper and climb trees rather than learn English, and for this, I cannot blame him. Bzz will often buzz and squeak, but this is perfectly normal in girls of her age, whatever their parentage.
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Juan quickly explains that English is Latin slang, which consists of words stolen from other languages. Buzz, pointing at Mary, Juan’s canary, said that he had read that ’canary’ was an example, and the word ‘canary’ is West African. Bzz said that she had read that the canary came from the Canary Islands. There was some disagreement and Bzz started to swarm, fortunately my old friend, King Bongo Mbo of Bali, north west Nigeria, called by, modelling his latest ‘Soft spiky’ hat, inspired by our friend Graham Campbell’s New Hebridian ‘Fluffy’ range. He tells us that, in his language, ‘canary’ is a light snack, which satisfies us. I sketch Buzz and Bzz, Mary, and some other birds, and we invite some friends over to teach us some more stolen words.
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Professor Humperdink's Diary

21.12.07

Hats



1. Mexico. 2. Ceylon. 3. East Indies. 4. Black Forest, Germany. 5. Bhutan. 6. Carinthia. 7. England (Beefeater). 8. Belgium. 9. Hungary. 10. Algeria. 11. Estonia.12. South Sea Islands. 13. Mongolia. 14. Hong Kong. 15. Borneo. 16. Annam, French Indo-China.



Aunt Humperdink’s Annamese hat factory
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Grievously behind schedule, I only just have time to sketch my old friend Charlie, a leading international hat designer. Aunt Humperdink’s Annamese hat factory is running at full production thanks to Charlie’s new French Indo-China range. The hats are fashionably utilitarian, and extremely popular throughout Cochin China. Charlie serves as another fine example of how someone like Charlie, who is basically a daft old twit, for whom the phrase ‘as mad as a hatter’ was invented, can achieve extraordinary success through aunt Humperdink’s worldwide hat distribution services.

Professor Humperdink's Diary

No entry



Professor Humperdink's Diary

19.12.07

Mzi

Mzi's cable cars












Mzi
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Odiously behind schedule, with at least a dozen mountains to climb, we are grateful when Mzi turns up, from HQ, and helps us over the range in her private cable car system. Juan, typically, disregards the warning signs and falls out; this is his loss as he has left his whisky behind. I have no doubt he will catch up soon, meanwhile Mzi and I continue our escape, sliding down into the valley as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary



17.12.07

Cleaning with cats

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While teaching a snake to spread peanut butter
Professor Humperdink started to mutter.

“To dust a loft, find a comb and a cat that is both hairy and soft.
Tell the readers this, for; it is one of those useful facts,
Dust is attracted to staticy cats.
Brushed with a comb, until it crackles with static,
A highly charged cat can clean a large attic.
(It’s often said that hairless Polish cats
Are specially bred to spread and polish wax).
Also, when a brush is what they really need,
Some people don’t think twice,
They use a longhaired breed, to clean the lavatory;
It can reach under the bowl.
However, clearly, this isn’t nice, it’s needlessly unsanitary,
And means they have no soul.”

15.12.07

Birds


Jack
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Taking Juan away
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Children, irritating policemen
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Peddling wooden birds and toys
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Kenyi
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Kiros
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1. Cockatoo. 2. Bird of Paradise. 3. White-headed or Shoe-bill Stork. 4. Barn Owl. 5. Vulture. 6. Toucan. 7. Hornbill. 9. Pelican. 10. Kingfisher. 11. Blue Titmouse. 12. Crossbill. 13. Puffin. 14. Flamingo. 15. King Eider Duck. 16. Adjutant bird.
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Agonisingly behind schedule, we are again delayed as, after drinking huge amounts of whisky, Juan insists on visiting Jack, his pet jackdaw. I try to sketch the bird but, in my hurry, and being hopelessly befuddled, I can’t get his beak right, and end up with a random selection of birds, none of which resembles Jack at all. This is frustrating so I quickly hack out some wooden birds and some toys from an old log and sell them on the street. Juan turned up, after half and hour and, to amuse himself, persuaded several children to irritate some police. The police, irritated, took Juan away.
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Trade wasn’t very good; fortunately, my old friends Kenyi and Kiros, from Kano, came by, and, as their own birds, essential wear when working undercover behind enemy lines, are old and decrepit, they were happy to buy two of my special 'articulated beak' models. To celebrate, we bribe the police and they release Juan. Realising that we are deeply behind schedule, we toast the health of our friends for a few hours, and stagger onwards, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary





13.12.07

Diary



Professor Humperdink's diary

11.12.07

Insects

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Errikos and Esdras

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1. Bee-hawk moth. 2. Siamese butterfly. 3. Burnet moth. 4. Hornet. 5. Poplar lady-bird 6. Wood wasp. 7. Cingalese dragon-fly. 8. Javanese butterfly. 9. Elephant hawk-moth. 10. Ichneumon-fly. 11. Leaf-insect. 12. Death’s-head moth. 13 and 14. African buga. 15. Glyphipterys. 16. Cockchafer. 17. Longhorn beetle. 18. Porcelain moth. 19. Longhorn beetle. 20. African beetle. 21. Stag-beetle. 22. Stick insect. 23. American water-bug.
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In a tearing hurry, sickeningly behind schedule, I only have a few minutes in which to sketch some of the insects that my friends, the renowned entomologists, Errikos, the distinguished coleopterologist, and Esdras, the lepidopterologist who so successfully advised Baden Powel on the use of pigments, tinctures, and on how to conduct himself behind enemy lines whilst disguised as a butterfly, keep in their beards.
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Professor Humperdink's Diary

10.12.07

Hoodies


1. Cambridge M.A. 2. Leeds M.Sc. 3. Aberdeen LL.D. 4. Manchester LL.D. 5. Wales (M.A) 6. Oxford M.A. 7. Liverpool M.Sc. 8. Manchester M.A. 9. Glasgow M.A. 10. Dublin LL.D. 11. Birmingham M.A. 12. St Andrews M.A 13. London M.A.
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Disgustingly behind schedule, rushing through Kings College, I only have a few minutes to sketch Crispin and Quentin, two of aunt Humperdink’s finest young hood designers, modelling their latest range which, distributed by aunt Humperdink, is proving hugely popular, especially in Harvard, Harlem, Oxford, Cambridge and Brixton.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

8.12.07

Coronets


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Fundamentally behind schedule, I barely have time to sketch young Baron Algernon Humperdink II and his father, Earl Frederick Humperdink IV, showing off Aunt Humperdink’s latest coronet designs, which are proving so successful in Mayfair this season.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

7.12.07

Don’t

While teaching a swan to spin on its beak.
Professor Humperdink started to speak.
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“Don’t gargle with mice. That’s my advice.
Also, to tease a gorilla, or irritate any large ape
Is a mistake.
An elephant could teach us, I expect.
To treat an elephant with respect.
To annoy a tarantula isn’t bright.
It isn’t right, it isn’t fun.
It could be one of those things you’d really wish
You had never done.
And, certainly, to practise knots, on a giant squid,
Is one of those things you’d really wish
You had never did.
I’ve said it before; I’ll say it once more:
Take my advice, don’t gargle with mice.
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Tell the readers this, for their beauty, grace, and wit,
To gargle with mice just isn’t nice,
And they shouldn’t put up with it.”

5.12.07

Fujinomiya


Friends
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Chika and Maiko
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Mary and her 'see through' design
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Professor Humperdink's anti-rust umbrella
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Hanako, giving thanks
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Caught in an updraft over Mount Fuji, we are comprehensively behind schedule. We spend our time drinking Juan’s rice toddy. I sketch some of our friends that we hope to see, if we survive. We become befuddled but manage to crash in Fujinomiya in time to see Maiko and Chika show off the umbrellas that aunt Humperdink is distributing so successfully in Siam. Mary, the famous English umbrella designer, demonstrated her latest ‘see through’ design; meanwhile I demonstrate my re-articulated anti-rust umbrella. Hanako gives thanks for Juan’s arrival, and takes him away.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary