Monday, 9 April 2012

Fatima Krumcakes, The Saltburn Yarnbomber and The Bootle-Bumtrinket

It's pouring down here
I have walked the dogs and got wet,
Cleaned the duck house out and got very wet
and have just delivered some eggs and got wet.
Unsurprisingly it is going to be a wet day.

After sitting in the living room arm chair, looking out into the grey middle distance, like some sort of Kentish Jane Austen, Chris and his mother have climbed into the berlingo to do some shopping.
The cottage is quiet and is as clean as I can make it given the damp weather.
The Work of The Saltburn YarnBomber

At Breakfast Sorrel had me in tucks. Out of nowhere and much to Chris' irritation, she embarked on a bit of a marathon in recalling a story she had seen on the television about a "phantom knitter"
Apparently, she remembered , that an "unknown knitter" of some repute had been secretly tying a whole array of hand crafted items onto a " Pier" up North. 
The phenomenon had become to be known as the work of the  The Saltburn Yarnbomber; a phrase which I have found dreadfully amusing in itself.
Some words and phrases set out to delight and amuse 
I can think of two which have stuck in my mind just recently
The first is the name given to the naturalist Gerald Durrell's boat when he was a boy living in Corfu. His older brother, the writer Lawrence Durrell Christened the home-made craft The Bootle-Bumtrinket, completely out of nowhere, and the name, still has me chuckling helplessly when I re read My Family And Other Animals, which is one of my most favourite novels
Lawrence Durrell (centre) with Gerald ( right) and family
The second favourite phrase is in fact a name I caught reading Shooting Parrots Random Thoughts in A Random World blog.
In his entry about Google whacking he mentions the name Fatima Krumcakes in passing.
It was so Roald Dahl in it's silliness, that it caught me unawares and got me giggling like a schoolboy reading The Sun.
Has anyone else out there been entertained with similar silly phrases, names and words?
Answers on a post card!

The rain is still lashing down. 
Chris and his mum are bickering over the best way to try to stuff one of our old pig's pork joints into the oven, and I have taken over Chris' position at the living room window, watching the rain........
Happy Bank Holiday


  1. Yarn bombing, or the decorating of public objects with yarn or fibre, is a well-established custom that has been going on all over the world since at least 2004. It happens every year in Belfast during Craft Month. The decorated pier railings are a splendid example!

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  3. I always rather liked 'pan galactic gargle blaster'; some type of drink, I believe.

  4. When Red Skelton dressed up as Clem Kadiddlehopper, i used to laugh at his name. I would giggle when i said it.


  5. Delightful names!! Love the yarn bombing idea - I think there should be more of it!! Particularly on grey days like today :)

  6. Chris calls me 'Scrinsonboglet'...I have no idea why!
    Jane x

  7. cro
    that one goes on my list

  8. Did you know that My Family and Other Animals is my fave novel too? And I loved the series that the BBC did in the 80's! xxxx

  9. I made up the word "drobble" to describe what happens when a dog (or person) can't keep their water or food within the confines of their mouths. It's proved a very handy word!

    (Apropos, my former screen name Flartus was also a made-up word, from my Dad.)

  10. Friends saw those knitted figures at Saltburn - it is only a few weeks ago - and since then similar figures have turned up at other sites and noone has seen them arrive.

    On the subject of words. Many years ago, when I taught in a Comprehensive School, we had twin boys called Castor and Pollux. They were identical and if we saw them together and wanted one of them we always called 'Castor' I am sure you can guess why!

  11. I live in a flyspeck of a former mining town called Copperopolis. Great fun to say, and even more fun to spell -- especially when ordering something over the phone and being asked to please spell it.
    "Erm, excuse me, how many p's is that?"

  12. While I'm at it, I also love saying Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern.

    And Slarty Bartfast (Douglas Adams)

    Long ago, I read that some science fiction author (Ray Bradbury?) had made the pronouncement that "cellar door" was the most mellifluous phrase in the English language. I've spent a lifetime trying to decide if this is indeed true...

  13. there should be more yarnbombers. Names in PG Woodhouse stories always make me smile.

  14. When my son cannot remember somebody's name he calls them "dooberry gerkin" !

  15. John - A former teaching colleague was called Muriel Stonehewer. I don't know why that name stuck with me. Suggestive of compassion and educational elitism perhaps? Mind you with some of the kids I taught, it was often like hewing stone!

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  17. My brother, aged about ten, answering an exam question, referred to The Archbishop of Canterbury as "The Arsebestip of Canterbung" !

  18. Once as we went under an overpass on the freeway, during a thundering rains storm, my daughter said, of the momentary cessation of sound and blinding rain, "that's called downstoppage." Could be a nice way to think of your warm house, too.

  19. You do realise that now two of us have mentioned Fatima Krumkakes that we've completely ruined that particular Google Whack.

    But back to your question, I always had a soft spot for the pub quiz team name: 'Kamikaze Grimshaw and the Suzuki Suicide Squad'.

    Not to mention the great Groucho Marxh characters, like Wolf J. Flywheel, Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush and Rufus T. Firefly.

  20. Sorrel is an absolute delight. She reminds me of Noreen off Benidorm. John, I'm sure she'll have a brilliant time with you both

  21. Happy Bank Holiday to you, all, too. Loved your post. :o)

  22. My family and other animals is a top book. Love it

  23. That has to be one of your best blog titles ever!

    "My Family and other animals" is one of my favourite books. I still have my battered copy on my bookshelf. I loved "Bootle Bumtrinket" and the names Lawrence gave to Gerry's dogs: Widdle and Puke.

    Yarnbombing: also known as guerilla knitting, graffiti knitting, or yarnstorming. Some people take it quite seriously! Have a look here on the knitthecity website:

  24. I read and re-read My Family and Other of the most interesting and amusing books assigned in school. My fav...two of his dogs...Widdle and Puke!
    (Just read Diane's comment...had no idea there was a TV series!)
    Always been fond of 'wallying around" too.

  25. Hope you dry out soon, and hope that pork cooked up a treat.

  26. Spindleshanks! Not uncommon, I know, but I love its sound and it describes my youngest son perfectly. He hates it.

  27. I went to school with a Wanda Kiss. I don't think I really thought about her name much in the day but now I think about it and I wonder how much kidding she must have suffered. It would make a great name for a character...maybe a Bond girl type:)

  28. Gussie Fink-Nottle ('Spink-Bottle' to Bertie's Aunt Dahlia ) is a fictional character in the Jeeves novels of P. G. Wodehouse, along with another the Nazi-fied Roderick Spode, Bt, 7th Earl of Sidcup, often known as Spode or Lord Sidcup of the Black Shorts!

  29. Ohe of the best antidotes for wet weather is dry humour. Well done!

  30. I was very much taken with the names piddle and puke for the puppies in My Family and Other Animals. Entirely apt. Though one would feel a tad conspicuous calling for them in the street.

  31. When my american chum talks about *any* small town in the american midwest, he refers to it as Chickenlips, Ohio.....

  32. Seems that "My Family..." is a favourite with lots as well as me... I liked the 'Magenpice'.

    I always liked a couple of names from Monty Python:
    There was a small dog (that got sat on and killed) called Timothy Arbuthnot.

    And the political candidate for the very silly party had a name something like Farquin Lim Bim Wim Bim Sim F'tang F'tang Olay Biscuitbarrel. I learnt it and it came in handy occasionally, but not a lot since I left university 30 years ago...

    I loved reading everyone's comments!


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