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Arthur's All-seeing Architectural Almanac

Arthur finds himself, and then loses it completely.

fiery breath

  • 11th Aug 2002 - Pigeon Tikka Masala

    Dear Diary, got up, got dressed, read the papers. Saw what was going on in the dear old United Kingdom, and didnt like it. I mean, what so united about it? Everybody seems to hate everyone else. Even my favourite Pigeon pecked the hand that fed him. Any more of that rubbish and shes definately going in the pie. Or even a nice curry. But its a good way to go, isnt it? When I go, i'd definately like to be made into a curry, and then all my relations could eat me at my wake. Something to remember me by. Until then, its up to that evil Pigeon to provide me with sustainance, and pay for her dastardly deeds of pecking with prejudice. Meanwhile, and to get prepared for the big day, I took Gertie the Pigeon to one of the many Curry Houses that we have in London Town. I thought that it might fatten her up before her one way trip to the cooking pot. My favourite old Indian hideout, just on the high street, is a wonderful little joint, done up in the highth of Indiana. The decor is beautiful, and those asian designs are so cute and colorful. Sometimes I just go in there and meditate with a bottle of tap water, just to take in the ambience. The head water thinks i'm a bit of an infidel for doing so. But so far, my perfectly dressed bow tied friend hasnt killed me. But how superb these joints are. You really feel you are there, and the delhi belly makes it all the more real and mystical. And then you step out into the not so united Kingdom, and your heart sinks as you see all the violence. But at least you can breathe curry breath on the perpetrators. Oh well. Home, Gertie.

  • postive negative

  • 9th Aug 2002 - Arthur belongs in a Museum

    I think they mean mausoleum, though I dont want to spoil those pranksters joke. But its true. All the kids in the neighbourhood think that I should be stuffed and mounted and left in a museum with all the other old relics. And then, as if to prove their point, they throw tomatoes at me. Luckily, I know how to defend myself with the lid of the trash can. But the truth hurts, dear readers, and as if to immitate art, I left early this morning for my yearly pilgrimage to London's Natural History Museum, a building thats more excellent than the objects that it displays. This decorated giant from the victorian period can hold you on exterior looks alone, and its interior feels like a cathedral, and it makes me humble. Shame it was the kids school holiday, and theres more of them here running around in all directions, shouting and pointing at me. Dancing in circles around me. Bless em. You can see the attraction though. This cracking venue is slowly being eroded by the suckers that think it needs constant modernisation with silly robots and disneyfication. What they dont understand is that they ruin the mystery of the antique ambience, the fear and coldness of displays hidden and shrouded in cobwebs and bad lighting. Its getting all push buttons and Goofy now. Wont be long before they deface the outside. What fools. I cried as I sat on my favourite bench near the Brontosaurus. I looked at his teeth. Why is it, that a 300 million year old fossil has perfect teeth stuck fast & irremovable in its jaws, and then me, a sprightly senior human, only the one tooth left? What an unfair game life has played on us all. But I suppose a set of dinosaur dentures was out of the question. I think I will lose sleep over this all the same.

  • map

  • 8th Aug 2002 - Missing my best friend

    Dear Diary and fellow diarists, its about this time of year that I miss my dearly departed friend and companion, Tiddles. Its 21 years ago this month that he left me for Cat Heaven. Isnt death such a horrible thing. I didnt even get the chance to say goodbye. I dont suppose we ever do, when confronted by death. But I can lovingly report for the Almanac, if Tiddles looks down favourably upon it, on his contribution to feline architecture, because even as an innocent sleeper and purrer, Tidds unknowingly became a celebrity homeowner, a rare feat in the cat world. You see, Tidd was an outdoor cat, that Tom had to do the rounds, as you can imagine, but in the ice and snows of London Town, my relations felt sorry for him, and converted a cabinet into a one up one down chalet. Downstairs: Hatch and food trays, Upstairs: carpet, window, and little electic heater. It was amazing when he got the idea of how to use it. And you could check in the window to see him at home, and switch his heater on, see him stretched out in a warm sedation. That was our Tiddles at his best. And when he passed away, then so did his little outhouse, which I could not bare to look at any more. I miss you, Tidds, and I always will.

  • photographer

  • 7th Aug 2002 - Regards to Broadgate

    Dear Diary (and pigeons that were trying to nest in my warm and comfy diary book), welcome to a new day. There had been a spot of rain about, typical of old London, and even I was fed up walking around in thick Wellington Boots. But there was a break in the weather front, with sunny spells, and I siezed the opportunity by darting from my confines into the choking London air. I was city bound, dear readers, bound to tread upon what I treadeth lest. It was time for a sneaking visitation to Broad Street Station, that bleak and damp rail yard and theatre of vagrancy. Maybe I would catch up on some old posters of Ovaltine, or those nasty ones of Hitler and his "Careless talk costs lives" campaign. But it was not to be. Rumour has it that the Station was levelled years ago, one would never known it had ever existed. There in its place was this awful prefab building, 'Broadgate', and some jolly important people sliding thru its doors with their noses in the air. No pity for the poor travellers with no station, no way to get to where they once went. I thought i'd go inside anyway, and check out some furnishings. Sadly, this bad burly Security man saw me coming, and stood in my way. He looked angry. "Please, dont be afraid, i'm only researching for my almanac." I said. "I'm not afraid of you, now clear off." Said the horrible man, who must have thought I was a robber or terrorist or brush salesman. Undettered, I circumnavigated boring Broadgate, and found a circular circus area hiding at the back. It was full of drunken but well dressed ladies and gents, chatting very loudly in the sunshine. I was able to extract the fact that this ring gets the ice over in winter, letting skaters show off their talents and fall on their bottoms. Meanwhile, its main function is to demonstrate some serious wine tasting by these frisky financiers. "What of the poor stationless travellers?" I asked. But it was too late. I was in the shadow of another very unhappy and rotten security guard. I wasnt wanted here, obviously, and neither was our intrepid almanac. Oh well. thats life, i'm afraid. I apologise to all for my investigative ineptitude. Maybe I should stick to pigeon racing.

  • night gallery

  • 2nd Aug 2002 - Arthur Shrimpton ate my hamster

    Decided on a nice day out within the parliamentary confines of Westminster Palace and its collection of buildings, because, come rain or shine, you can guarantee being lifted by all of the decorative splendour of these gianourmous shrines to British politics and the like. So there I was, in the middle of the square, camped out on the green, with my cheese and marmite sandwiches and vacuum flask of tea, waiting for the hand of big ben to come around and strike twelve, thus giving us the full monty of chimes for the day. You could almost set your watch by it. After that, I thought that i'd join one of these protests for a bit, you know, the ones that complain that our government should do such and such, or free the whatsoname seven, or stop selling arms to whoever, but then I did feel a bit out of place, and I looked too much like a tourist. My fault for buying one of those fake British Policemans helmets to walk around in. I thought it might shade my bald patch from the sun and from the pigeon droppings but it just made me look like a bloody twit. I doubt that the protesters thought that I was a real policeman. Maybe I should have told them to move along. Anyway, I proceeded in a northerly direction up Whitehall, looking up at the great old buildings and almost, but not, taking loads of photographs, till I reached the calvary chaps that sit on horseback for hours on end at that entrance to the parade. Sitting there, in all that uniform in the blazing sun. How awful. I felt like sneaking him a large pint of bitter, or encouraging him to run for it. He can go awol and hide in my Pigeon loft from the military police. Anything than endure any more agony from that sun, and those annoying tourists poking at the horse and trying to make the soldier laugh. What a rotten boring life. I would at least have offered the horse a bit of sandwich, but I only had spam left. Who put that in there? I dont think horses like spam either, I mean, you just dont know whats in it, do you? Bits of leftover butchers meat, rotten vegetables, and dead hamsters. It was Ok for the war years, when the only alternative was grass soup, but now I can resist it and go for cheese. Besides, I never ordered spam in the first place. What were they thinking of? I'm going straight back to Harrods for a refund. Might even wear that policemans helmet in the process. Evening all!

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