Sunday, July 24

An ABC Of Curiosities

I have been given a lump of ambergris by a whale-and-squid specialist

Ambergris is made in a whale’s stomach, it is the sharp parrotty beaks of many squid mixed up with the whale’s intestinal fatty juices. Sometimes this mélange is burped back out of the mouth like a fur ball but more usually it passes through the other end of the whale, the lump bobs to the surface of the sea where the process of salt water and oxidisation turns it into ambergris – it smells like whale poo and is used in the more expensive perfumes.

Bloody Kit
No sooner does one thing start working properly but another thing breaks down. We finally got a knob replaced that had broken last week - one full day of filming with everything working perfectly, by the following night the Giant Cable was broken...

The Faial cape is celebrated as an island icon, its distinctive outline is scribbled as grafitti on walls and picked out in stones on the pavements. Made from very heavy fabric, the hood is disproportionately large and is made to sit above the wearer’s head by means of a wooden frame which is apparently very uncomfortable. Could this have been the inspiration for Darth Vader?


  1. Whale poo is about the stinkiest thing on the planet. Think I'll stick to lavender water, thanks!

  2. Hello Lulu:
    Well, on your return there is really no excuse now for not setting up your own perfumery. Chanel should be a very concerned company this evening.

    And should that idea fail, then we suggest a quick change into millinery.

  3. For one horrible moment I thought there was going to be a recipe for the whale poo and that it was some kind of delicacy.

  4. Gosh, that cape is very popular around here ... one size fits all.

  5. I've been drinking a lot of diet snapple lately and have been enjoying the fun facts on the back of the bottle caps. Did you know that 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321?

  6. Where do you think I can get my hands on some of the perfume that uses those whale poo thingies? I'd like to buy some for my worst enemy so I can smell him/her coming...

  7. Oh, so that's where ambergris comes from - I've always wondered. By how do they collect it, for heavens sake, do they follow the whale around with a svovel?

  8. Ever noticed how it always seems to be women who wear these uncomfortable traditional garments and headgear?

    Whale poo to patriarchal society.

  9. Dinahmow - lavender water makes me think of moths

    Jane and Lance - Chanel is a very concerned company and has offered me hush money

    Scarlet Blue - I'm working on the whale poo recipe - will keep you posted x

    Bill - but not a flexible friend is it?

    Wow, - get back on the Jagermeister

    Scribe - I think it's in Chanel and Lanvin and Creed perfumes and many others

    Gadjo Dilo - I so want to do a story about a whale pooperscooper. The ambergris is usually found washed up on beaches, it's no good straight from the beast there has to be an aging process in the sea.

    Mme Fly - I had imagined that it was devised as yet another way to slow women down. Do you remember hobble skirts?

  10. Be your own bus shelter.

    Lada Gaga eat your heart out, eh.

  11. Mmmm let me go and check the ingredients on my bottle of 'First.' eeeeeeeeeeek!

  12. Isn't ambergris terribly valuable? I was told once that it was. Such interesting experiences you have. It's nice to be back for a visit. It has been much too long. And thank you for coming around to see me and to share your thoughts on Amy.

  13. I'm guessing that those Faial capes have an unpleasant odor as well!

  14. How exciting to be given some ambergris! Those hoods are fascinating too. Pity about your equipment though.

  15. Ange - could be worse, the alternative to ambergris is civet musk.

    Nice to see you too Mr Writeon

    lx - I never found one to sniff

    Synchy - weird hoods, weird!!

  16. Glory - Gaga had so many more interesting predecessors didn't she?

  17. Love the capes!


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