The Flâneur

Miscellany > Letters

Page 1 2

You are invited to write to the Flâneur using the following email address: (omit XXX)

Roy Bayfield wrote:

...I wish I had found your splendid site before 'drifting' through Merseyside, as recounted here:
Too late now, have crossed the border to Cheshire.
Keep up the good work...

- R o y

Roy Bayfield

The Flâneur replies:

My dear Sir,
Thank you for your kind ethereal mail.
Indeed, such a pity you had already been and done and gone by the time you were aware of us, otherwise we would have entertained you royally in Liverpool as a flaneurial guest of the highest calibre.
We would like to link to your site on ours. Would that be acceptable to you?
We would also like to lumber you with the presidency of the local branch of SFSF wheresoe'er you happen to be domiciled (unless there already is a branch whereupon you can settle your differences with an absinthe quaffing contest). In our experience the best chap always wins (although all contenders invariably end up in intensive care for a few weeks - at tax payers expense too - disgraceful - I shall write to my MP....)
Bon voyage
de Vouvray

Roy replies:

Thank you for your splendid offer.
Do by all means link to the wandering account of my wanderings.
I actually live in Ormskirk, so
a) I would be delighted to accept and/or be challenged for the Presidency of an SFSF branch of the sultry market town
b) I may well pass your way again and would like nothing better than to sample some absinthe or equivalent with you (within some arcane multiple of the current Government unit allowance, perhaps based on prime numbers.)

By the way - here's something you might know - has the splendid tobacconists that used to be in Water Street actually disappeared, or have I just lost the ability to perceive it?

regards, R

Followed by:


Just a note to say I've mentioned you in my other blog
...a gyrovague, as you probably know, being a kind of monastic flaneur
[From French, from Late Latin gyrovagus gyro- (circle) + vagus (wandering).] 'A wandering and usually dissolute monk of the early church.'
St Benedict's thoughts on the subject are interesting:
"Fourth and finally, there are the monks called gyrovagues, who spend their entire lives drifting from region to region, staying as guests for three or four days in different monasteries. Always on the move, they never settle down, and are slaves to their own wills and gross appetites. In every way they are worse than the sarabaites. It is better to keep silent than to speak of all these and their disgraceful way of life."

Then Teri, president of the New York branch of SFSF contacted:

Congratulations! Good shot! I see you've bagged another one. And in your own back yard.

See Letter to the Editor - Greetings from the Ormskirk Chapter

Dear Sir,

Having only recently disembarked from my ship in your fine city after many years traveling from the antipodes, I find myself at a loss as to the location of a decent tailor. Too many establishments nowadays seem to employ spotty youths who would not know an inside leg measurement if it reared up and bit them.

What is a chap to do? Every assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Yours respectfully

A. Phillips
Lt Cdr RAN rtd
c/- The Marriot hotel

Dear Sir,

Whilst languidly perusing your website I remorsefully noted the lack of reference to the ultimate flaneur accessory.

I trust that the cane will soon be reinstated as the trusty companion of all post modern boulevardiers.



Dear Sir,

I thought that I needed, nay had, to bring to your attention information that I myself have recently been furnished with. In the depths of experiments with and about a number of diseased issues a man, (I presume of sane mind and gender) set about testing the “Turin Shroud” using the latest methods of what I believe to be called DNA, (whoever she is). In his obtuse experiments (MOSMAG) What? Dear me, it means man of sane mind and gender, please keep up or we shall be here till Whitson. Anyway (MOSMAG) found that there were deposits of what could only be described as a “Starch” based food stuff (or is it stuffs? Well the Lord alone knows), housed within the “Turin Shroud”.

So what I now need, if I can trespass further upon your time is to engage your intelligence with the not too confusing list of options below of what indeed these food stuffs, (thank you Lord), could be. You then need to apply in ink, (anyone discovered using a biro pen and not a proper fountain pen will of course be horse-whipped in public). To continue, this acid-free, correctly filled out postcard will then be sent directly to Capt. Osip.

A. Tasap (an early form of pasta)
B. Potato (self explanatory one would like to think)
C. Maize (dreadful coarse yank expression meaning corn)
D. Rice

Yours, Capt. Osip
Mena House Mess Hall

P.S. Postcards received before July 14th would be seen as a blessing.

Dear Sir,

I must protest at the ignorance displayed by the correspondent who signed himself Capt. Osip, Mena House Mess Hall, Egypt.

As any fool knows, 'maize' is the true name of what the bally Americans call 'corn', when of course the entire rest-of-the-world uses 'corn' to describe wheat.

This fellow is plainly an impostor, an improper person or a wretched simpleton and he ought to be soundly thrashed to within an inch of his life and given a Chinese Burn.

If this continues, I shall be forced to write a letter

Yours &c.,

Capt. 'Bunty' Shawcross,
Flashwood's Light Horse,

Dear Sir,

'Sidney Blink QC' wonders light-heartedly if there is some secret organisation like the Golden Dawn concealed in the Flâneur. I have been looking really carefully at the site, and I wonder if, despite his jokiness, he might have some kind of point.
Your site is all very clever and classy and amusing, and I'm sure its really useful for people in Liverpool with all its 'What's On' stuff (not to me, I live in Bristol), but is it just me or are there some really strange things on it?
I mean, what's all this about Etruscans and Trojans? What is the Tibetan connection all about? Who are 'Cercle d'Enfeu' (for that matter, what does their name mean?). What's with the Marxist stuff? Why are the perspectives in the Indian painting so odd? I mean, just look at the poles of the pavilion, those angles are impossible, and the whole painting is just so weird - I can't stop looking at it, and it makes me start to wonder if there aren't hidden meanings in the pictures on the site. Which brings me back to this Cercle d'Enfeu and this thing about 'Alchymical Theatre'. Is that the clue? Is there some hidden alchemical thing going on? And that picture on the 'Theology' page - it's by Jean Cocteau isn't it? - in the Catholic Temple in London. And isn't he supposed to be the last named Grand Master of the Priory of Sion? So why is his mural on your site?
And now, and this has to be the last straw, there's all this King Arthur and Avalon thing. What is it all about? Am I right it's claiming the whole Glastonbury thing is a complete hoax, and Rennes le Chateau too? And Avalon is in Lancashire or Cumbria, accessible through a 'Glass Tower'? Is that some kind of alchemical symbolism too?
And as for Sidney Blink QC, he's in Thurso. Is that anywhere near Rosslyn?
I don't suppose you'll print this, but it's worth a try.
What's going on?

Yours, on the brink of a nervous breakdown,
Jodie Kellmay

Dashed if I know old girl, but it seems something is afoot.

de Vouvray

Dear Sir,

As a life long exponent of laudanum, may I be so bold as to suggest that God created the poppy for a purpose. There is no better panacea known to man than the juice of papaver, it should be the first port of call when dealing with any ailment from headache to amputation. The Goddess Morphia caresses the soul as no other, soothing the agonies of our existence and rendering them as if to distant dreams. Its medicinal qualities notwithstanding, opium has surrendered up to generations of readers some of our greatest art, consider the works of De Quincy and Coleridge to name but two devotees. Far be it for me to question the techniques of such an eminence of the medical community as Dr Phut, but I do feel that his practice may be considerably enhanced with one or two handy ampoules in his bag. Finally, might I add that as an ex-fighter ace, I frequently found that a pre-sortie shot allowed me to execute the task at hand with appropriately relaxed detachment.

Yours faithfully
Hermann Wilhelm Göering Esq. Iron Cross First Class.
C/O Earl of Rochester. Kent.

Dear Sir,

Obergruppenvorstumdorchtechnicuberallesfuhrer Goering, in a letter spangled with Gods, Goddesses, poets and poppies, recommends the medical usage of opium to our resident medical expert.

On behalf of the good Doctor Phut (currently indisposed in the aftermath of a particularly energetic gargle with a prototype formula designed to exploit a gap in the antiseptic mouthwash come radio-active rocket fuel market), may I reassure Herr Goering of Dr. Phut's exhaustive researches into the effects of a wide range of substances, and scientifically established preference for the Green Fairy of Absinthe as his bedfellow and mainstay in steadying the hand in keyhole surgery - despite certain bilious, eyeball-swivelling, malodorous and psychedelic side effects (and a regular fatality rate of 100% - as predicted annually with utter confidence and unerring accuracy - thus satisfying the target-achievement demands of the most stringent of auditors).

Yours in semi-comatose state,

Dr. Bonaventure Tidd (anaesthetist in chief, the Dr. Phut Well Stuffed Clinic)

P.S. I had that Baron von Richthofen in the back of my hearse once.


In a moment of irretrievable dissolution the other evening, I happened, through a haze of MacAllan's best, to dial 'Flâneur' into Google and discovered to my delight 'The Flâneur, Liverpool Chapter'. Such was my paralysis upon encountering your degenerate exhibition of Flâneurism that I soon found myself quite riveted to the parquet. I was particularly entertained by Doctors Phut and De Ath but even more so by your links to The Broons and the biography of Luisa Casati. Excellent crack! It is most refreshing to discover that such a seditious bastion of bohemianism as The Flâneur is alive and well in our depressingly self-righteous times.

A close legal associate of mine in the fiscal's department informs me that there is in fact an inner circle of Flâneurs, could this be some sort of secret society a la Golden Dawn et cetera? If so, how may one go about obtaining membership? I think we should be told. Additionally, how soon do you think we might be availed of such decadence in more isolated regions like my own? Perhaps some form of errant troupe or travelling circus could be despatched.

Yours faithfully,

Sidney Blink QC.

Dear Editor,
"Never in the history of Flanery has so little been owed to so few by so many".

Did I get that right?
Respectfully yours,
Lord Rothermere.
'Daily Ribbentrop'
C/O: V. Molotov,
The Congo.

(Shurely shome kind of mishtake here. Ed.)

Mien Führer,

Never before has ze planet lain zo close within our reach! Should ve succeed in our inter-galactic plans surely nothing can stand in our vay. Vy, mien Gott, do zeze humans expend zo much energy on zis sport ov fusstball? Ven zay have more numbers zan ze oder zey svim in zis pool of livers. If only ve could harness ze energy of zis Notty Ash place, ve could conquer ze vorld! Mein informants tell me zat zere ist some special essence within ze ball itself. Zeze humans seem quite delirious because zay can touch some cup made from metal, strange. Perhaps ve are missing something. I vill investigate.

Forever yours
Prof Moriarty.

It would appear the recent game of football played in Istanbul between the local Liverpool Football Club team and the jolly good triers, the Milan Associazione Calcio team, is what has caught the attention of the kindly Professor.

Click here for the next page


Page 1 2