The Flâneur

Opium Den

Random Ravings and Assorted Musings


Duelling Cards
As you read this, The Flaneur's calling-cum-duelling cards are slowly spreading their way across the world, disseminated by secret sects of undercover Flaneurs - so far operative in England, Scotland, France and India - but like the Illuminati of the late 18th century, our tentacles are spreading inexorably ever more widely. Wherever you are on the planet (or even beyond) be on the lookout, and contact us if you find one somewhere really bizarre. We are at the.flaneur@XXXyahoo.co.uk (omitting the triple XXX). Please ensure you put 'Duelling Card' as the subject - like everyone else we get shed loads of spam from the weak minded twerps cyber culture seems to have flushed out of the woodwork, and would not want to accidentally delete a genuine message that we didn't recognise. The bad news is, we lied about the prizes. Looking forward to hearing from you anyway!

Why it's more than wunderbar
uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AMCl2J9xGOg&feature=related

Catwalking clergy, see....
www.thisiswesternmorningnews.co.uk/news...

A new service for our readers.
Until now you could never find Morris Dancers when you needed them. Fret no more, buff up your baldricks and click on here
www.morrisdancing.org/finder/sfcgi.html
to find you nearest ‘side’ of capering, beer-swilling celebrants of fertility!

Make your own psychotic children's toys:
ravensblight.com,/papertoys.html

Hats off to the superlative Ukele Orchestra of Great Britain.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmBaE7ozWow

Tapa Coffee & Bakehouse
www.tapabakehouse.com

Lern yerself Latin:
latinum.mypodcast.com/2008/05/INTRODUCTORY_EPISODE-111395.html

Duelling Brollies!
Hats off to Mme Gloria Macapagel-Arroyo, President of the Philippines, for raising the tone of weaponry several octaves. Not for her the adolescent vulgarity of 'shock and awe maximum firepower' - Good lord, no: why make ugly noises, smells and messes, when one can sharply bop one's adversary smartly over the bonce with an unbreakable fighting umbrella? The spirit of John Steed lives on! Click here!

Mitchell & Kenyon
Relive those good old days: Mitchell and Kenyon's remarkable footage of Liverpool in 1901, recently screened in the splendid St George's Hall, click here. (Those of a delicate auditory disposition may wish to turn down the musical accompaniment).

London Vampyre Group
After Dark Sort of Chaps - but they have taste:
www.londonvampyregroup.co.uk

The Unusual Times
Cedric P. Witherfeld's Unusual Times
theunusualtimes.net

Spiffy
Lost masterpiece of German Expressionist cinema rediscovered!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCryxZz-N18

John Barton
The Flâneur deeply regrets the passing of one of our favourite dons:
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/12/7

Lawnmower World
Brace yourself, deep breath, summon thy courage, its lawnmowerworld.
www.lawnmowerworld.co.uk

Sabrage!
Perfect the French Hussars' skill at decapitating champagne bottles with your sabre. Well, is there any other way?
thehill.com/leading-the-news...

Extra Man
Watch the laws of science screw up before your very eyes...

Count them and wait!
Count them again after the picture has changed.
What the devil? How many chaps are there?

America Fends Off Evil!
Sleep easy in your beds. The USA continues to protect, well, itself, from the evils stalking the Earth. Just as Mussolini heroically cleansed fascist Italy's reputation by throwing Aleister Crowley out, so Washington saves America's soul by banning Sebastian Horsley. Never mind that no-one noticed illegal torture at Guantanamo Bay, at least the eagle eyes of the US authorities can spot a villainous hat.
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news...

Obviously bogus camel fancying fair (well, we hope so!)
msnsearchhotlist.spaces.live.com/blog...

Make your own epitaph.
Go on, you know you want to.
www.tombstonebuilder.com

It's the Second International Talk Like a Pilot Day
Monday 19th May 2008 - Wizard Prangs all round!
www.talklikeapilot.org
Tally ho! Red Leader out.

The House of the Orange Monkey
Few sites manage to balance such care and concern for detail with such gratuitous pointlessness. For connoisseurs of the gently deranged, may we draw your attention to www.houseoftheorangemonkey.co.uk/index.htm

The Thirteenth Annual Russian Summer Ball Announced
The date of the Thirteenth Annual Russian Summer Ball has been announced; it will be held on Saturday 14th June 2008 in London, full details and information are available at www.russiansummerball.com.
Tickets for this spectacular charity event are readily available through the web-site, unlike the tickets for the Liverpool European Capital of Culture Viennese Ball due to take place at St. George's Hall on Saturday 12th April. Mysteriously all the tickets had been already 'allocated' when the event was announced… Слава к России!

Is your cat a Nazi too?
See www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl

Ladyboys of Bangkok
For the completely bewildered, the ladyboys of Bangkok, click here.

Alabama3
We have had the following popular musical combination recommended to us by an impeccable source (well, Dr. De Ath...)
www.alabama3.co.uk Groovy!

Aristasia
One of the most delightfully dotty of all of the parallel universes turning their back on this benighted age, the weird and wondrous Aristasians, see
www.aristasia.co.uk/index.html.
See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristasia.

A gallery of quite exquisite fine art prints
www.ByMyi.com

The Home of Tea
The only non-alcoholic drink truly repected by a true Briton! www.tea.co.uk
See also Elemental's bracing Cup of Brown Joy at youtube.com/watch...

Introducing the The World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 from Brighton, England (also the venue for the 2003 conference of La Société des Flâneurs Sans Frontières).
www.handlebarclub.co.uk/wbmchomef.html
See also www.worldbeardchampionships.com.
In pictures: Big beards and mighty moustaches, see
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/6974110.stm
news.sky.com/skynews/picture_gallery/picture_gallery/0,,70141-1282359,.html
Dark day for British justice...
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2642759.ece

Snorchestra
Enjoy the relaxing, hypnotic sounds of 'Snorchestra'; bringing new meaning to 'Eine Kleine Nacht Music'
www.snorchestra.org

A Rimbaud ramble round London
www.sheridanclub.co.uk/cgi-bin/sheridan.cgi?r=T&t=7984&p=251224&b=1

Secrets of Babbage engine technology revealed!
www.1-click.jp

The Victorians had Lord Franklin, we have Plastic Ducks.
Never mind Globalisation, the rise and fall of Post-Modernism, assorted Middle East crises, al-Qaida and World War Three, THE story of the last decade and a half is the breathtaking journey of 28,000 intrepid bath toys washed overboard off the coast of Japan in 1992. While most continue to circle the Bering Sea, a brave band struggled for years against well-nigh impossible odds to navigate the North-West Passage and reach the Atlantic Ocean, before dividing into two flotillas, one heading down the east coast of North America, the other on its way to these very islands - and one would hope a well-deserved heroes' welcome.
See www.beachcombers.org/RubberDuckies.html
(just don't tell them the ducks are plastic).
See the latest developments...
www.dailymail.co.uk

Will intelligent life be found in or on Earth after all?
http://www.canada.com (Be sure to scroll down).

As we strive to keep you abreast of all the great cultural events world wide:
The Geneva Amateur Operatic Society proudly presents...
www.gaos.ch/archives/2007/spring_follies.shtml
Watch this space!

For the simply ghoulish among you, indulge yourself with a veritable banquet of screen deaths at www.cinemorgue.com.

The mysterious Transformationalists .... all is not what it seems...
www.stoke.freeuk.com/index.html

For good old fashioned home grown American, well, oddness, see
www.roadsideamerica.com/index.html
Especially charmant is the Museum of Menstruation
www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/MDNEWmum.html
Definitely one for all the family.

Whoopee Salon
Courtesy of the Geovictwardians, we are alerted to the opening of the new Whoopee Salon in Mayfair, see www.thewhoopeeclub.com

‘Dandyism’ – The webular haunt of the colonial popinjay www.dandyism.net

Nefarious lingerie crime spree thwarted. Bogus Elf arrested. Read all about it!
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6430683.stm

Good News for Shisha enthusiasts in Liverpool!
Those delightful ladies at The Olive Tree who have for some years provided caps, djellabas and silken cushions for the Liverpool flâneur's most private quarters, now stock a good range shisha pipes, along with a large range of fruit tobaccos and two types of charcoal, quick-lighting and natural!
Stroll at a breakneck amble to there at once:- 61, Renshaw Street, Liverpool L1 2SJ, telephone (0151) 708 8780.
Feast your eyes on these wares from the mystical east! Renshaw Street is definitely on the up, with many of the former Quiggins stallholders moving into the former Methodist Hall a couple of doors from The Olive Tree.
The Olive Tree has very recently opened a 'web shop' on the Berners-Lee æthereal network at www.theolivetree.co.uk for chaps living beyond sauntering distance but some of the departments are still blank at the time of writing.

The Cock Up Society
Our sort of chaps.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/25/nrcock25.xml

Flanerie by photogravure...
www.incertainplaces.org

Dorseyland
The mysteries of Dorseyland meet Dandyism
dorseyland.blogsome.com/2006/11/01/dorsay-aint-no-folk-as-queer-as-kin

Jackson Pollock
Dribble your own Abstract Expressionist masterpiece.
www.jacksonpollock.org

Planned Pigeon Cull in Kingston sparks deep philosophical debate ...
www.surreycomet.co.uk/mostpopular.var...

Russian Summer Ball
12th Annual Russian Summer ball was held on 7th July 2007 (that is, 07/07/07 - hmmm...I think we should be told), guests of honour Their Highnesses Prince and Princess Dmitri of Russia, www.russiansummerball.com

'The Arcades Project Project': is a fascinating and impressively academic exploration of flanerie and allied activities. Please note the chap in the topper, despite an uncanny resemblance, is not the Marquis de Vouvray (who never wears a tie) but Edouard Manet.
www.thelemming.com/lemming/dissertation-web/home/flaneur.html

Shisha
This is the Egyptian name for what the Lebanese call a 'Nargila', and the English a 'Hookah'. At present it is possible for the Liverpolitan Flâneur to enjoy a pipe and a large menu of tobaccos at the Egyptian café, 'Shisha', alongside a choice of authentic Egyptian dishes and refreshments (as well as pulchritudinous practitioners of the danse orientale…)
Alas, dark work is afoot, and Liverpool City Council leader Mike 'Horror' Storey is planning an Act of Parliament to ban smoking in all pubs, cafés and restaurants in 2006.
It will be necessary therefore for the local loafer to buy his own shisha and share a pipe with intimates at home, until that too is made illegal.
They can be bought through the café (11, Myrtle Parade, Liverpool, L7 7EL, tel. (0151) 708 5251) along with the special flavoured tobaccos, or if you are too remote, these London coves have some devilishly clever Interweb emporium:-
www.shishapipe.net
They will even hire pipes for trials, functions and events.

Famous Belgians
Well there you are chewing the fat with your chums in the pub, and in a brief hiatus in the conversation (it's all they need) a boorish oaf butts in and bets you that you cannot name ten famous Belgians.
Of course you might manage it, if you resort to monarchs and fictitious Belgians, such as Tintin and Hercule Poirot, but sadly most Britons cannot name ten famous Belgians even though there are in fact 259 famous Belgians.
The chap behind this endeavour is a Belgian and he was getting pretty cheesed-off by this slight on his countrymen, so he produced this webular site
www.famousbelgians.net
Interestingly since my last visit, the chap has added my suggestion Plastic Bertrand but not my other suggestion, the delightful Miss Natacha Atlas who, as far as I am aware, was born in Brussels!
I suppose he knows best…

Rude place-names
Whilst we rum coves at The Flâneur do not condone poor language to disguise a poverty of vocabulary, we confess that the faithful reproduction of older place-names by the stout yeomen at the Ordnance Survey can cause the involuntary chortle! So this chap has compiled a list of rude place-names, many with links to the fine maps of the Ordnance Survey.
As the fellow himself admits, it is indeed of little use and a complete waste of time. These are attributes that we flâneurs can only applaud so…
voilà! www.i-r-genius.com/rudeplaces.html

‘Marchesa Luisa Casati’ – a comprehensive introduction to the Marchesa Luisa Casati whose appearance inspired many an artist, who naked beneath her furs walked her pet cheetahs on jewelled leads, and spent her family fortune on lavish masques in exotic locations. You’ve seen the Erté fashion-plates, now see more of the most scandalous woman of her day, the Marchesa Casati!
www.marchesacasati.com

Chelsea tank traps,
www.stopurban4x4s.org.uk

Academia Cravatica
A non-profit making institution established 1997 dedicated to researching, preserving and improving the cravat in Croatian and world heritage (in that order)
academia-cravatica.hr/cravat

A compendium of cranks, chumps, maniacs and assorted shifty types in search of their marbles can be found at www.crank.net/index.html Go on, force yourself…

The Volupté Lounge in that London would appear to be an establishment within which a chap might resign himself to endless pleasure (though the inclusion of the word 'lounge' in the name sets alarm bells ringing, as this is the convention for a style of hostelry designed to attract footballers and other ruffians and undesirables).
If you pop into the place, by all means dredge the depths of moral decline, then please send us a review! www.volupte-lounge.com/inside.php

Along with the fez, that other essential for the lounge lizard, loafer and flâneur is of course the ukulele. It is therefore most thrilling for us chaps to see that instrument we hold most dear in the nimble hands of a rather attractive lady with the sort of looks we fellows like to call 'smouldering'. www.cousinalice.com

Another lady with nimble fingers and a glad eye is Miss Lily Farthing:- www.lilyfarthing.co.uk Just the job for the Flâneur office party, though we might have to restrain Old Squatter!

These Two Chaps have been talking for several years now, swapping perspicacious observations from both sides of the Atlantic. Hie you here:- twochapstalking.com

The trusty companion of all post modern boulevardiers,
GEOFFREY BREEZE ANTIQUE CANES
www.antiquecanes.co.uk

'The Flaneur's Lexicon': Extend, expand and explode your flaneurial vocabulary, courtesy of Ezra Soiferman in Montreal.
www.montrealfilmgroup.com/The%20Flaneurs%20Lexicon.htm

For all Bobcats, Dylan-heads, and others who appreciate the work of perhaps the greatest artist of his generation, see the latest by Michael Gray (author of the unparallelled 'Song and Dance Man') -
bobdylanencyclopedia.blogspot.com

Recognition at last in Brazil!
www.acontecendoaqui.com.br/co_fascioni47.php
For translation, feed it through Babelfish (world.altavista.com) - although you might find the original Portuguese less baffling.

Internationale Situationnistes
www.nothingness.org/SI !!

Blake & Mortimer
www.jlmartin.com/bm

Night Haunts
Whatever happened to (happens in?) London nights?
Join Sukdhev Sandhu on his Night Haunts: A Nocturnal Journal Through 2006
www.nighthaunts.org.uk
(in collaboration with Artangel Interaction)

The Slingshot!
A publication of great verve and urbanity that also affords many a chortle. Most definately chappies after our own heart.
www.theslingshot.com

A splendid 'Flanifesto' at
www.flaneur.org

'Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down': There now, rest yourself, time to relax and develop obsessive-compulsive disorder about biscuits
www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com

'Corduroy': The Gentleman's Journal, founded in great tradition, in 2004.
www.corduroymagazine.co.uk

Moustache Wax: The Handlebar Club's advice on using, chosing and even making moustache wax, followed by a review of the various proprietary products available, all tested by Mr. Ted Sedman, President of the Handlebar Club, rider of an 'ordinary' (that's penny-farthing to you) bicycle and owner-operator of a record-breaking moustache.
www.handlebarclub.org.uk/wax/wax.htm

Dandies in Moscow: context.themoscowtimes.com/print.php?aid=142907

‘That’s Braw’ – A temple to those mighty cultural colossi of Socialist Realism graphic art, The Broons and Oor Wullie
www.thatsbraw.co.uk

‘The Affected Provincial’s Alamanack’ – the home of Lord Whimsy ‘Mammal of Paradise’ deposited by fate on the western shores of the Atlantic Ocean so there is intelligent life in that benighted realm www.lordwhimsy.com

‘The Ugly Gardens Project’ - a chap called Tom Chance has assembled a series of photographs of such suburban wretchedness that one cannot help but laugh. Accompanied by ribald captions.
www.tomchance.org.uk/photos/uglygardens

‘St. Custard’s’ – The philosophical musings and daring deeds of Nigel Molesworth of form 3B as he conducts his struggle against beaks, sneaks, weeds and wets (as any fule kno.)
www.stcustards.free-online.co.uk

‘Fantastic, Mysterious, and Adventurous Victoriana’ – Soon to be published as a book, the author has made and exhaustive study of figures in Victorian literature. Clutter your idle mind here!
www.geocities.com/jessnevins/vicintro.html

‘Self-defence with a Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions’

A most stimulating article by E.W.Barton-Wright that fist appeared in Pearsons Magazine in January 1901. Using this, a flâneur may saunter where e’er he may, confident that he can put any footpad, cutpurse and ruffian to flight

Part One -

ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_barton-wright_0200.htm

Part Two -

ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_barton-wright_0400.htm

‘All-round Fighting in Edwardian London: Pierre Vigny’ (1903)
As above, but with added top hats, swordplay and pugilism.
ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_vigny_0500.htm

‘Mad Monarchs’ – short biographies of Unhinged Royalty
www.xs4all.nl/%7Ekvenjb/madmonarchs/

'The Silver Whistle' - An historic and literary website, serving in the front line of the Battle for Art and Beauty - "an ashy clinker from the long dead fires of Bohemia" - or pehaps the still smouldering fires, one might hope?
www.silverwhistle.co.uk/

Absinthe
For all lovers of the Green Fairy...
The Virtual Absinthe Museum at www.oxygenee.com
La Fee Verte at www.feeverte.net
Finest and Rarest at www.finestandrarest.com
La Boheme UK Ltd at www.laboheme.uk.com/escargot.htm

'CraigNotBond': A veritable storm in a tea-cup: cheerfully pointless, gratuitously unkind but oddly hilarious in its below-the-belt spleen,
www.craignotbond.com.
The craiglookalikes page is to be particularly savoured!

The Lady Luck Club is the "coolest" place to be every Friday Night in London.
http://www.ladyluckclub.co.uk

Anarchist Superheroes in the Land of the Hun!
www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20060508223435549

On a more serious cultural note: the legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh is celebrated in cerebral mode in Glasgow.
See news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5299614.stm

'The Caravan Gallery': First encountered at the Liverpool Biennial 2002 (I think it must have been, I was helplessly drunk throughout the 2004 Biennial). Tip-top photographs and wizard postcards from these terrors of the trunk road...
www.thecaravangallery.co.uk

'Franceastro' - For all the things you had no idea you really wanted to know, see this sublime French take on the weird and the wonderful (NB sunglasses recommended)
Voyance Horoscope Test Qi Magie Blanche Dictionnaire Des Reves
Horoscope quotidien horoscope de la semaine horoscope chinois numerologie voyance

'Yeti' - Even the most languid of decadents needs a little exercise on occasion:
see n.ethz.ch/student/mkos/pinguin.swf
Click on the Yeti - once for service, again to play.

'Disturbing Auctions' - For more than you bargained for:
www.disturbingauctions.com

Here is the Manifesto of Decadent Action. They were briefly prominent about ten years ago but are either terminally idle or in gaol.
www.monoculartimes.co.uk/counterculture/decadentaction.shtml

Read the splendid story of the Bishop of Southwark! The poor chap was plainly unused to wine and was perhaps even the target of Papal mischief!
news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2064762.ece

Liberte pour les gnomes de jardin!!
(Although fraternite and egalite might be pushing it a bit).
www.flnjfrance.com

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