Thursday, December 07, 2006



If I were filthy, stinking rich, I wouldn’t squander my fortune on fast cars in St Tropez, opulent Alpine skiing jaunts or Malibu condos.


I would buy a castle. A huge, crumbling castle somewhere in Scotland or Ireland or perhaps somewhere on the Continent such as Germany or Eastern Europe. And in this castle I would indulge my tastes for the Victorian, the Gothic, the mediaeval.

Much of the castle would be left in disrepair. There would be wings I never set foot in, for my future offspring to explore to their hearts’ delight, full of secret panels and trapdoors and dusty rooms containing nothing but a table and a mysterious lamp.

The castle would have an enormous entrance hall hung with paintings by Turner, Goya and the Pre-Raphaelites. The dining room would flaunt a huge oaken table at which my bride and I would partake of candle-lit suppers under the gaze of The Lady of Shalott.

The library would be soaked in books, leatherbound volumes whose spines I would be afraid to crack for fear of spilling the riches within. An attendant would hover silently to grant my wishes but disappear when I so required. With the finest brandy at my elbow I would pore over ancient grimoires for hours until the sputtering candles burned low.

My lady and I would live in the upper floors. The lower ones would be given over to the staff, who would be discreet and reticent when serving us but in return would be permitted Bacchanalian rampages in the castle’s depths during their spare time.

A room would be given over to mechanical contraptions of astonishing invention; another, to advanced chemistry facilities and experiments. A third, perhaps a long narrow hall, would contain stuffed creatures from the four corners of the earth, from the humblest shrew to the mightiest ursine predator.

Before the castle would plunge a valley forested with pine, through whose snow-drowned slopes wild beasts would lope and bay in the winter’s night.

Behind the castle would rise terrifying black mountains from whose summits at intervals massive sheets of ice would plummet and crash like frozen waterfalls.

Modern conveniences would be retained where necessary. There would be electric lighting, 21st century plumbing and wireless broadband internet access, as well as a home cinema which would feature regular screenings of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari among numerous others.

Great parties we would throw in full mediaeval dress, with an abundance of meat and wine and live music provided by Jethro Tull.

My love and I would stand atop the castle’s ramparts in the fury of a summer’s storm, she in billowing chiffon and I in gleaming hat and tails, and I would play the violin until I woke the gods.

The Tower. You haven't mentioned the tower that rises up from the dungeons where, using an ingenious pully device, you can raise your creations up to meet the lightning storms.
Sounds a bit ghey to me, what kind of heating would you have? and how close would the shops be?
That is such a beautiful picture. I thought of the Lady of Shallott -'I am half sick of shadows.' and Ophelia and Burne Jones and such. One of the reasons I love it -it portrays the feeling of not so delicious melancholy I feel at the moment. All things shall pass.
Mo good Doctor. Your taste is impeccable. If I'm not very much mistaken - and I'm not - that would be the Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, a picture I spent many an hour adoring in the National Gallery many years ago when I still had the use of my libido.

Well done, Sir, for brightening our shabby little lives with such beauty.

(And not a single snide comment: must be a record!)
must be a ghey record.
Sounds divine.
Nightly pillow fights! With lacy victorian goose-down stuffed pillows!
Froo-froo pajamas MANDATORY for men and women.
But pray tell, where are the hounds of the Baskervilles?
It's a bit girly.
Stay off tap water for a month or two until your testosterone levels readjust.

Pre Raphaelites indeed.

Oh and you're quite wrong about Jackson Pollock.

Surprise surprise.
I'm with you, Footie. I have pretty much the same fantasy. I would add early morning walks on the windswept moors, with my faithful Irish Wolfhounds. I would bluster in like Jane Eyre's Rochester, just in time for breakfast, shouting to the dogs to come, "PILOT!!! BAROUUUUU!!!!" as I hand my wet cape to the butler and have my bloody mary handed to be by the husband...

Oddly, you end your fantasy at the point where the Gods have been awoken. It would be interesting to know what happens next. Chances are, I reckon, that they'd take one look at your over-lavish attempt to recreate Dracula's castle and roll about the clouds in hoots of laughter.
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Sounds like a HP Lovecraft novel. I bet when you stopped playing the violin you'd realise your lover has been dead for almost twenty years and you've been imagining the entire thing, and you'd claw and claw with ragged nails at the solid arched oak of the enormous front door as you realise that you are doomed to repeat this forever and ever and ever.
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Quite enchanting to say the least. You've woven a gold perception. I enjoyed it and could almost smell the dust upon the books in the old rooms.
You got to have a time machine so your live music can be provided by Jethro Tull circa 1970... Anderson's newer stuff has just shown him to be a dirty old man with fantasies of nubile young groupies. A bit sad really...
Based on that description, which is precisely how I picture my perfect life, I would ask you to marry me, Mr Foot Eater. Except you lost me with not liking The Secret History. Shame on you.
I'm glad you've finally answered that question, because I was wondering.
Kim: good point, but my creations will have wings, so no such contraptions will be necessary.

Mr Knudsen: a roaring log fire in every room, and everything I'd need I'd get my minions to go and buy for me.

Pat: it's my favourite painting. Did you know Waterhouse did three pictures with that same title? Neither of the others are as good.

Bock: indeed. I prefer Waterhouse to the true Pre-Raphaelites as he's the most realistic. Millais is great too.

Mr Knudsen: ghey record? Is that like an album by George Michael?

Sassy: divine, or perhaps diabolical.

SafeT: careful, lad, you're just providing grist to Knudsen's and Maroon's mill.

Boudica: it would have to be Devon for that.

Maroon: it's not the tap water, it's the beer. And I'm right about Pollock. I'm always right.

Andraste: yes, a castle in Yorkshire would do.

Dr McCrumble: Dracula's castle? All those coffins, no running water... not for me.

Kav: come to think of it, she has been a bit quiet lately.

Babs: er, no, that's not dust you're smelling. Sorry, I've been eating sprouts.

Binty: I assume you mean songs like Budapest. Though Aqualung is about a pervy old man, isn't it, and that came out in the early seventies.

Gaijin Gurl: are you one of the underground servants in that perfect life?

Kieran: you were hoping I'd include you in my life if I was rich, weren't you? I'm so sorry.
But.... I don't know what grist really is. Do you?
'Budapest', and a few others. Half of 'Catfish Rising', if I remember rightly. And whilst Aqualung was about a dirty old man it wasn't an autobiographical tale like the later ones were.

Give me 'Thick as a Brick' anytime...
SafeT: no idea. A misspelled breakfast food?

Binty: yes, Thick As A Brick, a fine album. The title track must be the first recorded song to feature the word sperm.
Ah, come on now. You're being a bit hard on Aqualung. He wasn't the worst behind it all, the poor old sod. vuitton bag louis vuitton shop in florida Bags
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