Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Galactic Baroque.
== ”’An Underwater Adventure In Port Babbage”’ ==
After watching the Fleets sail by in Fleet Week, one of my friends saw some stuff in the water by the Docks, so, after searching around and making a diving suit out of bits i could scavenge (not sure i should have used the bits of broken glass bottle i found after Mr Underby’s roof blew off…), i called a few friends so we could explore. Fiona and Sam came along, and was great fun with Fiona as she didn’t even need a diving suit, very impressive!
We jumped off the Dock and floated down to the inky depths….
Just below us we found what looked like an old wreck, but Fiona said it was actually the home of one of her friends, so although we had a look, we didn’t stay very long. Fiona is really good at swimming!
I got caught up in some old netting, and was swept away on a current, just as my friend Mr Vectoscope warned me about! I lost sight of my friends, and by the time i had disentangled myself and swum back, Fiona had to leave. Still, that left Sam and myself to explore further.
We found some big pipes, very impressive, running along the sea bed, so we looked to see if there was an air-lock to get in…
Finally we found a way in, having seen a strange chap buzzing about inside one of the underwater buildings in some sort of steam cart, and finding ourselves surrounded by a shoal of fish!
For safety, cus you never know when in strange places, we kept our helmets on and had a good look round. The tunnels run fer miles! At the end of one, we found a lift, so i struck a heroic pose as we ascended into the unknown…
Ummmm…… we descended quick time when we discovered we had accidentally broken into Dr O’s place! He does have a very nice glass elephant though, so can’t be all bad….
As we passed a window in the tunnels, we saw a chap outside with a whale, and chatted with him through the glass. He was testing it, though quite what for i am not sure, and after our recent experiences with tests at the school, i thought it best to move on.
Some of the tunnels are very decorative, and we found some nice dolphins done in tiles on one of the floors, and outside there was a ring of huge statues. Through a side tunnel we found a set of long ramps leading up to a door, which was sadly locked, so after trudging all the way up, we had to come back down again.
Along a twisty bit and up some stairs, we came to a strange place that looked a bit like those Gentleman’s Clubs, all posh polished panels and big leather armchairs. There was a very odd table, and Sam said it was “Time fer a Rest!”, so we sat down for a bit…
As it was getting late, we nipped back to where we had found another lift, this one would take us back up and out of the tunnels – shame we didn’t know about it before we started diving, as it would have saved a lot of time!
== ”’Tepic has been missing from New Babbage for a few days….”’ ==
· Posted by Tepic Harlequin on March 1, 2010 at 4:24pm
Well Clara, did you find out anything when I went to Steelhead the other day? You were right behind me, but when I looked back you’d got yourself lost or something, just after I turned the corner down the lane that takes me from where we were to where I was, very strange…
Anyway, you know I told you it does take different times, not sure why, well, it only took about an hour that day, but last week I decided to go see Miss Mara, and took one of my usual routes, down by the Docks, and behind the shops, and instead of getting there pretty quick, I found myself walking down some nice lane with hedges on either side, the sun warm on my back, and the air fresh and clear.
Course, I knew I wasn’t in New Babbage or Steelhead, because both of them have very distinctive air, but it were rather nice, so I just kept walking – I knew I would get to Steelhead eventually, and I guess I ain’t really in a hurry.I could hear beautiful birds singing, the wind in the trees, and small creatures rustling in the hedges, which meant at least I would get a decent supper…
I walked sort of in any direction for a couple of hours, then the sun started to go down, so I found a sheltered hollow in the hedge, lined it with some dry grass and soft leaves and made myself a little den for the night. The hedgerow creatures aren’t as wary as the New Babbage ones, so I soon had my supper ready, before curling up warm and comfortable for the night.
I woke once that night, cus a moonbeam caught my face, and I must say, out in the country, the sky at night is a wonderful sight when it’s clear, the stars brightly twinkling like the fairy lights on the trees at Christmas in New Babbage. I didn’t drop off straight away, it was so beautiful seeing the stars dance across the sky.
When I woke again, the sun was just coming over the hills, enough to warm my face nicely. I saw acow in a field with her calf, so had a chat and asked if I could milk her for my breakfast. She mooed gently, like cows
do, which I guess means yes, and she stood nice an still while I filled my cup twice over. Oh! The taste of new milk, Clara! I don’t know if you have ever drunk it warm from the cow, but it’s so much nicer than the stuff they give you in bottles in New Babbage. I stroked the cow in thanks for a bit, and played with the calf, though he had the best of it an seemed to love bowling me over!
Then I put everything back in my pack, and playing a tune on my flute, I wandered back off down the lane. Nowhere was there any sign of people, though there were fields and some cows an horses in some of them. No huts or sheds, or even the distant smoke rising from a friendly hearth. It was a lovely land to wander through though, with some copses of elm and aspen, and in the distance off to one side, the beginnings of what looked like a huge forest, with old oaks among the younger trees. Sadly, it didn’t seem to be the way I was going, but maybe next time I will go and explore.
It rained a little in the morning, just enough to refresh the world, and not enough to want to do anything but run and play through the drops! By mid afternoon I was dry as could be again, and I found some horse mushrooms in a field, always tasty in a stew for supper!
I settled down for the next night under a tall beech tree, and a squirrel didn’t like me sitting beneath his home. He started chattering away and pelting me with beech nuts! It was fun, as not only did I have to dodge around to avoid getting hit, I was also able to collect up a nice lot of nuts to chew, sometimes squirrels can be so silly, trying to drive you away by throwing treats at you! Once I had enough, I moved to another tree, leaving him in peace, though occasionally I saw him peek round the trunk and chatter at me!
The nice thing about wandering is that you have to stop nice and early to make a fire to keep you warm during the night, and to cook your supper (if you ain’t having a fresh snack…), because once it gets dark, you
might as well just sleep til morning, not like the bright streets of the cities, where I wander at all hours, playing my flute for coppers or checking my traps. The stars don’t really shine til much later, so when you are star gazing, it’s best to sleep first and wake up for a bit at full night.
Breakfast was some apples off an old tree, they were small and kind of wrinkled, but deliciously sweet, and there were plenty to take some away to munch during the day. It was a gloriously warm and sunny day, I drank from the clear streams I found crossing the lane, and in one that was almost a river, I saw some brown trout swimming in a pool. I guess I spent more time than I thought catching enough for a good feed, but brown trout are wonderful grilled over a camp fire, especially if you put a few slivers of sweet apple in them before cooking…
I guess I wandered for several days, didn’t really count, it was so nice and there were good things to eat and drink all over the place. I did see some fairy rings, and possible signs of the elven folk, but didn’t get to see any this time, or join in their games. They are such a shy folk, if you don’t count Puck, who is always fun to play with.
Well, it was only this last night that I turned the corner of the lane, and before me were the buildings of Steelhead, though I could have recognised it by it’s familiar smell alone. It was a nice few days, but it’s always good to come back to the streets I know and the friends I play with. There are always adventures to be had in the cities, which I do miss when my wandering takes longer than usual.
Still don’t know why you were so interested in my walks, but that’s how they go, and you are always welcome to come along, anytime you want, as long as you don’t keep getting lost like you did last time!
(Tepic believes completely that he walks between the different cities, with no mechanical or other assistance, and has no understanding of how he manages to travel the distances or why it takes different times. His main confusion is why everyone can not do it, and acceptance that no one really believes in his travels).
== ”’Skyler is Inocent – so who?”’ ==
· Posted by Tepic Harlequin on December 6, 2009 at 4:21am
Well, was a great relief to hear Mr Undershirt had finally realised Skyler did not kill that bloke in Pennyfeather Park, i know Skyler can be a bit … unusual at times, but didn’t believe he had done someone in.
Bit of a worry though.. if it weren’t him, then who did fer the bloke? All the other stuff makes it look like it were an urchin, so is one of my friends a red-handed murderer? I know Sam said it were me, but i know it wern’t, so that’s alright, after all, i was checking my vole traps when it happened, so it couldn’t have been me and lots of… some people….. oh dear, no-one saw me, cus the traps are all in hidden places!
Still, there is someone out there knocking off violent, nasty, rotten orphanage owners, so we all need to be very careful not to look like one.
Anyway, i hope Mr Undershirt finds out who it was soon, as long as it ain’t one of my friends, or someone i know, or someone i might like…. hmmmmm….
== ”’Tepic’s Seaside Holiday”’ ==
· Posted by Tepic Harlequin on May 2, 2010 at 1:04pm
i heard as Miss Bilavio an Mr Frakture were having an adventure down in Shanghai (you hear a lot restin behind boxes down by the airship place….), so decided to wander down an see what happened, cus i ain’t been to Shanghai fer some time. Well, i’m sure i took the right route, left by Miss Writer’s place, second right, the carry on fer a bit an you should come out by Mr Hung’s Fish Shop, but, i musta made a mistake cus i found myself walking over a hill, an there was the sea, not a building or path to be seen.
It was quite a nice place, the grass covered the rolling hills, almost like huge green waves, and a breeze blew cool air from the sea, with just a hint of saltiness in it. i wandered along the cliff edge, back just a bit, cus with white chalk cliffs you gotta be careful, they can tip you down onto the sand an cover you with rocks sooner than you can do anything!
There were Fulmars playing along the cliffs, flying up an over the edge, far more graceful than the gulls, but you have to be careful not to annoy em, cus hey can spit an awful oily and smelly stuff at you that sticks an is very difficult to get out.
The sea looked nice, waves breaking on the sand an rocks below, so i hunted for a place to climb down to the shore. Wonderful thing about chalk cliffs, there are usually bits worn away to make nice gentle ways down, and it was not long before i found one.
i stopped wearing my shoes when the weather started getting better, no sense in wearing em out, and the sand was wonderful and warm between my toes as i walked along the shore, listening to the waves crashing on the sand. it was too nice, so i piled my stuff neatly, an ran into the water! (bet if Skyler ever hears this he will faint!).
Ooohhh! it looked nice, but it was cold! i dived through the waves an swam a bit in the calmer water beyond, keeping a careful eye on my stuff, not in case some one nicked it, like they would in New Babbage, but in case i got pushed along the shore by a current. Then i surfed to the beach, diving landwards with a wave, letting it carry my ashore, then raced back in, splashing as i went until i was tired and cold.
There was loads of driftwood about, above the tide line, so it weren’t long before i had a good fire going. Would have been nice to have some stones to put in the fire, to hold the heat all night, but chalk ain’t any good fer that, and the flint, well, if you daft enough to put flint in a fire you deserve all you get!
The tide had dropped by the time i got the fire going, so i searched along the shore for supper. There were mussels on the rocks, an some nice seaweeds, an it weren’t long before i had a good soup on the go. Course, it’s better if you can rinse the mussels out fer a bit in fresh water, but they are still nice straight from the rocks, if a bit gritty.
i snuggled up beside the fire, and settled in fer the night, the sound of the waves soothing in my ears.
The morning was bright an clear, i could see fer miles over the sea, and thought i saw a sailing ship in the distance, but not sure. Mussels are a nice tea or supper, but really ain’t right fer breakfast, so i was lucky i saw some sheep up top the cliffs, grazing. They had lambs, so i climbed back up, crept close to one of the sheep, an pretended i was a lamb! Sheep ain’t the brightest of creatures, an it weren’t too difficult to cadge a nice tin of milk out of em. Not quite the same as cows milk, and a step up from the vole milk i been using recently, all in all a good breakfast!
i spent the day swimming an walking, going further along the coast. There were clams in one bay, an i found a couple of crabs hiding in a hole in the rocks, but they had just changed their shells, so i left em to grow a bit first. There was all sorts of interesting stuff washed up – the sea throws most of the stuff it takes in shipwrecks back to the shore, an i got some new stuff to play with, including a length of line an a couple of only slightly rusted hooks! i managed to catch some fish fer supper, using some of the clams as bait, an baked in the embers of a fire, stuffed with clams and wrapped in seaweed fronds, they were lovely.
The next day was more coast, an although swimming and scavenging is fun, i weren’t getting near to Shanghai, an was missing my friends in New Babbage, so in the afternoon i climbed back on to the cliff tops, and headed inland till i found a path. It weren’t long before i turned a corner, and there was the Old Imperial Theatre, so i knew (even without the smell…) that i was back home. It’s nice to have a holiday sometimes, an i hope i can find my way back sometime, but it is nicer to come home…
And what a surprise! i head off fer a few days, an people start burning half the place down! Guess i will have to stay around a while, an get things running right again. i dunno, the adults just can’t manage to stay out of trouble unless you keep a firm eye on em all!
== ”’A Fine Business Opportunity!”’ ==
· Posted by Tepic Harlequin on March 25, 2010 at 7:09pm
Well, it’s an ill wind an all…
I begins to hear about oil going missing from different places, including Mr Undertone accusing me an me mates of nicking his! As if we would! What would us urchins do with all that oil….. errr…. hmmm…..
Anyway, i got to thinking, as i’m catching voles all the time anyhow, could i maybe make some grease from the fatty bits i usually throw in the canals dispose of properly. Didn’t take long ter scrape a few pelts, boil down the scrapings an the other fatty stuff, an after cooling i got a nice white grease! I poured it into an old flat pan, an once it had set solid, i cut it up an wrapped it in some paper, lettering it up real good so’s people could see what it is and that i makes it.
Then it was out an about looking fer people who might be in need of some grease ter lubricate their gears. I gave a block to a nice lady i met, an mentioned it to Mr Cleanslate, when i chatted to him as he was making something big. He said he would let me know if he could use some. I met Sam down by the Docks, where i was putting some of my grease ready to send overseas, an we were chatting when Mr Footman turns up. Well, i mentions to him my grease, an straight away he wants to buy several tons! I told him their ain’t that many voles in the whole world, but he did settle fer a couple of blocks just to tide him over, which i’ll drop by at his place when i go to see the ghosts.
Looks like i might make a few pennys outa this, an Sam was even suggesting vole glue, though not sure quite how to make that… The vole tail candles i’m still thinking about, i know they work, cus i use em sometimes, but people do seem a bit put off by em fer some reason…
Wonder what is happening to all the oil…?