Monday, 22 April 2013

A lordly portrait

Lord Bassington-Bassington's dear friend Fraulein Frost isn't just great with tasting drinks. This is her portrait of a certain Lord. Who is currently galloping around Bassington Manor, all ears flapping with joy.

How can His Lordship not wear a bow tie tomorrow? One with little skulls, perhaps?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A toast to the sun

With Lord Bassington-Bassington's appreciation for Tiki culture, and penchant for creating drinks in honor of people that inspire him, it was only logical that His Lordship would start making drinks to go with his favourite bands. And as Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite bands have a tendency to operate within the field known as neofolk, there were bound to be some strange things happening.

Neofolk and Tiki culture might not seem like natural bedfellows to most folks, even the rare individuals who happen know what both neofolk and Tiki culture are. But frankly, after enough rum-based drinks anything can be natural bedfellows.

And to Lord Bassington-Bassington, the place where national romanticism (a key ingredient in neofolk) and faux-Polynesian pop culture collide is a heavenly kitschy and very inspiring place. Call it - why not? - National Roman-tiki.

So it it with a certain pleasure (and a certain level of inebriation) that we here at the Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles present the recipe for the Solblot, the drink in honor of the band of the same name. As Solblot is possibly the most Swedish band in existence, the idea was to create a drink that was equally Swedish, but still recognizable as a Tiki drink.

3 cl Blue curaçao
5 cl White grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)
1 cl Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
3 cl white rum (such as Havana Club Anejo Blanco)
3 cl Mead (preferably from Uppsala...)
5 cl ginger ale (with a real ginger bite, such as Fentiman's)
1 cl Bombay Sapphire gin
A pinch of ground rosemary seeds

Shake all ingredients (except ginger beer) in a shaker with ice cubes until chilled. Pour, strained, into a glass, transparent Tiki mug or reproduction 12th century drinking horn packed with crushed ice. Stir in ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of lemon in the shape of a Northern sun and various other yellow accoutrements, such as 
yellow rose leaves or teensy-weensy runes carved from lemon peel.

Drink while enjoying some appropriate listening and reading.

His Lordship would like to credit Fraulein Frost with the brilliant idea of adding rosemary - a perfectly Northern touch - to the Solblot. And thank Lady Mju for pictorial assistance, and the people who helped taste the drink while it was being developed.

A special thanks goes to the staff here at Bassington Manor who helped clean up the mess made by His Lordship. Basset paws are good for many things, but complicated shaking procedures are not one of them.

So - which is the next band that should be given the Tiki treatment?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

On collecting Lovecraftiana

"Is this the final exorcism/Of an obsession"

As someone who, well, loves H.P. Lovecraft, and has a tendency to gather small topical book collections, Lord Bassington-Bassington has acquired a decent assortment of books related to The Gentleman of Providence through the years. So it shouldn't be surprising that there is a separate bookshelf here at Bassington Manor dedicated to Lovecraftiana: Writings by Lovecraft, about Lovecraft, inspired by Lovecraft and writings that inspired Lovecraft.

One could perhaps lay down the claim that this is the largest collection of Lovecraftian titles in Norway, and invite challengers to a geek-off. But the question is whether this shelf is something to be ashamed rather than proud of. There are plenty of times that Lord Bassington-Bassington has felt that his Lovecraft obsession was a bit of an embarassment.

One could, you know, become a minor expert on some author that normal adults have actually heard of.

Then after all, His Lordship didn't choose to become obessed with Lovecraft - Lovecraft chose him.

So perhaps this post is as much an attempt to gather Lord Bassington-Bassington's thoughts about collecting Lovecraftiana. Some thinking about this is a real necessity these days, when the market is flooded by books cashing in of the fact that the copyright to The Gentleman of Providence expired a few years ago. The growing interest in Lovecraft in popular culture (especially films) also contributes to this. Perhaps a few words about His Lordship's collection of Lovecraftian DVDs later.

The trick, as in so many other things, is to know when to stop. Much of what is released is, frankly, so Dogawful that it's a waste of money and shelf space to buy and store it, and a soul-killing effort to actually read it. The trick is to search out the gems. This will be even more important as the Lovecraftian juggernaut rolls on.

So there, dear reader, you have it. Lord Bassington-Bassington's shelf of shame. Or pride. Or whatever. Now let's see if something similar can be done with Lord Bassington-Bassington's collection of style books...

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Standing in one circle

Lord Bassington-Bassington's title is, sadly, not recognised by DeBrett's or any similar registry of nobility. In fact, it's hardly recognised by anyone at all. So when His Lordship waddles around the Township of Little Storping-in-the-Swuff, where he should be Lord of the Land, the comments from passersby tend to be along the lines of "look at that silly dog!" and "eeeeew, he drools!" Shocking, of course. But such is the modern world.

Luckily, there are some people who have a certain fondness for their slightly eccentric Lord, and bestow upon His Lordship small token of appreciation. One of these exemplary individuals is Superfritz, one of the humans His Lordship really admires.

The principle of "Noblesse oblige" dictates that a Lord show proper thankfulness. So here is a small, Interwebular thank-you note for one of the most charming gifts Lord Bassington-Bassington has ever receives: A combination of three of his favourite thing in a pocket-sized package.

What do you get when you combine droopy-eared canines, that wonderful fabric known as tweed, and design by Jeremy Hackett?

You get the veritable trinity of joy pictured below.

Frolicking in fields of green corduroy. Also by Hackett, incidentally.

Thank you, Superfritz! You are a true Germanic gentleman!