Saturday, 21 February 2009

Trachelus Aplombus

What a nexcitingly busy week it has been! Dear bloggy friends, I have hardly had the time to visit you all - we have been so up-to-the-neck in our entrepreneurial Tours preparations. But now at last I have blissful moments to write another blog post ...

Before we continue with our little kitchen story, I thought I would introduce you to our wonderful plumber and AFF Gas engineer, Rich, aka Trachelus Aplombus. As Barbara Martin so observantly commented on my last post, Rich wears a helmet and what looks like a neck brace.

Allow me to explain. For his 'day job' Rich is chief engineer at the AFF Gas Station. (AFF stands for Anatomically Friendly Flatulence, our ecologically sound renewable energy source). And what a nexcellent engineer he is - always ready to help his friends with their plumbing and appliances.

However, Rich's talents and interests extend far further, right back into our ancient history! Under the pen-name Trachelus Aplombus, Rich has written several most neckworthy history books, including 'Myths & Legends of Giraffe World' and 'The Historie of Knollshire'.

We are very lucky indeed to have him act as Guide on our Giraffe World Tours. At the end of a day working on the pipes at the AFF Gas Station, Rich removes his boilersuit with a flambuoyant flourish, and lo! There he stands resplendent in full centurion's uniform - helmet, neckpieces - all lovingly restored and polished.

Two of my favourite historical paintings are in his Knollshire book. (I do have his permission to reproduce them on my blog!)



The first shows a centurion gazing over the parapet of our historic Wall, The Long Neck. The Long Neck was built along the northern edge of Knollshire many centuries ago. Not, of course, for purposes of war! The story of the Wall is best told by Trachelus Aplombus himself, and I shall hopefully not keep you waiting too long for this pleasure ...

The Sentries of the Neck were highly trained. Our game Giraffe World Hopscotch was first devised for them as a fitness nexercise.



Sentries of the Neck were not allowed to marry until their time of service was over. However, many of them had an 'unofficial' wife living at one of the villages along The Long Neck, with whom they raised a family ready to move in with when they were discharged. The picture above shows such a sentry throwing a rose down to his beloved, while his companions pretend not to notice!



51 comments:

jinksy said...

I do so hope he was one of the Romans who visited this area in days gone by!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Maybe there is some parallel in our universes, Jinksy!

Barbara Martin said...

Raph, this is a charming post filled with love and history. I loved playing hopscotch as a child.

Sandy said...

Well this is another great post. enjoyed it.

Cloudia said...

I am SO glad that I wandered through that previously unseen low door in the mysterious wall at the bottom of the garden, and found this wonderous land!
Last eve I was singing about the happy giraffes. Thanks for letting us visit! Aloha, Dear Mr. Neckman

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Barbara! Hopscotch is great fun - I still play it, although it's a little harder on the knees now at my age!!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Sandy, I'm really glad you enjoyed the post!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Cloudia - you have a portal in your garden! And you sing about us! I wish I could hear the song. You are always very welcome here.

Derrick said...

Hi Raph,

Our Roman museum has a Centurion's suit just like that! Well, maybe minus the neckbrace!

What a romantic lot your fellows are. I always enjoy history. Please put me down for the neckst tour!

Jeane said...

personally I love the neck armour and if younger, I would love a single piece as a savvy accessory!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

You are very welcome on our neckst tour, Derrick! It will probably be to the hot mountainous regions beyond the Caves. There is plenty of history there, and sunshine!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Jeane - My sister Nektareeni has a motto, "If I see something I like, I stick my neck in and wear it!" If you like the neck armour, I'm sure a piece would look a very 'savvy accessory' on you. Could start a new trend on planet Earth!

Heather said...

Rich looks splendid in his centurian's uniform and how very praiseworthy to be promoting AFF. Knollshire is leading the world (or should that be the universe) in renewable energy - marvellous. I shall do my best to create some good things in the next few weeks, but unfortunately I have too many ideas at present and picking one to start on is proving difficult!!

Poetikat said...

We have quite a lot of that AFF around here. We never thought to put it in a tank, though. Genius!

Kat

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Heather! It's a pity we can't get Rich over to planet Earth to speak at a renewable energy conference, I'm sure he would really enjoy that.

Having too many ideas is what I call a happy dilemma!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Poetikat! We are always keen to protect our environment here.

L. Rochelle said...

A never ending natural resource, now that is prosperity!
Always loved a guy in a uniform...
Lyn

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I will mention your comment to Rich/Trachelus - he will be very flattered, Lyn!

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

Hi Raph why is it you always make me smile just when I needed it. I love hopscotch and still now and then secretly play it.My Mum hasn't been very well so I 've been taking care of her these last few weeeks. She's better now so I'll be over to visit more often from now on

Big Giraffe neck hug
Liz

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Liz, I'm so glad I made you smile when you needed it! I hope your Mum gets well soon - please give her my regards.

Neckst time you secretly play hopscotch, try the Giraffe World version, with a long giraffe neck and the spots with the numbers in!

Rosemary said...

Thanks for introducing us to Rich , our world needs the technology of an AFF engineer. Do you think he would share his knowledge?

Eleanor said...

Unofficial wives in remote villages seems most unchivalric! I have set you up with a challenge on my blog which (if you have time) will extend your admirable talents of invention. Just stretch you a little more, easy for a giraffe with a long neck. Oh, and I haven't forgotten my prize. It is now No 1 on my To do List.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'm sure Rich would be very glad to share his knowledge, Rosemary - he would consider it a great honour!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh, but it was very chivalric, Eleanor, and comforting because it meant the sentry had a partner and children and a loving home when he finished his service, instead of being lonely!

I am most intrigued about this challenge on your blog! Do I have admirable talents of invention? Thank you! I shall go and have a look now ...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

(Eleanor - I've tried to post this Comment on your blog, but the Word Verification letters won't load, so I'll put it here for now!)

Thank you Eleanor! This will be great fun ... five items which aren't in my briefcase but should be? Hmmmmm ...

It will be a few days before I can post the answers to these, as we're still up-to-the-neck in all kinds of nexciting adventures and creativity this week!

My sister Nektareeni would love your turquoise handbag!

Tom Atkins said...

Another hopscotch fan here. Even at my age, I enjoy playing every time I get a chance. I would so love to see a giraffe playing!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Tom, glad to hear you enjoy hopscotch. I wish you could join in with us at Necky Knoll House - you'd see lots of giraffes playing hopscotch!

bindu said...

This is too good! The illustrations are superbly imaginative, as always.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Bindu, I really appreciate your compliments!

CLAY said...

Raph! You're back! Wonderful story from the look of things--but I feel that I might be missing a few key elements of the tale--I will go back and find them. Cheers!

Clay Darrow
M.IV

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Clay! There is no one particular tale, just my random giraffe waffle ...

Arija said...

Raph, what a wonderful long necked world you live in, looks to be much more civilized than Asterix'.
Delightful illutrations.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Arija! We are quite civilized, (Necky Becky just said that she isn't ...)

I do love Asterix books!

olivia said...

LOL ... wonderful. I especially love the rose throwing ... how sweet!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely post. Very Grace Kelly. She had a lovely long neck also.

Thanks for your kind comments on my "new inventions" post. I'm so glad you found it inspiring. Of course you can hang it by your computer!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Olivia! The rose throwing is one of my favourite bits of our history - giraffes have always been romantic!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you so much, Pamela! I shall print a copy off now.

Eleanor said...

Was back to see if you had another interesting character hanging around. But enjoyed reading this once again. Happy Thursday!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Happy Thursday, Eleanor!

There are plenty of interesting characters hanging around here at the moment, as the Stiffnex band have been practising in our cellar as usual. They are are up here in the kitchen now having their supper!

Heather said...

That's a good tip about the hostas Raph - I'll certainly try it. I have to grow them in pots to keep off slugs and snails, but the dry soil might do that anyway. I've plenty of alchemilla mollis - my husband hates it, but I love it! If I keep it tucked up in the corner it can't flop over his nice tidy lawn edges.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Heather - The hostas with the cream edges to the leaves look great against the dark backdrop of the conifers, as the edges shine out. For a layered effect, I sometimes had ones in pots behind ones in the ground.

Glad you love Alchemilla mollis - I like it when it flops over the edge of the lawn too!

Linda S. Socha said...

I so love the unexpected and you so supply it....rather predictability. I love being in this giraffe wonderland

Thanks for making me laugh today!
Linda

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Linda!

I so enjoyed your dancing bird clip - I watched it about 6 times and am still chuckling. (In fact, I've been imitating the dance, but don't tell anybody here in Giraffe World!)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad to hear that giraffes are romantics, Raph - throwing roses down to one's beloved scores a lot of Brownie points with me.

Jeane said...

Hey Raph! - yes, the ugly little box with pics is there - your followers not ugly of course, just their frame with the huge buttons.....:)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh yes, we are definitely romantics, Weaver! Roses, chocolates and now we're coming up to March, giraffodils!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Jeane. It's strange, because I cannot see a frame, my followers or buttons! Or anybody else's on their blog either!!

The Pink Cowboy said...

LOL Love this post and the whole blog so much I've given you a Fabulous award. Long Live the Giraffes!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

A Fabulous award! Thank you so much, Pink Cowboy. I shall pop across and see what this is!

Sepiru Chris said...

Raph,

The tales you relate are so wonderful. My whimsy has, sadly, gone errant, as of late. I look forward to its return so I that I can more properly banter.

And I should note that this is another fantastic post.

I actually have read this a number of times. I have just been suffering overwork and malaise and have not had the time to tell you how much I appreciated reading, and viewing this entry.

It has brought numerous semicircles, of the happier kind, to my lower visage.

Tschuess,
Chris

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Sepiru Chris! How glad I am to hear from you again - and your whimsy, which seems to be with you here!

Overwork can be fun, malaise is not good, and I hope that it has gone.

I'm pleased my post has brought about 'numerous semicircles, of the happier kind, to (your) lower visage'! What a wonderful phrase ...

I was worried that I was getting numerous semicircles, of an undesired kind, underneath my lower visage from looking down at the computer too long, lack of exercise, and too much chocolate. However, Maureen assures me that my chin is still solo.