Organ‘s almost there:
And one’s mind is furtively wandering again through the world of cargo cycles. Recent sightings include a very impressive 4-wheeler from FietsXpress.nl in Den Haag:
Apparently it’s Berlin-built, but by whom?
Vrachtfiets.nl, a spin-off from the excellent technical university in Delft (I used to cycle there from Rijswijk every lunchtime for fried fish, but that’s another story), are making cool machines, but their (projected) cargo bike appears to be two-poisson, and I wonder how well it would do over long distances:
Then there’s Lovelo / La Petite Reine, who produce just west of Paris, and about whom I know virtually nothing else, though I think I saw one of their machines branded DHL the other day in Barcelona. The box is pretty high (1.5m) so I’m guessing wind would be a problem:
My legs are still in reasonable shape, though popular opinion is that my mind is a goner, so it’s going to happen, come rain or come shine, as they say.
- On the French penchant for inventing things already in existence elsewhere
François Dominique Séraphin, Bourbon favourite and reputedly the father of ombres chinoises (shadow puppetry), began operating 15 years later than is generally thought, and may have copied his techniques from an itinerant Italian or a London Alsatian. Featuring the memoirs of the valet to the later Louis XVII, early descriptions of the delights of the renovated Palais Royal (including a pygmy show), jolly old Baron Grimm on the lamentable state of French opera, shadow plays, and marionettes, and William Beckford’s favourite designer of theatrical perversions.
- Noisy buskers used to drown out the sounds of murder
But were organ-grinders really complicit in the 1817 killing at Rodez of the French politician Fualdès, as the translation suggests, or were the vielles hurdy-gurdies, as you’d expect?
- Early tricycle-barrel organ conversion
From The Parish Clerk (1907) by Peter Hampson Ditchfield:
Robert Dicker, quondam cabinet-maker in the town of Crediton, Devon, reigned for many years as parish clerk to the, at one time, collegiate church of the same town. He appears to have fulfilled his office satisfactorily up to about 1870, when his mind became somewhat feeble. Nevertheless,
- Transvestite barrel organ dancers in 1930s Whitechapel and the 1860s London West End
With acrobats, clowns, and Doris and Thisbe, goddesses of wind.
- Another kit maker