Author Archives: pennimania

About pennimania

Artist, entomologist, grumbler.

Predatory Snails: the dark underbelly of Tyrian purple.

If you’re interested in greed, luxuria and over consumption (other wise known as pleionexia) you can’t help being fascinated by the idea of sea snails being literally milked to death to produce a few drops of a precious dye. I … Continue reading

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Raphanidosis: the birth of the vegetable tortures.

Rhaphanidosis is the act of inserting the root of a plant of the raphanogenus (commonly known as a radish) into the anus. It is mentioned by Aristophanes as a punishment for adultery  in classical Athens in the fifth and fourth century BC. … Continue reading

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SylvaC Stories: Bunny Boilers.

Once upon a time, rather more years ago than I care to remember, I found a dear little green pottery bunny in a junk shop on the Isle of Wight. As I have a predilection for green ceramic items I … Continue reading

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La Fontana delle Scimmie.*

*warning blog post contains references to Florence (again)   This is the Museo delle Porcellane di Boboli, an exquisitely faded small palazzo in the gardens of the Pitti Palace. It has a superb collection of porcelain and chinaware and delicious … Continue reading

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We Have Lost the Taste for Acorns.

About 2000 years ago the Roman philosopher Lucretius wrote: “We have lost our taste for acorns. So  we have abandoned those couches littered with herbage and heaped with leaves. So the wearing of wild beasts’ skins has gone out of fashion … Continue reading

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Egrets: I Have a Few.

Ever since I came back from Florence I’ve been thinking about egrets. In fact, I’ve already written about them here: The Lake of Lettuce The one pictured above is a lesser egret – you can tell by the black beak and … Continue reading

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Forget What Did.

‘ Forget what did. Have decided not to keep a journal anymore.’ So wrote Dorry, the younger brother, in ‘What Katy Did’ by Susan Coolidge. After a few short, sweet days he gave up the unequal struggle between recording the immediate past … Continue reading

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