Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mr B Keeper?

We had no map to guide us, but we knew where to find his house because we'd been told it was down in Kent.

The roads were busy and for some reason, possibly connected with the opening day of the London Paralympics, both the M20 and the M26 were at a standstill.

But why care about time? We were in no hurry, and our route avoided both motorways. Instead, we'd quite naturally selected the country lanes, including some that were among the narrowest lanes in England, with precious few wide spots to allow two cars to pass in opposite directions.

Alas, there was no Beagle to welcome us when we arrived, but we found the great man sitting by his favourite window...

It was while walking in the grounds that I managed to capture this photograph of one of his wonderful specimens...

And I couldn't resist taking this snapshot of the house from the garden...

Of course, he wasn't a bee keeper, although he did study bees for a period. He was interested in all forms of life. Can you guess who I am talking about?



Dolores Doolittle said...

I thought it was You in the window, CI, but The Beagle gave a handy hint - Darwin.

One is thrilled to say that he visited the Isle of Wight several times and 'twas during his 1858 visit here that he started writing 'The Origin of Species'. One of his places of lodging is now the delightful Waterfront hostelry in Shanklin.

Had to google your beauteous photo to discover Down House in Downe... where it seems he Also wrote 'The Origin of Species'.

What a splendid place to investigate!

Canary Islander said...

Dolores - Brilliantly solved!

I didn't know that Darwin had stayed on the IOW. Perhaps the great man was attracted to the island by the abundance of local fossils that could be found in the waterfront hostelries :-) ?

If I had been Charles Darwin, living in Down House in the village called Downe, I'd have changed my name by deed poll to Down, so that my business card would have read as follows:

Mr Down
Down House
Downe Village
North Downs

I'm delighted you spotted the Beagle clue and I'm guessing you are also aware of the "down in Kent" clue.

But can anyone point to to the third clue in my literary masterpiece?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Down Downe & Downs were all new to me, CI, not to mention the signification of DFL...

Cracking the literary masterpiece must also be left to those wih a brain, I'm afraid. (Mine is evidently too fossilised). (You fiend)!

Canary Islander said...

Hi Dolores!
In August, we get lots of Londoners come down to gawp at us natives in our Kentish seaside town, and we refer to these visitors as "DFL".

It means "Down from London".

Expat said...

B for Darwin's Beetle?

JW10 said...

Cracking photos, CI. Afraid I'm at a loss for deciphering the literary code. I'm sure it has nothing to do with Da Vinci.

Talking of Darwin. An excellent fictional novel I read last year was a book called This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. It described the voyage of the Beagle and gave a thrilling account of Darwin's adventures. It was also quite sympathetic to the tragic figure of Captain Fitzroy.

Canary Islander said...

Hi Expat!
We have been busy rushing around the countryside visiting places of interest ever since Kathy's daughter gave us a one-year membership of English Heritage. You see, we are trying to make the most of the membership before we return to Tenerife for the winter! So life has been a whirl of castles, manor houses, gardens, ancient ruins and lots of driving...

And you are right! Down House contains all sorts of exhibits relating to Darwin's work - including rows and rows of beetles all carefully arranged by type and all neatly pinned to an exhibit board by the great man himself!

Made me feel qute hungry! And the visitor's cafe was super!

Canary Islander said...

Hi JW!
I loved seeing that "B" in the garden - I immediately thought of you and Mr B Keeper!

My third literary clue lay in the phrase "Instead, we'd quite naturally selected the country lanes..."

(It's the way my brain works. I sometimes wonder that is good news for humanity in the great Darwinian scheme of things... )

Dolores Doolittle said...

God, but you're cunning, CI!
(think I may have been unnaturally selected in rather important parts).