Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Posts tagged “flowers

Elevenses: Flowery Fayre

“AND THAT, COLLIN, IS WHY I NEVER SHOULD, NEVER DO, AND NEVER SHALL AGAIN WEAR DRESSES IN PUBLIC!  … oh, I think that’s the door, would you get it? I need to wash the seaweed out of my hair…”

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, is it really that time already? Well do please come in and pull up a crate of lemonade to sit on. Please excuse my irate friend, and the superfluous amounts of cake… what’s that? No amount of cake can ever be considered superfluous? Well you could well be right! Our lovely werewolf butler Klapka has utterly outdone herself using up the last of the bounty from our deflowering exploits last week and I have to say that cake is perhaps a safer use for them than magical-cure-alls ; although Max does seem to have made enough cash to meet the rent this month he certainly doesn’t appear happy about this method of monetary acquisition.

But where are my manners? Please, help yourself to some fabulously floral fayre (click each picture to visit the recipe) …



flower biscuits


And of course we mustn’t forget some music to accompany us as we tuck in to these delightful treats…

We wish you all a delinquently delicious afternoon where all your deflowering endeavours pay off and no amount of social or financial pressure forces you into or out of a dress. Mrs Baker will be in her soup kitchen tomorrow but I’m afraid we will not be at home next week as we are visiting your dimension for the delights of the London Comic Con, but we will be back again the week after so, until then, please be always

Utterly Yourself.

Morning Cuppa: A World Of Temperance

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Max and Collin’s flamboyantly flowery and lavishly leaf-laden parlour located within the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster!

True, some have called it a hot house of scandal where faded blooms wilt amid the floral chintzes and vile things blossom like fungi but we consider that such people are merely inextricably stuck up their own tea spouts.

Well, as they say, there certainly is no place like home! Running from irate farmers after one has accidentally set fire to their barn used to be an easy thing apparently, a ‘merry childhood pursuit’ Max called it. Hmph. Not so in these days of weaponised automaton farm workers… we didn’t make it back to Lancaster until after the curfew and for a dreadful moment, as the flock of flesh eating Liver Birds descended, I really didn’t think Max was going to muster the strength to carry both me and our ill-gotten-gains the last few miles to safety. But luckily, he was wearing his spot-of-bother-boots which come equipped with tiny vials of super-strength lapsang for just such emergencies and with me wielding the ray gun in one tentacle and clinging to Max’s head for dear life with the other seven, we managed to escape relatively unscathed.

And so here we are, having deflowered the countryside and brought it all home to brighten up our dear little parlour, and now we are in desperate need of a splendid cup of something and some marvellous literature to accompany it… and of course we have both…

Our tea this morning is this beautiful summer flower tea from Chloe’s Helpful Herbs

And our book is one we have been eager to get our tentacles into for a while now…



Another splendid helping of steampunk insanity from mr ichabod temperance and miss Persephone plumtartt, this second adventure is even more action packed than the first with more parody, pastiche, punning and political pandemonium than you can shake your top hat at! (Max has decided to read the entire book again from the beginning and note down every hat-tip to L Frank Baum)

It took us a few pages to really get into this adventure as a lot of back story was fed into a short space but on the plus side if you have not read the first book that means you will swiftly pick up on the facts needed to enjoy this next episode.

And what an episode! The revelationary comet that sparked off episodes of genius in the human population during book one has now caused the same phenomenon in the animal kingdoms and they have decided they don,t much like being hunted into extinction and have begun to fight back, but will they decide to help or hinder our heroes in their battle to save humanity from its own evil inclinations? Another splendid steampunk romp that had us shedding tears of laughter throughout and we shall definitely be reading and reviewing the next book in the series soon.


Now then, our souls revived, our oracular pet is straining to be released so let us put him into his tea cup and see what his far seeing tentacles have plucked from the aether for us this morning…


Hm, now what is the little villain trying to insinuate? You know I really wish sometimes we had never picked it up off that beach, its sense of humour is suspicious and disturbing. Hm? What’s that? Oh… Max says it is probably trying to be helpful, well, we shall see Max, we shall see…

In the meantime we wish you all a blooming marvellous morning and hope you will join us tomorrow for elevenses when we will be finding useful things to do with all these flowers and reading a splendid steampunk short story from Amy Kuivalainen so until then please be always

utterly yourself.



Morning Cuppa: The Tea Machine

Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Max and Collin’s breathtakingly brew-tastic parlour located within the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster!

True some have called it a tasteless affair offered up by the dregs of society but we consider that such individuals are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.

Well we hear that in your dimension you are celebrating something called Beltane? We hope that is going splendidly for you all! Celebrations abound here in Ire as well with our annual Decimation Of The Flowers ritual (or deflowering ceremony as some folks call it) and so we humbly ask that you forgive our absence yesterday as we were swept along with the tide of evil cultism… you know how it is…

Wiz has decreed that wild flowers can only possibly bloom from seeds pilfered from government plantations and are therefore illegal and must be destroyed on sight. Flowers, after all, contain nectar which bees might use to make honey and then wild honey might be illegally harvested by anyone, and then how would the Wizards regulate the national sugar intake? Anarchy would ensue.

So, in each of the seven counties this month you will find troupes of people using home made apparatus and ingenious devices to rid their locality of wild flowers in all their many forms and destroy any bees nests whilst avoiding being stung. It is all highly amusing and, best of all, it is quite possible in the confusion to finger-smith lots of Percy (that is, lots of sweet edible flowers and honey for one’s ‘personal use’) without The Good Folk noticing. (Of course a diligent gent can snag Wild flowers at any time of year, there is always something in bloom, but evidently Wiz hasn’t cottoned on to this fact yet)

But before we embark on our morning deflowering mission we must fuel up with enormous amounts of tea and  good literature and, naturally, we have both. Our tea this morning is the festive Blooming Tea from ZakkaCasa and our book is the tea machine by Gill McKnight…



Millicent is an intelligent woman of independent means whose life couldn’t be more perfect, that is until her scatterbrained genius of a brother,Hubert ,decides to decimate her best Parasol to use as the lever of his time machine… as Millicent tries to reclaim her beloved property she inadvertently triggers the machine and finds herself plunged headlong into the future of an alternate reality where the woman she loves is in mortal danger. As Millicent tries to save her beloved Sangfroid from what seems like an inevitable and violent death something, or someone, seems to be pulling the strings of time and space into a noose around their necks. Can Millicent, Sangfroid and their friends escape the machinations of evil tea cultists and giant space squid and discover the temporal anomaly that has lead to the rise of the tea goddess and her terrifying steam powered Empire?

This well paced steampunk adventure has everything you could wish for, the whimsy of Gail Carriger, the intrigue and intensity of Meredith Rose and a cast of characters we instantly fell in love with; we laughed, we cried, we basked in the classic Wells/ Verne flavouring and we almost forgot to breathe at the scary bits! We cannot wait for the next book in the series to be released next year.

Now then,our poor oracular pet is straining to be unleashed so let us pop him into his teacup and see what he has plucked from the aether for us this morning…


Well REALLY! What is the impudent creature trying to suggest? That we switch our beloved tea to coffee instead? Hm… I am beginning to suspect that little cur of insubordination and possible defection of our noble revolutionary efforts. Coffee indeed! Pff.

We wish you all a very pleasant morning, whatever cult you belong to, and we hope to see you back in the parlour again soon, hopefully with armfuls of pilfered posies, but until then, please be always

Utterly Yourself






Elevenses: The Language Of Flowers

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you are feeling extremely eleven o clockwise because the time is indeed eleven o clock so please, Hang up your top hat of imposing mental prowess, fold down your pugnacious parasol and pull up a chair (or lemonade crate)


This morning our lovely werewolf butler has been out picking flowers for us… hm? Oh no, no, no don’t worry, nothing like that… we need them for the revolution. Sorry? War of the roses? Oh I see, you are trying to be amusing! Oh well done, yes…hm… but seriously now, please, these flowers which Max is diligently dismantling over there are going to play a vital role in overthrowing the queen and taking our first tentative steps towards world domination…. Hm? Oh yes, sorry, you’re right of course I did mean world liberation. Liberation from the tea time tyranny of Wiz.


You may be aware that Max and his fellow revolutionaries communicate with each other using coded poetry books and an unnecessarily complicated language of stamps? Well now we are attempting to incorporate Floriography (the language of flowers) as well. If you are plotting a revolution, you may wish to consider using this marvellous coding method yourself and so here, for your convenience, are some commonly used flowers and their traditional Victorian meanings to get you started…

Yellow Marquerile – I come soon

Canterbury Bell  – Your letter was received

Iris – I sent a message

Red Fuchia – I like your taste

Pinks – Yes

Wild Rose – Pleasure and pain

Poppy – I am not free

White rose – I cannot

But goodness, all this flower arranging tires one’s tentacles to the extreme, let us break for a while and see if Klapka has not been too busy flower picking to to make us something delicious for our elevenses… mmm, lemon and lavender tea cookies! They are her own recipe, and here it is…

Lemon and Lavender Tea Cookies

150g plain flower

100g butter or margarine

50g caster sugar

1 lemon zest finely grated

1 tsp hot earl grey tea

1 tsp lavender flowers

Mix all ingredients together to form a soft dough, adding a little more flour or tea as needed. Roll into a sausage shape, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 – 24 hours. Slice into cookie rounds (each about the thickness of a pound coin) and bake on a greased tray on gas 4 for about 10mins until pale gold. Leave to cool down and firm up then serve with a cup of jasmine or lady grey tea.

Delicious! And now there is nothing left to do but find some soothing music to tap our tentacles to as we nom …


Marvellous, we hope you have a very lovely afternoon and we invite you back to join us for our morning cuppa on Monday, until then please be always

Utterly Yourself