Day 332: Nork Rise

Near Banstead in Surrey is a suburban area called Nork. Close to Nork is a hill named Nork Rise, a place name that found its way into Rude Britain owing to a slang meaning of nork that refers to a prominent feature of the female anatomy. In today’s tour group, Laetitia mostly found individuals who liked to hike, so they went hiking in a number of park lands in the area: Burgh Heath, Ruffet Wood, and Canons Wood. Burgh Heath is partly residential, but the group enjoyed seeing the stately homes there as well. When they arrived at Nork Rise, they were amused by the juxtaposition of the Nork Rise sign and a sign describing the medical specialties of a nearby clinic. They noted in particular the sign the name of Dr. Mize, a plastic surgeon specializing in breast implants. It provided grist for the limerick of the day.

To the townsfolk, it was no surprise
When a young plastic surgeon named Mize
Who performed breast implants
Chose, they thought, not by chance
An office that fronts on Nork Rise

Day 331: Prince Albert Court

As agreed, Gloria from Emporia, Kansas, arrived in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey, the locale of Prince Albert Court, and prepared to give a lecture on young Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Laetitia and her group visited Prince Albert Court just before lunch and, after dining, went to a conference room she had reserved. She took notes during Gloria’s lecture, and when it was finished, wrote a multiple-verse limerick summarizing it.

“Did Prince Albert court Queen Victoria
And win in a burst of euphoria
Over swains by the dozen
To wed his young cousin?”
Mused a young Kansas author named Gloria.

“Was she wowed by this dapper young man
Later seen on a tobacco can
And gave him her heart
As her faithful consort
In a match both embraced with élan?”

“Or was theirs a royal wedding arranged
Toward statecraft that may seem deranged
And so often embroils
The hapless young royals
In a match that may soon be estranged?”

Our young Gloria’s book did opine
That their marriage, indeed, was quite fine
And when all’s done and said
They had good times in bed
Producing their progeny nine.

There’s a rumor around of a ring
Albert’s said to have worn through his “thing”
Was the Queen most enthused
Or was she “not amused”
When they were on an amorous fling?

This contrasts with the views of historians
Of the staid prudish bent of Victorians
Who disparaged things nude
Or bawdy or rude
In tones that were sometimes stentorian.

And would have viewed such as immoral
If ‘twas worn around Castle Balmoral
And the mark of a rogue
Though such things are in vogue
In today’s world without too much quarrel.

‘Twas not within Gloria’s capacity
To establish this rumor’s veracity
For the folks who would know
Are all dead long ago
And can’t speak on the consort’s audacity.

Day 330: Fays Passage

Laetitia’s agreement with Mind’s Eye Limerick Tours allowed her to take a day off every thirty days or so. This was thirty days since her last day off, so she went to the Emerald Victorian with the intention of not doing a tour today. In the library, with a steaming cup of freshly brewed Sulawesi dark roast in hand, she paged through Rude UK and found two additional place names in Surrey that she thought might make good limericks. The names were Fay’s Passage and Prince Albert Court. Fay’s Passage is in Guildford. She decided that she wouldn’t actually lead a tour there, but would use Fay’s Passage in a limerick to post for today.

When she ran across Prince Albert Court in Rude Britain, she wondered, “What could possibly be rude about Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort?” Through the wonders of the Internet, she discovered what it was. She remembered meeting Gloria back in Emporia, Kansas (Day 246), who was writing a book on young Queen Victoria. Laetitia thought it would be helpful to have her on tomorrow’s tour of Prince Albert Court. They communicated by email, and Gloria agreed to join the group tomorrow and give a lecture on the subject. Laetitia posted the Fays Passage limerick.

After searching in very dim light
Brett entered Fays Passage one night
And he drew a large crowd
When he shouted out loud
“This fine place is such a delight.”

Day 329: Knobfield

Knobfield is a street and hamlet in Abinger Hammer in Surrey that Bailey and Hurst saw fit to include in Rude UK. Laetitia and her group did some hikes in the surrounding countryside before going there. As they approached the hamlet, they saw a field of curious mushrooms next to the sign signaling Knobfield’s presence. Laetitia asked about the field at the pub of the inn where they were staying and received a rather lengthy explanation from the bartender.

“A lot of elderly spinsters and widows live in this hamlet. They have little to do except gardening and gossip, and they tend to make everything that goes on in town their business. A few years ago, a middle-aged woman named Alice moved here, and they descended on her like vultures on roadkill. She is a perfect target for gossip. She is spunky and flamboyant, dresses in garish clothes, and has a vocabulary like a British tar. Her husband is the exact opposite. He’s a retired professor of mycology who wears wire-rim spectacles and tweeds and has hobbies like watching birds and culturing mushrooms.

“Gossip tends to build on itself, and soon unfounded rumors about Alice were flying around. The prevailing view was that Alice had been a prostitute and later a madam in London who had made lots of money and then retired to Knobfield to gain respectability. There were other rumors that her husband—if they were in fact married—was one of her former clients. None of these stories were true, but the upshot was that everyone in town began to refer to her as Madam Alice. Far from being upset by all this, Alice relished the notoriety.

“When the field beside one of the approaches to town went up for sale, Alice bought it. With the assistance of her husband, the field soon began to sprout mushrooms of the ‘stinkhorn’ variety. These mushrooms resemble the male reproductive organ, and are so named because of a stinky exudate that comes from the tip. Early taxonomists gave these mushrooms the genus name Phallus, and are said to have chosen the trivial name for each species after some colleague that they didn’t like.”

This story was the source of Laetitia’s limerick of the day.

When they saw the field of Madame Alice
Knobfield folks claimed it had to be malice
“That would drive,” said one vulture,
“Such a horticulture—
Mushrooms that are in genus Phallus.”