Monday, 2 July 2012

What's on your Mantelpiece?

An intense study of the lives of people in Britain called Mass Observation was started 75 years ago. One of the questions in this study was "What's on your Mantelpiece?"

So I thought I would start the study again but with popular* contemporary bloggers.

Dr Max Tunguska has, working from left to right, on his mantelpiece over a fine open log fire, the following:
  • A jar of nitroglycerin.

  • A human brain in a jar covered in formaldehyde with some wires sticking out of it. The label has Max Tunguska scribbled out and Vacant Possession written in underneath.

  • Some green glowing rocks sitting on a wooden plaque with a brass engraved plate showing the wording Essential Power-source from Atlantis.

  • Discharge paperwork from the mental asylum (forged).

  • One dead bonsai tree.

  • Two small reel-to-reel tapes left here by Jericho Roth.

  • A cup of coffee.

  • Eolist sitting swinging her feet.

If any other bloggers would like to document their mantelpieces, be my guest.

* Starting with The Tunguska Event is stretching popular to breaking point, so bite me.

The original BBC article can be found here:


  1. Ha! This is awesome! Okay, here goes...

    - Twenty eight pence in loose change.
    - Receipt for a brace of lobsters.
    - A coffee bucket with Eolist's lipstick on it.
    - A long, bent metal thing with a lump on the end.
    - Bag for said long, bent metal thing.
    - That photo of Jericho with Nixon and Kissinger.
    - A large bite mark, the bite radius of which suggests a squallus much bigger than any normal squallus found in these waters.
    - A clock that hasn't worked since 1897, the last time I wound it up.

    Well, that's it, I think.

    Oh, and say hi to Eolist for me, won't you?

  2. on my mantel (left to right):
    a tiny round clock on a pedestal that consistently reads 2:45
    a statue of a green alien family of four
    a scorched wooden candle holder that bears the word "shine"
    a small wordy ode to two tiny tornadoes
    a photo of said tiny tornadoes laying on the floor with their grandfather.

    PS: may i correct one thing regarding your mantel? the cup of coffee is currently empty and would like to be refilled...

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  5. A meter indicating the power consumption of a small city
    A squashed Mini Cooper S with the word Merde stamped on the roof
    A lump of Granite that glows green at full moons
    A Newton Thermometer reading 24 degrees
    Various old prescriptions

  6. Heh heh. I don't have a mantle, but this is the first time I've been here with my audio on.

    And lo!

    A farting noise.

    Very nice.


    Me likey.

  7. As soon as I dig through enough crap to get to the mantlepiece, I'll report back on what I find.

    P.S. If you don't hear from me within a month, send out a search party.


Comments are always appreciated