Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let me lead you up the garden path.......on Sepia Saturday (164)

Follow me up my garden path............. to my outside loo..........yes,  I do intend to be a little obtuse. Its still February in England, and in case you don't understand what that means to us, its a month of gloom when you wish you could have flu and stay in bed, and this year I have been lucky in that respect, wiped out of enthusiasm for two full weeks. The worst thing is that now I feel better in all respects other than my taste buds, so a nice glass of red wine, that universal panacea, tastes appalling.

The theme this week.......
Learn about Sepia Saturday
Firstly....and especially for US citizens.......this is a TORTOISE.......its not a turtle. In British English we describes these reptiles as "tortoises" if they live on land and don't swim. This little chap cannot swim, he loves to live in arid land around the Mediterranean. Its pretty certain, on my research, that he is a spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) or Greek tortoise, one of five species of Mediterranean tortoise.

What is more important.... I have good reason to believe that this particular young tortoise, was not born in Greece, but in Egypt or Israel, although he was well journeyed, and did indeed visit Greece, and just possibly may now be living in any of Israel, Egypt, Libya, Greece, Syria, Ceylon or Australia. He was a War Tortoise, a battalion mascot.

(Tim may just possibly be on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, but I doubt Tim would have fared well there, I hope he was spared).

The Kokoda Track campaign, 1942.

Am I crazy? Am I leading you up the garden path?

You decide....but later... please read on >>>

Here is my related Sepia Saturday contribution this week:

Yes...this really is where my garden path leads.

Let me tell you a little about the Sepia age qualifications of this photo:

  • Brickwork....Circa 1895 
  • Toilet bowl and seat.....Circa 1899 
  • Bronco toilet paper....Circa 1975 (Choice of green or blue still available at this location) 
  • WW1 ammunition box with canvas handles......Circa 1916 
  • Box contents.....Straw, barley, packing for the use of. Circa 2012. 
  • ** Other relevant box contents (not disclosed!) .....Circa 1940/50 
If your Latin is not up to click, scratch here.

Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks!! You will have to read my blog until at least the end of March, possibly early April, it all depends upon the jet stream and how it affects the weather in Derby. But I promise you a thrilling surprise from this week's photo.

The End

 I had written the following before Sepia Saturday gave away the true subject of the photo:

Courtesy of Palestine Post, February 13, 1940

Now I can tell you.............The man is Captain D Michelson. The tortoise is Tim, one time mascot of the 2/2nd Battalion (Australia). The location is Camp Julis in Palestine. The month is March 1940. Read about the battalion and its movements in 1939-1945 at Wikipedia.

Members of the 2/2nd Battalion in 1941.

If Tim did get left behind, this is a recent sunset at Camp Julis that
may tell him its time to get tucked up for the night. Courtesy of Panoramio.

The absolute end
(at least until the box is opened!)


  1. How clever to show us this amazing loo, vintage toilet paper, and end with a comment about battalion MOVEMENTS. I don't believe you've been sick at all!

    1. Yes he has Wendy, the notice clearly states that this is the case. Oh no, hang on, that was Gloria the van.

  2. Did you ever hear of a tortoise-neck sweater? Well, I don't! So turtle it is :) Looking forward to your next blogs but please note that "your" jet stream is coming from Holland...

  3. You are right...I never did hear of one...but I know a man who needs one:

    Still working on the jet stream comment.


  4. I absolutely love your bog and want one just like it! Interesting post. Thanks

  5. In the Sepian world there are quite a lot of twisty garden paths but very very few come to such an end.

    And if Tim is the official mascot of a battalion, why does Captain Michelson need to paint a number on him? Wouldn't he be instantly recognizable? Or could there be a herd of tortoises and Tim must have proper identification so we can pick him out from amidst the others?

  6. That toilet should be Grade 1 listed and preserved with care.

    Great post, Nigel. I always thought a tortoise was a land animal and a turtle sea or water dwelling with flippers rather than legs.

    Numbering is for identification unique to Tim; we wouldn't want hime to end up as mock turtle soup!

  7. I really didn't know where you were going with this post. So many twists and turns. But you wrapped it up nicely.
    Loved the old loo. Too funny.

  8. Whew! What a post. Now I have to go back and change my post to read "tortoise".

  9. First vexicology and now cloacopapyrology. What could possibly come next?

  10. Do you know where this fancy sanitary ware was manufactured? Was it made in South Derbyshire? I see the name Triumph - a hopeful mark if there ever was one - but no location.

    1. Not sure first stab at investigation only came up with the news item......"Triumph: toilets overflowing as stricken ship limps towards port" !!


  11. Well done for writing a post when sick, and you are still sick if you can't enjoy red wine. I too have been sick - yes, you can get sick in Australia in summer. I just haven't had any imagination and not a lot of energy to get my head around these sepian prompts.
    It's good reading them all though.

  12. If I am going to be led up the garden path I like to be led circuitously, on the way calling here and there to admire the unusual and the interesting. You do this so well. Lead on, sir.

  13. In all ways this is an absolute Triumph.

    Loved it - a lesson


  14. I have a photo of a tortoise in my post this week as well.
    Here in Nevada, where we wintering (sunshine! unlike home) there are tortoise in the desert.
    I remember my grandmother in Dublin having an outhouse!!

    1. Nice to see someone use the term "outhouse". That is what it was always called here, but my wife or daughters will still not learn the word, and so never seem to know when I tell them I have left the yard brush or mop in the outhouse !


  15. Lots of twists and turns indeed. . . .