The Deptford Mice Almanack | April

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Rosemary, she of savoury scent, flowers now. Where wife, she rule home and husband, it grow best. Mouseys bury dead with sprigs, to tell bucket kickers they not forget. Rosemary very good in lotions to make hair soft but strong, Akkikuyu must wash locks every April whether they dirty or not – her beauty too much to let slip.

Aufwader’s Thoughts: For somebody who only gets her hair done once a year, I must say, Madame Akkikuyu isn’t looking too shabby in this month’s calendar illustration. I have to wonder whether this is a depiction of her in her travelling youth, perhaps mere weeks after she commandeered Simoon’s esoteric paraphernalia. She rather looks as if she’s practicing her act – and now, the Mystical, the Marvellous, Madame Akkikuyu!

This month’s points of interest include the rather trusting mouse custom of the Day of Keys on the 4th, and, on the 6th, Spittle’s first sighting of what we must assume is a portent of Jupiter’s – I mean, the Great Plague’s – arrival in old London town. We also have a piece on the rare Sign of Grace and Beauty, a somewhat maligned mousebrass that seems to be more of a curse than a blessing to those who receive it. (One wonders if mouse fables perhaps contain a moral tale of a fair maiden turned cruel and heartless by the fickle enchantment of that brass.)

There are other sorrows too; Lost Sweethearts Day on the 19th is a maudlin favourite of mine, and of course we have the tragic and untimely demise of Vespertilio on the 27th.

Lastly, and perhaps most ominously of all, is the small entry on the 29th, describing how Madame Akkikuyu first ventured into the Skirtings to tell the fortunes of the Deptford Mice. Imagine if she had taken the long way round!


Matt’s Thoughts: Highlights for me of this month were the diagrams of rat ears and the rather humorous tale of Freddy Beechnut and his Hopping the Hare. Still, however, the theme of Thomas Triton’s alcoholism remains, which is sad.

I do have to ask, did anyone ever make the Blind Brass Biscuits?

2 thoughts on “The Deptford Mice Almanack | April

  1. Naturally, my favorite illustration for this month is the lovely squirrel maiden holding withys for her briding basket. And as sad as it is, there’s something tragically beautiful about the sketch of Vesper lying dead amongst the bluebells. Now we see for ourselves the heartbreaking sight that met Ysabelle’s eyes and crushed her hopes. 😥

    I actually did make the Blind Brass Biscuits not all that long ago. I’d been wanting to try them for years and finally got around to it. They’re very good. I had to order the treacle online since it’s not something stocked regularly here in US grocery stores, and I’m glad I did as it’s an essential part of the flavoring. The closest thing I could compare the taste to is gingerbread cookies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve made Blind Brass Biscuits several times, and they’ve been good (and different) every time. I tend to make them as a Yule treat rather than for the May because I feel like gingerbread is more of a winter thing. (Also if you make half the recipe but use the full amount of eggs they come out with the consistency of cake, as I discovered via a happy accident once.)

      Liked by 1 person

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