Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Hermaphrodite Snail’s Lament

About the complex sex lives of hermaphrodite snails, who may or may not have a phallus: to be sung to the tune of ‘Oh dear, what can the matter be? Three old ladies stuck in the lavat’ry…’   (General chorus) … Continue reading

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The art and science of seeing sea-weeds

These green and red algae were collected on a university field trip at the University of Liverpool’s former Marine Laboratory at Port Erin on the Isle of Man. We were shown how to float the more delicate species onto white … Continue reading

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Introduction to ‘Ruth Kowslowski’s blogs

These five blog-posts by ‘Ruth Kowslowski’ are extracts from my novel The Embalmer’s Book of Recipes. Just to reassure you, the novel is not ‘about’ embalming – the word is used as a metaphor for the many different ways in … Continue reading

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‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly …’

The 5th blog by ‘Ruth Kowslowski’, chapter 25 in The Embalmer’s Book of Recipes There are many ways of killing flies, but the extreme solution of first swallowing a spider is certain to cause discomfort. Spiders – the non-bird-eating species … Continue reading

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What do you look like now? What will you look like then?

The 4th blog by ‘Ruth Kowslowski’, Chapter 19, The Embalmer’s Book of Recipes   Louis van Bils sold his secret recipe for embalming bodies to the States of Brabant and the University of Louvain, in 1664; it required copious quantities … Continue reading

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Making Eyes

The 3rd blog by ‘Ruth Kowslowski’ from The Embalmer’s Book of Recipes, Chapter 15   White spheres lie on cotton-wool in the compartments of a flat wooden box: blue, brown or green circles, dark centres – pot-boilers, money-spinners – artificial … Continue reading

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Copper Kettles

The (edited) 2nd  blog by ‘Ruth Kowslowski’, from The Embalmer’s Book of Recipes, Chapter 9 On July 5th 1893 an Exhibition of ‘A Collection of Hunterian Relics’ opened at the Royal College of Surgeons, in London. Not the relics of … Continue reading

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