Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Doc Barbara tackles Paradise Lost

   There have been those who have cast cynical doubts on Doc Barbara's artistic talents, particularly when she illustrates works of literature. We therefore set her the challenge of depicting a scene from Paradise Lost as an ultimate test. Yet our heroine has a modest outlook on life and did not wish to attempt naked figures: hence her imaginative vision of the snake waiting for Eve to emerge from the right hand side of the painting. To those who carp and claim that she cannot draw from life, we respond that here indeed is Paradise Found.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Doc Barbara and the pop-up tent

   Doc Barbara, whose adventures we follow in this newspaper with zeal and devotion, recently decided to observe birds from a field next to her garden and purchased a pop-up tent for this purpose. On unzipping the bag, she was astonished and wounded when the tent flew out, clipping her on the underside of her jaw but nevertheless landing correctly in position. Undeterred, she settled inside and took out her diary but failed to find her binoculars (which must have been beneath the tent). Without these, she could merely record 15 sbj's (small brown jobs) but can be seen here in high spirits nevertheless.

   The main problems occurred when dismantling the tent. The spring mechanism meant that, when she tried to hold the top hoops together, one resisted and whacked her smartly on the nose whilst the other biffed her harshly on the left ear. Her right ear came under severe  attack from both bottom hoops but, when all seemed desperate, a group of Boy Scouts appeared and bandaged her up before deftly replacing the tent in its carry bag. She intends to play ornithologist from her bedroom window from now on.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Doc Barbara Takes a Step Back but Goes Forward Once More

   Doc Barbara has taken a pause in her enterprise to illustrate all the works of Shakespeare. We are sorry to disappoint her many fans but can report that she intends to continue when she has solved the problem of how to paint Titus Andronicus. Meanwhile she has returned to her campaign to interest Londoners in rural life, realising that her attempt to demonstrate milking with an adult cow in Trafalgar Square was a little over-ambitious. 

   She has therefore established herself on Platform 4 at Paddington Station with this appealing calf and some accoutrements. The trains for Wales frequently leave from this spot and so there is an innate symbolism in her choice of venue. If you see the animal and approve, please moo loudly in support.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Zounds but I am fed up of meeting on this blasted heath.

We asked Doc Barbara, as part of her epic endeavour to illustrate all of Shakespeare, to use her imagination and look beyond the box. Here she seems to have entered into the mind of one of the witches and invented a suitable quotation to match. We admire her sky-blue thinking but are unsure how the rest of the plays will stand up to this open-ended treatment.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

For she hath played the strumpet in my bed

From The Monmouthshire Mouthpiece:
We asked Doc Barbara by phone to do a five-minute sketch of Othello's justification for murdering his wife, Desdemona.  From this result we wonder if she is becoming a little hard of hearing.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Her latest attempt

Despite Doc Barbara's evident admirable qualities this newspaper has to admit she has her critics, one of whom is the cynical editor of our sister paper, The Brynbuga Beagle. He challenged her to paint one of the prophecies from Macbeth and sent his own photographer to capture the result. She chose the one which promised security to the eponymous hero until a wood came to his castle: as we all know, the enemy cut down branches and carried them to disguise their numbers. When asked about her primitive canvas, she replied that she always thought there was an element of Dad's Army about this section of the drama. We must try her with something more imaginative and we do not rate his photographer either.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Emulating Picasso

   Doc Barbara is always on the lookout for new challenges and experiences and never thinks on the small scale, Recently she decided to illustrate all the works of Shakespeare starting with The Tempest as she likes to do things backwards for added interest and piquancy. The well known quotation about the isle being full of music stimulated her imagination but, unfortunately, not her latent artistic talents.This newspaper has, however,  every faith in her potential and will keep her many admirers up to date.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


   Wherever Doc Barbara goes she tries to bring vitality to her surroundings by her enthusiastic activities even though these may be entirely voluntary.and, in some unfortunate cases, unappreciated by onlookers.  Yet we, in this paper, the "Monmouthshire Mouthpiece", support her endeavours and are proud to publicise them by photographs and articles as exemplifying the best of our historic British spirit. Here she is demonstrating how a cow might have been milked in past centuries to those who do not understand rural life and, whilst Trafalgar Square may be an unusual choice of venue for such an exploit, she drew much interest and varied vocal responses (including relevant animal imitations) before the police arrived.

Monday, 1 April 2013


   Here we have a clear view of the advanced worm training patch after the incredible results of the first stage of teaching worms to pull fallen leaves into the soil by their stalks to make the ground more fertile. Despite the recent inclement weather, which deterred neither Doc Barbara nor her specially selected worms, all leaves were removed from both grassy and non-grassy areas. Visible in the rear is the stone construction from which the leader worm shouted instructions and encouragement to exhort his followers in their time-honoured occupation. Keen gardeners who would like advice on methodology should leave their questions: Doc Barbara will respond as soon as time permits as she expects an unprecedented rush of queries. This newspaper is proud to promote such a patriotic and worthwhile enterprise in the true historic spirit of British scientific experimentation.

Saturday, 2 March 2013


   When Doc Barbara was at junior school, she learned that earthworms fertilise the soil by coming to the surface, finding the stem of a leaf and pulling it down, thus forming a neat spiral with organic matter for enrichment. However, she has recently noticed that the leaves are remaining where they fall and, with her advanced powers of ratiocination, she concluded that modern worms need extra training to do this. 

  Here is an exclusive photograph of the patch ready for preparation for senior worms, the cadets having started out on easier terrain. With exemplary thoroughness, she intends to point every leaf downwards with the stalk in the soil to show the technique and she hopes that parent worms will pass on this knowledge to their offspring. She also wishes that all gardeners would copy her example and train the new generation. It will ultimately be for the benefit of all mankind.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


   This snowman had no name and suffered in silence until our heroine came to his rescue.  Doc Barbara has both a theoretical and practical side to her complex nature and believes that snowmen should, during their brief lives, have the reassurance of a nomenclature. Donning two old tennis raquets as snow shoes she set off with the intrepid intention of  attaching tags to neighbouring constructs and finally found one worthy of her devoted intentions. Someone suggested that she should call him Cecil instead of Parson Brown but she replied: "Oh no! Every Tom, Dick or Harry is called Cecil."

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


IMG_4074b by toniwbusch

   Doc Barbara's many followers are all anxious to hear what New Year resolution she may have made. We are happy to be able to satisfy their curiosity by announcing that, devoted as always to self-improvement, she has vowed to practise Pilates. Apart from tangling up her limbs at the back of a class at the local Scout Hall, she performs at home from DVD's, although she is not yet as skilled as the young lady in this photo. 

   At first she was horrified by the appeals to personal vanity on the discs but quickly resolved this problem. Dressed in cosy fleece pyjamas in a vibrant pink with brown spots, she avoids any exercise which promises aesthetic amelioration and ideals of the Perfect Shape.  "I do not need Long Lean Legs," she told our cub reporter. "My legs may be stubby and short but they are sturdy and reach the ground in a perfectly satisfactory fashion. And, as for glutes - we never had them in my day and I have no intention of growing them at this time of life."

IMG_4074b, a photo by toniwbusch on Flickr.