16 10 / 2014




One of the first lessons any of my employees gets is 

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is a pattern”. 

This rule of thumb holds true in many situations and it helps to spot oddities and find things that do not fit among big bundles of data. It is a rule I have internalised a long time ago and that runs in the back of my mind at all times, so it is not surprising that my “Three times is a pattern” alarm suddenly went off during TEH. 

It is the third time we see the flat of a woman that is somewhat close to Sherlock (I do not count Kitty Riley in this) and the third time this woman has a wallpaper with birds on it. Coincidence? The universe – or in our case Arwel Wyn Jones -  is rarely that lazy. We are talking about a man who puts glass skulls in the background of a scene and pins phoenixes on walls that remain invisible. Just because he can.

So where do we see birds on wallpaper? I do not count the walls at the wedding since they are technically a mural and not wallpaper.

The first person we see near bird wallpaper is Mrs Hudson. On the walls outside 221A we see finches.



This fits with her image. She’s a little old lady. Harmless. Like a finch. Just your garden variety landlady-not-housekeeper.  That’s what she broadcasts to the outside world (hence the finches are outside her flat). We learn that this is not quite true when we see her through Magnussen’s eyes.


The second bird wallpaper we see is in Irene Adler’s bathroom. Mind you, it is not her private bedroom. This bedroom is her workplace. This bathroom is directly attached to her workplace but it is slightly hidden away.



I do not know enough about birds to be sure what kind of bird it is but If I had to guess I’d say it is a Chinese bird of paradise. Which is a good fit for Irene.  Her sitting room is very respectable, like Irene in public in her impeccable outfits. The bedroom gets the Devil Damask treatment which is again a good fit for a dominatrix. Yet when all layers are away she is still an exotic bird. The naked woman Sherlock Holmes could not figure out. A very exotic specimen indeed.

We had coincidence, we had happenstance but for a pattern we need three instances, so what is number three?

It’s the wallpaper in Mary and John’s bedroom.



So what about that wallpaper? Especially in the colourway that Arwel has chosen for his set, the birds evoke parrots. A wall full of colourful parrots. What do parrots do? They repeat words and phrases.

What does Mary do when we first see her in front of this wallpaper? (gif borrowed from amygloriousponds)


She repeats a sentence she must have heard someone else say.  Other people have pointed out the striking similarities between Mary’s and Magnussen’s phrases.


Mary parrots a phrase she clearly must have heard someone else say, while sitting in front of a wall of parrots - a wallpaper pattern that is not that good a choice for a bedroom. It is entirely too busy, people usually want a calm and relaxing room, not such a busy wall full of birds. This is a very interesting turnout indeed.

Arwel Wyn Jones knows his wallpaper.

Arwel choosing the parrot wallpaper for this room is – on the surface - very odd. This is not a pattern that is appropriate for a bedroom. If the pattern had only been chosen  with its effect on camera in mind, there would have been countless other choices that would have worked better in the context of a bedroom.

(Trust me on that. In the last 16 months I have read more than two dozen monographies on the history of wallpaper design and usage. On top of that I have looked at roughly a million wallpaper pattern swatches. Yes you have read correctly. One million swatches. No, I am not kidding. It was all for science. And the masterpost)

So when I say that he could have chosen dozens of other spectacular patterns that are currently on the market, but went for one that is not only slightly off within the context it is being presented in, but that simultaneously fits into a meta-narrative pattern.

 “The flat of any woman that is of importance to Sherlock has wallpaper with birds on it and those birds make a statement about her personality”.  

Going with that pattern I would not be surprised to find something like this somewhere near Mummy Holmes next time:


(Baker Lifestyle - Rare Breeds)





oh what a brilliant catch. I completely forgot about the porn magazine. So many birds everywhere.

I’m trying to find a boom that deals with birds on wallpaper, but I fear I’m going to have to write that one myself.

(via thebritishteapot)

29 8 / 2014


Money + Courtship

As we see in BB, Sherlock is making sure that John has money so he won’t go to work and will stick around.

In HoB




John is clearly impressed by Henry’s house and Sherlock is visibly peeved. When I first saw this, with a…

03 8 / 2014

Sherlock + flirting with men

(Source: rominatrix, via dudeufugly)

30 7 / 2014


I find it distressing that someone has yet to write a meta about how Mrs.Hudson’s marriage is a parallel to John’s marriage. Guess I’ll have to.

Throughout the episode we hear about Mrs. Hudson’s past. We hear about her wedding, her unusually upset best friend who leaves early, and we hear about her relationship with Mr.Hudson. I find it particularly telling that she’s talking to John in this exchange as he is her parallel in this scenario. 

JOHN: Did you think you’d found the right one when you married Mr Hudson?

MRS HUDSON (smiling): No! It was just a whirlwind thing for us. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I just got sort of swept along.

JOHN: Right.

MRS HUDSON: And then we moved to Florida. We had a fantastic time, but of course I didn’t know what he was up to. (Whispering) The drugs.

JOHN (laughing): Drugs?

MRS HUDSON: He was running … um, oh God, what d’you call it? Um, a … cartel. Got in with a really bad crowd.

JOHN: Right.

MRS HUDSON: And then I found out about all the other women. I didn’t have a clue! So, when he was actually arrested for blowing someone’s head off …it was quite a relief, to be honest.

John is Mrs.Hudson’s parallel, and, seeing as Sherlock leaves the wedding early, Sherlock is Mrs. Husdon’s heretofore mentioned friend, which leaves Mary as Mr.Hudson’s parallel.

Sherlock leaving the wedding does three things. Firstly, It justifies Mrs.Hudson even mentioning her friend at the beginning of the episode in the first place, and secondly, it solidifies Sherlock as the parallel to said friend, and thirdly, it sets the expectation for the parallel to continue hereafter.

One could argue that it was fulfilled when John found out that Mary was much more than she claimed to be, an episode later when she shot Sherlock, but I think this goes deeper than just that deception, though it is a large one. Specifically because of the way John begins the conversation. Just a few lines prior, they were talking about Sherlock. Specifically after the fall.

JOHN: Mm. Don’t sound so … final about it. I will be visiting, you know.

MRS HUDSON: Ooh, I’ve heard that one before!

JOHN: Mm, no, it’s different now, though, isn’t it? It’s different to when we thought we’d lost him.

And then Mrs.Hudson goes on about how Marriage “changes everything”. And then she says;

MRS HUDSON: You meet new people ’cause you’re a couple …and then you just … let your old friends slip away.

JOHN: It won’t be like that.

MRS HUDSON: Well, if you’ve found the right one – the person that you click with – it’s the best thing in the world.

We go from talking about Sherlock, straight into discussing the legitimacy of your chosen life partner.

JOHN: Did you think you’d found the right one when you married Mr Hudson?

Did you find the right one? THE one? Did you marry the correct person?

And Mrs. Hudson is quick to reply.

MRS HUDSON (smiling): No! It was just a whirlwind thing for us. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I just got sort of swept along.

She knew it wouldn’t work. She just got swept along. Because of the parallel that has been drawn, what does this say about the fate of John’s marriage and about the severity of the secrets Mary may be hiding from John?

30 7 / 2014




Look at how smug and confident he was when he entered the restaurant… But the moment he saw John for the first time after two years he turned into a nervous puppy. Sherlock Holmes was actually stunned for a moment,


Someone gif’d the moment! Thank zeus. 

It was only a split second; I missed it on the first few watches, but once I saw it I couldn’t unsee it. 

It makes a huge difference in watching the restaurant reunion: without it, the disguise scene feels like a gimmicky writing gag.

With it: the scene is a heartbreaking tapdance of nerves and deflection.

(via dreamysherlockian)

30 7 / 2014


Steven Moffat kinda saying that Sherlock is not really into women :-)

22 6 / 2014

BBC Sherlock + (some) significant dates. Based on this timeline.

(Source: sir-mycroft, via wonderlandinmymind)

25 5 / 2014


(Source: darlingbenny, via wonderlandinmymind)

06 5 / 2014


all of the above

(Source: sir-mycroft)

27 4 / 2014

"It’s funny how people are always wanting to prove me wrong on this one. They say: 'But he's not a high-functioning sociopath.'

I never said he was! Sherlock Holmes tells people he is. Why would you listen to him?

Nobody can define themselves.

That’s what he’d like people to think he is. And that’s it—and I think he probably longs to be one. I think he loiters around prisons for the criminally insane, envying them their emotional detachment.

He knows emotion is a problem to him.

A man who has decided to suppress all his emotions in order to be better at what he does clearly has an awful lot of emotion. That’s a very simple deduction. It clearly is a problem for him. So, in itself, that is an emotional decision."

Steven Moffat

(Babel on SVT Sweden, April 2014 [x])

(Source: skulls-and-tea)