Triangular Pie Nucleus. Etc.

Frank discovers a remarkable science book that could transform the standards of education in our state schools…

On those occasions – and God knows they are legion! – when I feel the need to dose myself with unlikely wisdom, there is a particular book I turn to. Actually, “booklet” would be more accurate. I found it a few years ago in the bargain basement of one of the scondhand bookshops on Charing Cross Road. It is a seventy-six page, spineless, A6 booklet with a yellow card cover, entitled Further Science – Book 20, written and published by Norman Davies in 2001. Maddeningly, there is no further information – no address, nor potted author biography, nor (what I would dearly love) something to tell me how I might obtain Books 1 to 19 in the series. The last, otherwise blank, page of the book is inscribed, in somewhat shaky handwriting, “To Jenni Murray, Kindest regards, Norman Davies”.

The book contains a series of numbered lists, on topics including Hedge Auras, Dragonflies, World Monkeys, Near Death, World Flag Psychology, and National Bill Hooks. Here, for your edification and enlightenment, are two extracts which give some indication of Norman Davies’ unique insights. They are transcribed exactly as they appear in the book, [sic] throughout.


1. That Country Inventions etc., reveal innate area psychology.

2. Cornwall – informal golden frills / harvest festival / nudist beach / carol service.

3. Devon opposite formal garden frills – orange code guildhall / use of Wedding March.

4. Somerset – soft dreamy colour squares – coloured glass / soft cheese / child pub – contrasts with Gloucester – dream formaIity – bowling green / Sunday School.

5. Dorset / Hants have formal round hotel / bowls / sea cave.

6. Sussex – complex old explosive – loves fireworks / gas lighting / Town Women’s Guild / antiques / Brighton sex.

7. Kent is the odd formal – Council lottery / Waltzing Matilda – in contrast to Essex odd informal – Peculiar People / Dunmow Flitch / heated armchair / hair FC colours.

8. London small family segments – Bingo / one parent families. Middx small clappers – squash etc.

9. Berks – small rounds – Table tennis / Job Centre and Oxford – mass of small items – Oxfam / marmalade / Hand ball / Post Office.

10. Herts / Northants noisy organised complex units – digital computer / go kart / map / CB Radio / speedway.

11. Norfolk – fish finger / dead static oblong, opposite to Leicester lively circles / motor mower / cycling / drive in store.

12. Notts – larger rounds – Sports centre / football / sugar / Spot ball / Boots.

13. Derby – muck frenzy – bakers / disposable nappy / mice racing.

14. Cheshire – murky prying – neighbourhood watch / women’s pubs.

15. Lancs – of mass smooth silky moving little bits – Co-op / small claims Court / NSPCC / Music Hall / athletes club / test tube baby / Police panda cars and radios / computer / nurses strike etc.

16. Yorks – slow rough organised bits – Rugby League / Con man / high rise flats / Building Society / tortoise Olympics / old folk bus / smoke free zone / Marks and Spencer.

17. Durham etc. – thin tube lively bits – electric lamp Fallopian tube transplant / whippet / turbine / keep fit etc.


1. Far NE Scotland – marmalade / far NW – biscuits / far North – fish.

2. Mid SW to NE – Devon / Yorks – rolls – cheese -sausage / cheese.

3. So that about a Midlands triangular Pie Nucleus – there are fingers and eggs: hot pots, to the NW – marmalade / ham / loaf to the East. With a ginger NW apex.

4. Tarts to the South – with W/E in the far South. Dumplings and Welsh herbs / cakes / fish puddings and scones. Etc.

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About Author Profile: Frank Key

Frank Key is a London-based writer, blogger and broadcaster best known for his Hooting Yard blog, short-story collections and his long-running radio series Hooting Yard on the Air, which has been broadcast weekly on Resonance FM since April 2004. By Aerostat to Hooting Yard - A Frank Key Reader, an ideal introduction to his fiction, is published for Kindle by Dabbler Editions. Mr Key's Shorter Potted Brief, Brief Lives was published in October 2015 by Constable and is available to buy online and in all good bookshops.

10 thoughts on “Triangular Pie Nucleus. Etc.

  1. Worm
    March 2, 2012 at 09:22

    Beware the ginger apex

  2. Gaw
    March 2, 2012 at 09:51

    I’m desperate to read this – it covers a lot of topics I’ve long pondered on.

      March 2, 2012 at 14:01

      Mr Key,this is the first time I’ve been made aware of the dragonflies section. How can you possibly justify holding back such priceless knowledge from we of the dragonfly community?

    March 2, 2012 at 10:25

    Undoubtedly an inexhaustible supply of lyrics for the next British entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, Engelbert will add the music.

    Ref No 6, Brighton sex, obviously referring to Rookies Club.

    Ref No 17 ‘Durham etc’, we assume the ‘etc’ is Northumberland, missing out, once again, on the action.

    March 2, 2012 at 13:33

    Trust Jenni Murray to flog it to the nearest bookshop – the rank ingratitude!
    She could have learnt a lot from this work – it would have transformed the presentation of Woman’s Hour. For the better, I need hardly add…

      March 2, 2012 at 16:39

      For the better indeed Nige, possibly less mezzo ear-boxing

  5. Brit
    March 2, 2012 at 13:36

    “murky prying – neighbourhood watch / women’s pubs” – Cheshire in a nutshell, that. Bloody women’s pubs…

    jonathan law
    March 2, 2012 at 15:06

    Hedge Auras … isn’t that the legendary ‘lost’ album by extreme psych-folk death-metal ambient collective The Bloody Brood of Albion?
    (“baffling, visionary, the definitive work of an as-yet-unnamed genre in which trance-like pastoral bleeds into drone-based invocations of sonic dread …These songs are infused with a chill pulse that propels them into an ancient, visionary demesne of enchanted, mythical, baffling hedge-based frenzy ..”)

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