INFODPAK

PARISHES - BROWNLAP

The 1113-vo-vo pocket guide to Jinsy, penned by reclusive travel-writer Lotence Speeve reads as follows:

‘Woke up with a headache and a throbbing knee again (left side). Mrs Deef was singing in that annoying, warbly voice outside, pinning wet coasters to her washing line. I think they’re those coasters of famous islanders in profile. Arbiter Boon’s portrait has a nasty mug ring over his eyes. I shuddered as I left my chalet, pulling on a wool-mix over-tunic and leatherette thigh-length bootettes. My mission today – to explore the parish of Brownlap, guided only by my wits and a scrawled map on a slightly oily brown paper bag, from whence a delicious cheese and apricot pastry had been recently despatched gob wards. My throbby knee was even worse by the time I reached the Lower Road that leads into ‘Browners’. Passed a fat yellow cat with a lot of feathers in its mouth and an abandoned cart piled with onions and clupe-nut shells. A child smiled at me and I thought how lovely but a moment later a handful of gravel hit me on the back of my head. Luckily I always wear my clay helmet when I’m out on my travel rounds, so the stones just rattled off somewhere. My headache came back though. First impressions of Brownlap: muddy with a lot of clods.’

This was the last ever entry in Lotence’s travel journal. She went missing somewhere in the central field area of the parish, whilst trying to locate the nearest ‘VUD’ (Vestibule of Urinary Displacement). The last sighting of her was by a Mr Horlow, chalet 192. “Yeah she was kinda singin’ like through her teef and she did a liddle hop as she walked along. I told ‘er I don’t know of no vud round ‘ere, she’s best to go back along the Lower Road an’ ask at The Bun House. So off she goes, hoppin’ an’ singin’, an’ that’s the last I see of ‘er.” Brownlap is an area thick with Law and Decision-making. A massive black cluster of Opinion hung over Five Theritsons Bay for a long period, during the particularly troubled ‘Confusion’ era of island Histrophy. This lightened to a semi-dense patch of Conjecture, before eventually dispersing altogether. But the wild cries of Legal Banter and the blood-chilling screech of judicial jargon often echo round the crags, together with the distant sound of flapping capes and rustling papers. Sightings of wild barristers and breeding solicitors are occasionally glimpsed around sunset or dawn, sometimes clad only in wigs and briefcases, pattering across the dunes or perching on rocky ledges. But these are rare, shy creatures who prefer the dark recesses and nooks of their dry caverns and nests, shunning direct daylight. Their absolutely foul droppings can be seen by the vigilant, often alongside a rolled up bit of paper. Occasionally a feral clerk or a junior conveyancer has been trapped and attempts have been made at domestication but with no success. Mr Filge of chalet 28 once kept a clerk for seven weeks and managed to get it to eat from his hand, and prepare some simple paperwork, before the cage was found splintered to a pulp and a horrible pile of demands left as the creature’s warning. It is, of course, directly off Five Theritsons Bay that the entrance to The Law Caves is accessible, although entrance is strictly forbidden. The Corridor of Power leads from the outer entrances, and it is within this lower warren that The Great He (Jinsy Praise Him!) resides, though at a location completely unknown to any islander. The Tezzer Cliffs, famous for their unusual flanges and flumes, play host to flocks of weep owls, rather sickly black skinny birds that are, sadly, flightless but don’t think so. The weep owls look and sound utterly miserable, excreting a constant glandular seepage of tear-flow. Nature has rather cruelly dictated that these birds build nests on only the highest, most extreme edges, so that the likelihood of plummeting to a feathery death is magnified hugely. The weep owl is an endangered species, but has been the inspiration for many an island poet.

‘O but to seep,
And weep,
Amongst my inky brethren,
But mind the feathers,
Because of my allergy.
INFOD PAK
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