Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Snow Business like Show Business

Since I last posted, a thick blanket of snow has descended upon Streonaeshalch, and the countenance of the entire landscape has changed. Even St Hilda's Abbey looks beautiful on the top of the cliff, and the monks are wearing habits of heavier grade wool to keep themselves warm. The soothsayers are talking as if they've never seen snow before, and the prognosticators are telling us that this cold spell will stay with us for another week at least - but it might stay for the rest of the year. Apparently it's because of global warming - humans have been burning too may bonfires, and the resulting generation of smoke is altering the temperature of the climate. Whatever. Naturally, we're being regaled by the customary tales of woe: schools closed down, people trapped in their homes under several feet of snowdrifts, the stiff corpses of frozen stoats and badgers, businesses that have been bankrupted because of lost trade - all the usual stuff. It keeps the soothsayers busy - and entertains those who are dumb enough to hang onto their every word.

Another great disaster is the disclosure of many hitherto secret conversations between representatives of the kingdoms of the Northumbrians, the Mercians, the people of Wessex, the East Angles and the Jutes. If we're to believe what the soothsayers are so authoritatively telling us, the transcripts of all kinds of conversations between their politicians have been revealed to all and sundry. The resulting embarrassment of those dignitaries whose private conversations and correspondence have been disclosed is presented to us as tasty morsels of delightful gossip. For example, one senior Danish administrator in the Mercian Danegeld referred to the eldest daughter of the King of Wessex as a 'slapper' - much to everyone's amusement. The soothsayers have told us with a straight face that this could well occasion an international incident, and blacksmiths are being advised to beat ploughshares into swords in preparation for the coming Armageddon. I asked Caedmon what a 'slapper' was - but he wouldn't tell me. He's such a sobersides at times - I'll try to remember to ask him again when he's had another cheeky mead. I promise not to drop dead from the passive drinking fumes.

Are these disclosure stories true? The jury's out, but I'm pretty sure that it's just fodder to entertain and preoccupy the masses; after all - who pays the soothsayers and keeps them in a job? As for the real entertainment business - the Waggoner and the Weasel have been summarily dismissed from The Ð Factor'. That's good enough for me.


  1. A slapper, dear moggie, is one of a number of highly attractive young ladies, ofttimes blessed with long and elegant legs, who, having dressed in a very short skirt and very high heels, visits one or more of the the mead halls in the city.

    There she squanders her not inconsiderable beauty in an orgy of drunkenness and swearing.

  2. Dear Mr Anonymous,

    Thank you for your helpful morsel of information; it helps my education in the ways of humans. It'll certainly save me from having to bother Caedmon when he's merry.
    And here was me assuming that a 'slapper' was a euphemism for a common and garden tart..