Monday 3 October 2011
Keep Right Onto The End Of The Woad
In the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, we've experienced an uncharacteristically warm spell of weather, which has contributed to an unexpected mood of cheerful optimism in the long-suffering populace. Three seagulls dropped their synchronised payload onto Walthelm the Hag's bald pate. This is certainly a good start for the Tree Faction's Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic, which commenced this weekend. But I suspect that we're going to experience a lot of wind and wet in the days before us..
Feaxede hasn't joined me this time, since he has a morbid fear of Trees (I think it's dendrophobia), who were most upset when the Redistributionists made fox hunting illegal. Despite my reassurances that they were trustworthy and kindly people, he refused to leave his researches in the Streonaeshalch municipal dump. So I'm on my own, and I'm going to have to rely on my wits if I'm going to survive this..
But I must say it's been simply fascinating to sit and watch the faithful Tree window-lickers arriving. As one would expect, many a blue rinse was to be seen; woad still persists as a popular choice of hair dye for aging Northumbrian Tree men, and even some of the ladies have been known to use it as well. Not so for the Witangemot rank-and-file Tree politicos, however: many of them are sporting yellow, pink, green or red tunics or cloaks - more reminiscent of the Liberationist and Redistributionist tribal colours. Some were wearing Joseph-style coats of many colours in rainbow hues. They were flamboyant characters, and their manner was rather affected. However, I'm sure that this is simply down to a matter of taste, rather than the wearing of political hearts on sleeves; one of the urgent items on the agenda for this Picnic is the sensitive and vitally important issue of Fashion.
And fashion has certainly set the pace for the week. Every speech to the assembled crowd has been more of a fashion statement rather than a significant declaration of intent. The adoring throng were enjoined Not to raise the thorny issue of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire); it appears that despite the fact that the majority of subscribers to the Tree philosophy are rabidly against Northumbrian participation in the Infernal Empire of His Evil Majesty King Jose Borracho - the psychotic, power-mad despot - and his shifty, half-witted henchman Hermit the Rumphole. In view of the fact that a significant number of ordinary common-or-garden Tree people hate the Empire and resent its increasing control over Northumbrian life and its avaricious demands upon Northumbrian taxes and resources, the Higher Powers have consigned the matter to a bygone age; such a contentious matter isn't fashionable today..
Oswine - the Keeper Of The Kingdom's Debt - has addressed the adoring assembly and told them (without laughing) that the Public Expenditure Cuts are starting to make an impact on the enormous Deficit that the Kingdom has been bequeathed by Guffo the Brown, but more pain and heartbreak have yet to be endured. The battle isn't over, but the glorious mirage of Growth is just over the horizon. And there - I suspect - it will remain..
I may be imagining this, but I'm sure I heard the chewing of magic mushrooms. I'm so looking forward to Edweird the Milliner's speech; I believe he's doing a star turn this year..