Monday, 16 January 2012
This year is a very significant one in the history of the Anglo-Saxons here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria - and the soothsayers haven't ceased to tell us all about it. This year marks the seventeen thousandth year of the reign of Good King Alhfrith, who sits upon the coveted throne of Northumbria with his potty-mouthed spouse Queen Hillida at his side. Bless.
To mark the occasion in the summer of this new year, the entire Kingdom will be closed down for several days, as the citizens of all the towns, villages and hamlets that litter the country spend time away from their labours, and celebrate the accession of our great King to the throne by getting helplessly paralytic. Hooray for royalty and tradition! The brewers will be terribly pleased - as long as the Witangemot doesn't insist that the innkeepers set the minimum price for mead and ale to fifty thousand holy groats per measure. I wouldn't put it past them...
One of the Tree politicos - Magwald the Guff - the Kindergarten Secretary - made a magnanimous gesture to the soothsayers this morning; he suggested that in a bid to cheer the people of the Realm up amid all the privation and deprivation foisted upon them from the Great Credit Catastrophe and the Public Expenditure Cuts, the King should be awarded a new Royal Longboat as a present and a gesture of appreciation from his loyal subjects. Plans had already been drawn up with the proposal, and the resulting craft would be an impressive sight. The keel was to be a new, sleek design, and the ship would be adorned with royal shields on the port and starboard sides. The huge sail would show the Royal Coat Of Arms, and the figurehead would be an exact representation of Edweird the Milliner; this would terrify any potential adversaries, and efficiently drive away any malevolent maritime spirits. The anchor would be a cast iron image of Edweird The Spheres - an effective deadweight in his own right.
I was so excited when I heard the idea: I had visions of sneaking on board, stowing away and embarking on a Royal Cruise to some exotic place with palm trees. They could always use a rat and mouse catcher on board ship, and the experience would broaden my horizons significantly. The food would be as sublime as any of the delicacies served up at any Redistributionist Unfortunates' Annual Outing And Picnic. What a glorious prospect! I salivate at the very thought..
Alas - it wasn't to be. In one gut-crunching moment, my dreams evaporated. Caedmeron made a planned impromptu announcement to the soothsayers, saying that there wasn't going to be a Royal Longboat: the people would be resentful of the expenditure while they were languishing in their poverty.
Since there's such an ingrained affection for the Royal Family in the ordinary bovine ranks, this comes as a complete surprise to me. They already subsidise the politicos in their lavish lifestyles and homes out of their hard-earned pay through the inestimable privilege of high taxation. Surely a groat or two more is a small price to pay..
I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the King's residence. I bet the air is a blue as the blood in their arteries..