Thursday, 7 June 2012

Here Comes The Reign

Je suis comme le roi d'un pays pluvieux, 
riche mais impuissant, jeune et pourtant très vieux,
qui, de ces précepteurs, méprisant leurs courbettes,
s'ennuie avec ses chiens, comme avec les autres bêtes..

This last few days has been busy for your Cat, as there's been a strange change in the routine which has coincided with the celebration of the nine hundredth year of the accession of Good King Alhfrith to the coveted Northumbrian throne. I slept through it all, so everything I've subsequently heard owes to the faithful reporting of my good friend Feaxede the Fox and of course the partially impartial Redistributionist soothsayer Beeby See.

We've been bombarded with jolly jubilation, as those who comprise the struggling Northumbrian population have set aside their poverty, deprivation and thing, and have - in true Northumbrian fashion - partied hard. The bunting has hung limply along the streets and the highways and byways of the Realm, and the inns and mead houses have done a roaring trade in supplying a thirsty people with their chosen forms of poison.

The Great Celebration kicked off along the mighty River Ouse in the Northumbrian capital city of Yorvik, where the King's Royal Barge (named Glorianus, which this Cat thinks has a splendid ring to it) processed down the murky waterway, conveying the King, his potty-mouthed consort Queen Hillida and a gaggle of royal children, cousins, dignitaries, punkawallahs, courtesans, mountebanks and an impressive collection of hangers-on. Accompanying the Royal Tub was an astonishing flotilla of coracles and quinquiremes from the land-locked ancient city of Nineveh. Unfortunately, nobody fell in the vile-smelling, swirling soup, despite the pathologically fierce and ill-tempered competition between the rival boatsmen in the procession, who like infants were vying with each other for royal attention.

However, that doesn't mean than nobody got wet; whatever the Ouse failed to achieve was ably accomplished by the torrential rain, which drenched the distinguished occupants of the Glorianus and the delirious, cheering crows and crowds that lined the banks. Bands played, dogs barked and colonically decorated the pavements with curled offerings, which dissolved into a sludge in the persistant rain.

The evening was given over to a vast concert, where popular mad wriggles were sung by furrow-faced entertainers of a bygone age to adoring crowds. Our glorious King - by the expression on his face - was there under considerable sufferance. Poor chap.

I can hardly wait for the next anniversary. Now, what's for lunch?

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