Friday 24 December 2010

Christmas Greetings from Streonaeshalch

Snow lies over the town and surrounding fields, and the various footpaths and cart tracks display evidence of past traffic. The North Sea is still unaffected by the cold, and the tides continue their rhythm undaunted. Frost has provided the snow with a crunchy crust; for the first time for many years we're faced with the prospect of a white Christmas.

Of course, Christmas is a normal working day here in Northumbria; the feast is observed by the faithful, who at the close of the day attend the services and masses celebrated by the monks in the Abbey on the cliff top.

The Witangemot is refreshingly silent; the politicians have returned to their sumptuous homes in their own parishes to engage in the customary drunken debauchery expected of the godless and unprincipled.

Beeby See and the other soothsayers chunter on relentlessly about nothing, recycling things they've already told us ad nauseam; the working men wind up at the mead parlours and alehouses to drink away the cares and preoccupations of the season. Some of them are hideously sick afterwards. It's not pretty.

 The Vikings keep themselves to themselves - apart from the occasional bearded ranter (aided and abetted by the wealthy éminences grises who control the Witangemot and the soothsayers, no doubt) who attempts to placard to the Christian Saxon world that Christmas is evil. Whatever.

Against this backdrop I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a wæs hæil.


Caedmon writes:

Hello. My poor cat is exhausted after a great deal of activity, and he has fallen asleep by the fireside. Not merely content to catch birds and small rodents, he also has this insatiable curiosity about the structures of human society and the vainglory that accompanies it. He has some wild and silly ideas at times; I do hope he hasn't been troubling you with his forthright opinions. Ever since he was a kitten he has been rather eccentric - but he's a great - if not rather loquacious companion. Nevertheless, he has a good command of holy doctrine; he has been catechised and holds to the orthodox Christian faith of the holy catholic church. I just wish he wasn't so enamoured by the fripperies of popular culture..

Well, I must attend to my herds, which need to be fed and watered - and thereafter to the services of the Abbey. God bless you all, and a very Happy Christmas - and many blessings for the Feast of the Blessed St Stephen.


Wednesday 22 December 2010


In view of all the foetid air that proceeds from the orifices of the Witangemot, Beeby See and the other soothsayers, it seemed fitting for me to compile a new creed or cat-echism for those who are undiscerning and gullible enough to hang on their every utterance:

I believe in fairy stories.*

I believe in the integrity, wisdom and beneficence of the Witangemot.**

I believe in the sacred right of politicians to reward themselves lavishly for their labours whenever they like. At everyone else's expense. Everyone else who is ungrateful can go hungry and get lost.

I believe in the inviolable sacredness of Taxation. It is a privilege to pay it and a Good Thing for the benefit of all.

I believe in the Divine Right of King Alhfrith and his dynasty.^

I believe that the Municipal Costumed Thugs are solely committed to pursuing the evildoers to bring them to justice. They are good people. Really. No joking.

I believe that all Vikings must be accommodated into society and their beliefs preferred accepted. At all costs. Whatever.

I believe that Christmas should be jettisoned in favour of the Viking Yultid festival - we mustn't offend them with references to the Incarnation of Christ. That would be a criminal offence.

Vikings who are zealously committed to their Edda writings and beliefs are a potent danger to Anglo-Saxon civilization, but they must be encouraged to remain in the Kingdom of Northumbria.

I believe that Elderly Ladies who allow their dogs to drop intestinally-evacuated adornments on the streets, Litter Louts and Graffiti Artists are criminals who should be dealt with most severely.

I believe the Cuts to public services are the greatest crime to humanity since the last one. Whatever that was. Pigeon psychologists are a vital asset to the economy and should be re-employed immediately.

I believe in the sense of justice and fairness of the Moots. They are not there to make money. Ever.

I believe in Santa Claus. I saw him after I chewed a Magic Mushroom last year. I swear. Honest.

I believe in man-generated Global Warming.

I believe in the honesty and impartiality of the soothsayers - most especially the respected Beeby See.

I believe that the pontifications opinions of experts and scientific sages are to be trusted above commonsense and accepted as definitive. For all time. Whatever.


* I am reliably informed that Beeby See relies heavily on the services of fairies, so their accounts must be valid.
** The expenses scandals were merely accounting errors made by politicians under considerable pressure.
^ I don't know if he has a left - I haven't looked.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

The Cat Stands Corrected

I have to eat my words. With a great deal of regret, I am obliged to state that I was completely wrong to doubt the prevailing orthodoxy regarding Climate Change.

Why the change of tone? You might well ask. Well, it would appear that a Climate Change expert has spoken and diffused all doubts concerning the veracity of Climate Change. They have dissipated like the morning mist that hangs upon the clifftops of Streonaeshalch (actually, it's still there this morning - sorry about the faulty metaphor).

Bishop Georges Moonbat (despite his foreign-sounding name, he graces these shores) is the world's leading authority on this fairtytale phenomenon, and within the hallowed portals of our beloved soothsayers he explained that this severely cold winter weather we're having here in Northumbria is a direct consequence of Global Warming. The currents of hot air (Note: these are not the halitosis-ridden or intestinally-fragranced vapours of Beeby See's varied exhalations) have driven the temperate weather away and have diverted it to the Azores, allowing cold Arctic air to anoint this Kingdom with frost and snow. No, really. Whatever.

I - a mere cat - can only stand in awe and reverence at the erudition of this expert, and the words of sublime drivel wisdom that drop from his chops lips. How could I doubt him?

But while I don't want to cast any aspersions on this man's formidable intellect and education, there are still nagging questions that just won't go away. How does our esteemed Bishop Moobat know? What is the basis for his authoritatively confident explanation? Has he been carried up on the wings of eagles, and shown the explanation from above? Or has the Almighty had a quiet word in his shell-like, and imparted some esoteric piece of knowledge and given him the task of passing it on the the rest of the world? And how exactly does lighting more bonfires and kilns and forges make the weather colder?

I wonder if the Bishop has been taking magic mushrooms? I understand this is what the shamans did in the old Saxon religion before Christianity came to these shores. The fly agaric gave them insights into a wonderful world that strangely vanishes when the effect of the mushrooms subsides. Funny, that.

Perhaps it's not the mushrooms. After all, the soothsayers invariably wheel out these experts when they want to prove something to the more reflective members of the populace who otherwise might question what they hear.

Hmm. I wonder who pays Moonbat? Perhaps that's the more significant question to ask. Oh - and I retract my earlier statement.

Monday 20 December 2010

Climate Conference Apprentice

I hear that one silver-haired member of the Witangemot Supreme Governing Council - a certain Húne - known as 'Horehound' - has been to some exotic location in Ultima Thule for an expensive drunken orgy conference dedicated to the eradication of Global Warming. For the benefit of the readers who might be blissfully unaware of this matter - this is a scare-story put about by soothsayers like Beeby See and the Witangemot which has been designed to frighten the public with apocalyptic stories of sea levels rising and enveloping poor frightened little polar bears. This - so they tell us - is because human beings have been lighting too many home fires and bonfires; blacksmiths and potters are particularly guilty of this, owing to their need for fires in their kilns and forges. The net result of this is that the amount of soot and other noxious gases released into the atmosphere is causing the temperature of the earth to increase. Whatever.

As I look out on this frosty landscape here in Streonaeshalch, I can't see for the life of me what they mean. I'm sure that there must be some reasonable justification for this story, but since the puddles here are frozen solid, the cattle troughs are full of ice and nobody ventures out into the freezing cold unless really necessary, I'm at a loss to see why they are so confidently asserting this. Since it comes from Beeby See and the Witangemot, it must be based on fantasy. The desired outcome for the political and soothsaying illusionists who put on stage plays for the unreflective members of the population is - wait for it - Money! They will raise lots of money by imposing additional taxes, leaving a population in poverty - and in fear of their lives should they be tempted to light a fire on a winter's day. I know how it works. Whatever.

I've been watching the entertainment known as 'The Apprentice' lately. Last night was the Final, when Father Simon the Cowl Aellan the Sugardaddy chooses between the two remaining contestants for the coveted prize of a place in his workshop. I would dearly love to get Húne and his other fairy-tale spinners into Egbert's pottery, coat them in glaze and shove them into his kiln - and shout, 'You're Fired!' Caedmon thinks that's very unChristian of me - but I keep telling him that's what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the Book Of Daniel. I suppose Leo's cage is an alternative. Daniel knew about that, didn't he?

Friday 17 December 2010

Bites, Blights and Human Rites

There's never a dull moment here in Northumbria. As soon as I adjust to a feline existence and settle down to hunting a tasty mouse like all cats are wont to do, I find that hear some piece of gossip from the soothsayers that stirs the curiosity in me, and gets my claws itching.

Yesterday - or was it the other day? (I'm finding the days rolling into each other like drunks), I heard that some foreign visitor to these Anglo-Saxon shores was permitted to remain in this country. Nothing unusual in that, you and I might say. But what makes this of particular significance is the fact that this specimen of erstwhile humanity has been guilty in the past of some execrable offenses against young and vulnerable human beings. The Moot which dealt with his case should have immediately sent him back to his country of origin, but they decided - against their better judgment - that he should serve his term is jail over here in Northumbria. Since his release - having served his debt to society along with elderly women who've allowed their dogs to adorn the footpaths with logfish of various hues and textures - he has applied for a permit to remain in Northumbria. Perhaps he finds this place more convenient for his offenses. Perhaps the jails are nicer. Perhaps he loves the Anglo-Saxon sense of tolerance and fair play which the soothsayers are constantly banging on about. And he has been granted his residency. He is free to re-offend in our beautiful country. Why? Because of the Human Rights Act, which was approved by the Witangemot to bring Northumbria into line with the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire). Are some humans complete idiots?

I'd be delighted to arrange a meeting between him and my mate Leo; he's held in a cage for no greater offence than being a large and hungry cat with a big shaggy mane and a thunderous miaow. I would cheerfully arrange for Father Simon the Cowl or Brendan the jovial Irish monk to administer the last rites to the miscreant. Whoever let this nasty piece of work remain in the country could also be well served with an encounter with my big friend. I'm always ready to provide a service to my fellow-creatures - especially those of the cat family. If only I could open that cage door...

Thursday 16 December 2010

Trading Places

Beeby See and the other soothsayers have been relentlessly turning the handle; the usual litany of doom-and-gloom about Witangemot-directed cuts - and the apocalyptic desolation they're naturally bound to cause - is the standard diet the Northumbrian people are being fed - along with yet more alarmist stories about the forthcoming freeze. Yet more global warming is on its way by courtesy of the Arctic.
For my part, I simply couldn't care less; there are times when I must confess, I find human business tedious and simply.. well, boring. As a domestic moggy, I shouldn't even be occupying myself with the concerns of humans - and the streams of nonsense and bull business that accompanies the matters of politics and soothsaying. I can see the cant, the posturing, the treachery and the insincerity for what it is, and I know (unlike most of the human beings here) that it's all an elaborate stage show, meticulously organised to occupy and preoccupy the majority - and furnish them with the illusion that the Witangemot are their dearest friends, paying excessive taxes is their privilege, and that as subjects of the Northumbrian Kingdom, they have some democratic control over their governance and their own lives. Whatever. I could cheerfully spend all my time wandering around the fields and the cliffs that overlook the North Sea, hunting mice and birds - and hanging out with Leo and my smaller feline buddies. I don't really need this human biz.
Nevertheless, there's usually just enough of this nonsense to provide a glimmer of amusement. The other day, Edweard The Milliner - the Dear Leader of the Redistributionist (Red) faction and leader of King Alhfrith's Loyal Opposition - publicly invited any disaffected members of the Liberationist faction to join the Reds. Caedmeron - the Most High Autocrat of the Trees (and Pre-Eminent Minister of the Witangemot Supreme General Council) invited disaffected Reds to join the new 'progressive' Tree faction. Clegge - the Cheer Leader of the Liberationists and Deputy Pre-Eminent Minister of the Witangemot Supreme General Council - invited disaffected Trees to join the Liberationist cause (whatever that actually is). As a result, there was a remarkable scene in the Witangemot, whereby disaffected Liberationists left their seats to join their Red brethren on the opposite site of the Witangemot, disaffected Reds deserted the ranks and moved over to the Tree faction, and disaffected Trees moved over to the Red rabble on the opposite side. The soothsayers warbled on about it for hours; it was great business for them. When I heard that this was happening, I suggested to Caedmon that they should carry out this process to the accompaniment of music - and remove a seat when the music stops. If that were done on a regular basis, the Northumbrian financial deficit could be halved, since there would be fewer politicians to draw salaries and their lavish expenses. He wasn't impressed - but I have no idea why. It sounds perfectly sensible to me - and it would make Witangemot more relevant  entertaining for the masses.
I'm going over to see Simon the Cowl and suggest it to him. I'm sure he'll love the idea, since he'll get the royalties from the music.

Monday 13 December 2010

The Exit Factor

Now that the Card has won The Ð Factor, things have settled down in the Kingdom of Northumbria; the broken glass has been swept up, the costumed thugs have been assigned to their usual duty of persecuting litter-droppers and elderly ladies who allow their dogs to adorn the streets with brown decorations. The young rioters have all gone home and returned to their customary habit of lying in until noon. It's been quite a time.

One fresh area of controversy has come to light, however. According to Beeby See and the other soothsayers, an elderly priest from Ultima Thule has been invited by the Anglo-Saxon Defence Band to come to Lea Tun in Mercia and address the anxious  residents concerning the evils of the Viking religion. In recent times this priest threatened to burn the Eddas - the Viking holy book. This would have been a very provocative act - one that would severely displease and enrage the Vikings, who hold its writings with fervour and reverence. Violent attacks against Saxons and their churches could well have resulted if he'd decided to carry out his threat.

The Witangemot Domestic Secretary of the Lib/Tree administration - May Trees - is thinking about preventing the old priest from entering the Mercian kingdom. He should not be allowed to come. He must not be heard. His views are obnoxious. He will stir up hate against the Vikings. He is a troublemaker. Whatever.

When I heard this from the soothsayers, I asked Caedmon about it. What did he think? He told me that when he was a young man, people's views and opinions were heard and respected - even if they were contrary to received opinion. But he said, "Nobody thinks any more - they just recycle opinions that others have made for them." As he left to attend his herds, I reflected on what he'd just said. So much of what I've seen and heard bears this out.

Thought and tolerance have made an exit from the land. I think I know why - and the Witangemot politicos are a significant part of the problem. With this in mind, I went to May Trees' huge dwelling and, mustering all my intestinal fortitude, I left an exit message of my own on the doorstep. I couldn't parcel it in an envelope of soil because the doorstep was swept clean (as you would expect for a Domestic Secretary). So I just left my statement as it was. What else can a cat do..?

Saturday 11 December 2010

The Rigged Riot Factor

Things are tumultuous here in Streonaeshalch and in the Kingdom of Northumbria. It appears that  The Ð Factor is rigged. A contestant from the show - a portly Irishwoman with a loud voice - lost her place in the running following a poor vote and promptly disclosed this devastating piece of information to the eager soothsayers, who - in characteristic fashion - have disseminated this news throughout the Kingdom.

The consequences have been catastrophic; myriads of young people have been rioting on the streets and creating wanton damage, and hundreds of costumed municipal thugs have been mobilised on the streets in an attempt to contain the rioting youngsters. Reports of disturbing conduct have filtered through; one child was seen urinating on a municipal monument, and another was seen climbing it and hanging from it like a drunken monkey. Thousands of groats' worth of damage has been reported.

In one incident, Prince Ethelbert and Princess Cartimandua were besieged by a rabble of youths demanding vengeance. Understandably, the nobles were alarmed and dismayed by the outburst. So was I; it simply wasn't necessary. The ordinary people of Streonaeshalch have been very unhappy with the turn of events.

The Witangemot have announced a state of emergency - which gives their costumed thugs free license to apprehend and beat up anyone they wish - whether innocent or not. Needless to say, many scores are settled during such exigencies...

Simon the Cowl and Brendan the Monk have gone into hiding; the organisers of the contest are in fear for their lives.

I can't help feeling that there's more to this than meets the eye. I wonder if this is yet another example of events being manipulated in order to suit the nobles, the King and to achieve some devious objective?

Tonight's show is going to be very interesting - if it's allowed by the Witangemot to proceed. I hope the Card'll win.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

The Hard Cell

As well as the current obsession with the weather, the soothsayers are gabbling about the latest proposals by the Tree/Liberationist alliance concerning prison reform.

This whole issue is naturally saturated with the usual irony that permeates Politicoland. During the campaigns for the Great Count (where the sticks of voting members of the populace are counted from the respective bins of the faction candidates), each of the politicos took great pains to reassure the electorate that their faction would press for firm penalties against the miscreants and ne'er-do-wells who infest Northumbrian life. Thieves, robbers and other felons would be incarcerated. End of story. Full stop.

In reality, the prisons have been filling up at such  an alarming rate that the amount of available space for up-and-coming offenders is running out. Offenders are having to book their offences in advance. Prisons are now being crowded with people who have publicly used inappropriate language, or have been overheard to have voiced their concern about the excessive amount of attention and resources lavished upon the Vikings and other minority groups. Criminals - including elderly ladies - who have dropped apple cores in public spaces, or allowed their dogs to leave brown statements on the streets have been filling the cells at an alarming and unprecedented rate. Needless to say, the hardened killers, violent robbers and other villains have treated them with particular disgust, causing all manner of tensions within the prisons. Riots have been reported to have broken out, and some felons have been in fear for their lives. Beeby See has told us, and the other soothsayers have also joined the chorus. O tempus, O mores.

The Witangemot Supremo Clerk for Justice is a rotund buffoon with a dismissive, devil-may-care manner. He has decided that it would be in the interests of Northumbria (and justice) to allow the fly-agaric dealers, the bandits and the violent to be released from prison early so that the real criminals - the fly-tippers, the dog-foulers, the unlicensed cat owners and the public airers of unorthodox opinions - can serve their sentences and pay their debt to society. Magistrates at the Moots have been told to send the violent offenders on special courses so that they can become diversity co-ordinators and fish quota accountants. No kidding.

Needless to say, many ordinary people (when they're not occupied with The Ð Factor and the tittle-tattle surrounding it) are very alarmed and angry about this. Once again, a faction has broken its promises and has back-pedalled on a solemn pledge. It all looks so familiar - like the Liberationists, who before the Great Count took an oath declaring that they would never increase schooling fees. Of course, the Reds are shouting the odds about it all like drunken oafs. But the present administration is only continuing what they'd been doing for years.

As I see it through my green eyes, the biggest criminals are the puppets who dance and sing in the Witangemot. They have neither the moral insight nor the spheres to stand up and oppose this nonsense. They are paid well for their services. They can swan about, busy with their own importance - but I can see right through them. And even Caedmon - usually more concerned with sublime and eternal things - is starting to cotton on to the idea that these idiots are not the Lord's instruments for righteousness after all. When authority rewards the evil and punishes the good, something has gone terribly wrong. Where's the prison? Inside the cell - or out?

They all need a dose of Leo. I just need a strategy to get him out of that cage...

Monday 6 December 2010

Wintry Discontent

The cold spell continues apace with temperatures plummeting. It's all good industry for Beeby See and the other soothsayers, who are telling us that this is the worst winter we've had - at least since the last one.

One thing that causes a great deal of complaint is the roads. They're usually gritted with salt, so that the horses and carts can pass through without difficulty - thus allowing the business of trade to continue. In the previous winter however, the various local towns and villages were caught out by an extended cold snap and ran out of their salt supplies before the winter was over. The furore from the public was understandable, and local aldermen were upbraided for their sloppy management. This year the local municipalities have been prepared; vast quantities of salt have been brought through the year by pack mules from Cheshire, and stockpiled for the snow. Though this is the case, most of the roads are still not gritted, and carts are getting stuck on glass-like ice patches - much to the annoyance of the travellers. The aldermen are doing what local officials always do - denying that there is a problem. We have plenty of salt. All roads are being regularly gritted. Services are able to continue without let nor hindrance. Whatever.

I'm only a cat, and we don't normally take an interest in the affairs of human beings, but for some reason I was born with an extra degree of inquisitiveness, and I can spot bull turds when I see and smell them. Things are not running smoothly any more. I've noticed it in the limited span of feline years I've already had - and the ordinary working people also know it. The old men who drink mead and play dominoes are forever lamenting the passing of better days. And I know that this isn't merely a longing for the 'good old days.' Things are getting worse - I can feel it in my water. But the illusionists are doing their utmost to reassure us that things are getting better all the time.

Why is it getting worse? I have a sneaking suspicion that the nobles and the big money men are behind it. They pay for the Witangemot puppet show, where displays of theatrical behaviour are put on to entertain the doltish masses - and to perpetuate the illusion that there is something happening and that they have the peoples' interests at heart. The soothsayers are being paid handsomely to entertain the people with lies, distractions and scare stories.

When I wander out to take the air, I see the children, excitedly sliding on the ice. That's what's happening here: Northumbria is on the slide. Downwards. And I know why - but nobody (except Caedmon) believes me; after all, I'm only a cat. What do we know?

Thursday 2 December 2010

A National Tragedy

I've just heard that it has been announced that Northumbria will not be hosting the forthcoming Holy Roman Empire Football Competition. This is a tragic day. The soothsayer Beeby See has announced a day of mourning, and the good people of Streonaeshalch are looking very dejected. The bells of the Abbey are tolling mournfully, and the goatskin flags and banners are flying in the snow at half mast.

So, where is this momentous competition going to take the place? Oddly enough, it will be in the Kievan Rus. King Borislav the Magnificent has enchanted the Football Committee and persuaded them to choose that great wilderness of a place. I wonder if it was through the carrot - or through the stick? What a strange coincidence in view of recent developments! Life's like that, isn't it?

The Criminal Kingdom

Well, amid all the gloom-and-doom reports from the soothsayers about the snow and cold weather (attributed to global warming, which, we are told by Those Who Know, has been occasioned by the excessive use of bonfires and home fires by careless humans), a little ray of sunshine has emerged.

This little interval of light relief is connected with the disclosure of private correspondence and the substance of private conversations that I mentioned the other day. Yes - like the weather, it's an issue that rumbles on at a relentless and monotonous pace.

It would appear that some high-ranking official described the Kingdom of the Kievan Rus as a 'criminal state'. Shock and horror. The soothsayers have confidently told us (and they should know) that it's being run by a cabal of predatory gangsters and thugs who have - over a period of some years - jostled each other into positions of power, authority and wealth within that vast realm. If what we're given to understand is correct, there are no rulers who operate according to the principles of honesty, integrity and kindness.

What has caused the soothsayers to twitter all the more is that the aforesaid correspondence is also associating Borislav the King of the Kievan Rus with the same gangsters. So a kingdom that is powerful and influential within Christendom is actually a vipers' nest of thieves and murderous brigands. They are exploiting the poor through protection rackets under the guise of taxation and terrorising them with the sword. They are seizing lands and driving the original inhabitants out - without so much as a thank-you. They are milking the land of its natural mineral and vegetable resources and making a lot of money for themselves on the back of it all.

As a consequence of these disclosures, King Borislav has been obliged to unequivocally declare that he has nothing to do with such people. His Kingdom is a model of righteousness and integrity, and he has never compromised his good name. Whatever.

It makes me snigger behind my paw. The irony is exquisite and delicious. It's almost as entertaining as The Ð Factor ! I wonder how long it's going to be before our own King Alhfrith is going to have to publicly deny that he's power-mad, on the take, beating serfs with rods and entertaining floozies when the Queen isn't around? When is Caedmeron going to have to stand up in the Witangemot and publicly declare that he has never run a protection racket, broken a promise or sold magic mushrooms to small children? When is the Redistributionist leader - Edweard the Milliner - going to look his fellow humans in the eye and say with a straight face that he has never danced with the Devil? And one question keeps revising my feline cranium and it won't lie down: what makes everyone imagine that Northumbria is any different to the Kievan Rus? Are they eating the mushrooms?

I visited Leo in my travels yesterday; I like to see a cat whom I can admire and respect. Although he's in his cage, he's quite happy. He has plenty of meat, and his noble owner seems to like having him around. But I get the distinct feeling that Leo is biding his time, waiting for something. If he ever gets loose, he'll sort these petty despots out. And it won't be pretty.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

A De-Christianised Christmas

The snowy weather continues here in the Kingdom of Northumbria; the soothsayers have been bleating incessantly about the disasters which are unfolding in the cold. They're such cheerful souls; I'd love to let my pal Leo free and introduce them to him: that would put their pessimistic world view in a new perspective! The more I think about it, the more attractive the idea becomes. I'm sure Leo would love to meet them, too. He has a hearty appetite - which probably explains his halitosis problem. I'll have to recommend fish to him - perhaps he needs a change from raw meat..

One piece of gossip that has been coming to the fore is that Caery - a previous Archbishop of Canterbury - has launched an initiative to help Christians bring back some self-confidence - especially at a time when the Witangemot factions have been doing their level best to change the culture and de-Christianise the Kingdom. The latest example of their insanity is the instruction that Christmas is no longer to be called Christmas. To me, the whole idea is barmy - as is the reason that these dunderheads give for the policy. Their fatuous rationale is that they want a fair and egalitarian Kingdom where minorities like the Vikings can feel that they aren't being excluded by the Christian majority or offended by the Christian religion. I know a few Vikings who have settled around here, and the idea of Christmas doesn't cause them to burst into tears or leap about in paroxysms of rage. In fact, they have their Yultid festival around the same time, and I know that they like to get the best of both worlds. They also respect the Christian faith - although they worship their own gods. How do I know? - Because I've seen them and gatecrashed some of their gatherings. Although they like to come across to the Anglo-Saxon majority as a bunch of sombre sword-wielding thunderers, they're actually good fun - and - contrary to popular opinion - they don't spitroast cats over an open fire. If that were the case, I don't think I need to say any more..

The problem is not the Vikings. The real troublemakers are the Witangemot illusionists and puppets, because they've managed (through the substantial inducements of their wealthy paymasters) to grease the soothsayers' palms to make sure that they parrot out the same old tedious egalitarian drivel and scare stories. I suppose they think that if they tell people often enough that Christianity is a Bad Thing, they'll eventually believe it. Some are doltish enough to be taken in by it all. For my part, I would love to see the Abbess Hilda dealing with these people. She wouldn't take any prisoners. Caedmon says he wouldn't wish the Abbess on his worst enemy - and I believe him.

So - what of Christmas and Christianity? Well, I don't see any change here. The monks carry on their services and prayer. Christmas is still a time for contemplation of the Redeemer's birth. Politicians and their fanciful agendas come and go - but some things are permanent and immovable because they're divine in origin. Caedmon and the monks aren't bothered. Frankly - neither am I.