Tuesday 24 December 2013

A Wintervaltide Greeting

While the politicos of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria slink back to their prisons and lairs, the general population of the Realm are busy preparing themselves for the pink and fluffy Feast of Wintervaltide – otherwise known to the majority of Northumbrians as Christmas.

Amid some of the worst weather we've had for many a week, people are rushing to their homes and hovels to gather with their kith and kin so that they can partake of the festivities – which in Northumbrian custom consists of mead and ale in industrial quantities. Many intelligent conversations at a gastro-intestinal level will be taking place, while heads will be thundering and railing tomorrow morning.

However, the more pious members of the populace are attending masses celebrating the entrance of the Divine Light into the human sphere. To this Cat's mind, they have the better deal.

The importance of His advent can never be overestimated. His very name – Jesus Christ – or in Hebrew, Yeshua Ha Mashiach – means the salvation of God, and the name is descriptive of the person to whom it is given. At the time of the Annunciation, the angel told Joseph that His name will be Jesus because He will save His people from their sins; during His ministry, He announced that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. Even his Pharisaical detractors in their mockery of Him on the cross recognised that He saved others even though He (to their eyes) could not save Himself.

The salvation He brings in His own person (and through His work) is of infinitely more value than the measures and means of men, and that's why my master Caedmon will be at the Abbey in Streonaeshalh tomorrow. I'll be hunting mice and patrolling my own kingdom as usual.

Happy Christmas to all!


Friday 13 December 2013

Signs Of Intelligent Life?

The cult of Nil's Son the Man Dealer continues apace; since my previous posting, there's been no sign of Beeby See and her Redistributionist cronies losing even the slightest interest in the Great Man. Daily prayers and devotions are being offered with all due reverence, flowers and candles and a somewhat aggressive piety; any persons found guilty of maligning the Man Dealer are lovingly awarded the punishment of blasphemy, and are consequently either sentenced to death or exiled to some wind-swept craggy island to feed the vultures.

The other day marked the memorial festivities for the departed Chieftain, and all of the notable monarchs, politicos, princes, satraps, governors, aldermen and other hangers-on from around the known world were present, pathologically anxious to be seen by their admirers to be paying their respects to expired greatness. It was a veritable Redistributionist bean feast. Bless.

The highlight of the solemn festival was the giving of eulogies by the hundreds of dignitaries; these lasted for several days, and the snoring from the audience was deafening. At the climax of the solemn occasion, Bugrake O'Barmy - the Holy Patriarch of the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule - delivered his own oration. At his side stood a diminutive  Bongolian man, whose role was to translate the speeches into sign language for those members of the audience who were hard of hearing and still wide awake. As ever, Buggy Boy delivered a superb tribute to the fallen demiurge, and his cascading tones, meaningful expressions and skilfully crafted rhetoric tugged on the heart strings of the gathered assembly, and there wasn't a dry eye in sight.

However, the speech contained nothing that remotely resembled coherent thought or meaning, and the poor sign man had no choice but to signify by has hand gestures what was construed by the deaf members of the audience sheer gibberish...

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Mourning Has Broken

After a protracted period of relative boredom with the machinations of the politicos of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, a little light of sunshine has finally insinuated itself into this Cat's life.

It all happened when my usual source of the latest news - Feaxede the Fox - caught me on an evening patrol through my own feline kingdom in pursuit of rodents. He excitedly told me that the soothsayers had just announced A Significant Event in the course of human history: Nil's Son the Man Dealer was dead.

As a sit down to chew my freshly-caught prey in awestruck silence, my synapses worked overtime, piecing together the strands of information I'd gleaned over the years about this remarkable man. A humble lawyer from the southern kingdom of Outer Bongolia, he had helped to set up a liberation movement (the Bongolian National Council) in a bid to cast off the tyrannical yoke of the ancient Romans, who in customary fashion had ruled the place with a rod of iron, plundered precious resources for their own personal fortunes and treated the poor and penniless aboriginal population with loathing, disgust and contempt.

In the course of his quest for the liberation of his people, Nil's Son the Man Dealer embraced the magic mushroom-fuelled cult of Redistributionism, and because of his active resistance to the tender ministrations of Caesar, ended up in an oubliette for seventeen thousand years, while a significant folklore grew around his reputation, which helpfully surrounded him with a swirling, misty mystique. Meanwhile, his supporters - in the absence of more subtle argument - were applying gentle persuasion to their opponents by tying faggots around their adversaries' necks and cooking them for dinner. Personally, I like the gravy, but I'm not so mad on the herbs, and to this Cat's mind it seems a bizarre way of preparing them.

Eventually, Nil's Son the Man Dealer was released from his confinement, and to cut a long story short, he ruled over reunited the remaining Romans and Bongolians in a New Era of Fluffiness. Which was nice. The legends around Nil's Son the Man Dealer continued to proliferate until his recent demise.

Beeby See - in conjunction with her numerous Redistributionist bosom pals - has organised co-ordinated mourning events and has already launched a new religion based on the mythology of Nil's Son the Man Dealer, and she's quickly appointed priests and priestesses to serve the new deity, who's expected to return from the Elysian Fields and usher in a global rule of peace, prosperity and biscuit.

I'm sure he was a thoroughly good egg, but I have my doubts about his divinity. Caedmon just rolls his eyes heavenwards..

Friday 22 November 2013

The Great Award

I still remember it to this day, even though it happened earlier this week. It's funny how you associate commonplace events with sudden life-changing events; I recall that I was busy tucking into a mouse pie (rare to the point of raw - sans pastry and gravy, of course) when my vulpine friend Feaxede the Fox approached me in a high state of excitement.

Fearing that I'd have to share my fine cuisine with him, to my shame have to confess that I bolted it quickly while I waited for him to arrive and tell me what he'd heard. My jaw almost hit the ground when he animatedly informed me that Streonaeshalh has been awarded the Holy Roman Empire Settlement of Culture for next year.

When we'd finished our frantic rejoicing, Feaxede delivered the momentous question: What exactly is it? I told him that this is a Most Special Award, reserved for the most deserving places in Christendom. How wonderful. My heart sings for joy.

I also informed him that this prestigious privilege was only granted to towns/hamlets/villages that were run down and in need of some Holy Groats. Although the title of Settlement of Culture presupposes an existing propensity on the part of the citizens towards high and noble artistic and aesthetic endeavours, this wasn't actually an expected prerequisite; all that is required for the aspiring place is to provide favourable enough inducements to those esteemed members of the Panel of Selection. Indeed, the most beautiful settlements of the Northumbrian Realm don't even bother applying for such a prize, since they regard the whole enterprise as infra dignatem.

So what can we look forward to in this humble, fish-odorous backwater on the coast of the North Sea? As your Cat understands it, we're likely to be visited by hordes of wood-carvers, finger dancers, loblolly men, mountebanks and performing bears, who will be gracing the quayside with their artistic skills. We'll be seeing hosts of the Northumbrian Redistributionist Workers' Faction with their bongoes, beansprouts and dog breath; there'll be obscure Saxon folk singers, delivering anthems about about obscure folk while holding mugs of the local mead and ale; it will be a vertitable Redistributionist travelling circus. The hordes of visitors will boost the inns and guesthouses, and the local alderman will be grinning inanely from ear to ear as he bathes in the glory of a Day that has come. The Holy Groats will clink into his bag. Happy days.

As for the ordinary Streonaeshalh dwellers - they'll be unnoticed, and the clinking of Holy Groats won't make a ha'porth of difference. Life goes on...

Wednesday 13 November 2013

A Candid Confession

Your Cat has been greatly intrigued of late to hear that the former Redistributionist Northumbrian Secretary Of Home Affairs - Chad the Chaff - has frankly admitted that the Redistributionist Faction Administration had made a terrible mistake during its seventeen thousand year reign of terror of this beautiful Kingdom by allowing unlimited ingress of Barbars, Turks, Idumeans, Rastafarians and Venusians, as well as assorted exotic professional layabouts with curious religious propensities and unusual linguistic and dietary habits into the Realm.

Since the Redistributionist Faction - along with its staunch henchpersons - the soothsayers Beeby See, the Windy Pedant and Guardy-Ann - follows an ideological narrative which declares its own perpetual perfection and inerrancy (and this - like the Law of the Medes and Persians - is irrevocable), this marks a bold departure from the hitherto inviolate orthodoxy. Will he be henceforth taken away and stoned? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, your Cat is now looking forward to hearing from the aforesaid Redistributionist politico as to how he expects them to win over the hearts and minds of the long-suffering Northumbrian populace in time for the Great Selection in a couple of years' time.

I only hope that his magic mushroom supply is up to strength...

Friday 1 November 2013


I'm so terribly sorry not to have posted for so long. While a litany of excuses could be provided as to my absence from the blogosphere, a pedestrian explanation will have to do, I'm afraid.

The reason for my silence over this last month is down to a curious experience which befell me. In a word, your Cat was abducted - much, it transpired, to the distress of my poor master Caedmon.

It all happened one morning as I was doing my territorial rounds; a couple of large Vikings approached me - one of them with a sack in hand. The next thing I knew I was inside the aforesaid bag, scratching and struggling to get free from my abductors. However, my escape wasn't possible, so I had to resign myself to the fate that awaited me.

To cut a long story short - and to spare you a myriad of trivial details - I was taken to what I gathered to be a large building in some unrecognisable village, and found myself along with a host of humans in some kind of a school. It was explained to me that I'd been specially chosen - along with the humans present - to attend and participate a training course for future leaders - and they needed to include a literate Cat.

The purpose of the training was to help us all to appreciate the value of the Redistributionist religion, and for that purpose, copious amounts of the Sacred Fungus were available for consumption whenever they were needed. For most of the human trainees, this was pretty well continuously... The one redeeming feature of this new location was the quality of the meat and fish dishes presented to me - at the Northumbrian taxpayers' expense, of course.

There were lectures, seminars and times of what I would describe as a cultic form of worship of the goddess Redistributia, whose high priests wore red robes and nasally droned their invocations. Bones were thrown and augurs consulted. All the ususal tedious stuff.

At the end of my education, I was returned to Streonaeshalh in the same bag in which I'd been originally transported, and henceforth released at the identical spot from where my abduction took place weeks previously. I returned to the joyful welcome of my master, who treated me to a splendid fish supper and asked me what had happened.

The one question you'll all doubtless be wanting to ask is: Did the 'training' experience have any effect upon me? Let me categorically assure you, dear reader, that my core values and opinions haven't changed one iota.

The politicos of Northumbria are wonderful people, who've seriously taken the good of the ordinary people to their hearts - they are not self-serving, posturing cretins. Caedmeron, Clegge and Edweird the Milliner are paragons of saintly virtue. As for the Holy Roman Empire - it's a veritable earthly paradise, whose elders love the myriads under their charge.

Now - I must sign off and go to sit at Guardy-Ann's feet; I believe there's some wondrous wisdom to be found there... I can't wait!

Friday 4 October 2013

Complaint of the Cat

Ever since I was elected Beloved Leader and Guiding Light of the Feline Redistributionist Faction (Jobs for the Faithful, Magic Mushrooms and Equal Rights for all like-minded Cats), I've been more than aware that there have been significant forces working tirelessly against me since I donned the mantle of high office. This is most upsetting, since all a Cat want to do is to carry out his public business to the best of his ability and obtain a few Holy Groats on the side - what on earth is wrong with that, for goodness' sake?

A number of soothsayers have particularly had it in for me - particularly those whose ideology aligns itself with those depraved Tree Faction types, who make me singularly sick. Things have got to a pretty pass recently when one of the soothsayers - none other than the ranting and hysterical Dellimell - published scurrilous information about my late father (blessings and mice be around him). Now of course, he's no longer around to defend the honour of his name, but I can certainly vouch for him as a cherished son and heir.

While it must be said that he did have rather eccentric views about the world, feline society and the redistribution of fish and mice to the common cat (i.e. any active Redistributionist Faction member), his extreme world view - contrary to the poisoned narrative of the obnoxious Dellimell et alia - made no room for violent struggle with claws and teeth in order to achieve universal poverty and biscuit. I know for a fact (for I studied his mannerisms very closely) that he never bared his teeth in anger to tear off the ear of another cat. And he certainly never was known to use the natural sharpness of his claws - and I have the scars to prove it.

Furthermore, I refute the allegation that my dear old father hated the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, King Alhfrith, the feudal system, the Christian Church and the costumed thugs. He was more than happy to affectionately adopt the Kingdom which welcomed him as a stray, put fish in his bowl and gave him the abundant leisure and thence the opportunity to develop his formidable intellect. He simply didn't like them - in fact, he loathed them.  And, contrary to popular belief, he didn't redistribute thousands of Holy Groats into his own personal hoard. My own considerable wealth has derived from other quarters, and I'm not prepared to discuss that matter any further, as it's none of anybody else's business.

So therefore I'm determined to destroy those soothsayers who gainsay me and oppose my political position, and I'm prepared to grind their bones to powder. My late father taught me a great deal...

Thursday 26 September 2013

The Cat's Dream

All of these Annual Unfortunates' Outings and Picnics - and the soothsayers' slobbering excitement about them - have been stimulating within this Cat a desire to sleep excessively these days.

Recently I had an odd dream in which I found myself confronted by some strange chimera - a kind of hybrid between a human being and a politico. This bizarre creature appeared to have an insatiable appetite for Holy Groats, taxation and control - not to mention fine cuisine. Through this encounter in my reverie, I was also able to discern that this creature uttered words which seemed to make some kind of cogent sense, but on closer examination were nothing more than skilfully crafted rhubarb and biscuit.

The encounter with this odd creature was hardly a pleasant one, and to be perfectly frank, I felt the urge to regurgitate my previous meal.

However, I woke up - which spared me the unpleasant emetic effect of my soporific ordeal. And then I found out that I hadn't been dreaming after all.

I hope that in my next nap I have more pleasurable visions of mice with golden wings. That's more to my liking...

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Wreck Creation

It's been such a long time since I last posted; my master Caedmon has been away to visit his friends Cuthbert and Aidan, and I suspect he's also paid his mate Bede a visit as well. This has left me holding the fort while he's been away; there's been a glut of mice and other verminous rodents of late - to swell the numbers which already infest the Northumbrian Witangemot - so I've been very busy!

While the non-existent Liberationists hold their mythical Annual Unfortunates' Outing and Picnic, another piece of news has reached this Cat's ears through the excitable gibberings of the soothsayers. It would appear (if there's a vestige of truth in what they tell us) that there's a spectacular mission to restore a wreck from the depths of the briny. The disaster happened in the recent past, when an enormous and ungainly vessel came into collision with rocks in shallow waters and capsized, resulting in enormous distress, dismay, desolation, damage and biscuit.

The bloated carcass has been visible for miles around to those onlookers interested enough to admire such gruesome sights, and a considerable tourist trade has been built around around the spectacle. Which is nice.

However, there are those who sit in exalted places who dislike such enterprise; following their deliberations behind closed doors, a decision has been made to restore the wretched wreck to some measure of uprightness so that the unfortunate hulk can be towed to a nearby port, where legions of happy workmen can carry out repairs and restore the ruin to its pristine glory.

When they've finished the restoration work on the Emperor Jose Borracho, what use are they going to put him to? If he sank once, he'll sink again - perhaps in deeper waters next time...

Thursday 29 August 2013

Eddie's New Epithet

Your Cat has been most intrigued by a description of Edweird the Milliner that has been recently disclosed to one of the soothsayers (and subsequently trumpeted from the Northumbrian rooftops). It appears that Edweird the Milliner - the ubiquitous Tribal Chieftain of the Redistributionist Faction, whose absence from the public arena of late has been largely unnoticed - is a cooking font.

Now, as a Cat with a rudimentary education in matters ecclesiastical (owing to the patient tuition of my good master Caedmon), I already know that a font is a stone-carved basin installed in churches for the purpose of baptising children and penitent adults. I'm also aware of the process of cooking - an entirely human activity, which involves kindling a fire and baking bread or cakes, or burning meat, fish and vegetables. However, when it comes to combining these two concepts within a single term, I struggle to wrap my feline head around it. What's going on here - a cooking font?

So in an endeavour to further my education, I sought my friend Feaxede the Fox, who shares with me more than a passing interest in political matters. Sadly he was unable to enlighten me, and the chicken struggling and loudly squawking within his jaw was no help either.

I was therefore resigned to having to remain in blissful ignorance, but then I remembered that Lareow - the Chief Secretary to Caedmeron's Department of Rodent Affairs - has always provided me with vital insights in the past, so I went to pay him a call. As ever, when I found him, Lareow produced the goods.

Edweird the Milliner oversees the secret ritual of slow roasting of children within the temples of the Redistributionist religion. This is accompanied by the masticating of magic mushrooms and the singing of hymns and anthems to the false god Redistributia. When I asked Lareow how he came by this information, he simply gave a conspiratorial wink, and said that his master Caedmeron is a fount of all knowledge.

What I'd dearly like to understand is how he knows this..

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Deja Vu Again

Since your Cat last posted, there seems to have developed a strange chronological phenomenon. Every now and again, I've chased a bird - or caught a mouse - in some part of my territorial patch and I've suddenly been overcome with a feeling that I've done this before - the same rodent/bird in exactly the same place, and in identical weather and light conditions. Of course, I just shrug it off and pursue my quarry - after all, if I pondered these things too long, I'd lose my snack, not to mention the thrill of the chase.

But this is also happening on a grander scale as well; the soothsayers of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria are currently very animated about developments happening over in the Levant. Some years ago, when this Cat was somewhat younger, the Redistributionist Principal Minister Tondvig the Blur (known by that epithet because of his tenuous hold on reality, as well as an inability to discern the difference between fantasy and reality) urgently called the Witangemot to a special moot to persuade the Kingdom that it was vitally necessary to send soldiers to the Levant to assist those from the as yet undiscovered Ultima Thule in deposing the ruthless chieftain Sadman Hussy, who - according to the reliable reports of the day - was preparing to invade the Northumbrian shores with legions of soldiers on a flotilla of quinquiremes at a moment's notice; furthermore, he'd carried out shameful atrocities on his own people for the sheer fun of it, and reliable witnesses had confirmed this. Moreover, it was argued that Sadman also had access to Greek Fire - that feared and mysterious weapon which held the oriental promise of death and desolation for those who came under it. Something Must Be Done - and very quickly. Consequently, the majority of the Witangemot voted to proceed with the invasion of the Levant.

Later on, it was discovered that all of these stories were obtained from a piece of parchment found in a children's school playground following a creative writing lesson.

Some years later in the present day, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Principal Looby of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance administration - has urgently called the Witangemot to a special moot to persuade the Kingdom that it is vitally necessary to send soldiers to the Levant to assist those from the as yet undiscovered Ultima Thule in deposing the ruthless chieftain Basher O'Sad, who - according to the reliable reports of the day - is preparing to invade the Northumbrian shores with legions of soldiers on a flotilla of quinquiremes at a moment's notice; furthermore, he's carried out shameful atrocities on his own people for the sheer fun of it, and reliable witnesses have confirmed this. Moreover, it's been argued that Basher also has access to Greek Fire - that feared and mysterious weapon which holds the oriental promise of death and desolation for those who come under it. Something Must Be Done - and very quickly. Consequently, the Witangemot are being persuaded that a vote to send in soldiers is The One And Only Option.

So this Cat suspects that there's a children's class which has been busy again. And as for the blacksmiths - I realise that making swords, shields, helmets and body armour is great for their business, but the noise of their incessant crashing, hammering and the roar of their furnaces is doing my feline head in..

Thursday 15 August 2013

Eggs Act Science

Amid all the usual euphoria and excitement, your Cat (as well as his vulpine friend Feaxede the Fox) have recently come to notice an intense cult following around the legendary Redistributionist Dear Leader, Edweird the Milliner.

While it's been suggested by certain soothsayers that Edweird and his immediate coterie of starry-eyed believers in the Sacred Geometry of Redistributionism have recently been conspicuous by their absence from the glare of popular attention (claiming to be taking a long and well-deserved break from their holy business), some sinister forces have been insidiously at work, weaving a spell of enchantment which has produced some surprising results; Edweird has suddenly become exceedingly and embarrassingly popular.

This phenomenal rise in popularity has evidenced itself in his public appearances, where crowds of normally apathetic Northumbrians have gathered to strew his path with brown canine political statements, and to adorn him with eggs. Considering the sacrifice of a perfectly good source of nutrition in these straitened times, this can only compare with the breaking of the alabaster jar in the Gospel account. Strange, indeed.

Your Cat has a sneaking suspicion that he's been consulting with demons - and by this I don't mean his usual companions in the Redistributionist Faction, but those of a more ethereal nature. What else can explain his meteoric rise in popularity, a growing number of his colleagues singing paeans of praise, not to mention Northumbrians spontaneously showering him with gifts and waiting expectantly on every syllable which proceeds through his nasal passages? I rest my case.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Rock Opera

The Saxon outpost of Rockhaven at the tip of the Iberian peninsula has been at the centre of a lot of hot air these days - and this isn't related to the uncharacteristically warm weather that has enveloped the Northumbrian Kingdom in recent weeks.

Rockhaven was formally adopted by a long-forgotten tribe of Anglo-Saxons as a spin-off from their historic punch-ups with the Iberians. Situated at the tip of the Iberian landmass, it sits a few miles from the North African coast. The reason for this acquisition was said to be so that Saxon sailors could easily defend the Saxon merchant fleet from Barbary pirates, thus protecting the transportation of magic mushroom consignments from the Levant, but this justification is somewhat apocryphal; a more plausible reason for this territorial grab is simply in order to rub the Iberian noses in their consequent indignity. Whatever.

The Iberian satrap - known as Ahoy - has unexpectedly launched an anti-Saxon rhetoric campaign out of resentment concerning their occupation of their ancient port, and has threatened to impose large amounts of taxation from Iberians and Saxons who pass to and fro over the border. Most Northumbrian soothsayers are suggesting that Ahoy - along with the rest of his kingdom deep in debt, poverty, ignominy and biscuit following the Great Deficit of the Ages - has decided that his people need some pleasant respite from their current miseries, and has provided some entertainment for them by way of a distraction. Which is nice.

However, this Cat is an assiduous student of human nature, and has reached his own conclusions. For what it's worth, I would like to share them with you. Often, erratic and extreme forms of human behaviour don't always stem from stated reasons, and they can often be unconscious cries for help. Your Cat has reason to suspect that Ahoy's actions of late have been in this category.

And what's the underlying problem giving rise to all this nonsense? I wouldn't be at all surprised if he has a fishbone lodged in his gullet...

Thursday 1 August 2013

Peer Over The Abyss

Since I last posted about the arrival of the New Addition to the Royal House of Alhfrith (he's doing very well, widdling, howling and making copious colonic political statements), I'm very gratified to report that the wider family of the Great And The Good is also burgeoning, albeit at a significantly faster rate than the Monarch's own dynasty.

Dagwald Caedmeron - the Paloocus Magnus of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - has revealed to an awestruck Northumbrian public the latest leg-ups to greatness, prestige, power and biscuit. The awards of peerages by the administration du jour is a weekly event that's invariably attended by a great deal of soothsayer excitement, which in turn stimulates highly organised impromptu street parties and celebratory revelries by the less reflective members of Northumbrian humanity. The consequent carnage is delightful to a cat's eyes and nostrils...

The status of Anglo-Saxon earldom used to be a matter solely determined by birth, but in these increasingly Redistributionist times, the People - whoever they are: I've never quite figured that out yet - have relentlessly clamoured for Equality, Fair Play and a Level Playing Field, resulting in the elevation of chickens, pigs, professional whingers and assorted ne'er-do-wells to the elevated heights of Northumbrian society. The playing field is now several hundred feet below ground level. Oddly enough, these new appointees happen to be either politicos or their nearest and dearest friends. I'm sure this must be a coincidence. The hereditary earls avoid their new neighbours; from what I've gathered from my feline associate Lareow (Senior Rodent Commissar to the House of Caedmeron), it's because they don't like the smell..

Tuesday 23 July 2013

A Wide Birth

Ever since the recent announcement of the arrival of the Happy Event for their Royal Highnesses Prince Walthelm and Princess Gytha, the entire Kingdom of Northumbria has melted into a morass of slush, mush and biscuit. Quite frankly, this Cat is bewildered by the entire business; I wish it would simply go away.

The Great and Happy Occasion was first signalled by a pair of flunkies from the Palace of His Majesty King Alhfrith, who, to the delight of the myriads of expectant bystanders, posted a notice in the finest Anglo-Saxon, announcing that the Prince and Princess had at last been presented with their long-awaited puppy, and copious details about the New Addition to the Regal Household have been supplied - except, surprisingly enough, for the name of the new creature, who will be the Third In Line to the coveted Northumbrian Throne. I hope they make necessary alterations to the Seat of Power. Has anybody given this any thought? Or has a canine royal box already been prepared?

Legions of happy onlookers have been euphorically onlooking around the Palace walls, having camped outside those hallowed precincts for several years in eager anticipation. Bunting has dripped limply in the heavy thundery showers and mead and ale have been consumed in significant measure, not to mention the flying fantasy fungus, which has been masticated in industrial quantities. Any excuse will suffice.

Soothsayers have been occupied with little else; in reverential tones of sycophantic awe they've kept their audiences enraptured with the latest bulletins of imaginary minutiae, and endless supplies of experts have been trundled out of the warehouses (or wherever it is they're kept for such eventualities) to eruditely yap boar locks for long periods of time.

Politicos from around the world have also desperately tried to outdo each other in their adulatory and servile messages of congratulation. Their sincerity has - as ever - shone through.

In the meantime, I've asked Caedmon to take me to the wise man of the woods, who ministers to the medical needs of animals. I really feel quite sick, but I really don't know why..

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Men Of Substance(s)

Your Cat has been puzzling over a recently disclosed mystery that has been occupying these feline synapses. It came to my attention the other day that a search through the hallowed halls and latrines of the Witangemot Moot hall - where all the meaningful Northumbrian political business is done - has revealed minuscule traces of magic mushrooms. Imagine my shock, horror and biscuit.

On hearing this from the soothsayers my thought processes started to work overtime. Who on earth could have been responsible for leaving these sinister traces behind?

Since the Moot hall is regularly visited by devout pilgrims from home and overseas, who (at considerable personal expense), out of reverence for their deity De-Mockery-Cy visit the holy shrine to hear the sacred hymns and arias bleated and brayed across the benches, and of course, to admire the impressive Saxon architecture. Could they be the ones who've surreptitiously secreted fly agaric into the place to enable them to enter into the spirit of the worship and holy rites? One might be tempted to subscribe to such an interpretation of these disturbing revelations; after all, there has to be some means by which the devotees can stimulate their minds while the numbing and hypnotic droning resounds across the debating chamber.

But the conclusion I've drawn is that while the aforementioned hypothesis could be valid, the more plausible reason for these incriminatory organic traces is the politicos themselves. After all, the greatest part of Redistributionist theology comes from shamans who derive their inspiration from such fungal methods. Furthermore, the development of Tree and Liberationist dogma in recent times has increasingly assumed the bizarre shape of the Redistributionist model; this could only have been achieved through the Sacred Shroom.

In the fulness of time, this Cat predicts that the entire edifice and the institutions within its walls will become a vast mushroom cult. I can hear the bongoes already...

Friday 12 July 2013

Nosh Bosh

Just when this Cat had happily settled to a quiet life dedicated to rodent elimination and the maintenance of territorial integrity, another unwelcome broadside came a-blasting from the politicos here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria - and I'm not referring to that massive pay increase recently proposed for the Kingdom's politicos (apparently designed to encourage the struggling Northumbrian serf and tradesman to smile in his penury and with a tug of the forelock wish the more deserving ruling classes well).

This particular issue is about the consumption of food in the kindergartens of the Realm. It appears that a select committee of expert martinets have decided that the children of this blessed backwater province of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy nor Roman, and doesn't even smell like an empire) are grossly overweight and unhealthy, and they've decided to Do Something About It.

Since they've been anxious to justify their otherwise worthless and meaningless employment – along with the billions of taxpayers' Holy Groats spent on their meager salaries and sinecures, they've elected to make a Bold Decision following their careful research. Consequently, they've produced and published a five hundred thousand-page document that contains selectively edited case histories and histrionic emotional argument. Some politicos have (purportedly) read it and openly wept over their venison cutlets, truffles and fine Frankish wines. It's so terribly sad.

The resulting proposal from the Report is that the children should no longer bring into their places of education lunches lovingly prepared by their mothers, since this is perceived to be at the root of their weighty problem. The remaining choice will either be starvation, or the schools' own catering supplied by courtesy of local Viking fast food outlets. It will of course comply with the strict dietary rules found in the sacred pages of the Eddas. I'm so relieved..

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Banished and Vanished

It came as a bolt out of the blue. The other day I was busy patrolling my territory, catching rodents and sharpening my claws on the Streonaeshalh Alderman's leg, when I perceived my dear vulpine friend Feaxede.

Whenever I see Feaxede the Fox heading in my direction, I already know that he's caught a snippet of vital gossip that he can't wait to share with me. And thus it was; he proceeded to joyfully tell me that he'd just heard from the soothsayers that Aburr Gut-Harrdur - the renowned Viking celebrity - had been banished from the shores of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. I was flabbergasted; I felt that life had taken a nosedive, and that the world had become a more serious place.

For the sake of any readers who haven't read about him before in my missives, Aburr Gut-Harrdur is a jovial, bearded Viking mystic, whose mission - since he entered these blessed shores under dubious circumstances - has been to entertain the Northumbrian public with his diatribes, doubtless inspired by his adopted holy book, the Norse Eddas. He's also been known to take a lucky dip in the murky waters of the mighty River Ouse during the famous Celebration of the Longboats in order to entertain and inspire the masses with his magic mushroom-derived fantasies.

Since the Vikings are a bellicose tribal group, whose incursions into the distant reaches of the known world have been inevitably accompanied the sweet persuasion of the point of a sword, lance or axe, it wasn't altogether surprising that the inspiration for this spirit of enterprise owes to their devout belief in the gods of Valhalla, who - according to these tales - are partial to copious amounts of bloodshed, pain and damage on the part of those who don't take them seriously. Such a pity.

Naturally, in these enlightened times, the majority of Anglo-Saxons don't give a rat's rump about such bloodthirsty deities and carryings-on, so those who doggedly adhere to such are regarded as swivel-eyed nutcases. Despite his incessant inspirational messages of sweetness and light, for some reason the Northumbrian establishment have been desperate to direct his feet to his Nordic homeland, where he is wanted for the theft of items of womens' clothing.

After thirteen thousand unsuccessful attempts to exile him - all of which were stymied by the Court of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), Dagwald Caedmeron - the Principal Ballerina of the Tree/Liberationist dance troupe has managed through the good offices of his secretary Tressy the Mayfly to remove him and send him to face his ignominious end.

It's all so very sad. But I'm sure that there'll soon be another to take his place; it's not as if the Kingdom is short of these song-and-dance men, is it? I can't wait for the Ð Factor to come round again..

Friday 5 July 2013

Civil War

It's sadly come to my attention that the Redistributionist Faction has again been discovered to have been up to tricks of a questionable moral character. This has (for the thirteen thousandth time) come as a great shock to me; this Cat always fondly entertained the blissful illusion that the Redistributionists were a cabal of well-meaning (but chronically naive) dunderheads, who entertained magic mushroom-fuelled notions of Equality (for some), Fairness (for the handpicked few), Shared Poverty (for all) and biscuit. What a foolish feline I was..

My illusory bubble burst when - to my chagrin - I recently discovered that they've been carefully nurturing this cosy, rosy and posed image among the simple folk of the Northumbrian Kingdom while in reality, they've been conducting business in a manner worthy of a band of conniving cut-throats.

The Untied Guild of Costume FIllers - an affiliated body of swivel-eyed, fanatical Redistributionist tradesmen, led by their firebrand armchair general Legge the Cluster - stealthily swamped a constituency with their own hand-picked placemats. This was the result of carefully-planned prestidigitation and false teeth.

Following this illusion-shattering development, a Civil War has broken out in the Redistributionist ranks, dragging the Faction Chief Cupcake Edweird the Milliner into the arena. This has resulted in the resignation of Tam the Fat and has threatened the entire civilised world with unprecedented hot air, rhetoric and rhubarb. Woe, woe and thrice biscuit.

Meanwhile, the Costumed Thugs have been kindly invited by the rival Tree Faction to investigate. The Liberationists were nowhere to be seen. The result of their researches will be published in fifteen thousand years' time. I can hardly wait...

Friday 28 June 2013

Amnesty (International)

It's said that while the Cat's away, the mice they play. By all accounts, this saying has been confirmed by recent events. While your Cat has been getting on with the momentous issues of cat life (you know - staking and patrolling my territory, fending off intruders and pretenders to my throne, stalking rodents and birds, not to mention running impressive charm offensives with the fish merchants on Streonaeshalh quayside to earn some tasty morsels), it appears that some Tree politico has put his head above the parapet. Noddy the Zadger is a token Viking member of the Tree Faction, who – on account of his Nordic ethnicity and his devotion to Thor, Asgard and the Eddas – has earned favour with Dagwald Caedmeron – the Senior Sister of the Holy Order of St. Platitude and Judas Iscariot. Since the Tree Faction are pathologically determined to redefine their ideology and core support from traditional reactionaries to hip, cool and trendy Redistributionists, this elevation in status to Highly Favoured One has been consistent with their ill-intentioned strategy.


Consequently, Noddy the Zadger has been allowed to speak. Behind his guttural Nordic tones, the message has sounded forth that the Tree Administration (in partnership with the near-extinct Liberationist Faction who ostensibly support them in the seat of authority) should grant an amnesty to all those exotic individuals who have remained upon this sacred Northumbrian soil and outstayed their welcome. This would then encourage them to support the greatly hated Trees who have offered such succour.


Since the Kingdom of Northumbria is fast becoming a foreign country populated by people of strange customs, speech, diets and religious habits, it's becoming increasingly difficult for this Cat to understand the human world, as the aboriginal Northumbrians are becoming as rare as the Liberationists.


This Cat would like to respectfully suggest an alternative strategy for Caddy Boy and his trendy and progressive cronies: why not simply deport all the indigenous population? A few ships over the North Sea back to Jutland and Saxony should do it..


Wednesday 19 June 2013

Cat's Stop Press

I'm sorry for the absence of posts lately, but I've been busy on my patrol duties, seeking whatever and whomever I may devour. However, I thought it might be useful to quickly inform you that Dagwald Caedmeron - the Arch-demiurge of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration in the Northumbrian Witangemot - has added to his recent controversial legislation, which, if you'll remember, was to allow legitimate marriage between homeopaths. Despite the ensuing outrage and furore about the social acceptability of diluting liquids to the point of potency sufficient to produce severe burns (and, of course, whether it was in accordance with natural law), another development has come to light which has in typical fashion hastened an addendum to the newly-framed and deeply unpopular statute.

Marriage between human beings and inhabitants of another world is to be included in the legislation. One Redistributionist politico has already blazed the trail, and the offspring from such a union is expected in fifteen thousand years. It's rather a long time to wait to wet the baby's head, however..

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Reigny Day

Today is a historically significant day, since it's the seven thousandth anniversary of the coronation of King Alhfrith to the coveted throne of Northumbria.

Naturally, the common people of this Realm are in a state of high excitement bordering on torpor,  exacerbated without doubt by the hysterical rantings of the soothsayers, whose references to His Majesticity are - in most cases - couched in sycophantic and breathlessly reverential tones. Thus a mood of extreme deference - tinged with nuanced tones of ennui and indifference - has gripped the man in the Northumbrian Street. I've been feasting on a celebratory mackerel, and I'm now ready for forty winks..

It's certainly true that the ancient monarch has changed the face of the Kingdom; when he succeeded his father those millennia ago, Northumbria was an independent realm, renowned for the stoical warrior spirit of its citizens. Raiders were repelled at every turn, and the infidels were sent back to their longships with a thick ear. Northumbria ruled the waves of the North Sea.

However, the centuries of the Alhfithian Era have signalled a substantial change in the cultural outlook of the Northumbrian psyche, and today, the bellicose spirit has been replaced by a bovine docility as legions of Vikings throng the streets, jabbering in their Nordic babble, clutching their Eddas and pronouncing Odin's woes on the diminishing numbers of Anglo-Saxons. We're now blessed with a kleptocratic demockery-cy comprising the best politicos that Holy Groats can buy, led by the Thief-In-Chief Dagwald Caedmeron, whose inspirational leadership is reminiscent of my friend Feaxede the Fox loose in a chicken run.

Most of these gradual changes can be attributed to the time when Edweird the Thief - the late Tree Supremo - led the Kingdom into the gaping jaws of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy nor Roman, and it doesn't resemble an empire to a rational cat). What has puzzled this moggy is why the Noble King was content to allow his kingdom to be degraded to the status of a mere satrapy.

Perhaps he simply has always had an aversion to power and was anxious to offload it at the first opportunity. He certainly needn't be afraid if it any more. He's playing with the gift wrapping instead..

Thursday 30 May 2013

The Wars Of The Cheeses

SInce I last wrote, a lot has happened here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, and one significant event to signal the meddlesome and dictatorial intent of the political hierarchy is the recent announcement by Dagwald Caedmeron - the Arch-demon of the Tree Faction and Holy Emperor of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - that they will step up their war against cheese.

It all started outside our own Realm in the Kingdom of Wessex, where one of the perennial customs of the villagers in Springtime is to assemble at the top of a nearby hill, and let a sizeable cheese roll down it with forty thousand local people in hot pursuit. Such eccentric customs have existed since Adam was a lad, and are probably a throwback to a distant pagan past. Whatever.

Unfortunately, the Fluffy Diversity Commissariat and Health & Safety Command And Control Bureau awoke from their customary slumbers and got wind of this, and decided immediately to put a stop to such savage and ignoble activity. So they banned the cheese. The Wessex soothsayers consequently went to town, and in their inimitable fashion whipped the West Saxons into a hysteria about the breaking of their Sacred Rite of Spring. It's made no difference, however.

Caddy Boy was seemingly inspired by such a measure, and has subsequently decreed throughout the Northumbrian Realm that the possession of cheese in any form is an offence punishable by death or diversity - whichever comes sooner. It is - according to the edict - an evil substance which contributes to morbid obesity, death and biscuit.

Since the curdled product of the cow's lactation constitutes a significant part of the Northumbrian diet, a lot of people are Deeply Concerned about this - not the least the farmers, whose beasts supply the raw material.

Feaxede the Fox and I are also unhappy about this development, since we're also partial to a sneaky nibble of a bit of Wensleydale when the occasion presents it.

But all is not lost. Already, there exists an emerging underground market, manned by shifty young Vikings, who surreptitiously trade such commodities as Danish Blue, Sage Derby and Leire's Caster Red...

Wednesday 22 May 2013

The Tribulations of a Fun Guy

The other day I had the inestimable pleasure of meeting Dagwald Caedmeron - the Holy Macaroni and Beloved Guiding Light of the Tree Faction and the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration. I was paying a social call to my feline pal Lareow, who's the Generalisimo Grande of Caddy's Rodent Secretariat, and to my surprise, my friend's employer was also present.

Since he's usually such a busy fellow, I was quite surprised to afford an opportunity to exchange a few pleasantries with him. Beyond the usual phatic communion guff - you know - "Hello", and "How are you?", I was able to discern that he was extremely tired, and since a cat is freely able to look at a king without fear of death or fishpaste, I had no compunction is asking him why he looked so washed out.

He told me that he'd been frantically chewing magic mushrooms and busily receiving hourly orders from the apparatchiks of the Most High Emperor Jose Borracho - the Senior Dung Beetle and Caesar of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), and the responsibility was weighing him down. He was working very hard to earn a reputation as the Most Deeply Despised Principal Placemat in Northumbrian history. Moreover, he'd also been attending courses organised by the aforementioned potentate on "How To Ignore and Patronise Your Swivel-Eyed Lunatic People and Implement Unpopular Holy Roman Empire Redistributionist Diktats for Pleasure and Success".

To all intents and purposes, he'd had his work cut out; small wonder he looked so tired. Nevertheless, I reassured him that he was doing a tremendous job, and he deserved to be congratulated for decimating the Tree Faction, as well as alienating and driving its former supporters into the welcome embrace of the Northumbrian Independence Faction, led by the straight-talking and charismatic Nickwald the Forager.

I also told him that he'd soon be able to savour a welcome rest from all of his labours when the bovine Northumbrian electorate make their next Great Decision. I only hope that he can get to a boat in time before the hounds get him..

Thursday 9 May 2013

The Third Northumbrian Tragedy

They say that things happen in threes, and events this year have certainly proved this to be so (and thus it shall ever be until the fourth arrives). After the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria reeled from hearing about the departure of Dagwald the Milliner from the hallowed halls of seedy Redistributionist politics, it was soon faced by the sad demise of Hilda the Roofer, the late and lamented former Tree Principal Minister and beloved friend of Redistributionists and miners.

In the ensuing weeks following the shock of these unfortunate events, the Kingdom cheerfully settled down to the routine of dealing with the Great Public Expenditure Cuts - along with all the usual dronings of the politicos, and recently witnessed the Northumbrian Independence Faction's astonishing victories in the Shire Witangemot Elections. Happy days and biscuit.

However, the hand of Providence has once again delivered a fresh consignment of gloom, doom and ordure to the Northumbrian Realm. It's been revealed through the ashen-faced soothsayers that Aelric the Forger's Son has announced his retirement from the chieftainship of that beloved Northumbrian institution known as Madcaster Untied. This came as a bolt from the blue, and a numbed Northumbrian population is presently attempting to make some sense of this staggering development.

Aelric the Forger's Son - the cheery, ruddy-faced ruminant led the aforesaid football team to a continual series of sporting victories over a period of seventeen thousand years. An exile from the wild and windswept glens of Caledonia, he led his barbarian Pictish contemporaries to similar successes and prowess on the football field. Eventually, the call of the civilised world - and a substantial stipend in Holy Groats - brought him down to the gentler lowlands of Northumbria to assume his new role as Gruff Football Team Leader. Consequently Madcaster Untied became a by-word for sporting prowess and invincibility throughout the Known World.

His phenomenal successes as a Leader of Men owes primarily to his gentleness, his willingness to understand his team and their many problems in dealing with lavish lifestyles - as well as his quiet and unassuming nature and unintelligible Caledonian accent.

And now that Elijah has slain all the prophets of Baal and completed his life's ministry, the one remaining question is: what Elisha can adequately step into his shoes and continue his work? Stay tuned, people. It's going to be a white knuckle ride from now on...

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Small Beer

The human political landscape here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbrian is currently a scene of chaos and desolation, and this Cat is reduced to the feline equivalent of tears (which is more likely to involve frequent visits to the litter tray).

Despite what you esteemed readers might think, this doesn't owe to the significant gains of the Northumbrian Independence Faction in the recent Shire Witangemot Elections - although these Significant Developments have certainly unsettled the politicos sitting at the Tree wing of the One Definitive And Holy Governing Faction of the Northumbrian Realm.

Since the long-suffering Northumbrian taxpayers have decided that the present State of Affairs has arisen from factions who vaguely pretend to represent them but in reality ignore them as usual, they've decided to vote for the most credible alternative - as personified in the straight-talking and charismatic Nickwald the Forager, whose anti-establishment stance has won legions of hearts and minds to the new cause.

To any rational mind, one would expect the politicos to be biting their nails and losing sleep at the prospect of a potential loss of position, prestige, pudding and power. However, the restlessness on their part originates from another issue - one which lies significantly closer to their hearts (or whatever may be found to occupy such spaces).

The politicos are Most Alarmed at the price of their drinks in the Witangemot tavern. It's a price which stretches their expense-drawn resources to the furthest limits. A flagon of foaming ale currently costs the poor politicos two and a half Holy Groats, and they're most distressed about this - despite the fact that the Witangemot tavern prices are already generously (and unwittingly) subsidised by the long-suffering Northumbrian taxpayer.

When these creatures are finally released from their political duties because of the burgeoning influence of the Northumbrian Independence Faction, they'll find that the price of ale is significantly greater for the common and garden Northumbrians that they will be forced to rub shoulders with. What will they cry into?

Monday 29 April 2013

Sticks And Stones

As your Cat recovers from the shocking revelation concerning the tragic demise of the terpsichorean troupe Jay Less, yet more song and dance routines are currently being exercised in the Northumbrian public domain. While this stage is somewhat different from the ones upon which Jay Less are accustomed to performing, the entertainment factor is nonetheless the vital ingredient which binds Jay Less to this new act.

Co-incident with the return of the popular travelling show 'Northumbria's Got Talent', this is an act which this Cat could see was inevitably bound to be played out through the Kingdom, since the participants in this fresh incarnation of popular amusement are none other than the politicos, who've been assiduously rehearsing a chorus of their own. Not - I might hasten to add - in praise of the wonders of love; nor is this in lament of a lost paramour, although the element of ritual dance certainly does feature.

The theme of these new strains has been the vilification of the charismatic and well-loved straight-talking Nickwald the Forager and the Northumbrian Independence Faction, whose stance against the devious and sinister machinations of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) have earned them a great deal of respect and affection on the part of the long-suffering Northumbrian taxpayers. In view if the forthcoming elections for the Northumbrian Shire Witangemots, the three manifestations of the One True and Holy Northumbrian Faction (i.e. the Trees, the Redistributionists and the Liberationists) are starting to realise that they are going to have to sing for their supper rather than assume that an automatic place in the corridors of provincial power awaits them.

Thus a chorus of insults, half-truths, innuendoes and full-blown fantasies is now being sung by various politicos in deference to their Northumbrian Independence Faction challengers. Words like 'shifty', 'bedwetters', 'fanatics' and 'lunatics' are now assaulting the ears of the Northumbrian populace. These did not figure in the strains of Jay Less's anthems...

Naturally, there are those among the diversity of Northumbrian humanity who will unquestioningly accept whatever they hear - especially if it comes to their ears through the good offices of Beeby See, Guardy-Ann and the Windy Pedant.

However, many more are now realising that the two themes that ring out loud and clear from these new and discordant strains are... desperation and jealousy.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

A Tragic Demise

It has taken me over a week to recover adequately from the hysteria, hype and biscuit surrounding the passing of Hilda the Roofer; I've been one exhausted kitty.

Despite my fatigue, the demands and responsibilities of my empire have still remained; mice have had to be stalked and seized, territory has had to be patrolled, and would-be feline invaders have had to be repelled with a torn ear for good measure. All of this normality has helped to keep maintain some measure of pleasure and sanity.

After a relatively blissful respite from the affairs of human folly however, yet another astonishing development has arrived unannounced (and equally unwelcome) onto my euphoric horizon. It arrived through the good offices of Feaxede the Fox, who has often been the harbinger of bad news, doom and desolation. But it's not his fault; he's as tormented by these developments as I am, and I regard him as a kinsman, since he shares many of my griefs. Whatever.

Please sit down and take slow, deep breaths, for what I'm about to impart to you. Today the news has filtered through the soothsayers of the Northumbrian Kingdom of the dismantling of Jay Less. When I heard this from Feaxede's mouth, my instinctive reaction was to disgorge the entire contents of my alimentary system; it wasn't pretty. But I feel so much better now, and I can almost relate this to you without signs of colonic distress.

Should any reader be unaware of the matter to which I allude, Jay Less was a small troupe of young singers and dancers who gained fame and notoriety throughout the Realm for their remarkable terpsichorean prowess. Established about five minutes ago as protegés of the influential cleric and Lothario impresario Father Simeon the Cowl, they set the Realm alight with their ditties and lays about lost love, magic mushrooms, dancing and unrequited affection. In every town, village and hamlet where they wandered to dump their artistic skills, they had myriads of small girls in thrall while accumulating a sizeable collective treasury of Holy Groats. The universe lay spread out before their dancing feet.

But now the dream is over; the hopes and expectations of myriads of young female Northumbrians lie dashed in a million shards. If a Cat could weep, it would be right now. But I can't. So I won't.

A great wail of anguish has resounded throughout the Kingdom, and the banners now hang at half mast - in deference to the pantaloons that Jay Less were accustomed to half wearing. Since this morning, an entire generation has been failed: let down by gods who held out such transient promise.

Sick transit gloria mundi. Excuse me.. nature calls. Again..

Thursday 11 April 2013

Dancing On Ice

Since the recent demise of Hilda the Roofer - the former Tree Administration Leader - a lot of excitement has boiled to the surface in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. In part this has been fuelled by the soothsayers, who never fail to deliver cartloads of bombast, rhetoric, garbage and cabbage.

Hilda the Roofer was a formidable Principal Minister during her thousand-year tenure at the helm of the good ship Northumbria; such was the measure of her achievements that she won admiration and adulation from fifty percent of the Realm. This was mainly attributable to her resolve to adhere doggedly to whatever policy decision she made - a rare quality in politicos, who are normally given to swimming with whatever the prevailing tide may be. Her decision to allow serfs to purchase their own strips of land from their local municipalities also endeared her to tenants, who quickly profited from the reselling of their vegetable plots; this ushered in a new Age of Plenty for the common or garden Northumbrian. Her decisive victory in the war against the bellicose Patagonians who had forcibly occupied the Farne Islands also won her admiration and respect from many.

However, the other fifty percent of the Northumbrian population were far from enchanted by Hilda's tenure of office. Her victory against the striking lead miners (led by their tribal chief, the charismatic rabble-rouser Arthur the Scarface), which resulted in the ultimate closure of their mine workings, attracted a great deal of hatred from those communities, and her refusal to make deals with their leaders earned her bile, opprobrium and biscuit from the Redistributionists, who henceforth regarded her as the Sum Of All Evil.

Since the announcement of her departure from this vale of tears, sycophantic tributes have poured in from all quarters - most of which owe more to selective - or false - memory syndrome than hard realities.

As a mark of their own expression of grief at her departure, the Redistributionist Workers' Faction have organised carefully choreographed synchronised events throughout the Kingdom. This has consisted of dancing, marching in goose step and singing cheerful Redistributionist ditties to the cooking of beansprouts, the beating of countless bongoes, the barking of dogs and the chewing of countless magic mushrooms. This Cat has reason to believe that this has in large part been inspired by the warmongering King Yung'Un, the Beloved Leader of the Northern Kingdom of Goryo, who commands a great deal of love and devoted affection, which is tenderly extracted from his subjects at the point of a spear.

Nevertheless, most of the Redistributionists who are dancing and rejoicing at the demise of their perceived foe don't actually know anything about Hilda the Roofer, since they weren't even born when she ruled over Northumbria. Nevertheless, their celebrations are informed by their Sacred Volume, The Redistributionist's Book Of Erudition and Wisdom, which consists of two empty pages; they read between the lines.

Meanwhile, the remaining fifty percent look upon them with a mixture of disgust and loathing, since their way of expressing public grief over Hilda's passing appears to convey ignorance and spite in equal measures. They certainly know how to make friends...

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Tax Attack

The Northumbrian Kingdom has been in a perpetual state of uproar, desolation, consternation, constipation and biscuit following the resignation of Dagwald the Miiliborg from the Redistributionist ranks. This has contributed in large part to the collective headache of the Kingdom; however this is by no means the only reason for the present cerebral pains.

Steadily in the background, Dunstan the Smithy, the Tree Faction's former Supremo and Revered Tree Decoration has been industriously labouring in his workshop, crafting Something Beautiful for the Northumbrian population. Among the fruits of his labours - as cherished as those of his loins - is a complete overhaul of the Northumbrian Realm's benefit system. This is by no means an easy task, considering the millennia of changes which have developed it into the Bountiful Provider it has become - as well the envy of every other tribe, kindred and nation under the sun (hence the rush to these beautiful shores by the myriads of Bactrian tribesmen and assorted flotsam and jetsam from the exotic shores of the Levant.

Dunstan's principal rationale for his reshaping exercise is so that he can reduce the colossal sum of Holy Groats spent by the long-suffering Northumbrian taxpayers, thus helping to reduce the Monumental Treasure Chest Deficit (which was carefully and lovingly cultivated by the Redistributionist Faction during their ten-thousand year tenure of the Northumbrian government. During this time they succeeded in impoverishing the average Northumbrian through excessive taxation in order to fund their own lavish lifestyles, to legitimately help the Poor and Disadvantaged, and most especially to reward the work-shy, thus cultivating the loyalty of their core base of ne'er-do-wells and professional layabouts).

One of the Significant New Developments emerging in a red-hot glow from the Smithy's forge is the new Bedroom Tax - a brand new wheeze designed to extract more Holy Groats, half-pennies and farthings from those members of the population who pay rents for their hovels from their municipal landlords. Any unoccupied sleeping quarters in their diminutive hutches are to incur an extra charge. Naturally, the Redistributionist Faction has been on the warpath, and has wildly accused the Tree Faction of penalising the Poor - something, dear reader, that they would never ever do. Honestly.

Some Redistributionist municipal landlords - out of the goodness of their hearts - as well as a desire for future votes and a political advantage - have already been helping their tenants by redefining their unoccupied chambers as pigsties, stables and chicken runs.

What more enterprising tenants could do is to make their spare rooms available to members of the Redistributionist Workers' Faction; this would help to reduce the present alleged accommodation shortage throughout the Realm.

However, the smell of cow, chicken and pig dung along with the sound of lowing, clucking and grunting is probably preferable to the chewing of magic mushrooms, the smell of beansprouts and dog breath, the sound of bongoes and the random babblings of nonsense that their new tenants would produce...

Sunday 31 March 2013

Easter In Northumbria

The Abbey has been busy over this last few days as Holy Week has progressed, and throngs of Streonaeshalh people have come to participate in the times of reflection over the sufferings and death of the Redeemer. Today, those sombre days have been replaced by a mood of jubilation and optimism, since this is the day in which the Church remembers that Christ rose from the dead to secure a final and resounding victory over sin, death and the evil one.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the entire creation is presently groaning under the curse of sin, decay and death and eagerly waiting for its final and complete redemption. This Cat certainly groans at the sheer stupidity, greed and general folly of the human race who have had to walk in the soiled footsteps of their father Adam. Nevertheless, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is a sign of the redemption to come, and each year the Easter story is a graphic reminder - not only of the monumentally great and victorious event which happened when He rose again, but also of what is yet to come for a redeemed creation. He is the first fruits - everything else must follow in due course.

Caedmon often reminds me that we're trapped between the 'now and the not yet'; we live in the light of the resurrection of Christ from the dead, while walking under the promise of what is promised for the future - which is in accordance with the Divine mind and timing rather than the narrow speculations of humans.

A Happy Easter to all!

CC and Caedmon

Wednesday 27 March 2013

To The Rescue

The entire Northumbrian Kingdom is reeling in shock after the surprise announcement by Dagwald the Milliborg - the politico and sibling of Edweird the Milliner, the Supreme Autocrat and Beloved Guiding Star of the Redistribution Faction. Dagwald and Edweird (if you will recall) were locked in deadly fraternal rivalry for the coveted Redistributionist crown a few millennia ago; however, by force of sheer guile and shortbread, Eddy - following the example of young Jacob with his rival twin Esau - outmanoeuvred his more capable brother and managed to wrest the crown from his grasp. (Rumour has it that this was also achieved by the cunning and unprincipled connivance of a cartel of robber barons and rubber bands, who wished to see a speedy departure from the Faction of the twisted and discredited ancien regime of the mendacious former tribal chief Tondvig the Blur.)

Since that fateful power struggle, the hapless but capable Dagwald was thrust out of the political nest, and was thus obliged to pass his time on the back benches of the Witangemot, waving exotic bent yellow fruit in a simian fashion and muttering monosyllabic grunts. It's all so terribly sad. This Cat has been as close to tears as any feline can be.

Nevertheless, although Dagwald the Milliborg was bloodied by his experience, he was ultimately unbowed. Deciding that a career in waiting for the moment for his kinsman to irrevocably disgrace himself with some hoped-for political gaffe was neither a profitable nor an interesting way of spending his remaining years in this vale of tears, Dagwald cast his eyes to the far horizons. And behold - a new opportunity dawned! Hooray for the churnings of providence!

So now the Northumbrian Kingdom is in a state of mourning at the departure of one of it's finest sons from the cut and thrust of the Witangemot benches. Eddy - in noble fashion - has called for a Day of Fasting for all the Redistributionists throughout the Realm, and Beeby See - along with her soothsaying crone friends Guardy-Ann and the Windy Pedant - has been ordered to propel the entire population into hysterical misery. Which is nice.

Dagwald the Milliborg is going to embark upon a longship and set sail for the distant and as yet undiscovered shores of Ultima Thule, where he will assume the throne Kingdom of Camelot; there he will preside over a round table, decorated by earls, knights and dogsbodies. From that throne he will administer justice, righteousness and equity, and will valiantly right the many wrongs that have developed in the world. He will ride at the head of armies of knights, rescuing hapless people from the disasters which befall them.

However, this Cat can't help seeing a similarity between this Great Opportunity and the one which Jonah the prophet found when a boat just happened to be available for a journey to the distant Western port of Tarshish. Told by the Almighty to go east, Jonah went west, and nearly ended up in the bowels of a big fish.

Perhaps Dagwald should have rather spent his energies in riding to the rescue of the hapless Cypriots, who are presently at the mercy of the robbers and moneylenders from the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an Empire).