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 Today, those sombre days have been replaced by a mood of jubilation and optimism, since this is the day in which the Church remembers that Christ rose from the dead to secure a final and resounding victory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).

Monday 18 March 2013

Taming The Beast

It's taken me quite a long time to summon up the courage to make the following admission, and right now I feel it's time to come clean. My Christian education from my human master Caedmeron has developed within me a keen sense of conscience – a quality which should really be confined solely to the human race (after all, they're responsible for the wretched Fall which has unleashed all the fleas, flies, famines, fevers and feebleness of the Present Order of Things). Whatever. I am where I find myself.

It all happened a few months ago, when I was having a cat-to-cat chat with my good friend Lareow – the Senior Rodent Administrator in the household of Dagwald Caedmeron, the Most High and Mighty Mufti of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration. I do like to keep in regular touch with my feline friend, as he passes on some very useful titbits of information about the goings-on in the dizzy heights of Northumbrian power. And he's such a gossip – and a wag!

He told me on that particular day that he'd been present at a meeting between Caedmeron, Blaeck Clegge (the Liberationist Faction Supremo and Pretty Boy) and Edweird the Milliner, the Holy Guiding Star of the Redistributionist Faction. When I heard this, I was very surprised; I'd no idea that such a rapport existed between such seeming adversaries as the Caddy Boy/Clegge Alliance and the magic mushroom-chewing Redistributionist cult. But it seems that it does. Whatever. They'd been discussing among themselves as to how they could control the Soothsaying Industry – specifically those under the patronage of the ubiquitous Prince Ruprecht Evil-Merodach - and oblige them to behave themselves, thus preventing further dark revelations about the thieving antics of expense-inventing politicos and other worthless specimens of human detritus. It appears that these three political leaders couldn't agree how to go about the process. How terribly sad.

I stopped and thought for a moment after Lareow had told me this, and, with tongue firmly in cheek, I made the following helpful suggestions:

They should secretly set up a pseudo lobby called 'Browned Off' (named after the colour of the substance that's been scattered so liberally by Prince Rupie's soothsayers over certain miscreants); this group could comprise various members of the celebrity riff-raff and hangers-on who've already been exposed to be cheats, rats and other forms of pond life; surely they'd be willing to give generously in support of the Great Cause of Rupie Control. Lareow looked very intently at me when I told him this.

I then suggested that they should feed the Big Idea of Rupie Control to the Kingdom's beloved pantomime dame and soothsayer Beeby See – and her embittered bosom pals Guardy-Ann and the Windy Pedant; there's no love lost between them and Rupie, and anything that makes them feel even more superior and self-righteous must be a Good Thing. They could play to the heartstrings of the average knuckle-dragging Northumbrian, and they'd shake the issue about for months like a demented terrier, and they'd work it to the point of public nausea. Snigger.

I further suggested that following such exposure of these wonderful and exemplary soothsayers (whose impartial partiality is beyond question), unreflective members of the Northumbrian populace should be carefully screened and selected for their own considered opinions, and the words 'disgusting' and 'shouldn't be allowed' should be listened out for – and encouraged it possible; thus a Groundswell of Public Opinion could be manufactured. A few statistics wouldn't come amiss either. They never fail.

And finally, I suggested to Lareow that they eventually bring the matter up for debate in the Witangemot; by the time it reached there, the public would be desperate to hear about something different, the issue would be cut and dried, and the three members of the infernal trinity could feel very pleased with the outcome – in fact, they could award themselves a huge pay rise and a pat on the back from King Alhftith. Sorted.

How was I to know that my flippant remarks would be relayed by Lareow to the ready lugs of these purveyors of foolishness?

If anyone has put a bounty on my head or tail as a result of this, I ought to point out that I'm not the only white cat in the Northumbrian kingdom – there are thousands of us, and we're breeding like bunnies every day. Must go – I've got some urgent business to attend to. Ta-ta!

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Time Out

Things are getting very interesting here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria - if I've heard my friend Feaxede the Fox correctly. And to be sure, we've desperately needed some degree of excitement to dispel the turgid vapours that have enveloped us; the same tired old stories have been swilling around the same soothsayers' slop bucket for ages now, and a miasma of ennui has consequently hung over the Kingdom, augmenting the public gloom and pessimism which has been inspired by the Great Public Expenditure Cuts. And the Ð Factor doesn't start for ages, either...

But now we can rejoice! Fresh fragrant breezes have dispersed the noxious fog, bringing a sense of excitement and eager anticipation among the members of the Northumbrian human population. If - as I've already stated before - Feaxede has informed me correctly. Of course it's a given that one should never set too much store by a solitary source of information; it's always wise to wait until the account has been corroborated from another before daring to circulate the account. But the truth is that we've all been so desperate for interesting news, and like hungry rats fighting over a biscuit, we're glad to seize any form of consolation. Besides which, the soothsayers are no more reliable informers than my vulpine companion, and I'd even venture to suggest that he's more dependable, for the soothsayers have a specific narrative within which they must communicate, and all the tales they tell are obliged to be shoehorned into it - whether factual or imagined. Feaxede is not thereby constrained.

When the entire Northumbrian government emerges from their spell in the oubliette for their misdemeanours of mendacity and crookedness (as well as contempt for the pure, unvarnished truth), what are they going to find? Who's going to run the show in their absence? Oooh, it's all so exciting! If, that is.. I understand Feaxede correctly..

Friday 1 March 2013

Out Of The Shadows

At last - the quest is over! After weeks of fruitless searching for the seemingly extinct Liberationist species of quasi-human politico, I'm gratified to announce that - contrary to my previous belief that they'd all been wiped out by the ubiquitous Stupid DiseaseLiberationists have recently been sighted in the Beastleigh district of the South Saxons.


This exciting development came to light this morning when it was announced simultaneously by the beloved Northumbrian soothsayers Beeby See, Guardy-Ann, Dellimell and the Windy Pedant that the winning contender for the seat that previously had been held by the disgraced and now oubliette-dwelling Hune the Horehound was a previously undiscovered Liberationist. Hooray! Life is full of surprises, children. How exciting!


But a little bird told me (before I unsuccessfully attempted to stalk him) that the townspeople of that particular settlement have a peculiar and inexplicable predisposition to support the Liberationist cause; any person, animal or biscuit sporting the bilious Liberationist colours in that place is guaranteed to be voted a seat in the House Of Folly. It's also come to my notice that the contender for the Beastleigh seat was of a simian persuasion. Loyalty – like love – is hopelessly blind.


As for the result – every participating faction has predictably claimed an astonishing victory. The Tree Faction contender was the proud holder of the fourth place in the final result; having lost his deposit of three acres of prime smallholding and a herd of sheep, he was consoled by Dagwald Caedmeron – the Beloved Bey of the Tree Faction – that their result was a ringing endorsement for the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration. This unctuous outpouring of self-congratulation was founded on a misunderstanding, since the Trees and Liberationists were in bitter contention for the coveted seat.


Liberationists who'd suddenly and inexplicably emerged from the mists of oblivion, extinction and obscurity naturally claimed a momentous victory for their champion, who victoriously screeched, jumped up and down, chewed bananas and flung free samples of his colonic offerings at the adoring crowd. Hip, hip, hooray!


The Redistributionists – under the inspired leadership of their own Chief Primate Edweird the Milliner – claimed an astonishing victory for themselves, as the result had been a ringing indictment of the accursed Tree Faction. The ways in which humans seek consolation are many, varied and extremely bizarre.


Without doubt the most significant success was for the Northumbrian Independence Faction, whose second place came from those Beastleigh citizens who are mildly disappointed, disillusioned, sick and tired of the loving stranglehold and constant interference of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) and its lickspittle lackeys.


Overall, everyone is happy. But this Cat has come to realize that most people are easily pleased. For at least fifteen nanoseconds, at any rate..