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!