Wednesday 16 March 2016

At the Red Sea Shore

Since my recent and protracted adventures in the undiscovered land of Ultima Thule, I've had time to recover from the experience and to find out what's been happening in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria.

A lot has happened, and the universal excitement has increased to boiling point. I sought out my friend Feaxede the Fox, who was curled up under a hedge, fast asleep. After some gentle persuasion and a nip on his ear, he woke up, and once he'd established from me what day, year and month it was, he gave me a rundown of the recent events in the Kingdom.

It appears that Dagwald Caedmeron - the Principal Dancer and Chocolate Teapot of the Tree Faction - has promised the Kingdom a Great Count to determine whether or not the Northumbrian people want to remain as a vassal state in the Holy Roman Empire (which is as holy as pig droppings, as Roman as Valhalla, and whose resemblance to an empire is - to say the least - tenuous). This has arisen following a series of disasters that have befallen the feckless Empire, the most recent and ongoing being the influx of entire nations, fleeing war and pestilence in the Orient and hammering at the doors, loudly demanding food and shelter in their fancied destinations. This has understandably caused no little concern in this part of the Evil Intergalactic Federation, and the prospect of hordes of Bactrians, Persians, Arabs, Berbers, Ethiopians, Vegans and Vegetarians flooding into the marketplaces, coughing in strange languages, dressing in bedsheets and introducing new barbaric customs and homeopathy has filled the average Northumbrian with fear, dread and foreboding, and the perception is that the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon culture is under siege. So then, any opportunity to escape the clutches of the Empire would at least free the Realm from the strictures of Holy Roman Empire laws, which are currently being generated at a rate of fifteen thousand per second. The Northumbrians consequently feel that the very act of drawing breath will imminently become illegal and under the punishment of death.

Naturally, Caedmeron and his fellow politicos are largely in favour of remaining in the Empire, since it guarantees them comfortable incomes and inestimable glory. However, not all politicos are as enthusiastic about remaining in chains; many have vocally pledged themselves to an independent Northumbria, and even some Redistributionists have made similar noises.

The Moses to lead the people through the Red Sea is Beoris the Blond, the charismatic and bumbling rival to the affections of the Tree Faction, and Caedmeron's nemesis.

However, he will only lead them through the waters so that he can do a U-turn and lead them all back again. Moses didn't do that...

Thursday 3 March 2016

Ultima Thule-ishness

You won't believe what I'm about to tell you, but if you really want to know why I haven't posted anything for weeks, you have no alternative but to accept my wild explanation. And it IS an explanation - not some lame "dog ate my homework" excuse. Here goes.

In January I was conducting my usual early morning tour of my territory in the environs of Streonaeshalh, looking for mice and defending my borders from feline invaders. During my quayside patrol, I noticed a foreign ship moored. To cut a long story short, I was catnapped by Barbary pirates to keep the on-board rodent population down. After several weeks of sailing on tumultuous seas, we embarked at the as yet undiscovered country of Ultima Thule, where I had the liberty to wander about. I soon found that the people there were getting inordinately excited about the forthcoming selection of a new Chieftain to replace Bugrake O'Barmy, who was being retired to the ribbon-cutting duties to which he will doubtless be better suited. The new focus of excitement was a strange character called Ronald the Toot - a florid and fat individual, who, I gather, is as rich as Croesus. (He made his fortune by being an altogether nice person and by being beneficent to all his competitors.) Ronald the Tailwind is certainly generating excitement among the Ultima Thule people, who, I perceive, are renowned for their discernment in the choice of leaders, and who assiduously study the political implications of every word that drips from their hyperactive gobs.

Ronald the Backdraught is an interesting character. He wears a golden hamster on his head to cultivate the vague impression that he still possesses a head of hair; his speeches to the enraptured mob are full of stirring rhetoric, allegory and exaggerations, peppered with mendacity. He offers a vision of a restored and great Ultima Thule, but I wondered if it might not be a good idea for the place to be discovered and recognised by the rest of the world first? But I am just a mere cat: what would I know?

In his speeches, Ronald the Trouser Sigh has also shown magnanimous contempt for his running mates, along with an impressive ignorance of whichever subject he addresses. I discovered that there are several months more of Ronald the Botty Burp's ravings before the public declare their ultimate choice for either him or a crooked harridan by the name of Silvery Flipturn. It's all so terribly exciting... What was I telling you about?

When this is all over, I can predict that Ultima Thule has a great future behind it, and it will remain undiscovered.

After several weeks, the pirates loaded supplies into the ship, and I didn't need any persuasion to get back on board and return to familiar shores.

Over this last few weeks I've really missed Caedmon and my home. And Crowbane,  Caedmeron et alia seem positively normal by comparison with the toxic drivel I've been hearing...