The air smells of hops today. I’ll always associate Hertford with the smell of hops and the sound of geese and swifts flying overhead.
The so-called Duchess of Cornwall turned up at a school yesterday with a hideous dangling thing (no not Prince Charles). The dangling thing in question was a cape made out of rabbit furs.
I feel sorry for her really. Not only is she inept and profoundly ugly, but she’s clearly too dense to realise that we’re in the 21st Century and wearing fur, especially in a school, is a bit of a no-no.
It’s illegal to produce rabbit fur here, so twits like Camilla have it imported from countries where rabbits are bred specifically to be killed for their fur, and cruelly imprisoned in tiny cages.
Oh well – she only costs the taxpayer £566,000 a year, so we have no right to complain really.
And it is always possible that she is in fact a reptile.
David Icke, the former BBC sports presenter, has claimed this week that the Royal Family are “bloodsucking alien lizards”. Icke claims the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and George W Bush are shape-shifters who drink human blood to look like us.
Apparently, a race of half-human, half-alien creatures has infiltrated all the world’s top power positions.
Now you know why your boss acts like that.
Someone told me I looked like a vegetarian today. I have no problem with vegetarians. Several of my best friends are of that bent. But I must admit I felt deeply shocked and mildly offended.
If you think the BBC’s dumbing down, go to Avon and Somerset, where the police have put up textspeak placards in areas frequented by teenagers.
Here’s one of their messages:
d bil cum arnd hre n wl vzit ur olds if ur messin bout
The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office.
I’m a big fan of BBC London travel person Nicola Beswick, who always brings an elf-like quality to phrases such as “severe congestion on the Hangar Lane gyratory system.” But what on earth was she wearing yesterday morning? Had she just got back from a bat impersonation party? I feel we must be told.
On Mozart’s 250th birthday, I feel that it’s important to remember his best friend and cherished companion from 1784 to 1787 – a pet starling.
He loved his starling and even transcribed its song, adding “that was lovely”. His compositions K453 and K522 are thought to have been influenced by the starling’s songs. And the starling also imitated Mozart’s music, but was thought to sing slightly sharp.
I once met and recorded a talking starling for Radio 4’s Home Truths. It even had the same accent as its owner – an ex opera singer from D’Oyly Carte. It was frightened of the microphone though, so I had to hide it under its perch.
The naturalist Pliny wrote about starlings that imitated ancient Greek, “practiced diligently and spoke new phrases every day.” And Shakespeare’s Hotspur proposed teaching a starling to repeat the name ‘Mortimer’ (an earl distrusted by Henry IV) to disturb the king’s sleep.
Mozart’s starling died when it was three and he buried it amid great ceremony. Heavily veiled mourners marched in a procession, sang hymns, and listened to a graveside recitation of a poem Mozart had composed for the occasion:
A little fool lies here
Whom I held dear –
A starling in the prime
Of his brief time.
Thinking of this, my heart
Is riven apart.
He was not naughty, quite,
But sweet and very bright,
And under all his brag
He was a foolish wag.
He is now on high,
And from the sky,
Praises me without pay
In his friendly way,
Quite unaware that death
Has choked his starling breath,
And thoughtless of the one
Whose rhyme is thus well done.
Apologies for a slight ruffling of Peacockshock’s plumage which you may have experienced over the last few days.
This was due to a turbulent site migration, during which Peacockshock tried to fly in two directions at once, like an ornithological quantum particle.
But Peacockshock has now pulled itself together and landed in the correct location where it’s currently preening itself and making loud squawking noises.