Every time I go abroad and return to the Benighted Kingdom something crap has gone on. Either someone’s in the shit, been dropped in the shit, or it’s hit the fan. This time the shit’s literally been dropped on us by a bunch of cynical and ruthless shits driven by unquenchable greed. The fact I’d been on holiday in Norway just made things worse. There is no way on earth the Norwegians would allow sewage to be spewed into their rivers and coastline.
Nor have they allowed their share of the revenues from North Sea oil to be squandered. The oil fields are geographically and equally divided between the UK and Norway. Don’t even ask what we’ve spent our windfall on. Pies and Prosecco? But in 1990, the Norwegians started putting their oil money into a sovereign wealth fund for future generations. The fund is now worth around $230,000 for each and every Norwegian citizen.
And what will we be leaving behind for our children on Shit Island? Don’t ask.
Thank you, Mr & Mrs Bonkers
Talking of shit shows… let’s steal a march on the punsters now we’ve been Thrown Under the Truss by Mr & Mrs Bonkers of Little Hedges, Turtlewax Crescent, Sewage in the sea, Barkingmadshire, Little England. Also known as the 141,725 weirdo cult members of the Conservative Party who voted for the Trusstress as their leader and therefore our PM.
But what’s all the Truss about, eh? In her victory speech the Lizard Queen promised that “…the greatest political party on earth… will deliver, we will deliver and we will deliver”. Sounds like they plan to go up against Deliveroo. We look forward to ol’ Frosty & The Moggster delivering our pizzas on their Boris bikes. All part of the Brexit dividend I guess. Or is this what is meant by “levelling up”? Truss Liz!
Aliens stole my Sunday sanity
It’s at times of hiatus like these that we may briefly draw back the veil of Maya. Tempted by the offer of a free National Truss pass with every copy, I transgressed into the Sunday Express, which was like entering an alien world, a parallel universe. The language was extraordinary. Take these words from the headings on consecutive pages: guide, safe, love, sunnier, dawn, freedoms, peace, save, warm, opportunity and so on. Leading to a bewildering piece headed Britain is becoming Albania’s Alcatraz.
If that headline made no sense, the article itself was equally senseless, accusing migrants of “wearing designer clothes and top-end sportswear”. But then the Express generously gives them the benefit of the doubt, admitting: “Charities said it is unclear if the clothes are fakes.”
After that brush with Tory alien life forms, it was almost a relief to be exposed on Facebook to videos from uber-gammon Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel ‘busted Truss’ Farage. Clarkson was hawking some lager and cider, while Farage was peddling a red, white and blue branded gin made with “pure Cornish spring water”.
Praise for the Polish pickle: In stark contrast with the above I hit the jackpot at one of my favourite food shops, Vitaminka in downtown Portslade. Their range of pickled veg and fruit from Eastern Europe is amazing, but their pickled cabbage hits the heights. Not too vinegary. Great with Zubrowka vodka flavoured with aromatic bison grass from Bialowieza, the last primeval forest in Europe. I think the secret is in the mild vinegar blended with the sweetness of dill and garlic. Next up: the delicious looking jars of cherries and peaches, and … check out the dill crisps.
Ouse not to say rivers have rights?
“It’s not much to look at,” said someone of the relative pulchritude of our River Ouse. It’s only a river after all. But what if a river had the same rights as a human? Legal personhood for natural features or ecosystems, such as rivers, is gaining traction. In 2017 the Whanganui River in New Zealand was the first river to be granted the legal status of a person.
In 2018, Frome in Somerset tried to pass a bylaw giving part of their eponymous river the status of a person in law, with the town council and a local charity as guardians. Although unsuccessful, the idea is out there and, given that the Ouse runs through Lewes, the town with the first football club in the world to pay its women players the same as the men, why should this river not become another global first?
Meanwhile, river lovers, a date for your diary: I hope concepts such as rights for rivers are one of the many things discussed by the experts lined up for the River Summit at the Love our Ouse Festival on Sunday 25 September in Lewes. It’s a day of free and fun events for everyone to come together to celebrate, learn and take action for our Ouse. And in the evening we’re promised a couple of hours of River Revelry. See you there!