The bumpkin's inspiration...
In this blogposting…
* Problems in Parliament
* More Caviar Anyone?
* The World:  A Truckshunter Geography
Pray continue…

A recent Freedom of Information disclosure reveals some of the items confiscated by the Metropolitan Police from visitors to the Houses of Parliament between January and July this year.  They include:
* 2 boomerangs
* 1 pair binoculars

* 1 balloon

* 6 bungee cords

* 1 giant tennis ball
* 9 harmonicas
* 10 hip flasks
* 1 magic wand
* 1 can of moth spray
* 2 pairs of nail clippers

* 1 piercing kit

* 5 police helmets (children's)
* 1 plant pot

* 1 tub science putty

* 14 scooters

* 1 skateboard
* 1 sleeping bag
* 1 pair snow shoes

* 1 tent

* 1 plastic thumb

There were but three of us at AGM XXIX last Wednesday at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle.  But what the AGM lacked in quantity it more than made up for in quality - because I was joined not only by the redoubtable Hildie but also by the amazing J Arthur Smallpiece, aka Gerry Fenwick (and NOT Gerry Rawlings, the name I’ve been inexplicably using for him).

The three of us managed to hit just the right note of relaxed conviviality for which the Honourable Society of Truckshunters is rightly renowned - this despite the autumnal wind whistling relentlessly up Grey Street direct from the Baltic - the actual Baltic.

It was as hugely enjoyable as any other AGM, proving - as if proof were needed - that all it takes for successful AGMs is goodwill and good humour.

Speaking of which, Gerry was kind enough to bring along another of his poems.  It has a peculiarly melancholy feel about it which - as I suspect he knew perfectly well - suited my circumstances very well.

I love it and reproduce it in its entirety - including Gerry’s preamble - below.

Thanks, Gerry.  And thanks too to Hildie, without whom AGMs would have fizzled out and died long ago.

AUTHOR’S DISCLAIMER:  As my illustrious predecessor Mr Wm Shakespeare pointed out, in his wordy docudrama Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, fine poetry is wasted on riff-raff – “it pleaseth not the million, ‘tis caviar to the general”.

Sad but true! It’s small wonder, therefore, that my poems routinely provoke flat hostility, undisguised indifference bordering on disdain and unmistakable signs of boredom, except in a few favoured aesthetes lucky enough to be on my mailing-list.

Now read on, but don’t bother to show it to any toe-rags………

A short poetic effusion entitled:

MORE CAVIAR ANYONE?                                                  
J. Arthur Smallpiece, Romantic Poet and Man of Some Consequence.
In which the Poet Garners Wisdom from a Contemplative old Codger

I met a bumpkin on a bench, set by the beck-side’s edge,
Where loose-limbed lovers tickle trout and water wagtails fledge.
His beard was flecked with spiders’ webs and little bits of straw
And on his face he bore the scars of ninety years or more.
Hence wispy hairs adorned his ears, each finer than a thread
As white and weightless as the clouds that floated overhead.∗

Gorse grew and blossomed all around - the hills were overrun;
A million specks of glowing gold rejoicing in the sun!
Yet still he wore a mournful look, as if he sensed his doom,
And as he gazed upon the ground he seemed engulfed in gloom.
Though once he smiled and showed to me his time-discoloured teeth −
As if some tiny trace of joy had broken through his grief.

He looked at me with listless eyes and shook his harmless head.
Then, leaning downcast on his crook he sadly sighed and said:

             “Despite life’s senseless waste of time
             In one way I was blessed –
             Of all the things down here on earth,
             I loved the moon the best.
             When she was full or waxing fat,
             I craved her sunny beams,∗∗
             They took away this dreadful world,
             And left me with my dreams.”

∗It is an interesting insight into the difference between the poetic and scientific casts of mind to note that a large cumulus cloud weighs much the same as 90 elephants.                                                                                                                                                                              
∗∗As the moon shines by reflected sunlight, this is not as daft as it first seems.                                                     
 This work is the intellectual property of J. Arthur Smallpiece. Please bin it with care respect and sensitivity. Thank you!

Psst! Fancy another poem? Visit: www. jarthursmallpiece.wordpress.com

Having already done the dirty on Afghanistan and Albania (see postings 298 and 305), it’s now time to turn our beady eyes to North Africa - to Algeria.

So this is your mission….

To investigate, research and otherwise unearth as many interesting facts about Algeria as you can over the next few days.  When it appears, our survey will, of course, include the first few words of Algeria’s National Anthem and the numbers from one to ten - both of which are staples of the type.

But if you can dig up some obscure, well-I-never, facts about it then you will get a metaphorical pat on the back worth even more than the real thing.  What, for example, is at Number One in the Algerian charts at the moment?  What are its natives’ favourite ways of insulting each other?

Here’s a bit of Algerian trivia to start you off….

70% of its lawyers are women.  (I’m not sure if this is an indication of the country’s comparative liberality or of the litigousness of its women…)

Send your facts to me via email - address below.

Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com

1 comment:

Serge Guinet said...

Bonjour BB,
je fait juste un essai pour voir
si sa marche bien,bisous.