Seen in Oxford shop window Photo by Candia
Brassica laughed, It’s the English teacher in you. You
can’t stop relating everything to literature.
I know, but hark at this. Et tu, Brute and all that!
I pushed my scribblings over the table, for her to read.
Boris: If there be any in this assembly,
any dear friend of Cameron’s, to him say
that Boris’ love to Cameron was no less than his.
If then that friend demand why Boris rose against
Cameron, this is my answer:
Not that I loved Cameron less,
but that I loved Britain more….as he was
valiant, I honour him: but as
he was ambitious, I slew him.
Here comes his corpse,
mourned by those who shall receive
the benefits of his dying:
a place in Parliament. With this I depart,
pleading that I slew my Bullingdon pal,
for Britain’s good.
Citizen;: This Cameron was a traitor.
Osborne: Friends, MPs, Countrymen, lend me your wallets.
The noble Boris hath told you Cameron was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault
and grievously hath Cameron answered it.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me,
but Boris says he was ambitious- and Boris is an honourable man.
Cameron brought favours back from Brussels,
whose ransoms the general coffers might have filled.
When the poor have cried, Cameron hath wept.
You all did love him once, not without cause.
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts
and men have lost their reason.
Citizen: I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Osborne: Yesterday the word of Cameron might
have influenced the world; now lies he there.
You all know Gove and Boris are honourable men.
And here’s a parchment with the seal of Cameron.
Let but The Commons hear this testament.
Some may go and kiss dead Cameron’s wounds-
yea, beg a law of him for memory
and, dying, mention it within their wills,
bequeathing it as a rich legacy unto their issue.
I fear I wrong the honourable men
whose daggers have stabb’d Cameron.
Citizens: They are traitors!
Osborne: Boris, as you know, was Cameron’s angel,
so this is the most unkindest cut of all.
Citizens: Let’s hear his bequest!
Osborne: To every British citizen he gives 75 drachmas.
Citizen: Most noble Cameron! We’ll avenge his death.
Osborne: Now mischief, thou art afoot.
Take what course you will.
Act 4 tbc
banquet scene, Boris Johnson, Braveheart, Cameron, epilogue, Farage, George Osborne, Macbeth, Miliband, Mrs Thatcher, Omeprazole, Salmond, Scone, scotch'd the snake, SNP, Sturgeon, The Scottish Play, Theresa May, Tony Blair
Mrs Connolly, the housekeeper, was chopping some root vegetables
for a hearty broth.
This’ll stick tae yer ribs, she promised.
I was thinking a salad might have been more appropriate in this
clement weather, suggested Diana.
Never cast a cloot till May is oot. There could be snow yet, Mrs
Syylk. Aye, we could have a blizzard before the elections.
And how will you vote? Mrs C, asked Diana. Who impressed
you in the televised debate?
Well, the wee lassie certainly wiped the flair wi’ the lot o’
them, she opined. But jist because she could handle
hersel’ in the verbal, it disnae follow that she’s no’ speakin’
a load o’ sh…Sugar!
Mrs Connolly! Please. I get your drift and I must say that
I do agree with you regarding the policies she endorses. As
Pardon me, Mrs S, but Ah canna abide that Lavage mannie.
Farage, corrected Diana. Lavage is a type of gastric
Mair like gastric irritation, Mrs C riposted. Ah huv tae take
an Omeprazole efter hearing ony o’ his drivel. Och, don’t
get me started!
Diana didn’t think she had.
Tell me aboot yer night oot wi’ Mr Syylk. She attempted to
change the subject. All this havering jist gets me doon.
We went to see a production of Macbeth at the local school.
You should call it The Scottish Play, warned Mrs C. She
stirred the broth as if she was First Witch: All hail McSturgeon
that shall be queen hereafter! she cackled, revealing her very
sound Scottish Senior Secondary education from The Sixties.
Diana laughed: Salmond still lives. Why does she dress in
borrowed robes? Treason’s capital…[will] overthrow him.
Is execution done on Miliband?
Nothing in his party would become him like the leaving of it,
quipped Mrs C.
But seriously, everyone was saying ‘What bloody woman is
that? after the debate continued Diana. She unseamed them-
all the knaves, all the chaps; and made as if to fix their heads
upon her battlements, screeching: ‘Ay, in the catalogue ye go
Aye, and the ither females were jist her chamberlains. All were
too weak when faced wi’ the Braveheart lass. She dares do all that
may become a man and some of they wumman politicians look as if
they are halfway there.. Aah, I feel faint at the thought. Don’t get
me a sturgeon, though. After a dramatic pause, she probed: Whit
aboot that big jessie, Cameron?
He’s too busy echoing the lines: We will establish our estate upon
Boris, Theresa or George, I fear.
So, she’s tae get away wi’ pouring her sweet milk of apparent
concord into hell and causing uproar to the universal peace,
confounding all unity on earth and…
…instigating yet another bloody referendum! shrieked Diana.
Oh, Scotland, Scotland. Fit to govern? Even Alex has banished
himself. Mind you, we have scotch’d that snake, but no’ killed it.
O, my breast… (here she pounded her poitrine with the wooden
spoon) …Thy hope ends here.
Diana was becoming over-enthusiastic. She stood up on her
kitchen chair. Yes, and then Miliband says, It looks like rain
But it always looks like rain here, Mrs S.
Suspend your disbelief as Nicola has instructed you, prompted
Diana. Let’s fast-forward to the banquet scene.
Scone? Mrs C wrinked her brow.
No, I’m not hungry, Diana said. Oh, I see what you mean-
No, she’s already crowned herself.
Ah hope there’ll no be ony ghosts, Mrs C wavered.
We’ve had the spectre of Blair already, but everyone pretended
he was invisible, Diana assured her. Now, like Mrs Thatcher…
God rest her soul! Mrs C bowed her head.
…The First Minister is already adopting the Royal ‘we’.
Ourself will mingle with society? queried Mrs C.
Precisely. Then she says to herself:’Be bloody, bold and
resolute and laugh to scorn/ The power of men.
We’re into Act 4 now, nodded Mrs C., keeping her eye on the
Diana, still standing on the chair, surveyed the landscape from
her kitchen window: Scotland has not foisons enough to fill her
Nor oil reserves, added Mrs C.
Diana nearly fell off the chair as there was a sudden sound of
applause. It was Murgatroyd, who had returned early from an
Oh, but how will we end it? Diana was disappointed to be
Can I have the epilogue? asked her husband. You know, the last
word that I rarely have the pleasure to express.
Go ahead, replied Diana and Mrs C sat down and mopped her brow
with the tea towel.
Murgatroyd took a deep breath and intoned:
This murderous shaft that’s shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim.
Ah take it that ye’ll no’ be votin’ SNP then , Mr Syylk? observed
You have hit the nail upon the head as usual Mrs C. Now,
is there a bowl of broth for a hungry man?
And Mrs C reverted to her housekeeping duties and forsook
her thespian tendencies- for the moment.
Nae bother, sir.
The Running Sore, only one of Suttonford’s watering holes, once-favoured by
the droving community, had been refurbished by its dyslexic landlord. He had
decided to leave the pub sign as it was, in spite of many townspeople pointing
out the orthographical inaccuracy, or its similarity to Lloyd’s bank logo.
But how to draw in the hard-pressed-for-choice revellers? He was in
competition with The Ostlery and The Bugle, both with their particular themed
atmospheres, aimed at certain clientele.
Ah, he thought, as he read the latest news about Edinburgh being the
new location for an updated version of the popular board game,
‘Cluedo’, I will arrange teams who can play a Suttonford version on our
quiz night. There can be a prize for the team who is first to detect the
identity of the Perpetual Victim. Most people round here will be only
too quick to spot one, especially if they look in the mirror.
The game’s weaponry could be retained, except that the candlestick
would be upgraded to a candelabra, if the Liberace film hadn’t rendered
that item too lowbrow, by connotation with Michael Douglas.
Hmm, let me see, he cottagated, or was that cogitated? I will need to supply
six new characters. I could base them on regulars: what about Miss Melinda
D’Oyly Carter, the popular masseuse; Colonel Grump; ‘Lady’ Dyson, the
cleaner who loves frequenting the broom cupboards of householders to
consort , or besport, with butlers who resemble Borises Becker or Johnson;
the Rev Anna Baptiste: an heretical woman vicar- at least unorthodox in
the generally conservative ranks of Suttonford worshippers;
Mrs Everso-Peabrain, an easily recognisable ‘type’ whose cut glass
pronouncements often reverberate off the stuccoed walls of houses in
High Street (a lady who lunches as she goes about everyone else’s business.)
Finally, Sir Solly Senokat, retired military surgeon, whose third wife looks as if
she has gone under the scalpel nearly as often as a Wilderstein.
He would relocate the mansion to Royalist House, owned by Sonia, the town’s
medium. Then he could alter the apartments to boot room, minstrels’ gallery,
tack room, barrel-vaulted gin cellar and so on.
If anyone in the town had better suggestions, then they could post them
anonymously in the denunciation box which he would fix to the outside wall
of the pub.
He couldn’t wait to witness someone accusing Melinda of homicide inflicted by
a candelabra. Or anaphylactic shock provoked by maribou allergy!
More usually it was the Suttonford Wives who expressed such
murderous thoughts towards the hard-working physio and they expressed
these premeditated malice aforethoughts in Costamuchamoulah must-seen
cafe on a fairly regular basis. They weren’t postulating Death By Chocolate
for their bete noire, though the lady herself favoured that particular mode of
asphyxiation, it must be said.
And what would the prize for the winning team be?
Ah yes! An overnight stay in Sonia’s haunted attic with a boastgutser, namely
himself, with Sonia’s merpission. All lucre accrued could be donated to the
town’s favourite charity: Anacondas in Sad Verity!
With his creative character assassination, he only hoped that he would
not be found bludgeoned by the rival establishment’s hit men and floating
on Golden-Or-Otherwise Suttonford Pond, not waving, but drowning.
Boris Johnson, Caribbean, celebrity sighting, doppelganger, Edward Scissorhands, George Osborne, grog, hoop ear-rings, Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Kirstie Allsopp, kohl, New Forest, Phil Spencer, Pilate, Pugwash, Somali pirate, True Cross, Ugg, walking plank
Scheherezade and Tiger-Lily were still on their Easter break from school.
They’d decided to go to their favourite coffee shop, Costamuchamoulah,
to be seen and to give autographs to any members of the Lower School
who might happen upon them.
But suddenly-Aaaaagh!!! Did you see who that was? shrieked Tiger.
Yeah, I think that was him, verified Sherry, hot-footing it down High Street
as fast as her Ugg boots would permit.
Johnny Depp had reputedly bought a house in The New Forest and several
local publications had printed “evidence” of his having graced local sylvan
hostelries in his quest to quench his thirst with some grog.
If all these sightings were to be summarised then they would far outnumber
the multiple venerations of the True Cross in Medieval Europe and would,
no doubt, be as authentic. It was fantastical to think of any unities of time
or place in these much vaunted protestations of having witnessed a real
No, mum, I swear it was him, hyper-ventilated Tiger.
Maybe it was a doppelganger, teased Carrie.
A double, someone who looks like him, suggested Carrie, peeling some
potatoes. She wondered if Keira Knightley peeled vegetables and what
hand cream she would use if she did.
Sherry added: The Daily Mail reported that it might have been Johnny Depp’s
son who was with him, although the boy spoke perfect English.
And what would that sound like, man? laughed Carrie. I thought that the
prescriptive idea of language was old hat. Everything in linguistics is organic,
like these potatoes!
I bet his son’ll go to a private school, said Tiger dreamily.
Anyway, interrupted Sherry, two reporters from The Suttonford Chronicle
cornered him- Johnny, I mean, but he made a getaway by going into Tesco
Express. He came out carrying a 12 pack…
..of beer? asked Carrie.
No, Andrex. Actually it was a 14 pack, as there’s a special offer on at
the moment and you get 2 rolls free.
I wonder what the reporters were asking that so annoyed him?
mused Carrie, making a mental note of the special offer, especially as
she had a double points coupon that needed to be cashed in by the end
of the month.
They had got a little confused, explained Tiger, taking the peelings to the bin,
in an uncharacteristically altruistic action which was completely for Sherry’s
benefit. Sometimes Carrie felt that she was expected to be Edwina
Scissorhands with all the domestic chores with which she was
burdened when the cleaner was on holiday.
Johnny wasn’t the only skilled thespian on the planet. Tiger wanted
to look good in front of her friend, so she put on an Oscar-worthy
performance of a dutiful daughter.
They thought he was a Somali pirate and that they had some sort of Channel
4 scoop, she elucidated.
Carrie typed in “Depp” and “Suttonford Chronicle” and sourced the article on
Oh look, she commented, they can’t spell Caribbean! Ah…they say
that he also has a thirteen year old daughter called Lily-Rose.
I bet she’ll be coming to our school, breathed Sherry. She’ll probably be in
the year below us.
Well, said Carrie astringently, he’d have to be a Somali pirate to afford the
increase in fees. If George Osborne has anything to do with it we will all be
walking the financial plank over shark-infested seas. Let’s hope Captain
Sparrow has the vital pieces-of-eight. Oh, it says that he is going to return
to the role in 2015.
Wow! enthused Tiger that means…
Yeah, interjected Sherry, that kohl, bandannas and hoop ear-rings are
going to be mega!
Tiger regained the conversational floor: And everyone will want to go to
Somalia for his/her gap year.
It’s not in the Caribbean, lectured Carrie. Honestly, what did they learn in
Geography now? Pupils seemed to be out and about doing street surveys
on celebrity sightings, but most of the kids couldn’t distinguish one
international shopping mall from another and didn’t know if they were in
Dubai, or Doncaster. They seemed to know as little about location as
most of Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer’s clients.
On second thoughts, she didn’t think the students she knew would be
familiar with Doncaster…
She had seen past articles in The Guardian and The Sunday Correspondent on
Captain Pugwash, where journalists affected confusion over the names of
cartoon pirates and simply fabricated the facts- and were sued. (Maybe
Boris Johnson had learned a trick or two from them about sexing up details.)
She sincerely hoped that the girls would be able to distinguish fact from fiction.
But, as Pilate said, What is Truth? And he had had its prime example standing
right in front of him. Still, veracity was an educational objective, surely?
Who could tell? Had it been Johnny Depp in Suttonford, or was it a case of
mass hysteria and mistaken identity?
Hogwash/Pugwash? Nowadays it was increasingly difficult to distinguish
Pointless. Not life in general- the quiz programme, dear readers.
No, I’m not admitting to being a viewer. I was just waiting for The
Six o’ Clock News. Honest.
You know, I feel really sorry for Alexander Armstrong. He gets to keep
the music from his comedy programme, but doesn’t do his dad dancing
any more with his wee pal. And he’s related to Royalty, which makes it all
as embarrassing as Pippa Middleton’s pontifications on Burns Suppers.
(The Bard’s epic opus reduced to Lovely stories.)
Can you imagine Boris- also a Royal, by all accounts- asking what the
least likely answers would be to a given question. He usually
expresses those himself and doesn’t expect a trophy, either.
Matthew Pinsent was also shown to have blue blood of the deepest
ultramarine on Who Do You Think You Are? I don’t think you would
catch him asking what a liger was on prime time TV.
For, yes, that was one of the questions dreamt up by that specky guy
who makes up all those surreal sections, such as Crossover Animals.
A hundred ingénues were interviewed as to what they thought a
beefalo was and amazingly, a third of those so pressed came up with
the notion that it was a cross between a bee and a buffalo. Think
about it. They probably think that Sean the Sheep was the prototype
clone, not Dolly.
The so-called celebrities actually got this beefalo one right. I’m not telling
you the solution: work it out for yourselves. Only 0.5% of the
viewing audience recognised any of the contestants, though,
including moi-meme. So, does that mean I get a really low score and
win the jackpot. I doubt it.
Who is that specky guy?
The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Should I go to the pulpit side of the sanctuary for a gluten-free communion wafer, or should I just risk it?
It was so hot last evening that the husband and I collapsed on our sofas and watched The Best of Men on I-player. It was about the genesis of the Paralympics and the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville. Attitudes have changed since 1943 and now headlines are screaming: Thanks for the Warm-Up as there are ten days to go till the events begin. Boris joined in with a declaration that the Olympics had just been the antipasto.
There was a warm-up today as it was hot in the cathedral and even hotter under the clerical collar for the Praecentor, who had to announce that the Close Vicar had not turned up for Mattins nor Eucharist and so he had been dropped in the proverbial at the last moment re/ the sermon. I thought that I might have been able to step up and entertain the congregation with some of my diary entries, but clergy professionalism kicked in and the gap was covered.
Imagine if Sebastian Coe had not shown up to give his closing speech, or The Queen had refused to jump out of the helicopter on cue. Mind you, it might have been preferable if one or two pop has-beens had slept in.
Timing and punctuality are the something beginning with p of princes. Is it politesse? Anyway, once at Midnight Mass in the cathedral a St John’s Ambulance team discreetly slipped a stretcher between the rows and extracted a dead body. Being in the sanctuary, singing in the choir, I observed this although most of the congregation did not. Later choristers were asking what had happened and the explanation went along the lines of: Oh, some old biddy popped her clogs just before the sermon. Nice timing.
I remember being slightly shocked at such an attitude, but you can sympathise, especially when things go on too long, as in opening and closing ceremonies. Just as well Philip took the night off.
Assange came out with perfect timing to give his balcony speech, a kind of drag queen Evita, as a journalist pointed out. I half-expected him to launch into Don’t Cry for Me, Helpful Quito. Andrew Lloyd Webber might have given him a lead role or an understudy part for an ageing Elaine Paige. He thanked the Ecuadorians- did anyone know the collective term before? – for offering him asylum. However, it is an offer he can neither take up nor refuse. There is no such thing as a free lunch, not even at an embassy. Perhaps he had been mistakenly advised that it was part of The Sanctuary Hotel which has a spa and all those little bottles of goo and towelling robes and mules. I do not think sleeping on the floor of a small office is what he might have expected. The mini bar is probably empty and freebie hair conditioners might not be forthcoming. As far as we know, no one is offering him a Swedish massage.
Scott MacKenzie who wrote If You’re Going to San Francisco has died. Well, Julian, if you’re ultimately going to Guantanemo, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
© Candia Dixon Stuart and Candiacomesclean.wordpress.com, 2012