Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Great Literature

My dear Friend, Sue Perkins, has chosen 'The Queen of Whale Cay" by Kate Summerscale as one of her favourite books.

In an article in the The Observer newspaper, Ms Summerscale admits that she would rather have written my biographies than that of the heroine of the book. Indeed it is clear that the lady in question was merely attempting to emulate my own great domain of Homeward:

When I wondered which book I wished I'd written, Uncle by J P Martin sprang to mind. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because its hero—a millionaire elephant who wears a purple dressing gown, engages in violent skirmishes and is wildly generous to his followers—resembled the subject ofthe biography I had just written. Perhaps because it was the first book I read which made me feel (at nine) grown-up, as if I was in on the joke as well as caught up in the fantasy.

I do not quite understand the reference to humour - as you all well know, running a vast enterprise such as Homeward is a serious business and no mere fantasy.

Ms Summerscale's biography fails to mention the fact that the heroine, Marion Barbara Carstairs, actually seeked my advice before embarking on an attempt at creating her own kingdom. I warned her that it would require hard work and great public works. I fear that she did not heed my wise words. A strange woman - she dressed as a man, displayed tattoos and smoked cheroots!

Talking of eccentric ladies, a lost gem by Snide Bleeton has been discovered nestling among the dusty manuscripts in my library .

Mr Stumpy's Portaloo, a 180-page fantasy novel, has been announced to the world following its unearthing by by my librarian, Will Shudder.

I must admit, I have little time for children's literature - I think that children would be far better off reading a good book on economics or civic constitution than indulging in all this fantasy stuff. Goodman tells me that it is a jolly exciting yarn, though.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Wizardry turmoil as services put out to tender

Poor old Wizard Blenknsop came to see me today - he is very cross and despondent about Mayor Cameroon's ambitions to roll back the boundaries of the overweening Badgertown Council.

Cameroon is determined that every single public service will be put out to tender.

For over forty years Wizard Blenkinsop has provided Badgertown with all its magical needs - potions, spells and sage advice (click on the image below to enlarge).

Wizardry services have now been put out to tender and a company called WIZCO bid a figure much lower than Blenkinsop's, whilst claiming that quality would not fall.

However, it transpires that Joey Beadle is the Managing Director of WIZCO.

He once falsely claimed to be a Member of the World Wizard Association and fleeced some gullible young wolves and badgers by setting up a School of Magic and enrolling them as students.

Suffice to say that he was a total imposter and the only magic he was capable of teaching was of the parlour game variety.

Wizard Blenkinsop had been impressed by his enthusiasm for the profession, however, so rather than expose and disgrace him had offered him the position of clerk and general helper.

It seems that his former assistant has now stabbed him in the back.

Already, many badgers are complaining that potions are so watered down that they have little effect. There is even a rumour that a spell to cure warts resulted in a badger being turned into a massive blancmange.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

British Prime Minister follows my advice

I see that the British Prime Minister has followed my advice and appointed Goodman's cousin, Larry, as his new secretary.

Goodman is a marvel in the post room - he loves licking stamps and, as you know, he is a well read and very literate cat. There is nothing more that he enjoys than poring over my papers - and he often offers interesting opinions. My faithful servant, the Old Monkey, even gets a little jealous at times, I suspect.

But, nothing can beat the sage advice of a wise monkey.

All Mister Cameron needs now is a monkey on his shoulder - that should put a stop to any more blunders!

Friday, 11 February 2011

The Badgers are revolting over 'Biscuit' Haven

The badgers are revolting. I am not being badgerist - they literally are revolting.

Led on by Beaver Hateman, they are protesting in Badgertown Town Hall Square over the biscuit situation.

Badgers do love their biscuits. Having voted in Dave "the biscuit" Macaroon and Nick 'Cream' Custard, last year (in a what some felt was a half-baked coalition) the badgers had hoped that, at least, there biscuits would be safe.

However, since coming into power, the coalition have argued that biscuit cuts are inevitable.

"I would love to see ample supplies of biscuits for everyone" said David Macaroon "but when you're borrowing 11% of your GDP to pay for biscuits, it's not possible. It just isn't."

However, The Badfort News is accusing Macaroon of duplicity:

While Macaroon insists that he occupies the centre ground of Badgertown politics, that he shares the badger's burdens and feels their pain, he has quietly been plotting with banks and businesses to engineer the greatest transfer of biscuits from the poor to the ultra-rich that Badgertown has ever seen. Under the new tax proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in Badgertown for biscuits made by their foreign branches. But that's not the end of it. While big business will be exempt from tax on its foreign biscuits, it will, amazingly, still be able to claim the expense of funding its foreign biscuits against tax it pays in Badgertown! So, Camaroon turns Badgertown into a biscuit haven for the rich, whilst poor badgers have to make do with hardtack shipbiscuits. Meanwhile, the fat cat businessmen are living it up with Biscotti, Galettes Bretonnes, Hobnobs, West African Coconut Biscuits and luxury Continental Biscuits!

Beaver Hateman is urging the badgers to rise up against their oppressors in "The Garibaldi Biscuit Revolution!"

The Garibaldi is a particular favourite of the badgers and consists of currants squashed between two thin, oblong biscuits- a currant sandwich.

Baever soon saw how he could use the fact that the biscuit is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general and leader of the fight to unify Italy.

Standing on the balcony of Badgertown Town Hall he incited the crowd by saying "Come citizens - let us be inspired by the Generalissimo! - united we can take back our Garibaldi's!"

The King of the Badgers was soon on the phone to me. "What can I do, Uncle, they won't settle for the dryed up old digestives in the Palace store!"

"Don't worry, your majesty, I have the matter in hand. I am sending over Cowgill with ten truckloads of Fortnum and Mason Chocolossus biscuits!"

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Daily Uncle

Since I bought my first newspaper (not to read! - I bought the company!) , The Homeward Gazette, I have striven to shake up the world's press!

I have now decided to venture into the world of digital publishing by launching The Daily Uncle!

It is designed to work on Cowgill's splendid new clockwork invention, that he named the ePad (e for elephant - after me).

It heralds a new journalism for new times. It combines the "serendipity and surprise" of newspapers with the speed and versatility of new technology. Readers merely need to ring up the Homeward telephone exchange to have a copy of the newspaper beamed to their e-pad device!

I have appointed Goodman the cat as editor - his handwriting is exceptionally neat.

I held a launch party for the newspaper - and that horrible chief reporter for The Badfort News, Hitmouse, had the effrontery to ask whether the Daily would be less biased towards me and against the Badfort Crowd than The Homeward Gazette. I replied that it was entirely up to Goodman to decide.

"We are patriotic," Goodman replied. "We love Homeward, and we appreciate Uncle's beneficence and good deeds."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Good Life

One of the most popular programmes on Homeward television is 'The Good Life'.

We do not buy many foreign programmes, as they are not usually very edifying. This programme, however, blending comedy and educative information on leading a sustainable, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle, is a firm favourite - and constantly repeated.

The dwarfs, who live in my many towers, were most enthusiastic when I suggested that the tops of all my skyscrapers be ploughed up into allotments, growing soft fruit and vegetables.

Imagine our excitement, then, when we discovered that the British Broadcasting Corporation were producing a modernised version of this classic sit-com.

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had never heard of the wonderful actress Sue Perkins - who was chosen to play the role of Barbara Good. Of course, Felicity Kendall, the original actress in the role, is treated as a goddess by the dwarfs - and some are skeptical of Sue's ability to make the role her own.

Having seen her in costume, I feel that she has the same gamin charm of Felicity and will be a great success in the part. I am not sure about the rather charmless character they have selected to fill the boots of Richard Briers, however.

I invited Sue on a State visit to Homeward, and her reception even outshone that of President Obama!

She is such a talented young lady, as well. The Old Monkey informed me that she was a renowned conductress - to boot, which led to a bit of a mix-up, at first, as I had arranged for her to show off her skills on the No.11 bus route.

She was soon demonstrating her dexterity with the baton - leading the Badgertown Colliery Band in a rousing rendition of "Hail to Glorious Uncle!"

Riding around with her in my new carriage, and in my new purple dressing gown and top hat I think, if I say so myself, I cut quite a dash. I remarked to the Old Monkey that I felt that Sue was somewhat enamoured of me. "She is gay, Sir" countered the Old Monkey. The implication of this remark made me furious! "I may be burdened with weight of High Office - but I am actually quite a jolly elephant myself!" I retorted. It can be a lonely existance, for a celebrity of my status - something I am sure Sue appreciates.

I have been on to the BBC today, about purchasing the new series, and look forward, greatly, to seeing Sue's thespian virtues.

Of course, the Badfort Crowd hate "The Good Life". Beaver Hateman says that it is "Nothing but a couple of reactionary stereotypes confirming the myth that the working classes are all Oiks!"

The Badfort Crowd's favourite sitcom import is "Citizen Smith" " the story of Wolfie" Smith, a young Communist "urban guerrilla" living in South London. Beaver says it reminded him of his early struggles. The Badfort Crowd were furious that in the sequel, "My Family" (which they assumed was about the familial cameraderie of a revolutionary cell), Wolfie had become a bourgeois middle class dentist.