Friday, April 07, 2006

"and this is Barry Hyperbole reporting for News at Ten, Cellardyke, Fife"..

Blimey, how dramatic was Thursday night’s news? Actually, not very dramatic at all really – it was wall to wall waffle. Talk about ‘bigging something up’. All the main media players were there surrounding the tiny harbour of Cellardyke in Scotland, Sky, BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 all coming live from the little harbour wall. Anything that moved had a mike shoved under its bracket…. "What do you think about Bird Flu…. Will you still eat Curried Chicken Crisps?…. Is it the end for KFC in Britain?......

Does anyone remember the Monty Python sketch from 'Alan Whicker Island'?..... you get the idea.

The message from everyone was the same. Don’t Panic!!! It was ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ meets ‘Dr Findlay’s Casebook’ as every ‘Northface' weatherproof-wearing anchor man ringed the tiny harbour to report on Britain’s first ‘Bird Flu’ fatality. A full half an hour was dedicated to the Don’t Panic it's a dead Swan story on the BBC news. Experts were wheeled out – they too wore ‘Northface’ gear – plus the occasional ‘Gore-Tex’ job.

One Prof’ said that we were all perfectly safe as long as we didn’t swap bodily fluids with sparrows or eat too much Trill…. Meanwhile, back to the harbour wall and our special Bird Flu reporter, Johnny Waffleburger….."Yes, Dermot, I have with me Dreary McCaber, a local resident. Ms McCaber, you apparently nearly saw the dead swan in the sea. "Och yes, about 2 years ago, I was only looking in that very same spot the swan was found"…..

"So you didn't actually see the Swan?"

"No, not actually - but apparently it was deathly white - so it must have been ill"....

"Great, really interesting…..Sorry, have to cut you short, back to the studio were Dermot has an expert with him on ‘how not to panic by following some simple breathing exercises ’ with him"…..

(I reckon the only panic in Cellardyke last night was when the news teams tried to find a hotel room)…

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I’m back….

For the last few weeks I’ve had a bit of a blogging hiatus. I reckon most bloggers have one at one time or another. It’s a sort of mid life blogging crisis….. Inertia, the culture of the supine and several score of choccy bars conspired to knock me into a blogging-coma. Should I get the lap-top out and bang out a bit of a story - or should I watch Noel Edmonds on ‘Deal or No Deal’?….. I have to say, the irritating beardy with a pile of cash and a fantastic collection of classic cars has been winning out lately.

It was just so easy to embrace the culture of the sloth, the potato on the couch and the Homer Simpson of the idle - a fracture of the will to tap away, waxing on this and that….

I reckon it was the cold weather, the snow, the ice, the wind. It’s been a long winter – and I think it has just got me down a bit. Battleship grey looks better on battleships, not overhead in the sky. That should be coloured ‘sky blue sky’ – especially at this time of the year. Spring has definitely not yet sprung….

So today I decided to do something about it. Today I dug out my trusty dibber, a clutch of seed trays, a big bag of compost and 30 packets of seeds I’d bought in more optimistic times. Time for some action. I trudged through the Somme-like mud in our back garden and prised open the Greenhouse door. Whatever was alive when I put my precious non hardy plants in there last Autumn was now frazzed, every single one of them. Water might have helped. The only living thing in there was a huge queen wasp, hiding in between a couple of plantpots. Respect! I carefully took it outside and put it in a little old disused dog kennel, she could see out the rest of the cold weather in safety. it really was a fantastic animal - I know most people don't like them, but to me they deserve to be here along with everything else, don't they?

Back to the soil stuff..... Thrusting digits into damp, cold seeding compost, feeling the mankyness ooze out, and wondering in amazement at the ability of plants to grow in such cacky stuff seems to have done the trick. Nothing quite wakes you up as when you are trying to plant 15 million seeds each the size of a gnat’s gnob into jet black compost.

(That annoying toe rag, Noel Edmunds is now consigned to the 'off' switch)…