WARNING, BULLETINS AHEAD!
Note from Charlotte
Most of you will know that, even at the best of times, Don can be a little funny. Not barking mad, you understand, just a tiny bit off-centre.
But now I'm becoming really alarmed - his behaviour has become quite bizarre. Perhaps those with medical or psychological training could comment. His symptoms are as follows:
- Violent mood swings from the heights of elation to the depths of despair, sometimes in the span of half an hour
- Humming morbid hymns and discordant whistling of themes from "Gotterdammerung"
- Sudden sweats and shaking
- Waking at 3am, leaping from the bed, screaming "We're dragging!".
- Outbreaks of violent temper and incoherent shouting
- Saying, "I'll just have a glass with the meal", and then drinking two bottles
- Long periods of introspective silence, almost trances, from which it is dangerous to rouse him, as he becomes abusive.
If anyone has any comments or helpful suggestions, I would be deeply grateful
(Of course, I do read what he writes, but I don't ever actually write all this garbage. Confused? Yes, so am I - the real actual Charlotte)
I've just seen this stuff in Outlook Express 'Drafts'. What nonsense! Charlotte is totally misconstruing my excitement and eager anticipation at the prospect of this year's great adventures. I learned from last year's Irish disasters that making commitments in advance courts extreme bad luck of the kind that not even wearing navy blue underpants will negate. So this year's daring quest is a total secret.
Oh, well, just a little clue - we will be travelling to the H......s, visiting the isles of M..l, E.g, R.m, C...a - and if the weather is kind, H....s, S...h and N...h U..t and if it is truly spectacular, B...a. What an adventure!! Positively bowel-loosening! I find myself shaking with eager anticipation already!
Yours aye, Hoots (A clue)
Flashforward to the Outer Isles
Haemish and Janucek (many Poles in Ardfern), two old Scottish salts, are sharing a yarn over a pint at the "Galley of Lorne" in the pretty village of Ardfern, Argyllshire: "Aye Haemish", says Janucek, "Mad Danny, the Last King o' Scotland, told me the latest word on the fine ship, 'Deneys Reitz'. "How so, says Haemish, "For they must be miles and miles awa by the noo".
"So, what news"?.......
"Aha, mah auld pal Danny says he received word inside his heed from a pod o' dolphins in the Sound of R.asay" His aquatic pals hae spoken of “The land of the whale and giant squid, and oncoming dire wither!”
How remarkable! Indeed we have just passed a large pod of cavorting dolphins in the Sound Of R.asay, off Sk.e!!
Life on Deneys Reitz is as usual fraught with perils, most of which are only visible to Broontroosers, such is the lack of imagination and understanding of lurking danger of Totty the Navigator. We are now in P.rt.ee harbour, Isle of Sk.e, awaiting the strong winds foretold by Met Ace Bartlett.
So where are we, where are we going?
Professor Markus (the Prof) Alexandrov has worked out our itinerary by the use of a modified version of the Henloch Schoenlein equations run by the massive computer at the London Business School.
The results of his genius are reported below:
Well, I can't pretend that this is much of a 'poser' for someone of the intellect and experience of the great Prof Alexandrov. The answer is as clear as the proverbial 'ears on your face'.
First: the ultimate destination? Note the gay banter between two Northern types, one of whom, we are told, is Polish - clearly a sign that they are heading to "The North Pole".
Second: the starting point? Talk of the 'Land of the whale and giant squid' give this one away instantly. "Land of the whale" = Wales; "Giant squid" an obvious reference to the Italianate influence on the South shores of the Wales country, somewhere with a funny, Italian sounding name, near Swansea (or "Il Mare de Flamingelli" as it is known to many of the swarthy local miners) .
Third: the route? Talk of "bowel loosening", grim weather, endless storms etc - obviously Manchester.
So, there we have it: our intrepid duo must be planning to sail from Swansea to the North Pole via Manchester - and may God protect them! Brave though they are, do they understand how strange the little Welsh people are, for all their tea-cakes, mining and communal singing 'down the proverbial'...? And what of the Mancunians? Cursed with an excess of football clubs, bars, and stiletto heels, they will present formidable obstacles to the passing of the "Dennis Wrongz", even with the brave captain manning the aptly-named "poop deck". And finally, of course, the North-Polians; little seen except at English summer fetes, where the freezing temperatures and icy rain make them feel sufficiently at home to venture out and run crockery smashing stalls and bouncy castles with a cynicism usually reserved for the referees so beloved of the stiletto-shod Mancunians mentioned 'afore (as the nauticals of Northern persuasion are so wont to say).
Let us pray that the same benign saviour that brought them 'safe home' from their ill-fated visit to the warm waters of Chernobyl will grant them 'safe passages' during this nightmare of adventure.Perhaps they should rest first, to gather their strength, in some green land.
Yours ever 'aye,
Bartlett foretells (with the usual caveats) of light winds so we are intending indeed to head North to the Land of Eternal Sun. Its not dark here to 11.30 even now and we're not even at midsummer.
Sort that out Alexandrov!