Wednesday 29 May 2019


The doorbell rang,
 it doesn't often ring and when it does it heralds strangers, everybody else just walks in. 
 I've been expecting a plumber, several different plumbers, for over seven months -  I really should learn plumbing, I have done a bit, recently, thinking, well, if they can do it I can fucking do it and  probably a bit better but I can't service a boiler - I almost ran to the door in my haste to get the boiler serviced and an external stop-cock replaced.  
When I opened the front door there was no plumber's van and no plumbers, just a worthy-looking couple in their late thirties, she grinning with her hand outstretched, to be shaken and him just  looking worthy, a bit shuffly.

Fuck me, I thought, it's the Jovas or the Mormons but instantly realised that they only hunt in male pairs, those types, rubber-stamping for God their daily quota of souls, the impertinent bastards.
 Last time they came, the Mormons,  I said, Look, lads, no offence to you or Uncle Sam or the fine state of Utah but I live in fucking Paradise, look around, everywhere is the hand of wondrous, inexplicable Creation; the fragile skies, the metronoming tides, wound by the moon, just exactly the right distance away, warmed by the Sun, just exactly the right distance away; the shores a-teem with life under every rock; the hand of Time's industry in every grain of sand;  the birds and bees. 
Consider, lads,  the lilies of the field, they toil not neither do they spin;  all good things around us, they really are sent from Heav'n above, just not yours; we really are stardust, do you think I live here and not know Creation, do you think I need your nasty, guilt-ridden appreciation of it, when I have my own?
They went away, I would like to think like Coleridge's wedding guest, sadder and wiser men but I doubt if they did.

My mind was whirring, they're not Godly, these two, and its long past the election, they're not politicos and so, ignoring Missy's outstretched paw and winning smile I just said Who're you?

It has become normal for people not to introduce themselves but demand first your self-identification to them; we get calls all fucking day which open, Are you ishmael smith to which I reply, perfectly reasonably, that's not the question, the question is Who the fuck are you? You called me,  never mind who I am, who are you, you got no fucking manners?  
If you were a friend and had my number legitimately you'd know who I was, wouldn't you?  
Often, you can tell by the delay and the background noise  that this call is coming from a criminal call centre in Islamabad or whatever they call Delhi, these days. 
I have a formula, now, for these cunts. He or she says Good morning, Sir, how are you, I am Keith or Sally, calling from Microsoft about your computer. Ah, Keith, I say, how is your mother?  My mother? Yes, I saw your mother on the internet, last night, fucking a herd of pigs, sucking their curly cocks.  But your mother, Keith, she may be a fat, poxy old whore but at least she's honest, whereas you're just a thieving black cunt, aren't you ?  You're not Keith, you're Ahmed or something. If it's Sally on the phone  I say, Ah, Sally, you sound like a nice girl. Why don't you go and do proper prostitution, instead of trying to rob people in foreign countries, you worthless cunt.

People are quite shocked when they hear this, gasping the R word, you can't say that, ishmael.  But these people are trying to steal money from us, they are not really from Microsoft, they bought our 'phone number and they call people like us all day long, hoping to get the bank details of some poor soul and rob them;  racism be damned, they're thieving black cunts, that's what they are, they're the racists, trying to rob well-mannered British people who are soft and polite, conditioned to be nice to vermin. They have declared race war, declared that they want to rob me of what little we have. I've been here getting-on for twenty years and the most black people I have ever seen have been in my house, friends, visiting me; honest, not invent. That wouldn't wash, though, with the Virtuous, to whom it is the pious word which counts more than the deed.

There's no fucking end to this tele-banditry. I had  a recorded  one  a couple of weeks back. Some cunt saying he was from HMRC, it was about my tax and if I didn't call him back immediately I risked imprisonment.  Now,  this obviously works sometimes or they wouldn't do it and one wonders why the government doesn't do something but the government, of course, will be in the pay of the companies that organise it all,  the government, in fact the parliament, are consigliere to Organised Crime, of which 'phone terrorism is just a small branch.  When it comes to the unwonted approach of strangers, therefore, I shoot first.

She was a pleasant enough woman but she was doorstepping me and I just looked at her, like I was Zeus or Thor or Jehovah and was a heartbeat away from incinerating her on the spot, fiery-fingering both her and ShufflyMan. 
Who. Are. You?

Oh, we're here about the stoats, she stammered.

The stoats?

Yes, we were wondering if we could use your land.

What, to raise stoats?

There's a big problem at the moment, with stoats.
 They're not native here, they've been introduced. 
And they have no predators.

Bit like us, you mean.


We don't have any predators, humankind, do we?

Oh, right, but what's happening is that the stoats are playing havoc with the ground-nesting birds and so we need to eradicate them.


Oh, just with traps.

OK, and what happens to the stoats? 

Oh, they're lethal traps, she smiled a Mother Teresa  smile at me.

You kill them?

They're lethal traps, she repeated, not wanting to say the K word. Nice people don't kill things.

I walked them round the garden, her gasping at the trees and hedges, all most unusual in Orkney and very wildlife friendly, as we say, now.

What they wanted to do, themselves, in the interests of wildlife, was have a stoat-trapper come and plant his traps around my walls, they like the walls, the stoats, apparently,  and then, three weeks later,  come and empty and re-bait the traps. And then I could feel that I was doing my bit for nature, having poisoned stoat corpses lying around all over the shop.

Now, an ornithologist once told me that our garden was a miracle, it was the very first landing/nesting place for birds coming from the East and he'd counted a hundred or so different types

I have been pruning recently and I can't move a branch, it seems, without finding a nest.

 - people don't grow trees or hedges, here, normally, well, some incomers do but the natives don't and I can understand why, it is very hard work, what with the wind and the seasalt in it,

The shore is about eighty metres distant and when the winds blow everything is salt abraded, I am sure you could strip a piece of furniture just by leaving it outside.

I might've mentioned the Great Grouse Adventure, when Harris attacked the resident male, leaving him wounded. I was much distressed, not by  Harris's behaviour  but by the thought that I might have to wring the creature's neck, well it was just a thought, I could never have done it. Instead, we called the SSPB and it seemed that within a few minutes she was here, uniformed and kitted-up, like a one-woman SWAT team,  took charge of the grouse, treated him and then a few weeks later released him back in this area, we only saw him a couple of times, thereafter, Harrised-out, I expect.  He was a lovely sight, proud and colourful.  The SSPB is partly funding my doorstepping visitors;  their torture and extermination of the stoats, it is an odd animal welfare posture.

There was something on the TeeVee, recently, in the background, about the Space Race of my infancy and childhood. Describing weightlessness experiments, it is always best, said the tellyhistorian presenter, pompously,  to test potentially dangerous procedures on animals first.

In a flash I remembered as an infant asking my mother, What happened to that space dog they sent up?

Laika, of course, died from what they called overheating, sort of  boiled alive.  The whole fucking Space nonsense, mind, is built on tens of thousands of Jews and other riff-raff being worked to death by Werner von Braun, constructing his V1 and V2 missiles, projects which he completed for Uncle Sam as the Saturn rocket, where nobody ever asked Werner about all those pesky slaves

von Braun in his SS uniform,  with his pal, Himmler,

and with JFK  and LBJ, Freedom's last best hope.

"We chose not to ask this Nazi cunt about  torture and mass murder,  not because it is difficult but because it is easy. " JFK

Anyway, there it is, from the saintly horse's mouth; whole races and nations of people are evidently disposable, murderable, in pursuit of a bigger objective.

And if someone has decided that the stoats have to die, in desperate agony, alone, poisoned in a box, in order that the birds may flourish, well eradication takes on a newer, higher meaning than  when Europeans  decided that the Jews must be poisoned so that the Aryans may flourish.
I wish I'd asked Virtuous  Missy if  her  stoat eradication plan was a whatchamacallit, a Final Solution.

Animals, peoples, oceans, doesn't matter; some I-Know-Bester, like today's doorstepping halfwits will shit all over Creation and say it's for the best, no, really it is.

No, mate, yer fucked, it's Zyklon B for you.
It's the birds, they need lebensraum.
Wossat? No, mate, you don't need it just as much as they do.
Listen, mate, we're the master race around here, alright, the Devil, if you like,  and what we say goes. And that's why the planet is in such good shape.
Yeah, thousand-year EuroReich,
no problem.


Mike said...

Is that Harris in a onesie, Mr I, or a small leopard in the garden.

Its entering our winter here. Although its blue sky and sun, today is forecast for only 18C and everyone is rugging-up. We just bought a new heated water bed for Mr Pug (he has 4 other beds in strategic locations around the house) and he is wearing his new woolen onesie. Animals (dogs) are such welcome company. Its unthinkable to want to kill them. Even down here there is outcry when, for example, a white shark is killed to protect the beaches and surfers.

call me ishmael said...

I think it's just his Spring haircut, mr mike, making him look squeezed, that and he has taken to sporting a polka-dot bandana, a measure of his status as a manse dog, no mere common fellow. He will make a more impressive appearance shortly. The crazy thing is that I found myself almost suckered-into the stoatocide, until I caught myself on.

mongoose said...

The earlier conversation - poor people with poor life expectancy and economic expectations will have more babies, some of whom will die as same, but their family, their genes, if you are as hard-hearteded as Charlie Darwin, will get through via this awful bargain. The higher you go up the food and stupidity chain, from bacterium to ant to spider to mouse to man, the fewer babies you lose and the more you mourn them when you do. But who is to say that Mummy Stoat doesn't sit mourning, cautiously wiser, the other side of the ditch as son stoat recklessly gets himself poisoned by the I-know-besters? Fuckers would not sit unseemly at Auschwitz. Too many people on the world? Let's stop fucking poor people having babies, the bastards! We'll have little boxes to catch them in the hedge. Perhaps rig up a pipe for some gas.

And it isn't just that. The millenium good-for-fuck-all trots moan about Thatcher and vote Green. Yet Caroline Brighton wants to make every coalminer in the world unemployed, his wife and children destitute, and prey to early sickness and death. The same folk who would not say a word against any eegit who can have -phobe suffixed to self-identification of choice will silently let young girls be harvested in northern towns they will never visit, whose inhabitants they despise. Never saw any of them at Roedean, Poppy, did we?

Doug Shoulders said...

Good work if you can get it. Traipsing around the countryside. All expenses.
If stoats are not indigenous to Orkney, how the hell did they get there?
No predators? Nature is their predator…starvation, disease, farmer with a spade,bad luck
I never answer the door. Friends or family know this so they’ll phone.
“I’m coming round”
“Ok, I’ll be round the back”
The front door inner door needs to be unlocked and then the outer door and by the time I’m half way through that I’ve already found out it’s a sales…person..
“Market research”
“Not interested”
The phone calls are more amusing than anything else.
Market researching people to determine whether they’re thick enough to swallow their storyline.
I got one once..
“So who is the company you represent?”
“I’m sorry sir I can’t divulge that information.”
Really? Ah ha ha ha ha ha…. (Continues for 40-50 seconds)

call me ishmael said...

Yours is a ruthless, poetic concision, mr mongoose, which I envy. I didn't know Carrie Lucas was still sitting, thought she'd split herself in quarters, the better to share her sense of high purpose among our ethicist elites, there's a lot to do, she might be in Creepy Monty Don's Organic Garden of Showy, Pretentious Virtue, helping him find solutions to the FlowerPot Crisis, both of them caring deeply on camera about horticultural trivia, which is so very important, Monty's simpering, meticulously rehearsed, narcissistic concerns earning him mere millions from we license payers. Me, I'm happy to pay for Monty's act, he is, after all, making the world a better place and who better to quiz him about his saintliness than Caroline Lucas, Monty leaning on his fork, beside the comfrey bed, Carrie dressed in dungarees made by a Somalian lesbian womens sewing co-operative, both smirking earnestly about what's best for people; probably be no dogs in that scene because Celebrity People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals think that pets, companion animals, or, in my case, my little warm, brown friends, constitute a form of inter-species slavery. What's a poor boy to do, in times like these; I only ever gave a home to animals who desperately needed one and cared for them gently unto death and am now under attack on one side from glitzy I-Know-Besters for being a slaver and on the other side from moody, ill-imformed, thoughtless stoatociders who want to make my garden a killing field.

I think maybe what I need is a stylist, we pay one to create and sustain Monty's cynically carefree though super sharp dishevelment chic and we give Carrie massive, unaccounted expenses to cover her self-presentation to her fans. As it is, like most people in my situation I just put on whatever is at hand and run my hands through my hair, rather like what Monty Don would have you believe is what he does, albeit with people from research, make-up, wardrobe, script, lighting and sound to help him. Gosh, it takes a lotta my money for Monty Don to look much as I do for nothing.

Yes, she was a working girl, North of England way, we forget them so soon, NewLabour's young, made harlot.

Oldrightie said...

You sod, Ismael. reminding us all of how barren the blogosphere has been. As for the stoats. beautiful creatures and part of nature's balance. Unlike we "know all but do eff all" humans. mayny of them, that is, not all. Dogs, now we're talking. Also joyous and loyal, honest creatures.
Mrs OR, a passionate gardener and lover of nature wants local stoats to get closer and keep the rabbits under control. Knowing full well that their, the stoats, instincts wouldn't allow total extinction of a delicious food source. As for mummy rabbits, if babies don't learn smartly to try and stay out of stoatie's chops, she'll need some more. Within reason!
We could do with stoat catcher types operating in our political swamps more productively than messing with nature's own. So good your back.

Agatha said...

We had an infestation of mice once and I bought several traps, which I placed around the house at places I suspected the mice used. The first evening, the traps went off frequently. I noticed that the size of the mice grew progressively smaller, and realised that I had first killed the dad, then mum ventured out, then the children, getting progressively younger and smaller. Heart wrenching stuff, but I thought it essential to keep the house free of vermin, as I had been told that mice must gnaw constantly to keep their teeth from overgrowing, and that they had been known to set houses on fire by gnawing through electric cables. I stopped the trapping when a trap failed to kill a mouse, I heard the banging of the trap on the floor as the poor creature attempted to free itself - its little leg was caught. No more traps. I used poison then, but the poison makes them dreadfully thirsty and they gnawed through water pipes, causing floods. I've given up, now, and I have some sonic devices that are supposed to deter them.They seem to be working.
It seems to me, that, whatever the crimes and inconveniences attributed to what we term "vermin", the cruelty involved in trapping and poisoning is dehumanising and should not be contemplated by civilised beings. Let your stoats run free, Mr. Ishmael. They are not in your house and nature will take care of the balance outdoors. Who says stoats are worse than birds and deserve genocide?

call me ishmael said...

I used to not care about the 'phone calls, mr doug, used to think, Ah, fuck it, it's just poor people, trying to make a living but a coupla calls a day, five days a week, year after year, gets you down. With varying success I tried different screening systems, none of them prevented the nuisance entirely, and anyway it's not a nuisance it's a fucking crime which our gobby goodforfuckall lawnforcement idlers should investigate; we can deploy scores of the useless tossers, spend millions of pounds to cover the tracks of the hideous Gerry'n'Cilla McCann, we can launch task forces to confiscate a couple of harmless joints, doubtless with a street value of several billion terrorist pounds, and yet we do nothing about organised, international teletheft. It just makes me mad but imagine the frail elderly, maybe in Dementia's anteroom, being called regularly, by Keith or Sally.

What we need is Special Agent Gibbs and his team, parachuting onto the call centre and shooting these bastards and their bosses full of big, bloody holes. semper fi, agent shoulders, I got yer six.

call me ishmael said...

The customary response, ms agatha, to your concern used to be a withering But nature is red in tooth and claw, my dear, generally voiced by the same pompous arseholes as revel in The Devil, as ever, is in the detail and Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing, BUT....

It is and should remain an ethical conundrum, the way we treat Creation. Some things are clear, so-called bullfighting is an abomination and its afficianados should be flogged through the streets of Pamplona and then have their ears cut oft, that'll show them, hand-clapping, guitar-flailing, paella-slurping, castanet-clicking, fascist dago bastards.

To kill or not to kill the mice who may set your home ablaze, that's not so easy, although informed by the necessities of personal survival the conundrum becomes not if you should kill them but how; ideally, of course, we should just deter their entry to a world not theirs, if that was possible.

Tdg said...

Perhaps they could introduce foxes to kill them "naturally", or if they insist on dramatic symmetry large birds of prey. The preoccupation with how we kill is curious: it is there in armed combat, painless death from gas being far worse than watching yourself bleed to death from your shrapnel-eviscerated abdomen. I suppose biology wants us to meddle as little as possible in the selection of its forms, for our judgment is not to be trusted, so loads us with guilt when we have to intervene.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope your cold callers cross paths with a stoat pack one day; sounds like they deserve a fright, at the very least:

As for this idea that they need dealing with because they're not indigenous - presumably most things weren't, at one time. Drawing a line based on human requirements of a managed environment, decreeing thereby what is and isn't allowed, is just alpha predator cock-waving, or sentimental vanity disguised as the exercise of virtue. It's not as though they're polar bears, for goodness' sake. (By the way, I like the phrase "caught myself on". Is that a childhood echo?)


call me ishmael said...

Mainly for aesthetic reasons, mr old rightie, there has never been a list of favoured blogs down the side of call me ishmael, no clocks, counting down, no running totals, none of that, just clean and plain, Times Roman, easy to read, which is the point.

I am not a blogger in that blogosphere sense, these are just commentaries, entertainments on the cyberstreet corner, the resultant conversations between friends form the engine room, each the driving force which impels the next; good, therefore, that you're back yourself.

call me ishmael said...

Belfast, mr verge, catch yerself on, man, trans: get a grip, FFS. Other gems include, Och, yer bum's out the window, so it is. trans: you're talking nonsense; (in response to How are you?) Aye, am quare stickin-out, so I am. trans: things are definitely very outstanding. And See you, mister, yer mouth's all brown, so it is. trans: You, sir, are definitely talking shit.

walter said...

Man and his cats have decimated various fragile eco systems, introduced rats on remote islands are eating albatross chicks alive, Tasmania are trying to ban cats, introduced grey squirrels are decimating red squirells..Farmers have decimated songbird populations according to a friend of mine, i dont think ground dwelling birds can adapt quick enough, not far from my house is Scotlands largest eider duck population it doesnt take much to decimate these docile birds, i think birds need all the help they can get, my friend says that people in the uk are the biggest feeders of garden birds in europe , the french like them in pate, but you have made your decision tweet tweet Aargh

walter said...

I suppose if they where killing pet fucking dogs there would be a final solution!

call me ishmael said...

Yes, an intellectual conundrum, too, mr tdg.
Orkney delights in the absence of Reynard, enabling the free range chicken and egg industry. I doubt he would survive anyway, there is so little, here, of his natural habitat. We see a lot of raptors over the garden so I guess that if the stoat population increases so will theirs and a natural balance will emerge eventually, although too slowly for the twitcherati.

Some of the farmers here,mincidentally, are strongly opposed to stoat slaughter, arguing that the stoats keep the rats down. Was it Belloc, bigger fleas have smaller fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, and smaller fleas have smaller fleas and on ad infinitum?

I've long been curious about the Favoured Death debate. Thinking oneself into the position, say, of a Foxx's Martyr, you have to hope that an ecstasy parallels the agony and note, also, that when one is down to minutes then each one, however wretchedly agonising, is precious, better than having an axeman sever all your minutes instantly. I don't know. A swift, relatively painless death or one which is horribly painful but keeps you alive longer. For me, this life is all there is and I think and hope that I will not go gentle into that goodnight (sic) however painful becomes the day.

Morbid digression aside I think that practically, intellectually, ethically and in our own interests we should oppose the eradication of species, especially on the grounds of WeKnowBestism

call me ishmael said...

I do my best for birds, mr walter, although even that can be judged as interference, my planting and maintaining a habitat is not natural per se. The perils of the Albatross, whether guilty crossbowman or hungry rats, and the decline of the native squirrel are evidence of poor human interference and I believe the stoat eradication to be more of that same calamitous meddling. mr verge is right, nature is, for billions of years, her own mistress, untrammelled by blowhard statisticians and gormless activists; we should resist them.

mongoose said...

And now this instant, this moment in 14 billion years of time and space is the perfect one. The one to be protected and preseved, its atmosphere maintained as it is, it's temperature fluctations, rainfalls and tornadoes to be measured and managed. It's coastlines to be protected and reinforced as if the oceans have not been bashing them down for aeons, and the continents wandering about the place as they will. No, all of them must be set still in an aspic of stupidity. Such fatuous arrogance and futile busybodying. Boneheads. The next ice age will thin us all out nicely - man, stoat and seabird. Just leave nature alone as best you can and get on.

call me ishmael said...

Those're the minutes I'm in, mostly, mr mongoose; everything passes, everything changes, just do what you think you should

The cosmologists, Brian Grin and that Oriental-looking chap from NYU, there's actually tens of thousands of the mad loons, all funded from somewhere, they don't get that, do they, the idea of the Moment? They think that not only must there be life like us in the universe but it must also be there, now, in this cosmic eye-blink, exactly now, Sometimes I think thats so's Brian and his chums can discover it, fucking gabshite knobheads, infantile fantasists; meantime life outside goes on and the brown children starve and thirst, disease-ridden for want of a lousy ree-surch buck. Brian Cox, ET evangelist, someone should box his ears.

Sometimes, Brian, I think there are no words but these to tell what's true: If I hadda do it all over again, I'd do it all over you.

mongoose said...

The wintertime is coming, Mr Ishmael, but maybe not for ten thousand years or so.

And St Greta! Her parents rival the McCanns for vileness. Up the gallows steps with the pair of them.

call me ishmael said...

Is this the weather child, the white equivalent of Malia Nobel, was it Malia, some gobby little shrew, shot by the Talimen and acclaimed unto Eternity? Didn't she alienate the fucking beJasus out of her classmates, down there in Old Edgbaston? As I said, anyway, I don't go to the news any longer, and only dipped-in to watch the Day of the Sid; is she the one challenging the UK emission stats? If her folks are anywhere near as repellent as Gerry'n'Cilla then I have no appetite for them. 'Sonly so much a man can take.

Bungalow Bill said...

Beautiful spot there, Mr I, no wonder sometimes you drift away. Soothing and cheering to look at thanks.

mongoose said...

I am somewhat flattered by your notion of my concision, Mr Ishamael, but I fear that I am not as concise in my mind as I might appear on this electric page. But thank you anyway. All we can do is to keep on keepnig on. I always find myself drawn back to the eaten cabinboy. It was necessary. The tyrant's plea. Your new Captain says that it is necessary to kill Orcadian stoats. I fear, not for the first time, that I have lived too long. How could a sentient humqn being come to such an idea? Imagine standing on the doorstep about to ring the bell and marshalling your thoughts. Fuck me.

I understand btw, mon amis, not having the heart for it. Every day the bastards at the wall pissing on us. But we must buy umbrellas and stand up whenever we are granted the strength so to do. It is good to see you back; you have been missed. Like a bird that flew.

Doug Shoulders said...

A nice spot indeed. The house, an ongoing project I’d imagine.
I admire you for the big heart you need to take that on.
Especially with the paucity of reliable tradespersons these days.
Or is it only in the less remote places that you can’t get someone to even turn up to do a job?

mongoose said...

Evensong for you:

call me ishmael said...

Thanks. It is a tough gig, mr doug, for many reasons, but there it is, we do what we do.

call me ishmael said...

I do know that one, thanks, mr mongoose, it is very charming but it doesn't quite make it, despite the neat playing and the girl's delightful singing, maybe he's just not old enough, the bloke. I find that the studio, official Dylan versions of those acoustic love songs are incomparable. I have never heard he or anyone else surpass them. Many nights here, ;eaning on the windowsill, youtubing from Richie Havens' Just Like AWoOman to Alan Price's To Ramona; many of them are good in their own way and if I'd never heard the originals I would love them, as it is, I think that Mandolin Wind and the rest are imertinently jive-talking, if they can't do it better they should leave it alone, it's not like it's folk music.

mongoose said...

I am sure that you are right, Mr I, and I have all those originals too, and I know a man who only plays such things on vinyl in his special listening chair. But I am not one of those creatures I am afraid. There is also an immediacy, a contact, in live music that there isn't in the recorded. "Saw" Crazy Joni once before the Fall and we could hear, or thought we could, the tap of her foot on the floor.

Mandolin Orange: the lady sings well and the bloke plays well too - at least to my butcher's eye and ear. There are mandolins too but I struggle with those. There is more of their stuff about too. There are a less countrified parallel address to that of say, Gillain Welch and Mr Rawlings, although those are big trousers to grow into.

Anonymous said...

Stoats have almost no natural enemies. They can run for hours at 20mph and can easily elude anything big enough to kill them. Nature controls their numbers in a remarkable way. They are prone to a brain-eating roundworm which eventually kills most of them. I remember reading of a tame stoat, maybe Gerald Durrell’s, which, upon reaching adulthood, became prone to seizures and then died because of brain damage caused by this specialist roundworm. So, no need for Stoat Officers.
As for mice caught in the house, wood aka field mice get a cushy number in my Mice’s Institute, sleeping by day and running in wire exercise wheels all night. Wire wheels are hard to get. The EU says they’re dangerous for mice, but the readily-available solid plastic ones quickly get fouled. Presumably these safe wheels don’t run the non-existent risk of tail-trappage, and are signed into law by the same people who ensure that the springs in neck-break traps are up to spec.

call me ishmael said...

I have seen a lot of the Mandolins, mr mongoose and even more of Rawlings and Welch so logically speaking I don't disagree with you. It's just that when the original is so very exceptional, as is BOSL, then even a cover version by the original artist and composer falls flat on its face. The male part in the Mandolins has far and away too manY grace notes and downright flunks; if only he had sang as faithfully as the female I could've liked it a bit, Yes and dumped the fiddle in favour of a harmonica. It's like The Weight, there's only one and that's Levon Helm and the Band. Never understood a word of it but it has a persuasive majesty rare in rock'n'roll.

i saw Bob Dylan as a kid in 65, 66, 69 and at Blackbushe whenever that was, mostly he was absolutely awful but when he wasn't he was, as we say in Sotland, pure fucking magic.

i think, overall, though, that I'm with Glenn Gould. Yes and the Beatles, the studio's the place to get it as right as it can be. You being an engineeer, well, you don't have to agree, maybe the moment has a different magic.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks, mr richard, I am stoat-ignorant up until now.I actually don't mind rodents at all, we have rats in the garden, mice, voles, rabbits, hares, occasionally hedgehogs and God only knows what else. I try to exclude them from the house because Inside really isn't their world.

I never forget that maxim, that if all the animas in the world got together and formed a religion we'd be the Devil, a bigger, simpler truth I think, than any in Animal Farm.