Saturday 31 December 2022

Where the Dead Things Are

You'll remember the concern of the Westminster Government about all the chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pheasants, peasants, partridges and pear trees I'm supposedly keeping in my basement? And how I have to report any dead things I may come across on my walks? Here you go:

More Dead Things:

A Vatican spokesperson said: "With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican." The former head of the Catholic Church a.k.a. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger resigned in February 2013 after being Pope for 8 years due to a "lack of strength of mind and body" because of old age. Despite that, he lived for almost ten more years, and died on the 31.12.22 at the age of 95.
In 2009, stanislav was onto him:

 stanislav, a young Polish plumber,  has been complaining for a bonny long time that Mr Ratzinger and the Noncing Monsignors were a force for evil in the world and not, as they claim, all good blokes doing work of God, innit, fucking bastards.  Is horrible old cunt, Ratso, and swift rubdown with housebrick should have and never mind Ave Maria and Bless me, Father, for I have nonced, should hang-up by neck be from lamp post and see what Holy Mary has to say about that shit, eh?  Would fill up the lamp posts of Europe, innit, clergyman bastard is only undiscovered nonce, mostly, the rest is just poof and not so bad, not ideal is, the only decent priest is shirt-lifting brown hatter fishing from other bank to where decent ordinary hetero-bloke  is fishing but even so people shouldn't expect no better from man in frock, innit, paedo or poof, and just as bad is, nearly, in Church of Anglican Beard, you watch.  Fuck me and Thank God stanislav is  devout fucking atheist.

Stanislav was posthumously vindicated in January 2022, in a report written by German law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl and commissioned by the Catholic Church which concluded that Cardinal Ratzinger failed to adequately take action against clerics in four cases of alleged abuse while he was Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982. He originally denied the accusations  but subsequently corrected his former statement that he had not been at a meeting of the ordinariate  in January 1980. Lawyer Martin Pusch said that "in a total of four cases, we have come to the conclusion that the then Archbishop Cardinal Ratzinger can be accused of misconduct in cases of sexual abuse."
In February 2022, former Pope Benedict XVI had admitted that errors were made in the treating of sexual abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich. According to the letter released by the Vatican, he asked forgiveness for any "grievous fault" but denied personal wrongdoing. Benedict stated: "I have had great responsibilities in the Catholic Church. All the greater is my pain for the abuses and the errors that occurred in those different places during the time of my mandate."
As a young man he was a member of Hitler's Youth Movement, thus earning himself the nick-name of Pope Nazi. In 2010, at the time of his controversial and very expensive visit to Britain in the natty red shoes and red hat he had revived as Pope-wear,  he was described by Richard Dawkins  as a "leery old fixer" in respect of the continuing problems the Catholic Church had in covering up and containing the widespread sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and prelates across the world, but notably in North America and Ireland. Pope Nazi's resignation took him out of the public eye at an opportune time. He was succeeded by Jolly Pope Francis, a.k.a. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a citizen of Argentina. Here, in 2013, mr ishmael describes the tension between the two pontiffs.


 His Holiness Pope Frankie de los Fray Bentos.
Time Magazine's Nonce Protector General of the year.

Giving his Christmas orders to massed pilgrims in Rome and to believers around the world,   man of the people, Pope Frankie, said, muy caballeros, we are the veecar of Kar-ist, and eet ees the first time for an Argie,  best is not to wreck the boat, eh? And so ees all full ahead with same-as-before reforms, uzzerwise ees  my cock on ze  sacred choppin' block, eh, and then pop in some reliquary casket for fuckwits to pray at for hundred an' hundred of fuckin' year, eh? Is like that  instrument of Satan, mr ishmael, always say,  eesa no business like-a showbusiness. Fucking-a dog bones and-a bits of-a dried-up snot, and millions of silly, daft fuckers have-a been a-praying at this shit for-a fucking millenia. Por favor, I yam  only ay poor peasant and not even wear ze posh red shoes, not like some fuckin' popes, eh? Am not namin' no popenames but FuckMeJesus, zis 'avin' a Pope fucking Emeritus, is taking the fuckin' piss, no?

both: Heavenly Father, make this bastard die.

No other poping bastard have had to put up with this shit.  
Previous pope should be fucking dead, no, and having serious bit of arse-roasting down there with competitor?
 Not fucking about, getting under feet of busy man like Frankie.

Anyhow, here they is, my list of reforms for new papacy. An' God bless everybody, especially priests, nuns and any other  mad bad fucker working for me. Not get no money y'know, priest and nuns,   not even minimum starvation wage, like in UK, not on the fucking books, anyhow, otherwise would be paying tax. Render unto Caesar?  Fuck that shit.
Dominus vobiscum.

Frankie Reforms:
Proscribing birth control:  eesa no change.
Forbidding women priests and bishops: eesa no change.
Forbidding married priests: eesa no change.
Church co-operation with torture,  juntas, dictatorships and totalitarianism: eesa no change.
Vatican bank money laundering: eesa no change.
Redistributing Vatican  wealth to the poor: eesa no change.
Prosecution of Pope Nazi for long-term paedophile cover-up: eesa no change
Facilitating and protecting global noncing network: eesa no change, except-a maybe work a bit harder. Frankie always say You gotta love the sinner and hate the sin, so best thing is excommunicate moaning little brats and move noncing bastard to another diocese or maybe move to other country, or else bring to Rome and-a make him Cardinal in  fucking nonce's hat. 
 Princes of the Church,  O'Brien and Savile
You may kiss my ring, child.
An' mine, too, an' how's about that, then? 

mr mongoose's Elegant Christmas Crossword - the answers.
Many thanks, mr mongoose, well done!

Happy New Year, Ishmaelites

And the best of British luck for 2023.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Travelling - a Bad Idea

Have you been discommoded by the Railway strikes? Strange word, discommoded - does it derive from some one, several centuries ago, being thrown off his commode? Anyway, if you have been delayed, disrupted, annoyed etc by the railway strikes, well, that was the purpose. No point in striking if it doesn't inconvenience anyone. Here's a little piece from mr ishmael's drafts. Michael Portillo imagined in conversation with Andrew Neill.

Well, of course, what I would say, Andrew, about these inflation-busting rises in train fares is that this is the only way we can get the investment in directors' bonuses which are so essential to, well, the directors.  But make no mistake, privatising the railways was entirely the right thing to do and that's why we should privatise the health service, the armed forces, the education system, everything, really, even this programme of ours, sorry, Andrew, yours.  But no, as I travel around the country on the railways, making unspeakably banal programmes about their history, I am struck by how much money they pay me for talking absolute rot, as though I was some sort of mutation of Fred Dibnah, goin' to wuk, on't railways, like, in't great days of steam and whaddavya,  although somewhat more fetchingly clad.

And I must say, that many of my Jewish friends are simply amazed at the quality of our rail system.  And many of my American friends are, also.  And you will know that I am half-Spanish, half-Scottish, half-American and  half-English on my mother's side, well, all my Spanish and Scottish friends think we did very well to privatise the railways because they tell me so, every time we have a televised dinner party complete with the fascinating conversation of important people.  And I was in America last week, and I was stopped literally everywhere by just literally everyone and they were all saying Shucks, Mikey, our Union Pacific, our AmTrak, our Acheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company,  they ain't nothing; compared to your Virgin. Let's face it,  they used to be, frankly, late and dirty and unreliable,  the trains,  whereas now they are late and dirty and unreliable and overcrowded and that's what I call progress and I for one don't mind the directors of DeathRail or BeardyTrains4U coining it;  I mean what's often forgotten in these debates is that there's no point in rich people getting bonuses unless they're greater than inflation, otherwise they might all just as well  work for a living.

And if you were contemplating air travel as an alternative........


It's fucking sick of them I am, so it is, raged Air Begorrah boss, Michael O'Looney, on skymadeupnewsandfilth. It dosn't matter, so it doesn't, how many passengers I cram into these fucking old crates, they're always putting up the fees, so they are, these eejits running Manchester Airport. 
Now, if there was some way I could charge me passengers extra for landing them as well as for taking them off then that'd be a foine thing, so it would, Begorrah, wouldn't it just, except that there's no frigging way Oi could leave them up there, is there now, I have to land the fuckers.


Well, lessbeclear about this, Australia's a great country;  I know it has its own problems with immigrants, lessbefair, there's not a lot you can do with a bunch of people who wander about in the jungle wearing loinclothes, now, is there, do be fair. Aboriginals, I believe I'm correct in saying, that's what they call their immmigrants. No, no, I'm a firm believer in freedom of Worship, each to his own, 'swot I say, if they wanna worship the ground and the rivers and the weather  and the animals and the trees, well, what's not to like, rather like the Green Party, actually, tobefair?  Not a proper religion of course, like, worshipping Money but harmless enough. And they drink rather more than  is good for them, not that there's anything wrong with being pissed as arseholes, quite the contrary, but some of us have the decency to do it in the proper place, like in the 'pub or the teevee studio or the parliament but certainly not walking around in the fucking jungle.  Outback? Well, do come on, now, 'sjust another word for jungle.  I mean it's probably the same sort of terrain they're used to, back in their own countries, which, as any decent person would agree, is where they belong, wiping their arses on banana leaves and worshipping cows, or whatever it is they do.  No, no, lessbeclear. Australia was always a white country and if I was their prime minister I'd  quite frankly, lessbeclear about this, I'd be doing my darnedest to keep it that way. And it's straight-talking policies like those that have got me where I am - the prime minister designate  of England.

Now, as to recent events Down Under, it's obvious to me that if the decent white Aussies had done proper border checks on the Abos, only  let in those who were surgeons or accountants or whatever, then none of this would have happened. I mean, one of them, bold as brass, just went in and took over a coffee bar, didn't he, that's the sort of thing you get when you let foreigners in, the wrong sort of foreigners.   


Tuesday 27 December 2022

The Aftermath


Always a bit dreary, this Twixmas period. 'Specially so in Kirkwall, the day after the Ba'. The Ba' boards are still up, which makes access to the miserable sales a little tricky, 
the petrol pumps are boarded up
the Council appears to have removed all the street litter bins, so the streets are littered with the debris from the pack and its spectators. 
We've had snow overnight and the harbour, 
into which the Ba' players hurled themselves joyfully last night, is cold, with a greasy slick.
The pack knocked down a carpark wall yesterday.
One year, the roof that the enterprising players were standing on collapsed under the weight. The Ba' is no respecter of private property - a friend told me he was standing in his living room and glanced through the window to see heads popping up over his garden wall, followed by the pack milling around in his treasured garden.
 Shop windows are protected by Ba' boards, at the owner's expense and the Council protects windows and doors of the buildings it owns - but if the pack gets round the back of houses, windows will be broken, dustbins overturned, gates and fences knocked down.
They're at home or the hospital now, recovering, ready for the New Year's Day Games.

I've been digging around in the Drafts archives and found these author's notes from mr ishmael.

 Thirty nine steps, that's enough, thanks.  I don't come here to be praised; a Zen-Presbyterian-Marxist, it makes me uneasy,  I am unaccustomed to it and my  young friend, stanislav, never responded to it - is fucking plumber, not in fucking showbiz with arsebandit and fucking babyfucker,  not want fucking BAFTA - but then he seldom responded to anything,  there would be yards and yards of stan's the man stuff, stan for prime minister, stan made me laugh so much my wife had to call a fucking ambulance.  And there would  be other stuff, serious, lit-crit analyses by serious lit-crit people.  I am not sure that I can speak FOR stanislav but I do know that  he only existed within that brief, noisy milieu,  and was unable, therefore, to respond to extant, corporeal third parties,  woulda been stupid, really, wouldn't it, like talking to a character in a book.  stanislav's name, was never capitalised because he wasn't a proper noun, not a proper person  just a visiting voice but pay no heed, that's just me being  the  apostrophe jihadist whom I normally condemn,  the empty headed, nit-picking, cheese-paring, hair-splitting grammacist-policeperson of cyberspace;  never managed to stamp him out, he is alive and well, all over the place, smug and stupid, holding Ruin's jacket for him.  Inasmuch as he said anything outside of his missionary-noir rants he did try to raise the tone, reproving commenters for their discourtesies one to the other - even if bloke is cunt, is best call him mr cunt, is only fucking polite, proper english way, best is to play ball and not bloke.  It surprised me just how quickly people did start pre-fixing the most unlikely tags with a Mr or, rarely, a Mrs.
The fingerbells of the Incredible String Band jingle through these lines, through my life;  here and there, a little, joyous ping of punctuation, a note of completion, affirming a sentence here, a paragraph there.
 Back when Bob Dylan was something special he had a song which included the lines:

...and here I sit, so patiently,
waiting to find out what price
 you haveta pay to get out of
going through all these things twice.

For years mr mongoose and I have traded obscure Dylan lines and phrases all across these telegraphs and he will know; mr verge, the house filthster will know, ms lilith, sad-eyed lady of the wetlands will know, mr pt barnum, mr mothers ruin, mr young anglo-Irish catholic, mrs narcolept on her cemetery walks, with her kitchen filled with motorcycle parts;  mrs raft, tugging on reality's mooring line.
I am none of these names you call me.
I thought that I had impressed upon you Fawkesians the nature of polite  salutation, that it is mr dr klondike, mr the yellow emperor.  The @, although a now common delimiter in email adressing, separating addressee from domain name, does not mean to, it is a misuse of the word at, meaning each, at a cost of x each.  Your salutation to me, therefore, at best, means at myself but is actually gibberish.  You talk an awful lot, boy, for one who is so fucking stupid.

Fawkes, now working for Murdoch, shall never sleep again, doth murder sleep.
But I must sleep and so must you, that's enough for tonight. I command it.   Remember, an emperor can send a cyber ninja warrior to delete your very thoughts, feeble and lacklustre though they are.

 I don't moderate, I don't edit, I don't link, I don't advertise and in five years I would be surprised if I had deleted one comment per year; I don't like to do it, it is against my instincts,  I especially don't like and try not to do it in the wee small hours for fear it might add to another's, what, discomfort, loneliness, whatever it is which fuels the lonesome, insomniac obsession to which I  sometimes fall victim.

I have said this to you previously, dr klondike buzz, and I will repeat for the last time - your multiply-tagged, repetitive flights of fancy rapidly irritate;  they are unquestionably delivered with some linguistic finesse however they do underscore the adage that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, something which, before encountering your endless, snide bullying, I would have questioned.  Your comments may amuse you but I suspect that you will be your only audience;  tortured, exaggerated wordplay makes slave of its author and creates enmity in its readers.  I have, therefore, deleted your last half-dozen posts; they add nothing to anything,  I hope that your participation in the wider public discourse is less self-obsessively negative, less preposterously clever,  I would guess, though, that your life's purpose is to disrupt any continuum in which you exist;  here, you no longer exist at all. Any effort at having the last word will only exhaust you; it will take me a second to recognise you and a half a second to delete your comment.

Monday 26 December 2022

Moose in the Kitchen


My colleague said to me, in a worried, but not very; way, "I think I've got a moose in my kitchen."

"Good god", I exclaimed, "How the hell did that happen?"
"No need for that sort of language", he mildly remonstrated, "It's not attractive in a girl".
Ignoring the misogyny, but dialling down the language, I asked, "how do you think it got in?"
"The house is sealed up pretty tight, but we do leave the back door open for the dog to get in and out."
"And what makes you suspect...."
"I found droppings in the corner".
"Fucking Aunt Nora", I exclaimed, forgetting about it not being attractive in a girl, "Well, where did it come from?", thinking zoo, travelling circus, private menagerie, maybe even a moose farm - well I'd heard that there was a buffalo farm .... 
"Probably in frae the fields. Or maybe up from the shore. There's a lot round about here, but I'd hae thought the dog would a kept they mice ootta the hoose."
That's the sound of a penny dropping. The same colleague later remarked on my moose-broon hair. I don't think it was a compliment.
I suspect the reason Orcadian, and, indeed, Scoattisch people are unable to pronounce the "ou" sound in the way that English and American folk do is their lively apprehension of the works of the Devil. To say mouse, or house, in the way that they chaps off the BBC (or me) do, is to open the mouth vertically. Quite wide. You can say moose or hoose by hardly opening up at all - a slim little letterbox to let the word slide out without any of that flagrant, titillatory, open mouthed business, just inviting the Devil to insert his inflamed, scaly, engorged member.

That's probably alright for lady demons, but not for good, solid Presbyterian Orcadians.
When I was first working in Orkney, I used to think that every accent I heard that wasn't English must be Orcadian. I came across a lot of chaps whom I assumed to be pished, bladdered, or had taken a fill, but it turned out they were Glaswegian - which of course doesn't preclude them from being lit up like Saturday night - but sober Weegies also sound drunk as skunks - it's just one a they accents.
For those of you interested in local accents, diversity studies and cultural norms, here's a nice example by a local lad, Craig Rendall. All the pubs he mentions exist, down by the harbour, Eday is an island in the Orkney archipelago and the Coonty show is notorious for its level of inebriates.

It was the Ba' today. Usually played on Christmas Day, but not this year, because Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, and the Sabbath is respected round here, but probably not by they thugs that play the Ba'. They just don't look like church-going boys.
I've told you about the Ba' before.
It is a mediaeval game of street football, in which two teams of men attempt to get the ba' into the opposing team's goal - The Doonies' goal is the sea, normally within the Basin of the Harbour, but so long as it is immersed in the salt water of Kirkwall Bay, the Ba has gone doon. The Uppies must get it to the gable end of a house on Mackinson's corner opposite the Catholic Church, which was the site of the old town gates. It had its origins in the Orkneyinga Saga - in which a severed head is thrown to the crowd. It is a male only, intensely Orcadian, activity. Two Women's Ba' games were played, in 1945 and in 1946, but it never caught on due to a general public dislike for female participation in a very physical and public spectacle, it not being  "lady-like"The Boys' Ba' is played in the morning, with boys between the ages of 5 and 15 participating. They fight so dirty that this year, members of the Ba' Committee visited the schools before the Christmas holiday to explain that although there are no rules, when the scrum collapses, those on their feet should refrain from kicking, stamping and walking on the fallen, and let the paramedics through. The Men's Ba' is thrown up from the Merket Cross, outside St Magnus Cathedral, as the cathedral bell strikes 13:00 into the waiting scrum of up to 350 men. Once thrown up, the Ba' disappears into the scrum and much surging play occurs while the two sides weigh each other up and determine who has the weight on their side. The Ishmaeling was once dragged off to see the Christmas Ba by her boyfriend. Her abiding impression was of a lot of men rubbing themselves against each other. The winner of the Ba' is not the person who gets the Ba' to the goal. As the winner has to host the Ba' party, the winner must be someone who owns a big garage - as you wouldn't like to let that lot into your house, stinking and sweating as they are, and occasionally dripping from a harbour immersion. So should your side win, the one to whom the Ba' is awarded is generally determined before the game commences. 
mr ishmael, being opposed to ball games on principle, never attended, and the Ba' has not been held since December 2019, because of Covid. My friend was outraged that I had never seen the Ba'. But it's cultural, she exclaimed. Well, that's a whole new definition of cultural, but, once the hail, rain, sleet and gales temporarily abated, Harris and I took a stroll down into the town to have a look at the Men's Ba'. They were jammed tight at the Tourist Centre. I heard them from streets away. As I approached, the smell of sweat and testosterone was palpable. Over the heads of the crowd, I could see arms waving. There were young men swarming over the roofs of adjacent buildings, to drop down into the pack.
A spectator spotted Harris in his nice red and white Christmas jumper. "Best pick the pup up", he advised. "They're about to break". So Harris and I legged it back to safety. When they break, they surge down the street like a damned river breaking free. So, yet again, I've missed the Ba'. 
For sporty-minded Ishmaelians, here's the Orcadian summary of the Boy's Ba': 
Doonie Callum Leslie has won the first ba’ of the season. A quick and exciting game saw the ba’ move quickly with several breaks. Played on a bitterly cold morning with occasional hail showers the pack stayed on Broadstreet for the first ten minutes, neither side able to get an upper-hand. Then a break saw the ba’ taken down St. Magnus Lane before the pack reassembled opposite the library. Then it moved to the top of West Tankerness Lane. A powerful run saw Doonie Owen Spence break out, run up Tankerness Lane, down Broad Street and Albert Street as far as the Brig. By the time most of the crowd had caught up the ba’ was in the water. A short debate saw several names mentioned, with Callum Leslie emerging with the ba’.
The Men's Ba was also won by the  Doonies, after about five hours' play. If you would like to see the exciting final moments of pack, crowd, ba' and harbour, check out The Orcadian's Facebook page.

Sunday 25 December 2022

The Christmas Ishmael: 25/12/2022


mr mongoose's Elegant Christmas Crossword


1 Instant sweethearts' initial impression. (5,5)
7 Mother for brother will make Boris get up and go. (4)
9 Folk kissing Claus' wriggling and writhing torso in the        altogether. (10)
10 Louis MacNeice hid his spots. (4)
11, 5d 11, 5d Camp complainant will find Angela's treasure. (6, 7)
12 No ladies unsettled this king. (8)
13 Undermines sower for instance. (5,5)
14 U-boats dues. (4)
16 I hear Erato might live in such a house. (4)
17 The brass of Flanders and Swann vanished like the dew in the morn. (10)
19 Gathering will be prepared to conserve tedium consumer. (8)
22 Cats attacks without power. (6)
23 Irrational journalist set down in black and white. (4)
24 Retiring two islands in a country was just the beginning. (10)
25 BLM are keen for you to bend it. (4)
26 Leonardo rode such a wide river to COP29. (10)


2 Start in inbred dump dweller. (9)
3 Sneakers of budgies in trunks. (9)
4 The avian sound of dawn. (8,7)
5 See 11a
6 Throw up throw up your biscuits. (4,4,7)
7 End up on a motorway city. (5)
8 Summertime! Thanks to the military council. (5)
14 Stern chip struggled to produce source of 4. (9)
15 Can you get real bacon cooked up at the Nou Camp? (9)
18 Prophet easy say Kriegsmarine port. (7)
20 A Welsh girl is from Kathmandu. (5)
21 Say name rising jog. (5)

Gluttony Corner.
Now, you thought being compelled to eat Turkey and Brussels Sprouts followed by Pudding and Custard for your Christmas dinner was bad, but thank your stars you weren't born Swedish. Or Czechoslovakian, as you would be eating Carp for your Christmas Eve dinner. Traditionally, families buy their carp alive a few days before Christmas in one of the many carp stalls in the city and then put the fish in their own bath. 
It is supposed to clean them up before slaughter, but children often get attached to their upcoming dinner and give their carp a name. Seeing their carp swim in the bath is highly appreciated by the kids,
 who are not required to take a bath during the Carp Cleansing, and rebel at the idea of eating their new pet, leading them to plead for the carp’s release. In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the carp is usually fried in breadcrumbs and served with cabbage soup and potato salad. In Poland, carp is served with dumplings. In Hungary, it may often be cooked directly in a fish soup.
How does it taste? 
It’s fat, muddy and has lots of fishbones which makes eating it quite the challenge. This is why it is only served once a year, at the end of Advent, a 4 week period of fasting and penitence.
By comparison, Orkney traditional dishes are innocuous.

Orkney Clapshot
 Sounds like something ejected with great force from the bowels, but it is quite a soothing dish. Serve it with your roast beast.
Lard (or butter if you are fancy).
Fry the onion in the lard or butter. Boil up the turnip and potatoes until soft. Mash them up together, stir in the fried onions and butter. 

Atholl Brose
Here in Orkney, porridge with whisky is considered the perfect end to a fancy dinner, if you are not taking Duff. In 1475 the sneaky and sophisticated Duke of Atholl captured his enemy, the Earl of Ross, by filling a well, from which the Earl liked to drink, with this magical potion. Ross drank deeply and was captured.
3   heaped tablespoons of porridge oats
32 fluid ounces Scotch whisky
2   cups water
2   tablespoons melted honey
Mix the porridge with water, leave for half an hour, mix in the honey and whisky. Serve.

Christmas Church Notices

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly:

The church is glad to have with us today as our guest minister the Rev. John  Green and his wife. After the service, we request that all remain in the sanctuary for the Hanging of the Greens.

A song fest was hell at the church on Wednesday

Rev. Flett is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

The choir will meet at the Wilson house for fun and sinning.

The beautiful flowers on the altar this morning are to celebrate the birth of David Alan Flett, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Rognvald Flett.

The Rev. Groundwater spoke briefly, much to the delight of the congregation.

Following the hymn, I need Three Every Hour, the ‘Over 60s Choir’ will be disbanded for the remainder of the holidays with the thanks of the entire church.

The church will host a festive evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

The men of the parish will hold a New Year Barbecue, featuring a sausage fest.

Mr. Bradford was elected and has accepted the office of head deacon. We could not get a better man.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Christmas Evensong

We were thinking of having a Truce. Just for Christmas Eve.

It can go on tomorrow

Peace and Blessings for all who visit our pages here, for families and friends and especially for our enemies. Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
Merry Christmas, Ishmaelia.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Gluttony and Smut

Here's the light of the setting sun on the 21st December pouring down the entrance tunnel of the Neolithic chambered cairn at Maeshowe, in Orkney, illuminating the interior with natural light at only one time of year - the winter solstice. Part of the Great Processional Way that traversed the West Mainland, winding between lochs, across the great plain, from the 5000 year old Ring of Brodgar
via the Ness ritual site
 to  the Maeshowe burial chamber. 
The rituals of the dead.
Hard not to be impressed. It is thought (by Neil Oliver) that the original 60 stones of the Ring of Brodgar were dragged across Orkney, one from each parish, judging by the composition of the stones, by simmans, ropes made of straw, across beds of wet seaweed, with crews throwing water on the seaweed to keep it supple and gelatinous so that the stones could move freely.
Modern paganism probably has little to do with the truly ancient religion of the British Isles, but it does attempt to connect with beliefs that are fairly obscure, lost in the millenia. The most the Ness Site Director, Nick Card, will be drawn on is to say: when we don't know what it is, we say ritual....

The modern rituals for the Yule sabbat, the first of the eight sections of the Wheel of the Year, tend to focus on fire, sex and food. You know - light the Yule log, kiss under the mistletoe, drink some mild mistletoe tea - a specific contraceptive and abortifacient - to deal with the consequences of all that celebration of the Great Rite in the warm glow of candlelight. Back in the Neolithic day, there was a lot, no, I mean, a lot, of eating of roasted cows, as the charred bones of hundreds of cattle at the Ness dig provide silent testimony. Nowadays, your local coven is more likely to eat honey cakes dipped in spiced hot wine, whilst encouraging the birth of the Sun Child
who will defeat the powers of darkness in the coming spring, ushering in nature’s triumphant return. Listen hard and you might just hear the Wild Hunt.

At Christmas, 1153, Earl Harald and his Viking warriors were travelling from Stromness to the parish of Firth, when a terrible snowstorm caused them to seek shelter in Maeshowe, which they knew as Orkahaugr, an obviously man-made mound in the middle of the flat plain. They broke into the chamber, and occupied themselves for the duration of the storm by carving runes onto the walls. There are 30 separate runic inscriptions on the walls, making it one of the largest and most famous collections of runes known in Europe.
"On the thirteenth day of Christmas they travelled on foot over to Firth. During a snowstorm they took shelter in Maeshowe and two of them (his men) went insane which slowed them down badly so that by the time they reached Firth it was night time." Orkneyinga saga - Chapter 93
And what did these bored and possibly insane warriors write on the ancient walls in runic graffiti?

"Ingebjork the fair widow - many a woman has walked stooping in here a very showy person" "
"Thorni fucked. Helgi carved"
"Ingigerth is the most beautiful of all women" (carved beside a rough drawing of a slavering dog)
"This mound was raised before Ragnarr Lothbrocks her sons were brave smooth-hide men though they were"

So when folk complain that the true meaning of Christmas has been forgotten in all the gifting, feasting, drinking and lechery - not a bit of it. That's exactly what the true meaning of Christmas is. The early Church fathers just renamed it and slipped it forward by four days.
The year has turned now, as the days begin to lengthen again - thank the Goddess. I'm not one for organised religion, as you know - any organised religion - just a hedge witch, me.

Sunday 18 December 2022

The Sunday Ishmael: 18/12/2022



at last I knew
Porphyria worshipped me; surprise
       Made my heart swell, and still it grew
       While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
       Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
       In one long yellow string I wound
       Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
       I am quite sure she felt no pain.....
And thus we sit together now,
       And all night long we have not stirred,
       And yet God has not said a word!
 Extract from Porphyria's Lover, by Robert Browning.

Nasty disease, Porphyria, hereditary, but triggered by environmental factors. If only Harry had been Hewitt's son, he'd have escaped it, for it stalks down the generations of his father's inbred family. But just look at the noses sported by King George III, Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Harry, pictured above - identical. Harry gets his gingeriness from his English Tudor ancestor, Harry the VIII, through his mother's line, 
but that nose is defo a Saxe-Coburg-Gotha nose. Looks like the family porphyria was present in James V of Scotland and his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, both father and daughter enduring well-documented attacks that could fall within the constellation of symptoms of porphyria. It is widely accepted that George III suffered from porphyria attacks, one of which caused him to address the House as "My Lords and Peacocks"........and  passed the genetic flaw along to his great-great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Prussia and her daughter Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen. George III's great-great-great-grandson Prince William of Gloucester was reliably diagnosed with variegate porphyria.

 Porphyria causes the body to produce too much porphyrin, which is used to make heme, the part of blood that carries oxygen. It can cause chest and abdominal pain, muscle cramps, hallucinations, seizures, purple-coloured urine, or mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Onset is between ages 20 and 40. The genetic predisposition is triggered into attacks by a range of factors, which include exposure to sunlight, some medications, recreational drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol abuse, physical and emotional stress.
 So, best advice to Meghan is to remove her husband to a cold, dark country, keep him away from the cocaine, stop stressing him out  and cut her hair short, in order to avoid death by hair strangulation.

 The oddest thing to be reported this week was Mr Kayla Lemieux, a woodwork teacher in Canada, whose employers allow him to turn up to school and teach children whilst dressed like this:
The Halton District School Board suggested it would be a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code to criticize or to stop Mr Lemieux wearing the huge breast prosthetic. It has been suggested that the gentleman is  suffering from a condition known as autogynephilia, where a male is sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a woman, or an arousal fetish by performing a grotesque sexual display to children. However, a student in Mr. Lemieux' class says the giant prosthetic breasts are in fact a kind of absurdist protest against woke culture and he would regularly ‘drop redpills to his class, such as how silly gender neutral bathrooms are’. His aim is probably ‘to get fired, then sue for discrimination’.
The thought of Mr. Lemieux as a performance artist does not dispose me any more kindly towards him.

Orkney  Recipe Corner. 
Christmas is looming and the birds are all under an avian flu protection order, so it is time to consider the Christmas feasting.  I was at a Christmas event the other day when this sliced, greyish, solid, wet thing was served with lumpy school custard. "What's that then?" , I enquired. Duff. It is a sacred object in Orkney, beyond criticism. You thought Christmas pudding was bad? Food of the gods in comparison with Duff. My dining companion picked up her bowl and spooned Duff and Custard into her mouth. "This is when I miss my mum the most", she murmured, around a mouthful of DuffandCustard. "Her Duff was the best. She boiled it for days."
 Go on - have a go - tis the season to eat yourself sick, after all.
200g Plain Flour 
125g Oatmeal
150g Suet
125g Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
3 Tbls Black Treacle
2 Eggs (Medium)
125g Currants
125g Raisins
150ml Milk

Mix all the ingredients together. Take a cloot, lay it out and  cover it thickly with floor. Form the Duff into a ball, place it in the cloot. The floor will form a skin over the duff.

Tie up the cloot around the Duff with string. Submerge it in a pan of boiling water and boil for a minimum of 4 hours. Longer, if you have a few days to spare. Keep topping up the water.

Take the Duff out of the pan of boiling water and untie it.  The flour skin will look white and fatty. Slice it up and serve with school custard.
The Duff will last 2-3 days and can be reheated or fried in butter for breakfast.
If you make two, once cooled, you can use it for Ba' practice.

The Council has made a good start on putting up the Ba' boards across the doors and windows in Kirkwall to prevent breakages and glass injuries.
We've had some snow, and I promised mr bungalow bill some snow pictures:

 Dopey Dumbfuck Finance Minister John Swinney defines Scots earning £31,093 as possessing broad shoulders and therefore they should pay 42% income tax. To support those earning less. The average Scottish salary  is £31,672. So he is expecting Scots earning less than the average wage to pay tax at a higher rate. He is also perfectly sanguine about job losses in local authorities, justifying his refusal to meet the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) block grant funding request by saying that local authorities need to reform themselves. He is going to spend the money he raises on the Scottish NHS - which desperately needs reforming, not more money thrown at it, and on Education - always popular, that one.  He argues that Scots enjoy the benefit of something called a Social Contract, so its ok that they are the most heavily taxed partner nation in the United Kingdom. Horrible fucking bastard.
 Next Sunday is Christmas Day, God help us, but we should be able to endure it because mr mongoose has promised us  a Christmas Crossword. Something to tackle after you lay down your knife and fork after the diseased bird and clapshot and before essaying the Duff. If you are Orcadian, of course, you will be otherwise employed, pursuing the Ba' through the streets of Kirkwall. But not if you live in Stromness, where they play a sort of tug of war with a tree.


thanks to editor mr. verge, there are now three anthologies of the collected works of ishmael smith:

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack  and Ishmael’s Blues are all available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :

Thanks to editor mr. verge, there are now three anthologies of the collected works of ishmael smith:
Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack  and Ishmael’s Blues are all available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box.  Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage.  If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.  
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.

Caption Contest