Saturday, 17 April 2010

Dead Zoo

This actually happened.

Bizarrely enough, a whole four weeks has passed and tomorrow I'm back on the National Express to northern civilization. How better to celebrate one final Shire weekend for a while than walking up a ludicrously steep hill, eating a burger made out of deer and visiting a Dead Zoo (Natural History Museum, Tring branch), all of which accompanied by beautiful weather?

The aforementioned weather resulted in some jogging inspiration this morning, and I'm happy to say that it seems the sheep and I may have come to a treaty of peace. No fearful bleats (apart from a stranded lamb; not my fault), no evil stares, and definitely no charging. Score.

Tring's Natural History museum is King of Victorian taxidermy. The Rothschild Family pretty much ruled this area of the Shire, and Walter was a big fan of killing and stuffing animals. All in the name of science, natch - they are arranged in zoological categories and squished into gloomy glass cages. It's ace. On the walls there is evidence of what ol' Walty did with those he chose to keep alive; like attach them to carts, let them roam in his vast estate, or take them to university with him in Cambridge (Kiwis only).

So, after checking up on another of my deceased Kakapo friends, saying yo to his buddy Mr. Kea and then discovering a load of other cool animal stuff I never knew (Elephant Seals are terrifyingly large, there's a cute sea thing called a Topknot, tiny birds were given amazing names and 100-year old Dachsunds are relatively stoutd hunt badgers)I had an informal chat with a smart pin-striped chap who was poking a mangy camel. He did work there.

Apparently, the camel was a potential victim of carpet lice, which like eating dead stuffed creatures as much as they do carpets. The camel might have to go into a giant freezer. This caused a line of questioning about where a new stuffed camel would come from, and apparently underneath the proper Natural History Museum in London there's a sub-world of back-up dead stuffed stuff. Like the less fluffy or cute-faced ones. I bet they just sit there, waiting for the carpet lice to bite so they can have their moment of glory. Whatever, I want to go, it sounds amazing.

In other news, Great Horwood reached local TV news fame this week for an armed siege in the village. There were helicopters and everything. However, judging by the fact that three police cars arrived when someone nicked a bottle of moisturiser off the reduced shelf in Buckingham Tesco Express a while back this isn't wholly representative.

Also, Nigel Farage, smarmy leader of UKIP who is challenging little speaker Bercow to Shire constituency came to our house. Daddy Bowlface refused to see him after Farage's nasty attack on the loveable President of the European Council 'Haiku Herman' Van Rompuy. Remember Nikki off Big Brother? He's pretty reminiscent of her in it.

Mummy Bowlface, however, quizzed him on how he was personally going to reduce her class sizes whilst telling him about her imaginary Polish friends. He didn't seem to understand that her village school is oversubscribed from inbreeds, rather than illegal immigrants. Arguably, if he had, he would have been wasting his breath. It's what isolation from Europe would result in eventually, after all.

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