Vulture Kampf!

Andrew Macdonald

21 April 2003 17:40


Damn, got lost on the way back from Threshers - just found me way back in time before the supplies ran out.
So, chef shortage in St Ives, eh?  What brought this on?  Was it the result of the annual St Ives Chefs' Playing with Very Sharp Things and Hot Surfaces competition which has given the town such heroes as Three Fingers Kelly, Burnt Face Jake and Half Dick Prendergast?  (Burnt Face Jake is (C) Tom Waits 1996.  Thanks, Tom, and what the hell is a chain monkey?)
I see you have recently been privileged to receive a visit from our East Angularian ambassador at large, Foster.  Foster is a Ruppel's griffon vulture and you may recall he attracted the attention of the press a couple of years ago when he escaped from Banham Zoo and move to Southwold for his summer hols, settling in the rectory garden and scaring seven bells out of the vicar's cat.  Can't recall if he made it to Walberswick or not.  Anyway, he winged it again at the end of last month and got a bit further this time.  Apparently, after several days, he was spotted in Penzance, Marazion, Porthgwarra, Lands End, and St Just before finally giving up at Sennen Cove on the promise of day old chicks and sausages.  I thought maybe you'd hired him for the summer to help with the emmets on the understanding that you'd replace day old chicks and sausages with small children with pasties attached.  Having an 8 foot wingspan and a great big pointy curved beak and weighing in at around 15.5 pounds, I guess he'd make the average gull look quite cuddly.  Useless fact alert - Ruppel's griffon vultures can reach heights of 20000 ft, then crap on your car.
There was a little piece in the Grauniad last Saturday claiming that pasties are not Cornish at all.  Oh, no.  They're Cumbrian, and stuffed with meat at one end and jam at the other.  They got a bloke from Ginsters to comment, but I cant remember what he said, and there was a letter this morning saying that was rubbish as well and they were invented in Bedfordshire and called cloggies or claggies or something.  Well, that's all bollocks as well - everybody knows they were invented in Lincolnshire and were stuffed with sprouts at one end and mud at the other.
Hope the sainted one is feeling better.  I'd have thought that all he needed was a quick laying on of hands and job done, but I guess it might have been a bit difficult for him to reach.
Anyway, it seems he is hiding his light under a bushel.  It appears that he may indeed be more than just a C list fringe Celtic saint.  In his cheese eating surrender monkey incarnation as St Guenole (red pinny, curtain rod, loaf of bread etc etc), not only has he a church dedicated to him at Le Bourg de Batz, but he is also the patron saint of paludiers.  So there.
Ta for the Doom Bar.  Hopefully, I shall be able to collect sometime.
I haven't forgotten about the disciplinarian nurse with no clothes on (how could I?).  Later.

Vile Jelly

23 April 2003 09:44

No, oddly enough the slicing and burning is regarded as an occupational hazard. And, besides, if I wasn't mutilating myself at work I'd probably only be mutilating myself at home.
There are two schools of thought on the shef shortage: the chefs think it's because the pay's crap, the hours anti-social and the conditions appalling whereas the employers & customers are thinking "where's my food" and "why should I have to part with money for it". Personally, having spent the Easter 'holiday' doing breakfast/lunch/dinner, breakfast/lunch, breakfast/lunch and breakfast/lunch/dinner for a lousy £6 an hour, no overtime, no time & a half for working bank holidays and no time in lieu of working bank holidays, I am mystified by the fact that chefs are quitting the job in droves. Apparently, the chef chortage is a national problem and there are supposed to be literally thousands of unfilled vacancies across the country.
Still, with your feral existence in East Angular I'm sure you'll have no problem fending for yourselves. Hell, if you just turn up on the doorstep with your krautish kukris you could probably occupy your weekends with a spot of chefing yourself. Forget about previous experience/training. Just flash them the wusthofs and they'll take you no questions asked.
PS. I'll keep an eye (a gull plucked out the other one) out for the vulture. Maybe we could lure it to the Sloop with offerings from the kitchen. Once we've trained it to perch on our window ledge we could get it to swoop down on the unsuspecting. Forget pasty-strikes, what about an emmet-strike. Now, that would be worth seeing. The vulture clears up the emmets and the gulls clear up the pasties!

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