The Plague's The Thing ...
So, it wasn't just me 'malingering as usual'. It's official, the West Country is being ravaged by Narwhals, with Cornwall and Devon being the worst hit. Quite why the Narwhal (or whatever it's called) Virus has decided to decimate our ranks is unclear but several things have been cleared. Namely, the wards of several hospitals with Cornwall's main hospital (Derriford in Plymouth) being particularly badly hit.
As of the last bulletin Derriford now had 7 wards infected with Narwhals and the hospital was resorting to shovelling all the infectees together in the same wards to try and reduce the risk of further contamination. The fact that hospital admissions are up 10% on this last time last year hasn't helped in the least and, although they are trying to carry on a 'business as usual' policy for now the NHS authorities are asking Joe Q. Public not to visit hospitals unless strictly necessary.
(PS. If you want to know what an attack of the Narwhals is like, try rummaging through the latest e-mail updates from the Crimbo period as I vaguely remember to referring to the experience hither and thither. Otherwise, suffice it to say that you tend to spend all your time either comatose or in the bathroom gasping phrases like 'please god, just let me die'. Spooking as one who went from being able to walk St. Ives to Land's End on the Coast Path in a day to being reduced literally to a vile and quivering jelly for weeks, I recommend that you do not try this one at home. I now have a good inkling what extreme fragile old age is going to feel like and pity those already of a wrinkly disposition who are going to be in deep doo-doo if they catch it!).
Fired With Enthusiasm!
The employment Grim Reaper has certainly visited St. Ives with a vengeance. Not sure why it seems so bad this year but an almost Stalinist purge of various establishments made the local job centre look like the rush hour on the London Tube when it re-opened on Monday.
Apart from Your Truly, who got the Order of the Boot at the end of November, I have just found out in a brief conversation that the Queens Tavern has shut its kitchen and booted out all its staff and The Sloop and Union have purged their bar staff. It's getting to the point where you have to be carefully non-committal when asking after people in case they've been put up against the wall and shot too!
Not quite the Cornish paradise that gets in all the news features and holiday brochures, eh?
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The Leach Pottery saga rumbles onwards ever downwards. Applying the tried and trusted principle that when you can't solve or don't want to solve a problem you form a committee, various parties vaguely interested in the fate of the Pottery have formed a committee.
So far, the Committee for Spotting The Bleeding Obvious have identified that:-
Trevor could have told them that (he told me that years ago) but they didn't involve him (the only present link to the Leach Pottery's past) in any of the publicity ..... presumably because he would have told people that!
Anyway, the bottom line is that the present owners are keen to secure the long-term survival the site which comprises both Leach's House which contains the permanent expedition of Leach potters' work and the Leach Pottery, which unfortunately needs probably one million quid's worth of work done to it to ensure any sort of survival at all.
Far be it for us to comment on whether this new-found keenness is at all related to the present owners' failure over most of last year to flog the House and Pottery as separate items for the best part of a million quid in total.
Rain Of Terror
As you may have guessed, given that it affected virtually all the country, New Year's Eve in St. Ives was relatively quite due to the weather. Driving wind and howling rain made conditions miserable for anybody outdoors, which certainly wasn't the good burghers of St. Ives who were all snuggled up indoors, mostly at private functions and house parties.
Special mention to Toni Carver for his brilliant gloating article in the St. Ives Times & Echo. It made us larf!
Up Yours Winwaloe! (In The Nicest Possible Sense)
Sorry, Mr. W, but you left yourself wide open to that one.
Reported in The Cornishman of 8 January 2004 'Petition calls for Trudi to remain on St. Ives Beat' .....
Reported in Spooky St. Ives Bulletin of 5 December 2003 in Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil, WPC No Evil 'Oddly enough, that very following Sunday a petition was spotted in an Uplong convenience store protesting against alleged plans to transfer WPC Pitiful to another police station.'
So, the Reporting Team never get any scoops, eh? We think you'll find that, in fact, we have got our fingers on the pulse (apart from when we raise two of them in the direction of those who slag us off!).
Up Ours! (In The Nicest Possible Sense)
Talking of the Reporting Team there was a miraculous occurrence over the Crimble period.
While VJ was taking his vile and jelly-like bod off to the quacks to try (unsuccessfully) to get healed before the Xmas festivities commenced the RT heard noises emanating from the chimbley.
Hoping to catch Santa in the act and get an in-depth interview they quickly formed a cuddly pyramid and Flat Eric scuttled up the smokestack. Sadly, FC had legged it but they did find some pressies he had left for them (they said the label blew away in a freak gust of wind but the package was definitely for them).
As it happened Santa had left them a load of special pop with intriguing names like Natterjack, Golden Pheasant and Black Rat! They also made a fascinating discovery by reading the small print on the labels which may come as a shock to the christmas traditionalists:-
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