Cephalumpus

Bæda -The Feral Monk

January 12th, 2009 by admin

Sophia Arsenic Cladj was tinkering away in her laboratory in the University town of Oump in the Sminsk-Smir Republic on her time machine, when…..POUPH! back in England I suddenly found myself in a muddy vegatable patch with a what looked like a plain set of small churches near by.  What on Earth was going on?  I’d been doing the dishes back home in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, and now suddenly I was here in God alone knows where?  I must be dreaming?  This can’t be real?  All sorts of question came in and out of my mind; racing away and keeping me stuck to the spot where I found myself. I was jolted out of my incredulity by a voice shouting at me.

‘How! Yea! Gedoot me garden man’. Haweh man. Are yea listnin’ or waat’? Haweh, shift yersel man’. ‘Yer stannin’ on me kale’.

Oh lord. There was a middle aged man wearing a monk’s habit, and sporting a tonsure hair style like the old medieval monks and shouting at me. The language sounded familiar and different at the same time.

‘Yea alreet’?

‘Er yes thank you’. ( I had understood that at least)

‘Wat yea deein’ heeya’?

‘Oo, I’m sorry’. I said, stepping off the vegetables and on to a slightly less dirty  path next to them.

‘I don’t actually know. I was somewhere else and now I seem to be here. I don’t understand what’s happeing’?

‘Wat yea sayuh’? said the monk. He didn’t seem to understand me as much as I understood him. This was going to difficult to say the least.

‘Am not frum roond heeya’. I ventured tentatively in my own Geordie dialect. (it had been a while since I last had used it since moving down to the south of England)

‘Ur, ah git ya noo’.  Sooyah, where yea frum then’? he asked.

‘Am frum neeya St Alban’s. Me neyums Tony’.

‘Turnee yea sayuh’? he repeated.

‘Aye’. I replied. (This was getting easier) ‘Wat’s yor nayum then’?

‘Bæda’. He answered. (and in a tone as if I should have known)

‘Oh sweet lord’. I thought. ‘It’s the Venerable Bede’. Except he seemed a bit feral if you asked me.  Well, he wasn’t as clean as I would have liked or had expected of him. ‘Oh God’. I thought, and those buildings over there are The Monastery of St Peter & St Paul at Jarrow  in Northumbria and I’m not only in another space but in another time. No wonder it wasn’t too difficult to understand him. He was speaking the Northumbrian dialect of Anglo-Saxon. (Though I could have used Latin to converse with him just as well)

I suddenly  realised that I had no idea how this had happened or how on Earth I was going to get back home? Meanwhile back in Oump, Sophia Arsenic Cladj still hadn’t turned off her time machine.

NB. Bede didn’t know it yet, but he would go on adventures with a baby seal.

He’s sick!

December 28th, 2008 by admin

We hadn’t been on the bus for very long when it came to a sudden juddering halt.

‘What now’? I thought.

‘The bus driver has gone off to that old nursing home over there to try and get more petrol’. Keith said, as if were a natural occurrence.

‘We’ve got to go tell him that he won’t find any there’. I said indignantly.

‘We don’t need to. He’ll find out himself.’ Keith said.

‘No he won’t. He’s stupid’. And so off I went after the oaf of a bus driver.

‘Coo-ee’! Anyone there’? No one was there. ‘Strange’. I Thought. ‘Where is the driver,where are the staff and where are the old folks’? It was dark, dim, quite scary too as you’d expect the place to be full of life.

‘Oo-oo’. came a quiet, simpering and plaintive call.

‘What on earth sounds like that? I thought.

‘In here’. Came Keith’s welcome voice echoing around the nursing home.

I walked around slowly in the dim light, from room to room until I walked in on a small white tiled room to see Keith staring at the thing that had been making the noise. It was a small white baby seal in the far corner of the tiled room, trying to hide in the dim light; waving his flipper towards his mouth.

‘Ah, poor little thing. Just look at him. he’s so cute’. I whispered.

‘And not well either’. said Keith. ‘Just look at him. He’s got brown sauce coming out of his mouth’.

‘That’s not brown sauce. It’s gunk’. I added. ‘He’s not well, the poor thing’. He’s trying to get one of us to clean his mouth. That’s why he was waving his flipper’.

‘What is it’? Keith asked.

‘I don’t know, but we’ll have to look after him as there is nobody here to do that’. I told Keith.

‘We can’t’. Keith said in a resigned tone of voice that implied that we were going to take him home to be with the other animals in the ‘End of The World Garage’.

‘We can, we will and we are’. I ordered.

‘Ok’. said Keith, knowing full well that he was loosing the battle and had to give in yet again.

‘Do you want to go home with us’? I asked the baby seal as if he could understand me.

‘oo-oo’. came the response.

Keith and I were amazed at that response, but it was such a natural response and a welcome one to us and the baby seal.

‘Ok then,let’s go home then bonny boy’.

We picked up the little fluffy bundle of seal joy and headed back home on the suddenly now fully working bus.

I’ve been naughty

December 2nd, 2008 by admin

With alarming consistency, I woke up at the same time as I had done a few weeks earlier with the Cephalumpus Buy Day. (A bit like a birth day but the day you buy your pet)

‘I’ve been naughty’. I whispered.

‘What’? said Keith with a resigned tone of voice as if he was thinking Oh God, what now?

‘I’ve rescued The Donkey’. I said in a Why on earth doesn’t he understand me’ kind of way.

‘What donkey and where from’? Keith responded.

‘From the church tower the Spanish were going to throw it from’.

‘Pardon’? Keith said. (He is good at short questions)

‘They were going to throw it from a church tower dressed in a jellyfish costume during the festival and I just HAD to save it, the poor thing’. I offered as a way of a sane answer.

‘What’ said Keith (Here we go again he must have thought?)

‘They were teasing it and were going to sacrifice it’.

‘Why?

‘Because the Spanish are strange like that’.

‘The Spanish are strange’? said Keith.

‘Yes!. Just look what they do to potatoes’? I offered.

‘What on earth do they do to potatoes’?

‘They do Patatas Bravas’. I answered.

An incredulous silence hung over Keith.

‘Yes, they take the ordinary potato and make it interesting instead of just bland jacket potatoes or chips’.

‘Hm, I see’?  Said Keith, not really seeing at all. (Nor me for that matter)

‘And pray tell, where are we going to keep him’? said Keith.

‘Oh we can keep him safe in the garage’.

‘The garage’?

‘Yes. He’ll be safe from the Spanish and the end of the world too’! I emphatically replied.

‘The end of the world?

‘YES. The end of the world, and he’ll be safe and we can put the Cephalumpus in there too when it comes; and I’ll need to get one of those little tube heaters to take the chill off the air so that they are warm’.

‘Of course. It all makes sense’. Keith said in a sarcastic and quizical sort of a way.

‘He’ll be no trouble at all and he can be a good friend to the Cephalumpus and we could hire him out to shoppers to carry their shopping home in an ecologically friendly way instead of them using their cars’. (I do tend to talk a lot and fast and not breathe in between very very long sentences because I get so excited and carried away with myself)

‘OK. I’ll go get more food, though it’s going to have to be different from the Cephalumpus’s tidbits and morsels we feed him’.

‘Ok sweetheart’. I said very very happily and promptly feel back to sleep.

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