Willy Poole column.
Last week I think that I touched on the subject of global warming and also expressed an opinion on scientists, who have conjured the whole thing up with graphs, pie charts, test tubes, Bunsen burners and I don't know what all.
Now it seems that the blighters have fiddled with some new graphs, pie charts, etc, etc and have come up with the prediction that we are going to have the coldest winter since 1995 when, if I remember correctly, Alnwick was colder than Moscow.
Only a place like Alnwick could come up with such a daft idea.
This seems to me to suggest that either the scientists have changed their minds about global warming, or, an alternative thought is that there are two lots of these Daft Laddies out there and there is this other lot which is now saying that we are not going to be microwaved, but deep frozen instead.
Mind you, I have never known a Back End pass without some old fool telling you to "mark his words" and we are in for the worst winter since Scrooge bought Bob Cratchit a goose for Christmas (the Christmas goose is a subject that I shall return to) and I suppose that if you say the same thing every year, there will come a year when you have got to be right by the law of averages.
I am not a scientist, but I have been studying the weather for some 60 years.
My researches have produced the earth shattering conclusion that the only certainty about the English weather is that it is very uncertain. I don't need graphs, pie charts and test tubes to know that. What about the Bunsen burner, I hear you cry?
I can predict with absolute certainty that should you apply a Bunsen burner to a certain part of a scientist's anatomy you will witness a warming effect of cataclysmic proportions. So, a brass monkey winter? I don't know and neither, I suggest, does anyone else.
Somewhere back there in the tundra of my prose, I touched on the subject of a Christmas goose. Now I am very partial to a slice of goose and back there in the mists of time and the early part of our marriage, I let it be known that a goose for Christmas seemed like a good idea.
I happened to know that Mr Foster had a good line in geese. Mr Foster was a lovely man who looked like Noah. He lived at Moorlands down on the Somerset Levels. If the Global Warmers have got it right, then the Somerset Levels will revert to the seabed and the Mr Fosters of that airt will all have to make like Noah with an ark.
Mr Foster, who must have been gathered long since, had a farm yard that teemed with fowl of every description. My wife telephoned him and he said that providing a goose for Christmas would be no problem ( all she had to do was to pop down a couple of days before Christmas and collect her goose. This is what she did. She popped down to Moorland and found Mr Foster beaming through his chest length beard. She had come for her goose?
Mr Foster pointed to the yard where about 40 geese were honking and hissing about ( very much alive and neither plucked, dressed nor hung ( "Help yourself to what you fancy," said Mr Foster. I do not know how many of you have ever tried to catch and dispatch a large and mobile goose, but, take my word for it; it is not a job for a slightly formed and heavily pregnant woman. The wife returned home in a somewhat despondent mood and did what we should have done in the first place.
Peter Bindon was a builder, fencer, farmer and general miracle worker of the area. She telephoned him and we had an excellent oven-ready goose in time for Christmas.
It was jolly good, but once you have had the breast off a goose, there is very little left. I do not know where we shall be celebrating Christmas this year, but I do not think that we shall be eating goose.
The crunch has come. Yesterday we accepted an offer for the house. It was a reasonably successful end to a period of uncertainty, during which it was impossible to make any plans. Now we are faced with a mountain of "things to do".
We spent last evening in a state of shock mixed with a drop of sadness.