A little time with Octavius

Hello fair readers!

As I may have already mentioned ( I can’t remember what I write on these things, I’m far too busy and important to remember anything ) I am the proud owner of a magnificent steed, who I christened Octavius, after the Roman emperor. It’s a little known fact about me that I am actually a great admirer of the Romans. Nero in particular has a special place in my heart. I feel we are intrinsically linked. I’ve even been tempted to buy myself a golden violin, but then I thought, no Benjamin, that’s too cliché, so I bought myself an 8 foot harp instead. It’s adorned with carvings of me dressed as angels, and completely covered in gold leaf. Quite bonnie I think you’ll find.

Where was I? Oh yes, well I thought today that I would let my ever expanding fan base know a little more about my special relationship with my horse. NO Predlemus, not that kind of relationship. You brute. Octavius is a black and gold, winged blackbird-horse hybrid. He essentially looks like a horse, but he has a large golden beak and golden claws instead of hooves. Some lesser minded mortals have impertinently questioned why I need a flying horse when I have wings of my own. And to this I answer, “You impudent cretinous fools. OF COURSE I need a flying horse, because if I had to ride around on the ground like any common mongrel, I would be more likely to bump into the likes of Predlemus or, even worse, the abomination who has titled himself Lord Pumpkin. More like Lord PLUMPkin if you ask me. HO!” I keep myself sleek and self righteous by my daily bird bath, followed by a light luncheon and a game of billiards. On a Sunday, after I’ve been forced to spend time with my family, I might indulge in a little game of Blackbird tennis with my dear friends Boris and Bertie (as long as Bertie doesn’t bring his family. That Mildew doesn’t bear thinking about). And anyway, as I was saying, having a flying horse really sets one apart from the rest of the crowd. In fact, my wife Minty bullied me into purchasing her a flying horse too. Her name is Creusa and she’s not a patch on Octavius but she doesn’t get out much fortunately, on account of having to look after my son and heir, and the other one.

I try to take Octavius out at least once a week. If I’m ever travelling long distance, say down to one of my country estates, I’ll always ride him there too. He only eats golden apples and he drinks Chianti. I think that’s the Roman in him but it could just be that he’s a raging alcoholic. Either way, I think it adds a touch of ‘je ne sais pas’ to his character. I’m looking to employ a groom to take care of him. At the moment Ecce tends to him, but Ecce can be so demanding sometimes and is complaining the work is too much for him. I think there was some sort of disagreement involving a dung heap and a tail brush but I try to stay out of the affairs of my staff. If anyone knows of a good groom, do let me know. You can find me either at The Aviary, Buckingham or Golden Nest Heights, Wiltshire.

I’ve included a little picture of me riding Octavius, for those who are interested in what he looks like. I’ve got my riding crop – I’d just like to clarify that I reserve that solely for swooping out of the sky and striking down snakes, rather than to whip my noble steed. It’s rather a jolly pastime, these foolish reptiles never see it coming. Unfortunately they’ve taken to carrying large protective parasols out with them now, which rather ruins my fun.

Right, I’m off for a ride now. I’m thinking of getting a group of us chaps together (Bertie and Boris) and starting a weekly hunt. I think Moochkin will be our first target. He’s growing insufferably conceited of late, and I for one will not stand for it.. Fancy trying to ban ME from the Blind Club! ME, the leader of the land, King of the skies, ruler over all dominions!! HO!

Tally ho chaps and chapesses, until next time!

Benjamin Goldfeather Esq.

ben and creusa

 

Some letters…

Dear Mr Moochkin

 

As a valued member of our Blind Club, we would appreciate your presence at the next Blind Club AGM, this Friday at 5pm. We have not had a meeting in quite some time, and there is much to discuss.
Some of the points to be raised will be:

 

  1. Air conditioning. As some of our members are vegetables, and are particularly prone to shrivelling in the heat, we are proposing we install some sort of air conditioning. This would be quite expensive, so we welcome other suggestions – we do not appreciate that we should ‘ban the foul beasts altogether’ or that ‘Mr Pumpkin is far more attractive when shrivelled, and I for one prefer to see him in this state than that foul grinning orange visage I have to look at for the best part of two hours each week…not all of us are BLIND you know’ (I would reply to this, that you are at a BLOIND CLUB so you id actually in the minority). *breathe*
  2. The summer entertainment. As you may know, the Blind Club puts on a play or performance of sorts every August. We haven’t got long left now to decide on what it should be, so each member will be required to vote for one of the following options:
  • Fowl or Foul : a bird’s story (a monologue…)
  • Can’t be Tamed, the story of a blind snake’s oppression
  • The Pumpkin Patch – a musical for all the family
  • Black and Gold – My Climb to the Top (another monologue)
  • Cliff Richard’s Greatest Hits
  • The Jungle Book – the story of a pure gold bird (May she rest forever in our hearts) – yed another monologue…

That’s all the suggestions we have at the moment, so we will have to pick from dese.

 

If dere id anyfing else dat you would wish to suggest, plead let me know by snake mail.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Mrs Pumpkin

Blind Club Secretary

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Mrs P,

 

Fank you most kindly for your quarterly communication. You know that as founding member, dis club id very close to moi heart and I had some concerns to raise at dis meeting. Mmmmm yed.

 

  1. Mmmm air conditioning I id not a fan of as I id a cold blooded creature and I fink I will get most chilly. I understand that our vegetable friends id not as lucky as me – perhaps we moight fink about fans instead as they id cheaper (leaving more money for babycham at the summer party mmmmohohoh moi favourite tipple!) and not so loikley to damage the reptilian members of our society.
  2. Mmmm I id most excoited about the August show – of course moi vote id for ‘Can’t be Tamed’ and I had already started work on moi script! A tale of anguish, heartbreak and misunderstanding. MMM I had all the casting in moind as well. However, if that id not approved then I vote for Cliff Richard becaud all the other choices id quite species specific and I id very inclusive so I don’t want creatures to feel left out.

 

Moi other issue is what we id to do about the foul graffiti I Id finding in the male toilets of the club. It id most slanderous and just not true that ‘Moochkin is a big red snake, ‘FYI he loves predle’, ‘Gladys smells’. They id all scratched into the paintwork with a sharp implement – if I did not know better I would say it wad a claw or a beak… mmm yed. Dis was not the community the bloind club used to be – where had our values of ‘bloind but koind’ gone!? Mrs P we need to revisit the founding of dis group and it moight be toime to eliminate those from the group who do not share our beliefs. Sad to say but true. Gladys is so victimised she cannot leave the cage without me!

 

Mmmmm

Cordially yours,

Mr Moochkin

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Mr Moochkin,

 

I popped into the Blind Club for a light luncheon this afternoon, with my manservant Ecce. Whilst he was ordering my scotch and soda, I went to the office in search of my cigar, which I thought I had left here after the last meeting. My attention was aroused by the flashing of the computer, and so I had a small peek. What I saw has offended me greatly.

 

For starters, MRS PUMPKIN, why was I, the glorious Benjamin Goldfeather Esq not invited to attend the annual AGM. After all, it is I who brings so much life to this otherwise dismal little mockery of a club. Without my wit and input, the Blind Club would be nothing. I am also INCENSED that you would dare to put the idea of the show to a vote. A VOTE! Eheu! Excuse me, I just choked on my miniature gherkin. It was made quite clear by me at the start of the last meeting that my ideas were not to be given unless they were unanimously agreed to. I’ve had a great deal of support in the past for my monologues, and I shall fully expect to perform them unhindered and unaided. If you are lucky I may even bestow a small burlesque element into them. The very idea of a snake themed performance makes me feel quite faint. Fetch me my smelling salts Ecce, my nerves are torn to shreds. No-one knows how I suffer. 

 

Secondly, the matter of the ‘graffiti’. You uneducated fools have surely never heard of artists such as Banksy, or dare I say it, Rubens or Holbein. What you incompetent nicompoop have referred to as ‘graffiti’ is actually my life’s work – one bird’s revolt against the mass uprising of snakes and other foul beasts. I feel honour bound to protect my race, and to express through art is one of the only mediums left to me, after you collaborated against me to shut down my expression of voice, song and free thought. I will not be treated in this way. I intend to take the matter up with my solicitor* immediately.

*Yes, that is myself, but why not go to the best! Ho!

 

I think that sums up my feelings on this matter. I have copied Mrs Pumpkin into this as well, as she is extremely stupid also, and I cannot waste time on sending separate correspondence. You can expect my bill for the time spent on this matter in the next post.

 

Your feathered friend,

 

Benjamin Goldfeather Esq.

Miello moi sweets

Miello! I had decided that we have all had enough of Ben’s haggard rants for the time being, and instead it would be more fruitful (or vegful as the case may be) to hear from Mr Pumpkin himself.

Or should I say, Lord Pumpkin, Lord of the dance, Lord of all things round and orange. Yed, yed, that id me. You might not know this, but my great great grandfather, Lord Pumpkin the First actually fought at the Battle of Trafalgar, and that id why he lost his eyes. Ever since then we had been blind creatures – dis can be quite tricky when trying to cope with everyday life, but fortunately I can put on my glasses and then I can see. Besides, we id quite a thriving blind community, what with us, and Moochkin, and Mim (though she id only partially sighted). Yed, yed. I live in a pumpkin cottage, it basically looks a lot like me, but it id a house, though there id a vegetable patch for when I need to rest outside. I live with Mrs P, Pip, Pippistrella and Pumpqueena. Oh, and my marvellous collection of dogs. I had 4 dogs. One id a pumpkin dog, called Snuffles, he id quite jolly and most people like him (HO, I DO NOT LIKE HIM. I only like feathered bird cats) – Go away Ben, you id always ranting on about your feathers, sometimes we just like to be away from you. Then I have 3 more savage dogs. Mrs P does not like them, she says they are wild and untamed but she just doesn’t know how to handle them. I take them over to play with the Oxen brethren, though I id never quite sure if the Oxen are playing with them or just running away from dem. Mmmmoh ho ho.

Most of the time I spend with moi dear friend Predlemus. We have a jolly time together, we id often going on adventures, though sometimes Mr Predle does get annoyed with me. I think dis id because he wants to be a Lord too, but he id not a Lord. He id just a snake. He had no prestige in hid background, in fact it id most hard to trace hid ancestry at all. We know his father is a French snake, and his mother lives in China, but apart from that, who knows. Mmmmmmmmmm! Sometimes it id sad for me though, because I am not a snake, I am just a round orange vegetable, and I id not the brightest of creatures. Mainly I like to roll around. I id an excellent shape for rolling, being a perfectly round pumpkin. Moi cousin, Hing Yon Lee, id more of an oblong shape. I think it id because he has sad eyes. But it does make it hard to go rolling with him, so when he comes to stay I tend to travel in my Pumpkinmobile.

I had some other vegetable friends too, though we id a fairly dying breed. There’s Carrot, and his French friend Xavier, though I do not really like them because they are ugly and quite scary. I think Ben likes them, and as a general rule of thumb (though I had none), Ben and I do not share friends. Mmmm oh ho! Then there id Plum, but he id quite a tragic soul and I don’t think he had any friends. There is moi dear friend Sheepy. Sheepy id actually a pumpkin, but his patch was next to a field of sheep, so hid way of talking id very like baaaa-ing. Predle does not like Sheepy and can be quite unkind to him, but I enjoy having him to stay from time to time… it id true his voice can be a little bit annoying. Oh, and I also have an exotic cousin, Pineapple. Pineapple id always merry, and he sings a little Hawaiian song, in fact, dat id all he really does, but he id always good for a party. Never a dull moment with a pineapple around, dat id my motto. Well, actually my motto is ‘Rolling in the Deep’ but there we go.

Right moi sweets, I must be off now. Perhaps moi next post shall feature some pictures of moiself and moi fellow friends. Booiiiyyyyyyyyyeeeeeee!

Mr P . x (Lord Pumpkin)

HO! What villainry is this! A Pumpkin has besmirched my page with his dull warbling about vegetable life. I am most sorry for all of you who had to read this. Never fret, I shall be back. I am just nursing a rather severe hangover from my New Year’s antics… the boys (Bertie and Boris) and I brewed up a special golden bird punch, and my dear me, were we merry! Ho! I’ll regale you all with tales from the night another day. Toodles, Benjamin Goldfeather Esq.

Chapter two – The Blind Club Christmas Party

Ho ho HO. That’s not a Merry Christmas by the way, that’s just my laugh. Benjamin Goldfeather doesn’t just wish a Merry Christmas to anyone – who knows what virulent wargrats may be reading this. Eheu. Last night was one of the most humorous of my life, indeed I am still laughing now as I reminisce.

We were all gathered at the Blind Club for their tragic affair of  Christmas ‘party’ – I’ve seen better parties at a blackbird dirge, dear god, these dismal creatures have no idea how to have fun. I was indignant to say the least, as when I arrived, I saw to my horror that my burlesque act had been struck off from the programme, and replaced with some freakshow re-enactment of the ‘Great Pumpkin Revolution’, (which by the way is totally insensitive the the blackbird representation at the party aka myself) and Moochkin and his tragic girlfriend Gladys singing ‘Jingle Snakes’. That isn’t even a song. Everybody knows it’s ‘Jingle Beaks’. Why would snakes jingle? Unless they were in chains and their manacles were jingling as they tried to break free but sadly I am never allowed to constrain the serpents. Eheu. HO.

Anyway, I was sitting brooding in a corner, and admiring my golden feathers in an aptly placed golden bauble when I heard a commotion from the dance floor. I looked over and to my GLEE, I saw that Predlemus was actually on fire on the dance floor! I know! I know! It was incredible. I hurried over under the guise of helpful curiosity, when actually I wanted to try and surreptitiously peck at him. Needless to say I couldn’t get close enough without risk to my feathers, and I would not risk my feathers for any creature, friend or foe. After much ‘mmmmm-ing’ and cried of ‘mmmmoh no, somebody call 911, predlemus on fire on the dancefloor’, eventually Mrs Pumpkin threw a jug of lemonade on his tail, and the fire went out.

For some reason, unbeknownst to myself, the finger (or should I say tail) of blame was pointed squarely at none other than myself. Can you believe it! That I, Benjamin Goldfeather, paradigm of virtue and actual Saint in several minor jungle regions, should be accused! Without proof, or without just cause. I was outraged. To be sure, I was delighted by the incident, the sight of Predle slithering around the disco with a flaming tail was not one to be easily forgotten, and indeed a small part of me was even sad that I had not thought of it before myself, but it was not me. Then, my night got even better. It transpired that that fool Gladys had rigged the lights. A BLIND snake, and a particularly inept specimen at that, had been instructed to put up the disco lights, and needless to say, she had failed in the most spectacular fashion possible. They had collapsed on Predle, and consequently set him on fire. How I laughed. How I CACKLED with glee. Gladys had unwittingly sabotaged the party, singed Predle, and caused merriment for myself. Moochkin was beside himself and could only be comforted by Mr Pumpkin singing some bizarre song about being round and orange (what that had to do with anything, one cannot say, but Pumpkins are a strange breed of vegetable…). All in all it was a jolly fine end to what had threatened to be a bad night. (Sadly, Predle seems to have made a good recovery – it is irksome how snakes can shed their skin.)

Anyway, I’m off to smoke a cigar and mock Gladys – I like to tell her she’ll be barred from the Blind Club forever, it does distress her so. Ecce – bring me my whiskey!

Toodles – Benjamin Goldfeather Esq.

The saga of Benjamin Goldfeather Esq (Chapter one)

Eheu! Greetings to all my fellow feathered fowls. (I sincerely hope that no snakes are reading this). I have decided the time has come at last to share my adventures with the wider world – although Predlemus is useful in his capacity for someone to talk at, his conversation is rather limited and tedious. Ho.

My name is Benjamin Goldfeather Esq, and as my name would suggest, I am not just any bird. Nay, I am a black and gold bird, more glorious than any you have seen before. I take great pride in my plumage, and when the disco lights shine on me you’ll see my tailfeather shimmy and shake. My profession, apart from occasional male model and burlesque dancer, is that of a solicitor. My cat Ecce and I work tirelessly to try and extract gold from the toothless wench that is Predlehag (don’t confuse her with Predlemus), but her son William thwarts us at every turn. EHEU.

I was born in the jungle; legend has it I hatched from a golden egg, laid by a golden bird. My mother was the most glorious bird but she sadly flew into a tree and died. I had a statue erected in her memory but then I needed the gold to adorn my throne room so I had to have it taken down. It’s a shame, but what is one expected to do in these most vile of economic circumstances.

Much of my time is devoted to tracking and recording the movements of the heinous snakes, mainly Predle, though I have great dislike for Moochkin also, mainly due to the frivolous use of velvet in his outfits. I mean I like velvet as much as the next bird, and my golden velvet smoking jacket is a thing to be admired, but I can pull it off. The texture of crushed maroon next to red scales is just not to be desired. It also irks me that he wears a pork pie hat with a feather in it. I mean, HOW insensitive. I am covered in feathers, it’s what makes me a bird.

*Scuse me, but it id Moochkin here, i had just stumbled across dis page (quite literally becaud i id blind) and i would loike to point out dat i wad wearing velvet waistcoats long before Ben even joined the Blind club, and dat all i want id to live in harmon-

Oh, shut UP Moochkin, with your annoying drivelling. Unfortunately I cannot see how to delete, or I would remove your irksome commentary from my glorious site altogether. Besmirching it with your vile droning, you disgust me. Eheu. And now I have lost my train of though altogether, really I’m quite overcome. I may have to indulge in a stiff martini to recover myself.

Tonight is the annual Blind Club Christmas Party, where I shall be performing. Although I’m not actually blind, nor is Predle, and I like to spread joy to the whole community with my renditions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bird, and Santa, Beaky… I would have thought that such mere creatures as Moochkin and Predlemus would have been delighted, nay, overwhelmed with the opportunity to see one so glorious and golden as myself performing on their paltry blind club stage, but I have met with opposition in the past. I can assure you, retribution was dealt, and swiftly so. Who can tell what tonight shall bring. I’ve heard rumours, and one must hope they only stay at that, that there is to be some sort of hideous play, featuring Mr Pumpkin…

I must be off. I have feathers to preen, both black and gold. I shall write again soon.

Toodles.

Ben