Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Sad News

Following my last post, I regret to inform you all that Mr Hugo Ball-Rat has died. For a beautifully written account of his brief, but immeasurable life look no further than the obituary my good lady wrote this morning. I simply could not have put it better than she did, so I shall not really attempt to.

This morning our loveliest, most beautiful friend died.

He'd been struggling with myco for a few months and had lost his appetite and become thin and weak. We had his carrycase open in the bed with us last night incase he needed to come out for a cuddle and he kept me awake for most of the night with his insistence on nesting in my hair or on my face. I realise now that he was probably just trying to get comfortable. David woke me at half 5, Hugo was lying still in between us, making a funny noise. I picked him up and we talked to him and slowly he just stopped breathing.

We both feel so lucky to have had Hugo and although he'd only been with us for a bit over a year it honestly feels like we've always had him. He taught us so much about himself and his wonderful species, but most importantly the value of every tiny scrap of life. I did not know that it was possible to love a creature so small so much and I'm certain that we will always love him and we will enjoy our memories of him for the rest of our lives.

A few months ago, when he was fit and healthy, Hugo was our alpha and he was the most kind and gentle alpha any human or rat could hope for. He welcomed new rats into the group without the slightest fuss and if there was a fight he was always there incase it got out of hand(/paw). He was always busy; making nests, grooming the other rats, pottering around and making sure everything was in order. He was always first in line for cuddles, licking fingers and faces, cleaning out fingernails and combing David's beard with his tiny hands. It's such a shame that we never got to see him grow into the fine old beast he clearly was inside.

I don't believe in little ratty heaven or the rainbow bridge or anything like that, I believe that his soul (although I'm not sure I believe in that either), all of the little invisible bits of him which made him so full of life are out there now in the soil, helping all of the trees to will out their buds and fruits in time for summer.

So we're trying, in every way possible, to say goodbye to our wonderful, charming Hugo. Ambassador for rats, my great big chunk'o'hunk, Mr Hugo Ball-Rat.

I felt, despite Sian saying it all for me already, that I must at least try to remember Hugo in my own words. Greatly inspired by what she wrote in the penultimate paragraph of his obituary, I seem to have ended up with this:

An Earthbound Titter
In Memory of Mr Hugo Ball-Rat

See w/his eye the sound of one hand tapping as he makes his way from hither to a bed of deep & scattered soils. Touch w/delicate threads a-twitchin' all that smells - the kind of joy one gets from company [warm in its place, bright in its face]. Make no fuss.

Who am I to make off with your smiles this mourning? I'm no toothy cad nor bounder, no clickity govt. ball-point scratching! Wigglies of the crumbling earth are a most welcoming bunch, I'll have you know. Roots dig down & embrace my life, my gleam, my all that all that & take it. The airs above are clamouring for branches. Who am I to stash & hoard my faltering breath?

Taste w/his nose that delicate, refreshing brew - it sings faint goodbyes as best it bloody can. Smell & hear w/his big top ear and four fine hand that never will the thought decay - locked as it is, a magic lantern laughing landslide [earthbound, without a sound]. That'll do.

I'd like to finish this post by including a few more poems written by the more prolific of our four fine beasts, Krindle (a.k.a. E. D. Rinkl) and The Baron. I know Olchar was considering organising a medicinal reading of the rat poem I posted last time. Perhaps, should he still feel inclined, a memorial reading of a few of these rat poems could take place instead. I'm sure our Hugo would delight in such an event.


x D M3X\'+*

⁃ 7F EJ-U

KKKJ5`5B F\M\[= V

The Bar Bar Baron - 23/07/07

t, v 7u

E. D. Rinkl 02/12/07

79 9
gkkkkkkkkkkn mm``
i` m
[p bu,bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb,,uj90 `

i 98

E. D. Rinkl and The Bar Bar Baron 16/12/07

Mr Hugo Ball-Rat, 2007-2008. RI bloody P.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Mr Hugo Ball-Rat is unwell.

His face is puffy like it's all dough or something. His hairs are perpendicular and twitching with every laborious breath. Tomorrow he shall be prodded and tutted at and hopefully prescribed with some sort of salve, unguent or other medicament which may enable him to fully recover from his current wretched afflictions. Until then, however, I propose that he be soothed with the careful application of medicinal poetry. You can help by reading aloud or quietly to yourself the following stanzas, which Mr Hugo himself contributed towards along with his three fine cagemates.

98 0000 0000000000000000§q2222qqwq
jh ff
fd 7ykly
gkk'],.ccu gv
. bn? R666d€€€€€
g g ,,i0km

mcl,o'cmnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn¨ uuyyb.w.,gh gj ]0
,n/" mcm
un jyh6 6
]444nhhf ,jjjjgg

We wish you a speedy and majestic recovery, Mr Hugo Ball-Rat. Sniff sniff.

In other matters, Ellie and I shot some great footage of our somewhat successful performance in Plymouth the other night. I'll transfer the footage onto a computer and get it all uploaded and whatnot just as soon as I am able.

Mind you, that might be ages. Ah well.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The Red Aype Project

According to the flyer below, Ellie and I are part of this.

We shall, if all goes as planned, be attempting to extract a small quantity of honey from a bag of plain flour, according to instructions laid out by a notorious Elizabethan loony who we may or may not have entirely made up. Will our plans succeed or shall our efforts be entirely for nought? Do try to come along and find out. There's a lot of other fine people performing. You never know, it just might be good.

Also, I have included in this post, for the pleasure of your eyes and nostrils, two sample pages from my upcoming new batch of poems "A Body of Water (and a mind of silt)". It'll be ready for the having of as soon as I've finished it.

Vim vom vurm, etc:

Try saying this one splat style. It's funner that way: