The news recently has all been very depressing. In these harsh economic times, it is difficult to ask people to donate to good causes. However, though the mountains divide, and the oceans are wide it's a small world after all - so I hope you will all be good neighbours.
Today is, of course, Comic Relief Day. With all the disasters around the world, not the easiest time to be raising money, but they do a lot of good work for our neighbours in Great Britain and Africa so do your bit if you can, here: http://www.comicrelief.com/
Talking of being neighbourly, the TV reality series "Love Thy Neighbour" has caused almost as outrage as the furore over Midswinter Moiders.
In this series people compete to win a two bedroom flat in Afghan Flats. And it's the existing residents of Afghan Flats who get to decide who wins the prize.
Not much of a prize. Afghan Flats is the highest tower and my Aunt, Evelyn Maidy, lives there. It is not a very nice neighbourhood. It’s full of thousands of dwarfs of the most cross and irritable disposition. She only lives there because she loves domineering over the dwarfs. The tower has a spiral lift – rather like an ordinary lift but keeps going round and round. The dwarfs are a truculent lot and don't really like anyone.Typically, the production company appear to have chosen contestants that ensured that none of the tenants will be spared the opportunity to air any latent prejudices.
First up was a badger family - everyone knows of the running feud between dwarfs and badgers. Beer bottle resting on his belly, one dwarf pronounced that, “T’aint the place for ’em. Thar's nowhere for him to dig.”
There is also a family of Crookball people. "Bloomin' hippies!" commented one particularly miserable dwarf. "What they go to be so happy about? Goin' around with flowers in their hair and singin' - they get on my bloomin' wick!"
An aspiring bourgeoisie family of dwarfs fared no better. Their insistence on walking on stilts all the time, to increase their height, inflamed the locals. "Full of airs and graces - they look down on us because they think they are taller! - thar just bloomin' sticks of wood, that's all!" declared one irate dwarf.
Beaver Hateman has even competed - although this seems to be purely so that he can espouse his revolutionary politics. He tried bribing the tenants with jugs of Black Tom - but the dwarfs are too canny to fall for that. They got drunk and then burnt out the flat.
The gorilla did not seem bothered about the fact that the flat was now all black and sooty. I think he might win - because all the dwarfs are scared of him.