Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The Earmouse-Diamond

I have shirked my usual indecisiveness and made a decision. Well, sort of. Okay - it's less of a decision and more of a realisation. Fine - I haven't made a decision after-all.

I have, however, reached the conclusion that I really should stop making up imaginary scenario's like the one with the dog the other day. I've noticed that I'm a bit like Billy Connolly (not randomly, there is a particular point of similarity.) He gets confused between the parts of his act he has embellished, and the things that actually did happen. Like the Big Yin, I too have a terrible memory and a vivid imagination - and am starting to refer to the MENSA dog as if he were actually real, and did indeed eat my test score. I even worry about writing that: "he ate my score." How do I know it was a he? Dogs are generally referred to as 'boy' and cats as 'girl' - so I suppose I am guilty of nothing more than being stereotypical. Then I remember that I'm agonising over the sex of an imaginary dog, whose gender never has - and never will - be pertinent to anything.

I sometimes wonder if other people's minds question ridiculous things like this, and they just have the sense not to admit it.

Another thing I wouldn't admit is being related to the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Sir Osman Ali Kahn. His full name is much longer than that. His full title is:

Asaf Jah VII (General His Exalted Highness Rustam-i-Dauran, Arustu-i-Zaman, Wal Mamaluk, Asaf Jah VII, Muzaffar ul-Mamaluk, Nizam ul-Mulk, Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Osman 'Ali Khan Bahadur, Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, Faithful Ally of the British Government GCSI. GBE).

Well - I might admit it if it stood me any chance of inheriting part of the £30m of his estate that has been revealed to have lain in British bank accounts since his death in 1967. I would want to play down any family resemblance as much as possible though, as his eccentricities even overshadowed mine.

I talk about inane, slightly bonkers things that have very little effect on the world, but a profound affect on the perception of my sanity. He knitted his own socks. Now, I have told a couple of people that tid-bit of trivia, and not a single one of them has believed that I wasn't making it up. If Natasha Kaplinski said it, you'd believe her. I don't suppose Natasha Kaplinski ever told you they'd discovered a new kind of 'furry' dolphin though. Or asked you what you thought would be the preferred piercing for that mouse with an ear on its back. (Dangly earrings from the lobe would be impractical as the lobe faces up, so I think the only sensible course would be studs on lobe or tragus, or a cuff in the crease.) I've sidetracked myself with vermin-jewellery and can't remember what I was telling you about...

...Diamonds. That was it. Or had I not got to that bit yet? I really should read this thing back sometimes.

Right: the wealthy eccentric. Sir Osman Ali Kahn.

Once, he was informed that mice had ruined £3m in banknotes in one of his vaults. He apparently "shrugged off the loss." Okay, so he didn't miss the cash...but if I were he, I'd still want to know what the mice wanted the money for. (Anyone who says 'earrings' will just be taking the piss.)

When King Edward VIII visited him in 1922, he arranged for the King's chamber-pot lid to play the National Anthem when it opened. In the 1920's, that was considered a tasteless faux pas. Nowadays they'd have it in Buckingham Palace's gift shop, with a photo of Prince Phillip's head at the bottom like those baby bowls I used to have featuring Beatrix Potter.

So - he was a bit mad - but he had certain priorities right. He loved gemstones and jewellery. During his lifetime, his 173-piece jewellery collection (valued at £2bn) was guarded by Eunuchs. I may be being thick here, but I don't see the significance of employing Eunuchs in this context. I understood why Eunuchs would be stationed as the only male guards of the Courtesans - but having complete genitalia is no threat to a necklace. I suppose because there was a trend for it, the government was under pressure to create more jobs. Equal access and all that. Quite forward thinking of him, really. Though I still prefer the Beefeater we have guarding our crown jewels. (Thinking about it - having Eunuchs guarding the 'crown jewels' is not very tactful. I bet that joke would wear pretty thin if they were doing that job in today's tourist industry.)

He is also said to have owned enough pearls to pave Piccadilly Circus, and - most importantly - he owned the Jacob diamond. One of the largest and most beautiful diamonds in existence, it was the size of an egg, and weighed 184.70 carats. It was worth about £50 Million. It is ranked the seventh-largest diamond in the world. Did he display it? No. Did he give it to the knob-less jobs-worth's to guard? No. He wrapped it in newspaper and used it as a paperweight. Perhaps the novelty wore off a little, with him having so many glorious gemstones (though I've collected on a very small, very low-budget way for years and not found that to be true of myself.)

I think that treating such a breathtaking jewel with such incredible disregard is unforgivable in any circumstances, however.

The Jacob Diamond (Formerly the Victoria Diamond)



I'm not quite sure how mice cropped up so often in this entry, but feel the main one deserves some credit too.

The Vacanti Mouse


Oddly, while searching for the photograph of the earmouse, I have just seen an advertisement on Dave (the channel, not the bloke) for Cobra beer - asking, "why is there not a mouse flavoured cat-food?" Why ISN'T there a mouse-flavoured cat-food? They have rabbit, duck, beef, liver, chicken, prawn, tuna and cod. Cod are endangered. Even people are being told not to eat cod. Mice on the other hand, are not nearly endangered, and would surely be a more environmentally practical choice than cod or tuna. How many cats would eat Tuna in the wild anyway? Without us they'd never get the tin open, and they hate water so they'd never catch any.

...So long as we weren't expected to feed them live mice. I couldn't do that. I felt bad enough when the cat caught one a few weeks ago, and then the dog tried to eat the corpse. It was only a cute little thing. Harmless really.

Maybe there shouldn't be mouse-flavoured cat-food after all. Maybe I shouldn't watch adverts either.

There. I did make a decision. Almost.

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