Corncrakes…. Pomp & Circumstance…..

by Bernie Bell - 07:30 on 13 September 2022


We were talking with one of our neighbours who told us that he recently saw a Corncrake with 4 young ones walking down his driveway!  He thinks maybe she was nesting in the wild bit next to his veg. patch – which is the kind of habitat that a Corncrake might favour – long tufty grass, and there’s a hedge around it which provides shelter – a pretty good place to nest and  raise your chicks.

On hearing this news another neighbour said he thought he’d  heard a Corncrake one morning recently, but then thought he must hearing things!  I don’t blame him – it doesn’t seem likely, as they are in trouble.

We’ll be looking, and listening, out for them.  We heard one when we were visiting Uist, but neither of us has seen one.


I don’t want to give anyone ideas, but can’t resist this….https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/11/26/first-catch-your-blackbird-thrush-or-corncrake/

In ‘Timothy’s Book’  http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=15831  Verlyn Klinkenborg also writes of people cooking Corncrake – aka Landrail…..as well as a couple of other species of birds which are now un-common.  Different times….

“Mr. Gilbert White finds the ring ousel, when dressed for the table, ‘well-tasted, & juicy, & in high condition for plumpness.’  Bittern shot in a shrub-wood tastes like teal, though not so delicate.  Intestines covered with fat.  Bird that goes ‘crex, crex’ in wet meadows and bean fields – a land rail – turns out fat and tender. Flavoured like the flesh of a woodcock, with a large and delicate liver.”

We were very  pleased to hear about this local sighting, not only because we like the idea of having  Corncrakes nearby, but also because these are breeding Corncrakes and this sighting might, just might mean that they are extending their territories a bit again.


Pomp & Circumstance

I’m thinking about this royalty malarky. Not surprisingly.

As the Queen of England has died, all else has disappeared from public awareness – floods in Bangladesh – the Russians backing off  (Yay!) - cost of everything crisis, the mis-demeanours of That Man,  etc. etc. etc.

There will be a funeral, and a Bank Holiday - Mike will get a much needed day off. Can’t complain about that.

Then there will be a Coronation - an opportunity  for the Monarchy  to show off all the jewels and gold which they either stole from nations which they colonised, or gained by what amounted to slave labour - diamonds are not a miner’s best friend.

I had an idea - that Charlie could say – ‘Right then, what my Coronation would have cost will instead go to help the people of this nation who are struggling to live, and some of it will go to Bangladesh – we screwed them enough when they were part of India, we can now give them something back.’

Even if he wanted to he probably wouldn’t be allowed – so much for the true power of the Monarchy.  And - if he did take that course of action, ironically enough he would be very unpopular as The Public love that sorta thing – pomp & circumstance - very little real substance behind it now - just show. 

They love it though,  want to see it and will watch it on their telly or Smartphone while not being able to pay their heating bills.  Beer and circuses. 

Then – there will be an investiture of the Prince of Wales, a title which is included among the British Royalty to remind the Welsh to know their place. To paraphrase Alec Ross’….. ‘Now eat your porridge”….Now eat your laverbread.

I’d almost forgotten about the Duke of Edinburgh – the last Duke of Edinburgh lasted so long, but I suppose there will be a new Duke of Edinburgh to remind the Scots to know their place and …eat their porridge.

And all this will be carried out by people dressed up in bizarre clothing and using anachronistic modes of expression - if the the Proclamation of King Charles III is anything to go by……“ Heralds and Pursuivants of Scotland”.   I looked up pursuivants – an officer of the College of Arms ranking below a herald. The four ordinary pursuivants are Rouge Croix, Bluemantle, Rouge Dragon, and Portcullis.”  Eh?

A nation which is now a laughing stock to the world due to what has happened in recent years will bring out all its panoply of glitz to try to impress – and gawd ‘elp us all – many will be impressed.

I hope that just as many will be appalled, and question this non-sense happening in these times.  I doubt it – but I hope it.






To quote The Manic Street Preachers…”If you tolerate this, then your children will be next…”

A possible solution…….  https://twitter.com/nmacpherson2/status/1569068539948208128/photo/1

I hope I don’t get arrested for posting this – I’m not a well person – would that matter these days?


Here’s one I made earlier, about something real, which works.….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/05/19/orkney-mills/


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