Omar's Diary to 1st November 2019
Ich bin European - for a while longer
Last night, 31st October 2019, the country was meant to have left the European Union (EU) but that departure date has been deferred until 31st January 2020.
This change in circumstances has brought me some temporary relief from my concerns about potential supply chain issues for any food or medications that are imported for felines. It is very difficult to tell where my favourite food, Dreamies, is imported from as the labeling is very unclear. Unlike the food the Servants buy which clearly states the country of origin. I look forward to continuing uninterrupted supplies for the next three months.
I recently received my information pack from UNICEF and Paddington Bear. Included in the personal package was a map of the world on which I can follow Paddington’s progress on his travels. He is going to send me, Omar Russell, regular postcards from wherever he goes. I am excitedly waiting for his first postcard.
Man Servant is not the most practical of his species. It has taken over a week since the package was received to mount it on the wall of the office he shares with me. It has pride of place above my feed station.
I do enjoy receiving post through the letter box here at Omar Towers from Aberdeen, Parliament or Downing Street. They really make my day when I receive an envelope addressed to me.
I would urge all of you to take just a few minutes to send someone you know a letter or postcard. It may seem out of place , even a bit 'analogue' in this world of digital communications but it is important to keep the art of letter writing alive. If your card or letter gives as much pleasure as I have when I receive one; then I know your own efforts will not be in vain even if the appreciation is silent.
Earlier this week the ‘servants’, and that is what they really are, referred to as ‘politicians’ decided there should be a General Election. The results of this democratic process will ultimately decide who Larry’s, the resident Downing Street feline, prime servant will be. How unsettling all these changes of servants must be for him as he has had to endure the appointment and induction of two different ones in slightly less than three years. What must also be upsetting for him is that he has no say in who his new servant will be. So, servants who are able to vote it is vitally important that you do so. Remember to choose whom you think will look after Larry to the highest of standards. And try to vote for a servant who will be there for more than just a few months.
Larry needs stability.
It would be enough to make me scream with all of the changes that have happened and will continue to happen for Larry.
Earlier today there was an influx of new reading material into Omar Towers. Lady Servant returned from her travels and brought back ‘The New York Review of Books’.
The first book review Man Servant and I read through was three magazine sized pages long and written. I am afraid that due to the level of detail this and all the other reviews in this publication, Man Servant and I have only managed to read one. The book reviewed written by an American servant designated as a ‘Colonel’. When he was working he acquired the acronym ‘CHAOS’ which stood for ‘Colonel Has Another Outstanding Solution’.
‘FHAOS’ for ‘Feline Has Another Outstanding Solution’? It does not quite have the same kudos as 'CHAOS'. There is no such word as 'FHAOS' so I will have to accept ‘Cat Has Another Outstanding Solution’ or 'CHAOS' as appropriate should the right moment arise. This review did make Man Servant reach for the dictionary once or twice as all good writing should.
The New European, in which I appeared earlier this year on the leader page, carries a piece on the back page by a servant named ‘Will Self’. His caricature portrays him as a rather lanky, languorous and lugubrious individual. He explains how research from the early 20th century that showed how cultures moved across Europe rather more freely than servants over the last four to five thousand years ago. He then seamlessly linked that piece of anthropology to how jars of Marmite, that most British of epicurean idiosyncrasies have found their way onto the shelves of shops of German and French supermarkets. I expect the labelling on Marmite clearly shows the country of origin unlike Dreamies.
These two tabloid sized publications will be enough to keep us both amused over what promises to be a very wet weekend.
My Servants bought ‘Cats in The Belfry’ as they thought the pictures on the dust cover and throughout the book of felines bore a slight resemblance to me. They are very close but only insofar as they are pictures of Siamese and not Tonkinese felines. The Siamese line is from a very long way back, part of the Tonkinese line in the same way as with servants whose European lines can be traced back to ‘their hinterland in the Asian steppes’ (Will Self).
Here is the cover of the book for you to decide on any similarities.
This book is Lady Servant’s much looked forward to next read.
Once Man Servant can tear himself away from the newspapers and magazines his next ‘looked forward to read’ will be the book pictured. He is a great fan of Virginia Woolf, whom I believe kept felines at her homes in Hogarth House in Richmond, Tavistock Square and at Monk’s House in Sussex. I am sure she was a very kind servant to her felines.
It was while at Hogarth House 100 years ago today that she wrote in her diary:
'Never have I been so pressed with reviewing. I think I might slack off…….’
I would like to believe that she was being as conscientious and forensic in the review she was preparing as the writer in The New York Review of Books. And that while she worked she kept the company of at least one very erudite feline.