Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Beans Upon Toast, Little England

A Brief History of the

People's Republic of Thursleydale

and Beans Upon Toast

The Republic of Thursley Dale, Up North, Little England, near Europe

Time has nearly stood still for generations in Thursleydale, the district being self-sufficient to a remarkable degree, and enclosed by hills and the Irish Sea. Until recently, that is.

Tourists bent on visiting Thursleydale's charming rolling hills and the flower strewn valley of the River Toast often threaten to give up in despair upon realising that all the road signs are unreliable, indeed some of them rotate freely on their white wooden poles on a windy day, like disoriented windmills, or ambitious, dishonest politicians in a land stuck in the swamp of disproportionate misrepresentation.

The cautious potential visitor realises that not only is it difficult to enter the place, it may well prove impossible to find their way out.
The mayor, Idi Admin, was born in The Republic of Thursleydale, in the maternity hospital in Bunne in the Auvergne in the foothills of the Northern Thursleydale Moor.

He has spent all his life in Thursleydale, apart from August, of course, when everyone decamps to the coast. He has made a note to improve the road signs but they've never been fixed, because the workmen can't find them, owing to the lack of accurate directions - like, for example, road signs...

The River Toast

To picture the district in all its charm it is best to start at the eastern extremity where the Northern Moor meets the Southern Hills.

This area is the origin of the River Toast - a central feature of the lives of Thursleydalers, except of course the big city types of Campsite by the Sea.

The Campsitians could care less where their food comes from, so long as it arrives.

The Toast begins life as many small springs and ditches, some of which come to naught and sink below ground, like inspired ideas in the mind of an inebriated body.

Most of them persevere, join up and become streams, all heading west - more or less - in search of the sea.

  The streams spend their innocent youth as waterfalls, lakes and pools; meandering, rushing and what have you before they settle down to married life as the River Toast.

Every winter the River Toast floods and the upper plain of the Thursleydale river valley benefits, gaining silt, minerals, leaves, dead starlings and such, all of which adds to the fertility.

Beans Upon Toast

Come Spring, much of the region is planted with beans, huge crops result, and the beans are loaded onto rafts at the riverside town of Beans Upon Toast and sent downstream towards the dairy farms and their grateful, somewhat flatulent Friesian cows.

Cheese Upon Toast & Dunghill on the Wold

Great convoys of rafts travel down the Toast in late summer.

Not only beans, but timber from the forests for the dairy farming community and the city slickers of Campsite by the Sea.

What planning!

What fortune!

What common sense!

 The rafts of beans and timber arrive at precisely the time when the previous summer’s glut of milk has matured into the famous Vintage Thursleydale Cheese.

The beans are hauled off the rafts, the huge cheeses are rolled on, and the good people (also the slightly dodgy ones) of the riverside town of Cheese Upon Toast (cheese makers) and Dunghill on the Wold (dairy farmers) gain a fair amount of Thursleydale florins from the merchants, conshoomers and whatnot of Campsite by the Sea.

Well, the tale is nearly told.

Rafts of timber, cheese, adventurous Cheese Upon Toasters and a few spilled beans arrive at Campsite by the Sea and the people rejoice, especially the merchants. Long live August, they chant ...

Life in the Republic was thus for decades and nearly thus for centuries. And then, suddenly, it wasn't ...

Present day Thursleydale

Boris and Doris Jonson are making their daily round trip of 130 miles to a favourite sweet shop. They always set out with the best intentions - buy sweets then come home. But having bought the sweets, they feel mysteriously disappointed, so also purchase a large bottle of vodka (for Boris) and gin (for Doris).

Their kindly neighbour, Agnes Weekly (sister in law of Agnes Daily of Smogdale) has tried to subtly suggest more healthy habits with less carbon footprint, but Boris explains, every time, that if they don't spend their considerable joint income, they will lose their rent rebate, council tax rebate and other perks.

Agnes, with an income slightly less than 10 percent of theirs, doesn't struggle to make ends meet.

When Boris and Doris came home, they found a cheque for fifteen pounds in their mail... So they went shopping again, this time to the local garden centre.

'Agnes,' said Boris. 'can I borrow your spade when we get home? We're going out to buy a garden.'

Agnes looked a bit puzzled.

'yes. I thought you were going to buy a spade,' she replied. 'couldn't you make a garden?'

'we've spent out this week, again. What do you mean, make?'

Agnes smiled sweetly, having learnt the technique from her sister in law.

Boris and Doris drove away and Agnes completed inflating the rear tyre of her bicycle, checked the fixings on the basket and set off to the local shop.

She cycled along her narrow road, both pavements full of parked cars, praying that no traffic would appear before she reached the junction. Her prayer was rewarded and she turned left around the pub carpark onto the main road.

The terminally idle were apparently drunk, again, and proclaiming their hatred for the 'idle'
migrant labour who grew all the fruit and veg on ~10% of the farm land.

Machines 15 feet high carrying grass to cows, then carrying their poo back to the fields, we're making the roads unsafe for Agnes.

modern life satire. Pawel Kuczinski
modern life satire

After less than a minute she reached a small muddy path that led through young trees, wild flowers and ponds and considered herself blessed.

She paused to listen to the birdsong.

High above was a lark...

Unlike many of the bewilderbeasts below, the lark, realising where it is, flies as high as possible, and SINGS

Copyright Peter Fairbrother pjf.org.uk @pjforguk

Tags: climate change, fiction, satire, short satire stories, funny, nature, paradise

1 comment :

  1. One story, one poem - looks like a fresh start.

    The poem is in the process of becoming much longer ...


comments welcome; spam is deleted :)