Saturday, 13 December 2008
One Step Forwards, Two Steps Back
To mark the anniversary of the dispersal of the Russian Constituent Assembly by weary but armed proletarians in 1918, No Good Boyo and I like to exchange gifts as a sign of our reciprocal respect for me.
Each year we take turns in presenting a gift to our daughter Arianrhod. Two years ago I left Boyo to his own devices, and have rued doing so with every blast on the little mite's specially-adapted Alpenhorn.
This year I suggested the distance-adoption of an animal. This would sidestep looming demands for a neglected pet of our own, and go a little way to overcome my regret at not applying for that job running donkey sanctuaries in one of the more inbred parts of England.
Imagine my delight when Boyo announced that he had adopted a Bengal tiger on Arianrhod's behalf, via the admirably unsentimental World Wildlife Fund.
With much less effort one can also imagine my reaction when Boyo wrote to the Fund asking whether for an extra "tenner" Arianrhod would have "first crack" at the said tiger when she reached "blooding age".
"A rug! A rug!" squealed my daughter on receipt of a photographic print of the beast.
The Sun may have set on the British Empire, but the occasional shadow still flits across my conservatory.