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Fish Obsession

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I’ve actually written two entries recently that you haven’t read. The first was swallowed up somewhere in the diaryland oesophagus. I wrote it, confirmed it and updated and it wasn’t there. Of course, I hadn’t kept a copy of my writings and it seems a bit much to write the whole thing again, so I’ll just fill you in by telling you that Friday’s was humorous and informative, with a tang of lemon. Tuesday’s was probably less humorous, but a little more informative, with a topping of cream cheese and chives, but Bill Gates ate it. Yes, of course I was writing it at lunchtime, left it half-done and went out to make a phone call and when I returned, Microshaft Updates had restarted my laptop. So there you go. The two I’ve written that you haven’t read. Some day in 78 years time, when I’m ridiculously famous (you know… when people say

  • “Charles Dickens”
  • “Who?”
  • “You know the writer that was almost as good as Moosehunter”
  • “Oh, him!”)

Anyway… someday in the future, those lost entries will suddenly turn up in someone’s garage and be sold to a collector for a ton of gold bars and a bag of shrimp or something (coz obviously that far in the future shellfish will have overtaken the pound sterling as British currency).

I feel I am waffling somewhat.


Today we must celebrate that great event in 1881. I feel we’d best let a resident of Worcester (Mrs Millward of Bromyard Road) describe it herself:

“I was  8 or 9 at the time. There was an awful storm. When we left school in the afternoon, as soon as we heard what had happened, we ran there and picked up shell fish, putting them in our pinafores. They were alive and sodden with water, making our clean pinafores wet and dirty. Mother said they were snails. There was much talk about it at the time. They were chiefly on the Oldbury road. They were all over the road, the banks were full of them, and they extended over the hedges into the gardens. They began about where Laugherne Road now is, continuing along Oldbury Road to Comer Gardens corner. It was a sight! There seemed to be tons of them”

Yes, this is the story of 28th May 1881 when a storm of periwinkles fell on Worcester.

Charles Fort (who you might know of and who was clearly a seventh grade member of the Banana Brain club) had the following to say about the event:

“Upon May 28th, 1881, near the city of Worcester, England, a fishmonger, with a procession of carts, loaded with several kinds of crabs and periwinkles, and with a dozen energetic assistants, appeared at a time when nobody on a busy road was looking. The fishmonger and his assistants grabbed sacks of periwinkles, and ran in a frenzy, slinging the things into fields on both sides of the road. They raced to gardens, and some assistants, standing on the shoulders of other assistants, had sacks lifted to them, and dumped sacks over the high walls. Meanwhile other assistants, in a dozen carts, were furiously shovelling out periwinkles, about a mile along the road. Also, meanwhile, several boys were busily mixing in crabs. They were not advertising anything. Above all there was secrecy. The cost must have been hundreds of dollars. They appeared without having been seen on the way, and they melted away equally mysteriously. There were houses all around, but nobody saw them.”

You see Fort was a man who sought to explain the unexplainable. And for some reason he found it easier to believe in a massive secret fish delivery by a mad shopkeeper than, say, a waterspout which I believe is the usual explanation for such.

Moosehunter’s explanation: Tibetan Monks, driven mad by the constant gongs of nine-ton bells and the rattle of thousands of perpetual prayer-wheels, sought to drown Worcester in fish, since Worcester was once a manufacturing centre for bells. If they hadn’t been caught and jolly-well admonished by the Illuminati, they would have gone on to bury other bell and wheel producing towns in fresh green vegetables, rubber gloves and old socks.

Well it’s at least as believable as Fort’s explanation. If you feel like taking a step off the reality ladder into the deepest tracts of weirdville, the following is a link to an online version of Fort’s book. Read it and weep…


As for the world of the Moosehunter, I shall not be updating for a week since this afternoon myself and Mrs M will be on the first leg of our journey to Istanbul (not Constantinople). I am very much looking forward to visiting Istanbul (not Constantinople) which is one of at least four capitals of the Roman Empire. I’ve done Rome several times. Now it’s time for Istanbul (not Constantinople) and at some point in the distant future I will have to visit Trier and Ravenna to collect the set. Looking forward to Efes beer, Mosques, Byzantine architecture, Raki, proper kebabs (rather than slices of Elephant’s leg in chilli sauce), proper Turkish Delight (rather than the pink rubber wrapped in chocolate that passes for it in England.) oooh am I looking forward to Istanbul (not Constantinople)…

See you in a week.



Written by SJAT

January 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

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