First off, the exploding caterpillars. This hit the Beeb and the Telegraph, so it must be true. The Torygraph headlines its story ‘”Zombie virus”outbreak causes caterpillars to explode’ That’s going to get your attention, isn’t it? It sure got mine. Lots of people don’t like caterpillars, and nobody in their right mind likes zombies. Even zombies don’t like zombies. Certainly Dr Chris Miller of a northern nature reserve doesn’t.
He’s discovered that Baculovirus is infecting oak eggar caterpillars. Instead of hiding away from sunlight like normal caterpillars*, they climb to the top of plants, the body contents liquefy, and the body explodes. Sounds more like Scanners to me than it does like zombies, but I’m not a mosslands manager**, so what do I know.
Then we had HRH Prince Philip, aka Phil the Greek, who retired from official duties this week. The old boy is 96, and has had 20 odd thousand public engagements, so I can see he might feel ready to just spend a bit of time pottering in the garden and shouting at the serfs.
I actually have a sneaky liking for the old buffer. He’s made some exceptional gaffs in his time, and Private Eye had a long running column about him back in the 70s. One classic line was Anne was with Foggy in the Palace when they heard a crashing sound.
“‘What bloody fool left his bloody filthy shitty riding boots there?’
‘It was her father.’”
Yes, I have a liking and some respect for him even if we can’t stop paying him now, which we should do, shouldn’t we? On the other hand I have no time at all for Kanye West, who’s a wanker of the very highest order.
He’s suing Lloyd’s of London for the costs of cancelling 23 shows on his Life of Pablo tour. This is the tour he cancelled when his weed-induced paranoia and attendant mental instability put him in hospital after he’d begged fellow rapper*** Jay-Z not to have him killed. He’s a TFF supporter too, which speaks volumes.
I’m sure this is just a coincidence, but it was revealed recently he’d been a bit incautious with his moolah, and has dropped a packet in various dealings. Completely unconnected to his company’s claim that Lloyd’s have received ‘bounteous premiums’ but is reluctant (not altogether unreasonably) to shell the cash. Purely fortuitous. That synchronicity lark is a bugger.
*Apart from the cabbage whites that used to ravage my brassicas when I still had a garden. They’d rampage around in full sunshine quite happily.
**That’s a job title you don’t hear very often.
***with a capital C