Monday, 24 September 2007

April fool

And then I checked. It's September. So I looked again at the Guardian weekend colour supplement, and yes, there really was a two page article (sadly no links to the actual thing) complete with photograph, encouraging you to run backwards with your neck twisted askew in a feeble attempt to stop you from running under a bus, into a grimacing parent with a pushchair and ten carrier bags (sensibly not plastic, must be hessian or linen) or into a lamppost. Apart from the assured bad neck, plentiful bruises and worse, I couldn't get my head round the benefits because I just couldn't take it seriously. I look forward to the letters page next Saturday.
So I hunt down the latest on Foot and Mouth on the Defra website and bang, there is a warning about some disease I've never heard of with a name that sadly yanks the bells on the April Fool's hat; Bluetongue. This is the first time this disease has ever been recorded in the UK. On top of Foot and Mouth it seems rather careless of some straying biting virus-riddled midge that some new notifiable disease has appeared at this time; you might be forgiven for imagining that we are tumbling into a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare.
Foot and Mouth scares are starting to emerge outside of Surrey. Those in Norfolk and Solihull have thankfully come to nothing, but now there is another in Hampshire and you can't blame farmers if they start to feel distinctly nervous that the Surrey boundary will not contain the disease for much longer. Rather than limbo, perhaps we are perched in purgatory.


Flowerpot said...

That was my reaction when i heard about Bluetongue - what the hell...? I am so sorry for yuo and all your colleagues, Mopsa. Must be such a terrible time.

gastropunk said...

People running backwards is something you might expect to see in a Bosch painting.

The parallel between blue tongue and the recent visit of dear Maggie to No10 is nicely drawn in this Guardian cartoon -,,1284262,00.html

Mopsa said...

Thank you FP.
Gastrop - also have a look at for a great photographic amalgam of thatcher and brown in relation to bluetongue disease.