Our latest episode of Nicky Tams the King of Nosepipe,
as told by Gordon Thorburn and illustrated by myself
It was usually muesli for the poor wee lamb.
Nicky Tams looked at the muesli jar. It was a special, very good for you sort of muesli, specially mixed by the Royal Special Muesli Mixing Herald Pursuivant. It had large quantities of sharp bits, blended carefully with hard bits and chewy bits and stick-between-your-teeth bits, all together with loads of round, flat, floury tasteless bits.
Nicky Tams was allowed no salt or sugar, but he found that if he poured apple juice on his muesli, let it soak and then added masses of raspberry yoghurt (virtually fat free) he could just about manage to eat a couple of spoonsful of this remarkably healthy food.
Of course, he was then so hungry all morning that he was entirely unable to resist the chocolate bars, crisps and fizzy pop which the other children sold to him at playtime, but that’s healthy eating for you.
With the muesli he was permitted a glass of skimmed milk. There was also wholemeal toast, and he might have eaten some of that except he was only allowed to spread on it that shiny yellow slidy stuff out of a plastic tub, which tastes like they’ve added water to some old cooking oil after it’s been in the chip pan for six months.
Saturdays were better, when he could have bread and dripping, and on Sundays and birthdays he had real butter and jam.
This morning, this fateful morning, this utmostly historical morning, King Nicky Tams’s eye wandered while he mused over the muesli jar. At first the jostling and shouting outside his breakfast-room window meant nothing. Then, as his eyes came into focus and he saw Tracy and lots of other people charging about and giving orders, he had a blinding flash across his brain.
Today’s breakfast, he was astonished to realise, would be his last in Nosepipe for some considerable time. Possibly, it might even be his last breakfast FOR EVER MORE!!!
Once again he surveyed the breakfast table. His nose wrinkled and his lip curled. With a defiant swagger he walked across the Royal carpet, opened the Royal window, and chucked the entire contents of the jar of Royal muesli outside for the birds.
Back at the table he smiled a small smile and rang his little silver bell. When the Footwoman came (all the Footmen had been recruited into the army), King Nicky Tams made an announcement.
“This might be my last breakfast. So, bring me as follows to my Royal Menu Command and don’t argue.
Scrambled eggs made with lots of butter, cream and salt
Chips, and a new large bottle of tomato ketchup.
“And to drink I will have a chocolate milk shake, made with proper milk.”
The Footwoman stood, nonplussed.
“And furthermore,” continued the King, now well into his stride, “I shall also have some hot floury baps, white bread, with real butter and honey. Got that?”
It came, he ate it, and it was good. Very good.
Tracy the Prime Minister arrived as he was licking the last of the butter and honey off his fingers. He smiled a contented smile.
“Yes, Prime Minister?” he said. “What is it?”
“Nearly time to go, O Worshipful One,” she said. “I’m like, thinking, yay. We only need to listen to the weather.”
Tracy cranked up the accumulator battery on the ‘Made in Nosepipe’ short-wave wireless telegraph receiving set. When the valves began to glow, she tuned it to the Ang Gonnaseckian frequency. Hooray and well done. She found the shipping forecast.
“Tyne, Tees, Humber, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight. One thousand and two, fall…..sssseeeepwheee. KKKkkgghkkkkkcrarrrk. Hooo-oooip? Thames, Dover, Wightssssssssseeeep. GaaaaaarggggkKKK! Neeeowsssssspp. Fastnet, Finisterre, Biscay. Nine hundred and ninety seven, falling ssssssskkkrooooossskall, Malin, Irish Sea, one thous…..skkkgggh.”
“Dash and drat,” said Tracy.
“What’s up?” said the King.
“The bit I wanted to hear. It was drowned out by interference. Now we don’t know what the weather will be like.”
“Of course we do,” said the King. “Look at it. It’s outside the window. Brilliant sunshine. Good southerly breeze. Not a cloud in the sky. Perfect. Come on, then. Let’s go.”
Actually, he had noticed one, very small, rather darkish sort of cloud in the sky, but it couldn’t be, could it? No, of course not. So off they went.