Sunday 2 March 2014

The Conqueror of Crimea

Next, on Broadcasting House, it was back to Ukraine and the BBC's John Simpson.

John is fondly remembered for leading the Charge of the Light Brigade into Kabul a few years ago whilst disguised as a Russian peasant girl, thus liberating the subjugated city from the oppressive Cossacks. As he did so, riding a donkey rather than a horse (as befits a humble BBC reporter), grateful Ukrainian girls laid palm leaves before him, and wept. 

By his own account today on Broadcasting HouseJohn has donned his legendary frock again and is bravely attempting to make his way into Crimea on a train. 

He told an all-agog Paddy that it's been quite an ordeal so far.

He says he's "had quite a difficult journey really", having been turned back at the border twice by bearded Cossack warriors, brandishing scimitars.

But, being John Simpson, Lion of the BBC, Conqueror of Kabul, nothing will stop him pushing through the Khyber Pass into Crimea and liberating the oppressed Tatars from the Russian hordes. 

Next week, as an encore, John Simpson and his newly-formed Tatar army will storm the Kremlin, sentence Vladimir Putin to fifty hours of community service (John is BBC after all) and carry off Alina Kabaeva into the Moscow night on horseback, his flowery frock flowing out romantically behind them as they ride towards new glories (fighting the dreaded Great Tsar himself, Nigel the Terrible).

You may detect a very faint element of sarcasm here, but John Simpson's self-focused reporting just cries out for it, doesn't it?

Quiz question:

Besides the word 'abstemious', which is the only word in the English language to have all its vowels in correct alphabetical order?


  1. "Google it!" He said, facetiously. :P

    And having done so, found that there are more than two.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Ha, yes (he says, having Googled it)...

      The chemical term 'arsenious', relating to arsenic with a valency of three, plus 'abstentious' (meaning 'abstinent') as well as the rare botanical and zoological terms 'acheilous', meaning 'having one or both lips absent', and 'anemious' meaning 'growing in windy situations', 'caesious' meaning 'bluish or greyish green', and 'annelidous' meaning 'belonging to the phylum Annelida'.

      Oh dear, so my 'only two words' turns out to be another urban myth then. That's going to put the cat among the pigeons at quite a few quiz nights!

      [If you're wondering about the deleted comment, it was this one minus a spelling mistake - and without this coda.]


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