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The second day of my holiday here, I borrowed the anthology Scottish Poems (ed. John Rice) from the Shetland Library in Lerwick.

A Cormorant in Oils by Gordon Meade

Imagine a month
Without washing. Lank hair
Matted on your brow. Skin, grey
And pocked, an ox’s jowl.

Imagine eating
When every mouthful tastes
Of gall, and swallowing clogs up
Your throat with oil.

Imagine a bird,
Once a pirate in blacks,
Now, a beggar in a clotted sack.
And don’t imagine, see it,

Approach it,
Get within six feet of it.
Then, see it try to open plastered
Wings and fly. See it fail,

Hobble into
The sea and dive. Watch it
Surface over twenty feet away, and
Know, its only future is to die.

Samantha Fox: Soapy tits, no beaver

Former Page Three model and now reality TV star Samantha Fox is being treated for the potentially fatal disease rabies after being savaged by a cat.

The star – most recently on TV last year in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Max Clifford – was bitten while holidaying on the paradise island of Koh Samui in Thailand with her partner and manager Myra Stratton.

Sam, 44, explained that she’d been feeding the stray cats that gathered around a restaurant they ate at, when one attacked her. She told the Sunday Express: “I love animals, especially cats, but over there they’re treated like rats and are left to fend for themselves. I ended up feeding a lot of them, giving them bits of shellfish after dinner. This one was laying on my feet and I thought we were getting on really well so I went to stroke him, but he bit me so hard, it went down to the bone.”

Sam continued that when she’d told the restaurant owner what had happened, she was told that the tabby and white feline – which she took a picture of – was known locally as a “crazy cat”, meaning it had rabies.

The star explained she was then immediately given anti-rabies jabs at the island’s Lamai Medical Clinic and is still getting injections, despite having flown back to the UK 10 days ago. She added: “The treatment for rabies makes you feel sick and horrible, though, really shaky.”

However, Sam, who lives in north London with Myra and their four cats, insists the experience hasn’t put her off animals. She said: “I’m still potty about animals, cats, dogs, foxes, whatever.”

There are too many pussy and hydrophobia jokes here.

Thirty years ago, I wasted so much of my seed wanking over pics of Samantha Fox, and any UK male my age who tells you that he didn’t is a liar or a gay. So if she is 44 years old now, that means that when I was cracking one off every day in the bathroom with a copy of Mayfair, she must have been …

Sam was one of the early feminists, she only ever showed her tits, no beaver shots.

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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