Professor Humperdink III

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29.2.08

Angola



Ignominiously behind schedule we are, again, delayed as courtesy demands that we stop off to hear our friend Tabag, High Chief of the Dongoena, play his horrisonant. This is very unpleasant. Tabag has no sense of rhythm and the instrument itself makes a truly dreadful sound. However, as Tabag’s grandfather built the instrument and as Tabag is the High Chief, no one has the courage to tell him to stop.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary

25.2.08

Stanley Forest


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Arrived in Stanley Forest where our old friend, Ktanga Nmiti, Sultan of the Pygmies, turns up to see us. Ashirbu, Ktanga tells us, has been in the area, collecting rare psychotropic plants for his smoking mixture, the result, Ktanga claims, is Ahirbu’s most startling mix to date.
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After testing out Ashirbu’s mix with Ktanga, we sit for three days staring at a tree. This unnecessarily delays us once again and, stupefyingly behind schedule, we carry on through the Congo as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

24.2.08

Obo


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Arrive in Obo undercover. Although it is vitally important that only a very few people know we are here, Apaz and Kadjan, excited at trying out Juan’s latest batch of whisky, bang on the war drum to let everyone in the area know we that have arrived. Pygmies, Bushmen, and friends from the Niam-Niam tribe, bring metal bowls and firewood, for hot toddy. Zanga, Juan’s cousin from the Sara-Kaba tribe, arrives, with baby Daka. Juan, ridiculously, tries to teach Zanga to whistle.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

21.2.08

Back to Africa


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English children are adapted to the English weather but Juan and I find it infinitely depressing. Fortunately, we have to deliver Neddy to Khmu, Juan’s nephew, for his annual desert trek. Grateful for the opportunity to escape the endless rain, we head for the Congo as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

20.2.08

Black Madonna


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‘Under your protection we are escaping’

18.2.08

Inga, gardening


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17.2.08

Inga jumps


16.2.08

Leaving


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Moronically behind schedule, and, with Voinovich on our tails, we have to leave immediately. Juan collects Neddy, (on the right of the picture), and then sends Larry to collect Jennifer. In order to avoid Voinovich, the children take the river route.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

12.2.08

Pigeon training


Coup, Flappy and the twins
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Victoria and Algernon
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Visited Victoria and her brother Algernon, who are doing a wonderful job breeding and training Juan’s carrier pigeons.

Professor Humperdink's Diary

11.2.08

Faye


Faye
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Calumniously behind schedule, we are, not for the first time, idiotically delayed. Before setting off, Faye turned up with a barrel of Juan’s latest batch of whisky. It is bewitchingly potent, and encourages a great deal of singing, laughing, shouting, fighting, crying and being violently ill. We are consequently too befuddled to continue.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

10.2.08

Tessa and Jo-Jo

Tessa and Jo-Jo
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Juan’s dog, Tessa, is constantly having her food stolen by Jo-Jo, one of Aunt Humperdink’s more mischievous monkeys. Travelling through deserts, or the Polar Regions, where there is no food, these two are the closest of companions and yet, in England, where there is a constant supply of food, they spend all day fighting and smashing things up.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

9.2.08

Go Spanish

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Jaded with washing the car on Saturday morning?
Eaten too many hamburgers recently?
Itchy groin from wearing lederhosen?
Arms sore from pushing a gondola all day long?
Carrying long sticks of bread leaving crumbs festering in your armpits?
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Maybe you should GO SPANISH with Ropkind Scharf®
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It’s easy!
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Here’s a special offer to help you:
Cut ‘em out ‘n stick ‘em on.



8.2.08

Sally

Sally, missing
. Bad landing
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Aunt Humperdink and Esmeralda came to see us off but, in the harbour, Esmeralda noticed that Sally, my seagull, was missing. Very concerned, we walk back along the coast, where, fortunately, we find her, lying on the beach, injured after another bad landing. Having spent her entire life at sea, Sally does not understand firm ground and expects it to be yielding and as soft as the waves. However, she has survived many such crashes and Esmeralda very kindly volunteers to nurse the bird back to health.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary


7.2.08

Surprise


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Two of my dogs, Tila and Plato, came across Juan’s pet, Waddle, for the first time this morning. They were surprised.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

6.2.08

A scamper


Scampering
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Interminably delayed by the weather, I take Tusky, Musky and the twins, Porker and Snorter, out for a refreshing scamper in the snow.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

Not fit


To the ball
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Ball of balls
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After the ball, Juan tested out his latest batch of whisky. The sketches he produced whilst so doing cause us concern, we believe it may not yet be fit for human consumption.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

5.2.08

Edward and Slipper


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Before heading on, we just have time to visit Edward, Juan’s brother-in-law, and Slipper, his highly trained horse.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

2.2.08

Swish, an onomatopoeic collective noun

While teaching a swan how to play Scrabble,
Professor Humperdink started to babble:

“’Swish’ is the collective noun for tails,
It is onomatopoeic.
When tails swish around, they make this sound.
It is difficult to explain, you would really have to see it.

You could have one plaice or two, it is true.
The word remains the same.
Plaice are all fishes, all plaice are fish,
All plaices are fishes and some fishes are plaice
(When placed on dishes they are fish once again).

Some fish are cod, some fishes are cods.
Anglers catch fishes and fish on their rods.
Collective nouns are hard to understand,
And I can’t make them fun.
On the other hand,
There might be a collective noun for Gods,
But I think there’s only one.

The collective noun of ‘sheep’ is ‘sheep’,
(This does not work with ‘soup’ or ‘gas’,
For these you need nouns of mass.
I suggest, if I dare, a ‘slop’ of soup, a ‘breath’ of air).
This is why soup and fish, God and sheep and breath,
Are very hard to count.
You might have nearly none, or a surprisingly large amount.”