A Message from Albia brings you the latest news and views from Albia, a country just like Britain but worse, as seen by our man on the spot, famed British foreign correspondent and friend to publicans the world over, Hugo Kent.
If you've recently received email from "@amessagefromalbia", our apologies. Filthy spamming, scamming zkum seem to have invaded the system. In any event matters seem to have been put right now. Sorry again!
It is with very little regret that UK Broadcast Internet News Service (UKBINS) must confirm the continued absence of Hugo Kent, our senior (and only) foreign correspondent in the benighted country of Albia.
We understand Mr Kent was last seen weaving his way into the vicinity of the US Embassy in the Albian capital, Blizsta, with a keg of potato-based alcohol in one hand and a small temporospatial anomaly detector (believed to have been fashioned by Mr Kent by fusing a baked bean tin with his own drunken haze) in the other. Nothing further has been heard from him, though we at UKBINS are keeping quarter of a lazy eye on his twitter feed, in the hope of locating him (chiefly for the purpose of serving proceedings relating to obtaining employment by deception).
In the interim, those wishing to keep up with events in Albia may wish to direct themselves to a series of reports from the nephew of the US Ambassador to Albia, which can be found here.
We at UKBINS wish to apologise for the service provided by Mr Kent.
Harriet Harkness, Head of News, United Kingdom Broadcast Internet News Service
My readers will be used to apologies by now but I really must say sorry for the absence of any post on Friday. Those who have followed my most recent entries will be aware that a combination of the global kredditkrunsch having caused my employers in the UK to reconsider the necessity of keeping a permanent correspondent (however brilliant) in Albia and the imminent (and probably armed) arrival of a relative of the vanished US Ambassador to Albia and manager of local waste disposal and construction services, Janush Pazman, has left me considering my position. After several days, and a tankerful of potato-based alcohol, I have been forced to conclude that my position is even more precarious than that of an Albian politician with a dodgy expenses claim ... and without the benefit of a Capital-Gains-Tax-free second home or a sixty-thousand pahnd resettlement allowance.
In any event, I have decided that my only chance of avoiding the sack (figurative) and the sack (literal, weighted with chains and thrown into Blizsta's River Zkumi) is to come up with a really good story (thus forcing my employers at UKBINS to keep me on for a bit) by discovering the cause of Ambassador Pazman's disappearance (thus, I hope, assuaging the ire of Mr Pazman's relatives and associates). I shall begin by investigating the rumours of a wormhole near the US-Embassy-cum-Ambassador-Pazman's-Palace-cum-Uncle-Janush's-Bada-Bing-Drinking-Club-'n'-Clipjoint (though personally I tend to believe that any distortions in the space-time continuum will have been occasioned by intake of potato-based alcohol).
Anyway, wish me luck. I shall tweet what I can over at http://twitter.com/UKTwoDotOh.
Review ongoing. Much PBA drunk. Matters ever more concerning ... as anyone who has read this piece by the nephew of the US Ambassador to Albia will be aware. Think I might have another little drinky to dull the potential pain. Did I mention that you're my best friend, you are? C'mon, give us a song ... c'mon ... "Hey Huuuuuge ... don't make it bad .... take a saaad sooooooong 'n' make it beddaaaaaaaah"
Apologies: no update today, still reviewing situation after Friday's ill tidings. Seems to me I'm going to have to come up with some kind of spectacular story if this bureau - not to mention my employment - is to survive. All suggestions welcomed. Currently performing complex scientific study into effects of alcohol on liver of middle-aged hack. Must admit, after 48 hours of solid research, having some difficulty jotting down results.
My loyal "Twitter" followers (Twitties? Twittites?) will be aware that I am currently wrestling with three somewhat disturbing events: first, what appear to be threats of extreme violence or, at the least, extended instruction in the locations of the more sensitive portions of my anatomy at the hands of relatives of US Ambassador to Albia Janush Pazman(1), for whom I worked briefly and for whose mysterious absence I am apparently (and wholly unfairly) being blamed. Secondly, there is the alleged appearance of a wormhole(2) in central Blizsta, which is being given by one parliamentarian as the reason for his claiming a billion pahnds under his allowance for "repairs to the space-time continuum"(3). Lastly, and perhaps most disturbingly of all, there is the letter from my employer back in Britain, the international news organisation UKBINS, with whom my most loyal readers will be aware I have had some conflict in the past(4). Suffice it to say that this letter makes considerable mention of "recession", "cost-cutting" and "down-sizing", not to mention closures of certain of its less profitable foreign bureaus.
In the circumstances, I hope my readers will forgive the lack of a more detailed update today - I have much to ponder ... preferably with a glass or thirty-seven of potato-based alcohol in hand. (1)some of whose dealings in the building, waste removal and allied trades are mentioned in earlier posts here, here, here and here. (2) of the "hole in space" nature rather than that associated with oligochaeta. (3) Let's face it, it makes as much sense as charging thousands for a "duck island" or moat-cleaning. (4) See the posts here.
And so it seems that at least one subplot of the ongoing Albian allowances scandal(1) has reached the end of its final act, with the announcement by speaker Bagwnd Baffuld that he is to resign as speaker (Albian: woofferantweeta) of da Zkum, the lower house of Albia's parliament.
The announcement was not without its difficulties, not least among them the fact that it occurred some 24 hours after most politicians, press and members of the public expected it ... a speed of delivery normally associated with Albia's postal service. Yet Mr Baffuld's determination not to give up power unless it were wrenched from his cold, dead hand lasted only a day ... perhaps due to the fact that, taking him at his word, assorted members of the Nyesti, Drid and Krep parties were seen slipping piano wire into their hands, stilettos into their back pockets and selecting sites around da Grevvitren suitable to act as snipers' nests.
In the end, and after a couple of hours of feverish coverage on satellite broadcaster AKlowdANews of a type one would only expect to see in the event of impending nuclear Armageddon, Mr Baffuld's statement of resignation lasted just 15 seconds, hardly enough time for a politician to file a claim for the mortgage interest on his second, third or even fourth home, let alone for the first ousting of a woofferantweeta in 300 years.
Regrettably, I have been unable to source any copyright-free photographs of Albian individuals. Happily, I have been able to locate on Wikimedia commons a number of pictures of people whose appearances are close enough to the Albians in question to suffice for the moment. These have been used throughout.