How the Whale Became a Londoner and Other Stories


by Rohin
22nd January, 2006 at 12:26 am    

Hey, allow me some random posts now and again. Poor guy. But on a blog where we spend lots of time talking about our differences, I was so taken by the spirit the whale created. London was truly united. Forgive my soppy corniness, but a few days on from talking about the identities of various cities, the few dozen hours this little fella spent in our filthy river (trust me, I’ve drunk my fair share of raw Thames) brought people together.

On both banks of the Thames, people rubbernecked to glimpse the whale.

They came, they chatted, they were friendly. All we wanted was for the to make it.


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  1. Opinionated Voice

    [...] I’ve already blogged on the state of crime and disorder in Britain. It appears that Britain isn’t doing any better in other areas either, particularly politics. A programme has aired revealing that Tony Blair modelled himself on Mick Jagger (picture above), so it’s not surprising 100 Labour MPs are doubting his judgement and are in bitter opposition to his education reforms. You can’t really blame them since he employed Education Secretary Ruth Kelly who has allowed 150 sex offenders to work in English schools, and is currently suppressing crucial information pertaining to the reforms. The final embarrasment for Labour is that Jack Straw has been proven as a liar for giving misleading answers during inquiries over the secret transport of terrorism suspects around Europe. We knew the government liked a cover-up, and has now excelled itself to again cause injustice to it’s own citizens by storing DNA profiles on criminal databases without consent. Moving on the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy’s resignation due to alcoholism has been followed by resignation of the former Liberal Democrat leadership challenger Mark Oaten, over revelations of an affair with a male prostitute. It also turns out that Lord McNally, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords has also admitted that he was an alcoholic. Then there’s George Galloway, the Respect MP who has purred, mewed and bullied women on Celebrity Big Brother. In fact British Politicians are proving to be so useless that they couldn’t even assist to save the whale! I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Conservative, but David Cameron is looking quite faultless at the moment. [...]




  1. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2006 at 1:19 am  

    Poor thing, I was unhappy that it died. :(

  2. jamal — on 22nd January, 2006 at 3:00 am  

    me too.

  3. jamal — on 22nd January, 2006 at 3:01 am  

    ..and was sad to see it swimming in that dirty Thames water too.

  4. coruja — on 22nd January, 2006 at 3:07 am  

    Apart from the animals in the cages in London zoo, there is hardly any wildlife in London – not taking in to account pigeons and rats – even the hedgehogs & foxes have gone. So, it was a wonderful thing to see it storming up the river on a dull friday afernoon at work. Lifted everyone’s spirits and got us thinking about the wonderful things in this world. Quite heartbreaking.

  5. Vikrant — on 22nd January, 2006 at 5:07 am  

    Well i spent entire Saturday watching the rescue operation. Too bad Whaley died. How many of ya Londoners got a glimpse?

  6. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2006 at 10:30 am  

    even the hedgehogs & foxes have gone.
    You are joking ain’t ya Coruja!!!
    There are an estimated 10,000 foxes in London. I see or hear foxes about 50-60 times a year (and I’m nowhere near the outer suburbs).
    It might not be the Amazon Jungle, but a fifth of London is covered in private gardens (that’s excluding the many parks and other green spaces). For more, click here

  7. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2006 at 10:34 am  

    Oi Jamal! Leave our Thames alone. It’s not as bad as it used to be in Victorian times. These are the fish that have been caught in it since 1964.

  8. Rohin — on 22nd January, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

    I see a fox in my garden every night. I’m in zone 3. I call it foxy and I give it some scraps. I’m not very imaginative with naming animals am I? Whaley, foxy… Anyway, I’m walking distance from Richmond Park, which is a great place for spotting animals.

    El Cid the Thames may have been home to lots of fishies (see, doing it again) but you can’t deny it’s filthy! I still get shudders when I think of the things I swam past. Yuk.

  9. Edwin Greenwood — on 22nd January, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

    Apart from the animals in the cages in London zoo, there is hardly any wildlife in London

    I have seen foxes in the Borough Market area (near London Bridge), and there plenty of grey squirrels to be seen in the Clerkenwell / South Islington area – aggressive little bastards they are too. London, even central London, has a lot of green open space and there is rather more non-avian wildlife about than you might imagine.

  10. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

    I think its rather that general wildlife is disappearing, but natural born scavengers (foxes, rats, squirrels etc) are able to survive or even prosper because of the increased squalor.

  11. NorahJones — on 22nd January, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Poor whale died. So sad. What happened to the other one?
    Did it find it’s way back to the pod?

  12. Soultrain — on 22nd January, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    I have seen a fox next to Tottenham Court Road, no joke! This was three years back, and a testament to the fact there is so much garbage about in Central London that foxes can survive upon.

  13. hippie — on 22nd January, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

    I was so sad, too :(

  14. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

    Rohin, it’s not may have been home to lots of fishies but is home to lots of fishes. The water of the tidal Thames was pronounced biologically dead in the 1950s.
    Wildlife in London is not disappearing. It has fought back.
    Still, you swam in the Thames? Eeeuuuuu!!
    As for grey squirrels — they need culling.

  15. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

    Have you seen the Star Trek movie where Mr Spock and Captain Kirk come back to Earth in the year 1990 through a space time quark hole or something to rescue the whales from extinction in San Fransisco (where Mr Spock does the Vulcan shoulder unconsciousness tap on a punk rocker on the bus) because they are the future leaders of the galactic federation or something and whales are the only ones that can talk to the aliens so they come back and save them and save the Earth and the galaxy?

    Where the fukk were they for this weekend then?

  16. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:14 pm  

    If you are a whale, how do you get lost and end up the Thames anyway? Is it like taking the wrong exit off the M6 and ending up in Cannock or something? And the you can’t get the hell out?

    Bad navigation by that whale, I reckon.

  17. NorahJones — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

    Poor whale with poor sense of direction.

    What happened to the other one?!

  18. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

    There was another one??

    What the hell happened to it?

    Has anyone checked the seafood menu at the top Japanese restaurants in London today??

  19. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

    It could have been a trial run by a cunning terrorists to by-pass security and destroy our democracy – did anyone see the photographs of how this one got so close to Parliament?

    Suicide-Whaler??

    I think it’s time to start rounding up Muslims who have been overheard talking about Whales, Sperm, Blue, Dolphins or otherwise in the last six months.

    jOnz, put a post on your blog about this. The terrorists are coming and they are brainwashing whales now. They stop at nothing. Not plankton. Nothing.

  20. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

    I also want to be the first person to say what was the porpoise of this whale coming to London?

    Hey, maybe it was looking for its son, like Finding Nemo :-(

  21. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

    The sad death of this whale is making me cry and blubber ;-)

  22. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    I think it was just attention seeking myself, personally.

  23. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

    No more whale jokes.

  24. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:51 pm  

    Last whale joke.

    Two whales are swimming in the ocean when they see a whaling ship inthe distance. The male whale realises that it’s the same one that killed his parents so he turns to the female whale and asks if she’ll help him get his revenge. She’s a little apprehensive but he manages to talk her round, so they go up to the either side of the boat and start to blow through their blowholes, rocking the boat until it capsizes. The male whale starts to eat all the sailors when he notices the female whale swimming away. He chases after her and when he catches up says, ‘Whereare you going?’ to which she replies, ‘Listen, I agreed to the blow job, but if you think I’m swallowing any seamen you’ve got another thing coming!’

  25. NorahJones — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

    Grr. Yeah, no more whale jokes.

    There was another one. I’m sure there was.

  26. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:55 pm  

    Are you sure you werent imagining it Norah??

  27. Jay Singh — on 22nd January, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    This will be amazing if the other whale just dissapeared into thin air!!

  28. Rohin — on 22nd January, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

    Humpback whales became extinct in the 22nd century so they have to go back in time to get them. Why they had to come to 1986 is beyond comprehension, when there were surely more whales before that.

    Jay, in a intoxicant-induced trip on Friday night, I came up with a similar theory. The CIA have been breeding killer whales (not Killer Whales) to infiltrate our cities and read our minds.

    Think I’m getting too far-fetched?

  29. Don — on 22nd January, 2006 at 6:32 pm  

    Jay.

    Whatever you’ve been taking, I want some. I think Norah is right, there was more than one, but the other turned back before getting too messed up. I think.

    ‘Bad navigation by that whale’. Fair play, they use sonar and the Thames must be a confusing place for noise.

    Shame though, although nice to see a sort of generalised inter-species good will prevailing.

  30. Don — on 22nd January, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    Rohin,

    Didn’t I read somewhere that some military dolphins went AWOL during the New Orleans flood?

    Now, renegade military dolphins …

  31. Rohin — on 22nd January, 2006 at 6:35 pm  
  32. Don — on 22nd January, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

    Yeah, I watch the news. You are wrong on several points.

  33. Vladimir — on 23rd January, 2006 at 12:27 am  

    I am rather saddened by the news that the whale died too, fortunately he did not dies in Scandinavian waters though, since they would have thought it was a free lunch.

  34. Rohin — on 23rd January, 2006 at 12:30 am  

    Who is wrong Don?

  35. Bikhair — on 23rd January, 2006 at 1:57 am  

    Sunny,

    “…but natural born scavengers (foxes, rats, squirrels etc) are able to survive or even prosper because of the increased squalor. ”

    According to some of our less tolerant and progressive blogs this sound much like a group of people I know. Hmmmm…

  36. BooZy — on 23rd January, 2006 at 9:58 am  

    Bikhair

    According to some of our less tolerant and progressive blogs this sound much like a group of people I know. Hmmmm…

    Like your family?

  37. Don — on 23rd January, 2006 at 11:36 am  

    Sorry, should have made that clear. just felt the news summary at #32 was less than reliable.

  38. coruja — on 23rd January, 2006 at 12:40 pm  

    El Cid,

    You, like I, will he happy to hear about the arrangements for a mass culling of grey squirrels.

    Having being almost mugged by one in (a href=”http://www.touruk.co.uk/london_parks_gardens/waterlow_park1.htm” target=_blank) Waterlaw Park last summer (they are attracted by rusting of crisps packets & the like) I am all in favour of it.

    It is unfortunate that they seem to display all the negative aspects of immigrants with none of the usual attendant saving graces (enthusiasm for education & an entrepreneurial bent). And so, they seem to thrive on criminality and violence. They have swamped the native red squirrel population, spreading a pox that kills within 14 days of contact (poignantly, the duration of the average British summer.)

  39. Kay — on 23rd January, 2006 at 12:56 pm  

    Yeap, the whale truely united londoners.
    It was astounding to see the no of people who flogged to the Thames to see the most cutiest whale.

    Have never seen a whale before so was a truely amazing experience.
    Sad ending though.

  40. Col. Mustafa — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    Who remembers this this old british film about a whale that wants revenge.

    Bunch of fisherman on a boat in the ocean, fishing for fish im assuming.
    2 whales show up; they weren’t bothering the fisherman they were just swimming around.
    One fisherman then due whatever reason (money) shot a harpoon at the whale and injured it.
    And then tried to reel it in with the equipment they had which didn’t quite work.
    In the mean time the other whale attacked thier boat, so the fisherman decided maybe time to go.

    The injured whale stuck its head out before they left and caught a glimpse of his attacker and made a mental note of it for the future.

    1 yr later the evil fisherman is at some docks somewhere in a country.
    Hes minding his own business with his children when they see 2 whales show up in the waters.
    Most strange for those parts of water near the docks but it was the injured whale after several months of gruelling physical training.
    He came and swallowed the evil man, revenge had been fulfilled.

    Maybe the whale in question was coming to look for revenge.

    Now the other whales like crying at this point

  41. Jay Singh — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    I asked my sister why she cried when the whale died and she said because its a whale. I said so what? She said ‘whales are intelligent’. I said Intelligent, what did you want to do, have a conversation with him?

    She said I was insensitive and heartless and I said, at least I’m not a beached whale – cant have been very intelligent if he gets lost up the Thames.

  42. Jay Singh — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    Hoory Hooray!

    There was a whale in London

    *skips around*

    We are saved we are saved!

    *hands flowers to everyone*

    We are Londoners but the whale came to save us and now there’s unity and love everywhere!

    *makes daisy chains*

    The whale taught us to love each other hooray!

  43. Col. Mustafa — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:34 pm  

    loooooool.

    I wanted to do that.

    Londoners get turned on by anything.
    We got such boring ass miserable lives that a freaking whale brings london together.

    Maybe what londoners are trying to say is that WE HATE OUR LIVESSSSSSS; HELP USSSSSS.

  44. Col. Mustafa — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    What we really want is more whales and pomegranites.

  45. Kay — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

    Jay, thats sooo inconsiderate of you, your poor sister.

    Matey, i think it’s us females we tend to get emotional.
    Whales are intelligent, but that lil’ got lost!
    So what is if the cutie-whale wasn’t not the most geographical acknowledgable whale.
    RIP whale.
    x

  46. Jay Singh — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    Kay

    Hey if a man can’t tease and wind up his sister, what is the point of having a sister?

    I have been inspired to write a poem about the whale.

    +++++

    Oh Whale!

    (by Jay Singh)

    You came, you saw, you died.
    We ran, we tried, we cried.

    London was evil and cruel until you came.
    A horrible city full of love and pain.
    Suicide bombers and muggings, late trains.
    The whole of London was crazy, insane.

    But then you swam up the River Thames,
    Made us so excited we almost got the bends.
    Even the most fashinable people saw new trends,
    When the whale came we all said ‘Whale please forgive us our sins’

    Now you are gone and we are alone.
    London is no more a very nice home.
    Whale you made us love each other.
    You are the greatest thing, giving love like a mother.

    How we will go one without you I dont know?
    You blessed us with your happiness like winters snow.
    When you were dying we all said ‘No! Dont go!’
    But your soul departed and now we cry in slow-mo.

    We can make it better, a better world, you never know!
    Even when you are being eaten as meat in Tokyo,
    We will never forget you for visiting us, oh no,
    We love you forever, it is a heavy blow.

    But you inspired us all from London to Devon
    And now you rest in peace with dolphin angels
    In Whale Heaven.

    +++++

    Dedicated to the whale who died – he changed our lives, London will never be the same again.

  47. Jay Singh — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    It’s like, all those people, seeing the whale, it was like, if the whale can come to London, it’s like, why does there have to be racism, and stuff?

  48. Siddharth — on 23rd January, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    God, thats beautiful Jay Singh.
    You’re trully sensitive to London’s loss. We had the whale but now its gone. London will never be the same again.

  49. Jay Singh — on 23rd January, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    It was like, if only the suicide-bombers had seen that whale, they would have changed their minds. And if only he could have survived a while longer, there would be no homophobia or violence against women either. He died for us. He died for London. He was an angel sent down to save us.

    I fhe has stayed alive just a few more days, people would have been dancing along the side of the Thames with daisy chains in their hair holding hands – Jews from Golders Green with Arabs from Bayswater, BNP from Bermondsey with African-Caribbeans from Brixton, Sikhs from Southall with Pakistanis from Ilford, it would have been so beautiful, oh the whale he came to make us see the love!

  50. Jay Singh — on 23rd January, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    Yeah – I am really bored at work today.

  51. Col. Mustafa — on 23rd January, 2006 at 3:10 pm  

    The whale was only here to show us the way.
    He sacrificed himself in our disgusting, overpolluted city to show us we need not stay here anymore.
    He came here, so we go there.

    He didn’t last long indicating that creatures of God are not suited for HELLLLL.

    It was a SIGNNNNNNN; FOR US TO BREAK FREEEEEE.

  52. Kay — on 23rd January, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

    Jay, I didn’t find that amusing although I must credit you on your poetic skills.
    Kudos x

    I’m highly bored too, work is jus too tedious!

  53. El Cid — on 23rd January, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

    You’re not alone.
    Today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. Still, that’s no reason to be knocking back the gin Jay.

  54. NorahJones — on 23rd January, 2006 at 10:14 pm  

    Hehehe Jay. Really too much time on your hands.
    ;-)

  55. hello — on 28th January, 2006 at 3:37 pm  

    how did they get the whale onto a barge?
    I want to see a graph on how they did it

  56. Dave Rugby — on 2nd February, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

    Why was the whale in London?

    It was trying to find the whale-way Station!

  57. Sunny — on 2nd February, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

    Haha! That made me laugh Dave…

  58. jj — on 22nd February, 2006 at 10:41 am  

    i fink it wouldnt ave lived anyway so it shud ave been humanly killed, shot or something!

  59. Barry — on 22nd February, 2006 at 10:42 am  

    wos it nuts? wos it rob, wos it?

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