EMMA GOLDSTEIN The Cronicles of Great Aunt Sophie and Las Assangistas Del Norte

Great Aunt Sophie and Las Assangistas Del Norte


9 May 2013. John Shipton, Julian’s father, was interviewed about his son’s candidacy for Australian Senate and his life in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

“He can’t look out the window because if well-wishers know it’s your room they might throw, who knows, a leg of lamb or something…”


Eddie and Freddie from Hebden Bridge arrived at Aunt Sophie’s door this evening with a side of lamb. They said we could have it if we promised not to ask where it came from.

“You boys better be careful, “ said Sophie.  “Or you’ll end up with a one-way ticket to Australia.”

Eddie giggled.  “I could be Julian’s running mate.”

“You’re not cute enough,” I told him. “Bet you ten quid it’ll be Jennifer.”

Sophie and I left them in the sitting room arguing politics with Gertie and Maud, and hefted the lamb into the kitchen.

Sophie took her athalme from the Kali altar and hacked off a leg, drizzled it with Gertie’s homemade absinthe, and put it in the oven. But no sooner had she placed the sizzling roast on the window sill to cool, than Little Fudgie grabbed it and dragged it under the piano. It took six of us twenty minutes to get it back. We hid the teeth marks with parsnips, arranged it on a serving platter, and took the train to London.

But we did not lob it at the Embassy window. Please. That’s a guy thing.



“You are old, Great Aunt Sophie,” young Emma did tweet,
“And your hair, like your hero’s, is white.
And yet you incessantly google ‘Assange,’
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“If I had grandkids – I’m not blaming you –
I never would sit here alone.
I’d take them for ice cream and then to the zoo,
But this way my mind is my own.

“When I was younger, I tried to be nice
And do everything everyone told me.
But now I no longer take peoples’ advice,
Or let pipsqueaks like you try to scold me.”

“You are old,” Emma twote, “As I mentioned before,
Yet you spend half your day on the Net.
Don’t you think you’re in danger of being a bore,
Or considered a terrorist threat?”

“I fart on the fearful,” Aunt Sophie replied,
“They’ll never do anything big.
I fight for Assange and I’ll stand by his side,
Though he may be a bit of a pig.”

“You boast of your ethics and your good repute,
Aunt Sophie, in speech and in song.
And yet you turned David Leigh into a newt
Aren’t you worried that’s morally wrong?”

“Beyond good and evil,” Aunt Sophie explained,
“Is a world full of magic and play.
Even amphibians can be house-trained
Don’t you think he looks better this way?

“In my youth,” said Aunt Sophie, “I took LSD,
To keep my mind open and supple.
Today I eat brownies along with my tea.
Would you like me to sell you a couple?”

“Pray think about Alzheimers,” Emma replied,
“ ’Cause it looks like you’re that way inclined.
You giggle and grin like a blushing young bride,
Aren’t you worried you’re losing your mind?”

“I have answered three tweets, and that’s more than enough,
I don’t need to convince you or con you.
You’re wasting your time, Emma, writing such stuff.
Piss off, or I’ll sic Nigel on you.”