The dream of Mr William Butler Yeats of a peaceful retirement on his lake isle has been dealt a series of blows by officials from various agencies.
First the building regulations inspectors ordered him to vacate and demolish an unstable residential structure they found there. It was constructed of nothing but clay and wattles, in breach of the Building Materials Act of 1991. “It was just the sort of thing you'd expect of a dreamy poet”, said the official who ordered its demolition, “built without a scrap of planning permission”.
Then he came to the attention of the Department of Agriculture. “It was the most flagrant flouting of the regulations I ever saw”, commented the Compliance Officer who caught him, “and he nearly got away with it. Just by chance, I happened to be browsing Google Earth one day when I noticed he had nine bean rows – this in a space where only six are allowed by EU law. Naturally, I was round there in a flash to put a stop to it”.
After some protests from fellow poets and an outraged editorial in the Daily Mail, Mr Yeats was hoping he would be left in peace. But then he had a visit from a representative of his local authority who served him with a noise abatement order, following an anonymous tip-off about a “bee-loud glade”.