Right Jim, pull yourself together. That’s quite enough wallowing in it, and it’s not going to bring him back. A REAL MAN would get out there, stop whimpering and WRITE SOMETHING There is after all a bloody great vacuum to be filled. Fortunately there are a few good types out there, otherwise I would feel like trying to replace a suddenly missing sun with a candle on a stick, and I don’t think a readership in double figures is really going to cut it. I found this picture on a blog, (Its all narrative) I don’t know who made it, but I’d like to thank them, and apologise for not being able to identify them. It produces a rather nice image of continuation. The news wasn't exactly improved by my hearing that my old mate Barry had gone as well. He was a friend of the family from way back, and although he was completely wrong about wind turbines, he was still a good egg. Had a completely over the top sports car, a Peerless, when everybody else had ford consuls. I seem to remember it being dark blue, and it had better rear suspension than the pictured one. He and Brenda gave me a beautiful Convertible Morris 1000 called Bluebell. Some insensitive numpty of a car salesman dismissed it as a load of old tat and lost himself a sale somewhere around 1972. His loss my gain.

    Meantime, we’ll just have to see how life is when everything has settled down and the country has resumed it’s previously cheerful progress toward Spring. Here in the humble there are lots of jobs to be avoided, tasks to be left undone, or at least until later, and bits of tractor to clean. I do like the gradually rising temperatures, although it hit 0˚Centigrade again last night. It’s up to 3˚ already and it’s only 11:50. The days lengthen, the cat gets a bit less fluffy, the lawn mower stays exactly where it has been for the past 5 years. This accounts for the non-occurrence of the G&T on the lawn… no lawn. That and the occasional light frost.

    I think my upbringing in Hampshire must be wearing off, I would have considered that fairly chilly before I came up here to Scotland. Now, when visiting the fossil, who currently resides in Winchester, we have to turn the radiators off and open a window. That was mid February. I try to avoid expressions like southern softies, mainly to avoid a poke in the eye, but also because I know that most of it is down to avoiding the cold by wearing the right clothing, and actually it is more a lack of practice at dealing with the heat. We do get the occasional heat-wave, and as the daylight hours are longer here in Summer, it can get quite uncomfortable. It takes a while, and sometimes the Scottish summer can just be a day or two of sunshine, but when it gets going, usually a ‘stalled’ jet-stream, there are expressions bandied about like ‘jings’ and ‘the sun’s splitting the trees’ and a few will take off their simmets and turn brown. Having gone from pale blue through white, pink and red and patchy of course. I know of two other locals who use the expression ‘jings’, so I think it’s OK, in moderation. I’ve never heard ‘Hoots’ except in relation to owls, and though you’ll often hear a noise similar to ‘Och’ preceding ‘Aye’, though it’s more of a sort of throat clearing exercise, and ‘The Noo’ is now officially extinct.

    Here in mid March it’s on the cusp. The various small brown jobs are twittering as per protocol, zipping about screaming threats of violence and offers of sex. Small enthusiastic, but as yet unidentified green shoots are trying to get through my ‘things not thrown away just yet’. A tom-cat has visited the garage and anointed a car tyre. Life burgeons… Spring is usually a time to start a project or two, but I accidentally started early in the garage, fitting a newly supplied tractor exhaust, which led on to changing the back tyres and discovering the leaky half-shaft, that expanded into a refurbishing of the brakes, noticing the state of the front tyres, rebuilding the steering column, painting a few bits….on it goes. There is now a short period between the melting of the residual lower level snow and the arrival of the midge (insect) , so if I want to do any paint spraying I’d better get on with it. A year or so back had a very good period of pre-midge warm-and-sunny, which was just as well since I had discovered a red paint for the Midge (car) which took an unbelievably long time to dry. It produced a reasonable 5′ finish in the end, but I’ll not use brushing coach paint again.

    I see Clarkson is in the Beeb’s bad books again. Odd that, could it be deliberate? I know he does objectionable rather well, but “fracas” ? Straight out of William de Word’s book of helpful headlines. I didn’t look but I assume it was the Sun or the Mirror that perpetrated that one. On the matter of thinking styles I consider Top Gear to be an honest but unreconstructed post war child, from before we noticed the environment, and anyway I like to have someone I can disagree with that is able to string a twelve word sentence together without repetition, deviation or hesitation, and hasn’t been chosen for their chest or meteoric rise to obscurity. I always assumed he was a careful construct designed to engage, enrage and distract, a sort of a human Farrage, but likeable. Thinking of which, how can we consider firing Clarkson for political incorrectness, at the same time as considering electing excrescences like UKIP? Or could it be that it too is a distraction?

    OK so I’m paranoid. Does that mean there isn’t a conspiracy? Is it actually just the tip of the ice cube? Those of us who spend most of our time confused, or at best ignorant, usually find, no matter which argument is used, after voting for the least appalling politician that we cannot recognise the promised policies. Once in office they all seem similarly bland, prove to be equally dishonest, interchangeably incompetent, and curiously distant. Still, smug, sticky fingered 6th formers make a change from demon driven lunatics even if the results are the same, i.e. feeling that the country is not being run for the people in it. I can never see the point of the word 'lobbying' when 'corruption' seems to be sitting there, unused.  To mis-quote Anon, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, you always get the bloody government.”

    Personally I think the clue is in the name, Parliament is supposed to refer to talking, politics is supposed to be about people, but Government sounds more like control. Perhaps we should call them Representatives, ideally of voters rather than money, and I’m damn sure the word party really means gang. If you really want to know how I think politics works, read Sir Terry from one end to the other, or to summarise, Tell them a lie, and when it becomes inconvenient, tell them a bigger one.

    There used to be a tradition of killing the king when the crops failed, I thought it barbaric, but I’m beginning to wonder. The only problem is that that method puts the priests in charge. Gods I'm happy with, it's Priests, or rather organisations of them I don't trust.  At least you know a politician is in it for himself, or his chums, or conceivably for the people. With a theocracy it can be run on rails of complete insanity ‘because god told me’, this always produces a train wreck because the rails are never parallel.

    I really must produce a list of which answers are in which book, but Small Gods and Monstrous Regiment seem to cover the bulk of it.

    My apologies for going on a bit about Sir TP, I’ll be back on my feet soon. I’m going to re read Nation. It seems appropriate. 

    In the mean-time I've fitted a swinging draw-bar to the tractor but completely failed to prep the Midge for an MOT. On the building front I've collected half a dozen church windows, plain glass, small squares, which would otherwise have been destroyed. I think a Summer-house might be a convenient way of using and storing them. It's a bit like finding a whistle and deciding to play football, but you'll know my serendipity streak by now. I still haven't found a use for the fire-surrounds, it seems a pity to scrap them, but the architectural salvage people around here don't seem interested. I guess most antiques have to be destroyed, otherwise we'd still be living in medieval halls, or mud huts. They made millions of Ford Ts, and if they were still all available they wouldn't be worth much. Having said that, I wish they'd put the pre war MG J2 back into production. Here's a pic from wikipedia. I'd allow seat-belts and a more efficient version of the same engine. 70 mph would be quite fast enough.

    I'm thinking along the lines of a blog, for those who like such things, it should turn up under the name of ifyouagreewithmeivefailed, well I had to call it something. It'll be running parallel to this for a bit, and we'll see how it goes. I'm not exactly regular, if you see what I mean. 
all the best
Good finish at this distance