Day 5: Farley to Middle Woodford, Salisbury

We slotted half an hour to watch the England match yesterday and the pub room was crowded. As England won, it was a happy occasion. Okay, I know I am a sour old thing but I couldn’t help noticing that everyone watching was noticeably overweight, including the children. As a follow-on to yesterday’s blog, are we as a nation now afflicted with “watcheritis”? Clearly there are exceptions to this virus but with obesity on the rise to the degree we are facing an epidemic, this is an issue for our time.

Hot Kisser

How can I repeat how hot it is without boring readers who have to know this already?

A hour into today’s walk I attempted to give Jane a kiss. She said:

“I have no wish to kiss your disgustingly sweaty face so push off,” or words to that effect. So it was that hot!

Trump, Trump, Trump

So President Trump is to visit Churchill’s grave where we live in Bladon. I understand that there will be some “virtue signalling” protests and shame on you!

I deplore Trump’s lack of manners and his gross unpresidential style and all that. But he is not the first US president to be gross. Kennedy was a serial adulterer with anyone with a pulse and he had confirmed links to organised crime. However it was his “Camelot” charm that allowed him to get away with it. We know about Lyndon Johnson, who in the early part of his career was corrupt and unspeakably vulgar, entertaining visitors on the lavatory. We will draw a discreet veil over Clinton for this is a family blog. And what about Nixon?

So the Donald grossness is not a rarity. However, I think, on the plus side, that something may, just may, come from his N. Korean initiative. I also think he was right to conclude that the Iranian nuclear deal was not working. And he is surely right to berate EU NATO members for not paying their way.
And he has one other rare quality: you may not like what he says but none of us has any problem in understanding him. This is more than you can say for most politicians (and clergymen too!).

Trump was elected as President by our greatest ally, and we need to do a trade deal with the USA sooner rather than later.  I think Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London is plain daft and rude in allowing an insulting balloon to greet Trump when he arrives in London.


Knee-jerk Reaction

I was fitted with a new knee recently in a hospital near Banbury where the Lithuanian surgeon had a fine reputation. I am an old hand at this game now – no pun intended (although with two new hips and a knee, my hands are some of the few bits I have left that remain more or less as God intended). So, operations hold no fear for me… that is, until I found myself on the operating table.

I opted for an “epidural”, numb from the waist down yet remaining fully conscious. Why? Well, I dislike the feeling of the little death that comes with an anaesthetic… will I ever wake up again? With a local, you can talk more or less sense to anyone handy as the operation proceeds.

Dr Shipman, I Presume

So there was I, a touch woozy but conscious enough, when who should hunker down next to me but the anaesthetist (who had just calculated how much drug was needed to keep me pain free). Young and tattooed, with little piggy eyes, he had, I thought, a rather thin, cruel smile. Suddenly an image of Dr Harold Shipman floated before my eyes – you know, the spectre who killed an industrial number of patients apparently just for the hell of it (he was playing some sort of power game, as I recall). I have no idea why I pictured Shipman so clearly, but I really did: his face just floated into my mind and lodged there, immovable and terrifying.

“Hello,” the anaesthetist said quietly, “my name’s David. I hear you used to be a politician?”

Suddenly I caught sight of the heart monitor: the tiny electrical impulses bumped up and down, merrily indicating that, so far anyway, I was more or less alive. At the same time, I saw David had control of the pipe that connected me to my vital air supply, and the tube that connected me to the heart machine. All in all, he was my passport to life. And there I was, lying helpless as a babe and totally at his mercy.

“A long time ago,” I squeaked.

“Oh no,” said David, “once a politician, always a politician.”

I groaned silently in desperation then tried to feign sleep.

He was insistent. “How did you vote over Brexit?”

“How did you vote?” I gasped.

“A crap decision, if I met that silly bugger Cameron, I would hit him on the nose for holding a referendum in the first place!”

“How wise… nay, far-seeing. I wish I’d thought of that myself!”

“And Corbyn?  What do you make of him?”

“Such a well-trimmed beard. Nothing quite like a good beard!”

“Sod his beard, what about his policies? What do you think of them?”

“Very radical, fundamental… what do you think?”

“Hmmm, and that Diane Abbott?”

“Very sensitive, alert and twinkling eyes. Do you agree?”

“I think they’re a couple of tossers!”

“How very wise. I was about to say exactly the same thing myself.”

So we staggered on until the Black and Decker at my knee stopped buzzing. As I was wheeled into the recovery room, thankful to be alive, David appeared.

“I’m a Thatcher man myself.”

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