Day 10: Northampton to Hanslope

Can’t See the Route for the Trees

Hot and hot again. Lost in the woods as usual. Our maps are dire, and we waste time. I am reminded of the eight POWs who escaped in 1944 and used a map of the route to England one of them had purloined: after they arrived in Dover after months of travelling, they discovered that their “map” was of the London tube Northern Line.

Pop Boris?

The word is out that Boris is too keen on personal popularity to be much use as a Prime Minister.

I would like to see what evidence can be presented to sustain this proposition, for from where I am sitting, indications are all the other way round.
In November 2020, he removed the whip and thereby destroyed the careers of 25 rebellious Tory MPs, including three former chancellors. He axed his one-time buddy Dominic Cummings. Now he has just increased taxes on his supporters and removed the so-called “triple lock” on pensioners’ incomes. In the main, they are the ones who vote and when they do, often vote Tory.
Funny way to win popularity!

Shades of Absurdity

Of course, I lost my sunglasses because I always lose them. Anyway, I stopped at a shop in Stratford and chose a replacement.

“How much? I asked.

I left and bought a perfectly adequate pair at a chemist for £5:99!

Losing It

Don’t worry about losing things. I read somewhere that if you go into the kitchen and can’t recall why, not to worry – we all do that. But if you go into the kitchen and can’t remember what a kitchen is actually for, then you have a problem. 

I see that Apple have stopped only catering for the needs of the young (you know, the unmissable apps that facilitate having sex with strangers, looking at Chinese porn or having one’s toenails painted vermillion at midnight by a Brazilian transvestite).

Now the Apple clever clogs have designed a device for those of us of a certain age who lose things! It’s called AirTag. The technology consists of a small stainless-steel disk that you can stick in your wallet or whatever it is you worry about losing. You can ring the device by Bluetooth, and cleverly – don’t ask me the details – it will tell you where the lost item can be found. This will be a change from my having to endlessly ask Jane where I’ve left stuff. She gets fed up with it, and who can blame her? Sometimes she thinks I’m going doolally because she can see the lost item sticking out from my back pocket.  

But I’ll need a box of a dozen of the things to help me find my mobile, my car keys, my wallet, my glasses (all three pairs), my watch, my various books, my good pen, the TV remote and my walking shoes. Sometimes I need an app to tell me why I have gone upstairs, for I’m blowed if I can remember.

It’s a £29 for one AirTag and £99 for a pack of four – and just for the suspicious, no, I’m not on commission.

I hope in the future Apple will develop an invisible device to be connected to my hearing aid that can quietly tell me the name of the person I am talking to. Were they at Sandhurst or at Wycliffe, are they a major ZANE supporter, were they involved with me in Lloyd’s rows, or are they a distant cousin of Jane’s? These people always seem to know me well enough, but often I don’t have the foggiest who they are. After all, Apple can do darn near everything, so why not this?

And keeping the best for last, listen to this idea. An app called Bladder Pal has been designed to calculate the number of times you’re getting up in the night and measure it against the national average for your age and gender. Big market for this one.   

Remember you heard about it from me first!

Fake News

Emma Revie – head of the foodbank umbrella Trussell Trust – implied in a recent Guardian article that the rise in the number of foodbanks and food claimants has come about because of Boris’ Tory government and cuts to social security provision. It’s a good job Jane’s Oxford charity, CEF (Community Emergency Foodbank), never joined the Trussell Trust. I knew when we started it that as sure as you can say baked beans, Trussell would swing left – such charities always do – and start to spout drivel in our name by implying that the wicked Tory government is more or less solely responsible for the rise in the numbers of those attending foodbanks.      

All such charities end up being run by Revie types who virtue signal compassion as they spend other people’s money. I don’t mind opposing political views, but what I can’t abide is people who know better, such as Revie, writing things that she must know are patently false.  

The facts are these: in 2006/07, under Labour, Jane and I founded CEF. Since its foundation, we have supplied emergency food to more than 40,000 of Oxford’s poorest.

Foodbanks stretch right across the world from Tasmania to Los Angeles and are found in all EU countries. No government, of any political stripe, has created a benefit system that caters for the varied reasons people need foodbanks: these include alcoholism, mental illness, desertion, drugs, prison, divorce, family breakdown, loss of work, gaps in benefits, gambling and human folly.

Revie ought to be ashamed.

1 comment

    • Anthony Reynolds on September 12, 2021 at 7:00 pm
    • Reply

    Pinot Noir is a popular wine. They are bringing out a special blend for you and me: Pinot More!

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