Monday, May 29

The herd returns

We have the full remuda back in the yard, a dozen ponies. Beats having to break out the mower (neighbours are cutting silage). Daisies and buttercups as far at the eye can see.

Sunday, May 28

Europe must pay its way, says Angela

I think that's what Trump's been saying: stand on your own two feet.

Election fever – Greeks (and politicians) bearing gifts

What’s the bid? Whatever the bid is, I double it! Ben Rumson has a lot to answer for.

I know some are keen to knock the antics of  our contemporary football heroes. Yet sitting here watching the pre-race melee on the grid at today’s Formula Grand Prix from Monaco … is there a more effete-looking bunch of Eurotrash anywhere – and I mean ‘anywhere’ – in the entire sporting arena?

Hollow men

On one of her health and fitness campaigns, and as the day ahead is forecast to be a series of thundery showers – a write off, Mrs G. pitched Gudgeon out of bed at sunrise and led me on a ninety-minute jog across the moor. Am too old for this sort of shit … could barely manage to pour my traditional Sunday glass of Buck’s on return. Needed a livener to face the Vince and Tasmina Show – a ghastly pair. Are we are too hard on our politicians I wonder? I suspect we’re far too deferential.

Friday, May 26

Brexit will be a doddle

So, nothing to worry about, eh?

Bump in the road

The poll in today’s Times will put the wind up Strong and Stable. Taken before the Manchester bombing, it indicates the degree of anger over her proposed dementia tax. After firing off a missive to our local candidate last weekend, I was sent a placatory ‘Dear Bernie’ by return, signed by Dr Sarah, Medicine Woman. The damage is done, however, and the brand has been tainted. No one doubts May will win the election – all she has to do is threaten us with Diane Abbott. But thoughts of a landslide already smacks of hubris.

Thursday, May 25

Party time at the homestead

Needless to say it’s party time at the homestead, with Mrs G. celebrating Manchester United’s win in Sweden. I’m not sure Jose has replaced Sir Alex in the good lady’s affections, though she has stopped throwing bottles at the television. Barbecue for supper, naturally, three-lemon chicken and a cheeky number from Savoie – a breath of mountain air.

Bummer

Just think about that: upper-class smokers are less likely to die, even when they smoke the same amount of the same carcinogens as working-class smokers. Because this study was conducted in the UK, with its National Health Service, health differences could not be explained by varying access to treatment. Nor could they be explained by poverty, since even the lowest-ranked people in the study had jobs that paid a living wage. The gradient was linked with harm to the vast majority of those studied: unless you were the single person at the top, your health wasn’t as good as it could be if you were even higher. That’s because, in addition to the obvious stressors of low status such as having a precarious job and little control over your life, “there’s just endless reminders [of your status],” Sapolsky says. “Someone passes you on the street and you’re reminded of your low status by the expensiveness of their clothing. You go for a job interview and try to regulate that accent of yours that gives away your low [status] roots and you smile uncomfortably because your teeth are in lousy shape.”

Wednesday, May 24

Working outside, playing catch-up

One of those rare, peaceful – dare I say idyllic – days. Glorious sunshine and not a breath of wind. A haven for the multitude of tweeting birds, snorting ponies and biting insects. Not so much a different world as another galaxy, with none of those pesky Mekons.

A nation grieves

The death of Princess Diana taught us a lot about the need for many of our fellow citizens to fetishise grief. The rest learnt to keep their heads down, as anything we said could be interpreted as crass and insensitive. Would almost certainly be crass and insensitive.

Tuesday, May 23

Events...

There's a Napoleon Bonaparte quote that springs to mind. Better lucky than strong and stable.

Monday, May 22

Project fear

Conservatives continue to bang on about the great bogey man, Jeremy Corbyn, seemingly secure in the belief we won’t go there. Be warned, however … we were told in no uncertain terms that if we voted leave, Britain would have to quit the single market and flush our economy down the drain, first-borns would be ritually slaughtered, and everyone’s willy would drop off. Voters can be obstreperous bastards when riled.