Did you know that [counter] people have been having a skeg at my little autonomous region?


Ostrich Dhansak


Today I have yearned more than ever to be rid of this grey, wet, miserable hell hole of a country that is England. The word of the day today was rain. I have hated every bloody raindrop that has fallen on me today. Each has burned my flesh and brought foetid, damp decay to my poor suffering brain.  In angry response I have composed a strongly worded letter to Jemma Cooper, the television weather presenter lady at BBC Points West and I have my voodoo doll and pins poised ready for action if she doesn’t come up with some serious sunshine in the next twenty four hours. So if Jemma’s eyes are watering and she can’t sit down when she’s doing the forecast tomorrow, you know exactly why!

I spend the whole of the dark winter months trying to be positive, putting up with the dank gloominess and telling myself that the warm and sunny spring and summer months aren’t too far away. What a waste of time and effort. Today was like November. I’ve had enough. I’m off. Just as soon as I have cut my millionth toenail and my bank account is bursting with the spoils of the contents of old ladies’ socks I’ll be knocking on the door of the London Embassy of the Central African Republic to seek meteorological asylum.

Goodbye England. Will the last person to leave please pull the plug out?

On a happier note, this weekend just gone I did some travel type things.

On Saturday my travelling companion and fellow dreamer, Lesley, came to visit my wilderness home. We walked in the hills (and the rain) above Cherhill, drew inspiration from her big colour picture book of beautiful foreign places, made a million plans to visit a million places we’d like to visit, talked bollaux and discovered that the new Indian takeaway in Chippenham (Tale of Spice on Malmesbury Road) has the most exotic of dishes such as Cheesy Peas and Ostrich Dhansak on its menu. We like cheese and we like peas so it made our teas a breeze.

On Sunday I went to a tea party in Bradford on Avon to celebrate my friend Angela’s half century. Here I met people who had been to amazing places and had tales of spice to tell, and I met Angela’s daughter’s friend who was beside himself with excitement because in a few days he was going off to Peru for a month to do all the things that I hadn't done while I was there . . . well, all the things that are legal in Peru for a sixteen year old. His mum was really worried because he had only packed four pairs of boxer shorts for his four week stay. Nothing else worse than that could happen in Peru as far as she was concerned. Angela herself was brimming with glee as she broadcast the news that she herself was going away for a celebratory few days in Rome with her two lovely offspring.

On Monday night I travelled to the Three Crowns pub and micro brewery in the fashionable Causeway district of Chippenham for a little stout and cider festival with thirdborn Rose and her chap, Markell McGinty (a Mancunian of note). The Three Crowns isn’t all that far to travel to but travelling back with a good old drop of Guinness in your belly is certainly a trip for the more intrepid. Markell happens to study at Rose’s seat of learning in the fashionable Maastricht district of the Nether Regions.

I lent Angela my big metal teapot for tea party purposes. Angela’s gone to Rome. I hope I get my teapot back. I fear I may have to travel to Rome to make sure I do.

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