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I’m with Voltaire. We shall never be free until the last monarch has been strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

The monarchy has this at least in common with the church: they are both medieval parasites feeding off the citizens. How have we come into the twenty-first century and still have a feudal head of state? Surely it is time that we had a true democracy with an elected head of state.

We are supposedly in a time of recession, and yet tens of millions of pounds are being spent over the course of this weekend to “celebrate” that a woman has been given hundreds of millions of pounds over the years for no reason other than that she comes from an inbred family. Throwing good money after bad. Appropriate that Sandringham is her favoured property. Normal for Norfolk, as they say.

Could be worse I suppose. We could have the scientifically-illiterate Idiot Son instead.

I look forward to the dissolution of the monarchy, the dissolution of the church, and the establishment of a secular republic, and a truly Great Britain


Parliament Hill, on the southern edge of Hampstead Heath, gives wonderful views across London. It’s only about 100m above sea leavel, but still gives a clear view of the skyline.

On any given Sunday, even the coldest of February days, there will be a crowd at the top, pondering the city.

To the south, St Paul’s stands out amongst Wren’s Masterpieces. Okay, used to stand out. Some idiot in the planning department thought it would be okay to build a great glass tower in a direct line with St Paul’s and London’s favourite viewpoint.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that The Shard is a striking building – when seen in an appropriate context. Such as the view from Tower Bridge when it’s surrounded by similar architecture.

But to frame St Paul’s with this spoils the skyline

I hate flat-hunting.

Trying to find a decent flat to rent when you live in the Home Counties Commuter Belt is a nightmare. Searching for a one-bedroom place and anything half decent goes before you can blink.

Spotted a beautiful flat last night, and by the time I got to the estate agent at lunchtime today it had been let. Grrrr.

During the long months after the holidays, I really need t be saving money. The last thing I should be doing is to be visiting Borough Market. The smell as soon as you walk into the halls is fantastic, both the freshness of the raw ingedients and the cooked food the stallholders have going to show off their wares. The first stall I meet as I go in is a fish stall


They’ve got the burners running and the smell of fish curry is increadible. Someone’s working on a paella as well, but – sadly – it’s not going to be ready for ten minutes, so I move on.


A burst of summer in the middle of winter. I’ve no idea what varieties I bought – other than the obvious plum – I just raked them into my basket. I have already eaten a good bunch of them. If – if – there are any left at the end of the week I’ll make a tomato sauce.


I see a Mushroom Risotto for dinner every night this week.

Okay, what else did I get? Four different varieties of pepper, including Long Pepper, which I’ve been looking for for ages. Three different teas, including a gorgeous first flush Darjeeling. One each of salamis from venison, chamoix and wild boar. A wild boar pie. A big lump of Caerphilly, which is not like any Caerphilly I’ve tasted before. Usually it’s a salty, crumbly cheese; this one is a smooth, rich, creamy cheese, so soft you could almost spread it on toast. An unbelievably rich cheese.

Such a wonderful day. Got a good walk along the Thames too, from Southwark along to Vauxhall.

On my way to Middlesbrough for a skills update course.

I remember now just how much I hate traveling.

King’s Cross, the most revolting station concourse in the country and I was stuck there waiting for a connection for about two hours.

Have to claim back the train ticket on expenses, so not allowed to go First Class. I really hate traveling standard class

And just traveling in general. Dreadful.

Despite the weather – crap, as is expected of the holiday weekend – the Mods gathered in Trafalgar Square for the usual Bank Holiday Run to Brighton and the South Coast.

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