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The satnav offered me two options for my journey home from Staffordshire earlier this week, a large stretch of the M1 (shorter) or straight through the heart of the Peak District National Park (longer).
Despite the worrying check engine light sign that has plagued my dash for the last month, I opted for the latter and enjoyed an hour of heather lined winding roads, engine stressing hills and picturesque villages.
Please enjoy a minute of my journey through this marvellous place.
Brilliant sunshine gave way to belligerent clouds this evening, and with them dozens of lightning strikes and thunder that rattled the windows and agitated the neighbourhood dogs.
Even as an adult I find thunder unsettling. The lightning, not so much.
E slept peacefully through it all. My mother used to wake me when there was a good thunderstorm. She would first unplug all of the electrical appliances, in case there was an electrical surge, and we’d watch it out of my bedroom window with all the house lights off. I used to laugh when I thought about this later, until I lost an ADSL router during a storm and was without internet for a week.
I’m hesitant to see politicians and politics in entirely black and white terms. I believe that the majority of politicians are hard working, and in general want the best for their constituents. I don’t expect them all the share the same views as me. I’ve voted left and right, depending on my outlook at the time and have no particular love or hate for any political party. The single quality I’m looking for is competence.
It’s been a while since we’ve had anyone competent in charge. Boris survives on bluster, and that falls apart pretty quickly under challenge. May was.. well, I don’t really know what May was. Cameron was competent, though I didn’t agree with all of his policies and certainly not with some of his latter decisions.
Tony Blair was probably the last Prime Minister that was both competent and closely aligned to my political thinking, though we all know that he had his faults too. Despite his errors he was thoughtful, intelligent, charismatic and competent. Why is it that leaders with such qualities are so few and far between? I suppose a better question is: why do we not vote in people with those qualities?
Here he is effortlessly dismissing a eurosceptic MP with an off the cuff quip. There’s a warning for David Cameron here too – which he probably didn’t give enough thought to at the time.
Here’s a bonus video of him giving Nigel Farage the same treatment.
Christ. It seems such a long time since the UK has had a leader with anything about them.
This really tickles me.
Stay home. Stay safe. Wash your hands.
Brian Blessed is an English actor known best of all for his bombastic voice, which is particularly well suited for swearing. Here is a video of his voice perfectly laid over a video of a small frog.
This is what the internet was made for.
We cut our camping trip to two nights. Good lord, those camp beds were uncomfortable. Our camp site was lovely though, and the Peak District deserves more exploration. We camped on a small site on the outskirts of Hathersage. The nearest shop was over a mile away, which in an ideal world is the absolute minimum distance I would prefer civilisation to be. I enjoyed driving up and down Winnats Pass, though my feeble car struggled to match my enthusiasm:
On the way home we took detour to Hardwick Hall. We’ve been before but it deserved a second look. The house was built by Elizabeth Cavendish, a formidable woman who is well worth reading about.
Back to work tomorrow, so I’ve spent my last moments of freedom imagining all of the things that could have gone wrong while I’ve been away.
Sphere, by Michael Crichton
Probably not the book for you if you are claustrophobic, or have any concerns about the probable existence of a malevolent alien intelligence.
From around the web:
- Our family has been using a private email server for the last couple of years. It’s good to know that our most important communications lie on a server that we own – but it’s not always plain sailing. Life After Gmail: Why I Opted for a Private Email Server explains how Helm helped Max Chafkin to take back control of his email, and about some of the issues he faced. [Bloomberg]
- There is a whole village built on top of a multi-story car park in Jakarta: Suburb in the sky: how Jakartans built an entire village on top of a mall. [The Guardian]
- Despite all the studies that show that social media has a negative affect on us, and their woeful handling of our private data, Americans spend more time on it than ever: America’s social-media addiction is getting worse. [The Economist / £]
- Enjoy these photos of people in the 50’s eating picnics: Flashbak