Friday 18 November 2016

Let there be light

Being lucky is not something I ever admit to; in fact I am always under the belief that you make your own luck in this world. And so it was that our winter trip to South Spain was cut rather drastically short while we were travelling along on the motorway minding our own, when the driver of a new BMW crashed rather dramatically into the rear of our camper, at approximately 150kph. Some would say that was a rather unlucky experience but, as we careered sideways down the A72 in a 20 foot vehicle made of paper-thin aluminium, me fighting at the wheel like Captain Jack in a force 10, with my life flashing before me like a rather confusing Asian cartoon, I am quite thankful that the toast landed butter-side up, for once. Eventually, after what seemed like the length of an NHS waiting list, I managed to bring the machine to a halt, still on all four wheels, leaving us just bruised rather than battered like a fish supper. Which is more than can be said for the poor camper, which is now in dry-dock somewhere in mid France and will remain so until insurance companies and parts-suppliers can get themselves organised to repair it. As for the driver of afore-mentioned BMW, when he immerged also unscarred from the wreckage of his car, his first words were, ‘desole, Monsieur, I was NOT on the phone! I just didn’t see you!’ Hmm, if that wasn’t an admission of guilt, what is? He did, however, accept the blame and it is to his insurance company that we are looking for recompense. As a writer, the irony of us spending our last night in the vehicle in a breakers yard behind a funeral parlour was not lost on me – considering that the alternative could have been us within its walls! Of course, it wasn’t long before the phone started ringing from the ghastly business of vulture-like ambulance chasers looking to gets us additional claims of compensation out of this and that, each of whom got short shift. I am sure we could have squeezed a few grand out of the deal to cover our inconvenience but I am, if nothing, a man of chivalrous principles when it comes to such matters.
    Anyway, the upshot of the incident – the silver lining as it were - is that we have now exchanged our winter by the Med for that of the North Sea, as we spend 8 weeks in our wee holiday cottage in Fife instead. I mustn’t complain as so far the weather is reasonable considering the latitude and, with the addition of a new waterproof overcoat, we have spent a few lovely days running the dogs on the beach in St Andrews and its surrounding area. Louis, the pointless pointer, has been suitably fitted with a tracking device so he can be monitored by satellite while he wonders off amongst the grey mist, especially in the evenings as darkness falls around mid afternoon in these parts during December. One exception to this was a night in mid November when the moon shone so large in the sky you could read a book by it. Dubbed a ‘super-moon’ by those in the know, we barred our doors for the night as it was rumoured locally that dozens of ‘lunatics’ were seduced by its rays and were out on the rampage, bringing their madness to the fore in nearby streets and dark alleys. Just a regular Saturday night out in East Fife, then?
    On the subject of light, I have just purchased what I considered at first to be a hoax piece of equipment, or even a contradiction in terms: a solar powered light. How bizarre is that? That’s like having a wind-powered vacuum-cleaner, or a water-powered fountain? Well, in fact, I believe the latter of these does exist, as proved by the Perseus and Andromeda fountain at Witley Court, but I digress. Anyway, despite it being mid winter and the sun being as rare as a Mexican’s US visa, I have to announce that each time we head to our back gate after 3pm, this tiny little gadget bathes the yard in blinding white light without so much as a quarter turn of the electric meter. Whatever will they come up with next? Cold-powered central-heating would be kinda handy. Come on James Dyson, set to the task!
     And so we have it, eventually I had to get around to mentioning Trumpton. A few times in the past I have joked about old ‘hairpiece’ getting into the Whitehouse but, now it has happened, I don’t actually know what to say. On the up-side, the fact that Mister President owns some facilities in Scotland may add an attractive touristic draw to the country for the few American’s who actually have passports and any money left. And that it could have been worse: Ahmed-the-dangerous, or Hitler could have won the vote. And that now at least Nigel Farage has a friend. Let’s at least look on the bright side. Here’s a thought, as Trumpy is so in love with Scotland, maybe, after he has finished pointing his Great Wall of Mexico, he might get his construction company to rebuild the one that Hadrian started all those years ago, the same one which Alex Salmond failed to finish. Let’s face it, Stickleback Sturgeon is already inciting the next round of negligent fund-wasting on yet another referendum, so he could do the job for her. And instead of deporting immigrants, they could all be issued with trowels on an apprentice bricklaying scheme. Once they had finished that, they could just divvy up Korea, Syria, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and the Middle East along with all those other countries that don’t have a channel of water to Brexiteer across. That way the whole world could get on with their lives together without being shot at and the newspapers could stick to what they are best at, making personal attacks on the lives of the Royal and famous. Good on you Rednecks, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good!