Why the confusion?

Yes. Why the confused mixed messages over SARS/COV-2 and all the rest? Triggernometry (Who as you can see have had their video without bad language or any other pejorative content ‘age restricted’ – then restored, weird huh?) looks at why people are shying away from the much-vaunted boosters and asks some searching questions.

As this blog has observed on more than one occasion, trust, once lost, is awfully hard to recover. This applies to Alphabet corporation and all their subsidiaries (Particularly YouTube) in spades.

I won’t say happy new year because the only happiness you will get is that you go out and find for yourself. Good luck, you’re up against some pretty stiff opposition. Your own sockpuppet governments for one.

Unclean! Unclean!

Ah, this is one of those “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” situations. Now we’re told that those who refuse a third, fourth or possibly fifth and sixth jab of vaccine against the fairly harmless Omicron variant of SARS/COV-2 are now going to be ‘unclean’ and their ‘vaccination certificates’ revoked until they submit to the next experimental vaccine booster.

Back in medieval times when Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy), which is a moderately rare condition now curable by a course of antibiotics was ‘treated’ by turning the sufferer into a pariah, an outcast, doomed to wander from hospice to hospice in search of shelter and food, forever denied the right of simple labour to fill their bellies, warning any who might get close to them with a bell or clapper and the cry of “Unclean!”

Now I’ve heard of old treatments being resurrected like maggots used to clean wounds and packing with honey or sugar, as opposed to the more modern practice of debridement (Removal of non-viable tissue) and packing with Magnesium Disulphate (Epsom salts) to kill an infection. Both work quite well, so I am informed, although I have never seen the former in action. But bringing back the practice of exiling, how very retro.

Yet this is the very thing modern politicians are proposing with their eternally upgrading ‘vaccine passports’. To be honest I’m not going to be pressured into getting a booster jab just to be allowed into some second class eatery. I did the first two vaccinations, had some minor reactions and there my participation in the current round of uncontrolled mass clinical trials ends. You can ban me from restaurants, clubs and pubs. Don’t care. Don’t go to mass sport events and my travel plans are restricted anyway because I have other things to spend my money on. Bitterly pissed off because family members are not able to come and visit, but when panic is the norm, as with Hansens, all logic and sense go out of the window.

“It’s only a little prick.” I can hear the compliant whining already. “It’s for everyone’s safety.” No it isn’t. The “OHMYGAWD!” variant has mutated into a bad cold, the hospitalisation and death rates do not lie. Indeed I would argue that the testing, vaccines, masks and lockdowns have extended SARS/COV-2 from a nasty one season bug into a multi-year phenomenon with no end in sight. Despite all the hype it has failed to live up to expectations.

If we were to do the same for any of the multiple other Corona, Adeno and Rhinoviruses out there, you know, the ones responsible for everyday colds and flu, the whole world would really grind to a complete halt. And it will never end. And it’s not just me saying this (See below).

We heartily endorse this message.

We need…

After a day at the beach and subsequent discussion session it’s been concluded, we need a dog for new year. Mrs S would like a house dog for company. I would like a companion for when I’m working up the fields and come back to the house knackered. ‘North’ also wants us to have a dog so she has someone else to play with when she comes visiting. Said dog will also occasionally travel with us.

Oh by the way, here’s a picture of our two little fields taken from the back of the house (See below). We’re still waiting on final completion, but we and our money are committed and probably should be, but what the hell, you go nowhere in this life if you don’t take the occasional leap of faith.

My previous pooch was a much loved family member. And I’m not sure who picked whom at the shelter I got him from. All the other dogs didn’t make an impression, but when I first saw him he cocked his head expectantly and looked directly at me as if to say “Is it you?” He’d have loved our new place. A complete slut when it came to fuss and treats, and his loss still grieves me after almost seven years. I’d have loved to have gone straight out and found another to replace him, but circumstances and landlords forbade, so we went dogless. Which has left me feeling a little empty at times.

If there’s one thing that can break my heart, wound me to my very soul, it’s losing a family pet. Because deep down I’m a big old softy. Even if I put on a stern face toward the world and can be quite implacable to humans. Pups and kittens? There lies my Achilles heel. Mrs S knows, ‘North’ and ‘South’ know. Anyone even briefly acquainted with me knows. So now we are putting down roots (Finally!) and have something to put roots into, a dog comes as part of the package.

My own preference is for a modest dog. Not a miniature or ‘toy’, nor a purebreed. A mutt or mongrel is my choice. Spaniel / Collie size. Short haired and under 6 months old. Said pooch will have the run of our 5 acres plot and a loving home. As well as the pick of my leftovers and it’s own specially brewed batches of ‘Stoo‘. No one goes hungry on my watch.

However, lockdowns and fashion have inflated the market for house dogs out of all recognition. No doubt when the fad ends the shelters will be swamped with some animals turfed out simply because they are ‘inconvenient’ or ‘unfashionable’. Which is sad for the dogs. They are pack animals and to simply oust them because they are no longer part of a ‘lifestyle package’ must be like throwing a child out of the family home for no good reason.

Dogs, for all their other faults, are loyal, and a good family pet is just that, an inseparable part of your little tribe. To cast them off like so many are is cruelty personified. At least from the dogs perspective. Abandonment from the pack is worse than death because to canines, that is death. A pack is a voluntary co-operative tied by bloodline and preference. Each member has a purpose and to lose that raison d’etre must be agony for them. It’s bad enough for humans. I speak from experience.

Better not to take them into your home in the first place, because the bond between human and dog should be ‘until death do you part’. But that’s just me. A dog is part of your life, not simply a lifestyle ‘choice’. If all you want something just to cuddle or show off to the neighbours, buy yourself a Teddy bear.

It is said you can always tell the measure of a man (or woman) by the way he or she treats his dog (or cat, or whatever). There the matter stands. I may be a while choosing. So may the dog.

An insight

In this short YouTube segment of Jacob Brownowski‘s ‘Ascent of man‘ about the horrors of Auschwitz today I found the answer to many of our current dilemma’s and failures of humanity, from ‘woke’ to COVID.

The key quote is between 1:50 and 2:10 “When people believe they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of Gods.”

Authoritarianism is the source of our ills. The ‘do as I tell you’ mob. The compliant and small minded who can’t bear that others are able to make better choices.

Now I need a day at the beach to mull this one over.

Happy new year.


There is a new (What? Again?) financial scandal underway in that capitalist paradise, the People’s Republic of China. Apparently someone has been issuing duplicate Yuan. Specifically the Chinese minting companies. See news item below.

Corruption is so endemic that the Mint’s management have been printing one set of banknotes for the public, then another with identical serial numbers for kickbacks to CCP officials. Estimated impact; several Trillion dollars. Finds of cash by the authorities aren’t being counted, but weighed.

Just as a thought experiment, how much is a ton of Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes? That’s in tonnes, multiples of 1000 Kilo’s. Given the Chinese habit of not trusting banks and using cash as a direct commodity, literally stuffing it under their mattresses and floorboards, what is this doing to the ordinary Chinese persons financial security?

The authorities have two main choices. Seeing as it’s their officials who have been taking large kickbacks of genuine duplicate currency, they can arrest those found with large hoards of bribes under existing anti-corruption laws and destroy the duplicates. Alternatively they can brush it all under the carpet for a while, but as this scandal is going mainstream right now, the value of personal savings in China will be turned into a haunted wasteland.

The thing is; the Chinese mint, under it’s ‘belt and road’ initiative, prints currency for countries as far afield as Brazil. Now this isn’t in the report above, but any currency that has their currency printed by China may, and I say this advisedly, may be subject to the same duplicate banknote problem, where Chinese officials, paying with ostensibly kosher duplicate cash, buy up property and all manner of commodities in the local currency, thus undermining the cash value of same and create large inflationary bubbles anywhere these corrupt Chinese officials and their families are financially active. The property market all around the Pacific rim for one, and all the major trading centres around the world. Anywhere that does large cash transactions. They all have to ask themselves “Did I just get taken?”

Yeah, yeah, okay, you might say, Bill, all this may be true, but what’s it got to do with us on the other side of the world? My response to that is, so was SARS/COV-2 back in 2019.

Sometimes I feel like a fisherman far out at sea, who, hearing a submarine rumble and feeling the gentle lift of his boat, recognises the sound of a big undersea earthquake and the beginnings of a tidal wave racing off toward land. He does know what will happen when the wave arrives, if it ever does, but he will warn, he can radio the shore so they may prepare, but that is all he can do.

That is, if anyone is listening.

An alternative Christmas dinner

Is there more to Christmas dinner than just Turkey or a roast joint? Well, if one of your much loved close family is vegetarian, and your spouse is on a strict keto diet, you have to get a bit thoughtful in order to accommodate everyone. Compromise is the keynote here.

One of the great things about this festival, although fowl is often the menu of choice, this year I have deviated, they can’t touch you for it, and gone down the piscine path, purchasing a bargain priced side of Salmon and doing the rest of the veg with my own carefully considered choices. Going for a mix of traditional and acceptable alternatives.

You don’t have to have turkey for Christmas dinner. It is not written on any graven monuments saying “Thou shalt only partake of roast fowl this holy day”. Even though that is the tradition. Jesus did not say “Hey, let’s kill a tree and eat only turkey” So while we like tradition in our household, sometimes it’s fun to try something different.

So here it is, the menu for today’s Christmas lunch.

  • Baked salmon with a Honey and Whiskey glaze
  • Sautéed buffalo spiced cabbage
  • Roast garlic butter sprouts
  • English style sprouts (For traditions sake)
  • Roast potatoes with rosemary (Roasties)
  • Riced buttered potato (Mashed spud)
  • A white parsley, dill and lemon sauce

Followed by:

  • Profiteroles (Plain and chocolate)
  • Chocolate and Jameson’s Custard

The above menu has been approved by both Mrs S and ‘North’ in advance. They have wisely left the cook to do his thing while playing with their pressies and videoconferencing in the front room. Cook (Me) is wandering around with a sly smile on his face, headphones in ears, quietly grooving away to some music and watching lovingly prepared foodstuffs bubble and brown their way to perfection.

For those of you gloomily staring at the parsons nose of yet another roast bird while thinking of having a pint in the pub, fear not, while Sunday roast style cooking is fine in moderation, every so often it’s nice to go the extra mile and do something very different. All it takes is a recipe book and a little creative thought.

Merry Christmas to you all…..

Update; A hit, a palpable hit, at least according to my diners. Have been asked to do one of my Bramley apple crumbles (Real Bramley apples, not much sugar, with a breath of cloves) later this week. Perhaps a no-bake lemon and ginger cheesecake as well. What can I say, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.


A Yuletide alternative

Makes a change from sodding ‘Jingle bell rock’ don’t it?

And just so you Christians don’t feel left out;

Whatever you celebrate. Have a bloody good one. And may, in the words of the late, great Dave Allen; “May your God go with you”

Small joys

“North’ is with us. Safe and sound. If the threatened lockdowns are applied in the New Year, she may not be able to go home to jolly old Londinium. We shall see. ‘South’, still in the fabled prison camp of Oz continues to improve although she’s still a bit snotty, but we keep up with daily contact and tell her lots of bad jokes.

Right. In keeping with the spirit of the season, a recipe. A vegetarian, nay vegan recipe. Which is a bit of a divergence for this blog as I am a committed omnivore, but as I am wont to say, chacun a son gout.

Today’s offering is:

Italianate salad dressing. For those times when too much turkey / whatever is enough. If you like a change from Caesar or Blue Cheese, this will get the taste buds talking to you again.

Now I have done this one in a previous post, but these are the detailed instructions, not the precis posted earlier. Again, the focus is on simplicity and taste. Just the thing for when you’ve had a complete day and need something tasty to give an edge to your guilt driven salad.

All salads are driven by guilt. it is in their very nature. We are told they are ‘healthy’ and ‘good for us’, but why, he asked pointedly, do so many salads have to be bland and tasteless or smothered in sugary dressings? Is all that lettuce and stuff food or punishment?

Right, there is a balance to be addressed so here goes. You will need;

  • Half a cup Olive oil. Extra virgin if you can get it. Do not substitute anything else. Other cooking oils are no good.
  • A quarter cup of of Artisan balsamic vinegar. This is the thick and gloopy sweet stuff with a high price tag, but very, very nice. I buy it in 500ml bottles from specialist stores. Each bottle lasts me about two years.
  • A quarter cup of the more commonplace Industriale Balsamic. This is the thin, runny stuff more typically found in your local supermarket. Fine for general use, but none of the complexities and nuances of the Artisan.
  • A splash of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (For our transatlantic cousins this is properly pronounced Wooster-sheer, not War sester shyer. Be told.)
  • One clove of crushed and minced Garlic
  • A pinch (Oh all right, a quarter teaspoon) of dried Basil

It is worth noting that these are not so much amounts as proportions. This is a totally scalable recipe, so you can think of it in terms of 50% Olive oil, 25% Expensive balsamic, 25% cheap balsamic with elements of basil, garlic and Worcester sauce. Find a small clean glass bottle or jar large enough to take all ingredients with a little airspace and put all the ingredients in.

Put top on bottle very firmly. And keep your thumb on top for the next step.

Now shake very vigorously until all ingredients are mixed. Should take five to ten seconds. Leave to stand for an hour or two while the flavours suffuse.

Shake again before use.

Now drizzle (Not pour! Less is more here) a tiny trickle across your guilt trip salad. Taste. Enjoy. Somehow your day will seem a little brighter. And there’s no added sugar so you can use this to enlighten even the dullest Keto salad dish with a completely clear conscience.

In these control freak times, when our lives are subject to the oppressive diktats of panicking politicians, their ‘advisors’ and the perennially petrified, these small gustatory and family joys are a way of quietly fighting back against the bullshit.

Happy solstice.

Good news for a change

Those who support freedom of speech in the UK got a bit of a boost today. An ex-copper by the name Harry White who was put on the ‘Non crime hate crime’ list for liking a tweet, subsequently investigated by the Twatter squad for thought crime has just won a landmark judgement in the UK High Court. The practice of putting non-crime ‘Hate’ incidents upon a register in the UK must now end and it may well be that the records obtained over the last five or six years under this register now have to be deleted.

Coming on the back of Fraser Nelson’s revelations about policy driving science instead of the other way around, this is more good news. Those who were long derided as mere conspiracy nuts are being vindicated. To borrow a line from “A Knights Tale”

“Days like these are too rare to cheapen with heavy handed words.”

It almost restores my faith in human nature so it does. Fraser Nelson and Harry White should be added to the Queens New Years honours for these two victories alone. For these are knightly deeds and should be recognised as such.

For my own small part, my happy news is that ‘North’ is on her way and we’re going to collect her from the airport. Fingers crossed now. The only possible issue is that she might not be let back into the UK as the eejits are talking about locking down. As if that will do any good.

For thy palate

Over the Yuletide period, which officially starts at solstice (tomorrow), I shall be posting a few basic recipes that have over the years, found great favour Chez Maison Sticker.

They are not fancy. They’re easy to make, but oh my goodness, do they add to a dish. Let’s start with the recipe I refined from the New York Times cookbook, that transatlantic bible of culinary excellence, for Tartare sauce, which is a wonderful complement to fish. If you’re feeling posh it makes a nice change from the heavily sugared alternative of tomato ketchup or brown sauce. And it’s so freakin’ easy. And great for diabetics because there’s no sugar.

Tartare sauce recipe: To make a batch which will last a week (About 250g / 1/2lb) or so in the fridge, you will need:

  • Shallots (Those funny little onion things)
  • A small jar of Capers
  • One clove crushed and chopped garlic
  • A teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Half a teaspoon of dried Dill
  • Mayonnaise (If you’re diabetic, check it’s a full fat, sugar free or low sugar type, or better still learn to make your own without.)

Chop your shallots very finely, down to about 1-2mm (1/16th inch) at biggest. Add an equal amount of capers. Chop equally finely to about the same size. Mix. Add garlic, dill and lemon juice. Stir. Add an equal amount of mayonnaise and stir in thoroughly. That’s it.

You could of course do the chopping by food processor, but I like to do it with a knife and cutting board, old fashioned fool that I am.

Now decant mix into a cleaned out jam jar. Stick it in the fridge and use as needed. Now with the average family, this size of batch should last about a week, but don’t bet on it. This stuff vanishes. And it’s better than store bought by a country mile.

All for nothing

Today we wait with bated breath to see if ‘North’ will actually be able to get on the plane to come and see us. I have fresh veg, olive oil and balsamic vinegar (A 60/40 mix of Olive oil and balsamic makes a tasty dip for Ciabatta, add a pinch of chilli and garlic with a squidge of lemon juice and Worcester sauce for an excellent Italianate salad dressing) to purchase for her visit, and another case (or two) of wine.

‘South’ reports that she is feeling much better, despite testing positive for SARS/COV-2 and being forced by diktat to self isolate over the entire festive season. We’ll find a way to get her over this Summer and give her a swinging hammock, a book and some personal space to fully find herself again.

Yesterdays media revelations about Government data modelling that Governments only ask for bad news from the data modellers rankles. No wonder, the panic button has been pressed so hard and so often over the last two years that the public is terrified of it’s own shadows. And it’s all been for nothing.

Yes, nothing. The restrictions and vaccinations have saved no-one. I’ve said from April 2020 onwards that the scenarios / predictions we were all being presented with by government and media over COVID made no sense. But up until yesterday’s news I didn’t understand the actual process.

Oh yes I suspected, but suspicion is not proof. And proof is needed. Evidence is needed. But now we have the evidence in the words of the chairman of the data modellers that they are only asked to model for worst case scenarios. No wonder we’re in a mess.

There is a solidifying body of opinion, but not yet fact, that the restrictions and disruptions have cost tens of thousands of worthwhile lives. All on the back of over-pessimistic worst case scenarios. And all for nothing. All those untreated people who could have been saved. All those who lost everything and were forced onto the breadline and worse. For nothing.

This is not ‘disinformation’ it is the simple truth and anyone complicit in suppressing that truth or censoring conflicting real world evidence is guilty of crimes against humanity. We’re looking at the tech giants here and the big media outfits, with very few exceptions. They’re all guilty as hell of the deaths and economic damage based on nothing but the justification of worst case scenarios produced by uncaring academics for self justifying bureaucrats.

And it’s all been for nothing. The pandemic has gone. The virus has mutated into a relatively benign form. Panic over. Let’s just dump these nonsensical restrictions and try to rebuild society. Said task of rebuilding should be left to the people on the ground, not their governments, who will only get in the way and cock things up.

Like they have been doing for the last two years.

By George I’ve got it!

I’ve done the whole reductio ad absurdam thing and arrived at the only possible conclusion; all these nonsensical restrictions, the bad science, the control freakery.

There’s only one thing it can be;


Look, it makes perfect sense. They’re the most unpleasant race in the galaxy, mean, officious and bureaucratic, it has to be them behind all these irrational restrictions, overblown tests and nonsensical political shenanigans. There’s nothing else that makes sense.

All our political leaders, SAGE, NPHET and the like must be absolutely crowded with the slimy green sods. I think the whole Dial is infected, as is the UK cabinet. They’re all under the thrall of Vogons. I mean you only have to look at Boris Johnsons lack of a hairdo. Who else in the galaxy would be that untidy on purpose?

Am I right? Have we been invaded and our institutions undermined? Comments below please..

Update: In the dear old Speccie, Fraser Nelson may have just busted the whole thing wide open. Longrider discusses in more detail and provides the link. This twitter exchange between Professor Medley and Fraser shows why policy happens as it does and why the worst case scenario is always the model most touted. (If the Spectator link doesn’t work, try this one for the Daily Sceptic)

If you can’t be bothered to pick your way through the twitter thread, have a listen to Mahyar Tousi’s examination in the video below.

The worst case scenario’s on anything appear to be the only ones the ‘policy directors’ ask for. Ergo that’s what SAGE modellers deliver and what gets into the mainstream. I completely agree with (corrected, my bad) Fraser Reg@ratboy101203. It is ‘fucking scandalous’.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t a Vogon in there somewhere though.

Causality is a harsh mistress

Difficult news day. Down in the fabled prison camp of Oz, ‘South’ has just been diagnosed with a SARS/COV-2 infection. She will miss Christmas as she now has to stay indoors for two weeks poor lamb. However, she’s young, fit and otherwise healthy, so she’ll be a bit rough over the weekend and be drumming her heels for the whole of Yule.

For our part we will try to keep her entertained via various video sharing platforms, and all her aunts and uncles will be likewise checking in from their quarantines. We have agreed to all work together to ensure she doesn’t feel isolated and alone. She’s got a good social circle too, so they will be pitching in to help where they can, but Christmas dinner for her will be a sad little sparkler in a glass of orange juice with the culinary horror of a TV dinner. We’ll make it up to her when she finally gets out. You can take that to the bank.

This side of the world it’s a bit touch and go whether ‘North’ will make it across the Irish sea next week. We’re paying for all her extra tests to satisfy the authorities that she is ‘clean’, but honestly I’m kept up nights worrying about the closing window of opportunity. At any time the regulators can slam the door on her leaving and there’s nothing we can do short of smuggling her out to Blackpool and hijacking or bribing a fishing boat or helicopter under the radar to bring her across.

I think I’ve made this point before, but this is abuse by Government diktat. The disease isn’t that bad, the “OHMYGAWD!” variant being more akin to a common cold at this stage if the data coming out of Sarf Efrika is to be taken at face value.

I am only heartened by watching the Tories getting drubbed in their supposedly ‘safe’ seat of Shropshire North, with the potential for another kicking at the ballot box at David Amess’s old seat of Southend West. Pity that not enough protest votes are going to Reform or Reclaim, but that’s for the conscience of the individual voter. They seem to think that keeping on voting for the same mainstream parties will make a change for the better. They will find that this decision will not help, because the legacy political classes are all heavily biased in favour of return to the tentacular grasp of the EU and yet more restrictions.

Unfortunately this will lead to causality writ large. Vote for a rejoiner party, even in protest, and this is what you will get. More pointless regulation of the minutiae of your lives. More masks, more lockdowns, and don’t you dare miss your scheduled jab citizen or it’s off to the COVID gulag with you. No, not them, you. Just because it is someone else’s turn this week does not mean that it won’t be yours next. No matter how far you bend the knee. It will never be enough. This is what giving your life over to doctors looks like. Cause, meet effect. Happy now?

Because those voting for ‘safety’ will only find out that causality is a very harsh mistress. Very harsh indeed.

The beast from the east…

Nope, not talking about a bit of a chilly wind, but the unfolding economic collapse in mainland China. Another eight big property companies have gone bankrupt and the fallout is spreading like spilt ink. The IT and Entertainment sectors have been hit with massive layoffs and redundancies and I’m hearing tales of 40%+ unemployment in places, as well as half of this years tranche of Chinese graduates unable to find meaningful work.

Never mind the massive demographic problem caused by the notorious ‘one child’ policy which has led to an oversupply of men in the population, with not enough women of child bearing age. As well as going broke, to add insult to injury, the average Chinese male looks like going short on nookie.

Language schools have been laying off foreign teaching staff and the whole pack of cards underpinning the Chinese Communist Party and it’s great experiment in state-run capitalism seems to be coming undone. Rolling power outages are common, and the Chinese are unlikely to follow all the western nations in their green economic suicide pact.

Those of us who follow the markets have always been aware of the great imbalances in the mainland Chinese economy. Nor will the effects be local. The sound of this balloon going ‘pop’ will be a little loud. Markets all over the place have been pulling out of the Middle Kingdom for several years now, because if the western mainstream media can’t see what’s coming, the countries that the Chinese have pissed off (Anyone with a common border with them), can.

Now western car manufacturers, long dependent on the Chinese electronic supply chain for microchips have run short, meaning new cars aren’t zipping off the production line quite so fast. Never mind those fancy ‘green-mobiles’ powered by electrickery. Second hand vehicles are, by the laws of economics over here, going up in price.

The global supply chains are still tied in knots and will take quite a while before they straighten and shorten back to a semblance of normality. So if you were wondering what will happen when your old diesel jalopy is due for scrappage by diktat in 2030, I’d hang on to it if I were you. I’ll probably be investing in restorable motorcycles and cars now I’m getting the workshop room.

Mrs S and I have one diesel each and will be keeping them up to snuff because these ‘green dreams’ the current crop of western politicians have said they will foist upon us are just that; dreams. And you know what happens to those come the cold light of day.

With luck we’ll all forget these delusions when we have to face the real challenges of the world. Which is what happens when people wake up. But that ain’t going to happen until everything goes south. And maybe not even then. Most will just mill about in a daze until the next seemingly easy answer comes about. They may be waiting some time.

We have contingency plans in place for everything up to and including a major asteroid strike, even if it is only, “Bend over as far as you can and try to kiss your own arse goodbye.” I didn’t say that they were good plans, or that they guaranteed our survival now did I?

Anyway, to end on a lighter note; here’s a Dad-level joke you can use;

A man walks into a still-open pub. Suddenly stops dead in his tracks and starts looking around wildly, staring in panic all around. “Oh my Gawd!” He shouts. “I can’t smell anything! I’ve lost my sense of smell! The Omicron has got me! I’ve got COVID! I’m going to DIE!”

“Don’t be such an eejit.” says the barman. “You’ve still got your mask over your nose.”

1984 ‘revised’?

Got a tip that George Orwell’s estate has authorised a ‘re-writing’ of his classic ‘1984’. Whoever made that decision should be fired forthwith. You do not re-write books like that. To do so is a crime against not only literature but also humanity.

So I went to check it out. Yes, some nonentity feminist is actually going to re-write Orwell’s warning from the future as a ‘feminist’ tome, focussing on the character of Julia instead of the ordeal of Winston Smith, thus diluting the message contained therein and consigning it to the memory hole.

No idea why this decision has been made. Has Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ been so treated? Or Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’? Or Capek’s ‘Rossums Universal Robots’? Or a host of other classics about totalitarian futures? Or any other of Orwell’s works about 20th century poverty and oppression?

Besides, ‘1984’ isn’t theirs to re-write. Orwell wrote it and any other version simply won’t be kosher. One might trim the odd paragraph or two in an abridged version of a classic, but to re-write under the same title and pass it off as the original? That’s just plain daft, as well as feeling rather sinister.