I’ve had a smashing day today. The weather in the morning was chilly and grey – thus enabling me to focus on posting about the Black Hole awaiting neolib globalist bollocks. Just before lunch, the warmth broke through to transform dour cloud into a cheery, pristine blue flecked with cirrus.

It was immaculately timed, inspiring me to get out there and continue shaping The Grand Design which – I hope – will emerge from the current crop of weeds and builders’ crap disguising said garden plan.

I freely admit to being well-pleased with the outcome. The veg patch having been de-weeded – and the walkway by the side of it cleaned and widened – as the afternoon wore on from pleasant to fresh early evening, I lit the fire pit and bunged all the culled weeds onto it. The bonus that comes with doing this is the ability to take a few spuds and some freshly cut rosemary, add a bit of salt and olive oil…wrap it up in silver foil, and wack it under the weed cover to cook gently in the glowing embers.

Occasionally people accuse me of being an epicurean, but I refute the charge: the simple things done really well – without frills or sickly sauces – are always the best.


The memory problems that come with the advent of the seventh decade persist and prosper: even the simplest shopping list must be written down, and care taken not to forget the list before heading to the shops. I was in my local village this evening, explaining my plight to the boulangère. I am (I told her) more than a little demencé – suffering from early dementia. “Well,” she replied, “at least you are not demonté” – deconstructed and falling apart. I took this as a compliment.


I’m on the record several hundred times as being doubtful about many aspects of feminism. But there are many facets of life outside the home where women not only deserve at least equal pay with blokes – they offer an added value over and above most men one meets. Including me, probably.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the reporting and practice of bizarre activities in what is laughingly called ‘the financial markets’. Markets are (on the whole) nothing more than a crowd of testosterone-fuelled boys in short trousers performing a daily remake of the movie Lord of the Flies. Not suffering from the curse of groin-thought, girlies almost always come up with a better-balanced perspective about what’s really going on. The two best examples of this knack on the planet are Gillian Tett of the Financial Times, and Frances Coppola – who posts mainly at Forbes.

Both these insightful women have a grasp of social anthropology alongside an excellent forté for mathematical analysis. But above all, what they bring to the party is a considered view that makes the reader think again. Second thoughts are nearly always of a higher quality than Day One snap decisions.

If chaps would only listen, they’d spot that this feminine ability to look for connection instead of insult-trading is what contemporary debate on fiscal and economic matters most lacks. It’s a shame that the control freaks like Harriet Harman, Theresa May, Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel are the ones that have broken through – whereas the real soothsayers like Elizabeth Warren are dismissed as political no-hopers.

As a Grecophile, I’m acutely aware that the current slanging match between Athens and Berlin is sorely in need of some practical females willing to say, “Cut the crap, sh*t or get off the pot”. Except of course, they’d say it in a pre-programmed manner more likely to get a result. For whereas most blokes are clueless about women, the so-called gentler sex is more schooled in the role forced upon them: manipulating men in a way designed to make them behave like adults.

This doesn’t stop me from an intense dislike of the tendency among certain jealous female psychographic types to wallow in finding things men are no good at. My favourite among these is the “men can’t load dishwashers” mantra. How many women, I wonder, are swept off their feet by blokes in hotel kitchens with a passionate genius for loading dishwashers earning £7000 a year.

Double standards in everything from gender pc to pompous geopolitical hypocrisy dominate our media consumption today. So getting away from it all for most of the daylight hours was what made today an especially enjoyable one for me. There is creativity, healthy physical work and transformation in a good day’s gardening that underlines the need of most normal people to be in touch with things natural. I’m looking forward – as the weather gets milder – to doing more first principle stuff like this (and less second-guessing) than has pertained of late.

Earlier at The Slog: Why debt forgiveness is good business