The pool is open. Hurrah. The pool has problems. Ooouurrgh.

The filtration is blocked. The pump is underachieving. There are two very dead toads doing the necrophylliac jive in the backwash system. The skimmers are overflowing. The circulation is farting like the cowboys in Blazing Saddles.

Let me tell you, it’s a hard life being a bloated plutocrat.

Today has been what my mum used to call “one of those days”. On the one hand, the cherries are turning from green to yellow: the next stages will be pink, red and then dark claret. On the other hand, I went for my siesta this afternoon….and this was the signal for everyone to visit me.

The painter wanted to discuss the colour palette for the shutters. The pool bloke wanted to explain why the circulation had a severe wind problem. The electrician wanted his money. And a lawyer rang (just as I was returning to bed) with news of no great import….although she seemed quite excited about it. Perhaps I’m missing something, but when I need to siesta, what I mainly want is for everyone else to bugger off.


From New Zealand comes the news that Prince Harry has been speaking Maori. This must represent a move on from the lachrymose rubbish he’s been spouting for the tabloids of late. He’s an interesting bloke, but has sadly inherited his mother’s penchant for alternatively loathing and using the gutter press.

Nigel Farage suffers from the same affliction. What all moths who fly too close to the lightbulb of publicity almost always fail to understand is that, in the end, the surface of the sun (or the Sun) burns the feathers and melts the glue. Having fallen foul of the tabloids by promising much and delivering nothing, Farage is now crashing back to Earth….a modern-day Icarus…or even Ukiparus.


Former Goldman luminary Jim O’Neill has popped up again as an adviser to the Treasury….with a peerage in the offing. But as ever – despite his cv – O’Neill seems to be on the side of the good guys.

“For many years I have described London as the BRIC capital of the world: the city that is the greatest beneficiary of the growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China,” he said late in 2014, “But from a national policy-making perspective, it is quite easy to think that perhaps London is doing just fine and that it is elsewhere that needs policy support….. Over a long period, under governments of all political colours, our economy has become unbalanced and our capital city has come to dominate more and more. We can reverse it – and create a balanced, more healthy economy for working people across our United Kingdom.”

I do like Jim. He’s a nice bloke. We should let him get on with what, I’m sure, is a well-intentioned piece of putting things back.

Earlier at The Slog: Javid, Murdoch, Hunt, Feral Shapps & Partners