There is a clear view this morning although it is still pretty grey and grim, it is also cold so it's an excuse for the missus to fire up the wood burner she has wanted for so long, I have to admit it throws out some heat, enough to make its way up the stairs and warm the rest of the house. Nothing stirs of course at this time of the day, I am up early again as we still have guests and rock and roll music is coming from the living room. Village life is settling down for the winter, all outside work on houses has ceased, gardens tidied and grass cut perhaps for the last time and any entertainments have retreated to the village or church halls.
The missus was out the other night and I had settled down to 'Being Human' some nice cheese, crackers, grapes and a Hungarian dessert wine, I know how to treat myself, whence there came a knock at the door. Now I don't get people knocking on my door I don't have that many friends and certainly none who would want to disturb me when I am settled, so I eased myself out of the seat and hit the pause button. It was a neighbour from a couple of doors down, "Can you drive me to the vets the cat needs putting down." I hesitated as the missus was out, no phone and I would have had to lock up and she didn't have a key when my neighbour provided the perfect excuse, "perhaps you have been drinking?" I had been drinking so I apologised, she apologised and went for a taxi and I returned upstairs feeling guilty nonetheless.
I went into Lancaster the following Thursday and had my original large white bandage on my cheek, I now know how people who are different feel when walking the streets, you would have thought I had two heads. People either stared openly or took furtive glances when they thought I was not looking, kids huddled into their mothers as I passed, I do admit to making scary faces at some of them. I had an overwhelming urge to dribble at the mouth, hunch over and shout "the bells, the bells" but my courage deserted me, besides, her indoors would not have been amused. The reaction of my customers was even better, half of them simply asked me straight up what was wrong, the other half looked everywhere but at my face.
This neatly ties in with the BBC documentary "Is Britain Racist" to which I took great offence. The gist of the programme was that most of us are racist but we don't know it and the journalist Mona Chalabi went to great lengths to prove her theory. We got the moronic English Defence League trundled out, people who scare me and I am white, people whom most of us would not let through the door. Then three or four people were asked to spend a day in areas where they would of course stick out, apart from a few cat calls these generally went without incident, no doubt much to the chagrin of Ms Chalabi. She then popped into a pub and showed some people pictures, guess what, in the main white people preferred white people and black people preferred black people, when they were told it was 'not a racist test' most took it as such and squirmed in front of the camera instead of telling her where to go. I have lived in this country for sixty-two years and until I was 56 never had any dealings with anyone who was not white, that it would seem is enough to make you a closet racist. I now have a Tanzanian daughter-in-law and have been to Tanzania to her wedding and I meet her family now and again and colour simply does not enter the equation.
Are you on tenterhooks over another Scottish referendum or like me you don't care and are intelligent enough to know that the SNP will try again at some point and things should be left at that.
PS. It would seem I have been remiss in mentioning the return of No.1 son after seventeen years abroad and I am in danger of having this brought to my notice for the rest of the day. This has had the side effect of providing me with a base just outside London in Chorleywood from which to explore the capital and attend some of the wargame shows which until now have been out of reach and perhaps allow me to meet up with some W&C buddies from time to time. It also sadly means I shall have to venture abroad myself to get my favourite tipple, a bottle of which he presented to me last night.