It’s Cliff Richard’s Birthday today.  Weird how these things come to mind.  Eighty-two years young, the ego can be callous in its trickery.  He still seems to believe he is some kind of adonis, happily churning out the calendars year after year.  Meanwhile, the very mention of his name emits steam from Manny as he remembers his encounter with Sir Cliff in Portugal almost a decade ago.  By chance, he was flogging his wine on the beach in Albufeira – or thereabouts – and a small queue had formed as he sat at a table and signed the bottles.  Now, remember, I said small queue.  Well, Manny thought a signed bottle of Cliff’s – Sir Cliff’s wine would be the perfect gift to bring home for me (he loves me!) and so, rapidly in front of him, he asked if he could preface his signature with another seven letters by writing ‘To Trish’?  No, he could not.  He would only sign his name.  Anything else would take too long and there was a queue, for goodness sake – of about ten people!  Pointing out that ‘Trish’ was a mere five letters, Manny was escorted to the side and told to wait until the end.  Only then, might he be able to oblige.  Small queue, remember, the wait was about two minutes but that two minutes satisfied the giant ego of an ageing star … who believes it all.  You know what, he was a huge star in his day, certainly when I was growing up, and I saw him several times at the Caird Hall in Dundee – once with Olivia Newton-John.  We used to wait outside, after the concert, for his autograph and, inevitably, Pop would take great pleasure in telling us that he saw him leave – in his fur coat, I might add – from another door.  Happy days!  May I  say, though, that his wine was superb!  Grown on his vineyard in the Algarve, surprisingly it was 14% alcohol – anything but shallow!

Sorry, that was a long paragraph and nothing remotely resembling that which I had planned to write.  Oh, well …  I do have a thing about dates.  Yesterday, for example, would have been my thirty-eighth wedding anniversary – and that of the Brighton bombing, the IRA’s attempted assassination of Maggie and the rest of the Conservative party staying at the Grand Hotel for their party conference.  Imagine, forever, one’s wedding being associated with such an awful event.  The flag hung at half-mast over the club house at Ladybank Golf Club in the aftermath of the news – of the bombing!  I know.  Talk about ignoring the signs …

I have a wealth of news to hand, here, but it is all awful!  On the day that Kwasi Kwarteng was sacked, we are in big trouble.  I have tried to warm to Liz Truss but I find it impossible.  She is a caricature of that girl I didn’t like at school; the one who was so boring; so prim; such a goody-two shoes; such a swot.  The bookworm who had no personality and was bereft of a sense of humour but tried to be funny – and failed.  That girl who thought 90% wasn’t enough but could bear the humiliation just as long as she was still top of the class.  God forbid she came second!  That girl whose ambition defined her.  Recognise her?  Funny, I had my own name for her which captured her perfectly – and so perfectly descriptive is it that both Becca and Manny use it, to this day, to describe the type.  No, if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you!  Tempting.

Anyway, Liz Truss is that girl I didn’t like at school.  Seems, too, that nobody likes her now and definitely not Kwasi Kwarteng!  You see, that’s also typical of that girl, using someone else as the fall guy.  She was totally ‘in bed’ with Kwasi (literally, I think, would have been her choice judging by the way she swooned at him) but, when all hell began to break loose, she threw him under the bus without a backward glance.  Her walk is one of arrogance – much like that of the ‘White Stiletto’ – and then there is that smirk.  Thing is, with every move, with every U-turn, she is sinking further and further into the abyss.  Desperately trying to save face, there is no saving face.  Her party has had enough.  According to a YouGov poll, yesterday, Labour has surged to a 33-point lead over the Conservatives.  Didn’t I say we were in trouble?  The ‘White Stiletto’ will be stirring her cauldron with glee in the misguided belief that her opponents are dropping like flies.  Hello!  Still here and plenty of us.  Just a little more civilised than some!

Applauding myself for a rare uncontentious post, I just nipped downstairs to replace my water with wine – my talents know no bounds – and heard the news that Robbie Coltrane has died.  Only 72, no reason given.  The norm these days.  Poised!  It was impossible to think I could ignore the obvious; refrain from voicing my opinion …  As the ‘promotion’ campaign for the booster ramps up – I prefer to call it scaremongering – the over-50s are being ‘encouraged’ to step forward for their Covid booster.  No, of course it’s not the same as the last one.  This one has the added bonus of immunising against the Omicron strain, too.  Whoop Dee Doo!  How many have you had so far?  Gosh, I’ve lost count – three, four?  Whatever, the virus keeps mutating and Big Pharma needs you to listen and co-operate – for your own safety and that of your granny (well, that’s been proved a joke – or, more accurately, a lie!).  What’s in this latest booster?  More gene modification?  No idea but, following two years of imprisonment, we haven’t been exposed to normal viruses – or normality – such as the common cold or flu and, therefore, our immune systems are set to take a beating.  Or, so one is led to believe.  In fact, multiple doses of the vaccine have meant that immune systems are shot to hell!   Of course, they are and a fourth or a fifth shot will only compound the inevitable.  Take the combination – Covid and Flu.  My God!  More and more, I hear of those who are onto their umpteenth booster; those who have succumbed to the scaremongering – or been co-erced by the mandates – and taken every Covid vaccination.  They’re still getting Covid.  In fact, they are succumbing to every virus going.  What does that say?  Protected?  On the contrary, their immune systems are destroyed.

This week, in the Dutch parliament, a spokesperson for Pfizer admitted that the vaccine was never tested for transmission.  I repeat, never tested for transmission!  So, the argument to stop the spread with a jab?  False.  The argument to be vaccinated in order to protect the elderly, the vulnerable, your granny, for goodness sake?  False.  What?  In a word, the conspiracy theorists, the tin hat brigade, the so-called anti-vaxxers – who were no such thing but, rather, advocates for personal choice – have been proved right all along?  What of the politicians, the high-profile celebs and TV doctors – Sarah Jarvis, my ultimate squirm – who, needlessly, co-erced us into having the vaccine, no doubt to the sound bite, ka-ching?  Andrew Neil, who spoke of punishing the unvaccinated?  Piers Morgan who was positively vitriolic in his condemnation of the anti-vaxxers who were anything but?  Justin Trudeau, who called the unvaccinated ‘racist’?  What of them?  Unforgettable.  Unforgiven.

On the 23rd August, 2022, mountain biker Rab Wardell died suddently, aged 37, just days after winning the Scottish MTB XC Championships.  He suffered a cardiac arrest while lying in bed, completely out of the blue!  Yet another added to the list of sportsmen dying suddenly, unexplained …  Deafening silence from the mainstream media, once so quick to issue an hourly update on ‘Covid’ deaths.

This week, Martine McCutcheon revealed her heartbreak at the sudden death of her 37-year-old younger brother, LJ, without medical explanation.  What is going on?  The correlation of data offers its own explanation …  In June 2022, Portugal’s excess mortality rate was 23.9%; the highest in Europe.  Co-incidentally, Portugal happens to be the second most vaccinated country in Europe.  Similarly, Bulgaria, as the least vaccinated country in Europe, has the least excess mortality.  Any pointers here?  Of course, one is told that correlation is not causation but data is data – and data was so important during the pandemic!  On the 22nd August, I listened to Neil Oliver on GB News stating that the number of excess deaths in this country is as high as 1,400 per week.  Is that reported?  Cause Unknown.  Is it?

Well, it was never going to last …  On an equally scary note, what of that hideously awful robot, Ai-Da, who appeared in the House of Lords on Tuesday?  She paints, apparently, and campaigns.  Exterminate, I say!  Are we sufficiently stupid to develop a robot in our own effigy?  Rhetoric.  Has nobody seen Frankenstein?!

Let me leave you with the comforting thought that a computer – yes, a computer – has written a novel.  Yes, and moreover, it nearly won a literacy award!  Methinks the only thing that let it down was its chosen title:  The Day a Computer Writes a Novel.  Inspired.  Totally inspired.  Note to self …

We have now left Reason and Sanity Junction.  Next stop, Looneyville.’

Jim Butcher, Grave Peril.

This is Trish, signing off.