mid July

We drove the dawter to London. Today we received a fine for driving down her road. £65.

I went shopping locally. I received a fine for £35. I contested it and got a very long letter telling me I was wasting my time.

I told the old git to contest the £65 but he declined. In the end sometimes the energy it takes to fight a losing battle drains the very essence of life. Haven’t we been ground down enough?

Local radio is being torn apart like cheese strips.
Local buses are being grounded.
Local post arrives late or not at all.
Local surgeries are full.
Local doctors have fled.
Local greengrocers don’t exist.
Local fishmongers are floundering.
Local house building is thriving only no buggers are buying.
Local amenities are shrinking.
Local tension is rising.

And on and on it goes and we twiddle our thumbs not knowing what to do.

We went to the National Theatre to see Johnny Flynn and Mark Gatiss in ‘The Motive and The Cue’ and what a jolly night it was. Phoebe Horn, a young woman we have known since she served coffee in The Deer Park Cafe, is as delicious on stage as she is off. She bought us dinner, she bought us tickets, and me and the old thespian cried at the stage door. The Horn-ed chicklet has fled the nest and off on the flight of her life. We left London sat-navigating our way through new roads and bollards, cctv and pedestrian walkways. It’s no wonder we keep getting tickets I cant work out where a road ends, a bus lane begins or why the Old Kent Road feels like The New Kent Road leading us to the hop fields of Kent.

But now it is true everything seems unfamiliar. From the weather to the news, and with by-elections on the horizon, all of a sudden the cost of living crisis is betting better, aint that a stunt? Petrol has gone down and so has the price of milk, aint that amazing? All of a sudden the Tories appear to know what they are doing. Don’t be fooled. We are living in a toy town made of paper and cork tops. The Tories speak and feel with forked tongues and wooden hearts.

Tomorrow I am off to Hastings. Not an away day with the old git but on a mission to get money back from the government. I have pages and pages of little bold print telling me why I can’t get a refund on my Council Tax. Even though I have been reliably informed that when a geezer gets a blue badge there is an automatic reduction of 25% in the council tax.
‘You’ll never win’ say the feint hearted. It’s not about the winning it’s about making them feel as uncomfortable as possible. The cowardly bureaucrats who run Wealden District Council, have about as much empathy as a goats empty ball sack, so I will enjoy taking them on.

It’s a funny old time. With burning holiday resorts and sharks circling our shore lines. With umpteen petitions to sign from saving our sports centre to keeping our railway ticket offices open. There is desperation everywhere. With the younguns relationships as confused as Farage’s banking details. The summer holidays loom and whose going to brave a scorching Greece or a baking Italy. Whose going to take a staycation in a countryside that has sewage in drains and an infrastructure that has shit for brains.

Everything feels grubby at the moment, we all need a good hosing down only there’s a ban. Everything feels run down and dusty. Sunak simpers his way around factory floors whilst looking like somebody is pulling his strings. Orange confetti and super glue seem a small price to pay for changing our future instead larey car drivers who want to take their kids to school are kicking the protestors to the ground whilst the scintillating Sunak watches from the hard shoulder. Or does he? If he does nothing then he cannot be accountable for anything. The country feels lawless and loveless at the moment. But let us not forget that out of the chaos will come order. Out of the chronic mess we find ourself ourselves in, sieving through the embers of the old, a spark will remain and light the embers of the new.
This I believe, because if I dont believe what is left?

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