Clap for carers

Why I’ve gone off country sports

‘Oh, I do so love to see all the lovely pheasants running around the place,’ said the lady walking the Alsatian up the farm track. The huge dog was straining at the leash, pulling her along, but she was trying to stop for a chat with the builder boyfriend as he mended a fence. I came alongside them in my car as I arrived at the farm to ride Darcy. I got out and joined the tail end of the conversation, in which the builder b took it upon himself to explain to this sweet lady that the pheasants got shot. Look, he had to. She was under the impression

Why I’ve gone right off the police

‘Welcome to Victims First. Please leave your name and number and we will return your call. Beeeeeeeeeeeep!’ I had rung the number given to me by the police to pay my fixed penalty fine for not having an MOT. This £100 I was trying to pay was coming out of an increasingly tight household budget, incidentally, so I decided that the fairest thing to do was to claw it back from the state. I had, of course, deeply apologised to the officer who pulled me over for forgetting the MOT after the Covid extension period ran out. And I begged him to let me drive straight home, park off road,

Join me for weekly Scream If You’re Going Round The Bend

Never mind Clap for Carers, I’m trying to start a new weekly morale booster called Scream If You’re Going Round The Bend. The idea is you come out on to your doorstep once a week and stand there screaming until you’ve got it all out. It could be fantastically cathartic and do much to help the growing mental health problems caused by lockdown. Let’s make it every Friday at 8 p.m. I don’t want to clash with the key worker hero worship, so Thursday night is out, and doing it on Wednesday would only make it look as though I was trying to upstage Our Wonderful NHS. If we make

How the French view their weekly clap for carers

Once a week we break French emergency law and have a friend round for drinks on the terrace. The terrace overlooks the village rooftops as if it were a box at the theatre. Two weeks ago we were pleasantly lit up, when, at one minute to eight, the villagers below came out on to their terraces or stood at their windows and front doors to make a noise in support of the ‘essential’ workers: nurses, doctors, carers, postmen, shopkeepers, council workers, and so on. Some banged saucepans together or beat them with wooden spoons. Some blew horns of one kind or another, including what sounded to me like one of