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We went on another British road trip last week and I managed to be organised enough to schedule some posts to be published while I was away, just in case I didn’t have access to the internet. It turned out that I didn’t feel much like being online anyway, I was too tired as usual, what with running around during the day.

We visited mainly places which we hadn’t visited before. It’s sad but true that I enjoy visiting places in the UK which I’ve heard about, mainly on the TV or radio – often just on road traffic reports, and I wonder what they’re like if I’ve not visited them.

So now I can envisage Wigan, Haydock, Biddulph Gardens, Buxton, Alcester, Blenheim Palace (Woodstock and Bladon) Geddington, Market Harborough, Geoff Hamilton’s Garden at Barnsdale (Rutland), Uppingham, Oakham, Wetherby, Northallerton, Mount Grace Priory, Sedgefield, Washington Village, Morpeth, Rothbury, Cragside and Wooler. The only places we had visited before were Alcester, Blenheim/Woodstock, Morpeth, Cragside and Wooler.

This time we started off driving down south via Moffat in the Scottish Borders. The bookshop was open and I bought two books –
1. Murder Among Friends by Elizabeth Ferrars
2. Crazy Pavements by Beverley Nichols

It was a bookish beginning to our break, we were heading for Wigan, an unlikely place to visit but as I had just read George Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier I was intrigued to find out what it was like now. It has a newish shopping mall but you can tell from the older buildings that Wigan was indeed down at heel in the 1930s. Unlike many places, mainly down south, there was virtually nothing in the way of art deco/1930s buildings. From which I assume that nobody was doing any building at that time, it was a very depressed area. It’s not exactly vibrant at the moment but it’s still an awful lot better than Kirkcaldy, my nearest large town, which seems to have yet another empty shop each time I visit it.

We stopped off at Buxton, mainly because it was a Georgian spa town and has associations with Jane Austen.

Sedgefield was chosen as an overnight visit mainly because it was Tony Blair’s constituency when he was an MP and I wanted to compare it with Kirkcaldy. In the end I didn’t even take any photos there as it was such a wee place with just a few shops, a village really. I feel quite unreasonably aggrieved with the inhabitants of Sedgefield for voting in Tony Blair as their MP and allowing Blair to set off on his egomaniacal merry power binge which has put us in the horrendous position we are in now.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to over the last week or so and I plan to show you some photos of the various places which I hope you might be quite interested to see.

What did I buy when I was away? Not a lot really, apart from some more books, but that’s another blogpost.

Tony Blair – A Journey

This is a wee bit of a rant. I tried to stop myself but it got the better of me in the end.

Tony Blair came to my notice some time before he stood for the Labour leadership contest. I had given him the nickname of ‘The double-glazing salesman’, which I now think is a slur on all such people but at the time it seemed appropriate.

So you’ll have gathered that he was never my favourite person and I remember standing in the school-playground at the time telling my friend Molly just what I thought of Blair. Molly rather liked him, thought he was a good guy. I just couldn’t stop myself from pointing out to Molly that she was already divorced twice, so maybe she wasn’t the best judge of character. I can be a bit of a bitch at times.

He turned out to be even worse than I could possibly have imagined and it just amazes me that people are still taken in by him. I’ve been trying to ignore all the hoo-ha about his book because just thinking about him isn’t good for my blood pressure I’m sure. But I’ve heard along the grapevine that people in shops and libraries have been moving his book to the horror/crime sections, and that really cheered me up.

Originally I thought that whenever anyone buys a copy of the book, it should be put into an extra strong bag, something that could double up as a sick bag in fact, as I’m sure it would make me feel quite ill. But having heard that there are quite a few sex scenes in it, I’ve amended that idea and I think that every purchase should have a free bucket given out with it. I don’t think a sick bag would be adequate for me anyway.

I can’t tell you how angry I was when he said that he was nearly in tears when he met a young war widow, but he is still talking up a war with Iran. He hadn’t been in power long at all when you could see that mad look in his eyes. Just to be even-handed here, I must say that it was the very same look which Thatcher developed too.

I’m not at all impressed by the fact that he is giving the money from the sales of his book to charity. As conscience money, it won’t go very far and no matter what he does in the future, despite his conversion to Catholicism, there’s only one place for him to go when his time comes and that’s straight to HELL, or as my mum would have put it, THE BAD FIRE!

In the same week J.K.Rowling announced that she was giving 10 million pounds to Edinburgh University to set up a clinic to carry out research into Multiple Sclerosis, in memory of her mother Ann Rowling who died of M.S. at the age of 45, which is the age that J.K. is now. She has always been incredibly generous to charities and an all round ‘good egg’. She’s brought joy to millions of children of all ages and encouraged a lot of young people to read books for pleasure, when they might never have done so.

Conversely, Blair has brought grief to countless numbers of people, and I mean countless because nobody bothered to count the Iraqis