October 31st, 2009


Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary (the most recent one- nobody lasts long in the job) just sacked Professor David Nutt from his headship of ACMD- The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs- for publicly stating that LSD and Ecstasy are less dangerous than booze and fags.  Hired to be a propagandist, Professor Nutt has consistently acted as a scientist- and man of conscience.  Earlier this year he  memorably aquainted us with the statistic that ecstasy kills fewer people than horseriding. 

My Johnson's government is committed to the unwinnable, economy-busting and world-wide-misery-causing "war on drugs"- and cannot allow anyone on its team to compromise that policy by giving the public the facts.


I came away from an afternoon in Manchester thinking, "Naah, I don't want a city centre appartment after all."  Five years ago this was my fantasy, but now I'm older, tireder, frailer.

We bought most of our Christmas presents. Also a pumpkin. Also some fish. The fish stall in the market was amazing- all those varieties, all those goggle-eyes; they even had a small shark.  We bought a little packet of miscellaneous off-cuts- which I shall shortly be turning into a paella or pie.

We parked behind Piccadilly Gardens and I pushed Ailz down to the Arndale, where she had reserved the use of a scooter. I thought I knew central Manchester, but if had been left to my sense of direction I'd never have found the car again. Ailz doesn't know her East from her West- and I do- but her homing instinct is much more highly developed than mine.

She does jigsaws online. I was watching her last night. "Here," I said. "I can do one of those a lot quicker than that". So I tried. Her time: 16 minutes. My time: 36.

Carl and his family were in the audience for Most Haunted Live - at the Winter Gardens, Morecambe- last night. I watched the first two and a half hours in the hope of spotting them- but didn't. I don't know who the show's current medium is, but he's is a nervous, mumbly, little man who makes very little impression. "O my Wells and my Acorah, long ago!"