There are a lot of mature bramble bushes in the hedge that divides our field from the bungalows down by the road. I went picking this morning and got enough fruit for this autumn's third apple and blackberry pie.
On my way down I poked the ashes of the bonfire with my pitchfork and they started smoking again.
Jeremy Corbyn may- or may not- win Scotland (or parts of Scotland) back for Labour. Iain McWhirter is quoted in the Guardian as calling him "The big black swan" in the constitutional debate. I like that. I think Corbyn should adopt it in his publicity. "Corbyn- the black swan." Do you think it could catch on? It's awfully glamorous.
Otherwise I begin to fear he's too nice, too modest for the job. It was a terrible mis-step to gloom silently and guiltily through the National Anthem and then say afterwards that he'd sing it in future. If you're going to make a big sweeping rebellious gesture you need to do it with panache- and withour regrets. Think Piaf. Think (I know it's painful) Donald Trump. Donald didn't get where he is today- on course to be the Republican candidate in the next presidential election- by having regrets. The public loves a swashbuckler. Donald has said unspeakable things but he gets away with them because of his don't give a fuck, piratical attitude. Jeremy could do with a bit more of that. If you're not going to sing that horrible anthem do it with your head held high. You're on a stage here, in the spotlight, make the most of it. And then, when people question you afterwards, spell out the case for your Republicanism. Stand tall, be fearless, don't apologise- embrace your inner swan.