If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Thank you and goodnight

All good things must come to an end, and I guess this applies to the mediocre as well.  It has been 18 months since I last posted anything here, and that tells me that the blog no longer has a purpose.  I never quite managed to decide whether this was a biking blog that mentioned politics, or a political blog that mentioned bikes.  But both aspects have now had their day.  This will be a long post, and a last post.

I started writing in the days of Blair and Brown, when there was a lot to be angry about.  When Cameron got elected, a lot of the fun went out of commenting.  He was OK, didn't make too many stupid errors, and got on with the job. I didn't particularly like or trust him, but commenting was a bit like wrestling a blancmange.  I think Theresa May is a good prospect.  She has made the right noises and seems competent, so I will withhold judgement for a while.  There's going to be a lot of fun to be had with the Corbyn thing over the next few months, but I think I will watch that from the sidelines.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have now sold the bikes (the ancient and well-loved XT went for a surprisingly reasonable sum to David Lambeth, who is currently restoring it out of all recognition as an Australian-type utility bike) and have purchased two semi-classic cars.  The MX-5 was the first, and now I have an old Merc 190E as well.  They are both of an age where driveway maintenance and repair are easy, and I am happy with that.

On a personal level, I am still alive and kicking.  I lost a lot of weight last year (and I really needed to) and this was very positive from a health point of view, and much improved my outlook on life.  I put a bit back on over winter, but I am still a lot thinner than in January 2015 and I am much the happier for it.  I have started cycling again, which has been like reconnecting with an old friend.  One odd effect of the weight loss was damage to the peroneal nerve in my left leg (apparently it is protected by a fatty pad where it crosses the head of the fibula, and if this fatty pad is depleted by rapid weight loss, the nerve can get bruised).  The result was a case of foot-drop, which lasted a year and which has only recently gone away.  As it was starting, and before I realised I had a problem, I had a bad fall on my driveway, when I tripped over my own foot and fell heavily.  This resulted in a massive tear to a tendon in my shoulder, which has meant severe pain and restricted movement for 12 months.  Finally, I am seeing a specialist next month, so I hope there will be a positive outcome from that.  At one point, I thought I might be unable to drive a manual car, so I sold the Mondeo and bought the automatic Merc.  Of course, I am now able to drive without any problems, but I still rather like wafting about in the Teutonic Tank.  I alternate between the Mazda and the Merc on a weekly basis, and the contrast is highly amusing.  One week, it is racing changes and scurrying about like a demented go-kart; next week it is Haydn string quartets and letting the plebs overtake without concern.

I still have a shopping list (it's like the bikes all over again, and Anna is distraught).  A Morris Minor, a Citroen 2CV or Dyane, and I really have a hankering for an older Jag.  (These are either very expensive or very cheap, and for the avoidance of doubt it is the cheap ones I would be looking at.)  And possibly an old diesel Land Rover for the winter, although another classic Rangie would be nice, and ...

Anyway, a word of thanks to anyone reading this.  I had a lot of fun writing the blog, and I was always most grateful when people took the time to comment.  I'm going to leave this open for a couple of weeks, and then close it for good.  I'm still around, though.  Email is disraeligears01@gmail.com if you want to stay in touch.  I am on Twitter, but more as a reader than a contributor: @twistedteaspoon.  I'm also on Facebook, but that's under my real name, so get in touch by email if you think meeting up there would be a good idea.

Brexit, eh?  Who'd have thought it?

Sincerely, thank you all.  It's been good.


  1. I hope you'll get your health issues fixed. Enjoy life, Richard.

  2. I'm very sorry to see you go, and I hope the future looks brighter for you when you get your leg sorted out.

  3. Thanks Julia! It's 99% cured now, but took about a year. Damn body - wish I could scrap it and get a new one! All the best, and thanks for keeping me on your blogroll for so long.

  4. Now wondering whether packing it all in is such a good idea ...

  5. Just keep it open and post when you feel like it. It shouldn't be a burden. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best.

  6. True enough. I think I was feeling guilty about neglecting it, and decided an ending was preferable to just leaving it to hang. Maybe I will just leave it open and see what transpires. Lovely messages here, thank you.

  7. I loved reading your blog and was v excited to see you had posted again. Whatever you decide good luck in your future

  8. As a long time lurker, I will be sorry to see you go, another lost talent from the blogosphere.

    Best of luck with the future and I wish you the best of health.

  9. Daniel, thanks. I may not be gone so long ... having second thoughts :)

  10. "Teutonic Tank" - a 190 ?!
    Sorry for just falling in.
    I stumbled in here via Nikos, who by the way tagged you (and me) for a "Meme", surely to strengthen your second thoughts about returning to blogland.


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