Rural excitements

Supper with Michael Ruse on Monday evening, at which I did not shine, since I had a cold whose unpleasantness, fortunately, was almost entirely internal. Got back about quarter to midnight; spent the next day in bed, reading variously To Kill a Mockingbird,_ forced on me by daughter, for which I am grateful, Mary Wollstonecraft’s letters from Sweden, Dennett’s Intentional Stance and a bad book by Robert Silverberg.

Thoroughly refreshed, I fetched the papers this morning, and on my return noticed that all four tyres on the car had been punctured. This is the rent we pay for living on a road that runs up from the pubs of central Walden to the chavlands on the hills behind. Three or four other cars down the road had also been done, but only one or two tyres each. It had to be mine that was really expensively screwed with every tyre pierced by what the police believe were darts. The RAC breakdown service that I used to have has now been transformed into an insurance policy with, I discover when I ring, a £250 excess. This is still cheaper than four new tyres.

Wait in all day for the breakdown truck. The garage supposed to be sending it rings at 4.30pm to ask me when I am bringing the car in for an estimate … So I get to wait in tomorrow as well. In the meantime, I was chasing down a bureaucratic glitch at the Guardian in an attempt to get actually paid next month. We’ll know soon enough if that is successful.

Oh, and David Aaaronovitch wrote a cross letter claiming to have been traduced in the last Wormseye column and demanding an apology. So we have been exchanging email all afternoon without reaching any conclusion.

I suppose there are about 26m people in Iraq for whom this represents unimaginable luxury and security. But it’s hard to remember that when you are in the middle of it.

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