Edi­tor’s Com­ment

Cotswold Life - - CONTENTS -

AS THIS is the sea­son of good­will to all men (and women) I have de­cided to seek rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with all those peo­ple I may have up­set or an­noyed in these pages or on Twit­ter in the past 12 months. Or those I might up­set in fu­ture. Or those I might up­set if they could read my mind (which at times re­sem­bles a Bosch paint­ing). It is a lengthy list, and by no means com­pre­hen­sive.

So let’s start with the ob­vi­ous tar­gets. I would like to of­fer the hand of friend­ship to cy­clists, even those who ride three abreast, those who wear head­phones, and mil­i­tant cy­clists who bang on your car roof when you un­avoid­ably sneak up on them as they’re rid­ing three abreast while wear­ing head­phones. Oh, and cy­clists who write to me ev­ery time I men­tion cy­clists.

Ve­gans. Bit of a touchy sub­ject this one as they’re cock-a-hoop hav­ing just cost the edi­tor of Wait­rose mag­a­zine his job, so it’s best to be mates with the meat-dodgers at the mo­ment. ‘Flex­i­tar­i­ans’ can do one though, be­ing al­leged veg­e­tar­i­ans who still can’t re­sist the siz­zling siren song of the ba­con sand­wich when no-one is look­ing.

Peo­ple who use terms like “woke”. I have no idea what they mean and it makes me feel rather old. File along­side grown-ups on skate­boards or who ride adult scoot­ers.

Lewis Hamil­ton.

Uni­ver­si­ties where clap­ping is banned in case it fright­ens sen­si­tive stu­dents. Uni­ver­si­ties where any­thing is banned. Uni­ver­si­ties that aren’t re­ally uni­ver­si­ties.

Coun­try­file’s grim reaper, Tom Heap, the man who brings death and de­struc­tion to your pre­vi­ously peace­ful Sun­day evening.

Driv­ers who fill up at the pumps and then do a week’s shop­ping in­side the garage while every­one else has to wait.

Gregg Wal­lace.

First Great West­ern, who con­tin­u­ally sell me a re­served seat on a car­riage which turns out not to ex­ist. I sup­pose I should just be thank­ful that the train does... some­times.

Peo­ple who say “train sta­tion”. TV weather fore­cast­ers who re­fer to “use­able” rain. Lo­cal ra­dio traf­fic re­porters who claim that “The M5 is cop­ing well”. The M5 is is an inan­i­mate ob­ject. It is 14 me­tres of tar­mac in­ca­pable of hu­man emo­tions. It can­not, un­der any cir­cum­stance, “cope”.

Piers Mor­gan.

Peo­ple who are riv­eted to their mo­bile phones while walk­ing down the street, on the bus or on the train. Peo­ple who take pic­tures of their food in restau­rants. Vlog­gers, blog­gers and blag­gers.

Chefs who serve food on any­thing other than a nice, sim­ple, pur­pose-built plate. Chefs who have a “con­cept”. Chefs whose ar­ro­gance de­mands that they serve food when it suits them, rather than when the diner wants to eat it. Chefs who can’t be both­ered to write a proper menu (lamb, greens, an­chovy, 28). Chefs who serve a lit­tle tub of baked beans with a full English break­fast, al­most apolo­get­i­cally as they know full well that it shouldn’t be there.

Restau­rants where you can’t hear a word any­one is say­ing. Restau­rants where the light­ing is so bad you can’t read the menu. Restau­rants with seat­ing so un­com­fort­able that it could have been de­signed by the Span­ish In­qui­si­tion. Restau­rants where you’re told on the way in what time they want the ta­ble back. (Here, have it now, pal. I’m off.)

The Guardian.

Peo­ple who can’t use self-ser­vice tills in su­per­mar­kets. Peo­ple who pro­gramme self-ser­vice tills in su­per­mar­kets. (I’m sorry a fly has alighted in my bag­ging area, but there’s no need for those flash­ing lights and sirens.)

Foot­ball click­bait, where the in­side in­for­ma­tion comes from some­one who knows the man­ager’s sis­ter’s milk­man’s cousin.

Me­gan Markel’s dys­func­tional fam­ily.

Peo­ple who don’t ac­knowl­edge you when you’ve stopped for them at a ze­bra cross­ing.

Sadly, I ap­pear to have run out of space, so it only re­mains to wish you all a very Merry Christ­mas!

In­side the Edi­tor’s Head, by Hierony­mus Bosch

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