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Brexit red tape?

So the British government has just announced that they want to "slash Brexit red tape".
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't one of the advertised benefits of Brexit supposed to be doing away with all the evil (European) red tape?


The most hated Olympics ever

You have to feel sorry for Japan. As the host of the Olympic Games this time (officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, but nobody calls it that), the spectacle was put off in 2020 because of the pandemic. It is being held now, as I would presume that Japan really doesn't want to be one of the few countries in the history of the Games to cancel the event.
However, the costly extravagance that took a lot of time and resources, and, of course, money (estimated around $20 BEEELION, which is already three times the original estimate) to build is usually repaid (sort of maybe) by the mass of tourism of the people who follow the games, decide to visit the host country, and...
...yeah, about that. The sixty eight thousand seats of the Japan National Statium will be mostly empty. There is a vaccine and more and more people are getting vaccinated, but the pandemic hasn't gone away, in fact there is a rise in cases in Japan leading to a renewed state of emergency. Even numerous companies and organisations that were supporting the games now want it either cancelled or postponed.
However, the Opening Ceremony will be tomorrow (morning, EU/UK time) and the games will go ahead, only with spectators in their own homes rather than at the venue. Which isn't going to do a lot to help recoup the massive costs of hosting these games. The costs being over twice what the UK paid into the EU annually, and in the ballpark of the amount that the UK still has to pay the EU. That's the sort of costs we're talking about. For what, eighteen days? Two and a half(ish) weeks?


Strimmer - end game (for now)

I got a replacement carburettor for the strimmer. Cheap and arrived quickly from the big bee-coloured tat-bazaar. The carb cannot really be used, the bits are in the wrong places so the suction pipe presses against the big metal plate at the back (that doubles up as a heatsink for the engine!), the throttle mechanism doesn't fit the carb (way too loose), and the position of the choke mechanism means that the air filter can't be attached.
However, in terms of trying to get the motor running, it would work just fine for whacking it into place (without the air filter) and cranking the engine. If the engine runs, then it's clearly the old carb.

With the adjustment screws mostly falling out of the carb (about seven turns from closed, 1½-2 is normal) and the choke on, the engine will start and run fairly quickly and a bit erratically. Open the choke at all (even a little bit) and the engine dies. It seems that it needs a very rich mixture to be able to do anything.
Clearly revving up the engine is a total non-starter. I tugged on the throttle to crank it up and the engine didn't even splutter, it just instantly died like I'd tossed it into a bucket of cold water.

Well, say fifteen euros for tubes and fiddly bits and about fifteen for the carb, that's €30 and I don't feel like I'm any further forward.
So, for now, I'm going to leave the big strimmer. About €120 will get me a new one (brand IKRA, basic two stroke jobbie with string and blade heads), or about €180 for one that you wear as a backpack, so there's only so much I'm prepared to invest in getting this old one running.


Hot, but...

What my car said coming home earlier in the week:
Really hot
Really hot!

And this evening on the way home:

Still hot
Still hot!

In reality, the temperatures (in the shade, not in a car in the sun) were 32°C and 31°C respectively.

I'm sitting outside to write this. It's currently 28.6°C which would be rather unpleasant, but there's a cool wind blowing. I've opened up the house as well, given that it's 36% humidity.

It all changes tomorrow. Ten degrees colder and numerous thunderstorms, some with heavy rain predicted. And Saturday? Won't even manage twenty, and plenty of rain all day long. How depressing. I might have to go and get myself a burger in order to cheer myself up. ☺

Across the field, I can see the tractors scurrying around. They brought the wheat in yesterday, now they're trying to get everything that remains baled and stacked before the rains come.


Cummings and goings

Dominic Cummings was Boris Johnson's personal adviser. There are many that think that he, a completely unelected and unaccountable presence, was running the country for a while given that... well... would you trust Johnson to be capable?

Cummings made a bit of a mistake and took a pleasure trip across the country during the full lockdown in order to test his eyes or some ridiculous crap like that. I forget the exact story. Suffice to say, it really didn't go down well with people.

So, to deflect the heat from the government, Johnson pretty much threw his bestie under a bus.

Cummings isn't having that. A couple of months ago he tried to taint Johnson's character until it became clear that nobody cares about that (we all know Johnson is a buffoon, but it's okay because he's a Tory buffoon Who Will Deliver Brexit, and not some Liberal Woke Leftie Guardian-reading Labour tosspot).
So now he's back, still trying to exact revenge and throw Johnson under a bus (perhaps one with £350 MILLION written on the side?).

What's most fascinating about this are the reports in the newspapers. The more left wing press tend to take the approach that we shouldn't believe everything Cummings says as he's clearly a skilled manipulator with an agenda, but even if half of what he says is true...oh my god!
The right wing press, on the other hand... The Telegraph did "Analysis: How Dominic Cummings started to resemble a crazed cult leader", while the Express screams "Cummings shows utter contempt for our democracy". No links, The Telegraph is paywalled and I'm not linking to the propaganda piece calling itself the Daily Express on principle.

Yes, this was a bit of car-crash television. It brought to mind that other terrible interview, the Prince Andrew one. Because, basically, he had his head so far up his own intergluteal cleft that any message he might have been trying to promote was getting lost in the "look how wonderful I am" aspect of sickeningly indulgent self-importance.
Buried under it all somewhere was the egotistical Etonian schoolboy mentality that still seems to dictate how Johnson thinks and acts. This is nothing new, but it needs to be repeated until maybe, just maybe, people realise how completely inept, corrupt, and utterly unsuitable Johnson is to be in charge of the school sports day, never mind an actual country. He was bad as Mayor of London, worse as Secretary of State, and abysmal as Prime Minister. But nobody expects a Tory to be nice (they are known as the nasty party, after all), so I can imagine that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson will slide his way out of this leaving Cummings with egg on his face (and, honestly, acting like a jilted lover having a hissy fit) because Johnson is delivering Brexit (sort of) and just gave nurses a 3% pay rise (sort of). Just don't do the maths, on either, it's an insult. But, did I mention he's a Tory? Nobody wins with Tories, except Tories and their rich benefactors... the pontiff is papistic, and ursidaes tend to discharge excreta in arboreal habitats... business as usual.



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