At least a decade’s worth of autumn leaves had blown in and accumulated among the logs, and to cap it all a pair of particularly demented jackdaws had spent most of last spring energetically cramming twigs and other nest-building material into the eaves, in a space which might have been big enough to accommodate a tit or an anorexic sparrow, but was clearly never going to work for a pretty substantial and very dim corvid. In consequence most of their material had tumbled down to add to the spectacular mess on the ground. I felt much better when I had cleaned it all up and stuck it in bags for the tip, and taken some photographs of the house in the sunshine. With any luck these will prove rather less off-putting to potential purchasers than the perhaps somewhat forbidding external shots captured by my estate agent in January.
Well, that explained a lot about his approach to politics, I thought, and it provided an instant solution to the nagging weekly question of what I was going to write about in my newspaper column tomorrow. The really worrying thing is that the man clearly does not understand the purpose of religion any more than he grasped politics, Parliament and the British constitution. He seems to think it’s all about making life on Earth a little more agreeable and helping us all to get on, so that the way forward is to get “young people of different faiths working together” on something vaguely socially useful, in this case the eradication of malaria in West Africa. Which is no doubt a perfectly fine thing to be doing, but has surely got sod all to do with religion. Which, if you happen to believe it, is all about accepting that this world is but a passing shadow, and how to get to Heaven.