The witching of the soft blue sky

I’m back in Bristol and have spent the past 7 hours trying to unpack and tidy my room. I have come to the conclusion that it just can’t be done. I own too much stuff. All of which is, of course, vital. I have also discovered, in the 24 hours since I left home, that I’ve not only left a bag of spinach, a packet of sausages and several DVDs, but ALL MY COATS back in London, plus my big umbrella. Thankfully, the weather is currently b e a utiful, but this is Bristol, so the drizzle will soon be back.

I’ve just checked my emails and discovered that the lecture I’m meant to have tomorrow is cancelled, due to the lecturer being ‘stranded’ in Tuscany (how unfortunate that must be for him. My heart really cries out…oh no, wait, it doesn’t). To say I’m delighted would be an understatement.

Above: Blue skies over Ealing on Saturday

Occasionally, in the summer, weathermen talk about ‘cloudless blue skies over London’. Cloudless they may be, but they are criss-crossed with vapour trails from planes heading to and from Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Luton and Stanstead airports, not forgetting RAF Northolt. Not today. For the last few days, an Icelandic volcano has done what neither terrorists nor striking flight attendants can do, and grounded all flights over much of Europe. Needless to say, mankind’s ridiculous dependence on air travel has caused chaos for thousands, but I, for one, appreciated the silent skies in the back garden (shame about the traffic blaring from the North Circular up the road). My grandmother, who’s currently meant to be enjoying a cruise around Portugal, with my granddad and best friend, blames the whole situation on Gordon Brown.

Speaking of which, I had intended to write about the Leaders’ Debate last week, but quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered. It was predictably dull, and everything that could be said, has been said. One thing, however, that seems to be have neglected from the discussion is the fact that these debates don’t, or shouldn’t, work within the UK parliamentary system. Unlike the US, we don’t technically vote for our leader. Instead, we are meant to vote for our local candidates, based on what they, along with their party (if they belong to one), will do for us, and, under the First Past the Post system, the party with the greatest number of seats is invited by the Queen to form a government. So the Lib Dems may well have 35% of the voting population on board, but this doesn’t mean they’ll win that many seats. Personally, I’m still undecided. Clegg studied Archaeology and Anthropology at uni, so I feel some kind of camaraderie towards him, despite (or possibly in spite of) his head being in the clouds. Brown doesn’t totally disgust me, unlike the majority of my family, but he’s hardly amazing. Cameron’s face distracted me for the entirety of the debate, causing me to question if he’d had botox, or was even human, and I’d rather vote for the Queen herself than have George friggin Osbourne in the Cabinet. There are still another two of these to go, so no doubt Clegg will be exposed as being, well, a Lib Dem, Brown will grow even more grey and twitchy, and Cameron will either continue to regret suggesting the bloody thing in the first place, or manage to regain his super-slick, plastic-y Blair-copying.

And if you haven’t already registered to vote, get a wriggle on and do it at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk. If you’re a uni student, you can register both at home, and at uni, although you can only vote in one constituency.

Before the first of a series of suffrage reforms in 1832, only 3% of the adult male population were qualified to vote, and women couldn’t vote at all.

Source: http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/struggle/suffrage/background/suffragettesbackground.html

Sources have just informed me that British skies reopen for flying tomorrow, and clouds are beginning to fill the sky. I knew this couldn’t last.

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