New/old Tories crawl out of the septic tank and hose themselves down. Heart disorder stops me running.

This year, I’ve made it super difficult for people to negotiate their way to the kitchen door without a machete.

Hollyhocks and verbena bonariensis are in the ascendancy this year.The hollyhocks have developed rust, which is disfiguring, but height seems unaffected and they are flowering well.

My running regime was going quite nicely, thank you very much, until the day of my birthday, nearly six weeks ago, when I developed atrial fibrillation. I was running with my pal, Rob, in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by fields, when I lost puff and felt breathless. I recovered quickly but after several hundred metres, I had to stop again. I tried to run a few times before giving up and walking back to civilisation. I soon discovered that my pulse was irregular and elevated and so it has remained. My heart medication, bisoprolol, has been doubled and will soon be be tripled and I’m on an anticoagulant. My heart could revert back to a normal rhythm spontaneously. If it doesn’t, I’ll probably have a cardioversion procedure in several months, where a small electrical jolt to the heart hopefully reinstates a normal, strong beat.

So, disappointing in the extreme for me at present. The hospital has said I can continue normal activities, including running. In the last six weeks I have run one 5k which went okay. I ran less fast and didn’t feel breathless. Since then I have had covid and currently the weather in the UK has been very hot. Today, the maximum local temperature is expected to top 40c. I’ll run another 5k when the temperature returns to normal and then I’ll increase the bisoprolol as prescribed. I’m a bit wary of doing this. It may drop my blood pressure to the point where I experience dizziness. The doctor said that there was a greater chance of my heart reverting back spontaneously on the bigger dosage. My suggestion she put me on a huge dose of placebo fell on deaf ears so all my extensive evidence that placebo can be very effective, indeed life altering, went for nought.

Johnson is still scuttling around on the periphery making forlorn and absurdist statements but, essentially, he has collapsed under the weight of his own arrogance, hubris and mendacity. Unfortunately, these are not qualities a large section of the Tory party membership and supporting voters can easily recognize. They simply don’t care. The four leading candidates for the vacant post of UK Prime Minister all served under Boris Johnson and defended his blatant lying and contempt for acceptable rules of conduct. They were, and are, his creatures. Johnson’s appeal was irresistible to the lowest common denominator of voters who placed personality well above policy, fairness and competence, who valued humour which easily disguised the ugly reality of the impact of Tory “values”and applauded the racist mindset which espoused to make Great Britain great again. The simpletons ensured Brexit happened through Johnson and his ilk. We are all demonstrably poorer for Brexit. It’s defenders point to the global economic situation, the Ukrainian disaster and the impact of covid but will not countenance the obvious harm departure from the EU is currently causing. Trade has shrunk, there is a great contraction in available workers in many industries and the NHS is desperately short of staff. Red tape has increased and new trade agreements are lacking. Economic growth has stalled and our supermarket shelves are sadly depleted. It was all predicted.

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