I nearly, very nearly, started out to comment on the results of the local elections that were held on Thursday but decided against doing so in case I fell into the trap that our local television political editor found. Talking last night about how Ukip had won a lot more seats on local councils than expected, he described this as a shot in the arm for the main political parties. I feel sure that he really meant it was a shot across the bows. Similarly, he described something as "painting a different story". Was he half cut, I wonder? Or maybe going down with flu?
But enough of this nonsense. I have been giving a few passing thoughts to the speech I have to make just two weeks from today and what I should say when proposing the toast "The City of Brighton & Hove, the Ladies, and Our Guests". I have it in mind to say something about how Brighton has a form of magnetism and has for many years attracted all sorts of people. Every year, several hundred drivers in their veteran cars drive from London to Brighton and several thousand exhausted cyclists arrive in the city having ridden from London. There are vintage commercial vehicles, vintage motorcycles, Minis, Morris Minors and numerous other runs and rallies. Fifty years ago it was Mods and Rockers who staged a running battle on the seafront. These days we are frequently invaded by the equally unwelcome travellers who set up illegal encampments around the city. Fortunately, many of our visitors are very much more welcome... And so on and so on.
Meanwhile, the saga of the car continues. It was three weeks ago today that I was rear-ended. As we are fast approaching the day when the Old Bat and I are due to travel to France, I started chasing up the bodyshop on Wednesday. I had earlier been told that the repairs would be finished this coming Thursday, the day after we are due to leave but the repairers were asked to move my car up the list. On Wednesday I was told that it was in the paint shop and should be ready for me by Tuesday next - which would just be in time. Yesterday I was told that it might be ready but the schedule was still the end of next week. I rang the insurance company and after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, it has finally been agreed that I should ring the garage first thing on Tuesday and if my car is not going to be returned to me that day, I can take the hire car to France. I would rather take my own car, but hey! At least I will still be able to go.