That was the week that was

TrumpRichard Lutz ponders what flowed past him this week in the tempestuous river of life.

There’s nothing like starting off a new week off with Donald Trump blowing hot air from your flatscreen.

The problem with this egregious buffoon is that he is watchable in a car-crash kind of way. Have a newsreader tell you  that you are about to see a clip from Rubio, Christie or even Jeb Bush and you are in Snoozesville for the next five minutes.

Have the reader announce you are about to see a segment of another nasty Trump diatribe – maybe about building a wall around poor people or how he is about to transform one of his Scottish golf courses into a nuclear cesspit – and your ears do perk up in that aforementioned carcrash sort of way. This week he offended…wait a minute, I forgot just who or what he has offended this week because his scatter gun approach seems to offend everyone.

Oh, I know what it is: he refused to take part in a Fox News Republican debate. So, he gathered in more publicity by not doing something. While those that did participate in the vapid talkfest received little interest.

Karumba. This world is in a rough place if this artless jerk gets his mitts on the White House.

I try to avoid more Trumpmania as I head out of Birmingham to Leeds. The train seems to go slower as we head north by northeast through the Peak District and then through the remains of South Yorkshire’s economy and into the womb of Osborne’s Great Northern Powerhouse.

I don’t have the correct rail pass. I left it at home. So the conductor (correctly) has to surcharge me. It doubles my fare as it is a super peak extra-standard non negotiable online midweek price. I goofed leaving that card at home.

And I pay.

For all I know I have just bought part of Northumberland for all the excess cash I  give to the rail company. The trains have this pricing system that defies rational thought. It is as if the pricing department gets drunk every morning at 8.30am, caps it off with a vodka coffee then makes numbers up and slams them onto the website. Anyway, I have to sell my house and a couple of my offspring to pay for this trip. I arrive in Leeds to be greeted with a 400 mph wind straight off the North Pole Arctic wastes with my name written on it: “Richard Lutz, this blast of frostbite is just for you…”

But there is a sliver of light in this train fiasco. On the return, amid Manchester United fans drunkenly and brainlessly bothering everyone on their way to a tedious Derby match, the train get slower and s-l-o-w-e-r. So slow in fact that it seems to be going backwards. It is an hour late into Birmingham and under bylaw 3321 subsection32A, I get my money back. Theoretically. I wait for the cheque. I won’t hold my breathe.

Spending lots of time on a train that seems to be going backwards has its small (very small) good points. I get to read the paper. I notice that no one else has one in front of them in this electronic age. I read how, thanks to UK military hardware, Saudi Arabia is bombing the stuffing out of neighbouring basket case Yemen.

It is, of course, all part of the supine position of London because the Saudis have no civil rights but have oil. So we hand them guns and bullets and bombs to keep them sweet. In 2008, according to a very pretty graph, the UK sold £0.8 billion worth of arms to the Saudi thugs. Last year, it erupted into £3 billion. Lord knows what it will be this year.

What makes it surreal (or is it super real?) is we give target victim Yemen £85 million in overseas aid. Remember Milo Minderbender from the novel Catch 22 when he sold guns to both sides of the war? Has a ring of truth about it, don’t it? We sell the murderous weaponry to the Saudi regime who destroy the things we build in sad, sad Yemen.

To get away from the trains, the Yemeni fiasco and that oaf Trump, I take to the rolling hills with Bill. We head up to the Cotswolds with its green and muted brown curves, with its windy contours and little farms and this:


Yes, it is Broadway Tower.< Built about 200 years ago, when the British gentry really knew how to blow cash by erecting meaningless follies, it  overlooks the picture-perfect village of Broadway for little reason.

The walk is refreshing – eight miles of Cotswold hills. And now annexed to the end of the Tower is the inevitable cafe and gift shop. The car park is huge so people don’t have to actually walk up the incline to enjoy the massive views. You can zip up the hill in your Hyundai SUV with satnav, stereo sound and rearview cctv and not even stretch your legs before having a mocha cappuccino and buying a Broadway Tower soft toy.

Or you just stay at home, turn on the 40 inch flatscreen and watch Trump warn that he will nuke Mars when he becomes president.

Nuke Mars? Buy a cuddly Broadway Tower toy made in Yemen? Take your pick.