I envisaged writing more when I was away for 10 weeks in the Balkans, but alas I seem to have existed in perpetual states of sleeping, working, sleeping again, exercising and sightseeing, then sleeping more. I say goodnight three times a day. Almost a week passes in two days! But now being back in Wales with my folks - instead of sweating on buses or hiking up hills to fortresses – I can slow down a bit, trawl through photos, and write. Don’t get me wrong, the sightseeing was wonderful, but that 38-degree malarkey ain’t no jokes, I tells ya! <Brace yourself Britain!>
Unbeknownst to many, when I do I travel, I go as a genteel Australian. It has a less ‘I am here to invade your country’ feel about it than being British, whilst remaining exotic and distant. So distant, in fact, Australia is inconsequential. Our leaders are, at best, instantly forgettable. Do we even have one? Is it Crocodile Dundee? In fairness to the world, we’ve had a string of fatuous, egoistic useless bastards, the last a charmless, happy-clapping Presbyterian climate-denier. He was so forgettable that Biden struggled even when talking to him. However, there is a new Sheriff in town, and unbeknownst to many, he’s 1000% Albanian. Or at least that’s what the Albanians think.
A proper country write-up will come, but the highlight was probably Albania: picturesque; mountainous; lots of unused concrete bunkers in preparation for a Cold War that never happened; the first declared Atheist country; rich Roman history; Turkish Islamic influence; and an odd knowledge of Australian Prime Ministers. The new man is Anthony Albanese, the surname from Italian-Albanian origin. To Australians, he’s simply Albo (of course he is!). The newb is a clean break from tradition: of the last 30 leaders, 29 have been the stereotypical white, middle-aged, religious straight male, but in a sweeping change, we’ve plumbed for a white, middle-aged, straight male that is semi-religious. Viva la revolution! Yet he is pro-LGBT, pro women’s right to choose over abortion, a fan of renewables and supports voluntary euthanasia. The appointment of the sane Penny Wong as our Minister for Foreign Affairs, our first female openly-lesbian Australian federal parliamentarian, has been met with a round of applause by at least me.
But, for now, all hail, Albo! Please don’t be as crap as the last lot. It comes to something that instead of hoping for, well, hope, we wish them to be less shit. Giddy heights! What a campaign ticket that would be! ‘I solemnly swear, I may be fu**Ing useless, but not as fu**Ing useless as those other guys, ammarite?! Pass the yard of ale!’ My standing invitation to Obama to take over as some kind of benevolent dictator, working 2/3 months a year, chilling in the Whitsundays for the remainder, is still on offer. Why do we let good leaders go to waste? Suppose it’s the complication of deciding who is best. Sure, Boris has his detractors, but who could have predicted that a bumbling, fu** the poor, fu** everything that moved bowl of jellified hopelessness would have been a bad Prime Minister? When Jacinda Arden is done in New Zealand, we should start bidding. If she could smuggle in some air-conditioners as Britain braces for a heatwave, we could usher in a cooler New Great Britain.
Writing and writing...