Searching, for that something that I’ll never find…

(with apologies to China Black)

Just occasionally, I check to see what serach terms have been used to find 6000 miles… over the last few weeks. They’re usually pretty obvious – this time there was a lot of stuff about load-shedding, that concert “next year”, the inevitable weeing on your bougainvillea and, as ever, some queries on who will be playing at Kirstenbosch this Sunday (it’s Zahara (TBC) with Claire Phillips, by the way).

And then, amongst all the one and two-word search terms, this:

lovely idea, to get out of this stupid, fairtrade, brown-stained, mandelson-skewed, equal-opportunities, multicultural, carbon-neutral, trendily left, regionally assembled, big-government, trilingual, mosque-drenched, all-the-pigs-are-equal, property-is-theft hellhole and set up shop somewhere

It sounds like some sort of Jeremy Clarkson diatribe that he’ll get into trouble for.

And then I remembered, that’s because it is and he did.

Clarkson loses Manx court case

Much joy on the Isle of Man today as BBC Top Gear presenter and Manx resident Jeremy Clarkson will have to reopen a footpath he had fenced off on the beautiful Langness peninsular. This after the decision of a public enquiry went against him.

Jeremy and his family own the lighthouse which sits on Dreswick Point at the southernmost  tip of the Island. The area is a haven for wildlife and has some stunning views, which made it popular for evening walks long before the Clarkson clan arrived. Personally, I can remember many wonderful evenings there as a kid, kicking a football along the lighthouse road and looking for driftwood by the foghorn.
But clearly ignoring caveat emptor, Mrs Clarkson – Frances Cain – objected that people were walking around the lighthouse (as they had been since it was built 130 years ago) and looking in through her windows.
Evidently, despite Top Gear being the biggest BBC export worldwide, purchasing blinds was still an issue.

However, in October 2006, Mr Clarkson found some spare change in an old jacket and with it, put a fence across the public right of way, the erection of which upset a whole heap of local residents. Now, after a lengthy and bitter legal battle, those local residents  – led by Ian Costain – have won their case and Mr Clarkson must reinstate the footpath around his home.

…the inspector found that all the routes had indeed been used as of right for enough years for them to have become highways, and needing to be added to the Rights of Way map.

So it would seem that “the Greatest Living Briton” (as the Tall Accountant refers to him) is just another ordinary citizen on the Isle of Man. Which is exactly how it should be.

Photo credit

Clarkson on Jozi

Jeremy Clarkson has been to Johannesburg.
And he didn’t get mugged, hijacked, shot, stabbed or killed in any way whatsoever.

I could reproduce the whole article here, but I won’t – click his name if you want that.
Meanwhile, here’s just a little taster.

Jo’burg has a fearsome global reputation for being utterly terrifying, a lawless Wild West frontier town paralysed by corruption and disease. But I’ve spent quite a bit of time there over the past three years and I can reveal that it’s all nonsense.

“Pah,” said the armed guard who’d been charged with escorting me each day from my hotel to the Coca-Cola dome where I was performing a stage version of Top Gear.

Quite why he was armed I have absolutely no idea, because all we passed was garden centres and shops selling tropical fish tanks. Now I’m sorry, but if it’s true that the streets are a war zone, and you run the risk of being shot every time you set foot outside your front door, then, yes, I can see you might risk a trip to the shops for some food. But a fish tank? An ornamental pot for your garden? It doesn’t ring true.

Look Jo’burg up on Wikipedia and it tells you it’s now one of the most violent cities in the world . . . but it adds in brackets “citation needed”. That’s like saying Gordon Brown is a two-eyed British genius (citation needed).

Check the comments – he’s got all the ex-pats into a frenzy. “You didn’t go to Hillbrow”, “You were reading the wrong newspapers”, “You had a guard” etc etc etc. Bless. They hate the fact that they might lose some sympathy points over in Blighty or Ozland when people read this. I’d guess that the most annoying thing for them is that he’s independent, has no agenda here, no need to take one side nor the other – oh – and well read.
Ooh – that’s quite a lot of annoying things. You can see why they’re all upset. 
So well done for speaking truthfully, Jezza.

Now – if you’d just let me walk around your lighthouse, we’d all be sorted.

Thanks to MrShallowEndDiver for the heads-up