A mixed bag

After a terrifically unpredictable Tour de France, and a brilliant report of "the" ride by Landis, it was shocking to read Landis failing a drugs test (testosterone/epitestosterone ratio), and hear the resultant sounds of cycling imploding, yet felt defiance that no other sport takes testing so seriously: check out athletics sprinter Gatlin's "news" he failed a drugs test in the spring - so why did the relevant governing body not announce it promptly at the time themselves?

Closer to home Deputy Prime Dimwit John Prescott just has to go - how long must the country bear the pain of his first class look-after-number-one cockups. This man should have not been given power and influence. If he is so good at meetings then perhaps he should have gone into civil service: a leader he is not.

Today Sarah and I went for a walk in the north downs of Surrey. A fantastic day. In sharp opposition to the experience we had a fews week back when we got stuck in, what must be, England's worst field somewhere in Hampshire (SU791405 to be exact): it had everything you really don't want as night is drawing in and the light is failing: rough bumpy land, thick with high plants interlaced with thorns, an eerie don't-linger forest on one side descending to the thin end of a wedge with deep, dark nettle-drenched ditches too wide to jump safely to the desperately inviting meadows beyond. In the end we had to double back on our tracks (generally I hate doing that!) towards some habitation we spotted before we entered the field of doom, then hiking quickly along pitch black roads, dodging cars with lucky drivers in, taking right turns only we made it back thankfully, triumphantly to the awaiting, loyal chariot that is our beloved Saab 9-5 LPT estate. Sheer relief. We were so glad to get back, we did not bother to stop for a morale-boosting 1/2 pint, just in case....