The Shed does not fly the flag of St George but many like it do, of course, and ours took a close interest in the comedy of Rochester and Strood, where Emily Thornberry, a nice cyclist from North London Labour and the Shadow Cabinet, tweeted a picture of a whole house festooned with the cross and a white van parked outside, more or less without comment, and got sacked the next morning, blimey.
Couldn’t wait for the aggrieved to emerge and he did not disappoint – David Ware,36, living off the motor trade and a bit of cage fighting, far as the Revenue’s concerned anyway.
The chances of him accepting an apology from Mrs Ware are slim, The Shed suggests – unless maybe on her knees with a dog collar round her neck.
The Shed looks forward especially to Ed Miliband popping round to try to win his vote back. Ed might regret swapping Emily’s loyalty for an outside chance of Mr Ware’s, we think, although it is true he does need to.
The tragedy of the whole thing was not the tweet but the blind panic it caused. If the Labour Party no longer has the nerve to make a joke which most of the working class would fully understand, that sums up its problems.

All the parties are missing a trick by not nailing their colours to the cause of tackling chewing gum, although taxing the makers for the cost of getting it off the pavements, as the Local Government Association suggests, is not the whole answer. It is the spitting, not the chewing that has to become very much more expensive. The Shed has long favoured a regional grants distribution geared to the density of gum spotting in the town centres – a statistic which is, as it happens, already collected for the purposes of measuring council performance. The Shed suggests it is an ideal measure to apply to people performance. Clean your acts up or pay more council tax. And/or do some cleaning yourselves – or pay a Big Issue seller to scrape his pitch clean rather than offering you another pointless magazine.

The Shed tends to the view that a shed cannot worry too much about its drains but in general has found that the drains trade usually has an answer when you really need one. That was until we read Ian Jack’s spine-chiller on The Buchan Trap in Gdn 22.11.2014.
An online sub-editor wrote a beautiful summary for a headline: “A Victorian house is a fragile and aging thing, filled with potential hazards and parts as unnecessary as tonsils or the appendix.”
Between the 1870s and the 1930s, Jack explained, there was a requirement and then a fashion, in sewer work, to instal a sort of U bend, sometimes named after a Glasgow plumber called Buchan, sometimes known by regional names such as Bristol Interceptor, to keep dangerous air from the main sewer from getting through to housing. If you’ve got one, it was a bad idea in the first place and is probably useless by now anyway. But drain cameras cannot get through it or past it, so the scientific fixes are denied you.
The Shed sends its sympathies to Mr Jack and looks forward to updates.
The story is told, and commented on by sheds from all over, at

Jonny Cooper, in Telegraph Weekend 22.11.14, reported in Telegraph Weekend that South Korean technology seems to have finally delivered a decent puncture-proof bicycle tyre – see Telegraph said they were a bastard to fit but might be worth the trouble.


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