JUST WILLIAM: Farewell Mr Paterson

Hello, and welcome back to all who are reading after a two-week absence! It seems fitting that this column should return amidst an entirely inflicted Government corruption/u-turn scandal and a hysterical outrage about a John Lewis advert – it’s almost as if nothing changes around here.

Update: In the brief time it took for me to collect a parcel, Owen Paterson has resigned as an MP, meaning a trip to North Shropshire is in the offing as we have a by-election! Mr Paterson will apparently “remain a public servant but outside the cruel world of politics”, presumably meaning that he’s now going to be a full-time food lobbyist. 20 or so hours is a long time in politics, it seems.

Anyhow, I still had a lot of fun reading about the biggest stitch-ups you’ve ever seen, so enjoy:


Where was I last week? As on so many occasions during this year, I was on a train! But it wasn’t to head to another political or sporting event, but to go back in time – and head up North!

Hopefully readers of this column are train enthusiasts by now – if not, join us, the water’s warm – but for those who aren’t, you might not be aware of the wonderful experience of railway touring.

Some of this country’s greatest locomotives – lovingly restored thanks to tireless efforts, with the honourable exception of the newly built Tornado – will take you across the railways of Great Britain, all in classic carriages from the time. As a frequent traveller myself, let me assure you that the seats are more comfortable than many service trains (the ones you’d normally take) and the heaters are an excellent bonus too.

Depending on where you are in the country, you can find a journey near yourself, book, and then head back in time for an incredibly scenic journey, one that my poor photography simply doesn’t do justice (that said, see some pictures and videos below of my journey from Peterborough to Carlisle, which went through some of the most gorgeous scenery in Cumbria).

If you want to escape the terror of the modern world – or just the idiocy of it – then there are many worse things you can try than taking a charter train for a day, regardless of whether you’re an enthusiast or not, so give it a try and if you like beautiful scenery, then I’ll be taking The Aberdonian next Summer.

Thanks to Daniel Puddicombe for setting up the trip!

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

There are a certain amount of rituals behind Christmas in Britain, regardless of your age, location, or interests. Seeing shops with Christmas displays, for example. For racing fans, the jumping season heading into full swing has always been a traditional harbinger of the upcoming festive season, whilst I notice that you can also get mince pies from supermarkets (which I definitely haven’t started eating!).

My ramblings aside, a traditional sign that we’re in winter – and not too far from Christmas – is the John Lewis Advert, which caught me by surprise this year (turns out that they’d launched their ad a week earlier than usual after a surge in online searches for festive products!)

So what we have is a young man called Nathan finding an alien who’s crash landed, and showing her the magic of Christmas, with a sweet version of a song that most people remember. It’s classic John Lewis fare, and hard to find fault with, right? Right?

Oh, so wrong. So, so wrong.

A special recognition for this belter:

Some of the tweets which didn’t make the cut (but keep an eye out on #BrainWorms) are truly eye-watering, and it really makes one wonder what it is people don’t like about this advert? I wonder…

See you next week and thanks for reading!


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