Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week seems to have flown past. We have found ourselves enjoying the sunshine, the rain and the later sunsets at the same time as being somewhat glad to see the back of the ice. We’ll confess to having some sympathy for the Texans, many of whom will have only seen snow on the TV. When you’re used to driving on sunlit freeways it must be quite a discovery that the SUV is more difficult to control than it seems when The Stig is behind the wheel. Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity with the electorate, Texas State Senator, Ted Cruz, jetted off to Cancun.

On the virus front, numbers all seem to be moving in the right direction, particularly here in London, so all eyes will be on Monday’s briefing. Will we be nailed down until April like Northern Ireland, or is something else on the cards?

Whilst we’re on the subject of Northern Ireland, did anyone notice talk during the week of a tunnel from Scotland to Northern Ireland? First discussed in 1954, this poppycock idea is surely a distraction but it intrigued us enough to take out our torches and look a bit further into it. We also tried to have a chat with our mole in the Cabinet Office but he wasn’t returning our calls, so this is all clearly our own conjecture.

The place where you’d most like to have the tunnel is surely the shortest distance which, as it happens, is also about the place where the Irish sea is at its deepest. We think this could pose a number of logistical issues and we’ll start off with the large amount of unexploded WWII ordinance. From the end of the war all through the 1950’s some 20,000 tons of obsolete weapons and bombs per year were dumped into the sea at Beauport’s Dyke just south of there. This carried on all the way through to the 1970’s though with only around 3,000 tons per year. They’ve been washing up on beaches on and off since the early 1990’s and I’m not sure I’d want to be driving a big rotary drill under that lot!

We wondered about asking the folk at Euston Square but they were tied up, so we pushed on ourselves. I would stress that neither of us have much in the way of expertise in large earthworks, Wayne help dig a land drain in the garden once but that’s about the sum of it.

According to our back of the envelope calculations, the depth of the sea is some 175 metres down to the bottom here. The distance is some 25 miles and, to keep an acceptable gradient for a goods train to get up (less than 5% ideally, since you ask), we think the other end of the tunnel is going to be closer to Donegal than Belfast. I’m not sure about you, but I’d say this is not a solution to Marks & Spencer’s Percy Pig problem!

We like the idea that it’s a smaller tube like tunnel run by compressed air so you just put products in a torpedo and shut the door. Then it whooshes down the tube to the other end like the cash in an old fashioned department store!

In other news Liam Thorpe, 32 and the political editor of the Liverpool Echo, was offered a covid vaccination. Puzzled as to how this could be the case given his lack of underlying reasons to be so far up the queue, he discovered that he was officially 6.2cm tall with a BMI of 28,000!

In Sussex, a man due to return to prison handed himself into Police early, deciding he’d prefer the peace and quiet of prison rather than another day in lockdown at home!

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