THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Gentle readers, I know I have been quiet of late. This month I purchased a new home in London and brought all my worldly goods together there for the first time in 20 years. I have sold the home in Cheshire to which 'Mrs Paine' and I had planned to retire one day. As Scotland's poet put it;

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.

This week, I also said a fond farewell to Vittoria and acquired a new motorised companion, Speranza. In the past three days, I have alternated between joy at achieving a 40 year old ambition to own a Ferrari and sadness that Mrs P will never join me in the journeys we will make. It has been strange to make all these big changes without her input and to wonder, inevitably, what she would have made of them. SperanzaWhile these changes have all been going on, I have taken steps towards returning to work. I have been appointed as an expert witness in an arbitration, which will keep me occupied for the first month of the New Year. 2011 was my family's annus horribilis. That my car has an Italian girl's name speaks to her heritage. That her name means "hope" is no coincidence.

The civil liberties issues I pontificate about here are as close to my heart as ever. I hope to write more next year, as the Misses P and I settle down into our new lives. Today however we three are flying to Dubai to spend Christmas in the sun. This was Mrs P's favourite time of year and she was brilliant at making it special for us. We couldn't hope to organise it to her standards, so we are going to let our hotel take the strain.

I wish you and your families all the very best for Christmas. May we all have an excellent New Year.


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Mac McCubbin

Sincere good wishes TP, and may 2012 deal with you and yours more kindly...

Dick Puddlecote

Sad to see Vittoria go, I can vouch for her being a marvellous machine, but boy does Speranza look moody! :)

Have a fantastic Christmas and a successful New Year, Tom.

Suboptimal Planet

Beautiful car.

Enjoy Christmas in the sun.


"The Maserati Granturismo is a magnificent, beautiful car and I shall have a twinge every time Speranza overtakes one."

Thanks for giving me a laugh today. I'll bet you had your tongue in your cheek when you wrote that!

I'm glad your "annus horribilis" is ending with the lovely fulfillment of your 40 yr old dream. May she bring you great joy in the future.

I'm sure Christmas this year will not be easy for you and your family however I hope you enjoy your time in Dubai and come back to spend a much happier 2012. Merry Christmas to you and your family Tom.


I must not be selfish, James. She will continue to give pleasure to all who see her as well as to her new owner. The Maserati Granturismo is a magnificent, beautiful car and I shall have a twinge every time Speranza overtakes one.


Sad about Vittoria but she'd done you proud.

Phillip Downs

It is always a pleasure to read a new post from regardless of the frequency. After such a difficult year for you I wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year. As Dave Allen used to say: "May your God go with you".

Old Holborn

The very best for 2012

Peter Whale

Happy Christmas to you and your family and wish you all a happy new year.

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