▨ Jamie McHale

December 2021

Christmas and the Lakes

December was a quiet month. Omicron took over, restrictions re-started. Harriet and I managed to get a trip to the Lake District and then spent Christmas together.

We went to Eskdale in the Lakes, which I wrote about in my journal. Highlights were Hartfell and Hardknott Roman Fort, plus taking a quick dunk in the Esk at Tongue Pot.


We had a very low-key Christmas. Harriet was working night-shift, so we had an early Christmas lunch before she went back to bed.

After Christmas we took a quick break down to Hexham to visit Harriet’s family. We tried out her parent’s ebikes which was fun. I am convinced that ebikes will play a big part in our zero-emissions transport future.


In early January I we also managed a small Christmas dinner with friends, postponed due to Covid concerns. It was lovely to host people at our new house, and great to catch up.

Christmas Dinner

Liberal Democrats

After 15 years of membership, I resigned from the Liberal Democrats. I’m still happy to support the party nationally, but I have been growing frustrated with some of the actions the local party was taking on transport and active travel. I don’t want to support a party that is campaigning against cycle lanes. I would be happy if the campaign was to improve and expand provision, but working to remove schemes already implemented is wrong. Given the demands of climate change, air pollution and improving the urban environment any sufficiently ambitious cycling plan will have a non-zero number of provisions that need improvement, seem initially poorly connected, or frustrate local residents.

I fear that being eager to be seen as local champions the Liberal Democrats can sometimes fall victim to NIMBYism. We need to both take into account local opinions and provide leadership. So that’s that for now.


I read Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the Interintellect “Great Books” series. I enjoyed re-watching the BBC series too.

Suzanne O’Sullivan’s It’s All In Your Head was an interesting reflection of a doctor on psychosomatic disorders. One of the ideas that I’m keen on exploring is the cultural-nature of illness and illness behaviours.

In advance of the Interintellect super-salon with Deirdre McCloskey, I read her collection of essays on Why Liberalism Works. It was useful, but it would probably have helped if I’d read some of Piketty’s Capital beforehand.

Looking ahead

So that’s the end of the year, another set of month notes, this time accompanied with videos for each month. I’m not sure that many people watch or read, but I feel that getting my thoughts out probably has some long term value, so I’ll continue in 2022.

January has some exciting work projects coming up, and I hope to run, read and take photos some more. Stay tuned!

Happy new year to you all!