YOU’VE got to laugh. No, not you. You are here for moral guidance and stern philosophy. There’ll be no laughter here (weary reader: “I can vouch for that.”)

But, in general, the situation inviting drollery furth of here involves a shepherd being outbid for a shepherd’s hut by someone suspected of buying it as a holiday home or Airbnb project. The London buyer paid £13,000 for the damp and leaky Dorset domicile, plus another £3,250 in that curse of the age: fees. Auctioneers had expected the crumbling edifice to fetch £800.

The Dorset shepherd who’d wanted to use it for ovine purposes finally gave in to the forces of progress at £11,500.

All of this got me thinking (distraught reader: “Run for it, folks!”). I wondered about the madness of the property market and the power of money but, more importantly, about the allure of huts and the simple life.

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On yonder YouTube, many of my recommendations involve people going off-grid or living in vans. I’ve considered both, mainly in the never-ending search for peace and quiet, but after several slow seconds of rumination, decided against either.

Firstly, vans: I have trouble driving a hatchback, never mind a van. I’m quite good at going forward, but hopeless at reversing. I’ve poor spatial awareness, and dislike driving slowly as I feel it’s a waste of my life, almost as bad as waiting for a bus.

Secondly, off-grid: wot, no Sportscene or Match of the Day? I need to be online to work, and in the matter of sewage, this is one area in which I prefer to be connected to my fellow man in a communal effort.

Whether it’s holidaymakers in shepherds’ huts or folk trying to live peacefully far from the madding crowd, the desired locus is always the countryside, that big stretch of green stuff that’s generally better off without us.

When house-hunting online, I skip past the photos of rooms and kitchens, and look first to see what the garden and surrounding space are like. In particular, I need to know there’s a shed, preferably a massive one. In terms of living space, I’d be best off with a large shed that has a small house attached to it. I don’t need rooms in which to live. I need space in which to store stuff.

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As for peace and quiet, you can search the whole of Scotland from the top of Shetland to the tip of Galloway to find something far from the madding crowd: it doesn’t exist, at least not in my price bracket.

For a while, I’d high hopes of the hutter movement, but that seems to have stalled. The basic idea was to try and make Scotland like normal northern countries, where people have huts to which they can escape the hurly-burly at weekends.

They’d be rough and ready, right enough, but maybe even I could thole that for a day or two at a time. The main thing is to live among nature.

I’ve lived in some concrete hell-holes in my time, and I’m sure that’s where I first contracted syphilis of the soul. Suburbs and villages are an improvement, but far from ideal. You need to be right in among the trees, knocking the former down first of all to make space for yourself.

I’ve seen this happen: people who come for the nature and peace and quiet, who then proceed to mangle all the trees, leaving the place like the witches’ heath in Macbeth, and make a racket with recorded music. It’s unfathomable.

As is forking out £16,250 for a crumbling shepherd’s hut with no internet or lavatory. Once more, I’m left wondering how much longer my people will abandon me here on this wonky planet, before taking me back to my own green and quiet native world, where everyone lives in huts, and “property” changes hands for sweeties and cakes.

I’m in the pink

OH, sea pinks, how I love thee. Not sure why I went all archaically poesy there. Probably because I’m talking about flowers.

In various parts of the country, I have favourite spots where I like to sit: on a rock quite often, or a log, or atop a small cliff. One of these was on an Orkney shoreline, where my special spot was surrounded by sea pinks.

It was their thrawn hardiness as much as their beauty that I admired. Another sea pink-haunted place I used to like visiting was the lighthouse at Mull of Galloway, and I see now that an exhibition dedicated to sea pinks and other coastal wildflowers is taking place this month at Logan Botanic Garden – fab place – in the Rhins of Galloway.

Other wildflowers featured are sea campion, English stonecrop, and golden samphire, which sound lovely, though I will never remember the names. Like many people, I can only remember a maximum of six flower names, six bird names and six tree names.

No matter. ’Tis enough yet that I maun hie mine weary soul yonder to sit amidst thee, sea pink so, er, pink/ and to let thine thrawn beauty stir mine heav’nly muse to warble or perchance to gibber.

Romans liked to get a head

THE rotten Romans have been in the news again. They were ever a curse on decent, freedom-loving peoples and would never give them peace to get on with their human sacrifices.

The latest horrific discovery is of a burial site in Cambridgeshire where a third of the slaves interred therein (17 out of 52) had been decapitated. The reason? Well, fun obviously. But, apart from that, this was a Roman military supply farm where “extreme justice” was meted out, according to archaeologists.

Once more, Scots thank the Void that we were never colonised by the barbaric Romans. The worst we got were the Vikings, satanic proto-Nazis much admired by many people today.

Read any reputable, and preferably illustrated, history book, and you find the Celts just stravaiged hither and yon composing nature poetry and wearing decent trousers. I’m sure they decapitated people too, but there would have been good reason for it, such as a full moon or poor harvest.

The fact about the past is that life was nasty, brutish and short. Today, it is ghastly, boorish and woke. It’s a form of progress, I suppose.

Nice dinosaurs

SURELY, it cannot be true that one in ten Britons believes dinosaurs still roam the Earth. Even worse, most adults could only name five dinosaurs, mostly Tyrannosaurus rex. I’ve also got Brontosaurus, but that’s my lot. Oops, bit embarrassing.

See my earlier bombshell revelation about remembering species names: six flowers, six trees, six birds, two dinosaurs.

We’re told that birds are descended from dinosaurs, which is disconcerting, as many of the former are rather nice. My garden robin opens his beak at me when wanting a feed. He’s communicating! Of course, he could be calling me “baw-jaws” and taking the mickey.

They’re now saying dinosaurs were more like birds than lizards, thus overturning our previous “knowledge” again. I suppose if dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth, they’d be stealing our chips or, as with a recent incident involving a red kite, taking biscuits from bairns. I suspect birds are like humans, about 50 per cent of them decent, the rest appalling.

Perhaps dinosaurs were similar. Many just munched salad and never bothered anyone. But others were meat-sooking killers who could have your eye – and other parts – out.

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