Yes, so the long stick: I have, as I said, become rather blasé about carrying it around.

I do realise, occasionally, that it is basically something that could be confused with a weapon. Recall my experience in Heathrow in 2006. So I keep it as close to my body as possible, tucked up under the handle of my kitbag, which is over my shoulder. I kid myself that no one can see it.

I think people are just too afraid to say anything.

I carry it in to the newspaper with me on Tuesdays. I come dressed in my jods, I don’t even care about that anymore, and hell, I’d wear them everyday if I could. One guy once made a comment, but only because he was caught off guard. Everyone else averts their eyes.

I guess if you have the brass neck to carry the thing around, well… Anyway, I think about it now only to write about it, and to say that I wouldn’t be without it. All that faffing about I did, avoiding getting one, just because I didn’t want to have to figure out how to carry it? All I had to do was carry it off!

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