I’VE had a bit of a cold and fever lately.

Having a fever isn’t the ideal way to spend a few days of your life, but I like to make the best of them.

In particular, I like to write down some of the very astute philosophical insights I often receive, especially when heavy doses of over-the-counter medication kick in.

Here are a few I’ve come up with over the last few days: Black is white - Just because the colour commonly called black is the one we think of as black and the one listed in paint charts as black, we shouldn’t assume it’s black.

In fact, black is merely the absence of other colours, so calling it black is a bit arbitrary and presumptuous. After all, describing a colour as being the absence of other colours isn’t enough to pin it down. Other colours are also absent from white, so there is absolutely no reason why black isn’t white.

White is black - If black is white, then white must inevitably be black unless one wants to be illogical about things.

We shouldn’t allow our logic to be swayed by, for example, the fact that if we painted all the road markings the colour generally known as black instead of the colour generally known as white, there would be utter chaos and carnage.

Pig muck doesn’t stink - Indeed, none of the ordure produced by any member of the animal kingdom stinks. The same goes for rotting fish, gangrene, a big barrel of tramps’ socks marinated in out-of-date sauerkraut or anything else we traditionally think of as stinking.

There is no such thing as a stink. All smells come to us via hairs in our noses which are connected to our brains, and how we respond to the signals from those hairs is entirely arbitrary and conditioned by our own prejudices.

That’s why there’s no difference between using a £100-per-bottle brand of aftershave or perfume and giving ourselves a rub with half a dead rat kept in the airing cupboard for a fortnight.

When an 83-year-old dementia sufferer with a leg injury has to lie in agony for two and a half hours on a freezing Swindon pavement before an ambulance arrives, it does not mean there’s anything wrong with the ambulance service.

It certainly doesn’t mean that the dedicated frontline staff of the ambulance service are in any way overwhelmed, that the service is underfunded or that the management should in any way feel ashamed over their deafening silence regarding that underfunding.

If there’s a crisis, it’s our fault for being ill. The management – like their political masters – thoroughly deserve their massive salaries.

There is absolutely no connection between the financial strangulation of police forces and the recent 46 per cent increase in housebreaking across Wiltshire.

Indeed, the increase in recorded housebreaking is probably a good thing, as it indicates people are more confident that their reports will produce effective action.

Anybody who says they reported such a crime, only to be told there was nobody available to investigate it and that they should gather evidence themselves, is hallucinating.

We have never been safer.

I’m so proud of my insights that I shared them with a few of my nearest and dearest.

Unfortunately, doing so led to a slight difference of opinion.

I reckon I have a great future ahead in a senior role with some tax-funded public service.

They, on the other hand, believe I’ve suffered a catastrophic breakdown.

I disagree. There’s no such thing as a catastrophic breakdown.

That’s why it’s perfectly okay to close mental health care facilities.

Let me plant this in your mind

BY the end of the decade, according to a story we ran the other day, all train toilets must have retention tanks.

I don’t know about you, but I was stunned to learn that many train toilets still flush directly on to tracks, just as they did 50 or 100 or more years ago.

Apparently the change in the way things are disposed of is due to improvements in railway infrastructure.

Perhaps somebody with more knowledge of these matters could let me know how attaching a tank to a lavvy in a carriage has anything to with railway infrastructure.

Surely any train operator, anywhere in the world, has had the ability to attach such tanks for decades – provided they were willing to spend a little extra money.

If installing waste tanks rather than dumping waste was such rocket science, we’d all be terrified to drive behind a caravan or motorhome in case one of the occupants was caught short and we ended up having to buy new windscreen wipers.

On a personal note, the story reminded me of something I was once told by my granddad, an old track-layer.

“If a railwayman ever offers you some tomatoes,” he said, “make sure to ask where he found the plant.”

  • A TEACHING assistant, as you’ll probably be aware, admitted kissing and flirting with a 17-year-old student at a Swindon special needs school.

She admitted being in a position of trust and intentionally touching a boy aged under 18, and that the touching was sexual. Her victim reported being too scared to tell other teachers, and that in his distress at the situation he stepped into roads several times.

The teaching assistant walked free with a suspended sentence, 80 hours of unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation days with the probation service.

It’s nice to know our courts and lawmakers take such matters seriously.

I’m sure that’ll be an immense deterrent to others tempted to behave in a similar way.