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Clive Agran shares the Sussex issues that are furrowing his brow

PUBLISHED: 12:30 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:31 10 April 2014

Being inherently lazy and reluctant to engage in anything that requires much in the way of work, I tend to avoid topics that involve serious research. However, because I feel passionately about the subject, I set about the business of endeavouring to discover Sussex’s most expensive railway station car park with rare fervour.

Unlike train fares, parking charges are unregulated, which means operators can charge whatever they like. In recent times charges have risen several times faster than the rate of inflation. The operating companies seek to justify these horrid hikes by claiming they are improving or upgrading the car parks. If they ever bothered to ask their customers if they would be prepared to pay more for a supposedly superior car park, I think I can guess the answer they would receive.

Anyway, users of Brighton station car park will doubtless be thrilled to learn that, at a whopping £12.50 a day, theirs is the most expensive railway station car park in the county. And it will surely come as a considerable consolation to readers who use Haywards Heath railway station car park to learn that, at £1,138, they pay the most for a yearly ticket.

Because it combines skill and strength in almost precisely equal measure, I fervently believe log-splitting should be an Olympic sport. Although I gather it’s too late for Rio 2016, I am nevertheless working diligently on my technique in the hope the authorities will look kindly upon it when consideration is given to what new sports should be added for Tokyo 2020.

Assuming it is welcomed into the Olympic family, I then have to hope my age (God willing, 71 by then) won’t count too heavily against me in the eyes of the British selectors. How ironic it would be if they were so short-sighted as to exclude me in 2020 of all years.

As those of you who have ever wielded an axe in anger will appreciate, brute force of itself is not sufficient. An affinity with wood and a deep understanding of the influence grain, knots and knobbly bits have on such critical variables as the angle of attack and speed of blow is imperative. The skill-set required of a top-notch log-splitter is not very dissimilar, in my opinion, to those found in the finest diamond-cutters; not least a strong nerve.

The thrill felt when a particularly tricky chunk of tree splits neatly into logs of a size that will comfortably fit into a wood-burner or onto an open fire is enormous. However, although hugely satisfying in itself, a gold medal would nevertheless provide a welcome bonus.

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Logging on

Because it combines skill and strength in almost precisely equal measure, I fervently believe log-splitting should be an Olympic sport. Although I gather it’s too late for Rio 2016, I am nevertheless working diligently on my technique in the hope the authorities will look kindly upon it when consideration is given to what 
new sports should be added for Tokyo 2020.

Assuming it is welcomed into the Olympic family, I then have to hope my age (God willing, 71 by then) won’t count too heavily against me in the eyes of the British selectors. How ironic it would be if they were so short-sighted as to exclude me in 2020 of all years.

As those of you who have ever wielded an axe in anger will appreciate, brute force of itself is not sufficient. An affinity with wood and a deep understanding of the influence grain, knots and knobbly bits have on such critical variables as the angle of attack and speed of blow is imperative. The skill-set required of a top-notch log-splitter is not very dissimilar, in my opinion, to those found in the finest diamond-cutters; not least a strong nerve.

The thrill felt when a particularly tricky chunk of tree splits neatly into logs of a size that will comfortably fit into a wood-burner or onto an open fire is enormous. However, although hugely satisfying in itself, a gold medal would nevertheless provide a welcome bonus.

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