Confused? You’re not? Well then, could you please give this old girl a lesson or two in negotiating life’s current mind-boggling complexities?

Sad to say, after some months – nay years – of drifting towards plot loss, anything resembling a firm grip has gone. I’d rewind, go back to the beginning and start over were any of that possible. It isn’t - which is the only bit I fully understand.

Take tactical voting as a for instance. Did I do it? Haven’t a clue. I studied the graphs, sweated the charts, balanced the whys and wherefores, read and listened to the so-called experts, took a couple of Paracetamol and weighed in with my choice – and crossed fingers.

No idea whether it made a difference. With not a clue whether anything makes any difference any more, I’m no longer even sure what difference is expected or wanted... by tactical voters. Or me, come to that.

Furthermore, I’m starting to crave milkshakes. I’ve not had one of those since I was eight when choices were limited to strawberry and chocolate and usually bought grudgingly to stop kids moaning about the rain on a seaside holiday.

Banana and salted caramel sounds delicious. Grown up, you know? I could be tempted but daren’t order one. Daren’t even moan, lest I’m suspected of wanting to use that tempting confection – waste it – as a missile against a good (or bad) suit.

Such suspicion and the ensuing surveillance by shadowy figures with walkie-talkies would, I suppose, be considered tactical by people who know about these things.

Life used to be relatively simple. Voting was certainly more straightforward. This party, that party; she wears pretty shoes, he has a nice haircut; they’ll cut taxes, the others will put money into schools and hospitals. None of them fancied being a reincarnation of Oswald Mosely. See? Simple.

By heck. Those were the days, what? Did we know too much back then or not enough?

Anyway, it’s done now. Tactically or not, yesterday’s voting deed – such as it was – has been completed. Until the next time. And the next.

We lost.

I refer now to that song contest, of course. There was a fine example of tactical voting. That sweet, hopeful young man who sang his heart out for his country – silly idea but to be honest there are worse ones – came last. Not because the voters hated him but because they no longer liked his country. You can see why that might be the case.

They do have a point. I’m not that keen on it myself, at the moment.

Even the intended simplicity of song, along with sugary drinks, has been politicised. To be on the safe side, don’t sing, drink flavoured milk or moan. About anything.

By way of distraction - should you have the stomach for it - there’s angry national noise about a restaurant chain closing. Jamie’s Italian is finito. Not entirely surprising, since neither Jamie Oliver nor his food were genuinely Italian. Some are calling on the Government to step in and prop up his pasta. Bizarre.

But making noise is our default position. Is it a tactic? We don’t want Europe but we do want mediocre, fake European meals? Keep the headache pills handy...

Furore and subsequent confusion hails, in the main, from social media of course. Therein lies madness – by both its definitions.

No wonder moves are afoot to protect children and young people from its ravages. But frankly it’s the grown-ups who concern me more. Most of them are barking. Or bots. Or both. Youngsters have a far better grasp of reality, in my opinion. Pity they don’t have a vote.

Ah well, voting in this latest election is over. The next one will be here before we know it. A second referendum, perhaps? A general election, maybe? And so soon after local polls. It’s the gift that keeps on giving – with frequency.

No bad thing, obviously. Rather a voice than none at all. But best use intervening time to brush up on the tactics, folks. Since so many still posting online seem to think recently elected Carlisle City Council is responsible for fixing roads, there’s a good case for further study.

Just saying...