10 January 2016

It’s been a good week – I hope yours has been tolerably pleasant as well. It’s still unseasonably mild but there’s just a tinge of winter in the wind and I suspect it won’t be too long before the frost descends and those daffodils and other bulbs which have ventured out of their hibernation too soon will be cut down in their prime! Actually, as I sit in my study overlooking the Upper Green, the wind is howling and the rain and sleet is hurtling horizontally against the window – absolutely miserable.

We had a lovely time in London last weekend, thank you for enquiring. We went up to see As You Like It at the National Theatre which was terrific. I have to confess, it’s not one of my all-time favourite Shakespeares but it’s good enough and the performance, as we have come to expect, was excellent. It was very imaginatively staged and the two and a half hours or thereabouts simply flew past. Even knowing the (obvious) ending didn’t detract from our enjoyment.

After the performance we wandered across the river and up to Covent Garden for a pre-dinner appertif or several and then it was off to dinner (which is the real reason for these outings, after all) at FourtoEight whice was excellent. I had the crab linguine which was very tasty – it could have done with a bit more crabmeat, in my view, but the sauce was creamy and very flavourful. Once again, though, I think Penny had the dish of the night – Pumpkin and Porcini Lasagna which was very, very good. I think she needs to write and ask for the recipe!

And speaking, as we were, about a delicious dinner, the other day Penelope was in the kitchen preparing our evening meal when I wandered through and offered to help. Stunned momentarily by my offer, Pen said, “Yes, please! You can chop those carrots.” And then, under her breath, she exclaimed, “Wow!”

In response to her surprise I said that this was one of my New Year’s resolutions – to help out more in the kitchen this year. “Wow!” she said (again).

“Yep,” I replied. “That’s that resolution taken care of for this year.”

I had an email from the Department of Homeland Security the other day informing us that Penny’s ESTA for entry to the States was due to expire in February. So, I went online and completed the application process for her. Interestingly, the series of questions to determine whether she is a fit and proper person to be allowed to enter the US begins with questions about whether she is currently suffering from any diseases, particularly STDs and whether she has any criminal record for property damage or harm to another individual, drug use, abuse and/or distribution. It’s only the fourth question which asks whether or not she is a terrorist. I wonder how many applicants answer “Yes” to that question?

We were in the car the other day and the newsreader confirmed what I suspect we might have guessed – last month was the wettest and warmest December in more than a century. Not only was it the wettest December ever but it was the wettest month ever. And, according to one “expert” we heard on the radio, it was the warmest December by more than 1.5 degrees (Celsius) since “central weather” records began to be recorded in the 1700s.

Wet December

And, speaking of rain, I ran across a video of El Niño in Los Angeles in the Guardian the other day. It’s just another video of lots and lots of water and flooding in the streets, etc. But, what caught my eye was the rubbish bin casually ambling its way down a southern California street at the beginning of the video.

Someone on Facebook shared a photo of Europe allegedly taken from the International Space Station on New Year’s Eve. It’s a terrific photo but I am sceptical that it was photographed on New Year’s Eve – there is not a single cloud across the whole of Europe.

Europe at Night

And finally, the following Calvin & Hobbes comic strip was on the Go Comics site earlier this week. It’s an old one which I’ve seen before but it still just about sums up the meaning of life, I reckon.


Love to you all,




One thought on “10 January 2016”

  1. Regarding the photo from The International Space Stations, maybe it was taken on New Year’s Eve 2014?

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