14 February 2016

Greetings, once again, from beautiful downtown Moreton Pinkney. It’s been a grand week with tolerably decent weather, especially towards the end of the week. It’s been cold and frosty overnight but sunny and deceptively Spring-like in the afternoons. The weather was so glorious on Thursday afternoon that we took ourselves off for a tromp across the countryside.

We walked out of the village along the Banbury Road and then took one of the first public footpath signs we ran across leading off across the fields. With all the rain we’ve had these past few weeks, the fields were sodden and the footpath was largely a track of clinging mud so thick and claggy that it sucked your boots off as you plodded up the hill. On the whole, we did pretty well but on one occasion we took a slight wrong turn and ended up in a thicket of brambles and overgrowth which grabbed and snagged you at every turn. I’d left the machete at home! It turns out we should have carried on walking for a further 100 metres or so before turning off and we would have intersected the bridleway we were attempting to find. As it was, we had to stealthily clamber over a fence armed with barbed wire to get back on track. No matter, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and after a couple of hours we even found our way back to the village!

Snowdrops Daffodils

I didn’t have time in last week’s edition to write up our latest Date Night – Thursday before last we went to the old people’s special matinee with our friends Paul and Mary from Byfield to see Room followed by an early dinner at Bella Italia courtesy of a couple of vouchers.

RoomWhen we were in Tuscany in 2011 it seemed just about everyone was reading the book, and a terrific book it is too. The film is very good as well, even if the subject matter is somewhat dark at the outset. Brie Larson gives an excellent performance as the mother and the young lad playing her son, Jacob Tremblay, was excellent as well, even if his real-life self was twice the age of the five-year old he was supposed to be playing.

If you’ve not read the book, I would encourage you to do so – it’s a gripping story about a young seventeen year old girl who is kidnapped and held hostage for seven years. During her captivity she gives birth to a son who she raises in “Room”, a garden shed, which is his whole world. Their escape leads to an intriguing period of adjustment and re-adjustment to the real world outside Room and some fascinating interpersonal relationships with the boy, his mother and his newly discovered grandparents, the mother’s parents who have endured the horror of having their young daughter disappear.

A dark and somewhat disturbing film with incredible performances from Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. – The Moreton Pinkney Picayune

4_and_half_stars

We had Bubble for the day on Monday which was great fun, as always, but it did mean that I wasn’t able to spend the day watching the Superbowl as I might have otherwise. I had to delay my indulgence for two days!

The game is on in the middle of the night here, of course, and while there were times in my past when I stayed up to watch it live, for many years now I have been happy to wake up in the morning and watch the game “as live.” Naturally, this strategy relies on not hearing the result or anything else about the match until I can sit down for an uninterrupted three or four hours.

With Bubble here on Monday, I had to make it through until Tuesday morning before I’d be able to watch it in full. No e-mail, no Facebook, no Guardian or BBC web site, no listening to the news, no speaking with anyone who might conceivably know the result. Yet somehow, I managed it and was able to enjoy the game unencumbered by any extraneous information.

I used to have a colleague at work who managed to spoil my enjoyment on a couple of occasions. I would arrive at work on the Monday morning following the Superbowl and he would greet me with, “Hey! How about those Cowboys” or whichever team had won. He certainly seemed apologetic when I told him I hadn’t yet heard the result and had been hoping to watch the game that evening without having heard the result. Oddly enough, however, he blurted out the result on more than one occasion. To avoid such calamities in future, I ensured my diary had me “working at home” on the Monday following the Superbowl.

But, it’s not just inconsiderate work colleagues – on Monday evening Nick came to collect Annabelle and said that he too was planning to queue up the Superbowl and watch it that evening after he put her to bed. Drat and damnation, while listening to BBC Radio 4 on his drive home, they blurted the result out before he could silence the radio. Quelle Merde!

Happy Valentine's DayAs it’s Valentine’s Day, I was curious to know whether my solicitations to my sweetheart were up to the mark compared to those of others. According to International Business Times, the average Brit will spend £45 on Valentine’s Day gifts for his sweetheart.

I guess I’ve got some making up to do.

Have a great week.

Love to you all,

Greg

 

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