29 January 2017

Ooh, it’s been a rough week for Ms Playchute. She’s spent another couple of days in bed this week with a chesty cough and congested lungs, all of which exasperated her asthma. It’s the Queen’s “cold” apparently which kept her (the Queen, not Penelope) out of action over much of the holiday period. It’s doing the rounds, it seems, as several of our neighbours have been afflicted in a similar manner. She’s on the mend (fingers crossed) thanks to the antibiotics and steroids.

Apart from Penelope’s ills, we’ve had some glorious winter weather this week alongside some pretty cold and miserable days. We’ve been right on the cusp of two competing weather fronts through most of the week. We’ve had some gloriously beautiful, clear, bright blue-skied mornings but we’ve also had some foggy, foggy, freezing foggy mornings. On a couple of days we’ve moved seamlessly from one to the other, and back again. The fog has caused much mayhem on the road but thankfully I no longer have to deal with the daily commute – the motorway I used to travel to get to Oxford each day is one of the more notorious for fog bound incidents and people certainly don’t seem to understand that you probably shouldn’t be driving as rapidly as you normally do when you can only see five or six feet in front of you.

The Brexit comedy continues. . .

What a surprise! An article in the Daily Telegraph (a very pro-Brexit newspaper) outlining how the government is launching a “secret” £300,000 recruitment drive in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and the US to recruit maths and physics teachers. “Hang on,” I hear you say. Hasn’t the Prime Minister just announced that her main priority in negotiating the UK’s “exit” from Europe will be to stop immigration from the EU! No wonder it’s a low-key or, as the Telegraph suggests, a “secret” strategy. It’s difficult to tell people they are no longer welcome in your country when, at the same time, you’re trying to recruit workers from those very same countries. Similarly difficult to persuade the loony Brexiteers that you’re serious about stopping immigraion when, at the same time, you’re out there trying to persuade more immigrants to come and fill your vacancies.

In terms of the wider political debate it is a very odd approach to be trawling round a bunch of countries which we are trying to cut off association with.

We had an assortment of goodies arrive on Wednesday from the States – a couple of bits and pieces and some paintings which belonged to my father and were hanging in the Lake George property we’ve just sold. It will be nice to have them around as they provide some fine memories of my father. Now we just need to decide where we are going to put all this stuff!

I ran across this series of photos in the Guardian the other day – the best drone photographs of 2016. I do love drone photography but I am a bit puzzled why the following photo didn’t make the shortlist.

And finally, Penny shared this with me the other day (and all of her other Facebook friends). Many of you will have already seen it but if you haven’t it’s very good. Terrific! You’ll love it! Trust me! The best video ever produced in the Netherlands. Period. Fact! Not sad!

I think the joke they missed was when they explain that the founding father of the Netherlands was William of Orange. Given Trump’s apparent preference for a delicate orange skin tone, it’s clear that he must be a Dutch immigrant.

Much love to you all,




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