Greg's Occasional News & Views

26 February 2017

Wow! What a weather week! Mild temperatures and “so-so” weather interrupted with a vengeance on Thursday by Storm Doris which sped across the country from west to east bringing gale force winds, some destruction, one fatality and heaps of snow in Scotland and the north. Apparently, it was dubbed a “weather bomb” where a front develops rapidly with a significant drop in pressure in a very short period of time. We escaped with no damage but the winds were so significant that we had to leave our gates open to let the breeze howl through to prevent them blowing off their fixings and dancing around the garden.

We had another visit to the Crown at Weston this week. I guess we are in real danger of being mistaken for “regulars” – this visit elicited a warm welcome and a hearty handshake from the landlord. The “occasion” this time was a visit from Penny’s friend and former Kineton School colleague Vicky. From my perspective, the arrangement was perfect – they walked across the fields to Weston (just over two miles) and, at the appropriate time, I hopped in the car and drove over to meet them. After another splendid meal, I was expecting to give them a lift home again but the meal was so sustaining and the weather so co-operative, they decided to walk home again as well!

On Sunday we had another fine meal, this time a Penelope-prepared, home-cooked Sunday chicken roast to top off a grand visit with Annabelle and her parents. The original plan had been that Bubble would stop over on Saturday night but that had to be postponed so we had to settle for lunch and a romp in the park.

We’ve had a happy band of plumbers in the house all week. Well, in our ensuite bathroom, to be precise. They have been busy replacing the bathtub with shower over with a large walk-in shower – I’m getting too old to haul my fat backside up and into a bath every time I want a shower! So, the bathtub is gone and the new shower looks lovely. (In case some of you are worried – we still have two other bathrooms both of which have bathtubs so it’s not as if we can’t run a deep, hot bath and soak ourselves when the occasion merits).

We had a visit from the architect we have engaged to help us design a new kitchen extension last Thursday. I know – when we moved from Byfield we were looking for a place which would enable us to downsize a bit. I guess we partly accomplished that – the house here is a wee bit smaller than the Byfield one although the garden is easily twice the size. Now, we’re planning to make the house even bigger!

The idea is to add a large open plan kitchen and family area in place of the current “Garden Room”. It will have, we hope, a large lantern roof with windows to the south and bi-fold doors to the east looking up the garden.

The old/existing kitchen will become more of a pantry and prep area with a large opening into the new space. We’re very excited even though people are somewhat surprised that we want to make this house even bigger! I guess we’re crazy.

Another Brexit Lie™ (© Leave Campaign) has finally been admitted by David Davies, the Minister for Brexit. It was reported in numerous outlets this week that, surprise, surprise, the UK would need to continue to allow EU nationals into the UK for the sake of the economy.

In the hospitality sector, hotels and restaurants, in the social care sector, working in agriculture, it will take time. It will be years and years before we get British citizens to do those jobs.

Don’t expect just because we’re changing who makes the decision on the policy, the door will suddenly shut. It won’t.

I think a number of us made exactly that point during the referendum campaign – immigrants actually make a positive contribution to this country both in terms of the economy and culture. They claim considerably less in public support than they contribute by way of taxes in stark contrast to the claims made during the campaign about immigrants “flooding” the country and living in luxury on state benefits. It wasn’t true than and it isn’t true now. In other words, it was a lie which, sadly, all too many people believed.

And now, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign has conceded that the prospect of eliminating or even reducing immigration from Europe is going to take “years and years.” Are there any promises the Leave politicians made to the Brexiteers that has not been subsequently proven to have been a lie? No £350 million a week for the NHS, no change in immigration . . .

And now, according to a survey carried out by the British Medical Association, thousands of doctors from the EU are planning to leave the UK because they feel “less welcome” after the Brexit vote. Embarrassingly, when given the opportunity to vote on an amendment to the Brexit Trigger vote which would have guaranteed that EU nationals living and working in the UK would be allowed to remain, the government voted it down.

And, as if we didn’t already know what an absolute group of planks is running the Brexit Express, Liam Fox’s department (he is the minister for negotiating new trade deals) recently revealed their list of the top 50 countries with which the UK wants to negotiate new trade deals. Number 2 on the list was “Africa!” Honestly, wouldn’t you hope that those responsible for implementing this shit-storm would have a bit of geographical knowledge and understanding?

And finally, Private Eye caught up with the Picayune with a Number Crunching panel comparing the number of deaths from the “violence” in Sweden noted by Trump the other day with the standard, day-to-day murder and mayhem in the US:

And finally, finally, just in time for this week’s edition: The Moreton Pinkney Picayune was not one of those media outlets banned from the White House press “gaggle” the other day. However, in solidarity with those outlets which were banned from the gathering, we declined to send a reporter.

Just for a laugh, have a look at a video on the Washington Post site of Sean Spicer explaining in December why media outlets should not be banned from covering the White House simply because of negative reporting.

You couldn’t make it up!

Love to you all,




One Response to 26 February 2017

  • Not totally crazy, but close. Lovely design, but too bad you’re going to lose the Brit Rail washroom – one of the best features of the house in my opinion. Oh well……

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