26 March 2017

You are all familiar, I imagine, with the expression that one waits for ages for a bus and then three come along at once? That’s rather like our social calendar this past week – we’ve waited and waited and waited for friends and neighbours to invite us for a meal and then we receive three invitations for the same week!

We were out on Wednesday evening for dinner with some friends in the village, out again on Friday night for dinner with our former tenants from Byfield who have recently moved into a new house and this afternoon we’ve been invited for lunch with some more friends in a neighbouring village. What’s it like to be so popular?

Poor Penelope has spent this week hobbling and hopping about. She reckons she did something to her knee/leg in Pilates a week ago last Friday. I know, Pilates is supposed to be all about gently stretching and strengthening one’s core but you know Pen – she goes at everything full pelt. She says she noticed something slightly “unusual” in her knee while she was stretching her leg but didn’t experience any sudden or shooting pain until last Saturday, poor thing, when she woke up with considerable discomfort and found it was very painful to walk. She’s very frustrated that the injury has precluded her digging in the garden this week so she decided to paint our bathroom instead! I know! I warned her that this exercise stuff is dangerous but will she listen? As you would expect, she’s getting very little sympathy and no help from me.

There was an auction of furniture and other assorted items last weekend at the Village Hall across the road from us. We could see the hordes of people arriving so Pen popped over to have a look and left a bid on some ephemera which, surprisingly, was successful. Who else would want a bunch of old papers? Amongst the cuttings was an estate agent’s advertisement for our house in 1988 which is when it was purchased by our neighbours who, of course, sold it to us. This photo is from the back (which I thought was interesting – the estate agent’s particulars this time included a lovely photo of the house from the front). Thirty years later it looks almost exactly the same.

We now know that the formal request from the UK to leave the EU will be sent on Wednesday. Ironically, the “benefits” of Brexit are becoming all too clear. The pound suffered another drop against the dollar and Euro when the date was announced. Many Brexiteers hail this as a good thing as it makes British exports less expensive in those other currencies. As any fule knows, however, there is a corollary to having cheap exports, i.e., more expensive imports. The Brexiteers, surprisingly, don’t seem particularly keen to talk about this other side of the trade equation – more expensive imports leading to increased inflation and falling standards of living. And, since the UK has a trade deficit the gap is going to continue to get wider and wider.

A number of companies, including food firms and the tech giant Apple, have announced price rises on the back of the weaker pound, which tumbled to three-decade lows after the Brexit vote.

Who would have thought it – the weaker pound makes imports to the UK, including oil, more expensive. – duh!

The looney Brexiteers and other racists in our midst were very quick to shout that the terrorist attack in London shows that the UK was right to “Take back control” of our borders. In other words, they were astonishingly quick to presume that the terrorist who carried out the attack was either an immigrant or a refugee. The day following the attack we learned that the assailant was, in fact, born and raised in Kent and is a British citizen, originally named Adrian. Martin Rowson’s cartoon in the Guardian was pretty accurate:

And finally, how about a great photo of Adam, Ava and the gorgeous delightfulness that is Jessica? If only because I can.

And finally, finally, it’s Mothering Sunday in the UK which gives me a splendid opportunity to wish my mother the most wonderful day.

Love to you all,

Greg

 

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