Greg's Occasional News & Views

2 July 2107

Not really but the contrast between last week’s sweltering temperatures and this week’s more modest offerings is striking. Wednesday last week was the hottest day of the “heatwave” and on Thursday the temperature was about 10o cooler, much more in keeping with normal June temperatures. That’s continued through much of this week except that it has continued to cool down so that on Thursday of this week it was a good 15o lower than it had been – sweaters and jackets once again the order of the day!

We had a “lovely” visit to the JR Hospital in Oxford on Thursday. I had a small procedure carried out on my left eye by the excellent staff in the Eye Hospital there. Some months ago I began experiencing some irritation and discomfort in my left eye. I went along to the optician who spotted that my lower eyelid was beginning to turn in slightly. This causes the eyelashes to scrape against the eyeball every time I blink. At the height of the hay fever season it was quite uncomfortable so I was referred on to the hospital and they performed some minor surgery to provide me with, I guess, an eye tuck! It’s a matter of snipping some bits here, tightening some bits there and hey presto all is resolved (we trust).

As the surgeon finished and began to put the patch over the eye, I suggested to her that the NHS really ought to run to pirate eye patches which would make such procedures much more fun for the participants. Perhaps I’ll get one of my own and maybe a parrot at the same time. I would share a photo of the eye “uncovered” but it is bruised and a tad swollen and such a photograph would probably breech our decency guidelines. It looks quite like I’ve been in a bar room brawl – well, you should see the other guy!

We are enjoying the initial days of our current visit from our favourite UN and Carter Centre diplomat. Jordan arrived on Saturday and is visiting for a few days on his way back home from an outing to Turkey. As always, it’s a pleasure to see him. Nick, Lucy and Annabelle are coming for a barbeque this afternoon – hope the weather stays reasonably fine (or, at least that it doesn’t piss down with rain all day) so that we can prepare Sandy’s barbequed salmon and pesto, one of my all time favourites and sufficiently simple that it’s difficult for me to get it wrong. If it’s as cold as it has been the past few days, though, we’ll certainly be eating indoors!

There have been a couple of cute dog-related cartoons on my New Yorker desktop calendar over the past week.

And, speaking of dogs, we are looking forward to having next door’s black lab come for a visit for the next couple of weeks while they are away on holiday. We’ve had Branston to stay before and he is absolutely lovely, very sweet and gentle. And, of course, he provides the incentive to go out striding across the countryside on a twice daily basis – win, win!

More Brexit nonsense – the Guardian had an excellent editorial the other day on the continuing trainwreck that is Brexit, especially following the Tories’ failure to increase their majority in the Commons at the election.

The events of the past 12 months have provided a vivid lesson in the folly of Brexit. For a year, Mrs May has expended most of her leadership of the Conservative party attempting to forge – the word is appropriate – a new deal with the EU that will be worse than the one we now have in every significant respect: economically, socially and culturally. On 8 June, the voters pulled the rug from under her feet. The upshot is a Brexit process that was wrong in the first place, has been badly mishandled, and now lacks credibility at home and in the EU. There is an overwhelming need, and perhaps a burgeoning consensus, for Britain to change its Brexit priorities.

Don’t hold your breath!

And finally, Penelope’s lavender at the front of the house is looking really splendid. Actually, the whole of that front path is looking great.

Love to you all,











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