Greg's Occasional News & Views

19 November 2017

We’re back! Again. And this time, it really is “we” as Penelope has finally returned home after 43 days away and 30,596 miles or almost 49,000 km! Whew!

On the other hand – I’m off! Again. I fly out this morning to spend Thanksgiving with my mother in New England. After this trip, though, I hope we will be home for a while.

If you have been paying attention you will remember that, after China, Penny flew off to Australia to meet up with her sister J from Toronto to pay a flying visit to their brother, sister and an aunt. This involved travelling to Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania and then finally making her way to Los Angeles for Ben and Brex-Anna’s wedding. Meanwhile, after a two week vacation in the UK, I also flew out for the wedding and Penelope and I met up in Los Angeles. We approached our respective jet-lags from opposite directions and when our week’s stay was up we were just about back to normal only to fly to the UK to start the whole process all over again!

Los Angeles was marvellous and Ben and Brex-Anna’s wedding was wonderful. In spite of some weather forecasts threatening wind and rain, the day was bright and clear and we all had a grand time.

The wedding was held at the beautiful South Coast Botanical Gardens in Palos Verdes and was splendidly officiated by a Bishop from the Universal Life Church, our old friend Miles Rosedale. All of those with parts to play performed superbly and it was simply a very lovely day.

It’s always nice when I can get together with my sisters – it happens too infrequently so this reunion was a bonus. Sallie and her husband Rod came from Utah and Susie came down from Portland for the festivities. Two of Sallie’s kids, Karin and Karl who live in LA came along as well. We also had fun catching up with some good friends, people who had supported Ben in the dark days following Donna’s death, who were as delighted as we are that he has found love and happiness.

The photos, I am afraid, don’t do it justice. (And those that do were taken by the official wedding photographer).

We had a couple of days to kill in Los Angeles after Ben and Brex-Anna’s wedding so it was fun to go off to the Huntington Botanical Gardens on Monday with Sallie & Rod, Susie and Ben & Brex-Anna. This place is only about five miles from where I grew up in Arcadia yet I had never been (as far as I can remember). The weather was great and the flowers were gorgeous. A lovely day out. We’ll have to make the effort to go again when we’re next in town. 

On Wednesday we got the chance to catch lunch with my youngest cousin, Peggy Shaw, daughter of my mother’s younger brother Mike, and her husband Don. The last time I saw Peggy she was a toddler in nappies but I remember with great affection the visit we had with her dad and mom when they visited England shortly before his death. It was lovely to “meet” her again after all these years. On the way home we took ourselves past our mother’s childhood home in Hermosa Beach. She lived there until she was about ten and, even now it’s a lovely home. Much more hemmed in now than it would have been when my mother lived there but still only a short stroll down to the beach and an equally short stroll into “down-town.” It must have been an idyllic childhood, to grow up in a beach community in the 1920s and 30s in Southern California – it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

As mentioned, I am off again today for a quick jaunt to New England to spend Thanksgiving with my mother as well as my two brothers and my youngest sister, all of whom live in the area. I’ll be back next Monday so you’ll have another week off from the Moreton Pinkney Picayune. Lucky you.

Since the Picayune has been intermittent in its appearances in recent weeks, I feel as if I have neglected to inflict upon you sufficient Brexit-related rants. Perhaps that’s why everything seems to have gone so well in recent weeks – the trip to China and then the wedding celebrations in Southern California; we haven’t had to wade through so much Brexit bollocks. But I did laugh out loud at John Crace’s article in the Guardian last Friday summarising the latest “progress” in the negotiations:

When he moved on to the financial contributions, Barnier couldn’t resist a little smirk. He’d had tougher negotiations with his kids over how much TV they could watch than he had with the British contingent. His kids would never have limited their options so catastrophically by triggering article 50 before they knew what they wanted as an outcome.

And there is the nub of the problem – those who voted for Brexit and the government now hell-bent on implementing it have no idea, still, of what they want from the process. I never did imagine that politicians were the sharpest knives in the drawer – this lot proves that in spades.

Love to you all,




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