Greg's Occasional News & Views

Monthly Archives: December 2017

31 December 2017

Hope you all had a splendid Christmas with family, friends and copious quantities of food. We did! As I wrote last time, the run-up to Christmas itself was occupied extremely pleasantly with a birthday outing to Carluccio’s in Stratford and the Imperium double bill. Excellent!

Christmas itself we spent on our own which was no bad thing. Penelope had recently contracted the Winter Lurgy which was doing the rounds and very kindly passed it on to me – coughs, sneezes, runny noses, sore throats and a general feeling of un-wellness pervaded our household on Christmas Day so it’s a good job we weren’t required to be polite or sociable. Continue reading

31 December 2017 – Amusements

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the death of Sir Douglas Bader and I couldn’t let it pass without this story about the Royal Air Force hero. He was giving a talk at an upmarket girl’s school about his time as a pilot in the Second World War. “So there were two of the f***ers behind me, three f***ers to my right, and another f***er on the left,” he told the audience.

The headmistress went pale and interjected: “Ladies, the Fokker was a German aircraft.”

Sir Douglas replied, “That is true, madam, but these f***ers were Messerschmitts. Continue reading

24 December 2017 – Amusements

Every December it was the same excruciating tradition. Our family would get up at the crack of dawn, go to a Christmas tree farm and tromp across acres of snow in search of the perfect tree. Hours later our feet would be freezing, but Mom would press on, convinced the tree of her dreams was “just up ahead.”

One year I snapped. “Mom, face it. The perfect tree doesn’t exist. It’s like looking for a man. Just be satisfied if you can find one that isn’t dead, doesn’t have too many bald spots and is straight.” Continue reading

17 December 2017

What a wacky week! We woke on Sunday to 6” of beautiful pristine snow which had been delivered overnight for our pleasure. And, while I have to admit that it did look gorgeous, it was somewhat inconvenient as we had been due to take Annabelle to the theatre in Northampton to see a new version of the Jungle Book. The main roads were passable with care but the side roads were a bit tricky and Nick had to bring her over to ours so that we could set off for Northampton. Continue reading

10 December 2017

Short, sharp and sweet (?) this week – we’ve got so many social engagements I don’t know whether I’m coming or going to the next one. It’s been a good week although the weather can’t make its mind up – we had freezing cold mornings with a sharp frost early in the week, mild and relatively pleasant conditions mid-week followed by torrential rain and gale force winds toward the end of the week. And, we are allegedly due some snow today! Ah, the English weather – there’s always something to talk about. Continue reading

10 December 2017 – Amusements

Back at my high school for the tenth reunion, I met my old coach. Walking through the gym, we came upon a plaque on which I was still listed as the record holder for the longest softball throw.

Noticing my surprise, the coach said, “That record will stand forever.”

I was about to make some modest disclaimer that records exist to be broken, when he added, “We stopped holding that event years ago.” Continue reading

2 December 2017 – Amusements

This one hasn’t come around for awhile . . .

A woman visited a psychic of some local repute. In a dark and gloomy room, gazing at the Tarot cards laid out before her, the Tarot reader delivered the bad news: “There is no easy way to say this so I’ll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent death this year.”

Visibly shaken, the woman stared at the psychic’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know.

She met the Tarot reader’s gaze, steadied her voice and asked, “Will I be acquitted?” Continue reading

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