Greg's Occasional News & Views

24 December 2017

Good morning – just one more sleep to go! We’ve been very busy (at least Penny has been very busy) and I guess we are as ready as we’re ever likely to be.

Thank you to everyone who phoned, e-mailed, texted and/or wrote on my Facebook wall with kind solicitations on the occasion of my most recent birthday. It is very sweet of all of you to remember and/or make the effort – much appreciated.

I had a fabulous birthday, almost completely coincidentally, only because we had made arrangements long ago to see Imperium at the Swan Theatre in Stratford with our friends Sue & Stuart and Dave & Sue. Part One was on the Thursday and Part Two on my birthday on the Friday.

Imperium was simply outstanding. It’s an adaptation of Robert Harris’s Cicero trilogy – Imperium, Lustrum and Dictator which cover, essentially, the life of Cicero and the machinations in Rome during his lifetime. The books are very good page-turners and have been adapted into six plays, each just about an hour long with a ten or fifteen minute interval in between. 

The play(s) were sensational. Richard McCabe plays Cicero and he is outstanding and Joseph Kloska as Cicero’s slave and biographer, Tiro, was similarly excellent (as were all the cast, of course – what else would one expect from the RSC?). It was gripping and the hours sped by in the blink of any eye. For those of you who know, the Swan is a smaller and very intimate theatre and we were right down on the floor with the action taking place all around us. In spite of the turmoil and violence of the age, there was also a good deal of topical humour – General Pompey arrived in Rome with a Donald Trump head of orange hair and an equal degree of arrogant ignorance which caused considerable amusement as did the various timely digs at the stupidity of Brexit – the so-called “will of the people” was ridiculed just as mercilessly in this portrayal of ancient Rome as it is amongst those with a modicum of intelligence in Brexit-bound Britain. All in all, a great couple of evenings out.

The majority of our Seasons Greetings cards have been dispersed by both e-mail and snail mail. If yours hasn’t arrived it’s probably because we no longer have a valid e-mail address for you or you’ve moved and very sensibly declined to inform us of your new address. In either case, if you are moved to do so you can find this year’s tedious Christmas newsletter here.

Here’s hoping you and yours enjoy a splendidly splendid day.

Before I go though, if there are some amongst you still looking for that ideal Christmas gift I ran across an article in the Guardian which was right up my alley – The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Trump Hater in Your Life. There are a variety of suggestions but the one which I especially liked was the suggestion to donate to Planned Parenthood in the name of Donald Trump – he then receives a postcard of “Thanks” for his support. That’s my Christmas shopping sorted! If you feel moved to follow suit, donations made to Planned Parenthood by 31 December will be doubled.

Happy Christmas to you all.

Love to you all,



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December 2017
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