Greg's Occasional News & Views

14 January 2018

It’s been a relatively quiet week on the home front, as it so often seems to be in the hiatus after the Christmas and New Year festivities. The weather has been largely grey, drizzly and miserable and we’ve had the odd bout of freezing fog which is always fun, especially on the winding country lanes one has to transverse to reach our humble abode.

To make matters worse, I have been struggling with a cantankerous lower back which has hobbled me to a significant extent over the week. Not that it has prevented me from doing stupid things. On Monday I struggled out of bed and stumbled into town to go spinning. Bad idea. But Tuesday was even worse – on Monday evening we had a lorry-load of logs arrive which, as always, was unceremoniously dumped outside our garage. Penny went off swimming early on Tuesday morning so I started the task of stacking them myself. After about five minutes I realised I probably should not be doing this but by then it was too late – I was committed to the mission and struggled on. I suppose I was thinking that the bending and stooping and twisting and stacking might loosen the back up a bit? Not a bit of it, of course and I spent the rest of Tuesday and the whole of Wednesday hobbling about in a perennially stooped posture. Fortunately, much of Tuesday was spent watching the Alabama – Georgia football game “as live.” I had avoided picking up any of my devices which might have revealed the result and, with a hot pad tenderly ministering to my lower back I spent several happy hours immersed in the football. Lovely.

Last weekend we spent a basketful of hours at our dear friends Pete Taylor and Sally Wilkins’ in celebration of Sally’s 64th birthday. An odd birthday to commemorate, one might imagine, but Sally had long-ago decided she would have a celebration When I’m Sixty-Four and, for some reason, she decided to theme the party on the year 1972 when she turned 18. We were obliged to come dressed as we might have been in 1972 and some of us did a better job than others. To be fair, apart from a significant difference in my hair style, I was dressed in 1972 almost precisely as I am currently dressed – jeans, shirt and sweater.

Full disclosure – this photo was taken not in 1972 but, I think, a year or two earlier. It’s on the west coast somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco and I believe I was headed up the coast to visit friends (John Dey, Miles Rosedale and Rick Robertson) at Stanford. I think this was the occasion when Rick took me sailing in San Francisco Bay just as the tide was turning and we struggled furiously to avoid being swept out to sea through the Golden Gate. What excitement!

Pen, on the other hand, hasn’t changed a bit!

The Taylor-Wilkins certainly know about throwing a party. It started at about noon on Saturday and continued through until after lunch on Sunday. I’m not sure I ever had the stamina to party for more than twenty-four hours but we did our best and made a couple of appearances over the two days. Good fun.

Thursday evening we had another of our Moreton Pinkney Film Nights which, as always, was great fun. This time it was The Bank Job with Jason Statham – not exactly the genre we would choose ourselves, probably, but it was good fun. It is based on the 1971 break-in and robbery of safety deposit boxes in a London branch of Lloyds Bank, around which there are numerous rumours and much speculation, even to this day. In the film the heist is allegedly “sponsored” by MI5 as a means of retrieving various compromising photographs, most notably photos of Princess Margaret cavorting in the Caribbean with numerous unsavoury characters. Intriguingly, the MI5 file on one of the principal players is locked until 2054, 83 years after the robbery and 79 years after his death, which is certainly somewhat “fishy.” You can find quite a good summary of the robbery here.

And, of course, the fish and chips supper and the congeniality of a village get together in the midst of the winter gloom are always enjoyable. We’re already looking forward to the next one.

Love to you all,




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Last updated: 10/01/2018


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