Greg's Occasional News & Views

1 April 2018

A mixed week – some very pleasant and even warm sunny afternoons and more wind and rain from any of the various Beasts from the East. It was so pleasant on Monday that we spent the afternoon in the garden, wrestling with and ripping out vegetation. Very satisfying, I’m sure.

We had a nice day out on Tuesday – we went up to Oxford to the Ashmolean Museum for an exhibition on America’s Cool Modernism which was good fun. There were a couple of Georgia O’Keefe’s on loan as well as a couple of Edward Hopper paintings – I’m not sure how “cool” it all was but there were some terrific work as well as some that stuck us as less terrific. There was even a painting by E.E. Cummings – I didn’t know he painted. Pen and I both felt he probably shouldn’t give up the day job just yet.

Manhattan Bridge Loop, 1928, by Edward Hopper

East River from the Shelton Hotel, 1928, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Afterwards we made our way to Brown’s for a splendidly splendid lunch. Brown’s has long been one of my favourite places to eat in Oxford and it did not disappoint. Relatively quiet on a Tuesday afternoon but still plenty of atmosphere and tasty food.

I was upstairs in my study the other day when Ms Playchute arrived for a consultation of some description. As she glanced out of one of the upstairs windows she saw a sparrow hawk sitting quietly on the fence just by the bird feeders. Surprisingly, there were no little birds feeding at the time yet the hawk waited patiently, presuming, I suppose, that they might return any minute now to bring him his dinner. Alas, the tiny birds are smart enough to know that they mustn’t show themselves if the sparrow hawk is in the neighbourhood!

You know how vans and trucks sometimes have a notice on the back stating that no tools or other valuables are left in the van/truck overnight. The other day Ms Playchute and I were driving into town on a rainy morning and we happened to come up behind a road sweeping lorry. I was amused to see a sign on the back stating that, “No road sweepings left on this vehicle overnight.” I hadn’t realised that road sweepings were in such hot demand.

I’ve written several times in the past how some of our more irresponsible “newspapers” regularly make stuff up – instead of reporting “news” they preach their own propaganda knowing (a) that their readership is too dim to recognise the falsehoods they are printing and (b) even if they are caught the clarification or correction is always several days later and relegated to a small piece on the inside of the paper to which no one pays much attention.

So, Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun was caught out having printed a front page article arguing how tariffs would be reduced after the UK leaves the EU. The article claimed, amongst other things, that there could be a savings of £44 on an LG flatscreen TV once tariffs are removed. Unfortunately for the truth, the EU already has a free trade agreement with South Korea so there is no tariff on their televisions. The article also suggested that the savings on mozzarella cheese could be as much as €1.85/kg. The “clarification” stated that the saving on a 125 g packet would be about 20 pence. Idiots! Since mozzarella cheese is produced in Italy, part of the free trade EU, there is no tariff at all. They can’t even get the clarification right!

And finally, the best news this week – Max the Magnificent has gone home!

Well done to all concerned!

Love to you all,




2 Responses to 1 April 2018

  • Max the Magnificent is cute as a button. And has there ever been a more beautiful Mom?

  • Daffodils and a cute baby! Proof, definitely needed, that not all – or not quite all – is doom and gloom. For that, thank you, Gregory.

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