3 June 2018
Another good week, in spite of the somewhat variable weather. We’ve had a couple of visitors, celebrated a couple of birthdays, toured the Cotswolds and enjoyed a nice lunch out. I’m not sure, once again, if I can stand the pace.
Our visitors this week came in the form of one of Penny’s cousins from Australia and an old school mate of mine from California. Louise is Penny’s first cousin, the daughter of Penny’s mother’s younger sister Ann. They moved to Australia when Louise was in primary school, I think, but she had many happy memories of the period they spent in the UK. So, she decided to undertake a nostalgic trip down memory lane and we were amongst the stops on her itinerary. The weather wasn’t great during her visit but we did manage to squeeze in a driving tour of the highlights of the Cotswolds, which was on her “to do” list. We visited Chipping Campden, Broadway Tower, Bourton-on-the-Water, Lower Slaughter and Bibury all of which, in spite of the overcast skies, were still spectacularly gorgeous. We’re lucky to live in such close proximity to such beautiful countryside.
We also had a very brief visit from an old school mate of mine, Richard Hastings, who is touring Europe with his girlfriend Theresa. They were in London for a few days and, as we were unable to get up to town to meet them, they bravely climbed aboard the Chiltern Line and came out to visit us. Most of my family will know that Richard is a professional musician who is a virtuoso on the guitar. He’s a singer-songwriter and kindly left us with a few of his CDs – much appreciated. Check out his work on YouTube.
Last Monday was Penny and Jessica’s birthdays. It also happened to be the day Richard and Theresa visited so we enjoyed a lovely lunch out at our local hostelry, the Crown Inn in Weston, and very pleasant it was too. Nick, Lucy and Annabelle came over later in the day and we enjoyed some birthday cake and a few games in the orchard, one of which involved Bubble sneaking up and scratching my bald head! Bubble had chosen a couple of bird sculptures as a birthday present for Penny which are quietly sitting on the patio table – they give me a start every time I come out through the utility room door.
Penelope’s garden continues to inspire – everywhere you turn there’s some more gorgeous flowers to admire!
We had a lovely walk on Friday afternoon with Penelope’s Moreton Pinkney Walking Group – just the “hard core” this time. The weather looked somewhat ominous but, in fact, turned out to be moderately acceptable – it kept dry even if it was somewhat humid. A short casual stroll across some of the adjacent fields.
A few of the Brexit-related headlines this week:
- Two in five doctors in England intend to quit within five years
- The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said Brexit had already cost each UK household £900 and the economy was 2% smaller than was forecast before the referendum
- The head of HMRC, Jon Thompson, told MPs that the post-Brexit “max-fac” customs model favoured by Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and Michael Gove could cost business as much as £20bn a year, and Eurotunnel warned of delays and serious economic costs if the government adopts either of the customs models it is considering.
- And, in a comment it seems as if we’ve heard a thousand times. Speaking at a conference in Portugal, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, had much the same message:
There is no ideology or dogmatism on our part. The UK can change its red lines. We simply ask for clarity. We need realistic proposals from the UK that respect the institutional architecture and integrity of the EU. It is the UK that leaves the EU. It cannot, on leaving, ask us to change who we are and how we operate.
And in the “Honest, you could not make this up” category:
- At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK are facing deportation under an act designed to tackle terrorism.
Finally, I ran across these photos of some wacky California architecture from the 1920s and 30s.
They reminded me of the Van de Kampf windmill in Arcadia on the corner of Huntington Drive and Santa Anita Avenue. At one point there were a lot of these but now, I think, the one in Arcadia is the only one remaining. If I’m wrong, let me know.
Love to you all,