Greg's Occasional News & Views

15 July 2018

What? Another great week? Sunshine and temperatures still in the 80s? Yep. And Adam, Ava and Jessica are here to enjoy it with – what could be better than that?

With the weather being absolutely grand, we’ve had a lot of fun with Jessica (and her parents). One of the first priorities was to get the paddling pool inflated and filled so that Jessie could strip off and dive in – we even had to erect a shade to keep her out of the blazing sunshine. Afterwards, there were plenty of opportunities to bounce on the trampoline and then to paddle at the edge of the stream at the bottom of Brook Street.

On Wednesday they all strolled up the road to Canons Ashby leaving me somewhat bewildered when I arrived home from my morning spinning class to find an empty house.

Then, on Thursday we all spent the day at the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford. Jessie managed to fall asleep in the car on the way and hence missed some of the early highlights. But, she woke up in time for the penguins and Meer cats which were a great success, as was the train ride around the park.

It’s not been all good news this week. The England football team lost in the World Cup semi-finals to Croatia on Wednesday evening which was a disappointment to everyone in this household. Even Penny got excited and at one point was heard to exclaim, “Come on, England!” Her exhortations, however, weren’t enough and they went down 2-1 after extra time. (At least they didn’t lose (again) via a penalty shootout). I imagine the players will all be knighted and granted the Freedom of the City of London for their performances – they exceeded all expectations and progressed much further than anyone would have anticipated.

The other bit of “bad” news this week was, of course, the visit of Trump. In what is coming to be accepted as “normal” for this president, he rolled into the NATO conference and blasted everyone, then took credit for increased spending commitments which were exactly the same as those the other NATO countries had previously agreed. Then, he blasted the UK’s Brexit proposals agreed by the Cabinet at the meeting last Friday at Chequers before they were formally published. I wonder which of his loony British friends has been briefing him.

As you can imagine, there have been a considerable number of people protesting his presence, the highlight of which, I guess, was the launching of the Baby Trump Blimp.

Surprisingly, his itinerary keeps him far away from the scenes of any protests but there was a report that his helicopter flew over Parliament Square as the crowd was launching the blimp. If he had happened to glance out he would have seen the crowd of protesters and his nappy-wrapped backside – marvellous.

The flouncing out of the cabinet by some of the “Big Beasts of Brexit” came too late for last week’s edition. Having signed up to everything at Chequers on Friday, David Davis, the minister for leaving the EU, decided on Sunday evening that the agreement was one to which he could never agree, on principle, having just agreed to support it two days earlier. Not to be outdone, Boris Johnson, the joke of a Foreign Secretary, similarly discovered his principles, i.e., what is going to be best for Boris, on Monday afternoon and he too resigned. I imagine the Prime Minister would have been delighted to see the back of both of them but one has to wonder what ever possessed her to appoint them in the first place – probably that old Lyndon Johnson adage:

It’s probably better to have [them] inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.

Quelle merde!

Finally, we came across another field of flax/linseed on our way to yoga the other day. It’s a disappointment that our photos never seem to do the spectacle justice. It is a gorgeous sight to see the flax extending to the horizon on a lovely sunny day.

Love to you all,




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