Greg's Occasional News & Views

17 March 2019

Another wild and wacky week! The weather has been frightful with strong winds and torrential rain in between the few sunny moments and Spring-like conditions. And the political machinations of Brexit continue to amuse, enthral and terrify us all! You could not make this stuff up!

We’ve done little this week other than shelter indoors in between our various brief excursions to town for food and exercise. We’ve also been hiding behind the sofa with our fingers shielding our eyes when listening to/watching the news accounts of the antics of our elected representatives.

We’ve now had Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement voted down for the second time in the last few weeks. The first time it was rejected by the largest Parliamentary majority in history. Most recently it was rejected by only the fourth largest majority ever. So, that’s progress, I guess. Now it seems that she intends to bring it back for a third vote. I’m sure I am not the only one who is struck by the irony – the Government can bring their vote back for a third time but for some reason to ask the electorate to voice their views via a second referendum would somehow undermine democracy.

It now seems that there will at least be some sort of delay to Brexit. This raises the question of what will happen to the commemorative 50p coins which, presumably, have all been minted in anticipation that the UK would leave on 29 March. After all, Mrs May has announced more than 100 times in the House of Commons that we would be leaving on time. From the Evening Standard:

With Brexit set to be delayed, what will happen to the range of commemorative 50p coins? The currency was set to be inscribed “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations 29 March 2019”. Pressed on what happened to those coins marked March 29, a Treasury spokesperson did not answer.

In case you have forgotten (I had), when the Chancellor announced that the new coin would be minted to mark Brexit Day there was widespread ridicule. As someone pointed out at the time:

Ah, the “Brexit 50p” because nothing says “bring the country together” like memorialising a decision at least 50% of the population vehemently disagrees with

You can have a glance at some of the better suggestions in the Guardian article here.

We’ve been riveted by the college admissions scandal. Now I know how I got into Yale all those years ago! I am intrigued, though, by the inclusion of UCLA and, to a lesser extent, USC in the list of universities to which parents attempted to get their children admitted. I am undoubtedly doing all UCLA graduates a disservice but I thought just about any sentient being could gain admission to UCLA – clearly I am mistaken. Still, if I were paying tens of thousands of dollars to get my offspring into college I would certainly want Ivy League or Top 10 at the least.

Building progress has been slow this week – the weather has been appalling and the local council has still not sent anyone round to adjudicate on our choice of bricks. In the meantime, the guys have given us a new water main which, although it wasn’t strictly necessary, should give us a better flow rate than we have had up until now. (Sounds like some medication that I’m on)! Sadly, work will come to a halt next week – the two guys we’ve had are off to another job and we probably won’t see anyone until the bricks have been signed off. What do you think the odds are that we will have brilliant sunny weather until the next phase of construction can commence?

Finally, Brex-Anna shared these marvellous photos of Max the Magnificent the other day. Clearly he takes after his paternal grandfather in his appreciation of fine dining.

Love to you all,



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