Greg's Occasional News & Views

24 March 2019

Welcome to another wild, weird and wacky week! The Brexit Clusterf**k gets increasingly surreal as we approach the deadline for falling off the cliff – this coming Friday – and we still have no idea what is going to happen. Apart from all that, we had a clear view of the Super Worm Moon on Wednesday, Jessica and I shared poorly eyes and our choice of bricks for the kitchen extension have allegedly been approved.

Monday morning Ms Playchute and I drove down to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford so that I could enjoy another entropion lower eyelid surgery. This is when the lower eyelid starts to roll inwards meaning that the lower eyelashes scrape against the eyeball causing some discomfort. Readers with a better memory than mine will remember that I had the same surgery on my left eye about a year ago. Now, the right eye decided to join in the fun.

The remedy is a bit of an eye tuck which not only alleviates the problem but has the added bonus of making me look ten years younger (I wish). For some reason, the surgery itself seemed more uncomfortable than I remember from last time but also the swelling seems less. So, that’s probably a good thing. I could have shared a photo with you but that might have been too horrific to see while eating your cornflakes.

When we returned from the surgery Jessica was somewhat taken aback by the visible damage to my eye and she was very sweet – Grandpa has a poorly eye. As it happens, on Tuesday she began to exhibit the symptoms of conjunctivitis so we both shared our respective discomfort – “Grandpa has a poorly eye. Jessica has a poorly eye, like Grandpa!”

Astonishingly, the skies in our part of the country were clear on Wednesday evening for the arrival of the Super Worm Moon! What are the chances of that?

Unfortunately, my attempts to capture a decent photograph were consistently thwarted. I blame the fact that I can’t really see out of my right eye at the moment. But then again, one might hope that one’s magnificent digital camera could sort everything out. This, sadly, is the best I got.

I was pleased to have seen it nevertheless, as it’s a very rare occurrence – when the full moon coincides with the Spring equinox. The last time this happened was in March 1905, apparently, and it won’t happen again until 2144. I guess that really does make it a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

As I wrote last time, our builders have moved on to another job at the moment as we have been waiting for the local council to approve our choice of bricks for the new extension. It seems that the bricks have now finally been approved but there is still one more bigwig in the food chain who has to add his signature to the approval notice.

Interestingly, no one actually came out to inspect the bricks which is what we were expecting. So, six weeks for the paperwork to sit in someone’s in-tray and, presumably, another couple of weeks for Mr Bigwig to get round to signing his approval. Then, the bricks can be ordered but there’s another two week delay before they can be delivered to the site. Hey ho, that’s the way these things go, I guess.

I imagine even my American readers will have seen coverage of the Brexit shambles this week. When it was announced that Theresa May was going to present her Withdrawal Agreement to the Commons for a third time I sent an e-mail to my local MP. I pointed out that it was a bit ironic or hypocritical for Parliament to be asked to vote on the same proposal for a second and third time while at the same time claiming that a second referendum to test whether the “will of the people” had changed would undermine democracy. Surprisingly, I’ve not had the merest snippet of a reply but no sooner had I pressed Send that news came through that the Speaker of the House had ruled that the government could not bring the same proposal back to the house in the same session time after time after time. Oops!

Now we face the prospect of a short technical delay to implementing Brexit if her proposal gets passed at the third time of asking. If it doesn’t pass, who knows?

Dave Brown in the Independent had a suitable cartoon:

In what could turn out to be a final throw of the dice, Penelope and I, some friends and a couple of neighbours (who also happen to be friends, of course) went off yesterday to join the March for a People’s Vote in London – more next week by which time we will know if we have fallen off the cliff or merely delayed falling off the cliff.

Finally, Ava shared this cute photo of Jessica at a Turkish restaurant in Daventry they went to last week with some friends. Apparently it was very tasty – we will have to give it a try ourselves sometime.

And finally, finally, did you see all the brouhaha about the Flintstone House in Hillsborough?

Surely it’s wackiness like this that makes America great!

And finally, finally, finally, Spring must be nearly here. We’ve seen increasing numbers of Spring lambs in the fields and someone shared the following on Facebook:

Love to you all,




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March 2019
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