Greg's Occasional News & Views

7 April 2019

My goodness what a lousy week. In contrast to last week which was largely dry, sunny and warm, this week it has been wet, dismal and cold. We went from 16 C last week (low 60s F) to 2 C (just above freezing) this week. What’s that all about?

We did take advantage of the good weather last week to walk up the road to Canons Ashby and admire the colour in the borders and the sparkingly blue warm sunny skies. And, there was the reward of a cake and coffee in the café to replenish all those calories we burnt up meandering there and back again.

We had an excellent weekend away last weekend – we went down to Marcham to visit with our friends Sue & Dave and Sue & Stuart. I suspect, as I said last time, the original timing of this visit was intended to coincide with Brexit Day so that we could provide mutual support to one another as the UK goes spiralling down the proverbial plug hole. Now that Brexit has been put back a few days, weeks or months (who knows?) the weekend was less of a wake than it might have been.

Saturday the weather was nice and we had a lovely walk along the river Thames in gorgeous sunshine. It’s been downhill since then!

The builders continue to make good progress on the building site even if they are still without the bricks with which to actually build the extension. It looks like they could be some time in coming so, in the meantime the builders have continued on Penelope’s Patio which is going to be grand. Imagine a hot, sunny day sitting at the table underneath the umbrella sipping a gin and tonic or piña colada if you prefer. Can’t wait!

Thursday evening we had our last Moreton Pinkney Film Night of the season, the utterly uninspiring Grow Your Own. Although its ratings were not bad, I think it was probably the poorest film we’ve had in our local cinema.

Based on true events, political refugees in Merseyside are given allotments as part of a scheme to help them fit into the local community. Not surprisingly, reaction is mixed amongst the existing allotment holders and there is widespread hostility toward the newcomers.

Although the film was released in 2007, there were many moments which we would recognise from our current Brexit-scarred perspective – immigration officials come to the allotment to arrest and deport an Iranian refugee who happens to be a doctor. No matter that the NHS is chronically short of doctors and nurses, he falls foul of Britain’s immigration process and has to go!

There was the occasional laugh but on the whole this was a yawn-inducing effort which had little to recommend it. The evening was saved, however, by the splendid fish and chips supper. Alas, no more films until October.

We’ve been complaining about the stupidity that is Brexit for what seems an eternity now. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Three years down the road and we still have absolutely no clue on how it’s going to end. Indeed, will it ever end?

Mrs May has just gone back to the EU to ask for a further extension up to the end of June (as of Friday when I am writing this). Some in the EU seem to be prepared to offer a “flexitension” which could last up to a year or could be ended earlier if the UK can ever get its act together. Others are fed up with the whole farce and are chuntering about holding firm to the 12 April deadline and let the UK crash out with no deal. Will we leave? Will we stay? Will we have a People’s Vote? Will we have a General Election? Who knows?

I’m still not optimistic that this is going to end well.

An indication of the quality of intellectual steel the loonier Brexiteers bring to the whole Brexit debate – Roger Helmer, a former UKIP member of the European Parliament, has announced that he is going to protest the delay to Brexit in a unique and somewhat self-defeating manner. In the local elections coming up in about four weeks, he intends to write BREXIT across his ballot paper. As a method of protesting the government’s incompetence I am all for it but the plan does have two rather significant flaws:

(1) In the UK we have secret ballots and therefore no one (apart from the teller who counts the votes) is going to see or be aware of his protest and 

(2) By defacing his ballot paper he will be spoiling it, meaning it will no longer count.

So in sum, Helmer is sabotaging his own democratic right to vote in order to stage a completely pointless protest. Another excellent example of the general lack of brains amongst those clambering for the UK to make itself poorer. Honestly, you could not make this stuff up.

And while we’re at it, a very good article in the Guardian yesterday on how the world sees Brexit – a shambles on which the sun never sets. One Australian commentator wrote:

Observing the UK’s present predicament has been rather like watching the decline of an ageing relative. You care for them deeply. You appreciate all they have done for you. But each day they become more inwardly focused. Their world contracts. They seem increasingly incoherent.

Scientists rate the world’s biggest peddlers of bull

I had imagined, from the headline that this would be about Trump and his apparent inability to make a truthful statement. This past week I read that he claimed his father was born in Germany when, in fact, he was born in NYC. I don’t know much but even I know where my parents were born! But no, it’s about bull-shitters in general and the startling conclusions that

Boys are bigger bullshitters than girls, children from higher socioeconomic backgrounds tend to bullshit more than those from lower ones, and North Americans bullshit the most

Well, duh!

And while we’re on the topic of top bull-shitters, I guess most of you will have seen the excerpts from the book about Trump being a cheat at golf. Quelle surprise!

And finally, the big news of the week – Ava passed her driving lesson theory test last week which is no small achievement. She’s worked very hard and we’re all very proud of her.

Love to you all,

Greg

 

 

 

 

 

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