Greg's Occasional News & Views

6 October 2019

A tolerably, tolerable week, I suppose. Progress on the new kitchen continues at a snail’s pace, often one step forward, one step back, we welcomed back our monthly village film night (sadly, another depressing reminder that winter is marching relentlessly towards us again), Adam and Ava have an exciting bit of news to share and Boris the Twat continues to live down to his reputation.

On Monday last week a team of Portuguese tile layers arrived to slap down the floor tiles in the new extension. Fernando assured us that he’s been doing this job for fifty years and he certainly seemed to know what he was doing! The tiles went down a treat and look fantastic. If you ever need any internal decorating advice, Ms Playchute is the one to ask – all her choices and colour combinations so far have been outstanding.

Having said that, this was one of those instances we’ve had lately with one step forward and another step back. Once the tiles were all in place and we came to inspect the finished product it was clear that the tiles and the kitchen island did not line up properly – the lines of the tile grouting were not parallel to the front of the island. Quelle Merde! How could they get that wrong?

Very easily, as it happens – the outer wall of the new extension is not quite parallel with the wall of the house – it’s out by about an inch and a half. The tiler started with the outer wall of the extension while the kitchen island was positioned parallel to the wall of the house. By the time the two came together the discrepancy was more than obvious. Not surprisingly, our hearts sank when we saw it – WTF do we do now?

Fortunately, there was a satisfactory solution – the position of the kitchen island needed to be slightly tweeked – rotated around a centre point by about three-quarters of an inch. That way the front of the island and the grouting lines are parallel – the back of the island where it is less noticeable is where the lines are out of parallel. This does mean that about three or four tiles will need to be replaced but that’s a lot easier than having to replace the whole lot!

On Wednesday the granite worktop fitters arrived with a couple of significantly large blocks of pseudo-granite. Would they fit? Of course – not only do the worktops fit the units but the sink, hob, taps and downdraught extractor all slid into their respective holes without a moment’s hesitation. And, once again, Penelope’s choice of colours is fantastic – it looks great.

So, while everything looks great, we’d be delighted if they would just please throw enough workers at the task to get it all finished. For a job that was originally supposed to take three to four months, we’re now into month seven and there’s still a hell of a lot to do! Babies will have been conceived and born in the time we’ve been having this work done.

Thursday evening brought the welcome return of Moreton Pinkney Film Night. This month’s film was Fisherman’s Friends, a light-hearted feel good story based on the true story of a group of fishermen from Port Isaac in Cornwall who are signed by Universal Records and achieve a top ten hit with their debut album of Sea Shanties.

It’s all a bit formulaic and predictable but it was good fun and the fish and chips supper never disappoints.

Exciting news – on Monday of last week Adam and Ava finally completed their purchase of a house of their own on the southern outskirts of Northampton. It’s a four bedroom semi-detached house, with a good-sized garden, part of an estate that was built about twenty years ago. It’s about half way between here and Adam’s work in Wellingborough so will save him about an hour a day on his commute. It’s about a five minute walk to a nursery, primary school, shops, doctor’s surgery and the local community centre and there are regular bus services into Northampton town centre. In other words, everything which Moreton Pinkney lacks! Adam wants to do quite a bit of work in converting the downstairs into a large open plan area so they’re likely to be with us for some time yet which is no bad thing – they can look after the builders while we’re away!

Boris the Twat continues his efforts to destroy the British economy all in the name of avoiding EU scrutiny for the plethora of tax evaders who have parked their hedge funds overseas. His “new” proposals are, indeed, new but unlikely to receive the approval of either the EU or, especially, Ireland, never mind whether or not he will be able to get them through Parliament. In fact, though, this is his strategy – he would like to crash out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement and is already positioning himself for the general election to come in which he will paint a narrative of the EU and the Remoaners thwarting the democratic will of the people. It’s all getting increasingly depressing.

One group campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, Led by Donkeys, has produced some very effective material largely aimed at exposing the lies that are part of the Leave campaign. They’ve posted billboards in various strategic locations and produced a wonderful short film which they projected on the side of a building in Manchester where the Conservatives have been holding their annual conference this past week.

(You may need to click on the speaker icon to get the sound).

We’re off to the States on Thursday so you may get a couple of weeks off! Lucky you. We’re off to Hanover, New Hampshire to see my mother and three of my siblings who live in the general area. We’re also going out to Los Angeles to see Ben, Brex-Anna and Max and to catch up with a few elderly gentlemen, classmates of mine from the Webb School of California, class of 1969. Yes, it’s our 50th high school reunion – my goodness we’re old.

Happy birthday to sister Susie for yesterday – we’re looking forward to seeing her out in LA as well!

Lots of love to you all,

Greg

PS – Update on the Banksy painting I mentioned a couple of weeks ago – Devolved Parliament – which was sold at auction last Thursday. The original estimate was that it would fetch something in the region of £1.5m to £2m. In fact, it sold for nearly £10m!

 

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