Greg's Occasional News & Views

12 January 2020

It’s been a good week. We had not one but two date nights, Penny had two bridge sessions, we got to borrow Bertie, the spaniel from down the road, for a day and had a lovely walk around the Edgecote estate. And, after four years of thinking about it, we finally got a new carpet laid in the lounge. I need a sit down after so much excitement.

Our front room is a lovely room – large, airy and spacious. The sash windows look out over the Upper Green and the wood burning stove is in the fireplace there. When that’s lit, in spite of its size, it’s a very cozy room. It’s also the room in which we spend most of our evenings.

Ever since we moved in we’ve known we would be replacing the carpet in the front room – it had a thick, rough but marvellously durable brown coir carpet, faded in areas and splattered with paint drips, red wine (and matted peas just under Jessie’s chair). The rug in front of the fireplace fitted the room perfectly and it looked and felt like it might have been the original from the pub back in the day. But, it’s fair to say that both were showing the signs of their advancing years.

So, now that the major building works are (almost) complete we had a new carpet on Monday.

I had quite forgotten the excitement of having a new carpet fitted. The invigorating rush to get the room cleared of all its furniture and the accumulated detritus of day to day living. Most things are shifted fairly easily but the large sofa bed was a pain to get into that room and only recently found its way there. Now, we had to take it out again, park it somewhere and then gingerly move it back in again when the new carpet was laid. Not only is it an extremely heavy sofa bed with all its mechanism, but it just barely scrapes through the door frame with the door wedged wide open. Thankfully, Adam was on hand to do the bulk of the heavy lifting. 

Then we had to clear the room of the old carpet, a huge piece of brown coir sufficient to provide strong winter coats for a wholly mammoth and his mate. Eventually we wrestled it into submission and had a three tonne roll of coir the length of an adult python in the middle of the room. Penny was able to “advertise” the coir on the village Facebook page and to everyone’s delight it went to carpet some stairs and a bedroom elsewhere. Coir, I think, lasts forever so it was great that someone could make use of it.

The carpet layers arrived and, after helping us lift this massive piece of coir carpet onto the roof of the grateful recipient’s truck, tackled the laying of the new carpet with gusto. Did I mention that our front room is large? They were wrestling with rolls of carpets the size of elephants. They were hard at it for a couple of hours and we are very pleased with the result. It’s so soft and comfortable and good looking that I’m not sure we’ll be able to go in there again. Ever.

Monday evening happened to turn into one of our two date nights for the week. We ventured out to the cinema in Northampton to see Jojo Rabbit on the strength of a recommendation from Penny’s sister J in Toronto and a Mark Kermode review in the Guardian. It was excellent.

It’s a comedy which deals with a very disturbing context and yet pulls it off marvellously. It is very funny at times while also brutal and serious. It’s set in the closing days of World War II as the Russians and Americans converge on Berlin. Jojo is a 10 year old boy who is a fervent Nazi – he’s a member of the Hitler youth who dresses proudly in his uniform and participates in the activities of the Nazi youth with enthusiasm. His imaginary friend is a camp version of Hitler himself and Jojo is focused on pleasing the Führer.  However, his views and his life change when he discovers his mother’s secret . . .


Really good fun – we both enjoyed it.

Thursday evening we had the welcome return of the Moreton Pinkney Film Night following its Christmas vacation. The film this time was Yesterday which was also good, light-hearted fun. After being hit by a bus during a world-wide power outage, an aspiring musician realises he is the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. When he starts playing some of their tunes he soon becomes a worldwide sensation. His success, however, comes at the cost of his relationship with his girlfriend/agent. A classic Faustian moral dilemma.


Good light-hearted fun.

And, if that wasn’t enough fun, Bertie, the spaniel from two doors down came to stay for the day while his parents were out and about. Sadly, no Jessie to fuss all over him but he does know where his priorities lie. When he arrived in the morning Penny was out at the gym. So, I took his belongings and made a fuss of him. He looked at me with a somewhat quizzical gaze for a moment and then bolted upstairs looking for Penny. The story of my life.

Lots of love to you all,



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January 2020
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