23 February 2020

It’s been a miserable, miserable week. Storm Dennis has left areas north of us under water and it has done little this week apart from rain, rain, and rain accompanied by gale force winds and then a bit more rain. Even around here, where we haven’t had any actual flooding, the ground is completely saturated and the rivers are certainly at their peak.

We’ve really had enough, I think. If someone could just kindly turn off the taps we would all be grateful, I’m sure. This from the Guardian.

Apart from the flooding, in our area at least it’s been a peculiar winter – I’m not sure we’ve had any days or nights when the temperature has dipped below freezing and certainly (thankfully?) no sign of snow. I think we’ve had to scrape the windscreen perhaps twice all winter. Penny told me the other day that someone in the village has already mown their lawn. Our grass is certainly growing and does, indeed, need a mow. But, this is crazy. It shouldn’t be this mild. Thank goodness that nice Mr Trump has assured us that climate change is fake news, otherwise it could be quite worrying.

When the builders removed our old kitchen cabinets we asked them to do so carefully and to put the units and doors up in the garage. Our intention was to recycle some of the units and use them in the utility room.

Adam came over on Sunday and he and I started the task. We rummaged through the garage identifying which units had been salvaged in a usable manner (relatively few, as it turns out). And also trying to work out which doors went with which cupboards as all the original units had been made to measure.

Having found the units and doors we could salvage we set about putting them in place. There was a triple wall unit and two double floor units which were just about usable. We had the wall unit and one of the base units in place when Penny came to inspect our handy work. Imagine our chagrin when we were informed that this would not do at all! The units were taking up too much space and would have to go. We did explain that these were the only units which were salvageable but the decision was made – they had to go. So, Adam and I proceeded to remove the units and take them back up to the garage ready to be taken to the recycling centre. Never mind, it was an excellent father-son bonding opportunity.

From time to time Adam and Ava send us short video clips of Jessie – we shared one a few weeks ago where she was describing her day at school and explaining how Emmanuelle gave her a headache. Here’s another one demonstrating her sensitive disposition.

I wrote last time about the 101 year old Italian man who was asked to have his parents confirm his identity in support of his application to remain resident in the UK after Brexit. This week we have another example of this country’s official incompetence. A 95 year old man, also an Italian, who has lived and worked here since 1952 has been asked by the Home Office to prove that he has lived in the UK for the requisite five years. The DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) has paid him his state pension for the past 30 years and yet the same DWP has sent him a letter saying that they cannot find him on the system and he must provide proof of his residency.

Something about piss-ups and breweries comes to mind.

Lots of love to you all,



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