16 August 2020

Scorcio Maximo! Wow, it’s been a hot, hot week. Wednesday it was up to 37o in Moreton Pinkney-on-sea (98.6o Fahrenheit for those who prefer old money). Thankfully, it began to cool down on Thursday and we were under an Amber warning for thunderstorms and showers – a month’s worth of rain in an hour. Sadly, all we got was a bit of a smattering while seemingly everywhere else received their full deluge. Oh well, at least the sunflowers were spared another battering.

And speaking of sunflowers . . .

Way back when, when Lockdown was still an unusual experience, Penelope had the great idea of encouraging the village to grow sunflowers in solidarity with the NHS and other essential workers. She put the idea to the Garden Club who were keen to support it. So, the Garden Club bought sunflower seeds for every household in the village and just about everyone has willingly taken part. Yesterday was the day when everyone would move their sunflowers (if they were in pots) to the front of their property so that they could be seen by passers-by. We grew some tubs of bush sunflowers, a trio of “ordinary” sunflowers and a pair of Giraffe Sunflowers by the front door. Sadly, I don’t think anyone has beaten the world record for the tallest sunflower – a 9.17m (30 ft 1 in) monster grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany.

Wednesday, we went across to Stratford for a bike ride with our good friend, Vicky. Stratford has a lovely “Greenway” which is a trail along the route of a disused railway which makes for very pleasant cycling. It’s virtually level and although it’s down and back rather than a circuit, it’s makes for a lovely, leisurely ride. We’ve done it once before with Vicky a few years ago. Sadly, on that occasion she had a puncture at almost the furthest point from home and I had to cycle back to her house, collect the car and come to the rescue of the two damsels in distress. So, on this occasion we were looking forward to no repeat of that little incident. Unfortunately, Vicky’s front tyre took a different view and, yep, she had another puncture at, again, just about the furthest point from home. Once again, I rode to the rescue and retrieved them. I’m not sure if I’m going to go for a cycle ride with Vicky again. And, of course, she’s not had any punctures in between those two incidents and she rides all over town. Go figure.

I saw a “cute” quote on Facebook the other day:

Boris Johnson had to decide between saving the economy or saving lives. He decided to do neither.

Sadly, it’s true. We are still top of the League Table of deaths per population and now we’ve secured top place amongst the G7 countries in economic devastation as a result of the pandemic:

UK GDP fell by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020 and we still have the destruction that Brexit will do to our economy to look forward to.

Nope, you could not make this stuff up.

Happy birthday to my brother Sandy (yesterday) and to my lovely niece Amanda (today) who is training to become the third Dr Stragnell in our family.

Meanwhile, keep happy, keep smiling, keep isolating as much as you can, wear a facemask when you go out and keep your distance. And keep safe.

Lots of love to you all,



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