30 August 2020

We could do with more Scorcio and less Blowio and Wettio! It’s been a miserable week – Storm Francis blew through with gale force winds and lashings and lashings of rain. Now, the weather has pivoted and we’re sucking in cold winds from the Arctic with temperatures more akin to late November or December. The forecasters are suggesting that Monday, the August Bank Holiday, could be the coldest on record. Freezio!

Sad to say but the stormy weather has put paid to a couple of Ms Playchute’s Sunflowers for Solidarity. The five out front of our house are still standing (just) having now been re-staked and pulled back into an upright alignment following their thrashing by the winds. Two, however, have been damaged beyond repair – one of the two placed out by the bench on the Green in front of the house and one she planted over at the pub. Snapped off in the gales.

In between the rain we did get out for a couple of new walks this week – the howling winds made for an interesting trek across the fields and dales near Farthingstone, just a few miles from here. It was a lovely walk but, as you can see, Ms Playchute does stride out at a pace!

The walk skirted Knightely Woods along the Knightley Way, one of the long-distance public right of ways, much of which passes through very pretty countryside formerly owned by the Knightley family of Fawsley Hall.

At one point the walk cuts straight across the Farthingstone golf course. It was very well marked so we knew exactly where we were allowed to walk but we did have to keep a sharp eye out as there were various brave (or foolhardy) groups attempting to play golf in the high winds. Must have been an interesting round.

Some photos (not all of which are mine):

One positive aspect of the gales – they certainly helped with the plum harvest! As I’ve mentioned previously, we have an astonishing quantity of plums this year and the gales brought down hundreds. We’ve given bucketful’s to friends and neighbours and still have a plethora to freeze and/or convert into jam and/or desserts. Indeed, Pen made a delicious plum, vanilla and sour cream cake on Thursday which was/is delicious!

That is one morning’s harvest.

A few cultural offerings this week. This first one was shared by a Facebook friend and was just a lot of fun, I thought – the finale from the “William Tell” Overture performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra:

This second one I stumbled across (as one does) and, again, just thought it was fun – an Evolution of Piano music.

Finally, a piece from the “World Beating” department. Some research carried out by the Pew Research Centre designed to gauge the public perception of their government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Most people in 14 advanced economies judged their government’s response to the pandemic to have been “good” with two exceptions – the US and the UK. It’s good to see that the UK is world-beating in this metric as well, narrowly edging out the US.

And finally, finally, how about a photo of a young boy having fun in a paddling pool! Why not!

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,

Greg

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