3 October 2021

It’s been a pretty decent week, I suppose – thanks for asking. The weather has been changeable to be sure – we had a deluge of a downpour on Sunday night/Monday morning and it’s been considerably cooler of late. Apparently, the temperature is now more in line with general expectations for the time of year – I guess we’ve just been spoiled of late. In short, it’s been windy and fresh with a decidedly autumnal feeling. Downhill from here, I guess.

We had an absolutely splendid weekend away with friends near Cirencester. We had some beautiful weather over the weekend and enjoyed a long walk across the fields into Cirencester with, thankfully, a bus ride home. Cirencester is a beautiful little town – we’ll have to go back soon to explore it a bit more thoroughly.

On Saturday we ventured into Cheltenham to see the matinee performance of The Dresser with Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly at the Everyman Theatre. I have to confess; we had not gone with high hopes and we were pleasantly surprised – Julian Clary was excellent in a “serious” role while Matthew Kelly was “OK” which is, I suspect, the best we could have hoped for.

Dinner afterwards was at the Giggling Squid, a nationwide chain of Thai tapas style restaurants which we had never visited before and had only just recently heard of. It was excellent. I am not a huge, huge fan of Thai food but this was very, very good. Not too spicy (for my taste) and beautifully prepared. The duck spring rolls were as described – “Yummy” – and the Thai Melting Beef was deliciously tender and also as described, “Flavourful and Comforting.” For the first time in a very long time, I was unable to clear my plate – absolutely scrumptious.

I ran across an article in the Guardian describing the unveiling of a statue of Anne Lister in Halifax. For those of you who might not be familiar, she was a 19th century English diarist, famous for revelations for which she was dubbed “the first modern lesbian”. She was also the inspiration for the BBC/HBO series Gentleman Jack starring Suranne Jones – a great series, I thought, if you’ve not seen it.

I also bumped into a fascinating article in the NY Times on Monday about the Covid vaccination gap between liberals and conservatives in the US.

In an article this month for Breitbart, John Nolte argued that the partisan gap in vaccination rates was part of a liberal plot. Liberals like Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Fauci and Howard Stern have tried so hard to persuade people to get vaccinated, because they know that Republican voters will do the opposite of whatever they say, Nolte wrote.

An amusing premise – the loonier Trump-leaning Republicans will do the opposite of whatever the liberal elite suggests. OK, whatever you do, don’t jump off that cliff!

In a similar vein, I suspect most of you will have heard or read of the current shortages affecting the UK supply chain. Empty supermarket shelves, a shortage of beer at pubs and a shortage of petrol at the filling stations. It’s largely caused by a general shortage of lorry drivers which is affecting the whole of Europe. In the UK something like 50,000 HGV driver tests were delayed during the pandemic but, in addition, something in the region of 30,000 drivers left the UK to return to their homes in Europe after Brexit. Like John Nolte above, I am convinced this is all part of a government plot.

When he announced the relaxation of Covid restrictions on “Freedom Day”, the Prime Minister insisted that the unlocking would be irreversible. Since he has foolishly refused to maintain any restrictions, e.g., mask wearing, the number of daily positive tests, people in hospital and deaths have continued to rise. Now that we are heading into winter and the cold and flu season, the numbers are likely to go through the roof. But, he promised that this was all irreversible. So, how to introduce a lockdown without introducing a lockdown? Simple, tell people that there is no shortage (in spite of what they can see around them), do nothing about the shortages or the causes of the shortages, and then – most importantly – tell people not to panic buy petrol. Since no one believes anything the government tells them, everyone rushes out to fill their tanks, there’s no petrol so people cannot get to work and voilà we have another “lockdown,” this time with no furlough scheme and no cost to the government. Genius!

Even the New Yorker has got in on the act – I ran across this cartoon of the Prime Minister hailing the success of the widespread shortages as “British” and therefore something to be proud of in the warped world of post-Brexit.

And while we’re at it, I ran across this somewhere.

Given the government’s propensity for being “economical with the truth” and especially the Prime Minister’s default position of lying whenever he opens his mouth, I’m astonished that no one has come up with this before (or perhaps they have and I just haven’t seen it).

Finally, Happy Birthday to my sister Susie coming up in a few days’ time. Also, to my great nephew Theo who shares Susie’s birth date. Not forgetting Ben’s wife Brex-Anna who has her birthday at the end of the week. Many happy returns to you all (and anyone I’ve missed).

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

Lots of love to you all,

Greg

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