24 October 2021

Well, it’s been a wild and wacky week. Lots of cloud and grey skies at the beginning of the week with gale force winds and torrential downpours (thankfully, mainly at night) but with abnormally high temperatures for the time of year (mid 60s Fahrenheit, 18 Celsius) and lots of humidity. By about Thursday, however, the wind changed direction and the temperatures plummeted. We’ve had lots of bright blue skies, lots of wind and “freezing” temperatures (it’s all relative, after all).

We spent a lovely day over at Nick, Lucy and Annabelle’s on Sunday helping an almost ten-year-old celebrate her upcoming birthday. We had a good walk around the area, a lovely roast dinner prepared by Nick and a number of “early” birthday presents provided by us. Great fun and hilarity around the dinner table. A lovely, lovely day.

Bertie the spaniel from two doors down has been with us this week while his parents have been off soaking up some Mediterranean sun – they’ve gone to Malta for a week. We love having him and managed to get most of the walks in without the rain. But, I did think it was a bit cruel of his parents to send photos of themselves sipping cocktails on a balcony overlooking the sea in shorts and t-shirts under a blazing sun and cloudless blue skies while we have been entertaining a wet, and hence smelly dog.

A lot of excitement to come this week – we have new windows and doors being fitted beginning on Tuesday (allegedly – we’ll see). Our existing doors and windows at the back are all merely single-glazed and leak heat like there’s no tomorrow. Unfortunately, they are bespoke because none of them are of a standard configuration and, as we live in a Conservation Area, we have to replace like for like (even though no one can see them from the road). So, these windows have to be made by a local builder. We originally spoke with him about getting these done about two years ago and now, after much pestering and chasing it seems like they might finally materialise. I guess it will mean about a week’s worth of disruption followed by another week’s worth of painting, decorating and tidying up after the installation. But, at least we should feel a bit less draughty and a bit warmer than in previous winters. Fingers crossed.

I’ve been trundling across Oklahoma this past week on my virtual journey along Route 66. I’ve reached Oklahoma City which hosts this week’s highlight, the Milk Bottle Grocery.

The winners of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have just been announced and, as always, there are some astonishingly fine photographs on display. We’ve often been to the exhibition at the Natural History Museum – we used to go every year in the days before Covid. This year, though, I suspect we’ll have to make do with the online version – not quite the same but still pretty stunning.

You Could Not Make It Up

Another week, another example of the Government’s continuing criminal incompetence.

It looks like the government is keen to reclaim the title of World’s Worst Covid Response having learnt nothing from the lessons of the recent past. Cases continue to rise, numbers in hospitals continue to rise, the number of deaths continue to rise. Yet, apparently, there is no need to do anything. Health officials and scientists are screaming for the government to re-introduce some Covid restrictions, i.e., wear a mask when meeting people indoors, vaccination “passports” for admission to nightclubs, football matches, music and entertainment events, social distancing, meet out of doors when possible, work from home when possible. But, apparently, there is no need to do anything, especially, if you are a Conservative Member of Parliament, not wear a mask in crowded indoor situations.

Count the masks amongst the Conservatives in the House of Commons

One might imagine that the House of Commons report a couple of weeks ago labelling the government’s response to the pandemic “one of the worst public health failures” might focus the minds but it seems not. There is no need to do anything differently, according to the Business Secretary, as Plan A, i.e., do nothing, is “working.” I am not sure that the 1000 people a week dying from Covid nor their families would agree.

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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