16 January 2022

It’s been a pretty decent week. We’ve avoided much of the fog and freezing mist which had been predicted and instead have enjoyed generally bright clear skies with frosts in the mornings. “Fresh” to be sure but not bad.

We, again, have done relatively little this week. We’ve had a couple of nice walks around the Edgcote estate as well as across the fields nearby. And, speaking of the Edgcote estate, there was a piece of news in the week which turned out to be of considerable local interest – along the site of the white elephant that is HS2 (the new high speed railway being built to run from London to Birmingham whose sole purpose seems to be to put massive sums of taxpayer’s money into the pockets of construction companies who regularly donate large sums of money to the Conservative party) archaeologists have discovered a significant Roman town. It’s been discovered during the excavation and is in a field adjacent to those in which we frequently trek.

I guess the artefacts and stuff will be carted away and eventually displayed in a museum somewhere – at least that will be one positive legacy of the project (perhaps the only one).

A milestone (of sorts) on the virtual cycle ride along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles (since it’s my virtual cycle ride, I can invent as many “milestones” as I like).

In Gallup, New Mexico just past a convenient Taco Bell you’ll find the Hotel El Rancho which is where my bike’s virtual milometer ticked over to 1551 miles completed with a mere 734 remaining which means that I’ve just about made it two-thirds of the way.

And so, to this week’s You Could Not Make It Up moment(s):

Boris Johnson.

You really, really could not make up the shitshow in which a man of his character would be Prime Minister of the UK. But, of course, he’s been making it up his whole life. The most recent drip, drip, drip of allegations, the denials followed by more denials and then, when the evidence emerges in the form of an email inviting everyone to come along to a BYOB “gathering” or a photo comes to light of the party in full flow, a “clarification” and then more denials.

Finally this week we had an “apology” of sorts – not an apology for breaking the law at the time – “I thought it was a work meeting” and it “could be said, technically, to fall within the guidance” – but rather sorry that he got caught and then blaming everyone else.

Hey, I know how difficult it can be sometimes to figure out whether you are at work or at a party. I find the wine bottles strewn across the tables, the presence of cheese boards, loud music and dancing until the early hours tend to be a bit of a giveaway.

If your neighbours had behaved like this, you’d have been disgusted. For the people running the country to do it and then lie about it, shows a complete disdain for the general public.

Fran Hall, Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. After all, who could possibly have predicted that a wealthy, elite, narcissist with an overwhelming sense of entitlement who was fired from not one, not two but three previous jobs for lying, who cheated on two of his wives (so far) and who refuses to acknowledge some of the children he has begat would turn out to be a mendacious, deceitful, lying twat? Nope, I could never have anticipated that.

If you are struggling to keep up with all the parties which were held during lockdown (which were not parties, of course) and the lies/excuses which were given at the time, you can find a handy timeline here.

End of rant!

Oops!

YCNMIU 2

This week a report by MPs recommended that the privatised water companies should be asked to commit to designating a stretch of river as “bathing water” by 2025.

The fact that that’s even a recommendation is astonishing. How about precluding (instead of enabling) the discharge of raw sewerage into our rivers and oceans?

Water companies were sold off by the Conservatives in 1989 because it was claimed that only the private sector could raise the resources to invest in infrastructure (i.e., stop the leaks, stop the discharge of effluent, etc.). Instead, the privatised companies have failed to stop the leaks, failed to upgrade the infrastructure they were given and regularly discharge raw sewerage into rivers, lakes and the sea. Instead, they dish out £2 billion each year to their shareholders. Yep, that’s turned out well.

It’s good to see the government taking such a hard line though – “recommending” that the water companies decide on one stretch of a local river to clean up over the next three years!

[The water companies] should actively encourage the designation of at least one widely used stretch of river for bathing within each water company area by 2025 at the latest – something that places a legal obligation on water companies to improve water quality and has triggered huge improvements in coastal water quality. Only one river in the UK – the River Wharfe in Ilkley – currently has an area designated as bathing water.

The Guardian

You could not make it up.

And finally, I ran across this photo in the Guardian yesterday which made me laugh.

It looks like it has to have been Photoshopped. If not, how did that goat get right up to the very top of the tree.

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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