3 March 2024

Good day, bad day, bad day, good day, bad, bad, bad, day, etc. And so it goes on. Dr Google only has about another week for his prognosis to be accurate. To be fair though, he/she did say “most people’s symptoms” disappear after four to six weeks. I’m not holding my breath. I have an appointment with a consultant at the end of this week so we’ll see where that takes us.

Weather wise it’s also been good day, bad day, good day, bad day. Lots of rain interspersed with some lovely, bright sunshine. And temperatures well above normal for February. Indeed, one newspaper described February’s weather as a heat wave. The article was referring to the US, to be fair, but it could just as easily refer to the unseasonably mild weather we’ve had.

We had a number of outings this week – I can just about hobble to the car with the use of a pair of walking sticks/crutches, and Penelope is an excellent chauffeur – she manages to avoid most of the spine-shattering potholes with which our roads are now covered. It’s impossible to miss them all, of course, such is the deplorable state of our roads after fourteen years of under investment.

We went to the cinema on Monday evening – we had a date night with two sets of our lovely neighbours – cinema and then pizza after. We went to see Wicked Little Letters with Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley and Timothy Spall amongst a number of other familiar faces. And, we absolutely loved it! One word of warning, however – don’t go to see this if you are of a sensitive disposition. The obscenities are plentiful. (Fortunately, I was able to provide a translation service for Penny and some of the others who were unfamiliar with many of the expressions).

It’s based on a true incident in the 1920s when the residents of Littlehampton in Sussex started receiving poison pen letters filled with lewd descriptions, many of which are quite ingenious. It’s interesting how context can flavour one’s perceptions – this is a comedy (with, albeit, some serious undertones) and the comedic delivery of the explicit expressions lessons their impact. A lovely film which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

On Thursday we had another cinematic outing – it was another of our Moreton Pinkney Film Night presentations. For our viewing pleasure this week we had The Courier with Benedict Cumberbatch which was very good – a significant step up from many of the films which we have had. It’s based on true events during the Cold War so it’s of that “spy and espionage” genre. Cumberbatch plays Greville Wynne, an ordinary British salesman who is recruited by MI6 and becomes a courier delivering Russian secrets from a Soviet mole in Moscow to MI6 and the CIA. A good film with fish & chips – what’s not to like?

And then, on Friday evening we sat through Napoleon which is now streaming on Apple TV. I thought it was good but not great and while Joaquin Phoenix does a credible job as Napoleon, he doesn’t half mumble. Even with the volume cranked way up we had to resort to subtitles to make sense of what he was saying. The battle scenes are epic but I came away thinking I really didn’t know that much more about Napoleon, which I presume was one of the objectives of the film. Good, but not great.

On Friday we had a pleasant lunch out with our good friends and former neighbours Pete and Sally Taylor-Wilkins at the Green Acres Rural Enterprise Centre, about which I’ve written before. I’ve been with Pete and Sally once before and it is very good. They work with students who find a “normal” school environment difficult to cope with and help them develop a range of lifelong skills. I think they have a different menu each week and both times I’ve been it’s been very good and great value. This week I had the Pheasant Normandy -pheasant breasts with an apple, cream and brandy sauce, served with dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables followed by Lemon Posset and coffee. Pen had the Fish Pie which was also very good although, of course, not a patch on the one she produces. A nice day out and a good opportunity to catch up with old friends.

No YCNMIU’s this week – there are so many I can’t quite get my head around how utterly useless, incompetent and corrupt this government is. Bring on the election, please.

And finally, I ran across this by Cold War Steve sometime this week. For those of you not in the UK, the looney right idiots have been recently ranting about how the UK is under threat from extremists. Indeed one MP, the idiot Lee Anderson, wrote that Islamists had now taken over control of London and the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. Prizes of free subscriptions to the Morton Pinkney Picayune for those who can identify all the looney idiots featured.

Meanwhile, keep happy, keep smiling, keep exercising, be good, be careful, and keep safe. And be gentle to wasps and bees.

Lots of love to you all,


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