17 March 2024

It’s been a pretty mixed week – a fair bit of rain and lots of mud all of which seems to cling to Daisy when she comes home from her walks. Thank goodness for the new, outdoor mixer tap! We’ve also had some lovely periods with sunshine with clouds scudding across the skies, all the while remaining very mild. As for me it’s a case, once again, of good day, bad day, good day, bad day, etc. It seems that I will need to seek a second opinion – Dr Google assured me that my sciatic symptoms would disappear after four to six weeks. Sadly, that has turned out not to be the case. I’m afraid my lovely, magnificent carer is getting just about as fed up as I am!

It was Mothering Sunday last week and, as I wrote last time, Adam, Ava and the girls came over bringing lunch. Adam had made enchiladas which were very tasty. Thankfully, he made sufficient so that we could have them for lunch the following day. What a good boy he is!

Jessie had made a lovely Mothering Sunday card for Pen:

It was lovely to have them all here even if it did rain all day. So, they had to entertain themselves indoors.

It looks like we could be celebrating a summer wedding this year – Jessie has had a proposal of marriage (the first of many, I suspect). She dances with a local group on Saturdays and her partner in their latest public performance is so enamoured with her that he gave her this card. You can (hopefully) decipher it yourself.

Adam said that he read her the riot act and sent her to bed without supper. He also added that he might consider the proposal once the young man learns how to spell “marry” properly

And here is a clip of the happy couple:

After the disappointment of our having to cancel our trip to Hawaii, LA and New England, I was not particularly looking forward to the discussion/argument I was going to have with our travel insurance folks. Imagine my surprise when they stumped up for everything without the merest quibble. I was shocked! This is unlike any experience I’ve had with any other insurance company. Our experience has been that the first response to any request for recompense is met with the answer, “I’m sorry, Sir, but that is not covered.” One then has to point out to them the clause in the policy which shows that it is covered. Then one has to quibble over the amount they grudgingly agree to pay. Fair play, though, to Staysure Travel Insurance – five stars.

So, on the strength of the refund we received we’re taking ourselves and Daisy off for a couple of days in Cornwall. Penelope found a dog-friendly cottage within spitting distance of Padstow. The fact that Rick Stein’s marvellous restaurant is just down the road is a pure coincidence. Even more of a coincidence – the cottage Ms Playchute found just happens to be in the village where he has a dog-friendly pub, the Cornish Arms. You will be surprised to know that we’ve booked dinner at both establishments! So, all that means that there almost certainly will not be an edition of the Moreton Pinkney Picayune next Sunday. You’re welcome.

I had lunch with a good friend on Monday – this was the first time I had ventured out alone since the sciatica bastard decided to visit. Naturally, my carer insisted that I take a test drive with her beforehand to ensure that I would be able to drive. Thankfully, her car is an automatic so no need to use my left leg which is the one with all the pain. Fortunately, I was able to pass the test and was therefore approved to venture out on my own. It was great to see him – we try to have lunch every six weeks or so but we hadn’t been able to get together since before Christmas. We went to The Falcon very near to where we used to live in Radway. In our day it was called the Wobbly Wheel and was one of our local hostelries (along with the New Inn on the Stratford Road – now the Indian Queen). Back then it was an ordinary, pleasant country pub. Now it’s thriving mainly as a pretty decent restaurant. The original building has been greatly extended and the place was pretty well packed out on a Monday lunchtime. It just shows that if you’re prepared to offer decent food you can make a go of a country pub. Pity the owners of our pub across the road from us seem uninterested in such a concept. It’s still closed with no prospect of reopening.

We watched Poor Things the other night mainly because I was interested to see Emma Stone’s performance. Like many others, I was pretty convinced that Lily Gladstone would win the best actress Oscar for Killers of the Flower Moon so I was surprised when Stone won. Poor Things is the sort of film which we would probably never have watched given its general description but I am glad we did – it is outstanding.

The film is about the development of Bella Baxter (played by Stone), a young woman in Victorian London who is brought back to life via a brain transplant from her unborn infant. In a surreal and fantastical environment, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Wild and wacky and a lot of fun.

The Public Accounts committee released a report this week on the progress made under the government’s banner policy of “Levelling Up.” This was originally intended to provide grants to local authorities especially in the so-called “left behind” areas of the country, i.e. the most deprived. The committee found that the government was unable to find any compelling examples of what has been delivered.

The levels of delay that our report finds in one of government’s flagship policy platforms is absolutely astonishing.

The vast majority of levelling up projects that were successful in early rounds of funding are now being delivered late, with further delays likely baked in.

Dame Meg Hillier, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee

One of the projects which has been completed was paving the driveway of a former Tory peer in East Sussex, hardly a “left behind” part of the country. The level of corruption in this government is simply astonishing.

And finally, I ran across this post on Facebook the other day in one of the campervanning in Europe groups:

Interestingly, many of those commenting took it seriously!

And finally, finally, for those of you for whom it’s relevant, have a splendid St Patrick’s Day. Penny & I both have Irish ancestry although hers is much more recent than mine. Her great grandfather, Pierce Butler, was born in the thriving metropolis of Inistioge in County Kinkilly. The story goes that Pierce, as a young man, was becoming a bit too familiar with many local girls and his family decided to send him off to Australia. This backfired somewhat when he met, fell in love with and ultimately married Agnes Rabbage who was . . . a Protestant!

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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