Greg's Occasional News & Views

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13 December 2015

Is Christmas really less than two weeks away?!

This will be quite an usual Christmas for us – we’re still in disarray from the move and the various projects ongoing at Framington House and Nick and Lucy are in the midst of their own house move early in the New Year so it’s chaos all round. Wherever and however jumbled and unsettled it might be, it’s sure to be fun and we’re well on the way to being ready or at least giving a very convincing illusion of being so. Continue reading

6 December 2015

Back home again after a short & sweet outing to the States for Thanksgiving. Although it was but a fleeting visit, it was especially sweet nevertheless – it provided me with my first opportunity to give my mother a squeeze and a hug since my father died at the end of October. There was sadness in the visit, no doubt, but also a great deal of pleasure and much to be thankful and grateful for. And even better, I managed to squeeze in two Thanksgiving dinners in the space of three days.
Continue reading

29 November 2015

A quick update this week – as I wrote last time, I think, I’m currently in the States visiting with my mother, both my brothers and their delightful families. Visiting this week does mean that I’ve been able to enjoy not one but two Thanksgiving dinners – I knew I came at the right time. But, before we get to a brief account of some of our adventures this week, I need to bring you up to date with last weekend’s activities. Continue reading

22 November 2015

Whew! Have we been busy? Is the Pope Catholic and/or do bears defecate in the woods? You betcha!

Phase One of Penelope’s Front Path is finished – having dug, hard-cored and whacked the paths, she has laid the pavers along both sides and, I have to confess, it looks grand. There is still the edging and pointing to do, hence we can really only count Phase One as having been completed. Continue reading

15 November 2015

Good morning to you all. We’ve had a fairly decent week with some pretty fine (and mild) weather at the beginning of the week. Temperatures reached the giddy heights of 16 to 17 degrees Celsius (low 60s in old money) on Tuesday and Wednesday but on Friday the wind and rain started and the temperature plummeted. Fortunately, the chimney’s been swept and the logs have been delivered so we’ve been able to have a few toasty-warm fires to pass the evenings. Continue reading

8 November 2015

Now that the excitement and adventures of our Chinese excursion have been accounted for, it’s “back to normal service” this week. Too bad. And, looking out my study window on a dreary grey morning with the wind howling and the rain sleeting down, I can see that the weather is back to normal as well!

Not much this week although we had a “lovely” day out on Sunday when we impulsively ventured forth on what turned out to be a soulless and dispiriting shopping experience. We went to Ikea in Milton Keynes. Continue reading

1 November 2015

Greg & Penny’s Adventures in China for Adam & Ava’s Wedding Celebrations – Part 3

And so, we come to the final few days of our adventure – the wedding celebration in Yangshuo, our recuperation the day after and the homeward journey via Hong Kong.

The third (and final) wedding celebration was very conveniently held in the Xi Town Riverview Inn where we were staying. Preparations started bright and early on the Saturday morning – more blowing up of balloons, this time with the assistance of a cylinder of helium! Balloons and purple bunting were tied everywhere, fairly lights were strewn all over the terrace overlooking the river and even I was trusted to carry out a few menial tasks provided I was adequately supervised at all times. Everyone did a great job and the venue grew increasingly splendid as the afternoon wore on. Continue reading

25 October 2015

Greg & Penny’s Adventures in China for Adam & Ava’s Wedding Celebrations – Part 2

So, on Tuesday morning we said “good-bye” to the Grand Hotel, Liuzhou and made our way to the bus station to catch the “express” bus to Yangshuo, a mere 3.5 hour journey away. Although the bus had no “facilities” as such, Adam assured me that the driver would stop somewhere about half way so that those of us with the need would be able to “refresh” ourselves. After about two hours into the journey and with the driver showing no indication that he intended to stop, I asked Adam to enquire, which he did. The driver said he had not intended to stop but would do so at the next available “rest area.” Let me assure you that I was not the only one needing to spend a penny – I was nearly trampled as almost every passenger went scampering across to the Chinese slit, many, to judge by their posture as they raced across the pavement, in considerably greater need than was I. Continue reading

18 October 2015

YangshouOMG! Was that a lot of fun or what!!?

In short, we had an absolute blast at Adam and Ava’s various wedding celebrations – there is much too much to tell in one sitting so I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with some instalments. This week, our trip out to China and the first wedding celebration in Ava’s home town, Liuzhou.

As you know, if you’ve been keeping up, we spent the last ten days in China helping Adam and Ava celebrate their wedding. This wasn’t perhaps the best time for us to visit having just moved house and feeling decidedly unsettled but it was more than worth the disruption and now, with hindsight, we wish we’d gone for a month. It was so much fun. Continue reading

27 September 2015

Welcome to Autumn! It just doesn’t seem possible that we’ve passed through the Autumnal Equinox already – I distinctly remember it was just the other day we were looking forward to those long, lazy days of summer and the late light in the evenings. I guess it’s a pity that summer never really arrived in the UK this year. It’s definitely downhill from here.

first-day-of-fall-2015-northern-hemisphere Continue reading

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