31 October 2010

Good morning.

Our clocks finally changed back this weekend – I presume yours have too (apart from those of you in, for example, Arizona and the People’s Republic who have the good sense not to be taken in by this nonsense). I had kind of lost track of when it was due to happen but fortunately the technology in our house tells us when these things happen which is a great relief. I know I go on a bit about the lack of consistent logic when it comes to those who try to justify the artificial manipulation of time but I did have to laugh last weekend. Apparently, Pen’s folks thought the clocks went back last weekend. On Sunday she took them and Molly for a stroll around the reservoir and, at one point, she asked what the time was (Ms Playchute does not wear a watch). Pen’s mum replied that it was five past four; her father said it was five past two. It turns out that Beryl had wound her watch forward an hour while Oz had wound his back. So, in actual fact, it was five past three and guess what – it actually didn’t matter and made no difference to anyone. Amazingly, there were no additional hours of daylight and neither Beryl nor Oz “saved” or “lost” anything. Even more amazing? This morning Molly started asking for her walk at 7.30 instead of 8.30 – doesn’t she realise?

In clearing out my inbox the other day, I ran across the following which Dad sent, which sums things up rather nicely. It was headed up “Why they do not have daylight savings time in Arizona.”


Daylight Savings Time


As well as clearing out my inbox the other day, I also had an opportunity to clear the months’ worth of accumulated rubbish off my desk. The opportunity arose because I had decided I ought to make a start on completing last year’s tax return and what better way to get on with a thoroughly unpleasant task than by finding some distractions.

The tax year in the UK bizarrely runs from 7 April to the following 6 April. We then have until 31 January of the following year to submit our tax returns. Normally, like most people, I wait until about late afternoon or early evening on 29 January before starting and every year I promise myself I will get ahead of the game. So, this past week I decided I would make that start and, as a result, I now have a very clear desk and my inbox has been purged of several hundred redundant e-mail messages. Looking at the state of my book shelves, I could easily stretch this out for another two or three weeks or, if I am really determined, until about 29 January or so.

I’m not the only one to employ this strategy. When Ms Playchute was attending university, we would have an immaculately clean house whenever she had an essay due and I even received an e-mail the other day from someone who had just received their copy of the Stragapalooza souvenir DVD. This person confessed to having watched the DVD twenty times so far to avoid doing any work. Yes, I have suggested that she seek professional help urgently.

I mentioned a few weeks ago how it looked like we were going to enjoy a pretty good show of autumn colour this year, at least as far as it gets colourful in the UK. It’s never going to be New England but I took the following on walks with Molly around the Edgecote estate. Both photos are taken from about the same spot but notice, in the first, that just part of the large tree in the foreground has turned and in the second the whole tree is bright yellow. Notice also the smaller trees in the background – green and then blazingly yellow.


Autumn Colour Before Autumn Colour After

And these two were taken yesterday and this morning. The first is of the church from the recreation ground; the second is the bit of colour we see outside one of our bedroom windows. Like I say, it’s not New England but for us this is colourful!


Autumn Colour Autumn Colour

I ran across an article this week which I think we should adapt as the theme for our next Stragnell reunion. Steph’s idea for Stragapalooza was great; I think we should go one step further and model our next reunion on the Nude-a-palooza festival which was recently held in Florida. You can read about it (and even see a photo or two) here.

Love to you all,

Greg