Good morning to you all and a splendid start of the week to everyone. It looks like we are beginning to emerge from the freezer in spite of the weather forecasters’ predictions that we could expect several more feet of snow in the next few days. Indeed, Ms Playchute was to have taken herself swimming early yesterday morning but the forecast for Friday night was so dire that she imagined we’d be lucky if we were able to climb out of an upstairs window with all the snow which they were predicting. So, instead of rising early and taking herself off to the pool, she turned over and went back to sleep without actually checking outside to see that (a) there had been no more snow and (b) the thaw had started.
Now the forecasters are predicting massive flooding with the thaw set to commence and heavy rain predicted for the rest of the week to come. Great – more muddy mornings!
We had a lovely, albeit brief, visit with our favourite international diplomat last weekend. Jordan arrived on Saturday afternoon after a surprisingly smooth journey from the south coast. As I mentioned last time, he flew in on Friday morning and got to his conference site in Sussex just as the snow was beginning to wreak havoc on the perennially unprepared UK infrastructure. Astonishingly, the journey up here on the Saturday afternoon was relatively straight-forward and he arrived just in time to sit down in front of a toasty warm fire in the lounge, which is essentially what we did for most of the weekend. For some reason, he was particularly keen to see the original Danish version of The Killing which we eventually found on Netflix. Curse you Ryan! Having watched the first three episodes together, Penny and I are now hooked (we missed the series the first time round). We now have less than a month to get through the remaining seventeen episodes before our free subscription runs out!
On Sunday, Nick, Lucy and Annabelle came for lunch – it was Nick’s birthday so there was, you’ll be surprised to learn, a feast to consume and a dense chocolate cake with liquorice ice cream to struggle through. Those of you who are friends on Facebook may have seen the following but I was fortunate to have the assistance of Annabelle when it came time to load the dishwasher.
I ran across a survey of global market wine trends which had some interesting figures. Although it was presented from an American perspective, it had some useful comparisons with other parts of the world including:
- In terms of total volume, the US consumes more wine than any country in the world (including France and Italy) yet per capita it lags behind.
- Americans of legal age drink about a case of wine per person annually. The British drink almost twice as much wine while the French and Italians consume about four cases of wine per year.
- The US is the fourth largest wine producer in the world and consumes about 75% of what it produces. Only just over a quarter of the wine consumed in the US is imported.
And the most astonishing fact of all from this report: you can buy a copy of the full report for only €1000! (That’s a distinct bargain at only $1350 or £850).
I don’t know who they asked to carry out this survey but they certainly didn’t ask me – the British drink only two cases of wine a year? Get real! I struggle to get by on two cases a week.
Love to you all,