10 March 2013

After some lovely Spring-like weather at the beginning of the week, it’s been downhill since then – rain, drizzle and fog along with Molly and my favourite consequence: mud. March has come in not so much roaring like a lion but slithering in like an eel.

As you know, when Molly comes back from our morning and/or afternoon ramble covered in mud, she receives a hosing down and is confined to the entrance hall or the kitchen, neither of which has carpet, until she is more or less dry. She has now decided that she is fed up with being denied access to her two favourite resting places – the lounge and/or the library. So, she has decided to announce her displeasure with a vigorous “bark” demanding that someone open the door so that she can recline in comfort. (And who can blame her – consider the contrast between lying on the wood or tile floor to resting luxuriously on a carpet next to a warm radiator. Particularly when one is of a “certain age.” No contest). Since we are now so familiar with her barking for any reason we ignore her which would be fine. Unfortunately, she has also discovered that the door to the lounge doesn’t actually shut properly and a modest push will cause it to swing open. When we ignore her requests, therefore, she simply opens the door and makes herself comfortable.

As mentioned in previous dispatches, Penelope has been making astonishing progress in her efforts to put the business behind her and convert the workshop and office into living space for Beryl. The workshop has been cleared out and painted and she’s nearly finished with the office. We’ve moved her office into the small spare bedroom which is also now the warehouse for the millions of foam balls she still sells to the cupcake making brigade. Those of you who have visited SeamStress will be able to appreciate what a great area it will be. It’s all, currently, a bright white – so bright that you need sunglasses when you enter, even on the dreary days we’ve had lately. As you would expect, I’ve done little to be of any assistance although I have, grudgingly, carried out such tasks as I have been assigned.

Cameron Rebuked for LyingPoor David Cameron, he just doesn’t get it. He can’t seem to drag himself out of the quagmire (self-generated, to be sure) and, for the second time in as many months, he has been “rebuked” for being, as one former Conservative minister said many years ago, somewhat “economical” with the truth. In other words, lying.

Of course, we know that’s what politicians do. But one doesn’t need to be too bright to realise that when you make a major speech people are going to be listening and checking to ensure that it’s honest and truthful. So, in a speech this past week on the economy, Cameron claimed that the Office for Budget Responsibility had made it

absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible [for the weak state of the economy], in fact, quite the opposite.

This caused the OBR’s chairman to write to the Prime Minister to take issue with his statement:

For the avoidance of doubt, I think it is important to point out that every forecast published by the OBR since the June 2010 Budget has incorporated the widely held assumption that tax increases and spending cuts reduce economic growth in the short term.

To summarise, we believe that fiscal consolidation measures have reduced economic growth over the past couple of years.

Oops!

And this is on top of Cameron’s claim in a party political broadcast a few weeks ago that the Government was paying off the UK’s debt which again forced a “rebuke”, this time from the UK Statistics Authority. Debt has, it seems, increased from £800 billion (55% of GDP) in 2010 when the coalition took office to £1.1 trillion (71% of GDP – yikes!) in 2012.

It would be wonderful if politicians didn’t lie but, then again, it would be equally wonderful if pigs could fly – they can’t and they won’t. What I don’t understand is why anyone would knowingly (one presumes) make statements which are untrue knowing (again, one presumes) that the media and opposition parties will challenge any inaccuracies and use them as a club with which to beat him. Still, Cameron has never been regarded as the sharpest knife in the drawer so perhaps he just doesn’t get it.

I laughed out loud when I saw the following headline on the Guardian site:

Guardian Headline

Someone must have been having a laugh – I noticed it at 7.30 am while I was browsing the site on my iPad. By 8.30 the headline had been changed to “MPs to quiz horsemeat firm chief.” I’m glad I grabbed a screen shot before it disappeared forever.

I ran across the following in yesterday’s Guardian. It does make you wonder why we put up with the habits of our most loyal companions. Click for a larger version.

Manners for Dogs

A couple of videos to brighten your day (perhaps). The first, a surfing piglet in New Zealand; the second from The Best Job in the World competition which, this year, has six jobs available including one described as “Taste Master” which could be the one for me.

And finally, today is Mothering Sunday in the UK so a very happy day to my mother and all the other mothers amongst our extended family and friends.

Mothering Sunday

Love to you all,

Greg