13 July 2014

Good week – some nice warm days with a goodly amount of sunshine and (relatively) blue skies interspersed with a bit of drizzle and grey. What’s not been quite so good, perhaps, is the painfully slow progress I’ve made this week on sorting through and throwing out the seventeen years of accumulated rubbish I’ve managed to store in my study somehow. A few other distractions this week but I must get down to it someday soon – I doubt any potential purchasers of 23 Banbury Road will want my antique collection of old CDs and documentation dating from 1997 onwards! Why do we keep all this stuff?

My relative lack of progress at house-clearing I put down partly to my innate laziness but also partly due to the amount of recovery which was necessary following our exertions over the past weekend – we had Annabelle to stay overnight for the first time without her parents. Naturally, Penny did most of the “heavy lifting” but I was also called upon from time to time and, although Ms Playchute coped exceedingly well, I was exhausted! Again, I guess it’s down to my general indolence.

I did get to spend many a happy moment yesterday assisting Ms Playchute in getting rid of some of the accumulated rubbish in the garage. It’s amazing what one can find – some of this stuff we brought with us from Radway when we moved here. I’m not quite sure why we didn’t take it to the tip at that point instead of carting it over here to store for seventeen years and then take it to the tip, but I am assuming there must be some method in our madness. Still, we made good progress – two trips to the local recycling emporium in Daventry where we will soon be on first-name basis with all the staff. My goodness, are we living the dream or what!?

three_flavoursI ran across an article the other day by one of the Guardian’s resident art critics – the 10 best “holiday” paintings. The list contains several “old favourites” from Matisse to Hopper but also has a number which are new to me including Wayne Thiebaud’s Three Flavours (it’s actually written that way in the Guardian but surely it’s “flavors”). Have a look and see if you agree with the selection.

You will remember that I wrote some time ago about the sale of the Royal Mail where the government sold it to their favourite bankers at somewhat less than its true value. This week a report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee confirmed what most everyone (apart from the government and their friendly advisers, of course) has been saying since the sale took place. The Committee confirms that the taxpayer lost out to the tune of about a billion pounds while the government’s friends and advisers made off with a quick (and substantial) profit in addition to their multi-million-pound fees for imparting such useful advice.

So, I had a chuckle when I read an article that had been posted by a “friend” on Facebook.

The £1bn ‘lost’ by the taxpayer during the sale of the Royal Mail has been found alive and well in the client accounts of the banks advising on the sale, according to reports this morning.

Very cute, or at least it would be if it wasn’t so transparently corrupt. And to think that the UK government gives advice to developing countries on how to eliminate corruption in government and financial services.

Finally, in the absence of any meaningful or useful “news” this week, why not see if you can guess who allegedly told these one-liners about sex?

I told my wife she’s lousy in bed; she went out to get a second opinion.

Have a go yourself and see if you can beat the average score (6) or my score (8).

And finally, finally, how about 21 “interesting” facts about airplanes and flight.

21 “interesting” facts about airplanes and flight: It’s the best place to see a rainbow [I can confirm that observation] and the worst place to drink tea . . . Brian Clegg reveals 21 in-flight facts, from Einstein’s influence on GPS to why turbulence is nothing to be scared of.

Love to you all,