14 September 2014

It’s been a pretty good week – not a huge abundance of sunshine but enough to make you feel that it’s been a pretty nice day. To be fair, things are turning decidedly autumnal – there is a freshness in the air, the mornings have tended to start somewhat mistily and the Boston Ivy is turning already! Too soon!

I wrote last week that this has been a good summer for our resident swallows. It’s also clearly been a great year for spiders, at least to judge by the size of our house spiders – we have several that are very large and clearly thriving, which may also help to explain the relative lack of bothersome house flies this year. There are two enormous octopeds which scurry about in the corner of my study where the network cabling enters the ceiling. I wouldn’t have thought two of them would live in such close proximity to each other but I guess once they get into the ceiling space there’s plenty of room for everyone. Another gigantic one scuttles across the carpet in the lounge most evenings as we watch television. Let me tell you – these guys are huge, certainly large enough to capture a small cat or kidnap a new-born child. So, this summer has been a win for the swallows, a win for the spiders and a win for us with fewer house flies. Win, win win!

One More Royal Mouth to FeedAs you might imagine, there has been a huge amount of media coverage of the announcement that Kate is to produce another “royal” sproglet. To borrow from Steve Bell, “Another royal mouth to feed.”

I get it that there are considerable numbers of people who are desperate to know everything about the royal family but the amount of press coverage given to seemingly every waking moment of these people’s lives is just absurd. The Middle East is in flames, Ukraine and Russia are on the verge of initiating war and our media, at least, is consumed with the news that, as the Huffington Post put it:

BREAKING NEWS: Woman Is Expecting A Baby

A married woman of childbearing age is pregnant.

This will be a second child for the woman, who already has one baby.

The woman and her husband’s family are said to be delighted at the news.

Give me a break!

I have written many times about politicians who are somewhat “economical with the truth”. It’s one of the qualifications for the job and the Prime Minister has considerable form in this area.  So, I was interested to read an article in Leftfoot Forward that the Press Complaints Commission had upheld a complaint that the Prime Minister had “significantly misrepresented” some employment statistics at the end of July.

the statistics to which the prime minister referred had been significantly misrepresented: there was a significant distinction between the numbers of people in employment and the allocation of new jobs.

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Surprisingly, very few other news outlets carried the PCC judgement, at least as far as I could see. I guess the news that one’s Prime Minister has been caught lying (again) is even less newsworthy than the news that a very privileged young woman is pregnant. After all, that’s what politicians do!

We had a lovely visit with Nick, Lucy and Annabelle last weekend. They came over on Sunday and we played in the park, swung on swings, whirled about on the roundabout and played rugby in the back garden. At one point we all had to express our consternation that some of Annabelle’s imaginary friends were continually escaping and scampering away across the back lawn. This meant that Annabelle had to sprint across the lawn to gather them all up in her arms and bring them back. Still, as soon as they were back under control they would escape again! And again! And again!

Nick and Lucy are very good at explaining to Annabelle what is going to happen, something I’m not sure I ever did whilst attempting to raise our children. So, as it was approaching time for them to leave, Lucy said to her that they were going to be leaving in a short while so there was time for a bit more play and then it would be time for kisses and cuddles and then they would have to go home.

At this news Annabelle became a little bit subdued and somewhat downcast. Lucy asked her what was wrong and she replied that she was “scared” when she had to say good-bye to Grandma and Grandpa. When asked to explain what she meant she said that it made her “sad” to say good-bye – clearly, being “scared” was the only feeling she could verbalise to describe how she felt when the time to leave was approaching.

I have to confess, my eyes for some strange reason, acquired a certain degree of moistness around the edges when I overheard this. The feeling is mutual.

Love to you all,




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