12 October 2014

In spite of the dire forecasts for this week’s weather, I have to concede that it wasn’t as bad as all that. The first part of the week was assuredly wet and windy (floods and storm damage in various other parts of the country), but the tail end of the week has been tolerably pleasant. Fresh, to be sure, and definitely continuing the autumnal theme we’ve been working on. But after the showers raced through on Wednesday and Thursday it’s been bright and sunny and dry. Can’t complain.

Wednesday we braved the showers and had a pleasant day pottering around the Cotswolds. We had a late morning coffee at a lovely new coffee shop in Witney – I wish I could remember its name; I would give it a positive review on TripAdvisor.

Whilst Pen was at the counter ordering our drinks and an apple bun (very tasty), I struck up a conversation with an older woman sitting at the next table. She was waiting for her husband who was just behind Penny in the queue. She had been trying to attract his attention calling him by name, “Steve. Steve. Steve!!” As she hadn’t established contact, I decided to help out.

“STEVE!!” I bellowed and he finally turned around (along with all the other patrons). This led to a discussion concerning getting older and the gradual loss of hearing which occurs in some (although she felt her husband exhibited mainly selective hearing loss.) I related the saga of Pen’s father’s experiences with his hearing aid.

Oz is, to put it mildly, very hard of hearing and he has a hearing aid provided to him by the NHS. However, he never wears it and suggests, instead, that the reason he doesn’t hear what people say is that everyone else is mumbling. Sometimes when you have to bellow to make him hear you get the reply, “There’s no need to take that tone with me!” You can’t win.

Mrs T PottsAfter Witney we drove through Stow to Moreton-in-Marsh where we moseyed around the galleries for a spell and then began to look for somewhere to have a bite to eat. We resisted the obvious charms of Mrs T Potts Tea Room and settled instead on the Victoria Coffee House for a couple of paninis and a portion of chips before a leisurely drive across the countryside home. A splendid day out.

The lunch in Moreton was in marked contrast to the snack we forced down at a new “Mexican” burrito bar on Banbury High Street, much to our mutual disappointment. Pen had been into town earlier in the morning and had spotted this new establishment, opened only last Monday. After we stretched and twisted our way through our yoga session, she surprised me by offering to buy me lunch.

Never one to refuse such an offer, especially with such delightful company, she led me to Lucca Burrito, a “Mexican” take on the sandwich bars which adorn most UK high streets. We both opted for the pulled pork burrito and, as you might imagine, I was salivating at the prospect.

Unfortunately, the resulting burrito was a considerable disappointment. It had refried beans, OK. The pulled pork again was OK. But the whole thing was bland and tasteless. No doubt the use of chili and hot spice had been toned down for the British palate, but please! It needed some spices to give it a bit of taste and flavour. To make matters worse, it was filled with rice which, as well as being tasteless, was lukewarm at best. Oh well, at least the corn chips were OK.

While browsing the Guardian the other day, I spotted another property on the market which is clearly tempting those who might be contemplating putting in an offer for ours.

It’s got a cinema, a marble disco, an infinity pool with waterslide, a bedroom the size of two tennis courts – and tables upholstered in stingray skin.

It’s the penthouse suite in Monaco’s new Odeon Tower and could be yours for a mere £260 million.

And, if that’s too rich for you, how about this wine auctioned in Hong Kong recently? 114 bottles of Burgundy for $1.6 million or, a mere $14,000 each.

Wine

I’ve asked this question before – is this wine really that much better than the stuff I drink? Probably so.

We’re off to the States for the next couple of weeks – we hope to catch some of the autumn foliage in New England and then some sunshine and warm weather in Southern California. So, it’s a case of good news, bad news. The good news is that there may well not be any editions of the Befouled News during our journey; the bad news is that there will probably be lots to share when we get back! Enjoy your break!

Love to you all,

Greg