Greg's Occasional News & Views

10 May 2015

What a thoroughly depressing and disappointing week this turned out to be! Not only has the weather been pretty much shite but on Friday morning we woke up not to the hung parliament all the pollsters had been predicting but rather, to the Tory bastards having achieved the unthinkable – they secured an overall majority. What Cameron couldn’t do last time when pushing against an open door, he managed this time, largely because the Liberal Democrat vote simply vanished. Five years ago we all thought the Lib Dems would temper the Tory extremism. How wrong we were – they seemingly abandoned their principles and social conscience at the whiff of power. Their reward for keeping the Tories in check? The loss of 49 seats leaving them with a rump of 8. So much for trying to become Tory-lite.

So, we have another five years of ideological dogma to look forward to rather than any evidence-based approach to the issues facing the country. With their “mandate” I’m pretty confident we’ll see even more absurdities. Of course, the “losing” side, i.e., me, will always take great delight in pointing out that 65% of the electorate voted for someone other than the Tories yet because of the absurdity of the British parliamentary system they get to rule pretty much unfettered for the next five years. Goodness help anyone who is disabled, handicapped, sick or poor or, worst of all, benefit-scrounging (i.e., all) immigrants!

And, as for the weather! I wish I’d had a camera with me as Penelope and I walked Molly around the recreation ground on Wednesday afternoon. She (Penny) was tucked snugly in her puffy Arctic winter coat with the hood pulled down tightly around her face as the wind and rain squalled all around us. WTF? It’s May for goodness sake!

And while on the subject of the weather – one afternoon this week with all the wind and rain, we had a pretty good hailstorm. As I glanced out the kitchen window I laughed aloud as one of our resident black birds chased the hail around the back lawn. I imagine it thought these hopping little specks were insects of some description, leaping up and down all over the lawn demanding to be gobbled as it chased from one to the next hailstone.

We had a lovely day out with Nick, Lucy and Annabelle last Sunday – we trekked across to the woods at Everdon Stubbs to see this year’s bluebell display. With the weather having been so cold and overcast of late, the display was a bit muted and there were still lots to come. I did promise myself I would go across again on a sunny afternoon. Unfortunately, we’ve not had a sunny afternoon this week so the few photos we took on Sunday will have to suffice. Still, the deep blue carpet of a bluebell wood is one of the finest sights you’ll see.

Bluebells

I ran across this photo of a group of school children in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which, at first glance, has to make you think what a sad state we’ve come to when children visiting one of the finest museums/galleries in the civilised world stare at their smartphones rather than admire the masterpieces. In fact, they were (allegedly) looking up and reading about the works. Does that make it better or worse?

school_children_Rijksmuseum

Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who satisfy the qualifying criteria and especially to my wonderful mother who is as gorgeous at nearly 90 as she was when she was 19.

Mom

Also, Happy Birthday to our Ben, still as cute and cuddly at more than 40 as he was at 14 months.

ben

And an equally Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister Sallie who, in spite of her youthful good looks and energetic nature, is still older than I am.

Sallie and Greg 1954

Much love to you all,

Greg

 

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