28 June 2015

It’s been a pretty decent week, all things considered. Even though we had to say “goodbye” to Adam and Ava week before last, we’ve had fun with Nick, Lucy and Annabelle and our politicians continue to say and do stupid things – what could be better?

As my Facebook “friends” will know, we had a fun time at a local bowling alley last Sunday as Nick and Lucy decided Annabelle was old enough to be introduced to the seediness of a ten pin bowling alley. I have to say, Annabelle really rocked it and, in particular, she instantly mastered the post-bowl boogie, i.e., the celebratory “dance” one performs after bowling a particularly good frame. Or, in Annabelle’s case, after every attempt.

I hadn’t realised just how much I personally would miss Adam until a few days after he and Ava left to go back to China. While they were packing on their last night here Adam went around hoovering up all the decent pairs of socks in the house. Somehow, I got left with all the “orphan” socks and/or socks which had at least one hole (generally at the back of the ankle – why are socks so prone to failure in that location). To be fair, we did suggest he should help himself – it’s always easy for us to pop into Marks & Spencer and purchase some additional socks. Which is precisely what I ended up doing on Wednesday morning.

The Worst Case ScenarioI know how some of you absolutely love Morris dancers so I’m sorry I missed the fact that last weekend was the national Morris-dancing festival in Evesham. As Ben would say, when confronted with such menacing situations follow the advice given for fending off mountain lions in The Worst Case Scenario – make yourself look big!

And so to the several stupid things the government has said or done this week starting with just how stupid is this government?

As we’ve described in the past, the Tory right are, essentially, covert racists, (and many aren’t that covert about it). All of the UK’s problems are due to immigrants coming over here, stealing our jobs, our houses (and women?) and living in luxury on state benefits.

So, in order to show their right-wing loonies that they are going to be tough on immigration, the government has announced new plans to expel any immigrant from outside the EU who earns less than £35,000 after six years in the UK.

Oops! What about all those nurses who have been recruited overseas at a considerable cost to the National Health Service.

New immigration rules that will mean lower-earning non-EU workers being deported will exacerbate the shortage of nurses in the UK and cost the NHS tens of millions in recruitment. . .

It is estimated that more than 29,000 nurses could be expelled costing the NHS hundreds of millions and seriously aggravating the acute shortage of nurses in the NHS. Honestly, you couldn’t make it up!

Secondly, how should one handle the news that your government is responsible for the first rise in child poverty in more than a decade? Simple, change the definition of what constitutes children living in poverty and, Hey Presto! We’ve eradicated child poverty all together – isn’t austerity grand!

And finally, on the political front at least, how long does it take the Conservative government to announce that they will not be keeping the promises made in the election – apparently, about six weeks.

Having campaigned in the north on a platform of investment and regeneration of the infrastructure, especially the railways, (Osborne the Tit promised massive investment to build a “northern powerhouse) the Conservatives have now announced that, because of their policy of austerity, they won’t be able to make any of those improvements after all. Hmm, did they know this at the time they made those election promises or has their austerity program caught them completely unaware? Given that they are responsible for the austerity program I would guess that they probably knew they were lying when they made those promises. Politicians, don’t you just love ‘em?

And finally, you know how I love time-lapse sequences? How about this collection from the International Space Station, as made by film-maker Dmitry Pisank, using images and video courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Nasa Johnson Space Centre.

Love to you all,