12 July 2015

It’s been a good week with some lovely days of bright(ish), clear(ish) sunshine and moderately pleasant bordering on hot temperatures. Don’t things always seem better when the sun shines?

We had a lovely couple of days last weekend with our friends Sue and Stuart on the south coast. No great adventures, exhibitions or performances to sample this time, just an opportunity to relax, eat and drink too much and laugh a lot. They are returning the favour this week – they’re coming up to us and we’re all off to Stratford on Wednesday evening for a performance of The Merchant of Venice. Going to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is always a treat and we’re looking forward to this week’s performance.

Some of you know that for the past dozen years or so we’ve owned a small house in Banbury which we’ve rented out to an assortment of tenants. For the past five or six years it was rented by Penny’s nephew, Michael, and his young family. When they emigrated to Australia last October we decided to put it up for sale and we finally completed the process on Friday morning  after the usual fraught house-selling experience. A young couple have bought it and it will be a great first home for them with plenty of opportunity to do some renovating and improvement.

Having completed the sale I started the process of cancelling the building insurance policy as well as another mortgage-protection policy. I started the process at about 8.45 in the morning and finished at 11.21. Two and a half hours to cancel two policies! The trickiest bit is to find any way of contacting the appropriate people in the relevant firm. They’re very keen to advertise all the phone numbers and contact details should you wish to purchase a new policy but you try to find contact details for cancelling a policy! One of the numbers listed, which seemed quite promising when I finally found it, answered (with a recorded message, of course) “Welcome to . . . “ and then, after about thirty seconds of music, disconnected the line. Several times. Splendid.

And, tomorrow I face completing another couple of tasks which could potentially take just as long. I need to cancel our Council Tax payments and give the energy provider the final gas and electricity readings. Fortunately, I have bills which allegedly provide me with the appropriate telephone numbers, I have all the account numbers and, most importantly, the final readings. Let’s hope this doesn’t take more than a couple of hours.

I had an e-mail from our friend Erik Benson who is often a reasonably good source of amusing or bizarre material. After all, what else is the internet good for? This week’s offering was a selection of photographs explaining why men die before women – nothing to do with biology but rather the stupid, idiotic things that guys tend to do.

On average, women tend to outlive men. While experts put it down to biology, I beg to differ. What these experts ignore but every woman knows, is that men have a shorter lifespan because they tend to be. . . well. . . men.

And then followed a selection of photographs illustrating some of the finer examples of how men sometimes do pretty stupid things. Click for a larger version.

I forwarded them on to Pam and Sandy as I thought they would get a kick out of them. Pam’s reply was funny in itself:

We both laughed a lot … I thought I saw a number of situations my husband had already been in.  He said, “I’ve done that” to only one.  He must not have been counting a variation as an exact match as I’m sure I’ve witnessed a number of those.

And finally, how about some bird’s-eye view photographs of New York City?

Columbus Circle, NYC

Have a great week.

Much love to you all,