23 August 2015

Good morning and welcome to the Moreton Pinkney Mercury or the Moreton Pinkney Periodical or the Poreton Minkney Mutterings or something similar – I’m still collating all the suggestions which flooded in after the last edition of the Befouled Weakly News but I have rejected, so far, those suggestions which were along the lines of “Get Lost Gossip” or “No More News, Please” or even “Just Make It Stop!”

The move went tolerably well considering that moving house is somewhat akin to having one’s wisdom teeth extracted – without anaesthetic. Those of you who have been through the experience recently will know what I mean. Having said that, the guys who came to move us were excellent.

They clearly have an advanced sense of spatial awareness. They would look at their van, look at the furniture available and choose exactly the right piece to fit that precise void in their packing. I would have likened them to a plague of locusts in the way they stripped the house of all our possessions but, on the first day (for the loading) there were only two of them – hardly a plague. Not even a swarm. But they had 90% of our furniture and other possessions loaded in about four hours. Four of them arrived on the Friday for the actual move. They loaded the rest of our stuff and all the garage and garden junk by about noon and by about half past four we were done, in the new house with our furniture and boxes piled high. Since then it’s been a steady diet of unpacking, moving stuff around, taking boxes and paper to the recycling centre and then some more unpacking. Fortunately, Ms Playchute is like a soul possessed and the place is looking remarkably civilised after just a week.

And, the good news is – we love it! It’s a lovely house with a lovely garden in a lovely village – what’s not to like? A few photos below of the early stages – no artwork on the walls yet but this will give you a feel, I hope, for what it’s like. Click for a larger version.

We were a bit concerned, I have to confess, about how well Molly would adapt to her new environment. Her eyesight is very poor these days and she really only sees shapes, light and dark and movement. In Byfield, of course, she had all her movements memorised so she could walk around the house and garden with ease. Now, there’s a whole new pattern and layout to memorise but, after just a few days, she seems to have it cracked.

On Wednesday we welcomed our first real house guest – Penny’s sister J arrived from Toronto for a few weeks. J is always a most welcome and wonderful house guest and her verdict seems to be favourable so far. As well as pledging to help Penelope get the house in order, she also will be Molly-sitting when we jet off to the States next week to join my brothers and sisters in wishing my mother a most splendid 90th birthday.

For the rest of you who fancy a visit, I would suggest getting your bookings in early to avoid disappointment!

Finally, I did have to chuckle at the news that the Department of Work and Pensions was caught making up the details of alleged benefit claimants in a series of leaflets intended to demonstrate how a reduction in benefit entitlement makes people happy! This is the department headed by the idiot Iain Duncan Smith who has form in this regard. It was he who, when caught lying about child poverty figures, explained that it didn’t matter that what he said was untrue because he believed it to be true, in spite of the evidence. On this occasion his department produced some leaflets and web content which included fabricated “testimonials” from fake benefit claimants praising the Government’s welfare crackdown.

Iain Duncan Smith’s administration used stock images of people and made-up quotations attributed to supposed support recipients to promote welfare sanctions

Oddly enough, he hadn’t the sense to realise that people would actually check the claims by issuing a Freedom of Information request for the details of the alleged claimants. Oops!

Honestly, you couldn’t make it up! Oh yes, if you are Iain Duncan Smith you can and do make it up.

And finally, finally Happy Birthday wishes for those whose festivities fall during the coming week not least of which would be my father’s 92nd birthday on Wednesday as well as our favourite diplomat, Jordan Ryan’s, on Saturday.

Next week’s episode will come to you from up-state New York (or, if you’re lucky, it may not arrive at all.)!

Much love to you all,