20 September 2015

Good morning on what I hope is another splendid morning wherever you are. For me, it seems like another week has gone racing by and I feel as if I’m scrambling through treacle trying to keep up! Apart from a few simple, trivial tasks, I don’t feel as if I’m making much progress in the ever-expanding list of those things which need doing. Pen, on the other hand, is racing ahead and the fabric for her new Roman blinds in the lounge arrived a few days ago – she’ll be on to those soon while I am still trying to remember where I put the screwdriver.

It’s been a largely overcast and damp week although we have managed to grab a few walks exploring the countryside around and about. The other day we took the Ordnance Survey map in hand and did a large, leisurely loop around Canons Ashby. Pen and J had wanted to do a nine-mile walk but I persuaded them that (a) they had left it too late and (b) nine miles was further than they really wanted to do. Still, the shorter walk was just as grand and we dodged the rain in spite of the stormy skies in the late afternoon sun.

A ramble across the countryside

We had our first “proper” visitors last weekend (not that J is not “proper”, but she’s family and hence doesn’t really count). Our friends Sue and Stuart came up from the south coast for the weekend to inspect the new estate and Dave and Sue Walton also came up for the day. We walked across the fields to Canons Ashby and had a splendid repast of barbequed leg of lamb. Fortunately, they all seem to approve of the homestead.

On Sunday we had our first visit from Nick and Lucy and Annabelle since our return. They came across for the day and we built elaborate marble runs and played on all the bits of kit at the playground across the road. Poor Bubble was made to pose with Grandpa wearing her new Red Sox hoodie.

Marble Run bubble_and_grandpa

They flew off for a week in Turkey yesterday morning just, unfortunately, as Ben flew in for a quick weekend. He’s been in Dublin for a few days on business and very kindly arranged to make a short detour by way of Moreton Pinkney on his way home. We picked him up at Heathrow on Friday evening and he flies back on Monday morning. So far, he seems to like the new place too.

Several of you will know our good friend Erik Benson from Radway days. We had an e-mail from him on Thursday recounting the previous five days’ adventure he enjoyed in the cardiac wing of the hospital in Angouleme having had a heart attack on Sunday morning! Thankfully, they got him the care and attention he needed and, after a few days annoying all the staff, they sent him home again where he seems to be in modestly fine form all things considered. Apparently, there are more stents to put in so he’s back up in another couple of weeks for more work. He writes that on his departure, all the nurses gathered to wish him au revoir and to enquire, according to Erik, about the manner in which Scottish gentlemen wear their kilts and the truth about what they do or do not wear underneath. No doubt Erik gave them a very graphic description.

The following gave me a good chuckle. I guess some/most of you will have read or heard of the news of Jeremy Corbyn’s election as the new leader of the Labour Party. If you’re not up to speed with the latest machinations of the Labour Party, all you really need to know is that Corbyn is from the far left of the party while the other three contenders are firmly in the “New Labour” camp (or Tory lite as some would have it). This cartoon was published just after the leadership election and it is splendid on so many levels; the split in the Labour Party that his election would seem to portend, the other contenders left stranded in the rump of the party with the swell of support Corbyn gathered, the pantomime horse as a metaphor for the current state of the Labour Party is just about perfect and finally Blair poking his head out of the horse’s backside is absolutely magnificent.

Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader

Finally, we had a couple of errands to run in Banbury the other day and I noticed that the Boston Ivy outside the multi-story car park is already well-turned. Also, our swallows have left for their winter holidays in South Africa (did I mention that we have swallows, much to our delight, nesting in the eaves of the new house?). All of which means that summer is well and truly on the wane and winter won’t be far away. How depressing is that?


Much love to you all,