An A1, prize clusterfuck of the first water! My apologies for the bad language but how else can one summarise the mega-shambles that was last week's budget? According to the Sunday 'prints', the blame game is in full swing but as far as I can judge no-one in Whitehall spotted the shit-storm that was to engulf them all. Whilst 'Skipper' Hammond was at the tiller and blindly steering his government onto the rocks, nevertheless, 'Admiral' May was in overall command and she should take the incoming shot and shell. Nobody seems to know for sure what the lady is about, least of all me, but I have always had my doubts. Perhaps the worst result of this shambles is that Mrs. May's Tory cabinet have made 'Jezza' and his team of 'tonks' actually look competent by comparison.
Mottisfont Abbey: After a birthday lunch yesterday with SoD and partner, we went up the road to Mottisfont Abbey.
Normally, I am fairly resistant to visiting 'grand houses' nearly all of whom are now 'owned' by what I call the National (Socialist) Trust. Frequently they are dead boring and filled with ghastly paintings and I resent the fact that the families who used to own them have been, in effect, disinherited. However, this one is a bit different. It began 'life' in the 13th century as an Augustinian priory traces of which can still be seen. The last true owners in the 1930s were the Russell family and Maud Russell was a patroness of the arts and the house was constantly filled with artists, musicians, actors and writers, including the late Ian Fleming who became her lover. Another regular was the artist 'Rex' Whistler whose works remain on display. Anyway, it was an excellent day out and I think that another visit will be required later in the year when the gardens will be in full bloom.
I just can't get the hang of this 'mwah-mwah' thing: Dammit, whatever happened to the good, old, British handshake when greeting or bidding farewell? All very proper, completely neutral and incapable of misunderstanding. Somehow, over the last few decades this 'mwah-mwah' habit has taken over and thus opened a nightmare of misapplications and misunderstandings. Should it be one 'mwah' or two? There is even a move, I gather, to make it three - quelle horreure! Also, I have noticed a tendency amongst some people towards a lip-on-lip 'mwah' and that I find totally disgusting. Bring back the handshake, I say!
An open invitation to Russian hackers: Please, tovarichs (er, if that's the correct plural), feel free to hack my internet presence but I will accept no responsibility if you die of boredom!
Those 'good ol' Texas boys' give 'Mrs. McWhinge' a kicking: Quite disgraceful, Gentlemen, but can I hold your coats whilst you're at it? I refer, again, to those shale oil producers 'over there' who have now reduced oil prices below $50 a barrel. Even the high pitched whines from the minarets of Arabia are as nothing compared to what is emanating from 'Mrs. McWhinge' up in Edinburgh. As Jeremy Warner points out in The Telegraph, the whole concept of an independent Scotland hangs on the price of (the fast disappearing anyway) North Sea oil. At today's price an independent Scotland would resemble Greece and the Euro-scallywags wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole!
More good news from 'down under there': Seriously, I may have to move to Australia because it seems to be the Land of Good News. Making one of my increasingly rare visits to WUWT - yes, I know I should keep up but I sense that the, er, heat is out of the global warming racket - and I read a sort of confirmation in that the Australian Climate Institution is closing down due to a lack of funds. Get the Fosters out, Cobbers, and let's party!
So farewell then, Joni Sledge, whoever you were: Sometimes I wonder if I inhabit a parallel universe! All day the ticker tape on my TV news channel has been full of the news that Ms. Joni Sledge has died at the relatively early age of 60. Alas and alack, I have never heard of the lady and indeed, I have never heard her or her sisters sing. Where have I been? I don't know but I think I should be told! Anyway, R.I.P.
No more rumbles today