The Many, Not the Few

In today's Guardian, I learned that “Donald Trump has told Theresa May in a phone call he does not want to go ahead with a state visit to Britain until the British public supports him coming.”

What a relief. Cancel the banquets, stand down the riot police, put the placards away. Business as usual, as Theresa May might say. Though how much longer her words will have an audience wider than her nearest and dearest is a subject bookmakers are assessing as I write.

Having held an election she did she was not going to have, to get an endorsement for hard Brexit and to do things she has not deemed the electorate sufficiently grown up to be told, Mrs May finds herself with a reduced number of Tory MPs, yet bizarrely seems to think that she can go on being PM nod acting as though the country has not just given two fingers to her plans for continued austerity and a hostile relationship with the rest of the EU.

The Tories like to paint themselves as the fiscally responsible party. I don't know how much it costs to hold a General Election, but it's obviously more than a few quid. Now the rumours are we could have another before the end of the year. Couldn't we spend the money on something else, the NHS springs to mind, and just ditch the right wing, nationalist agenda and revert to being annoying members of the EU?

For all I know, that is exactly what is happening. I am at das Boot for few days, listening to birds, not the news, planning an early night with MasterB who has already commandeered the bed. I thought he wanted to go out a little while ago, so put on an old sweat shirt jacket and discovered the mice have used most of the right pocket for nest making. I wondered where the soft green stuff had come from. We spent about five minutes ashore before he headed back to das Boot. I am hoping this will not herald a disturbed night.

It's a beautiful evening. No one else is here. We have the skies, the water and the birdsong to ourselves. The cuckoo has just stopped calling; swifts and swallows skim the water eating insects. The bats are flying by the trees.

On Friday I met my cousin Russell for a walk in the countryside near his home in Hampshire. I have been meaning to post pictures ever since. We have both been voting Green for the last I don't know how long, and that discovery of shared beliefs has helped underpin our new relationship as older adults. It also helps that he is now vegetarian, as are his wife and their two children. We were both fairly glum about the election when we arranged to meet a few weeks back, but just as the mice have nibbled at my pocket, so Jeremy Corbyn has nibbled away at the expected Tory landslide, so now we have a hung parliament. It's a strange thing to celebrate, but we are. My liver is going to rebel at some point soon.

Our grins when we met on the station platform were wider than those of a wide mouthed toad. We hugged each other and decided that lunch would be a celebratory feast, even though we were in a part of the country where as Russell put it a bit too graphically, they'd vote for a turd if it was painted blue.

And feast we had. The chef may have been Tory, I don't know, but s/he made a mean lunch. A lunch we enjoyed after several miles of green and luscious countryside as we discussed the election and its result.

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Of Cats, Jennifer Johnston, Armagh and Debates

Some animals really suffer. Cousin’s cats are discouraged from coming indoors, though they stroll through the house with remarkable insouciance to seek out favourite spots.

As for the garden, there are insulated houses for them in poor weather, and one they particularly like on a neighbour’s property which pleases the neighbour no end, as he says there is not a mouse or a rat anywhere near.

His contentment even extends to forgiving Marple for stealing the meat from his plate when he was out of the room.

But the moment the sun shines, the favourite spot is the sun chair with its striped cushion.

Fido seems to have established the greatest claim, and has worked hard on perfecting his lounging technique.

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Of Champagne, Crochet, Cat Home Wreckers and Hotel Rooms

There was a crash in the predawn. It was loud enough to get me out of bed. MasterB had knocked my wind up radio (one of the items identified as essential should London flood) onto the floor and it looks less than happy. I thought it didn’t work any longer. When Celia came round she looked into its innards, which is somehow a bit like looking into a brain, though neuro-surgery is hardly my field. She wound it up and hey presto, Radio 4 filled the room. I may have to cover it with clingfilm to stop it clogging up with dust, but should the rain continue to fall and London become the new Venice, I shall have my radio.
Other noises off before my alarm sounded were less disturbing. I noted them and went back to a sleep that had not been completely vanquished. Breakfast time revealed the photos in the sitting room were all flat on the table. The rug was a blue muddle. All the work of my own little home wrecker, MasterB. It’s good to know he is full of energy and vim, and as people describe my home as homely and lived in, it is hardly as though I have hotel standards to keep up. Though maybe MasterB fancies himself as a feline Keith Richards, a rock ‘n’ roll wrecker of rooms. I’ll watch out for the receding hairline diguised by a scarf, and strange objects hanging from his fur.

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