What a month! I returned from a two week holiday in Memphis at the end of May and life has been non stop since then. My brother and his wife arrived and stayed for a week and while I love my brother and it was great to see him it was almost seven days of non stop lung and liver abuse. My internal organs must have breathed a collective sigh of relief when he drove off. As Usual the British summer has been a washout, in fact since I started this blog five years ago each summer has been successively worse than the last one. Indeed it does make one wonder whether or not I have jinxed our weather by continuing with this on line collection of thoughts and events.
The garden is looking so forlorn as the weeds take hold and the grass shoots up accompanied by the hedges that now require a petrol trimmer to keep them in shape. As for crops forget it, I have decided to leave the garden fallow for this year. I have not even been able to take Rhonda out as the conditions are so miserable and she does require some TLC. A service is due soon and again that will be weather pending.
Regular followers of this blog will remember the entry about Shell Island last year and the disaster with the tent. You may also remember I bought another large tent and enough gear to live in one permanently. What I did not have was a vehicle large enough to carry all this gear around in. My faithful old Ford Focus had 130,000 miles on the clock and it was time to replace the old girl. I swapped the focus for a Citroen Berlingo plus cash from my mate Ted Magnum and now I have the means to transport tents, beds, field kitchens, wardrobes and furniture around but not the weather to go any where. Bean Counter is not exactly pleased with my choice of vehicle and has likened it to an orange on wheels due to its gold colouring. I have discovered it is easy to find in a car park.
Enough of the weather, it is depressing writing about it, it must be equally depressing reading about it. Between BC and myself we took over four hundred photographs from our trip to the States which will feature in a series of entries in the travel section. As users of digital cameras will know a number is assigned to each photo which does not give any one any idea of what the photo was about. So I have spent what ever time I can renaming over four hundred photographs and when that is complete I will then upload a selection of them into the gallery with appropriate captions. I can say the trip was life changing and changed some of my thoughts and preconceptions about music, barbecue, civil rights and the American dream, mainly for the good but a small percentage for the worse. It was interesting to hear the views on Europe as whole and particularly Britain from several people we met. In general it was not flattering.
I can understand and relate to how things must seem to the outside world especially as Spain has just received a large bail out for its banks, the fourth country to ask for financial aid from the European central bank and European monetary fund. Cyprus although a very small country is also asking for aid because its economy is tied into the Greek economy which is so bad it is almost terminal. No one is talking any bets on whether Greece will leave the Euro it is a case of when. This leaves Italy which it has been rumoured will also require a bail out. Should this happen the Euro will be truly dead and buried and the biggest social experiment in History will be declared to have been an abject failure. In spite of this many Europhiles have demanded that the cure is not less government interference and fewer rules and regulations but more and there should be just one government for the continent and one set of rules and financial policy which would apply to all members of the European Union.
When our American cousins watch this drama unfold it is easy to see why they think we are in the grips of radical socialism and their closest ally is in danger of being swamped by Germany which is the largest and currently healthiest economy in Europe. UK news commentators are openly jesting about the Fourth Reich. While this may be politically incorrect they are commenting that Germany has swapped tanks and battle ships for a calculator and a balance sheet and are in danger of achieving the same result for far less outlay. President Obama may be the most powerful man in the world but the most powerful woman is Angela Merkel. The Fourth Reich may be a joke but…..