Happiness, depression, drunks, and codpieces. It’s the news from Britain.

Let’s start with Brexit, since January 31–the day this post goes live, in case you’re getting here late–is the last day that Britain is still a member of the European Union.

To mark the occasion, Boris Johnson announced a fundraising campaign to rush the repairs on Big Ben so it could ring out when Britain crosses that wild Brexit frontier. The cost was estimated at £500,000. He called it “bung a bob for a Big Ben bong.”

Don’t expect me to give you a word-for-word translation of that into American. Basically, it means “give money” and “I’m cute.”

Then, without the alliteration, a government spokesperson said there might be, um, problems in accepting public donations. Cue assorted forms of confected outrage. The newspaper I deliver to a neighbor (nice neighbor, godawful paper) ran a headline about a Remainer stitchup over Big Ben’s bongs. Because that’s what remainers are about: keeping that clock from ringing.

The headline didn’t get the clock ringing but it saved a bit of Johnson’s alliteration.

The aforesaid hapless government spokesperson was asked if Johnson would apologize to the people who’d already contributed to the crowdfunding campaign. He declined to say either that he would or he wouldn’t. Several times over.

But maybe church bells could ring out all over Britain.

Well, as it turns out that ringing bells, or not ringing them, is governed by church law. Who knew? And  only parish priests get to decide when and whether to ring them. A quick survey by the Guardian didn’t indicate much enthusiasm for it, either on the part of the clergy or the bellringers.

An Exeter Cathedral spokesperson said, “The Church of England in Devon is the church for everyone, whether they voted leave or remain. Church bells are first and foremost a call to worship and, in line with the Central Council for Church Bellringers, we do not feel, in principle, they should be rung for political purposes.”

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Rumor has it that Boris Johnson has banned the word Brexit from 10 Downing Street as of January 31. It’s not clear why. Maybe it’s his way of addressing people’s Brexit exhaustion: Let’s just not talk about it anymore.They’ll also stop talking about negotiations with the EU and pretend everything’s taken care of. Maybe that’s what people really voted for: not to fix anything, just to stop hearing about it.

So what does the new 50p Brexit coin say? “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.”

Seriously. An earlier edition of 1 million was melted down because it had an exit date that Johnson, in a fit of enthusiasm, promised but then changed–October 31. How much did that cost? Nobody’s saying, although a fair number are asking. In an trial run, a thousand were minted with an earlier date that Theresa May missed.

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One last bit of Brexit news: Bloomberg Econmics estimated that since the referendum the cost of Brexit has been £130 billion, and if expects another £70 billion to be added to that by the end of the transition period. But hey, it’s only money, right?

If you’re interested in how Brexit is likely to affect business or in the issues around regulation and what alignment with EU regulations means, check out the Brexit Blog.

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The Church of England’s House of Bishops has issued advice saying that sex should be for married heterosexuals only. Which makes sense. If god had wanted anyone else to have sex, he would have given them sexual desires and clearly he didn’t.

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Designers have introduced high heels to men’s fashion. One said they made her customers feel “more powerful and sexy.”

The last pair of heels I ever owned–or ever will, and this was back in 1804 or thereabouts –made me feel like I was going to fall down the stairs. That was a split second before I did fall down the stairs. It was sexy as hell. And very powerful. In spite of which I doubt the trend will transfer from the catwalk to the allegedly real world, but if it does, guys, you’re welcome to my share of the damn things, although you’ll probably need a larger size.

I also read that designers are reintroducing the codpiece. You know the codpiece? It’s “a pouch attached to a man’s breeches or close-fitting hose to cover the genitals, worn in the 15th and 16th centuries,” according to Lord Google. A highly exaggerated pouch. Henry VIII wore one. He would have had room to stuff his falconer’s gloves in there, and the falcon along with them. One paper said they’re intended to induce awe. I’m sure they will if you can only get people to stop laughing.  

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Irrelevant photo: A camellia blossom. In January.

A study of UK students reports that focusing on happiness could leave a person depressed. The students who valued happiness most registered as more depressed.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

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Let’s shift countries for a few entries: An octopus escaped a New Zealand zoo by breaking out of its tank and slipping down a drain to the ocean. A zoo spokesperson said the octopus wasn’t unhappy at the zoo–they’re solitary creatures–just curious. 

I’d need to hear that from the octopus before I feel certain of it, but it didn’t designate a spokesperson before it left.

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In the US, a drop-down menu on the Department of Agriculture’s website listed Wakanda, the imaginary country in the movie Black Panther, as a free-trade partner. What do the US and Wakanda trade?  Ducks, donkeys, and dairy cows. Possibly more, since those all start with D and I’d hope they’d trade up and down the full alphabet. I’d check but once it hit the papers, someone erased the evidence.

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A chef in France lost one of his three Michelin stars because a Michelin inspector claimed he’d substituted that English horror, cheddar, for good French reblochon, beaufort, or tomme in a souffle. That threw the chef into a deep depression (he might want to focus less on being happy; I’m told it helps), which in turn threw everybody involved into court.

He lost. Not because anyone proved that he’d used the dread cheddar but because he couldn’t demonstrate that losing the star had hurt his business. A “degustation” menu at his restaurant costs 395 euros.

Me? I like cheddar. Think how much money I’m saving.

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Coming back in the UK, a five-foot corn snake named Allan broke out of his vivarium (no, I never heard of one either; it’s a bit like an aquarium but without the water) when his people were making one of those Christmas trips that no sane person would make without a five-foot snake in the back seat. 

I’m not sure why they noticed that Allan had gone slither-about, but when they did they pulled off to the side of the motorway (if you’re American, that’s a freeway) and started pulling the car apart. Not figuratively: literally. They pulled out the seats and assorted other parts until they found him curled around the gear shift, trapped. They buttered it but he still couldn’t get loose.

This is sounding more and more like I’m making it up, isn’t it? I’m not. 

They ended up with the Fire and Rescue Service and the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals on the scene, one group cutting through a bit of metal and the other using a damp towel to protect the snake from the heated metal the first group was cutting. 

Allan is fine. There’s no report on how the car is.

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After a contestant on a British quiz show, Celebrity Mastermind, misidentified Greta Thunberg simply as Sharon, Thunberg changed her Twitter handle to Sharon. 

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Gardeners in at the Cambridge University Botanical Garden spent years trying to get the Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis orchid to blossom. It finally did in December, and it smells like rotting cabbage. Or a mix of dead rats and smelly socks. Or rotting fish. Choose one randomly, since it didn’t bloom for long and we’ve all missed the chance to describe it ourselves.

Isn’t that sad?

Try not to focus so much on being happy and you won’t feel as bad about it.

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Dominic Cummings, who as far as I can tell is Boris Johnson’s brain, placed an ad inviting weirdos and misfits (the two nouns are quotes, but I don’t like littering a paragraph with quotation marks around a bunch of bitsy words) to apply for jobs at Number 10 Downing Street, where both Boris and his brain work. Cummings has also (a) called for civil servants to be tested regularly to make sure they’re up to doing their jobs and (b) said he regularly makes decisions that are “well outside” his “circle of competence.”

He has not been tested to see whether he’s up to doing his job, and the weirdos and misfits ad may have been outside his circle of competence, because a few days later Number 10 announced that Cummings won’t be doing any recruiting outside of the usual procedures.

Security may also be outside his circle of competence, because he was using a gmail address in his ad instead of the secure government address he’s supposed to be using. Gmail’s known for reading users’ emails, and in some situations for making them available to third parties. 

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In January, a 26-year-old Plymouth man denied wounding with intent to cause bodily harm after allegedly throwing a seagull at someone’s head. He didn’t enter a plea to the charge of attempting to injure a wild bird. 

You’d think you could find out more about a story like that, but I haven’t  been able to. Except that it happened in a cafe, that he’s due in court in April, and that he was wearing a smart suit at his bail hearing. You know: the stuff that really matters.

My thanks to Phil Davis for this one. I can’t begin to tell you how much poorer my life would have been if he hadn’t let me know about it.

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My last news roundup included a story about mysterious packets of money appearing in the village of Blackhall Colliery. The people who left the  money have now outed themselves, but anonymously. Just enough to reassure everyone that the money was meant to be found and that the finders are welcome to keep it.

The two people who left the money aren’t related, aren’t married, aren’t local, and seem to have started out separately before joining forces. They made a point of leaving the cash where it would be found by people who most needed it.

166 thoughts on “Happiness, depression, drunks, and codpieces. It’s the news from Britain.

      • I hope I didn’t imply that dwelling on such images would be a pleasure. I shall be contemplating the follies of fashion and wondering who would be stupid enough to wear such items. I’ll also be thinking about the last time such a combination was fashionable was: the seventeenth century. I might spare a moment to consider the other changes to men’s lower apparel that would be necessary to draw attention to these fashionable items. I’ll probably sigh in the hope that one of those changes will mean displaying men’s calves in the way that was so admired in the Regency period, for there is nothing like a shapely calf for setting the heart aflutter.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I confess, I’ve had moments of thinking something along the lines of “Oh, goody, you wear the damned stuff” when I’ve read about men drifting toward makeup that they think will be invisible but leave them devastatingly handsome–or at least not their real, flawed selves. But somehow that never makes the world a better place.

          What does, however, is that when I look up from the screen I can see three, and sometimes four, seagulls illuminated by the sunrise right outside my kitchen window. They’re riding the wind like small, glowing kites.

          Liked by 4 people

  1. I shall begin with codpieces. I was sometimes served fish fingers at a place where I worked. I referred to them as “cod pieces” and asked them not to put them on my supper tray.
    And, staying with that gentlemen’s garment for a moment…many, many years ago, I made some small items for a showgirl. And she introduced me to a dancer who needed(needed? a spangled codpieces. I suggested a cricket box with added glitter. Too bulky, apparently.

    Bing-bong-Boris has the ring of an early nursery rhyme. And that is the best I can say of the fellow.

    The octopus escapee- I think that was Inky. [Just checked and it was]. They’re known for absconding.

    And as for the chef losing a star for Cheddar…the French need to be reminded that they are NOT the creme of the foodies. Bramley a vous!Michelin!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah. We’ll all be waiting to find out. That £350 million that was going to get poured into the NHS? Government departments just got a memo asking them to find 5% of their budget that could be cut so that (presumably) it could get poured into the NHS. But don’t hold your breath for the last half of that sentence to happen. You know that big whackin’ chunk of money that was promised to build new hospitals? It included Plymouth’s, which will get something like 1% of it to plan what it would build, but so far no money to actually build the damn thing. And what’s needed most isn’t a new building but money to run the current one.

      Rant over. They really do piss me off, though.

      Liked by 2 people

    • What a shoe collection we could start. Maybe we could lend them out to demonstrate their hazards.

      And you’re right about how much owning things helps you identify them. Except for the odd bits I haul out of the back of the closet now and then and can’t name or even recognize.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your round up of all news – silly and serious. I am trying to ignore s*dding Brexit day as its an utter, utter waste of money. Nice to see Allan (not Alan) get a mention. I wonder if his name is actually Welsh, as “Allan” means “out” in Welsh?!?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I say use some of the money wasted on the royals instead of having a fundraising campaign!! There was a 5 foot python loose here in Tuscaloosa, AL back in the summer. Don’t know if they ever found it. That stinky orchid reminds me of the corpse flower that Mr Wilson (Dennis the Menace) was trying to catch a glimpse of as it bloomed.

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    • I don’t think they’ve imposed a fine on French words yet, but stay tuned. You may have to use Latin. It’s better because no one actually speaks it and damn few people know it. And I can never hear compliments too often. But not in Latin, please. I can pick out a word or two from Spanish, but I can never work out what they’re doing with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I find Brexit a paradox now. The more I think of it, the implications and the representation of a class-based power grab that we thought we had managed to escape, the more depressed, upset, angry and negative I get. Which isn’t good.
    But we need to be thinking about it in order to be a part of fighting to turn it around. We need to stay on top of what is being done in our name and fighting it where we can, because misinformation (your friend’s newspaper, I can guess the one) denial and apathy has let it in to happen in the first place.
    Sorry, feeling nearly as depressed today as I was on THAT morning in June 2016.

    I’ll try getting back to enjoying the ridiculous bits of life… Cod pieces! Haha!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s a real balancing act, needing to follow the news, needing to act when and wherever we can, and needing not to get so depressed that we can’t get out of bed in the morning. If you find the secret of how to manage it, let me know, will you? I’ll do the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Regular sea air and nature reconnects, no sign of the man-made world in sight or sound. Watch the stars from a dark-sky area at night whenever possible. These are my calming and perspective resetting things that I am happy that you and I can both do pretty regularly down here in Cornwall.

        Liked by 2 people

          • Get Wild Thing to drive you… no, maybe the other way round… up to Roughtor one clear night, before it shortens so much that it getting dark is way past bedtime. And a flask and a couple of blankets. Ignore the other parked cars with the steamy windows and people gathered around, look upwards. ;)

            Liked by 1 person

            • These days, actually, she could drive me (cataract surgery; she got her license back; it’s nothing short of miraculous), although it could also be the other way around. Good advice. We’ve been meaning to get up there to watch the starlings come in for the night, although that’s well before full dark. Maybe we’ll have to sit in the car and steam up the windows.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. I have some spectacularly pretty high heels which I never wear from one of those moments when I thought wearing them was a good idea…It isn’t so maybe I could donate them to some small footed men who want them… for a small fee…
    Actually that might be selling not donating…

    Incidentally I can confirm that thinking about men in codpieces is not better than thinking about brexit…It is differently bad, especially in a room full of engineer boys who I am now unintentionally picturing in said apparel…

    Liked by 3 people

    • If it helps any, I believe that all codpieces manage to do is call attention to their unfulfilled dreams. In fairly obvious fashion. And yes, I believe what you were talking about is actually selling. I used to have moments when I’d buy some bit of clothing because I thought I might just turn into the kind of person who’d wear it. I never did, even though it was never a pair of spectacularly high heels. These days, I don’t even want to turn into that person, so there’s now a whole category of clothing that I’d wear if I was a different person. Nice stuff, but not for me. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person who has that particular kind of other self trailing around after her.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your usual wonderful selection of all the news stories that matter: who needs a newspaper when we have you? I’ve always thought that ‘celebrity’ and ‘mastermind’ are two words which should never appear in the same sentence: ‘Pointless Celebrities’ is much more honest.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Now you’ve got me trying to remember when celebrity came to be such a massive part of the language. Sometime well after my childhood, but that’s a far as I can get. I believe the definition is “people who are famous for being famous.” You’re right, it doesn’t mix well with mastermind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess there has been an early version of it since the movies became popular, but the real roots were, I think, in the 60s when the Beatles led the avalanche of pop culture for the masses. The rapid spread of the internet and the likes of Instagram has opened it up to those who fit your description. Talent no longer required!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, even before the Beatles, there was all that Elvis insanity. But I don’t remember people talking about them as celebrities.

          For no good reason, you remind me of a moment back when I was 17 or 18 and someone more or less told me I liked the Beatles because “all the white girls like them.”

          I thought, “Who?”

          I’ve always been right on the cutting edge of the trends.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think in the UK the Elvis stuff wasn’t quite as strong – the Beatles were ‘our boys.’ Or maybe I was just a bit younger when he started – I was 9 when the Beatles took off. You’re right though, I think ‘celebrity’ became a thing when mass media developed – initially tv but then social media too. I didn’t realise that liking pop groups was a race thing, though, even if the trend did pass you by 😊

            Liked by 1 person

            • In the US, at that time, it was very divided by race. Black artists recorded on what were called the race labels. Only white artists were in the mainstream. By the sixties, some black artists had crossed over, but who liked who was still very much divided.

              Like

  7. We had a gerbilarium for the children, or rather for the gerbils so the children could watch them tunnelling. I always felt rather guilty that, unlike an octopus, however much they tunnelled they were never going to find the exit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’m not a fan of keeping things in cages, boxes, -ariums, or whateveriums. But when you have kids–or so I’m told by people who’ve actually experimented with this–you end up making all kinds of compromises.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. >>Cummings has also (a) called for civil servants to be tested regularly to make sure they’re up to doing their jobs and (b) said he regularly makes decisions that are “well outside” his “circle of competence.”<<

    (a) AFAIK, they already are, or at least there's an annual appraisal process: the mind boggles at the thought of anything similar being applied to Cummings
    (b) We had noticed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’d think knowing whether people are up to doing their jobs is what supervisors are for. But then, what do I know? It’s best to give people some standardized but irrelevant test to find out.

      Like

  9. As to “codpiece”: if James Michener [in his “Texas”] is to be trusted, the Spanish had the “Hidalgo de la Bragueta” [the “Gentleman of the Codpiece”] as an honorific for a man who had sired 7 boys in a row, without “the contamination of a girl”.
    Have a great weekend,
    Pit

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t really remember. I pick them up piece by piece and when they hit critical mass I schedule them. I’m guessing it’s been a month or two since I last published a news summary, so that’s about how long it’s been. Sometimes, though, the news is rich in absurdity and it piles up much faster.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I forgot about Brexit. Been spending all my time following Megan and Harry. Find their leaving England more important and interesting than the boring political and economic problems and advantages gained by Brexit.

    I remember movies with men wearing codpieces. And with men wearing high heels. Not the same movies.

    Fine with me if women stop with the heels. Some are so high I fear for their safety. Seems easy to fall wearing them but one if my daughters says they are very comfortable and she likes wearing them.

    Last week someone over here let their pet five foot snake escape from its vivarium in the back seat of their car. They had workman take the car apart by pieces until the snake was found wrapped around a gearbox and trapped. They brought welders in to free the snake. The snake is fine. No so sure about the car.

    Enjoyed your post.

    Keep us informed on how Brexit works out.

    I will keep ip with Megan and Harry and Archie.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would reply. However we appear to be entering a new phase here on this side of the pond. Facts and evidence appear to be overrated and we are having none of that. No matter what the consequences. And I absolutely refuse to say anything that would associate this event to your note about codpieces. Carry on. Or in terms of road kill carrion…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s a depressing and sombre day. Between Brexit and the GOP attitude to the impeachment process, I am feeling very flat and like I am living through the chapters that would have served as the prologue to ‘1984’. I am afraid, therefore, that even your witty and eclectic roundup could not induce me to laugh as your posts usually do. I do, however, thank you for the amusing distractions.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I was surprised to read that the smelly orchid in the Cambridge University Botanical Garden smells worse than Titum Arum. I have smelled that Corpse Flower at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton and I thought that nothing could smell worse. I wonder who made the comparison. Whoever it was, they have my sympathies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just dug two of your comments out of spam. Sorry to ignore you. I guess that’s the blogger’s equivalent of taking the car apart to rescue the snake. I’m telling you, it’s messy in the spam folder.

      I’m with you the cats and the snakes. If I did have one, and if I felt I had to take it visiting with me over the Christmas holidays and then lost the damn thing inside the car, I probably would take the car apart. But very, very reluctantly and to the tune of a lot of swearing.

      Like

  14. This post so thoroughly entertained me I feel guilty for not sending you a small amount of American money for your research, creativity in presentation and advice against focusing so much on happiness. I wondered why I’d been so depressed lately – I thought it was due to the impeachment trial in our worthless Senate which decided against a trial, instead giving carte blanche to Agent Orange who lives in a White House and who will no doubt want us to exit something right away after his acquittal. Since we are not a member of the European Union, he wil probably just drop out of NATO.
    Holy moly.
    I love the camellia. Our neighbors have beautiful ones this same color, and it’s so nice to have them. The flowers always, the neighbors rarely. My mother loved these flowers and faithfully planted countless varieties outside our home in Texas. She made it her business to learn every flower’s name and made sure to share the name with anyone who would listen. That’s how she rolled.
    Have as great a weekend as possible in your newly found freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yeah, I feel free as hell this morning.

      Your mother would’ve loved the annual they grow over here called mind your own business, the point being that someone asks what it’s called and you say, “Mind your own business.” I’m going to make a wild guess and say that’s not it’s formal name.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Ellen, thank you for visiting my blog. I would never have found your wonderful blog if you hadn’t. I like you tone of writing all the ‘news’ of the UK, on which I won’t comment.

    But your style of writing is fun to read for sure.

    Lovely meeting you. Bella

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a wonderful place, isn’t it? And isn’t that a British thing to do, turning a statement into a question. It really baffled me at first. People would say things like, “Well, it’s green, isn’t it?” and I’d think, “How would I know? You’re the one who saw it.” Anyway, welcome, and I’m glad you stopped by.

      Like

  16. Oh my! I love your irreverent writing and sense of humor! Fantastic! I’m so happy I discovered your Blog through Bella’s party! Looking forward to hearing more!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Visiting again to say I pinned this and thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 9, open February 1 to 26.

    My themed party 10 for All Things Love and Valentine’s Day is open January 30 to February 10 if you have any appropriate posts.

    Won’t you join me at my Short Story Prompt party February 2 to 9 for fun and creativity? Just start typing, see what you come up with! Remember, no story is too short! The prompt is: The sun was shining brightly but then…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Men in high heels! Flash back to the 70’s when men wore platforms…Kiss etc…Allan the snake…that got me laughing. Brexit you know I didn’t realize that 31/1/20 was B Day or leave day. Being in Australia we hope that some of the things that used to be exported to England goes back to that. anyhoo..#SeniSal

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a year’s transition period on Brexit–more if they extend it–while they negotiate. Or if Johnson continues as he’s started, posture. No one knows what’ll happen after that. Australia’s a long way to be shipping things in these days when we should all be counting the carbon footprint of the stuff we use, although I think that’s being honored more in speech than in fact. I don’t see our current government doing much that’s useful. May they surprise me.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. OK, Ellen, the world’s richest queen monarch couldn’t pay to repair HER clock? I don’t get it. And I have a question from my husband: will you not use euro as a money currency and use something else, like your original currency?

    Liked by 1 person

    • First the clock: I don’t think it’s actually hers. I do know it’s too big to strap on a wrist–anyone’s wrist, and from what I’ve seen in the papers, she’s not a large person. I think it belongs to Parliament–it’s part of the palace of Westminster, where Parliament meets and which is falling apart in spectacular and very funny ways. At least they’re funny if you’re not in charge of fixing them and don’t have to live with them. Also in very expensive ways. But that’s another story. I did toss Lord Google a question about who owns Big Ben and was told that it hits E natural when it rings. Thanks, Lord G. So I don’t have a definitive answer on that, but I’m reasonably sure I’m right about it.

      Currency: Britain never did adopt the Euro. There was a push to join it sometime before the 2008 crash, which the Conservatives and in general the people who would become Brexiteers opposed. When the crash (sorry: the credit crunch) hit, the Euro wobbled more spectacularly than the pound, Greece collapsed, and I did have a moment of thinking that all those people whose politics I despise were right about the Euro. And they may have been. Plastering a common currency over not-at-all common economies and banking systems is a real problem. And the spectacular mess that would be made by trying to extract an economy from it may (or may not–I don’t have any real information, although I’ve wondered about it, for whatever that’s worth) be why Syriza backed away from its threat to leave the Euro back when it was first in power and still full of fire. So we’ve been using the pound all these years that we were in the EU and continue to.

      Interesting question. Thanks.

      Like

      • Woa there, Ellen, I have to pull youy up on this claim “the Euro wobbled more spectacularly than the pound”. And not because I am, and always have been, a Europhile. I live in Ireland which is part of the Eurozone. My income is in £s because I worked almost 50 years for UK businesses who provide much of my pension income. I can assure you that in the 2 – 3 years following the 2008 banking crisis we were receiving far fewer Euros for our £s than in the years prior. From my personal records: Jan.2007 £1 = €1.52; Jan 2008 £1 = €1.35; Jan 2009 £1 = €1.12. I take this as demonstration that the £ ‘wobbled’ a lot more than the Euro! Your statement is understandable since the anti-EU media always portrayed it that way. As a postscript, the pound had recovered to £1.32 prior to the June 2016 vote to leave the EU, whereupon it went back to €1.14 and remained there or thereabouts.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Bung a bob? LOL. Not even out of EU, and already asking for money…
    Tsss.
    In Paris, the current mayor wants to strike half of the car parking on the street to put a cycle path on all streets. Paris population: 2 millions. Number of cars: 280,000. Number of City Hall sponsored bikes, 25,000. There will be a lot of walking. The opposing candidate fro Mayor election in March will erase Gare de l’Est (think King’s Cross) to plant trees and have a new forest inside Paris…
    I am moving to a desert island.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Being American and self admittedly quite politically clueless, all the Brexit stuff is kind of over my head (or under my feet, but no one near my brain apparently). As for men in high heels and codpieces, yes, I think I might quite enjoy seeing that! Thanks for sharing this enlightening, entertaining, and interesting post with my link party!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I just love your news round up. I now have a goal of aiming for mid-range emotional stability versus focusing on how ‘happy’ I am. I think that is a good idea regardless of your emotional starting point. I laughed when I read about the squid that escaped–especially about not leaving a nominated representative. The seagull bit was fantastic. The story about the rare orchid touched my love of flowers. And who wouldn’t love the heart-warming story of found money being intended to help the needy. (Though, there is a serious question about whether organizing the funds to make sure they help the needy might be more effective.) Either way, it will make me look alive when I’m out walking, just in case a philanthropist is equally inspired in my neighborhood. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is an odd way to organize philanthropy, isn’t it? May someone in your neighborhood be equally inspired. And may you not feel the need to hand the money in to the cops Just in case they’re not as honest as the ones involved here.

      Liked by 1 person

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