Friday, 12 July 2019

Some Friday morning thoughts!

Apparently George Osborne and Nigel Farage are suggestions for the next UK ambassador to the USA. Now, is Farage really a likely contender or is this just something the bookmakers have cooked up to get money off people placing bets? Or is it just me who cannot imagine him representing us in a diplomatic fashion. And is Osborne any better?

 As for me, I have escaped from it all to visit family in Chesham. This morning I got up in time to accompany my small granddaughter on her walk to school. They all get stamps on a card for walking to school - all good stuff to encourage exercise. Some sixty small children make up the reception group, divided then into four groups of fifteen - all named after birds - in separate corners of a large room. Amazingly they manage to keep a calm and businesslike atmosphere. At five and a half she is writing stories about balloons and dragons and princesses. What’s more, she writes me letters. I am impressed.

I am less impressed by this, which comes from today’s newspaper:-

“ More than 300 primary schools across England have been forced to become academies in the last three years against a backdrop of mounting opposition from parents, a Guardian investigation has revealed. Analysis of government data has shown that 314 schools were forcibly removed from local authority control after being rated inadequate by Ofsted.
The Department for Education (DfE) has paid out at least £18.4m to academy trusts for taking on the schools. Concerns are growing, however, about the stability of the system, with evidence that a rapidly increasing number of primary schools are being passed from one trust to another after conversion, causing long-term disruption and uncertainty.”

Altogether too much tinkering with the system!

Because I did not get up in time for breakfast before the walk to school, after we dropped the small girl off, I headed into the centre of town - my daughter-in-law was going to a boot-camp fitness training session - and had coffee, croissant and orange juice at a small cafe in town. The service was friendly, the coffee very good and the freshly squeezed orange juice excellent. The croissant, on the other hand had been warmed up just a little too much and was rather crispy, as well as overpriced at £2.60.

Then I had a wander around the town centre. For a small place, Chesham has a very good centre. As with most town centres these days, there are perhaps too many charity shops but it has two bookshops - W.H. Smith and Waterstone’s - a proper old-fashioned butcher’s shop with a proper old-fashioned display of meat products in the window, a Boots, a small shoe shop, a good old-fashioned hardware shop, and even a craft shop, where I purchased yarn for a crochet project I have in mind. There is also a Sainsbury’s and if you feel like going a little up-market, a small Waitrose. And on a Saturday they have an excellent market. And at least five cafes!

A good old-fashioned small town centre. What more could you ask for?

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