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Exeat: Day 86/84: Quick thinking saves bookstall from downpour ...

Books galore keep flying, but rain did interrupt play! …. But first there's a couple of queries from our first Exeat 85/84. [i] What have Bishops actually got to do with Exeats? Well if you haven't guessed they had to be asked before the Priest could absent himself so that's why we were checking our local incumbents. Although I have to confess it was inspired by a growing habit amongst writers at the Daily Telegraph to refer to fellow columnists as "of this Parish" mimicking the phrase used when announcing Banns of Marriage in church. At the esteemed daily newspaper to which I am a 'discounted' subscriber the most honoured reference [currently] is to Her Majesty's 1st Lord of the Treasury resident at 10 Downing Street. He traditionally wrote trenchantly each Monday for a handsome fee. Now that's an extraordinary place for a VIP to be lodged is it not, especially since Sir George Downing Bt., whilst an able parliamentarian and diplomat, was not widely appreciated. He was probably born in Dublin but his father was a Puritan Missionary and took him via Maidstone to America where he was schooled in Salem and went to college at Harvard attending its first ever graduating class of 9. He returned to England via Jamaica and entered the military as an ardent Republican fighting with Cromwell against Charles at both Dunbar 1650 and Worcester 1651. Despite having served Oliver and Richard Cromwell by confessing the error of his ways and divulging all manner of secret intelligence he was immediately granted his Baronetcy by King Charles II at The Restoration and despatched as Ambassador to The Netherlands. He led the tracing of regicides in The Netherlands and their return to England for execution and subsequently counselled war against the New Netherlands colony in America which entailed the capture of New Amsterdam and its renaming as New York on September 8th 1664. For his services to the King he was granted lands by St James Park on which eponymous cul-de-sac he built two-storey townhouses between 1682-1682 with coach-houses, stables and views of the Park. Sir Christopher Wren was the architect and although large they were put up quickly and cheaply on soft soil with shallow foundations. The fronts had facades with lines painted on the surface imitating brick mortar. Winston Churchill wrote that Number 10 was "shaky and lightly built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear". Sir Robert Walpole was responsible for reconstructing No 10 and instituting Downing Street as the Official Residence of the 1st Lord of the Treasury, aka Prime Minister, in 1735, at the invitation of King George II. But he was not the first Premier to live there. Kings George had until his death required Johann Caspar von Bothmer, Premier Minister of the Electorate of Hanover, Head of the German Chancery and adviser to Electors George I and II, to reside there from 1720.

Query [ii] [in case you forgot there was one with all the talk of Downing Street, was why the Vineyard Restaurant in Northampton should adopt Brixworth rather than Pytchley as the name for the Pâté? I've looked a lot but until we can get along and ask someone there the internet/ Google have nothing to offer ….. at last to the bookstall! It was all a rush really; we'd actually forgotten our 6/8pm 'second' Click-and-Collect Adventure - to Tescos at Hunsbury not Daventry this time. Making a speedily exit from The Lodge I noticed a dark cloud to the east from which direction weather seemed to be arriving. Despite the haste we were in, wisdom suggested Avril might place additional rain repellant coverings across the top … and was that very wise? [Later I was complimented!] The heavens opened by the time we were Collecting @ Tesco and Avril paddled in surface water as she loaded the boot. It's not that the books are in any remaining sense sacred to us [no JK Rowling titles to burn though!], indeed we are inviting any passers by to help themselves to whatsoever might appeal. But ego would have been badly affected … Huzzah, when we got home, laden with much produce, probably too much produce, the books were still dry and even though one of the coverings contained much clean rainwater it had stayed well away from the books … seen above with a welcome gap in the rear line where titles had obviously had some appeal to those passers by.
Spent the morning drafting Minutes for 1745 Battle Trust. 'Twas with a sigh of relief we completed the iteration/ ZOOM cycle for our 114th eMeeting of Battle Trustees on Monday at 4.40pm. I'd messed up on the planned 2nd ZOOM on Friday 15th and now Arran had set up a ZOOM Webinar which we all, apart from Herbert Coutts, managed to join. It went well with most of the Trustees back again and we worked our way through the various issues. For me now the biggest is what comes after December 31st 2021 … whilst we wait for the Centre we plan to achieve to open! Next eMeeting is July 16th.
Part 3/3 of The Salisbury Poisonings. Audience data showed over 7 million deservedly watching it for its sensitive and imaginative presentation. It wasn't about Prime Minister May's role in the seismic political implications for Putin's Russia but about the people caught up in the crisis, how they responded day by day and the impact it had on their family's lives. By the account we were give the leadership at Wiltshire Police and Public Health more than rose to the occasion as we can be sure myriad leaders have across the UK during the unknowable present pandemic …. despite the determination of the media to decry the best efforts so many are trying to make with their pathetic Gotcha/ Yah you made a U-turn approach to contact with Ministers whilst all the while eulogising the NHS and 'Black Lives Matter'.

Published Date: June 16th 2020

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