Guess The Names of The Loving Couple!

They met through a blind date organised by a friend of hers…

She is a little older than him…

They are different nationalities from each other…

He served in the British Army and flew in helicopters…

She has appeared on the television before she met him…

He is taller than her…

She has been married before and divorced…

They organised a spring wedding…

Theirs was a long distance love initially…

Have you got it yet?

The answer is…..

Debbie and Peter xxx

Well done to all those that got it right!

Oh and of course there’s a very similar couple following in our footsteps who’ve also announced their engagement today!

All our congratulations to Meghan and Harry we hope they’ll be very happy together – just like us! ūüėÄ

Guess The Names of The Loving Couple!

My Dear Old Thing…

I’ve been listening to Test Match Special (TMS) all summer and it always evokes so many happy memories of summers past.

I’ve just listened to Henry Blofeld‘s (or Blowers as he’s more normally called) last commentary at Lord’s on the third test match of England vs. West Indies. ¬†He really is the last of the old guard (for me) of Brian Johnston, John Arlott, Christopher Martin-Jenkins, , Bill Frindall, Trevor Bailey, Fred Trueman et al.

I’ve loved his descriptions of planes, cranes, birds of all kinds and of course the weather and even the cricket! ¬†I shall miss him loads and I don’t mind admitting that more than one tear came as he handed over to the next commentator after 45 years…

As I write England have just won the Test Match and the series and so we can now look forward to the Ashes series in Australia, but not before Blowers walks round the outfield in his raspberry coloured trousers and lime green jacket to huge applause to end a fantastic broadcasting career.

blowers
His Italian third wife Valeria apparently influences his dress sense!

He will be missed by many.

 

My Dear Old Thing…

Keep Calm and Carry On

 

170px-Keep-calm-and-carry-on-scan

I finally went to sleep this morning around 2.45am after watching on the BBC in bed the EU referendum results as they came in.  Eventually enough was enough and my eyes closed to join Debbie lying next to me in sleep.

Apart from early signs that the Brexit vote were stronger than expected, it seemed at that time to be a dead heat & with London’s vote still to come I pretty much concluded that the Remain vote would prevail.

I woke up around 7am to find that not for the first time my forecast was wrong…

Let me give you some background thinking of what I think happened and how the political class i.e. most MPs, the media as well as the pollsters, misjudged the mood of the majority of people eligible to vote in the United Kingdom.

I’ll also share my concerns about the dangers of emotional overreaction from both sides and the need to “Keep Calm and Carry On“.

This result seems to have surprised many of the people actually voting Brexit. ¬†This vote also appears to cross normal party political lines as most MPs voted Remain. ¬†Geographical majorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland & London agreed with them, ¬†while the rest of England & Wales i.e. the majority of the British population didn’t.

Demographically there also seems a dichotomy in that most younger voters tended to support Remain, while the majority of the older population voted against, although as I can see from dialogue on Facebook today there are many exceptions to this!

So what do I think are the main issues that drove the majority towards Brexit?

Immigration and national security concerns, including increasing the burden further on over-stretched public services I’m sure played a part. ¬†A perception of the financial waste and lack of oversight & accountability of the remote EU political class, together with the eventual loss of national identity¬†added to these concerns.

The common theme I sense is the fact that many voters felt that their concerns were not being listened to and that the Remain arguments were largely based on negative campaigning against Brexit, rather than promoting its positive virtues.

For example, labelling anyone supporting Brexit being racist or xenophobic I’m sure didn’t help balanced reasoning and as a recent migrant into Wales I’ve very sensitive to such concerns.

So where do I stand and why?

First you have to understand that I’ve changed my views as I’ve got older. ¬†In my youth I was a fervent supporter of ever closer European integration and a supporter of the Euro currency. ¬†I’ve always worked in European HQ’s of American global multi-nationals since graduation, so free trade and free movement of skilled workers across the globe¬†¬†was a no-brainer & a common experience to me at the executive level.

I suppose what I didn’t realise the way that multi-national business would ruthlessly exploit EU countries such as Ireland and Luxembourg for tax advantage, nor appreciate¬†the impact of constraints the Euro would eventually put on the economy and people of Greece.

As the EU expanded I also didn’t appreciate just how much immigration of low skilled workers would displace younger indigenous workers from employment opportunities &/or hold down wages. ¬†Finally I never envisaged how countries such as Belgium & France in the Schengen agreement area would have the lack of border controls exploited by terrorists, nor the lack of unity across the EU when it came to dealing humanely with the refugee crisis.

I personally have come to the conclusion that ongoing rapid economic growth is not necessarily always a good thing.  Witness my relief in moving away from the polluted and overcrowded but economically so prosperous South-East.

The relentless growth of Heathrow near where we used to live sickened me in terms of the ever increasing noise & air pollution, those supporting it rarely lived with the consequences in reality & repeated broke promises in terms of expansion.  It got to the stage where I dreaded commuting into central London and the overcrowded public transport system as well as flying away on business.

That said, there are many consequences of this referendum result that do concern me.  The first is increasing polarisation of much of the population and potential emotional overreaction.  This is exacerbated by worries for many old friends and ex-colleagues who have migrated here and how they feel about their perceived ongoing welcome.  The increased possibility of the break up of the United Kingdom is also something I dread.

So what are the potential benefits of this democratic decision? ¬†As I see it the ability to control our borders & set realistic immigration levels sustainably should not be underestimated. Slowing down the population growth in the U.K. as a whole is important to me as I feel it just isn’t environmentally sustainable and intrinsically not good for our future generations.

Let’s just hope that after the initial furore dies down, that common sense will prevail and that we all make the best of this outcome together.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Marriage Guidance

One of the few problems of being an Englishman living in Wales & married to a Welsh lady is the semi-regular occurrence of England vs. Wales (or is that Wales vs. England) in the Six Nations rugby!

Today is the big match in Twickenham, not that far away from where we used to live.

Passions are running high already in the household, Debbie refused to let me take James to work this morning in my new England rugby shirt saying it was far too warm outside (it isn’t) or that I could get beaten up later when we plan to go to M&S in Merthyr….

Apparently all I’m allowed to do is sit inside the lounge, watch the match on TV with her dressed in her new Welsh rugby shirt, me in mine, but with the curtains closed!

I asked her this morning if she was ashamed of me being English and just for a second there was a slight pause, followed by a faraway look into the distance, a grimace followed by “of course not love”…

Weapons are now drawn, victory will be decided on the field of combat with the results posted later…

 

Marriage Guidance