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Week in a nutshell: leak mystery solved, but I’m lost in Line of Duty

Blame the nominative determinism for the shower and the TV overload for not following the plot


Typical. We had a job … Our daughter, who we hadn’t seen in 18 months, was coming to London and all we had to do was get to Heathrow in time to find her when she went through immigration and customs controls. It didn’t work out that well. First, we were halfway to the airport when my wife, Jill, remembered that she had forgotten the “We love you, Anna” sign that she had made that morning. Then Jill checked the flight tracker and found that Anna’s plane landed 45 minutes earlier, instead of the 30 minutes the app had suggested when we last looked. It doesn’t matter, I said. There are likely to be long queues at arrivals to ensure that everyone’s Covid certification is in order. After all, there were reports of six-hour delays the previous week, which is why we both bought books with us. Shortly thereafter, we received a message from Anna stating that her vaccinations, Covid’s pre-booked tests and the passenger location form were in order and that she had cleared immigration. Okay, I said. She still needed to collect her suitcase, and that would take at least another half hour. Ten minutes later, as soon as we entered the short-term parking lot, we received another message saying that Anna had received her suitcase and was leaving. We parked the car, ran to the terminal … Just to find Anna already waiting for us. It was a wonderful hug. One that looked very special, but strangely normal at the same time. Almost as if 18 months of separation had condensed into 10 seconds of physical contact. Jill and Anna said almost everything on the way home while I was at a loss for words. Even so, I now have two and a half weeks to find them.


Most of the attention on Downing Street reform is understandably focused on who paid what and when. But I am also fascinated by some of the details of the decorations themselves. Like, since when has any John Lewis furniture become an inferior market? Much of your clothing would look quite elegant compared to the furniture in our home. But what I really can’t understand is why you would go for the wallpaper extravaganza at £ 840 a roll, a sofa at £ 9,600 and a wicker chair at £ 5,900 when you have a toddler a year old, a well-behaved dog, the cat Larry and a man who has a way of spilling wine living in the apartment. If you want a house that looks like something out of the Interior World, it dispenses with all the messy pets, children and adults, otherwise it seems like a no-brainer that the place will be destroyed with sticky fingerprints, scratch marks and unwanted pieces of food in a matter of months. Our house is yet to fully recover from the impact of having raised two children in it. Not to mention the two cats, a dog and me. Despite at least a paint job and a bit of weird stuffing when our kids moved in, there are still splinters in the plaster, marks on the walls, and a lot of the furniture can be described as worn.

A John Lewis van passing Downing Street
Source: Theguardian


Thanks to the responses of several readers, the trickle of the dripping shower I wrote about last week may well be solved. And, as always, the answer doesn’t reflect very well on me. It turns out that the reason for the intermittent leak when I was using it was that when I was in a certain area of ​​the shower, the tray was separating from the silicone and grouting to allow water to escape through the hole and down the floorboards to the floor. ceiling below. In other words, I was too heavy for the bath, so there were no leaks when my wife used it or when the plumber arrived. Or, to be more direct, I was too fat to shower. Still, at least it is relatively inexpensive to repair with a new mortar and silicon. Another mystery was also partially solved when Dr. Peter McClure, deputy editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Great Britain and Ireland, sent an email to say that, contrary to the family folklore from which our surname derived from Jews who escaped persecution in Krakow, there were Craces knocking on the door in the UK before the 18th century. Among many others, there was a Ricardus Cras in Surrey in 1381, a Margarett Crace in Berkshire in 1547 and a Robert Crace in Somerset in 1607. Apparently, the modern surname is most commonly found in the London area, but in earlier times it was more commonly a variant of the surname, Grace, which itself was a nickname taken from the old French cras or gras, which means fat. Therefore, given the shower problems, it seems that there is something in the nominative determinism.

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A large number of car owners in France are said to be furious because, from now on, the Renault and Dacia models will be equipped with controls that limit them to a maximum of 180 km / h. AKA 112 mph. It does not matter that it is illegal to go so fast on all roads – the maximum speed allowed on a French highway is 130 km / h – drivers consider the withdrawal of their right to choose not to break the law as yet another example of interference from the State nanny. Although no one has seen a Clio or Twingo traveling at 180 km / h, Pierre Chasseray, head of 40 Million Drivers, France’s leading driver lobbying organization, said: “This ridiculous move is typical of the politically correct urban chic . ”There may have been a time when I was in my late teens when I would have some sympathy for it – although my problem at the time was always getting my crashed car to reach the legal maximum speed of 70 mph on the highway – but now it seems absurd to complain of not being able to go 50 km / h faster than the maximum speed limit. In fact, the complaint I now receive from my family is that, since we acquired a Toyota hybrid, I started driving very slowly. Instead of focusing on the speedometer, I’m now glued to the control that tells me how much gas I’m using. Finding out that I concluded a journey covering more than 50 miles with the gallon gives me a much greater thrill than reaching the maximum 70 mph. I like to think that it is because I have become greener, although I suspect it is a reflection of my age.

Matt Hancock and Jonathan Van-Tam
Source: Theguardian


Like many millions of others, I will be watching the final episode of Line of Duty this Sunday. Although, even when it’s all over, I don’t expect to be much wiser, as I completely lost track of not just most of the topics in the previous series, but also some of the current ones. Every week, my wife comes back to the living room after making a cup of tea and asks me to inform her about what she missed, just so I have to admit that I have no idea what’s going on. I’m assuming that we will finally be able to discover H’s identity, but I don’t have much hope that something will become much clearer as a result. I wish that the writer Jed Mercurio had made a long-lasting double bluff and that Ted Hastings was revealed as the best bad cop, but the truth is that I have no idea. It could be Vicky McClure all the time.

Precisely because, if you invert her initials and put an H in the front, you will get HMV. It makes as much sense to me as anything else. Well, why am I struggling so much with the current series, I can’t define it. Whether it’s one-season syndrome and the writing isn’t as sharp – last week’s long interview seemed a bit stereotyped – or I’m suffering from overloaded TV, I’m not sure. I suspect more of the latter. I spent most nights watching television and I think I have reached my saturation point. There are so many plots that I can keep in my head at any time – especially when I can’t watch too much and have to wait a week – and with at least five series going, I’m in a meltdown. Strangely, the end of the block can significantly improve my ability to watch TV.

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