Sunny Scunny

We caught the HSS ferry on Friday morning, delivered there by Rabea in style. The journey was fine, and Ozzie didn’t seem too upset after his trip in the HSS kennel (on the car deck). We hired a Focus Sport 1.6 and the drive to Scunthorpe was uneventful, except that I strongly recommend not buying a petrol Focus Sport 1.6 – what a dog. They must have put the word Sport on the badge just because it shares the same initial letter as Slow or Slug. And far from the 56mpg we got out of the diesel version of the same car on our trip to the Mull of Kintyre, we’re lucky to get 32mpg out of the petrol version. What a pile of crap.

We’re now enjoying the excellent hospitality of our good friends Dawn and Gary in Sunny Scunny. The weather has been ridiculously good, and we also managed to fit in a trip to see Happy Birthday Elgar at the Royal Albert Hall last Saturday.

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (Land of Hope and Glory)
Cello Concerto
Enigma Variations
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4
Cockaigne Overture
Julian Lloyd-Webber – cello
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Christopher Warren-Green – conductor

Apart from the 7.5 hour round trip in the car, the concert was excellent, with Julian Lloyd Weber playing his heart out and the orchestra doing us proud with three choruses of Land of Hope and Glory. The sound of 5000 voices in vague harmony in the RAH really has to be experienced in the flesh.

We have finally exchanged our Sterling for Reais, having watched the exchange rate collapse on us at just the wrong time. C’est la vie. And tomorrow we take young Ozzie down to kennels at Heathrow (boo hoo), where he has to wait for his papers to be processed before his flight next week. From there we drive to Saltash to stay with cousin Anton, and thence to Kidderminster to visit the auction house where our 3 irish watercolours will come under the hammer in June (if we make £300 we’ll be lucky). We’ll be back in Scunthorpe on Saturday and after a day of rest we’ll be driving back down to Heathrow on Monday to fly out in the evening to Sao Paulo.

Our passports languish with the Brazilian Embassy in London, despatched there on 23rd May in order to get a piece of paper confirming that we have been resident in the UK for the previous 12 months (which means we avoid being taxed again on the goods and money we are transferring to Brazil). I have rarely come across an institution so utterly and consistently incompetent as the Brazilian embassy. Nuff said. Hopefully they will send the stuff back tomorrow and we will get it by Saturday. Talk about cutting it fine…?

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