27 March 2011
National Census Day. The National Census has been carried out every decade for over 200 years but this one apparently is the last. As it’s costing in the region of half a billion pounds and takes five years to fully analyse, I suppose the government have decided that there are more cost-effective ways of obtaining the same information or forecasting. One of the main purposes of the Census is not only to discover how many people there are in this country but what ages they are and therefore what provision has to be made, such as schooling or care homes for the elderly but, in addition, it covers such basic issues as religion, ethnicity, etc, but no longer asks questions about whether or not you have an outside loo on the assumption that now we all do. I just can’t help wondering what they do, or indeed how they provide in their statistics, for the many tens or even hundreds of thousands of illegals in this country. For those people that we hear about who fraudulently obtain, two or three houses from their council and stuff them with illegal families, or other such people, in addition to the significant number of benefit fraudsters, who are clearly not going to submit the correct information. Do the statisticians. just add a few to each category to allow for these anomalies?
The main event for today, is Griggsy’s 80th birthday party. This was laid on by daughter Sophie and husband Chris, for mainly locally surviving friends, including half a dozen also from the golf club. There was apparently an earlier party for family only.
We engaged Barry to take us there and bring us home, as he is so good at the movement from and to the wheelchair and it takes the pressure off ‘my lovely’. We arrived just after midday and left around 2.45. Sophie’s house, which I must say was very attractive, bright and sunny.. Chris and Sophie were ably assisted by her lovely grown-up daughter, Emma and her school friend as well as by Daniel, the younger son and his wife Katherine, and Simon, the eldest son and his wife. Lizzie. From my point of view it was lovely to see them all again. Tony and Jill are fortunate in having such great children – I say children, they are all knocking on 50 or so but they are a great example of a loving and united family.
As one might have expected, there were people from all parts of Tony’s past, most of whom had known him far longer than I have, a mere 30 odd years. Nevertheless, it came down to me to say a few well chosen words. Off the cuff speeches are so much more sincere and less contrived than those that one works on and I was able to keep Tony’s friends amused for a few moments. It was not difficult because he really has been a good old mate. There were half a dozen members of Worlington golf club and their wives present, but I was particularly pleased to see Wendy, John Gray’s wife who is honestly picking up after having had a bad patch following our week in Elba on their lovely boat, the summer before last..