Wednesday, 29th April, 2020

[Day 44]

Today was the predicted wet day and so it proved. We had a chat with one of our friends on the way down to the park but the rest of our trip was a pretty soggy and miserable affair. As we had no real desire to sit on a wet park bench, we took refuge in the bandstand to consumer our coffee and provisions. I am given to understand that in WWII, all members of the armed forces, the Home Guard and perhaps the civilian population as well were trained in ‘aircraft recognition’ The present-day analogue of this is when we scan the horizon to see if there is anyone we know that we can recognise by their general shape and gait (there wasn’t!) – this enables one to spot friends and acquaintances long before you can see their actual faces. Thus it was today as we scanned the horizon in vain.

Once a week, we consume our by now traditional fish pie which has been made a fortnight or so ago and saved as several portions. The one downside of this fish meal, although it is easy to heat up in the microwave, is that it does tend to smell the kitchen out so that we have to counteract this by flinging a window wide open and keeping the hob extractor fan on at full blast. The afternoon was filled with nothing more exciting than a routine dusting and hoovering but so it is for most of the population. We did receive a text from our chiropodist with whom we have not had contact for several weeks offering us an appointment slot. This we accepted until after consultation with our son and daughter-in-law we realised that this might be a somewhat risky venture as we did not know how many other older clients might have been seen recently harbouring perhaps asymptomatic virus, so we decided to cancel this and try and arrange something in the future when the panic had died down a bit. Our daughter-in-law had done our weekly shopping for us and this is always very welcome but we do feel a bit guilty about accepting it. We have decided to be loyal Waitrose customers in the future using their ‘Click and Collect‘ service and we thought we would activate this again in a week or so when it becomes more apparent whether our daughter-in-law will be attending her school on a regular daily rather than a sporadic basis. Accordingly, I made a dummy order at Waitrose and saw that we were on their priority list and there were a few slots available to us in a few days’ time – so we think we will get this system going in earnest in an about a fortnight’s time.

The media have been full of the news that Boris Johnson has fathered another child, but the interesting aspect of this affair is that Boris will not admit to how many children he already has. I think the answer is four legitimate and one illegitimate but in his election campaign, Boris refused to answer questions as to how many children he actually has. So it was some surprise that in the House of Commons, Wliiam Rees-Meg congratulated Boris ‘as one father of six children to another‘. I am a little reminded of the story of the Irish bishop (was he called Eamonn Casey?) who was forced to resign and flee to America when the story of his illegitimate children emerged in Ireland. It was the time of one of the football World Cups and when the bishop entered the stadium and was looking for his seat, he was spotted and recognised by two Irish wags who shouted 'Dad! Dad! Over here!‘