Friday, 12th June, 2020

[Day 88]

Today was a much better day than yesterday although some rain was promised for later on in the day. In the park, we met our good friend, Julie, who we have not seen for several days now so it was particularly good to have a long chat for about half an hour and get up-to-date on each other’s comings and goings. Julie has been busy with her golf, we had been busy with our fence and tree activities. At lunchtime, we treated ourselves to some special smoked haddock fishcakes from Waitrose which were expensive but delicious. I am sure you can make them for yourselves but it’s a bit fiddly unless you make them in quantity (which I might be tempted to do in future). This afternoon, I had set myself the task of applying the second and final coat of light oak paint to the fence-cum-handrail but this time I was a bit better prepared. In my garage tidying up activities, I discovered that we had two decorators masks we had bought some time previously and one of these proved to be excellent. As it happened, the weather conditions proved to be absolutely ideal for the task in hand as it was reasonably warm and sunny but there was quite a strong swirling wind that kept all of the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) at bay. Then in the late afternoon, we had a heavy but not very prolonged shower, so I was relieved to get my painting done on time. Readers of yesterday’s blog will recall I was waxing lyrical about a particularly specialised spade which I had recently purchased and utilised and it might well be that it makes a good father’s day present for other acquaintances of ours – we shall see.

We are getting into the pattern of ordering our ‘main’ shopping from Waitrose but this has the slight snag that although we have a sort of priority at Waitrose, we are not part of the government-sponsored priority scheme for those who are registered as shielders. Hence our orders are always for about eight days ahead and it is not very easy to work out what you will have run out in 8 + 7 days time. So, I have got into the habit of using Iceland which has a more limited range but with much shorter ‘slot’ times, generally a day or so ahead and a much lower limit to qualify for free home deliveries. So I was pleased to be able to book an Iceland slot for tomorrow night which will help to fill in the gap before my more major order is delivered from Waitrose in just over a week’s time.

It looks as though my Ceanothus (Californian Lilac) I used to obscure the view from my study of a blank brick wall has actually died. At first. I imagined that my neglect of water was to blame – but a few internet searches reveal that they have an average life expectancy of 10-15 years and this one had lived for 12.5 years! Tomorrow, I shall have to engage in the sad task of chopping down a 2-3 metre high tree and disposing of its carcase. It also seems that ceanothus has sold out of every nursery in the country so I may well have to wait for a few months until they are re-stocked again.

The authorities are worried that this weekend we may see demonstrations and counter-demonstrations from the BAME communities and the extreme right. The Home Secretary (Priti Patel) and the Justice Minister are revising plans to have emergency courts and immediate gaol sentences if we get into the situation in which violent clashes occur. There is a lot of pent up aggression on the streets of London and other large cities – and this may just be the start of a violent summer. I hope I am wrong but I have a foreboding that having let the demonstrators have their head last weekend, there will be quite a crackdown this weekend and the situation may rapidly escalate out of control. Let us hope I am completely wrong!