Friday, 13th January, 2023

[Day 1033]

It is always rather nice to get to the end of the week and, moreover, the weather was relatively kind to us today. Once Meg and I got ourselves turned around, we got into the groove of a more normal routine which involves collecting the daily newspaper, popping into Waitrose to pick up some supplies before we finally made it to the park. We had taken some coffee with us but to be honest the park was a little on the chilly side so we drank our coffee pretty rapidly and then made a hasty retreat for home. There we resorted to an old standby which is a mugful of a packet chicken soup which helps to restore us if we feel a little chilled. Today, for lunch, we had some fresh sea-bass (well, bought yesterday) and just served this on a bed of salad leaves. The beauty of a lunch like this, apart from being healthy, is that it only takes about 10 minutes to cook and there is a minimum of washing up to do as well. We treated ourselves to half a glass of white wine which goes particularly well with the fish and the salad but there are times when these screw top bottles come into their own if you only want to imbibe a little. Last night I experimented with falling asleep to the sound of Brahm’s Requiem on my newly acquired little Bush CD player and this seemed to work well. Later on, I hunted aound in my supplies of little electrical ‘gubbins’ and tried the experient of a small standalone speaker designed to work with a laptop which I had acquired some years go. This worked fine and although the maximum volume that be achieved is not high, this is fine if the intention is to have a just-audible system whilst you are drifting off to sleep. So this, too, was a bonus because even though the earphones are fine, they do tend to drift off your head (out of your ears) as a result of the ways in which we move around as we sleep.

This afternoon, it has emerged that Donald Trump’s Corporation (but not Donald Trump himself) as been fined $1.6 million which is the maximum allowed by the New York legislation. This will seem like a fleabite given the size of the other assets owned by or controlled by Trump himself. By itself, this would not seem much a setback for Donald Trump. A judge could only impose a fine on the Trump Organization after its conviction last month for 17 tax crimes, including conspiracy and falsifying business records. However, there are several other legal battles in the offing including one in which Trump has been charged with some of the responsibility for the death of a police officer who had died attempting to delay or obstruct the mob which rampaged through the Capitol building some two years ago. Donald Trump is facing a host of legal actions and naturally is claiming that every court case against him is just a witch-hunt or a Democratic party conspiracy but it seekms likely that all of these legal actions will damage him in his bid to regain the White House. Evidently, although he has declared himself a candidate, the Republican party will need to adopt him as a Presidential candidate and this well prove to be problematic if a series of adverse court judgements are hanging over him.

After lunch, I spent certain amount of time trawling through some of the Pilates books that I possess to see if any of them have a chapter on ‘relaxation’ tecnniques. I did find one chapter which may well prove fruitful and it only took a few seconds with a search engine to discover more fruitful sources (but I am slightly wary of these given the amount of rubbish found on the Web) However, these might prove useful if they are well ilustrated and if one or two techniques will work for me, if not for other people. Meanwhile Sky News is full of dire news from the NHS ‘battlefront’ Patients are dying and staff are broken – as workers say it doesn’t get much grimmer than this. The human toll at the sharp end of the worst health crisis in Scotland’s NHS history continues to escalate to dangerous levels. Families, who have lost loved ones on trollies in overcrowded hospital corridors, have told Sky News that it is like a ‘disaster zone’ where staff are fighting a losing battle and the ill are treated like ‘animals’. It is estimated that between 40 and 60 lives are being lost every week as a direct result of this emergency.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson is still lurking around, making money and positioning himself for a come-back as Conservative party leader. But he only has a majority of 7,200 in his Uxbridge constituency and some of his allies are suggesting that he may agree to give an undertaking of ‘good behaviour’ in return for being awarded a much more secure seat. But it has also been suggested that he would prefer to stand in Uxbridge and fight and, were he to do so, then it is anybody’s call whether or not he would be defeated if the opposition parties form a united front to attempt to remove him.