Thursday, 2nd February, 2023

[Day 1053]

Today has been an interesting day. As I normally do, I got up early and got myself to my local supermrket one minute before it opened which is my ideal. I decided to make this week a ‘light’ week so whereas I might be tempted to buy the occasional thing that was not on my mental list, I tried to restrict myself today to only those items that were strictly necessary. As a consequence, I finished my shopping ten minutes early, saved the best part of £10.00 and then, having collected our daily newspaper arrived home before normal and got the packing unshopped in almost record time. As I was on the road, there was a not particularly pleasant sort of stinging rain hanging in the air. Consequently, it was quite easy for Meg and I to decide on an activity rather than walking in our local park. As we did a couple of weeks ago, we set off for nearby Droitwich and immediately to the coffee house which is our usual haunt. By the time we got there, the place was absolutely heaving but we were fortunate in finding a little table to ourselves near the back of the shop. On a neighbouring table, there was a threesome with a couple of Jack Russell dogs and we had an entertaining conversation with them about ‘doggy ‘ matters, even though we are not dog owners ourselves. After coffee, we piled into the Cancer Research charity shop next door pursuing the shop for kitchen odds and ends without finding nothing that we wanted or needed. However, in contrast to a couple of weeks ago on our last visit, they had a good supply of shirts in the 15½” range and I quickly selected a couple to replace some of the shirts I have in our wardrobe that are by now getting a bit threadbare. Finally, we popped into our latest hardware store – Wilko– in search of a simple kitchen tray which I have in mind for a particular purpose and it took a lot of finding. Even the store staff did not know where in the store they might be found one or whether they had any in stock. Eventually, I found a supply of what I wanted and the dimensions were absolutely perfect. In the past, I had bought a lot of plastic/melamine type trays that this store used to stock but that was years ago and times have moved on. However, I found a wooden tray (actually, in bamboo, it was said) and was pleased to have located what I wanted. As I was taking it out of the car when we got home, though, I was delighted to discover that that what looked like a tray actually had folding legs on the back to convert it into a low table if you want. This fits my purposes even better so after I got it home, it had a quick treatment of some furniture polish to keep it looking in good condition and then I will store it until I bring it into use.

When we got home, it was fairly late by this stage but I threw together a meal (onions, tomatoes, peppers, some peas) which I served on a bed of pasta (for Meg) but cream crackers for myself. For protein we resorted to a standby of some tuna enhanced by 1000 Island sauce and the whole meal proved to be quite quick to prepare as well as being tasty. We had a quiet afternoon but treated ourselves to listening to the outstanding Canadian pianist Glen Gould playing some Mozart sonatas. We have a boxed set of this performer playing every piano sonata that Mozart composed and the whole set came along as part of the bid I successfully made for the 48 strong collection of CDs about three weeks ago now


Two stories caught my eye this evening, one national and the other more local. The national story was highlighting the activities of British Gas who were employing some agents to force pre-payment gas meters on consumers who had run foul of their systems and who installed meters for these really poor payers. What was shocking, though, was the way that British Gas (or the agents they deployed) used a local locksmith to gain access to a property in which they were going to install a meter and the video clip showed the pleasure that they showed when gaining forcible access in this way, coupled with brutal attitudes towards the poor (in every sense) customers who had this treatment foisted upon them. The local story concerned a statue known as the ‘Knife Angel’ which after a tour of several towns is going to be installed outside Gloucester Cathedral. The statue is contructed from knives that have come into the possession of the police and rather than being destroyed, they have been used to construct this dramatic statue. Meg and I have actually seen this when it was located outside Chester Cathedral about a year or so ago and we can only hope that the prominent display of this statue has the desired deterrent effect. The local news item focussed on a local youth who had been prominent in the Gloucester area in trying to get knives off the streets of the city.