Monday, 10th April, 2023

[Day 1120]

So Monday morning dawned and it was evident to us as we gazed out of our bedroom window that today was going to be one of those blustery types of days. After we had breakfasted, we made our way into town only to find that our regular newsagent was closed for the day. As he is normally open all hours that God sends, I hope that nothing is amiss because if he had intended to be closed for two days running, I am sure he would have told me as a regular daily customer. So I popped around the corner and got my copy of The Times from Waitrose who were well stocked with it. Then Meg and I made our way to the park and thought to ourselves that whilst the weather forecast was indicating that the temperatures might drift downwards for a few days, it might actually have been a tad warmer than yesterday. We enjoyed a few brief minutes of April sunshine, sitting on our normal bench and enjoying our coffee and the surreptitious pleasure to be derived from eating a little portion of our Easter Day chocolate. But we were soon to be badly abused because a short and sharp shower drifted overhead so we quickly packed up and made for home. Before we went out this morning, I had written a few emails so upon our return home, I was pleased to see if I had a reply. One of my University of Winchester friends had responded to an earlier email and we basically exchanged a few notes about the support we we offering to our respective spouses. We are setting up a Skype session so that we can have a long face-to-face natter in a day or so. This afternoon, I had scheduled in my mind to give our lawns a cut as they were last cut a week ago now (when the weather happened to be brilliantly fine) By midday, it had rained so much in the morning that I thought the grass might be a bit too soggy and/or muddy for an effective cut. But Sod’s Law swung into effect and we enjoyed quite a sunny afternoon so I might have managed to undertake a cut but it would still have been a bit soggy underfoot so that pleasure will have to be deferred until tomorrow.

This afternoon, Meg and I have had a pleasant afternoon, mainly spent reading. When we last had our little trip out to Alcester last week, we picked up a hardback copy of Jeremy Paxman’s latest (and autobiographical) book which Meg is enjoying. The event that had made today a pleasant listening experience is that the ClassicFM countdown of favourite pieces, as voted for by its listeners, is now approaching the final stages of the ‘Hall of Fame 2023’ and we are now at about number 40 having counted down from 500 which started on Good Friday morning. In these final stages, there are predictable classics such as Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and some works that I would not have expected to be quite so popular, such as Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. The whole culminates at 9.00pm this evening so Meg and I may well abandon whatever the TV has to offer because this last half hour, building up to this year’s No 1, might be particularly interesting for us both. When I reflect on the pieces of classical music which are particularly memorable and/of which I never tire of hearing again, then I can always remember almost exactly the first time I heard it including where I was and what I was doing at the time. Of course, some of this might be what the psychologists call ‘false memory syndrome’ but perhaps the association beween the music, the time and the place locks it in my memory. For example, I can remember the first time I heard Beethoven’s 7th when I would have been about 12-13 and was taken along to the Free Trade Hall in Manchester to listen to the Liverpool Philharmonic playing this. Our school took us to concerts regularly and as the school always booked the last couple of rows in the uppr circle, we were given a dispensation to sit on the tops of the backs of the seats in order to have a completely uninterrupted view. I have not discussed this ‘quirk’ that I have, to lock together the music and the time and place where it was first heard, to work out where it is just individual to myself or quite a common memory trait.

I am still appalled by the fact that the Labour Party is running these ‘attack adverts’ on the Prime Minister. Their argument is that the Tories regularly do this to the Labour Party (for example, the ‘Labour isnt working’ poster) and the Labour Party just has to accept it – so this time around, they have decided to get their attack in first. But to mind, this approach (morality apart) is that it only contributes to the ‘Politicians are all the same’ riposte. I would much rather that the Labour party leave the Tory party to get on with these low tricks and to deliberately arise above these kinds of attacks by indicating that that sort of politics is beneath them. I think, in the long run, this would benefit them in electoral terms as well.