Thursday, 27th April, 2023

[Day 1137]

Our routine is nothing if not predictable so being a Thursday, it is our supermarket shopping day. I get some money out of the ATM in a nearby supermarket and then proceeded to my normal haunt. This week, it is a ‘chicken week’ and I was briefly tempted by one of those little ‘poulet’ that you can buy – but opted instead for a spatchcocked chicken with rosemary and thyme already in its tin tray so that all you have to do is to bang it into the oven and forget about it for an hour and a half. I tend to overcook chicken in any case becase I have a sneaking suspicion that there might be a fair degree of salmonella around in half-cooked chicken so I prefer to be safe rather than sorry. Then it is a case of getting home and getting the shopping unpacked and Meg washed and dressed. I must confess that I really wanted yesterday to be a quiet day after the long drive to Winchester on Tuesday. But that was not to be as the weather was so fine that I took the opportunity to get the lawns all mowed. But in consequence, I have felt a little tired all day so decided to have a nice quiet day at home. One little thing that I did get done, though, was to consult Google to discover how to turn off the ‘Tyre Pressure Warning’ light on my Honda. It seems that the pressure indicator is very sensitive and quite easily tripped ‘on’ but then it stays on because the system assumes that you have done something to fix the low tyre pressure and then also assumes that you ‘reset’ this warning signal by reinitialising it. Judged by the queries on the internet, it seems that a lot of Honda customers are caught out by this and need to know how to fix it. Anyway, after consulting one or two little video clips, I wrote down the instructions and went out to the car where I got the warning light fixed. I did take the precautions, though, of writing a little email to myself with these instructions written out and I can then run them off on the printer and keep a copy in the glove compartment for next time – assuming there is a next time.

Last night, and completely fortuitously, I switched onto ClassicFM and heard the theme tune from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin‘ – a film I think I have seen twice before. On the spur of the moment, we decided to access Youtube on our Amazon Firestick and got the film in its entirety and without any buffering problems moreover. There were quite a few scenes in the film that I honestly could not remember from a previous viewing and so either my memory is failing or I wonder if previously broadcast versions of the film had been edited a little to fit in to the broadcasting schedules. The film does not receive a very good rating from experienced film critics but I must say that I enjoyed every minute of it and thought the performances of Penelope Cruz, John Hurt and Nicholas Cage were outstanding (but only in my view – the professional critics panned it and thought some of the acting was awful) The interesting historical event portrayed in the film is what happened at the end of the last war. Briefly, the Italians who had occupied parts of Greece surrended and gave their weapons to the local Greek fighters. This was perceived as an act of treachery by the Germans who promptly massacred the Italians. A total of 1,315 Italians were killed in the battle, 5,155 were executed by 26 September, and 3,000 drowned when the German ships taking the survivors to concentration camps were sunk by the Allies. I do not suppose that many people in the UK are cognizant of these happenings but the endgames to wars are always messy.

The political news today has been dominated by the fact that the Government took the Royal College of Nursing to the High Court, arguing that their mandate for a strike runs out half way through the next planned days of strike. The High Court agreed completely with the government and even ordered the RCN to pay the Government costs, which strikes me as being vindictive. It seems to me that this a classic case of winning the battle but losing the war. Winning a court case against the RCN and forcing members to forego going on strike is not going to calm tempers before the dispute gets resolved, the Union will have saved a day’s strike pay and the risk of patients will be mitigated somewhat. Another big story today has been the publication of proposed legislation to update Gambling and Gaming – the last Act was passed before smart phones and online betting beamse prevalent. The Bill has been long delayed and its provisions are generally seen as being weaker tham some MPs anticipated. The gambling industry has spent £200,000 on lobbying Tory MPs to water down the new legislation and it seems as though this money has not been wasted. This is almost as clear a case of corruption as it is possible to see and perhaps is one of the reasons why so many are disillusioned with the curent state of politics in the UK.