Thursday, 17th August, 2023

[Day 1249]

Today being my shopping day, I was in the vicinity of the supermarket with some time in hand so I decided to go and top up with petrol at the nearby supermarket filling station. But since the last time I used it only a couple of weeks ago, they have installed new technology the function of which, I suspect, is to make everybody pay by card. But the two pumps at which I drew up had not been zero-ised but I was urged to present my card. Fearful of doing this lest I charged for someone else’s petrol, I made the attempt at two different pumps and then abandoned it altogether. As Meg and I were having our breakfast, I noticed on my phone that I had a text from my sister who was putting two and two together and was getting concerned how I was managing as I am Meg’s ‘de facto’ carer all day long. We had a long FaceTime videochat in which we were updating each other of news (more on my side than my sister’s) and we were offering each other mutual advice as how we should both cope wih the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This was much appreciated but we had a fairly delayed start to our morning once the shopping had been unpacked and put away, breakfast cooked and the washing up done and finally getting Meg washed and dressed and ready to meet the world. At my son’s suggestion, we decided to try out the Morrison’s café and this turned out as we expected. Whilst Meg was finishing off her cookie, I shot round the store picking up items that do not seem to be sold in our local Aldi/Waitrose shopping haunts.

Last night, we received a telephone call from a close friend of ours (and former colleague) from the University of Winchester who has very kindly offered us the free use of accommodation of a flat he owns on the South coast. This is an extraordinarily generous offer and Meg and I are considering how we might make use of it. Initially, we were contemplating staying there for several days and nights but that may just be a stretch too far considering Meg’s fragile state of health but there are other options that we are now actively considering. As soon as we got back into the house, we treated ourselves to a glass of cordial and then started to think of our lunch which was a quiche shared between us and some mange-tout. This afternoon was a gloriously sunny afternoon so I took the opportunity to get the lawns cut front and rear. The grass seemed to be extraordinarily thick this afternoon, so much so I wonder if the events of last week, we forgot about the weekly cut and we now have two weeks of growth to contend with. Generally speaking by the middle of August, the growth has started to moderate but this was not the case today. I now mow the front lawns, come inside and have some tea and biscuits with Meg, and then I pop outside and do the back lawns that only takes half the time. I took the opportunity to clear our lavendar bush of some bindweed that was growing madly over it but I think that I have rescued it just in time.

The nation is getting itself into a state of steady excitement over the fact that on Sunday we shall see the final of the women’s world cup between Spain and England. I am quite surprised that the England team have got to the final and I believe that they have had their share of luck along the way. In particular, there were two very tight matches against both Colombia and Nigeria each of which were won by a whisker and could well have gone the other way. But here we are and I am allowing myself to believe that the Spanish are just about beatable. England, after some admittedly poor performances, played with great aplomb and were worthy winners which even the Australians admitted. It does say something to beat a country like Australia on their home turf and without sounding too chauvinistic, I thought that the English girls coped well with the occasion and an extremely partisan crowd. It will be interesting to see which way the ‘neutrals’ break when Spain and England meet at 1l.00am on Sunday – making a huge guess, I guess that the crowd will break 60:40 in favour of Spain. Tonight, there is a showing of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and although we have seen this production fairly recently, it has such a quality cast list that it well be well worth watching all over again.

There is now quite a weight of judicial building up to find what what went wrong with Britain’s judicial system when a man can be imprisoned for seventeen years for a rape that he did not commit and where it was known to various judicial bodies that DNA evidence had been found to show that the discovered sample of DNA did not belong to the convicted person. The key body seems to have been the Critical Cases Review Commission which had been so starved of resources that they could not do the job properly which was their remit and, as a result, a huge miscarriage of justice has occurred. How many more cases are there, one asks oneself?