Monday, 21st August, 2023

[Day 1253]

Today started off bright, then turned gloomy and finally turned bright again. Meg and I were a little unsure how to spend the morning but eventually we settled upon our old favourite of Droitwich if only because we want to get some things from the Wilko store there whilst the administrators are letting it trade as they search for a buyer. I bought a shower hose from there about a week ago but not only is it a bit longer than usual, it fitted like a dream with not the slightest hint of a dribble which had bedevilled me in the past. So I was determined to get another one whilst I could and whilst stocks lasted but evidently other people had had the same idea and they had sold out. Nonetheless, I got one or two useful bits of hardware. We also visited our favourite Cancer Research UK shop which just happened to be having a sale. We bought Meg both a top and a skirt for which she expressed enthusiasm and, quite fortuitously, they happen to go pretty well with each other. We suspect they are better as ‘Sunday best’ rather than everyday wear but they are nice to have for ocasions out of the ordinary. We visted the Works shop to see if they had anything that tickled our fancy. On reaching the car, we realised that Meg’s stick was missing so I hoofed it back as quickly as possible to the coffee bar where we had our elevenses. Talk about the kindness of strangers but the people on the next door table had kept it safe for us and although I was reconciled to not seeing it again, nonetheless we pleased to retrieve it as Meg places quite a lot of reliance on it these days. Finally, we had a lightning visit to pick up some sandwiches for our son for whom they constitute lunch when he is working in our house (much more eficient that catching a train into central Birmingham which is the ‘official’ way of working)

There are pages and pages of analysis of the defeat of the English ‘Lionesses’ yesterday. A lot of the coverage is pointing to the enduring legacy of the ‘lionesses’ in promoting the women’s game here in the UK but acknowledgement is made that the Spanish team (mainly Barcelona players) were technically and strategically superior to their English counterparts. I did one hear one story that rather tugged at the heartstrings, however. The father of the Spanish captain had died on Friday but the news had been kept from her so that she had nothing to distract her from her game. As she scored the only (and hence winning) goal this was probably a decision which worked all right in the end. I don’t know at what point the news was broken to her but I am sure her Spanish teammates and tean management would have handled this very well.

This afternoon, I finished off a little craft project which might be described by some as the epitomé of being naff but by others as homely, albeit quirky. It started off with the two cartons that Meg’s wheelchair were delivered it – one was the box containing the wheelchair itself whilst the other was a very stout container designed for the safe transportation of evidently heavy objects. I could have ripped up these boxes and thrown them away but I wondered if a bit of recycling could be done to make the cartons into something useful. They are nearly 3 ft in height and 1′ square and are thus fairly substantial. To start off, a covering of stout brown paper was made, held down by a heavy duty black ‘Gorilla’ tape. The carcase now looked exceptionally plain so I wondered what could be used by way of decoration. I just happened to have come across an old but completely unused tea towel decorated with alternating hearts picked out in light grey and dark grey. This was affixed but I had to use some street cunning as the teatowel was a rather stretchy material and, in any case, only covered about two thirds of the height. Hunting around the house, my eye fell upon two square box of tissues and I pressed these into service after some adaptation. One of these was autumnal flowers and ferns in a silhouette design so this served served well as a frieze for the lower portion. But the other tissue box was spring flowers and this went exceptionally well as the top frieze. I had to have a think about the sides but had a brainwave. Somewhere and months ago, I had bought a series of adult ‘colour-in’ book used nowadays as a an adult relaxation aid. I found a book of beautiful large colourful butterfly designs which one was meant to use as an aid to your own colouring efforts. Instead, I took the colourful butterfly illustrations on a quite a sophisticated ochre background and deconstructed the whole of the book so I could use the individual pages. With the aid of a Prit stick and some masking tape, these constituted the covering for the sides and the finished product looks – interesting! This ‘stand’ is designed to perform a function because I have a small unobtrustive white desk lamp perched on the top of it (I just happen to have one spare) and it casts a perfect light at just at the right angle over the left hand side of my Casio keyboard. I will take the reaction of my style consultant (aka our domestic help) as the ultimate arbiter of whether all of this has succeeded or not (although I must confess I am pretty pleased with it).