Monday, 12th February, 2024

[Day 1428]

So Monday, the start of a new week has dawned and so we got Meg up and ready for the carers to take over at 8.00am. For one of the care assistants, it was her first day in a new job so she rather tended to stand around consulting the package on her mobile whilst the other girl got on with the job in hand. To be fair, I had got Meg half ready so there was not a great deal for them to actually do. But today is the start of the new régime where we are going to have a couple of carers in every morning so I am hopeful that we can get rapidly into a new routine. After the carers had left, I gave Meg her breakfast and then we proceeded to go to Droitwich, which is our normal run out on a Monday morning. I called in at the newsagents that we used to frequent on a daily basis and saw that they had a supply of newspapers. So I made a request to the young male assistant behind the counter that they keep a copy of 'The Times' safe for me in the back office which was the arrangement I used to have with my previous newsagent. Whether this new arrangement will work out as I would like, we will have to wait and see but the youngish lad who is behind the counter these days does not seem to have much clue about things. We then proceeded to Droitwich where we parked fairly easily and just outside the Worcestershire Association of Carers shop which was to prove fortuitous. Then we repaired to our favourite coffee shop enjoying a pot of tea and a bacon butty and the cafe seemed to fill up quite readily. The proprietor did not have any assistance this morning so he was doing a lot of running around but after we had had our fill, we returned to the car. As we were quite near the charity shop, we popped inside and emerged with several goodies, all at bargain prices. One of these was a boxed set of children's classic stories (of the likes of 'Little Women' and 'Black Beauty') I bought these for Meg hoping that her concentration span was such that she may well like to read them again, probably having read each one when she was of the age of 10-12 years old. Whether this little theory of mine will work or not is unclear but the whole boxed set of a dozen books cost less than the current price of a coffee so it is scarcely a waste of money. I also took the opportunity to buy a children's version of 'Scrabble', another Judith Kerr on the adventures of Mog the cat and finally a slimline melamine tea tray with a poppy design upon it. When we got home, it was not quite the normal Politics program in the middle of the day that we have come to expect- perhaps they are on a half-term break as well but I needed to press on and make lunch rapidly as time was marching on. I scaled down the amount that we were going to eat and so we dined on ham, mange-touts and baked potato.

This afternoon, we had intended to watch 'La Vie en Rose' which was the life story of Edith Piaf. Incidentally, I wonder whether the title of this song is best idiomatically translated as 'Life seen with a rose-tinted view' along the lines of the English expression 'seeing life through rose-tinted spectacles' The literal word for word does not justice to the subtlety of the phrase so when I next see our French friend from down the road who was also a language teacher, whether my conjecture is correct. I always think of the translation process as much more than actually knowing the meaning of the words themselves - after all, think of the meaning behind describing a man as an 'old dog' but the female equivalent would be a 'bitch'. Meg was not feeling at all wonderful this afternoon, so instead of watching the film as we intended, we tuned into one of our favourite baroque concerts on 'YouTube', which is a staple of ours these days.

Ex-President Trump has a known predilection for 'strong' (quasi-fascist?) leaders and has more recently expressed the view that the Europeans should be making a greater contribution to Nato that they actually do. With these thoughts in mind, it seems amazing that one should hear these words from ex-president Trump: 'No, I would not protect you. In fact I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay' he has reported to have said to unnamed leader. Quite a backlash to these comments is now making itself heard and a former presidential candidate (Chris Christie) has retorted 'This is why I have been saying for a long time that he is unfit to be president of the US' It is certainly the case that many NATO members are increasingly concerned about the consequences that might flow from a Trump re-election and the Ukrainians, in particular, must feel that they are on the verge of being abandoned for good. It may well be the case that other Western governments have to bite the bullet and increase funding and support for Ukraine in the face of American intransigence but perhaps their economies cannot bear the strain.