Tuesday, 13th February, 2024

[Day 1429]

This Tuesday, we are going to depart somewhat from our usual pattern of events for a Tuesday. But first, having got Meg up and breakfasted, we needed to make our way down to Waitrose where we hoped that we would bump into some of our normal Tuesday crowd. In the event, we were to be disappointed because our recently widowed friend was not there, a second may have been at home with a chest infection and the thirds was off playing bowls. Nonetheless, Meg and I had a coffee quite alone for once but we noticed, en passant, that the store was full of red roses ready no doubt for people to purchase them in anticipation of Valentine’s Day which is tomorrow. I am afraid that we make the most ungallant of gestures, refusing to participate in Valentines Day after 56 years of marriage but it is not unheard for the Waitrose staff to dispose of some of their excess stock, immediately after Valentine’s day by throwing some in our direction. But we knew that a visit to us scheduled for later in the day so we did not tarry too long in the store. At 1.00pm, by arrangement, the two nurses who specialise in Meg’s condition, were coming along to make their scheduled monthly visit. These meetings follow a pattern as one nurse spends some time with Meg and the other with me and then we swap over. One of the nurses had spent some time encouraging Meg to read aloud from the ‘Mog’ book which I acquired yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at Meg’s fluency in this little venture. This being the case, I must keep looking in the charity shops for books of a similar genre and I am wondering whether we might build a new pattern of activities into our daily routine such that Meg reads to me some passages from whichever book is engaging her attention and I, for my part, get the computer to ‘speak aloud’ the words of my most recent blog. As the nurses’s own son is just starting school, I think I have planted a seed in some of the books that she might quite like to acquire and to read aloud to him (or for him to read to himself as he gets older). However, I amused the two nurses, or afflicted them both, with getting the new laptop to speak out loud the words of the little ‘Hints’ page that I put on the web last week and then the latest edition of this blog. We are always pleased to seeing these two nurses who work for different parts of the Health Service but in adjacent rooms so they evidently liaise well with each other. Amongst other things, we review Meg’s medication where we are going to reinstate one of the items that the doctor (not a specialist) had decided to discontinue. To be in the middle of competing sets of advice is somewhat frustrating but I must admit I tend to go with my own feelings as to what is appropriate in most cases. As I had been anxious not to postpone this visit from the two nurses, I had foregone my Pilates session this Tuesday, but I felt the visit was more important under the circumstances. After the nurses had departed, we had our normal ‘Tuesday’ lunch of fishcakes and micro-waveable vegetables and then settled down to some afternoon TV. Meg and I had scheduled for ourselves to watch, on Prime TV, the biopic of Edith Piaf called ‘La Vie en Rose‘ This was rather full of the gritty realism of the backstreets on Paris in the early years of the century in which Edith Piaf was raised, or should I say ‘dragged up’ We only watched one half of the film today, saving the final half for another day when Meg is not so tired and/or stressed.

The enquiry into the Post Office scandal seems to gone into abeyance for a little while but I gather is to resume again in April. Yet another sub postmistress has been cleared by the Court of Appeal today and I read on ‘Sky News’ that Paula Vennels, the ex-Post Office chief is to give evidence. This I hope will be a ‘must see’ event because it is quite rare to see the powerful brought to account and in this particular case, Paula Vennels, seems to be in denial that she bears any responsibility for the ill-judged prosecutions in which the Post Office engaged. I find it simultaneously amusing and frustrating that when such individuals are held to account that suddenly they have a great lapse of memory or to say that ‘that to best of their knowledge and belief’ which they hope is a get-out-of-jail card for them. In a similar vein, when one of the Maxwells was questioned in the phone-hacking investigation and was presented with an email showing they had been informed of some malfeasance or another, the flimsiest of excuses that I have ever heard is to not to deny that they had received such and such an email but that he ‘had not read it to the end’

The political event unfolding in the by-election to be held on Thursday may well prove to be interesting. The Labour candidate in the Rochdale by-election has had support from the Labour Party officially withdrawn from him but the Labour Party ‘label’ will still appear on the official voting forms. This is a consequence of past comments indicating that he thought that Israel had ‘allowed’ the Hamas attack to happen to give an excuse the invasion of Gaza. Will this candidate still be elected or not? Even if elected, the new MP will be shunned and will have to sit by himself as an ‘Independent’. In any General Election which is now only months ago, this MP will deselected and will be replaced, no doubt, by more suitable candidate who is not prone to making anti-Israeli jibes of this kind.