Monday, 19th February, 2024

[Day 1435]

Here we are at the start of a new week and I wonder what is in prospect for Meg and myself. The first thing to which we look forward is the visit of our chiropodist who visits us once a month and keeps us both mobile. I told her of the things that I was giving up for Lent (an annual tradition) and the list extends to four things this year – gambling, fast cars, loose women and chocolate. The first three of these evidently derives from Georgie Best, the ill-fated footballer, who famously said that he spent a lot of his money on the first three items in the list above and then admitted to wasting all of the rest. I always like to tell my chiropodist a joke or two and reminded her of the married couple leaning over their garden gate and observing the milkman (in the days when we used to have milkmen) making his progress down the street. When the husband observed to his wife that the milkman had a reputation for being a jack-the-lad and had claimed to have slept with every woman in the street except one, the wife declared ‘So that must that snooty bitch at No. 47!’) I then wondered aloud whether this just a modern urban myth that milkman were notorious for early morning liaisons when our chiropodist confided in us that her own uncle had been a milkman and did indeed live up to the stereotype, including one pair of women who shared the same name of Jean. Apparently he was undone when one of his customers bore him a pair of twins and tried to pass them off as completely the progeny of herself and her husband who did not believe her. So after the departure of our chiropodist, we ventured as far as Droitwich noting that one of the access roads we use regularly to get to the other side of town was closed yet again, having been closed for about two months and open for one week. We arrived at our favourite cafe and had our usual bacon butty and cup of tea, having a conversation with a lady who works occasionally in the cafe but seems to spent quite a lot of time talking to customers. After our repast, we made a venture as far as the Worcestershire Association of Carers charity shop where we made three purchases, all of which will prove to be very useful to us. One of these is a decorated teacup with matching saucer and I was hoping to find something like this so that Meg’s cup of tea will always be complete with saucer. I also bought a rather nicely designed little mug which I am going to use exclusively for Meg as we have some glass mugs for cordial on our dining table that seem to get regularly knocked over. I also bought a couple of simplified books that are nicely illustrated and which I hope will give Meg some diversion.

After lunch, I started out to resolve one of the major frustrations of the day. I have bought domain names and webspace from a particular company for at least the last 15 years which suddenly refused to accept my email address as a user name even though I am sure that nothing has changed at my end, as it were and I quite regularly pay bills to keep my domain names/web space up to date. I suspect that the company in question has had a quiet change in policy but it is frustrating in the extreme. So I got onto their support line who asked me to fill a form for ‘account recovery’ and this required both colour photo and up-to-date proof of address ID which I have had to submit and then will have to wait the three days they say it will take to recover things. I have a sinking feeling that they might only recover the three or so websites/domain names that I listed on their form although I suspect my involvement with them is at least 20 and I wonder whether this one is going to run and run. All I can do is to sit tight for three days and then hope for the best. Whilst on the subject of computing issues, the file sync program which I downloaded the other day and which has been taken over by another company and renamed has just written to inform me that my previous ‘indefinite’ licence only now entitles me to a one year subscription and access to 10GB of cloud based storage space. I recall some 25 years or so ago trying to get a ‘FENSA’ certificate for some windows that had been renewed in the house and for which the FENSA certificates were required as part of the conveyancing. The firm that had installed the windows had gone into liquidation, as it were thus relieving themselves of all of the legal obligations involved in their warranties/certificates. But having ceased trading on a Friday, they had re-opened under a slightly different name on Monday morning but all of their previously issued warranties were now null and void. I am sure that I am not alone in having the subject of a practice like this but I suspect that it is not that uncommon.

The Navalny case (Russian opposition leader that the Putin regime tried to poison and since banished to the harshest prison regime imaginable in the polar regions) is rumbling on. The Russians are refusing to release the body to family which is fuelling the suspicion that he has been murdered, perhaps by an agent such as Novichok. His mother has been told that the Russian authorities are going to hold his body for two more weeks to undertake a ‘chemical examination’ but the suspicions in the West are that the Russians are holding onto the body so that any agent used in the probable murder of Navalny might disperse and not be detectable in any pathological examination that his family might decide to have.