Wednesday, 21st February, 2024

[Day 1437]

Today turned out to be one of those days which I term ‘chewy’ because niggly little things happen all day long. Yesterday afternoon, I had received a telephone call from the agency that supplies carers for Meg to inform us that one of our regular carers had been involved in a car crash and, although not hurt, had been pretty shaken up by the episode. I hope that she does not suffer from delayed shock but I do know that this is a logical possibility in circumstances like this. So I said that I could easily cope with the other companion carer who was scheduled to turn up. But yesterday evening, I had just got Meg into bed when I received another telephone call from the care agency explaining that the second care worker’s car was ‘on the blink’ so she was unavailable for work as well. As the agency were having quite a staffing problem, I said that we would not mind if they gave us a miss for the next day I could get Meg ready by myself leaving the available care workers to cater for those needs must be greater than ours. Knowing that no care workers would arrive this morning, we allowed ourselves a ‘mini lie-in’ this morning. As soon as breakfast was over, Meg and I went to a local garage to collect our copy of ‘The Times’ before making our way, as we normally do on a Wednesday, to the Methodist Centre. The centre was actually quite full today but we did make contact with our Waitrose ex-chorister friend who we saw yesterday, who had turned up to the centre with a neighbour. We spent a good half hour or so here before we went home wanting to watch ‘Prime Minister’s Questions‘ which takes place shortly after 12.00pm each Thursday. Keir Starmer led his attack on the government over the Post Office scandal and perhaps what was most remarkable today was that Rishi Sunak did not echo the voice of Kemi Badenoch, the Business Secretary, who had accused the ex-boss of the Post Office (who she had sacked) of lying. So we have the interesting questions of two protagonists – one being a belligerent Tory Business Secretary and other being an aggrieved and probably quite bitter sacked chairman of the Post Office facing each other down. Now one of these must be lying through their teeth and one is forced to wonder which one it is? This afternoon, an email has seen the light of day which comes some substance to the complaint of the sacked Post Office chairman without being quite as explicit as a ‘smoking gun’. I really do not know who is going to get the better of this very public spat but in the meanwhile one suspects that the public could not care less and the payments to the maligned Post Office sub postmasters seem to be painfully slow in their progress through the system.

We lunched on the last of the beef with broccoli and a baked potato and then I hoped that I would Meg down for a rest in the afternoon but this was not really successful. Whilst Meg was dozing, though, I started to do some work on updating and maintaining the list of websites and domains the details of which were restored to me yesterday. There are quite a number of these and some of these are probably out-of-date, some are waiting to be populated and some will serve as a reminder to me of what items I have got lurking away in various websites. I am working towards an up-to-date list so that I have a fully accurate record of what domain name points where and when the renewal dates will happen to fall. This afternoon, an important debate is taking place in the House of Commons and the eventual motion, if passed, will call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The Labour Party, probably in lock-step with the Americans, have refined their position on their support for an immediate ceasefire and it does appear that the United States, in particular, is letting it be known that whilst supporting Israel to the hilt, not least financially and through the provision of military hardware, is nonetheless losing patience with the present Israeli government. Joe Biden has voiced the view that the Israeli response to the attacks made upon it are excessive and I think that the ratio of Palestinians killed (many of them innocent children) to Israelis massacred in the initial attacks is now of the order of 25:1. There have been various shenanigans in the House of Commons this afternoon where the Speaker has broken with precedent and allowed both the government and the Labour amendments to be selected for debate and vote. This has the effect of actually helping the Labour Party and the Tories are furious with the Speaker whom, as an ex-Labour MP, they suspect of allowing his erstwhile political affiliations to show. I have been listening to the debate in the House of Commons passively in the background and every single contribution of which I have been aware is speaking in favour of an immediate ceasefire. The Tories, who one suspects would follow the line that Israel should be allowed to defend itself and an immediate ceasefire would play into the hands of Hamas, seem strangely silent in today’s debate but they will no doubt vote for whatever government amendment is tabled, whatever it says.

This afternoon, Meg had a rather restless period so we popped out in order to access an ATM to get out next week’s living money. Our weekly shop is being delayed tomorrow morning until Meg’s carer calls round for a sitting service and I am hopeful that I can make this trip as short and as focussed as possible by getting my money out in advance. This all worked out very well so on the way home I called in at some of our friends down the road as we do not seem to have seen them for some time. I gave our Irish friends a quick update on how Meg is being cared for these days and we will probably meet up for longer chat in the next few days.