Tuesday, 27th February, 2024

[Day 1443]

I always look forward to Tuesdays if only because it is the day when the five of us (three of our friends plus Meg and I) meet up in the Waitrose cafeteria for our morning coffee. I think our friends were a little surprised at seeing the bruising around Meg’s eyes caused primarily by her glasses frame when she experienced a fall last Saturday and she does rather look as though she has gone several rounds in a boxing ring but when she wears her glasses the appearance is less dramatic. The bruising discolouration emerged dramatically a day after the fall but in accordance with good practice, this was immediately photographed and put on Meg’s case notes so that when carers who have not visited before are reading their notes (all on their iPhones) they know what to expect. This morning, we had a visit from three carers) a normal two plus one who is shadowing) and they all turned up very promptly at almost exactly 8.00am this morning. They arrived at just the right point where I had got Meg out of bed and into the bathroom and then they were in a good position to take over. After they had departed and we had breakfasted, we made our way to Waitrose and had a jolly chat. The running joke between us all is that I decline the offer of some chocolate to be sprinkled on top of my cappuchino and I explain that I have given up chocolate for Lent, together with gambling, fast cars and loose women. My friends tell me that I had exactly the same list that I gave up for Lent last year and although on Easter Sunday, my consumption of chocolate will resume, the other pleasures of life (vices?) seem to have passed me by throughout the last year. After we all took our leave of each other, I thought that I could squeeze in a quick visit to the AgeUK charity shop which is off the High Street and also chock full of useful things that can be bought as well as being perpetually busy. I wanted to buy just a little desk type spotlamp to assist me in reading the newspaper when Meg is having a rest on our sofa and when I was in the shop, I saw exactly the sort of thing that I was looking forward and would have bought immediately. The only trouble is that it was being clutched in the hands of another customer which was frustration in the extreme as if I had arrived a few minutes earlier, I might have got it to it first. I sighed to myself and tried to be philosophical, consoling myself that in the fullness of time, other offerings will be available for me but I had rather had the same emotions with which car drivers are familiar when you spot an available car parking space as another driver but he/she are a yard ahead of you and therefore have a more legitimate claim to the space. The usual carer, plus her shadow, came along at the appointed time so that I could go off and do my Pilates class. We had a few new exercises this week and I must say that I am feeling a little out of condition. I think I probably need to spend a few minutes every morning doing some Pilates exercises whilst Meg is tucked up in bed and I have got up to make the early morning of cup of tea but I think it is a classic case of ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’. Incidentally, in the early days of computerised automatic translation, this phrase translated into Russian and then back again yielded results such as ‘the vodka is good but the meat is rotten.’

Today was the day when the ex boss of the Post Office, Henry Saunders, was due to give evidence in front of a committee in the House of Commons. Although Sky News is predicting that it will be an explosive session, I have my doubts. This is because in committee with a Tory majority upon it, there will be a natural inclination to side with the Tory minister’s (Kemi Badenoch) version of events rather than the recently sacked chairman and I expect that we shall probably see a series of diversionary tactics designed to denigrate the reputation of the sacked chairman and not to sully the reputation of the aggressive Trade Secretary who is reportedly a front runner to replace Rishi Sunak who is bound to be quickly replaced when the Tories lose the forthcoming general election. The trouble with the political scene these days is that practically every political intervention has got to be seen through the prism of the forthcoming election and the leadership battles that will take place immediately after it. There is a tremendous turmoil in the Tory party at the moment. One strand of thought is that the party needs to drift further and further to the right to avoid an electoral disaster. This rather mirrors what the followers of Jeremy Corbin used to believe that the failure of the Labour Party was that is was insufficiently left wing and the further left the Labour Party party became, the more it would appeal. Of course, it is an acknowledged part of the political consensus that general elections are only won by appealing to the centre ground i.e. the uncommitted, non-ideologically driven sections of the electorate and driving a political party to either of its extreme fringes is probable electoral suicide.