Saturday, 9th March, 2024

[Day 1454]

So we enter our Saturday morning routine this morning, having woken up to quite a gloomy kind of day but at least the weather promises to be a tad warmer than some of the frosty starts we have just had. Meg’s carers arrived on cue this morning and so everything went fine but tomorrow, as they are so short-staffed, I agreed with the care agency that we make do with one carer tomorrow morning. I reckon that a little bit of give and take on both sides is always a good policy. One of the carers was telling me of her baptism of fire as a care worker. Her very first assignment was to a 60-stone 20 year old who suffered from fluid retention issues. Eventually, it took a team of eight workers coming in three times a day to cater for his extensive needs – the fire brigade needed to remove a window and goodness what kinds of lifting equipment on the occasions that it was necessary for him to visit hospital. After we had breakfasted, it was time for us to get ourselves down to Waitrose which we did and met up with two of our regular coffee drinking companions. We all look forward to these little Saturday morning chats (as well as Tuesdays) and we informed our two friends that we might miss next Tuesday. The ‘Falls’ nurse plus a physiotherapist colleague are due to visit us at some time next Tuesday but as we are not sure when, then we need to ensure that neither our morning coffee session or even Pilates class gets in the way of what might be quite an important assessment meeting. After we had got back, Meg had a bit of a rest and I got things organised for lunch which was a simple but tasty affair of quiche, fine beans and microwaved tomatoes.

We were gearing our timetables today around the Six Nations Rugby match. We got settled down to watch the Italy vs. Scotland game. Scotland have the reputation of being fast out of the blocks and they had a tremendously good first half, scoring a handful of tries and being quite reasonably ahead at half time. But Italy have a reputation of coming good in the second half of their matches and so it proved today. With about five minutes left to play, the Italians were nine points in the lead but then the Scots made a massive effort and scored a try to come within two points of the Italians. Then we have an absolutely nerve wracking final minute or so because if the Scots conceded a penalty, then the Italians would have won. But if Italy had conceded a penalty, then victory would go to the Scots. Hence, as the cliché goes, there was everything to play for. In the event, after the clock had gone red, the Scots knocked on and so the Italians won the game. They were absolutely ecstatic because they only narrowly lost the game against England, actually drew with France (but would have won if the conversion kick had not hit the upright post and failed to go over) So here they actually had a victory by two points which was their first victory in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for eleven years. These tight matches are not only absorbing but they are good for the game as a whole and all fans really want to enjoy skilful and fast rugby being played. In the England vs.Ireland game, the English made a surprisingly good start but the Irish still managed to be ahead at half time having seized their opportunities better than England. At the end of the day, nobody really expects England to beat Ireland but they are certainly making a very fierce context of it. In the end, as a result of a fired-up performance, the English played like the Irish and won by a single point, kicking a drop goal in the closing seconds of the game.

Just when we thought that Joe Biden was too old for the job, the old-timer made a fiery ‘State of the Nation‘ address to Congress. These speeches are generally not overtly partisan but on this occasion Joe Biden really had a go at Trump, not referring to him by name but only as ‘my predecessor’ Biden made the powerful point that ‘Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today. What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack, both at home and overseas, at the very same time.’ So here we have the old campaigner coming good, as it were, and giving some heart to the Democrats who are not entirely enthused of Biden who appears to be both gaffe-prone and probably somewhat too old for the job. But Trump himself has made several gaffes recently and both Biden and Trump seem to be in the habit of getting the names of presidents of other countries mixed up with each other. Whilst Trump appears to be riding high at the moment, there are a lot of law suits still to be decided over the coming weeks and months. But we are faced with the bizarre prospect that an American contender be a convicted felon and even sent to gaol but by itself this not disqualify them from becoming a President elect. There may be some moves in Congress to rectify this apparent anomaly but this will probably not come to fruition. Trump has managed to delay some of the court proceedings against him and this playing for time is probably par for the course.