Saturday, 6th April, 2024

[Day 1482]

I really am not sure how carers keep themselves so cheerful when they have a multiplicity of clients and are probably on the minimum wage but the two we had this morning, one of whom we knew already, were true to form. I often ask carers about their own families because they always seem very happy to talk about them and such was the case today. Once we had got Meg ready and downstairs, I showed one of the carers our weighted blanket which she thought might be useful to help one of her grandchildren who was on the autistic spectrum. Actually, as I talk to carers, they all do have families and problems of their own which, of course, they are having to cope with as well as their jobs as carers. I remember once having a conversation with one of my (mature) students who I was teaching on a part-time degree at Leicester Polytechnic. These students were all having to juggle their full-time jobs, various domestic responsibilities as well as the demands of a degree course. When I made enquiries of one of my students, she explained that she could cope with her husband being ill, her children being ill as well as normal work and domestic pressures but when she herself felt under the weather, she felt as things were starting to get on top of her. During my professional years, I nearly always ending up teaching part-time, mature students often in the evenings and I never ceased to marvel how supportive they were to each other and how they coped with the multiple demands of home, work and an academic course. After we had breakfasted this morning, we made our way down to Waitrose where we made contact with one of our ‘old faithfuls’ and spent a happy half hour chatting. Then it was time for us to go home and I started to think about preparing the lunch. As we had already bought our copy of ‘The Times‘, I consulted the schedules and found quite an interesting programme being broadcast on Radio 3. This was Jooles Holland in conversation with a Radio 3 presenter and presenting his choice of classical music. One track that was played was the Elgar Cello Concerto and I suspected that the recording was the famous one by Jacqeline Du Pré who was regarded as one of the finest cellists of all time and who died tragically young of MS at the age of 42. I then pressed on with a simple lunch of quiche and some of our left-over vegetable mixture of a day or so back.

After lunch, I had it in mind to attempt to get the front green communal area cut, which normally takes me about 40 minutes, although I do cut it twice, once in one direction and once in a transverse direction., For this I dearly want Meg to be asleep after lunch and although she obliged me with a deep doze she did not actually fall asleep as I would have liked. So I cut the grass in ten minute segments, checking on Meg regularly so that she knew where I was. Whilst last week, I cut it on the highest cut I tried to start cutting on a medium cut (position 3 of the 5) so the mower tended to baulk at this so eventually I choose the better option of choosing a medium high position for the first cut but dropping it to the a medium cut for the transverse. The mower seemed very easy to clean up today with hardly any grass clogging the underside of the hood so perhaps the liberal spraying of the underside with WD40 had done its magic and helped to prevent the build up of grass. These days, it is probably a better idea for me to cut the grass in two tranches (the front lawns on one day and the back lawns on another day) So, as the gardening books always say, we will ‘choose a fine day’ for the second round of grass-cutting so we will probably attempt this in a few days time.

After I had come in and had a well-earned cup of tea, the sun came and out and it seemed to be shaping up for a beautifully warm and sunny afternoon. So I thought it would be a good idea for Meg and I to pop out in one of our transit chairs so that Meg could admire my handiwork of the cut lawn, the timely cutting of the privet hedge around the BioDisk which my son and daughter-in-law did yesterday and I could also take the opportunity of showing off our plum tree to her which is in full blossom at the moment. We did intend to sit down and enjoy the sunshine but it did prove to be a little too chilly for that. But our little trip outside did generate a bonus for us as our neighbour was just getting ready to go the park to have her constitutional walk and she took the opportunity to invite us round for a cup of tea next Tuesday afternoon, which invitation we were happy to accept.

We have news this afternoon that one of the Israeli hostages has been discovered dead and indeed already buried. This news is fuelling the considerable opposition to Netanyahu within Israel and the families of the hostages are calling on the Israeli Defence Force to make release of hostages their top priority. So it could be that public opinion within Israel is not convinced that trying to bomb Hamas out of existence is the best way to secure release of the hostages and so we have a situation in which both external and internal pressures on the present Israeli government are increasing almost by the day. Next Monday those living in the USA, Canada and Mexico will be able to witness a total eclipse of the sun and even a partial eclipse might be visible from some parts of the UK. Sky News has indicated that it will be showing the whole of the eclipse process ‘live’ and I think this will be from about 7pm-10pm next Monday evening. Depending upon what time Meg goes to bed on Monday, we may be able to witness some of this together on TV and these natural events are always rather exciting to behold.