Monday, 8th April, 2024

[Day 1484]

So the start of another week and two cheerful carers turned up, absolutely ‘on cue’ as it were. One of these carers, is a male I call Mr. Teazy-Weazy as he was a hairdresser for at least a decade in a previous life and I allow him to do his best on Meg’s hair once she is all washed and dressed. I think he achieved a kind of ‘urchin style’ look this morning but the results are always very pleasing. Under the arrangement that we have with the ReAblement team, we might have one more week of their regime and then we revert to our previous (private sector) care providers organised by Worcestershire Council with contributions from ourselves. After we had breakfasted, we thought we would go to Droitwich as, with Meg’s recent hospital stay, we have not been there for the best part of a month. Have visited the ATM and W H Smith’s (next door to each other!) to pick up our newspaper, we made for the ‘old’ Wilkinson’s store which has been taken over by Poundland. Here I bought some socks as I seem to developing holes in the heels of my current stock, some underwear for Meg and some of those little bits and pieces that you see in hardware stores that you know are going to be incredibly useful, even if you started off with no intention on buying them. We popped into the coffee shop that we used to frequent but every single table was taken (quite a frequent occurrence in this particular shop) and thence to an Oxfam charity shop where nothing took our interest. We made our way to our regular coffee house where we indulge in a pot of tea and a bacon butty and finally called in at the Worcestershire Association of Carer’s shop which is always stocked with interesting goodies. Here I did buy quite a few things, amongst the items purchased were some children’s books that were on sale for 50p each. Rather disappointingly, two that I would have readily purchased are already in our possession but I picked up six more, carefully chosen so that the illustrations are superb and that I can read aloud to Meg and she can follow the text as well as admiring the illustrations. Then I espied on a top shelf in the store the rather fine litre sized goblet that I suspect is actually Murano glass for the famous factory in Venice. I had seen this piece once before and rejected it because the designers have seen fit to encrust a band containing what I think are coloured pieces of red glass. To my eyes (and the store assistant agreed with me) this cheapens the look and appearance of the whole thing and almost makes it look like the kind of thing you would win at a fairground. But today, I had another long hard look at it and decided to purchase it (even though the price had risen since I first saw it) because the idea occurred to me that I might be able to ameliorate the effects of the red glass by the judicious application of some modeller’s gold paint. After lunch, I gave it a good wash in some warm soapy water and then decided to display it in a shaded corner of our Music Lounge. To my utter delight, in that particular position, the red glass ornamentation seems to practically disappear leaving only the traditional intricate gold design etched or applied to the amethyst of the original. So I may leave the way it is without running the risk of spoiling it but in any case, I shall certainly take the advice of my style consultant aka our domestic help who will call around on Wednesday and whose judgement on these matters I trust implicitly. Tonight, when Meg is safely asleep, I will photograph it and pop the photo into the Google app which identifies images to see if I can ascertain anything of the provenance of this piece.

Just to show what a dangerous world we are now living in, there is a report today that one of the nuclear reactors in the Ukraine have been subject to a drone attack. Russia has control of these reactors but the Ukraine has denied any involvement in the attack. It may take some days to investigate from which territory the drone was launched but when nuclear power stations were designed and then operated, I do not suppose that the civil designers ever had a thought that they should be made bombproof. The motivation behind the attack seems bizarre – would the Russians attack a nuclear power plant under their control and then try to blame it on the Ukrainians? And surely the Ukrainians themselves would not attack a plant they regard as ‘theirs’ and are trying to liberate? The full truth behind all of this may never be known but seeing the trail of destruction wrought by Chernobyl, one would have thought that all sides to a conflict would keep nuclear plants out of their sights. There is quite a lot of excitement growing in the US at the moment concerning the total solar eclipse which will be seen across some of the eastern states of the US as well as parts of Mexico and Canada. The very earliest partial solar eclipse that I witnessed was in about 1961 then a partial eclipse was visible in the UK. One of the masters at the school I attended had rigged up a telescope which was then focused on a piece of card so that we could an observation of the eclipse without the risk of damaging our eyesights. The authorities are rightly full of warnings about the damage that can be done by observing an eclipse with the naked eye or without suitable optical equipment but I wonder how many of these warnings are actually heeded?

One hope it is not a false dawn but there is a glimmer of light in a resolution of the Israel/Gaza conflict. It looks as though the killing of the seven aid workers was an ‘inflection point’ in the war but it is perhaps a sad refection that 33,000 Palestinians have died. many of them women and children but the West only tries to exert some influence upon the conflict when seven of their number have lost their lives. But by my calculation, the kill ratio of 33,000 Palestinians compared with 1200 Israelis is of the order of 27.5 to 1.