Saturday, 13th April, 2024

[Day 1489]

Today being a Saturday we pop into our weekend routines. We had two carers this morning, one an old faithful but the other one new to us but we shall only have two more days left on this ReAblement contract until the previous firm takes over on Monday. We generally can rely upon bumping into two of our regular Tuesday crowd on Saturday mornings and indeed we did meet one or two of our regulars as we were making our way into Waitrose. But then our routines were to be sadly disrupted because the local Waitrose management had decided not to open the coffee bar section because of staffing difficulties. After a rapid consultation, Meg and I got our newspapers and one or two other things that we intended to purchase and then we decided on a local coffee bar in the High Street. This turned out to be pleasant enough and the coffee was reassuringly hot and so we had a pleasant chat with one of our friends (the other one deciding to give this coffee shop a miss) At the end of our stay, we had an amusing little episode. My friend and I were seated on a very low couch whilst Meg was in her wheelchair. When it came to it, it took me all my time to get my friend out of the low slung settee – we had noticed it seemed a long way down when we first sat down in it but the moment of reckoning came when we came to clamber out of it. After Meg and I returned home, we adjourned to the kitchen listening to ClassicFM whilst I assembled the various ingredients for a salad I was preparing. I dare say that I was a little ambitious because the salad finished up with some slices of German ham, potatoes which had been previously cooked, a carrot-walnut-sultana mixture, tomato, boiled egg, beetroot, grated cheese and a pickled onion all dressed with a garlic mayonnaise. As this dish was so full of different flavours, I was pleasantly surprised when Meg ate up every bit of it so this must count as some kind of success. The weather is due to drift colder in the next few days so I am not liable to repeat my salad venture for a little while.

After lunch, Meg seemed fairly sleepy so I got her settled and decided, as the sun had come out, to try my luck and see how much of the front communal lawned area, I could manage to get cut. My preparations were interrupted a little by what I think was a cold call to sell me house insulation – as the caller asked to speak with the householder this aroused my suspicions. Only later, did I remember the classic response to this type of cold call which is quite rare these days. This is to give a response along the lines of ‘You have called the the regional office of MI6 – can I ask how you obtained this number?’ When I have tried this tactic in the past, the phone gets put down within about half a second but I am afraid that I thought of it a little too late on this occasion. I managed to get the first half of the first cut done and popped in to see Meg was still asleep. As it happened, she was waking up but I still persuaded her to keep dozing until I had finished the first cut completely. Then I came in for a bit of a break and Meg was still a little sleepy. As she now knew that I was just outside giving the grass its second, quicker transverse cut, this would only take a quarter of an hour and, in practice, a few minutes short of this as I do not hang around. Then I came in, made Meg a cup of tea and I gave myself a 5 minute break before a clean up of the mower until it gets put away for another week. Our principal viewing this afternoon was always going to be the excitement of the Grand National. We watched a little bit of the England women thrashing Scotland at Rugby until it was time to switchover for the big race. The racing authorities are sensitive to the carnage that can sometimes occur in what is always termed as the greatest steeplechase in the world – two horses had to be destroyed yesterday. So several measures had been put in place to reduce the levels of danger somewhat and towards the end of the race, it looked as though any one of about five horses could have won it so this must make this year’s Grand National one of the most open in years. When a horse has won the race, I always wonder whether they know it has won and it always faintly amusing to see buckets of cold water thrown over the flanks of the winning horse to help it to cool down. On a slightly offbeat note, it is known that after a certain distance a horse’s muscles will lock up with lactic acid and the horse will be reduced to a walk and then eventually to a dead halt. Some bright soul had the idea to pit a man against a horse and if the distance is carefully calculated (but I do not know what it is) then a man can just about beat a horse.

A rather amusing political story was to be found in the columns of ‘The Times‘ today. Apparently, Liz Truss who was Prime Minister for just over 40 days complained that she had a very uncomfortable time in the Downing Street flat which she was argued was flea-infested, the fleas having been provided by the Johnson’s dog. I suppose that this story has some foundation in truth and she says in her recent book that the Downing Street had to be especially fumigated to stop her perpetual itching. On the other hand, she did seem to have been quite fond of Larry, the Downing Street cat who looks for all of the world as though they could be the parent of Miggles, the cat who has adopted us and came around to see us when Meg and I decided to sample a little of the late afternoon sunshine.