Sunday, 14th April, 2024

[Day 1490]

This morning being Sunday, we saw the last of the carers who attend Meg in the morning. In some ways, this was a sad occasion because the male carer who I dubbed ‘Mr. Teazy-Weazy’, as he had been a hairdresser in a past life, we would not encounter again. Similarly, when we see the carer this evening, this will probably be for the last time as well. But tomorrow morning, we will re-establish contact with the previous team so we are looking forward to this as well. We breakfasted watching the Lorna Kuennsberg ‘Sunday’ program where evidently the news and the program was dominated by the launch by Iraq of some 300 drones and a goodly number of Cruise missiles against the state of Israel. It is evident to all of the players that the Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ missile defence system, supplied and maintained by the USA, would stop the vast majority of these attacks ever reaching their target. The Israelis themselves claim a 99% success rate in shooting down the drones and the missiles and the Iranians probably realised that this was going to be the case, almost giving the Israelis advance notice of an attack and allowing the Israelis to get their defences in place. The really big question now is whether the Israelis are going to offer a retaliation or whether both sides now tacitly agree that a ‘tit-for-tat’ has taken place. What I think was a genuine surprise was that British jets were in action overnight, apparently shooting down some of the drones as they progressed over Jordanian airspace. But one commentator who was a supporter of the Labour Party expressed some misgivings given the intensity of the conflict on both sides of the Gaza conflict should be seen as so evidently taking sides. A fuller picture may emerge tomorrow morning when surely there should be a statement before Parliament which should be reassembling after the Easter recess. But I suspect that Britain’s military planners should exercise the most extreme caution before any involvement in the cauldron of Middle East conflicts.

After breakfast, as it was a beautiful day, we decided to go to the park which we have not visited for about a month now. Some of the flowering cherries in the park were at their absolute best and the weather was sunny and quite mild. We had taken along a flask of coffee and some biscuits and reflected upon the fact that this was a daily occurrence during the height of the COVID pandemic. As we taking our repast, we were approached by one of my Pilates fellow class members (plus dog) and we had a pleasant chat for a few minutes. I explained that, all being well, I should be able to attend the class this Tuesday as we ought to have someone available to sit with Meg so that I can attend the class. When we got home, we finished off our viewing of one of the ‘Pilgrim’ series, courtesy of the BBC and this particular one is following a group of pilgrims in their journey to Fatima, Portugal. We realised that we had forgotten to get our copy of the ‘Sunday Times‘ but this was soon remedied by the swiftest of visits down to Waitrose where I knew that they would have plenty in stock. For lunch, we had one of those chicken crowns which are already in their tin and ready to be popped into the oven. This we ate with the baked potato (what else), primo cabbage and a tomato. I try to ensure that Meg has a doze immediately after lunch and today as soon as she was settled and in at least a deep doze, I set about cutting the lawn at the back of the house which had gone twelve days without a cut. Fortunately, I got more than half of this done before Meg started to await from her after dinner sleep and so it was quite easy to finish off the lawn, clean up the mower and be assured that a much needed job had been done. We decided to view an opera as a mid-afternoon treat and so we selected a version of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni‘ but Meg did not enjoy this production very much and so we abandoned this. What eventually we settled upon which engaged Meg’s attention was some Rick Stein’s programmes on the cookery of Spain. These are part travelogue as well as pure cookery and they were visiting San Sebastian and the coast of Cantabria, both of which we have actually visited.

Last night, after Meg was soundly asleep in bed, I started idly watching a ‘Royal Palaces’ programme which actually features several ‘things you do not know’ about our royal family. One fact that emerged was so extraordinary that I could scarcely believe it and had to check out its veracity but true it was. George V was dying perhaps of lung cancer but his physicians decided to give nature more than a helping hand. One physician let it be known that the ‘King’s life was drawing peacefully to a close’ whilst another administered a huge and lethal dose of cocaine and morphine straight into the dying king’s jugular. This meant that the King was dead within the hour but the motivation behind all of this was not the alleviation of suffering – rather, it was that the death could be in the evening so that it could be announced in the columns of ‘The Times‘ the following day. Any later, and the death would have to have announced in the evening newspapers which were judged not to be a suitable vehicle in which to announce the death of a monarch. So here we had a process of undoubted euthanasia, not to say murder, performed in such a way that the time most judged to be suitable could be chosen. Even the editor of the ‘The Times‘ was pre-alerted and requested to hold the front page so that the ‘news’ of the king’s death could be properly announced. All of this was kept a secret for fifty years but eventually the facts leaked out in a biography of one of the physicians concerned when all of the other interested parties had been long since dead. Even in 1986 the Palace when approached would only comment that it was a long time ago. Whether this euthanasia of a monarch is well known in the general population, one can only speculate but it quite a story.