Sunday, 28th April, 2024

[Day 1504]

Meg and I had a fairly restful night last night without undue interruptions which was good thing. After getting myself showered, I set about the task of getting Meg out of bed and to the bathroom but she showed a complete unwillingness to get out of bed. The two carers were both marvellous youngish women, and they were absolutely marvellous with Meg. They showed a lot of patience in getting Meg and then washed and dressed, in which I helped where I could. By the time, we had got Meg downstairs via the stairlift, she was quite a lot more ready to face the day so I gave my profuse thanks to the two carers (who had known each other since their teenage days) and we ended up showing each photographs of their children. One had three young children and the other two and we reciprocated by showing them photographs of our wedding day in September, 1967. I always take the opportunity to explain to them that Meg’s wedding dress was a ‘Mary Quant’ design but not an original Mary Quant which would have been way above our income level. Meg’s mother was a superb couturier and at one stage had been a partner in her own dressmaker’s shop. I explained how Meg sketched out the designs and then Meg’s mother and Meg bought the relevant material which Meg’s mother than made up. The carers were quite intrigued by the Mary Quant story – of course beyond a certain age, most women will have heard of Mary Quant and she was credited with popularising if not actually inventing the mini-skirt. In 1967. Meg’s wedding dress was just above the knee and after half a century, one would not know this was not a Mary Quant original. We will not see these couple of carers until next weekend which is a bit of a shame but I thought the three of us made a great team together. Being a Sunday morning, we first tuned into the Trevor Phillips Politics program where Rishi Sunak was being interviewed before tuning in to Lorna Kuenssberg where the recent ex junior Health Minister had in the last day or so resigned from the Conservative party (who he accused of now becoming an English Nationalist party although they are almost indistinguishable from what might have been a UKIP -now Brexit) governing party. The MP decided not to stand at the forthcoming general election but as a practising psychiatrist intended to act as an adviser to presumably an incoming Labour Government on mental health issues. This sounds a much more sensible role than putting himself for election where he may have been rejected in any case. After lunch today, I just managed to squeeze in the cutting of the front lawn which is always a bit problematic. I had only left Meg for 10 minutes after which she had slipped off the settee and was calling for help so I had to put her straight before carrying on with two further ten minute absences. By a cruel irony, by the time I was inside and calming reading the Sunday newspapers, Meg went into the sort of deep doze in which state I had wanted to leave her whilst the grass was cut.

Next week there are several appointments on our calendar. The first one of these is for Meg and I to turn up just before midday to get our COVID booster jabs. As Meg has been so wobbly for the last couple of days, I am slightly concerned that I will not be able to get Meg into the car as I have been used to over the last three months. It means that I have to think incredibly carefully about the logistics of every single move as I transfer Meg from our house-based transit wheelchair onto the front car seat. If I can do this without Meg falling, all well and good but if she were to fall outside, there would be no alternative but to send for the Falls team again and have Meg lying on the driveway for quite a period of time. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Occasionally, I come across a story which I regard as jaw-dropping and one of these occurred during the week. I occasionally looked at ‘Twitter’ and its ‘X’ reincarnation and came across the following exchange last Tuesday night. TalkTV presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer talked to Ben Habib – the Reform UK party’s ‘co-deputy leader’ on the correct tactics to follow to dissuade would be migrants from taking evidently unseaworthy and overloaded rubber dinghies across the English Channel. Ben Habib expressed the view that people should be left to drown, even including victims such as the seven year old girl who lost her life last week. Julia Hartley-Brewer was duly shocked and a mass of correspondence was generated to come to her defence and to condemn the views of the Reform UK co-deputy leader. The actual leader, Richard Tice, has refused to endorse these views but some are arguing that it is a signal of how far British values have been subject to a rightwards drift in recent years that a prominent political leader can contemplate drowning in the Channel as a just reward for would be asylum seekers. This week is the week of the local elections in which three Conservatives are widely predicated to take a drubbing, perhaps losing as many as one half of the council seats that they are defending. But there are several mayoral contests which are hard to predict. Andy Street, the mayor for the West Midlands. may just about be able to hang on by a strategy of never unknowingly failing to appear in a photograph and also by the expedient of never mentioning the Conservative Party. Andy Street had a massive argument with Westminster Conservatives over the axing of the Northerly links of HS2 which would have been a fast connection between Birmingham and Manchester. Although the elections themselves take place on Thursday, it may be that to save money councils do not start counting the vote until Friday morning so it may be Friday afternoon before any really significant results are announced. There is a possibility that if the results are even worse than predicted, then a movement might take place to get rid of Rishi Sunak and install a new leader (Penny Mordant?) before a possible snap election perhaps as early as July. So the consequences of these local elections may be quite far reaching but no doubt next weekend will be one of all kinds of machinations within the Tory party.