Thursday, 23rd May, 2024

[Day 1529]

Last night was my first night on my newly delivered little camp bed which I put besides Meg’s hospital bed so I am available if Meg were to wake up during the night in a distressed state. I am pleased to say that Meg got off to sleep much more rapidly last night and my own little arrangement with a camp bed and the folding mattress on it seemed to work as I hoped that it would. I woke up just after six this morning and started on my new routine of clearing away all of my bedding and getting things prepared for the care workers when they arrived at 8.00am this morning. Last night, I started to put together the elements of a screen which I had bought on eBay – as you might expect these days, it was basically a collection of metal poles which slot or screw into each other and this provides a type of seating for the fabric panels which constitute the screen itself. I was a little dismayed to get one of those sheets with just 5-6 line drawings on it which is all you get by way of instructions these days. I think I have to construct about five panels and then finally clip them all together. I have only completed the first panel last night and this morning and so far, the fabric panel seems very tight and difficult to stretch onto its mountings but I am hopeful that the remaining four may prove a little easier. I am doing this little job quite slowly because if one were to rush the job, I might end up with an assembly which fails to work as intended.

After we had breakfasted, a carer came to sit with Meg whilst I went off to my weekly shopping. This is the first time that this has worked for weeks because this time last week we were visiting the hospital and the Thursday before that, something else had happened. I went to the smaller Aldi store that I use regularly and as I entered the store, I caught sight of some church friends of ours where I know that the husband is suffering from dementia – but a different pattern of symptoms to those that affect Meg. So our friend and I embraced each other briefly but we had no time to stop and exchange pleasantries because we were both in the same boat of having to dash round the store as fast as we could and then get back to our respective spouses as soon as we could. Fortunately, we both recognised this need in each other and so carried on in our various ways scurrying round the store trying to get the entire shopping trip to less than an hour if this is possible. When I arrive home with multiple bags off shopping, I always marvel how two little people such as Meg and myself consume such volumes of stuff, given that we try to live quite modest lifestyles.

As might be anticipated, the media have gone completely overboard after the news that a general Election has been called for July 4th with is six weeks today. In the very short term, there is all kinds of vital ongoing legislation stuck in the House of Commons and this has to be rushed through, without any proper scrutiny in the next day or so. The whips from the main parties are in close consultation with each other as always happens at the end of a Parliament. It has to be decided which legislation has to go through probably unopposed and with no proper scrutiny, which has to be abandoned and which has to be argued over. As I write, it looks as though the Finance bill giving effect to the budget measures has to be rushed through but the Crime and Justice Bill, as well as a Football Regulation bill will have to be abandoned. There has also been a sort of belated recognition by Rishi Sunak that the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda might not happen before the election. But personally, I would not be surprised if the Tories try to get one flight off to Rwanda even if there is only person on it and the day before electiorate vote to try to sway a few votes. The reaction of the Labour party to a General Election is generally one of a buoyant optimism where many Tories are dismayed and really wanted to hang on to their seats and their salaries as long as possible. After Parliament is prorogued, MP’s as such no longer exist as there are only ‘candidates’. Already two junior ministers have indicated that they will not be contesting their seats in the election. The reasoning is quite straight forward. It is one thing to be an MP when one’s party has been in power as the Tories have been for the past fourteen years. But being an Opposition MP with years of hard grind in front of one and no perks and ‘freebies’ such as overseas trips are not everybody’s cup of tea. Also, I think it is recognised that the Labour Party might just win by a landslide and it takes another landslide in the opposite direction for a party to lose power. So many Tories feel that they may be our of power for two Parliaments or ten years and so many will attempt to leave politics and enjoy lucrative jobs whilst they still have some credibility and marketability. The results of the election is not really in doubt given that the Labour party has had a 20% lead for some years and the country as a while is crying out for a change. What I think is going to be the really interesting part of this election is to see which prominent Tories will lose their seats. One would have thought that a majority of 15.000 would have been quite healthy but judging by the recent opinion polls than any Tory MP with a majority of less than 15,000 might be feeling very vulnerable.The electorate has become a lot more sophisticated and although it is denied at the centre, on the ground there are instances of tactical voting designed to eject sitting, mainly Tory MPs. This is particularly so in the more prosperous parts of the South of England where the Labour party knows it cannot win but is willing to give tacit support to the Liberal Democrat who has a much better chance of beating the incumbent MP. It looks as though Jeremy Hunt, the present Chancellor, might be vulnerable to such a strategy for example.