Tuesday, 28th May, 2024

[Day 1534]

Today started off fairly gloomy and overcast with the promise of rain to come but at least Meg and I had spent a fairly quiet night last night as opposed to the night before. I had a note on the calendar to ask the carers to wash Meg’s hair as our hairdresser is due to visit tomorrow and the last time she called, we worked out between us what would make life easier all around if Meg had her hair washed the day before. The carers were scheduled for a little later time this morning so as soon as they had Meg installed, it was time for us to make a trip down the road. Admittedly the weather was not particularly good but I decided under the circumstances that a walk in the slight drizzle would not do us any harm and there was always the prospect that the showers might blow over. But first thing this morning, as soon as our GP practice website opened, I made an urgent request for more blood thinners medication for Meg because we had been eking out supplies and we were down to our very last pill with more needed today. The community pharmacist phoned back an hour or so later and understood the situation perfectly, making sure that a prescription (which is due to change slightly) would be on the electronic system and ready for collection later on in the day. So this seemed very good news and I thought that I would utilise a period when one of the carers was doing a sit with Meg to get hold of the prescription. We arrived at Waitrose through the drizzle rather than out and out rain but because of the weather, no doubt, none of our usual friends were there. We started back up the hill and I have to rather navigate the rougher areas of tarmac is this possible and seeking out the smooth so that Meg does not get jolted around too much. I espied on the pavement something that looked familiar and it was one of the stretch ties that I use to ‘tape’ Meg’s ankles to the uprights of the footsteps so that her feet do not slip off and onto the ground. This particular tie must have dropped off on the way down the hill and all the time we were having our coffee, I had not noticed its absence. So I felt incredibly fortunate that I had indeed found it again (even though I did not know it was lost) as the ties are worth their weight in gold in terms of their usefulness. When the carer called in the middle of the day, I shot off down into town and because I found a convenient parking place made a quick trip into Asda to pick up a pair of those specialist batteries that fit inside smoke alarms. The smoke alarm in our kitchen has started to make those irritating chirping sounds that emanate from it when the battery is nearing exhaustion but at least I now have a battery ready for replacement plus a spare. Then I made my way to the pharmacy only to discover to my considerable annoyance that as the pharmacy has changed hands. It now has a policy of being closed for lunch each day between 1.00pm-2.00pm. So I returned home, chatted a little bit with the carer who we know well and had been with us first thing this morning and arrived at the pharmacy one minute before the re-opening time. I was in a queue of five and the pharmacy was late in opening but I was delighted to get Meg’s medication and then get back before the end of the carer’s shift.

In the General Election campaign, the shadow chancellor is at pains to show that any forthcoming Labour government would be a model of financial probity. But this creates all kinds of problems for any new Labour government. The dilemma is that if they get into power, do they squeeze public services for five years using the plans developed by Jeremy Hunt – and risk disappointing voters and an expectation the party will fund public services more – or do they borrow more, and risk breaking newly announced and eye wateringly severe fiscal rules? Or do they do what voters have long associated with Labour, and turn to tax rises? In the past Tory governments have been known, as Ken Clarke did as Chancellor, lay down a series of financial policies which they know that they themselves cannot possibly implement but which they know that an incoming Labour government may well have to follow if only to establish the confidence of the markets. But today, theLabour Party has received a fillip in that Greater Manchester police have decided not to proceed with a prosecution against Angela Raynor, the Deputy Leader of the Labour party for financial irregularities concerning the correct amount of capital gains to be paid on the sale of a house. Reading through the facts of the case, I think that in all probability Raynor was probably somewhat culpable for the financial transactions that took place before she was even elected to Parliament. but the total amount on money involved (possibly £1,000 or so) pales into insignificance compared with the millions that were squirrelled away fraudulently by firms who made money out of COVID contracts when the Tories were splashing out all kinds of cash to to their friends and associates when the country was desperate for supplies of PPE (Personal and protective Equipment).

I have been in email correspondence with an ex-University of Winchester colleague who is going to pay us a quick visit a week on Thursday when he is breaking his journey from Hampshire to the North. I have not seen this friend for over a year or so now but he very kindly offered us the use of his flat on the South Coast, an offer which we needed sadly to decline as we did not think that Meg was quite up to the journey and the upheaval. Nonetheless, we have a lot to catch up on and I sent him a quick update so that he is well appraised of Meg’s condition these days.