Saturday, 15th June, 2024

[Day 1552]

Today did not get off to a brilliant start and Meg needed quite a lot of care and attention even before the care workers arrived at their appointed time. But then it was two trusted members of the care team and they took over whilst I supplied their various needs and tidied up around them. After breakfast, we really did not know how we were were going to spend the morning because a few minutes before our normal departure time for a venture out, the heavens opened and there was quite a heavy shower. I consulted the weather app on my phone which told me there was a 75% chance of rain in the next hour followed by a 45% chance thereafter. So we stayed our hand for about 20 minutes and then had to make a judgement call whether we were going to go out this morning. The heavy rain had diminished to a light drizzle and it was a 50:50 judgement call whether to go out or stay in. Eventually, I decided that we should go and I made sure that Meg was clothed in a warm gilet with a good rainproof and a waterproof hat before our journey. In the event, we were were not deeply troubled by the drizzle and I was pleased that we had decided to go after all. When we got to the Waitrose cafeteria, we were a little disappointed to see none of our friends there but our despondency soon lifted when two of them turned up. One of them was explaining how she had turned up to some election hustings for local candidates that had taken place in the local Methodist hall. However, both the Labour Party and the Reform candidate had absented themselves and one wonders why – perhaps the only vaguely credible explanation is that they might have feared that the other candidates might have ganged up on them and they had more to lose than they had to gain. Meg and I filled in our ballot papers this morning and got them in the post on our way home. However, I have to say that in the act of filling in our ballot papers, I was somewhat dismayed to see that the candidate for the political party for whom I intended to vote had evidently been ‘jetted in’ by the party HQ and their address was given as ‘Ealing’ whereas all of the other candidates had local addresses. Both of the major political parties jet in candidates that they prefer overriding the wishes of the local party and for me, this left a nasty taste in the mouth so I had to vote for my preferred political party almost through gritted teeth. Our journey home was made in something approaching sunshine which makes a change for us these days. Then the carers called around and I got busy preparing a lunch of mince with fried onions and peppers, a baked potato and some green beans.

I had noticed that a particularly good film was due to be broadcast this afternoon and this was the ‘A Man for All Seasons’ starring Paul Schofield and Orson Wells. The film is ehe story of Sir Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarry. On the subject of individuals who stand by their principles and refuse to buy to political and organisational pressure, it called to mind the following incident in my occupational life when I was employed at De Montfort University in Leicester. As a group of lecturers we were receiving a briefing on how we should conduct ourselves as invigilators during the course of the examinations. We were given the instruction that if a fire alarm were to sound, this was probably a false alarm and we should ignore it and keep students writing their examination papers until the actual outbreak of a fire was confirmed. Incidentally, it was not entirely unknown for a student who was ill prepared for an examination to somehow get a fire alarm to sound thus having the current exam cancelled giving them extra time to prepare the second time around. But the point of my recollection is that one of our number who we always thought of as being quiet and reserved individual who not would say ‘Boo’ to the proverbial goose evidently took great exception to the instruction to ignore the fire warning. He announced that whatever instructions he had been given, if a fire alarm were to sound he would have no hesitation in marching the students out and he was not going to have on his conscience the harm that could could come to his students were a fire alarm warning to be ignored. Most of us just turned round and stared open-mouthed at our colleagues who we thought was the least likely to disobey an explicit instruction to invigilators. How the dilemma was eventually solved I cannot now remember but the point of ‘obedience to authority’ is an interesting one. One joke often made at the expense of accountants is the answer to the question of 1 + 1 make to which the reply from accountants might be ‘What do you want the answer to be?’ On the subject of jokes about accountants, I rather liked the one that stated that there three types of accountants, the ones that could count and the ones that could not.

Although I am not really that interested in football, late on this afternoon the Spain vs. Croatia match is going to broadcast live on terrestrial TV and this might prove to be quite a cracker. I may indulge a bit in watching some of the second half of I have the time. These days, though, I much prefer Rugby (Union) to football and thank God I was never tempted to be a football referee as any instances of shirt pulling or talking back to the referee would instantly end up with at least a yellow card. I think I would probably end up with two on one side and three on the other which might guarantee a result rather than a boring draw.