Sunday, 16th June, 2024

[Day 1553]

Today being a Sunday, we enter our Sunday routines but today revealed some surprises for us. Our care agency was having some staff difficulties, primarily due, I think, to staff illnesses and so we were informed by text late yesterday evening that we would only expect one carer this morning and could I be called upon to assist? As it turned out, the care staff member who turned up was one of the must reliable and trustworthy ladies with whom I get on well so we formed a good team together but get Meg up, washed, dressed and hoisted into her chair. Then it was the Sunday morning Politics programmes to which I always look forward but which I very often sleep through and today was no exception. Evidently, the programmes today were election oriented but I did get the perception that the Labour Party, being consistently about 20-21 votes ahead and is therefore regarded as a front -runner is subject to more sustained and detailed scrutiny than the Tories and the Reform party seems to get hardly any critical examination at all. As soon as these programmes were over, I made my customary lightning visit in town to get our copy of a Sunday newspaper and then upon my return where I wheeled Meg into the kitchen where she could observe me doing the washing up and preparing our coffee elevenses. Then we made our way to the park, trying but failing to make contact with our University of Birmingham friend. It was quite a nice day down in the park and after we were had been sitting in the park for half an hour, we were approached by a lady and her very friendly dog that we used to meet in the park regularly in our COVID expeditions. This lady is a very friendly and homely type of person and it turns out that we knew her son pretty well who has acted as a general handyman for me repairing gutters and even constructing some steps into a lower area of the garden christened ‘Mog’s Den’ (sadly now, massively overgrown as I have not had the time to get down into it for a year) No sooner had our friend left us and we were preparing to leave than we met up with another acquaintance who has the most incredibly good looking labrapoodle type dog, almost resembling a sheep. This acquaintance had some rather bad news to convey as his partner has advanced and inoperable lung cancer and all kinds of unpleasant sequelae are now developing as consequence of all of this. We would have liked to have stayed and commiserated a little longer but we had to be on our journey so as not to be late for the late morning call of Meg’s carer. Then we ran into the wife of our Irish friends from down the road and learned the sad news that her husband has been diagnosed with a serious illness which helps to explain why we had been in contact for a week or so now. However, we promised each other that we definitely meet to update each other on the various things that had been happening to us but again, we rather had to receive the news and then hurry away up the hill, again to ensure we were back in time for Meg’s carer. We did make it back in time but only with about two minutes to spare and had just about cleaned up the wheels of the wheelchair ready to be wheeled across the carpets within the house. So we had received two instances of unpleasant news about illnesses in our friends and acquaintances but I am afraid that is all too familiar a story in this day and age.

We lunched on some chicken pieces made into a stew with the benefit of a thick chicken and vegetables soup purchased from Aldi and this gave us a very copious meal with plenty left over for tomorrow.This afternoon it seems to be gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon but after a venture out in the morning, we tend to have more relaxing afternoons. The political news this afternoon is best summed up by an analysis that I have recently that the Tories fight with Farage is a fight to the death over the future of UK’s centre-right politics (although perhaps more accurately, the future of the whole of the UK right) The manifestations of this fight are strange to behold. For example, Penny Mordaunt the other day in the seven-way party debate tore into Labour’s tax plans relentlessly but did not have a single word of criticism of Farage or his policies which is surely a massive threat to the Tory Party. This might be because of a realisation that after the inevitable defeat, there may be a regrouping of the right in this country and although Reform might want to absorb remnants of the right wing tendencies in the UK scene, there are some elements of the present Tory party who want to do exactly the same with Reform. We will probably end up with a situation in which Reform has a goodly number of votes but only 1-2 seats in Parliament, helping indirectly to ensure the election of a Labour government by drawing critical votes away from the Tories. The Tories instead of attacking Farage and Reform directly have resorted to the tactic of warning of a potential Armageddon, as they see it, if a Labour government is elected with a landslide majority. This is tantamount to recognising that defeat is inevitable and the election is already lost and won (as Farage is claiming that it is).

Yesterday, I wondered whether to watch some football but just turned on the TV to watch the Spanish score two quick and well deserved goals against Croatia which meant that I was spared the more tentative football at the start of the match. Tonight England are playing Serbia and the German police are assuming that the militant fans on both sides will be out to cause trouble either inside or outside the stadium. It looks as though some well known militants have successfully got over into Germany and I think it will take a lot of good policing to keep the two sets of fans apart. I would be amazed if England were to win because we seem to have a national talent for talking up our football only to discover that we are not a very good footballing nation these days. So I am expecting a defeat tonight and not will gutted if this actually occurs.