Monday, 17th June, 2024

[Day 1554]

This morning, we wondered for a moment how we were to spend our time but decided that we would follow the pattern of recent days and make for the park. Last night, I am pleased that Meg seemed to have had a more restful night. This may have been due to a natural tiredness but we also have a couple of bolster type arrangements which are designed to ensure that youngsters (and elderly people for that matter) do not fall out of bed and these seem to helped to prevent Meg’s legs from straying out of the reaches of the bed which is one of our problems nowadays. Buoyed by the success of this, I went onto the net and promptly ordered another couple so what they arrive, that ought to keep Meg fairly secure in her bed. I am reminded in my youth there was a very popular bed called a ‘LiLo’ and many families including our own possessed one. The technology at that time consisted of four long tubular panels arranged side by side. We learned the trick of inflating the outer tubes as hard as they would go but under inflating the two inner most panels. This as I remember keep you enormously snug and secure during the night and I think that when I went on a Scout Camp, everybody possessed one of these (which prevented the cold of the ground hitting you) with a sleeping bag on top. After we had breakfasted I made my customary lightning visit to collect my newspaper but today a car park attendant was conspicuously checking cars for legitimate parking tickets so I needed to comply with my 50p worth so as to avoid a fine. One of the delightful partners in Waitrose who I know every well and is well aware of Meg’s frailties pressed a bunch of roses into my hand which is so very gratefully received. Once we returned home, it was just a case of doing the washing up, preparing the coffee and wheeling Meg down the hill making a journey only about two thirds of the distance that it would be if we to carry on to the Waitrose store itself. It was a beautiful summer day in the park with just the slightest hint of a breeze.On our way, we passed by the house where our Irish friend was busy mowing the lawn so we had a quick word about our various afflictions and promised that we would get together whenever we could to exchange notes. Once home, the late morning carers arrived and did their bit and I then busied myself preparing our midday meal. We had just about got this over when our friendly chiropodist turned up to give attention to our feet. I had developed some cracks in my heels and the chiropodist helped me to provide some remedial treatment. She examined my low slung casual leather shoe I use as slippers and thought that the seam at the back might be causing me some problems. So we gave me some special fabric to alleviate things in the short term but then I need to go onto the web to find an almost exact replacement for the shoes that I want. No sooner had the chiropodist left but our son turned up to see us, bringing us a present of some lemon cheese after he and his wife had taken a quick break in the Lake District to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Our son told us about the new restaurants that had opened since the last time we visited Keswick and it seems that the whole town is gradually becoming a little more cosmopolitan. Meg and I always lodged in and around Keswick in our Lake District walking days and it is certainly a town for the dedicated fell walkers.

Yesterday, our neighbour called around to explain that he was going to be away on holiday for the next two weeks. Apparently he and the two carers had been on the doorstep for a good ten minutes ringing the doorbell but I was so dog tired I had fallen asleep in the chair and the doorbell failed to rouse me. I have relocated the doorbell chime unit into our Music Lounge so this does not happen again. Last night, when Meg was asleep, I dared to watch the first match in which England were playing with Serbia as their opponents. The England team had easily the best of the first half, dominating it completely and scoring a very good goal from the head of the (almost local) hero Jude Bellingham. But in the second half, the Serbs really came alive and stepped up a gear which made the whole of the second half quite a tense affair. One hard shot on goal looked a certain equaliser but the English goalkeeper just managed to deflect the shot over the bar. But the commentators are saying that ‘a win is a win’ but certainly not as convincingly as the Germans and the Spanish.

The political news today is the launch of a type of manifesto by the Reform Party. I actually think they are ought to be called ‘the party for voters who think the Tory party is not sufficiently nasty’ but I am not sure that their policies (reducing immigration to a net zero in which those coming in exactly match in number those emigrating) have been subject to any kind of detailed scrutiny. The kind of comment I have heard so far is that Reform is never going to form a government so we do not need to concern ourselves with their policies. But one has to admit that Farage is a superb publicist or rather self-publicist and has the capacity to make it look as though complex problems can have really simple solutions. His solution to the problems of the NHS is to turn it something like the French, insurance based model which he argues gives much better results for the same amount of money. I am not sure that the experts at the Kings Fund (experts in NHS organisation and functioning) would agree and it would take at least ten years to reorganise the whole of the NHS even if it was considered a good idea.