Thursday, 20th June, 2024

[Day 1557]

Last night was not a very restful evening for the pair of us. Although Meg was put to bed some time after 7.00pm, she did not finally settle off to sleep until 12.45 the following morning. I also had to remake the bed with Meg in it which is not an easy task so despite being Meg being in bed for over five hours, she did not fall asleep as is sometimes the case. This in turn meant there were several things that could not get done whilst I was attending to Meg during the course of the evening and consequently, I was pretty tired from the moment I was woken this morning which was just after 5.00am in the morning. But now that we have the garden tidied up somewhat and the weather seems to be set fair for a few days, I am going to experiment a little later on today with wheeling Meg out of the front door and down the passageway which houses the rubbish wheelie bins down the side of the house. I have done some detailed measurements and I think that with a centimetre or two to spare, I may be able to negotiate a way through so that Meg can access the back. If this proves possible, and I shall find out later on today, then it is possible that Meg can get nice fresh air and enjoy the garden whilst I can do a little bit of edging and other tidying up within a short distance from the house. This morning is my shopping morning and the sitter that we normally have to enable me to do my shopping is a very amiable psychology graduate so I was happy to leave Meg with the sitter who was reading to her one of the two books I bought for Meg yesterday. One of the pleasures of shopping at Aldi, which I do, is the famous ‘middle aisle’ which contains all kinds of hardware items often sold at quite a considerable discount. This aisle will house a whole range of non food items which, to use an Aldi phrase, will be subject of taw principle of ‘Once it’s gone, it’s gone’ and I enjoy a little saunter up and down it once the food shopping is effectively completed. In the aisle today, though, I discovered some of the quite familiar plastic clogs which go by the grade name of Crocs but at a price of slightly more than a fifth what I paid for recently. The Crocs I bought yesterday seem to be of a reasonable quality but I think that although they are a standard size 8, they may be ever so slightly too small and have a slight tendency to pinch my toes. But the Aldi version, also a standard size 8, seems to be the best part of an inch longer and so subsequently fit me that much better. I don’t really mind having two of these sets of clogs because one set I can keep exclusively for garden and outside use whilst the others will act as slippers. I have started wearing this new footwear because our chiropodist who called round recently found and treated some quite deep cracks on my heels and urged me to get some new footwear to keep my feet in a reasonable state.

Whilst being quite politically engaged, I am finding that the current election seems to be carrying for weeks too long. Apparently Margaret Thatcher always kept her campaigns to about 4-5 weeks and not six weeks as we are enjoying at the moment. And Harold Wilson, the one time Labour PM called and won an election which was only three weeks long. It looks as though Rishi Sunak had reasoned to himself that a six week champaign would enable the Tories to catch up with and perhaps overhaul the Labour lead which has been constant for many months now. So it does look as though Rishi Sunak has badly miscalculated and only confirms the impression that whilst being accomplished at the level of manipulating spreadsheets and the like, he has a poor ‘political’ brain and miscalculates on some key issues as we observed in the D-Day fiasco. There are some more sophisticated political polls published overnight which are suggesting that we might have a Labour majority of over 200 which would be the biggest ever for them whilst the Tories might be reduced to about 100 or less which, in turn, would be their lowest ever. We are not talking here about mass conversions to the ranks of the Labour Party. Rather, it is how the vote will break at constituency level which is critical. It looks as the Reform party may take away sufficient votes from former Tory voters to allow either the Labour party or the Liberal Democrats to benefit. The Liberal Democrats themselves may be extremely successful in the South of England in former Tory strongholds whilst a SNP collapse in Scotland will add to the tally of Labour MPs. To this we can also add in the factor of tactical voting – it really does appear that the electorate as a whole are heartily fed up with the present government and will do almost anything to ensure that Tory candidates are defeated. Another scandal is brewing this afternoon and this is the news that high ranking Tory officials and protection officers, including their Director of Campaigns are being investigated by the Gambling Commission for apparently having bet on the date of the forthcoming general election perhaps being in possession of the actual date so that they knew the result of the bet before it was placed. Michael Gove when confronted with this news apparently said that he was ‘lost for words’ and it all adds up to the terrible smell of corruption and sleaze surrounding the modern Tory party. Maps have been published today which purport to show that the predominantly ‘blue’ i.e. Conservative constituencies of the last general election won by Boris Johnson with a majority of 80+ will be replaced by a red and orange patchwork where the swathes of ‘blue’ have all but disappeared. The election campaign now has less than two weeks to run (I am pleased to say) and whilst the absolute result is almost a foregone conclusion, I suspect that three important factors will come into play. One of these factors is the numbers of people turned away at the polling booth because of the lack of Voter ID. Another is a general apathy which may affect the turnout particularly if it looks as though the result is a bit too predictable. And finally, the Tories can always rely upon a swathe of ‘secret’ Tories who will never declare their allegiance to the Tory party but still will vote that way on election day itself.