Saturday, 22nd June, 2024

[Day 1559]

A few days, whilst idly looking on eBay on the perennial subject of wheelchairs, I came across an exemplar which had had wider and taller wheels specially added to it and I thought this would suit us down to the ground. The wheelchair was being sold in Hagley which is a village about 12 miles distant in which we were interested in buying a house in our house hunting days. I negotiated a discounted price with the seller who seemed a friendly sort but he informed that another buyer might be calling round to view the product but he would inform me whatever happened. I told him I was very interested in this wheelchair as I could collect it quite easily whilst a carer was looking after Meg but then I was informed that it had been sold to the first buyer. Last night, I again perused what was on offer and found another model with larger wheels at the back. A rapid internet search informed me that models like this were easier to push so I decided to make an offer for it. On the eBay system, it gives you a range of offer prices (approximately 15%, 10% and 5% lower than the asking price) So in the middle of the night, I made an offer and wondered what the morning might bring. When I consulted my system, I discovered that this item had 47 people viewing it in the last 24 hours so I thought to myself that when we returned from our morning coffee meeting, if the seller had not replied I would purchase for the full price. But to my considerable surprise and delight, my 15% discounted price was accepted. In addition, a special brand new pressure relief cushion by a well known manufacturer of such products was being offered as part of the deal. Now that my offer had been accepted, I thought I would see how much the specialised pressure cushion was worth and was amazed to see that the full retail price was actually more than the price I eventually paid for the wheelchair. It is as though I had paid full price for the pressure relief cushion and got the wheelchair thrown in gratis. Naturally, I have had to pay postage and packing on top of all of this and the whole caboodle will take about a week to arrive. But it seems a reliable make and I can even download a manual for the model involved which might prove very useful for little adjustments and running repairs. So all in all, I had a great feeling of satisfaction at having secured this product and trust that it will the journey up and down the hill a little less bumpy. Some sections of the pavement are made over in that kind of rougher style rather than smooth tarmac which I think is cheaper to supply and to lay and which provided better grip for pedestrians in icy conditions. But on my journey down and up the Kidderminster Road I am constantly having to negotiate these rough patches of tarmac to avoid too many jolting sections. Today, as an experiment I tried using a pair of gardening gloves to ease the pressure on my fingers which tend to up up white after the pressure of the uphill climb. However, we had a nice friendly chat with our normal Saturday crowd. The cafeteria was quite full today because it is the Saturday of the Court Leet (a mediaeval tradition) when the great and good of the town get dressed up in vaguely academic looking gowns and march to various locations in the town centre. We returned home in just about the right space of time before the late morning carers came to call later which I busied myself preparing a rather different kind of lunch. This was quite an ample Spanish omelette (stuffed with onions, peppers, tomatoes and the remains of the ham from yesterday) complemented by some salad type things bought from Waitrose.

As soon as we got lunch prepared, eaten and washed up after, I thought I would try and squeeze in getting the front lawns cut before the earlier than usual mid afternoon carer’s call. I had Meg sitting outside at the edge of the grass so that she would not suffer from separation anxiety and I raced around to get the lawns cut. The two carers – nice young people – turned up 15 minutes earlier but they did not mind sitting on the outside bench whilst I completed my mowing which would have been finished on time if the carers had called at the scheduled time.There are two interesting political stories emerging in the airwaves today. The first of these is Nigel Farage arguing that the western expansion of Nato was tantamount to inviting a Russian retaliation, evidenced by the invasion of Ukraine. Practically all the political parties have condemned Farage in the roundest of terms, opining that Farage is ‘de fact’ condoning the Russian invasion. But whilst many political leaders in the height of an election campaign are seizing upon any stick with which to beat an opponent such as Farage and the Reform party, I wonder whether any political leaders in the West have ever considered the facets of European history in which the USSR was at war with Germany and lost 20 million of its citizens in the process. My comments are not meant to condone the actions of Putin in any sense but I think political leaders in the West need to think how the presence of Nato is seen as so threatening to Russia. The two areas of Ukraine which the Russians ‘de facto’ occupied were populated by Russian speakers who felt that their long term interests were not particularly accommodated within Ukraine when it became independent after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The second interesting story this afternoon is the ‘revelation’,if indeed it is one, that Starmer laid a series of ‘traps’ for Boris Johnson making him deny that COVID transgressions were taking place. Starmer is claiming that he anticipated that Johnson’ first instinct was always to lie and to lie again and it was the very fact of these lies to Parliament that would eventually lead to the downfall of Johnson, as indeed it did.