Thursday, 27th June, 2024

[Day 1564]

Today seemed to be one of those action packed days what with one thing or another. Last night, both Meg and I enjoyed a good night’s sleep – as Meg was naturally tired when the carers put her to bed last night, there was no need to deploy the ‘TV’ solution of keeping her entertained for an hour or so before she eventually settled down. Tonight, though, is the last ‘Question Time’ before the election next Thursday and so this might be particularly valuable to listen to, if only to hear the audience reaction to the nostrums of the politicians. Today, though, after Meg was up and breakfasted, we enjoyed a ‘sit’ session with a carer she knows quite well, whilst I went off to do our weekly shopping. The carer and I helped to unpack things and put them away at the end of her shift and then it was time to think about lunch, I fried up some onions, peppers, petit pois and fragments of beef, before putting them into some onion gravy that I had already prepared and served on a bed of rice. Whilst I was preparing the meal and as we were eating it afterwards, Meg and I stumbled across the second half of the film ‘Sink the Bismarck’ which was a classic black and white war film made in 1960. I would have seen this film for the first time soon after it was made as the boarding school I attended typically had a film each Sunday evening. The interesting thing about this film was it was advertised as a ‘fact based’ film and it did seem more like a documentary than a classic war film. What I found particularly poignant, was the reaction of the English crew when the Bismarck was first located, then attacked and then sunk. When the ship sank, there was no great celebration but a feeling of sadness – after all, in a conflict of this nature, it could have them that perished. I suppose that as the film was made only fifteen years after the end of the war, there were all kinds of details from people’s memories of the event that could be incorporated into the film. So there was no great celebration and one has to contrast this with the sinking of the ‘Belgrano’ in the Falklands conflict which was greeted with the one lone headline in one of the redtop newspapers of ‘Gotcha!’ Around lunchtime, I received two phone calls, each one of them welcome. The first was from the Wheelchair service who had informed us by letter that our request for a wheelchair had been submitted on a form filled in by one of the GPs and was receiving consideration. So a wheelchair should be arriving some time on Monday morning and although it seems churlish to look a gift horse in the mouth, I need to check with the service that the wheelchair will be sufficiently robust to cope with the now notorious Bromsgrove pavements.The second phone call was from the specialist nurse who looks after Meg and I and who is always available for consultation in the event of an emergency. This nurse is both kindly and incredibly supportive and tends to act as an advocate for us when we need to navigate some of the intricacies of the care system. She is due to pay us a visit on 1st August and although this is some time away, she will try if she can to give us a phone call either once a week or once a fortnight. So I kept her up-to-date with various developments and pleased to report that we are currently on a type of plateau as we meet with and try to resolve little niggling problems.

This afternoon, as the weather was fair but a little windy, I managed to locate Meg in the back garden whilst I spread five bags of forest bark type weed suppressing mulch on the principal flower bed outside our kitchen window. I woke up a little ‘achy’ this morning after the gardening exertions of yesterday and the same thing may happen this evening but it is nice to get these little jobs done and to improve our immediate environment whilst we can. Just before we went out, I got an email from the firm who supplied my laptop and to whom I had explained the absence of wifi and internet. I received the advice just to press the ‘WiFi’ button back on again except there isn’t one to be seen. Just to make sure, i consulted the manual for the machine and no wifi button is specified for this particular model although it is quite a common feature on most laptops. So when I get time, I suspect that I need to write another email to the laptop supplier, sending him a pdf of the manual to convince him there is no wifi switch to be turned on and so I am still at a loss to know what to do.

Last night was the last of the debates between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer and as might be imagined, Rishi Sunak felt that he had nothing to lose. So he came out fighting, using his normal attack lines which was taxation on the one hand and immigration on the other. The absolute perfect irony about all of this is that immigration and levels of tax are at an all time high under the present government so one is tempted to utilise the expression of ‘pot calling the kettle black’. The vultures are already circulating over not, as yet, politically dead career of Rishi Sunak. Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker will launch a bid to become leader of the Conservatives should they lose the election on 4 July as expected, it is understood. Steve Baker was the well known vociferous supporter of Brexit and achieved some prominence in helping to engineer the downfall of Theresa May as Prime Minister. But there are several other ‘big Tories’ who are covertly campaigning already to replace Sunak – provided, of course, that they do not lose their seats in the first place.