Sunday, 27th September, 2020

[Day 195]

Today was another bright but cold day. Actually, I got up fairly early to get my newspaper supply and get home well before the Andrew Marr programme started and the weather was delightful (aided and abetted by the fact that as I was on my own, I treated myself to some baroque music on my aged but trusted ancient iPhone cum MP3 player). On the way home, as the skies were clear but the sun was low in the sky, I experienced the most extraordinary effect where my shadow was about 20 feet long. My son and I had experienced something similar years ago when we went to an aerodrome in the East of England and watched Britain’s last remaining Vulcan bomber make a journey along the runway. It wasn’t allowed to take off but the event took place in the early evening to intensify the effect of sound and sight of the engines blazing and, on that event at least a decade or so ago our shadows on the aerodrome runways appeared to be about one hundred yards long!

After we had had a delayed breakfast and shower, it was time for Meg and I to attend our Health Centre for our flu jabs. This was organised like a huge military operation. We arrived at our allotted time, as did a group of other people and then we were taken along to a ‘holding area’ fully staffed by a full complement of both nurses and all of the doctors who called us forward individually to get our jabs. Mine was actually administered by one of our family doctors and the whole procedure must have taken about 2 minutes. Evidently, the practice are trying to get as many of the ‘oldies’ vaccinated as possible perhaps before a second spike of COVID-19 really hits us. I estimate that they probably vaccinated something in the order of 500 people this morning and perhaps even more. It all seemed incredibly sensible – but after this, we took the car along to the park where we walked and had our normal elevenses (although by now it was half-past-twelves). There was a pretty keen i.e. cold, wind in the park today (I know now it was arctic-type air in place over the British Isles as the jet stream has been pushed south) so we cut our stay down to the minimum and were pleased to get home and have a warming cup of tea.

After lunch, we indulged in a good read of the Sunday’s and, in particular, some of the inside stories about how ‘Boris’ is subject to conflicting pressures (health of the nation through locking-down or rescuing the economy). I also read but I am sure that this is only speculation that despite the bravura, Michael Gove is absolutely terrified of a no-deal Brexit landing right on top of a tremendously damaged economy in which unemployment is due to soar. If true, then this might nudge the powers that be into a last minute deal trade deal with the EU.

After my success yesterday on getting a webpage written and updated from the iPad, I thought I would see if I could update some FTP apps which I have used before. One I had to pay the princely sum of £1.99 for, whilst the other was updated from the £2.99 fee that I must have paid more than three years ago. I am still playing about with these and have not had a chance to explore how easily I can access the files on the ‘local’ side (ie. actually on the iPad) but it seems as though I can inspect and access the files on the remote side (and even display the .html files in a Preview mode).

Late on this evening, I was idly trying to find something or other when I right-clicked on my mouse whilst I was examining some text (yesterday’s blog actually) and discovered an item called ‘Speech’ When I selected some text this was then actually spoken back to me using quite a good computer-voice. No doubt, experienced users of an iPhone knew they could do this all along but it was a revelation for me. I then discovered a way in which I could actually do the same on my iPhone – and gave Meg the surprise of her life when last night’s blog that I had read out to her in the park was now actually spoken for her by the iPhone. Amazing now that I have discovered it!