Sunday, 29th November, 2020

[Day 258]

I thought this blog was not going to appear tonight – or indeed ever again! When I tried to log on to my site, I got a system message to say that WordPress would not run on an out-of-date version of PHP (the programming language in which WordPress is written) and it needed to be updated. Whatever I did I got the same system message – to say I was distraught is an understatement. Not knowing that I do, I wrote a desperate email to my friendly web administrator in Canada from whom I rent the webspace. She suggested a solution which meant that I had to go into a special control panel (cPanel) and then access a specific program that would update every folder in my webspace. I did this with bated breath – and it worked! A heartfelt email went winging its way to Karina – how often do you get personal service like that? But I have rented webspace from her for about 15 years now and its on occasions like this that it is worth its weight in gold. And now to return to more mundane matters!

The day was dull and overcast so I went down and collected our newspapers by car before watching the Andrew Marr show (which is our default for a Sunday morning) Then we walked down to the park today and were a bit dismayed to find that it was absolutely teeming full – cars were parked on the nearby grass verges making a real mess of them as the car park was full to overflowing. Another source of dismay that there seemed to be a feeling that the lockdown had already ended – there seemed to be hordes of people none of whom seem to be making the slightest attempt to socially distance. I wonder of there will be a big ‘spike’ in about a couple of weeks time as the virus has had a field day? As I remember it, the current lockdown was due to be announced on a Sunday but the newspapers had got wind of it. So Downing Street brought forward their announcement to the preceding Saturday and some people must have gone wild in pubs, clubs and whatever because about two weeks after this there was a massive surge in the infection rate. I sometimes wonder how uninformed and ‘lacking in intelligence’ some people must be given the warnings that are all over the place about the necessity to socially distance and so on. I suppose that people get inured to the constantly repeated messages and if they only catch the virus in a mild form or are unsymptomatic then they almost pretend that life must be back to normal.

Tomorrow is going to be quite a busy day for us what with one thing or another. First thing tomorrow morning, Meg and I are attending an outpatient clinic for Meg and this might take a certain amount of time – the appointment was made at quite short notice and then we were phoned up with a list of questions to make sure that we were virus free. Then we will park the car and have our normal elevenses in the park before we go off to the Webb’s garden store to try to collect our Christmas tree voucher. Webb’s (a huge garden store with a national reputation) makes a special offer to its cardholders in that once you buy a tree at the normal price (which we always do) then most of the price is refunded in the form of vouchers in effect giving you the tree for nothing. We are doing that because in the evening my daughter-in-law and I are going to Webbs again to select our tree. Everything seems so much earlier this year – I have never started to think of Christmas decorations until December has actually arrived but there seem to be decorations going up all over the place. I wonder if people are so fed up the lockdown that they are desperate for almost anything to make life seem a little brighter in the meantime.

This afternoon we watched a rugby match (Ireland vs. Georgia) which you would have thought would have been one of the strongest teams against one of the weakest. As it turned out, the Georgians put into an extremely robust, not to say physical performance and performed very creditably against the Irish – so it turned out to be quite an entertaining match after all. Most of our TV viewing this evening got a little disrupted this evening as I was struggling with the WordPress technology.

There is a report this evening that Boris Johnson’s ‘concessions’ to some of the Tory rebels may backfire and instead of solving the problem may even fan the flames of rebellion. The cost-benefit analysis area by area is due to be published tomorrow but may well prove to be vague in the extreme. The vote itself is scheduled for Tuesday next so the next couple of days is going to be very interesting!