Saturday, 12 December, 2020

[Day 271]

Today was the day when I was due to have my annual eye-test. This has been organised for about a month now so I was quite pleased that the scheduled date eventually came around. Meg and I went to collect our newspapers and then we put our plan into action. This was to park ourselves, complete with newspapers in a local cafe which we did and whilst Meg was tucking into hot chocolate and a brownie I went off to see the optician I have been seen for years now. We spent a long time talking about rugby, of all things, before we got onto the eye-examination itself, proper. As things turned out, absolutely nothing has altered vision wise, during the last year which is always reassuring. The only bit of an eye examination I do not really like is when the optician examines the back of the eye with his special instrument – I am always fearful they are going to find something lurking there that indicates an abnormality (there wasn’t!) I can never get used to the ‘puff’ test either when the elasticity of the eyeball is tested by the puff air shot into the eyeball (and the elasticity is worked out by the velocity of the return air flow, so I understand) After I had my eye test, I went and gathered Meg from the upstairs room of the cafe and instead of going into the park we decided to go straight home and enjoy our elevenses in the comfort of our own home. This we did without stopping for a customary chat with anyone on the way home.

This afternoon, we decided to have a good old ‘tidy up’ of a table we have in our (largish!) kitchen that tends to accumulate the kinds of stuff that comes through the mail where you think 'I’ll have a look at that later‘ Anyway, it is certainly very satisfying to clear away a load of things you intended to file away or throw away at some stage but never quite get round it. Incidentally, when I was at work and accumulated a pile of ‘things to be done, but now now’ I did develop a technique that proved to be quite useful. I would take a pile and then turn it upside down.Then working from the new top of the pile downwards (i.e.from oldest to newest) you generally found you could junk a lot of stuff because the date for action had now passed or it wasn’t that important anyway. Halfway through the afternoon, two parcels arrived – on large and one small. The small parcel was one of some Christmas socks which I particularly needed for my Pilates class on Tuesday next (it is an annual tradition that it is obligatory to display one’s Christmas socks at this time of year). Two pairs had arrived but I only needed one pair so the other pair was donated to son/daughter-in-law to wear when they pay a flying visit to family next weekend.The largest parcel was my big supply of Christmas cards that eventually arrived from Oxfam – as I had bought an emergency supply of cards yesterday whilst I was on the road, I now have enough for two years (fortunately, Christmas cards do not bear a date so the excess will do for next year)

In the early evening, we went to church as we generally do on a Saturday evening. There were only about 28 of us (the limit being about 36) but the church was freezing cold so we were quite pleased when our weekly service was over. We had a brief chat with one of the regular parishioners to whom we have promised some damson gin as soon as it is bottled – and we also met with another parishioner who all being well is coming on the trip to Rome next September, all being well. As we have to make a telephone call to ‘book’ our places at the Saturday evening service, are names/addresses are checked in. One of our close friends was performing the checking in duty so I announced myself as Mr. B. L. Zebub but, extraordinary, I was still allowed in.

The Brexit saga continues tonight. Some talks are continuing through the night (is this a good sign or not?) Meanwhile, the British are preparing the navy ready to board French trawlers in the case of illegal fishing after January 1st, 2021 – so a hot war with France may be one of the first signs that Brexit has actually worked. Finally, an ex-security chief has indicated that in the absence of a deal ‘The British should be very worried‘ and as this observation comes from a non-politician, perhaps it should be taken very seriously.