Tuesday, 9th February, 2021

[Day 330]

I wouldn’t say it was the most major of domestic tragedies but we happen to have quite a tall 1-litre capacity Pyrex measuring jug that is constantly in use – or at least twice a day. I use it to prepare the coffee for our elevenses every morning and also, because of its height, I tend to use it constantly to microwave green vegetables because we have a lid that just fits it nicely. To my display, I discovered that the tip of the lip had broken away and a crack was in the process of appearing over what might have been a seam. As I use it so constantly, I thought I would try and Amazon/Ebay search for a replacement, only to find it extraordinarily difficult. Most of the 1 litre jugs tend to be squat and wide rather than taller and narrower so it took a lot of searching on the internet to find a replacement at quite a price (about £14.00) but at least it was a ‘genuine’ Pyrex. Now for Sod’s law in operation. Meg may have caught a chill after yesterday’s stay in the park so she went to bed a little earlier last night and decided to stay in the warmth of the house today. So I went to collect the newspapers on my own and then made a quick detour into Asda (which I normally avoid) to see on the off-chance whether they stocked any measuring jugs of the sort I wanted. As luck would have it, they did have one which is an exact replacement of the one that had died a death but at a price of £2.70 which is about one fifth of the internet price – but how was I to know that what I wanted would be so readily available locally and so hard to find on the internet? I took the opportunity, though, to buy one or two things that I know only Asda sells though by inclination I feel like avoiding the store as much as possible.

Today was a very interesting day in the park. Near the entrance, I met my Birmingham University friend who was deep in conversation (about dogs) with a dog-walking couple. We then acquired the customary cup of coffee and went to take up position in our ‘by now’ usual vantage point only to meet friends, friends of friends, dog walkers that we know and so on. At one point, there were as many as eight of us in a gaggle but we quickly moved on so as not to constitute a ‘gaggle’ and to keep out of the purview of the COVID-19 rangers. By this stage, I was thoroughly chilled as the temperature is about -3° which is not too cold if you are constantly on the move but can get to you a little if you are stationary. So I got home a little late and prepared our lunch time meal of fishcakes dressed with yesterday’s sauce and some fresh broccoli.

This afternoon, I brought back into use a radio which is designed to be used in or near a shower. This I bought years and years ago for about £5 and it was cheap even then – it seems to keep going on two AA batteries for about 3 months so is evidently designed to perform well at a very low power consumption. The proof of the pudding will be tomorrow morning (I have it permanently tuned to ClassicFM which is the only radio to which I would want to listen in the shower) At 4.00 in the afternoon, I Skyped one of my oldest Hampshire friends and we regaled each with stories from our pasts. I enjoyed retelling the story of how members of Leicester Polytechnic enjoyed moments of ‘Schadenfreude‘ (= malicious delight in another person’s misfortune) The then director of the polytechnic wished to avail himself of the flat at the top of the Queen Anne mansion which was a feature of the Scraptoft Campus in order to entertain his current ‘amour’ at weekends (and for no cost!) To make his pleasure complete, the Director had ordered a double bed which the delivery men struggled for hours to try to get up the narrow spiral staircase of the Queen Anne mansion. Eventually, they failed and the bed had to be returned back to the delivery van from whence it came, much to the amusement of the members of staff who had watched the late Friday afternoon’s proceedings unfold with a fair degree of mirth. After this Skype call, we FaceTimed some of our ex-Waitrose friends as we do every Tuesday afternoon and caught up all with all of the week’s news. We generally take the best part of an hour and pass on any local news or gossip about things happening in the area. Tomorrow, if we are lucky, we should be getting our central heating engineer to come and see to our boiler which appears to be functioning OK in the exceptionally cold weather apart from the fact that a crucial pressure gauge is tending to read ‘zero’ which is a definite malfunction. As the boiler is fairly new, we trust that is a part has failed, we should be able to make a claim under the warranty.