Saturday, 10th April, 2021

[Day 390]

After being told of the death of one of our ex-colleagues from the then Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University), I decided to have a rummage through one of the drawers of our filing cabinet where I suspected that I might have some photos from our Leicester Polytechnic days. My rummaging efforts were rewarded in that I managed to find one photo in which there were ten of us featured, standing up (i.e. not in front of a dining table) in a posed photo with Meg and myself and some 8 other colleagues from the Business School at De Montfort. I am trying to work out from various clues when the photo was taken – we were dressed in rather late 70’s clothes but there again, it was a student ‘do’ so we would all have raided our wardrobes and grabbed some smart-enough clothes i.e. not just especially bought as if for a wedding. If I had to put a time frame on it, I would date it between 1985-1990 but that is still the order of 35 years go. I then established an email contact with the son of our recently departed colleague and told him about the photo I had unearthed. I am probably going to scan it and then make a PDF of it. If I can I will also make a copy of it on some glossy paper and then I can despatch the whole towards Leicestershire. The family may be making some kind of archive of their father and, as we know, it is quite interesting after somebody’s death that the recollections of the departed one very much depends on the role occupied (family member, friend, colleague and so on) In the fullness of time, it might be that we meet with the family and share some reminiscences but this will have to wait until the lock-down measures are such that we can all meet indoors to have a lunch-time meal in a restaurant.

After all of this, we walked down into town and got our newspapers as well as a visit to Poundland to pick up some of the routine things that only that store seems to sell. We then made our way into the park and eventually located ourselves on one of the top benches where we were soon joined by some of our park ‘regulars’ We were all discussing the latest debates concerning the Oxford/AstraZeneca virus and whether or not the ‘brouhaha’ over the blood-clotting dangers are a significant risk or not. One of our regular friends told us that some of the doctor’s clinics were being overwhelmed by people phoning up to enquire of their doctors the relative risks of the AstraZeneca virus and they had neither the time nor the resources to cope with a flood of enquiries like this.

This afternoon when we turn on the TV there is still yet more coverage of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. But even as I blog tonight, there is a somewhat more critical tone being displayed by some aspects of the media. For example, Channel 4 is broadcasting a documentary revealing things that could not (tastefully) be discussed until an event such as this. For example, Prince Philip felt incredibly excluded from the royal protocols as his first two children were only known by the surname of ‘Windsor’ But how many knew that Prince Philip with the aid of Louis Mountbatten managed to get the family name changed to ‘Mountbatten-Windsor’ before the birth of the 3rd royal child. So it is now being revealed how Prince Philip as the ultimate ‘outsider’ was managing to transform some of the more conservative elements of the Royal Family into something more akin to the 1960’s. Another fact that is emerging is that several films were shot of the royal family in a more ‘domestic’ and less ‘regal’ role – but many of these films having been made have not then been shown – until now that is. Channel 4 might be quite an interesting watch on this subject in the next few days (the BBC would never dare do anything like this of course)

Tonight, we went to church as usual and were part of a congregation of about 45 or so (the current limit) As it was raining cats-and-dogs when we came out of church and we are encouraged to depart quickly, all we managed to do was to wave to some of the regulars that we recognised but at some time we will no doubt be able to socialise a little more easily (e.g. there are occasional functions in normal times in the adjoining parish hall). We will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings, weather-wise, but I want to get the lawns cut again as soon as I can. And, of course, the Sunday newspapers may be full of some reflection and meditation upon the life of Prince Philip and future directions for the monarchy which may be worth a good read.