Sunday, 25th April, 2021

[Day 405]

It was our normal Sunday morning routine this morning in which I collected our Sunday newspapers early on and then got back in time for the Andrew Marr show. I was expecting a lot of cross examination of Liz Truss concerning the Boris Johnson ‘decoration expenses’ and Andrew Marr tried his best (which was not very good) When asked if Boris Johnson had personally stopped a leak enquiry (about the leak of plans for a second coronavirus lockdown because it would have implicated a close friend of his fiancee, Carrie Symonds), he got the reply ‘I think this is a complete load of Westminster tittle-tattle that people simply don’t care about” which is of course not a denial but the typical ‘throw sand in the face of the enemy’ tactics that all politicians deploy when they are being evasive or do not wish to tell the truth – which is nearly all the time. Then we drifted down to the park where we met up with our University of Birmingham friend and we discussed all kinds of matters concerning our local Severn Valley railway (upon which we are going to make a trip in about 2-3 weeks time) Then we were joined by a mutual friend who is generally very well-informed on matters and likes to keep abreast of news and current affairs. Our conversations roamed over (a) the changing and preferred shape of womens’ bodies (b) the current political scene (c) efficacy and ‘risks’ associated with the current crop of vaccines. Our conversations are like that, but Meg and I needed to get home so after we had put the world to rights, we started for home to cook Sunday lunch which we did. The afternoon, as every Sunday afternoon, we devoted to a good read of the Sunday newspapers but I did break off in the late afternoon to put a supply of Growmore (for a quick tickle) and ‘Blood, Fish and Bone’ (for a longer lasting fertiliser) around the privet hedge plants that our gardner and I chopped down to about half their height during the week. As the hedge has received a bit of a bashing, we thought it would be a good idea to give it a bit of feed at the start of the growing season to encourage the denuded top to ‘green over’ – which I hope it will within about three weeks. I am conscious of the fact that a certain amount needs doing in the garden to get it fully ship-shape but we need a spell of fairly good weather before I commit myself to a daily half hour or so in the garden. As the pandemic is ravaging the towns and cities of India and our TV screens are filled with heart-rending images of individuals who are denied admissions to hospitals (and who have practically run out of oxygen anyway) and cemeteries that have overflowed into any adjacent land and which is now burning with a succession of funeral pyres, according to Hindu rites. The UK is going to send off a supply of ventilators which is part of a consignment of 600 items which the UK is sending to India. Perhaps this only a symbolic gesture but we do have a vested interest, given the links and history between the UK and India, in making sure that India receives as much help as possible. I am reminded that the Victorian middle classes worked out that it was in the interests of the already privileged to give the working classes a clean water supply and good sewerage system. It is often said that Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’ husband, died of typhoid fever but more modern medical research has pointed out that Albert suffered several bouts of illness towards the end of his life. A modern diagnosis is that he died of Crohn’s disease which precipitated an ulcerative perforation of the bowel leading to septicaemia and a rapid death. Last night, I decided to put (or try to put) Windows 7 onto my IBM ThinkPad. All seem to go well until I was asked for the product code but after a bit of an internet search I found a product code relating to an educational version and this seemed to satisfy it. All seemed to go well until, at the final stage, a Windows logo appeared on the screen and after a long wait, I concluded it had frozen. So I left it (and the word on the net indicates that you sometimes to have leave things for an hour or so to resolve) and went to bed. First thing this morning, nothing seemed to have happened so I pressed the power switch on the Thinkpad and the existing installation of Windows 7 loaded. (If you consult the internet, lots of installations seemed to hand at the point that I experienced) Having got Windows 7 up, I got an informative little message saying that Windows 10 had encountered an error, failed to load and now the whole machine was being reset to the condition it was in before the installation.I am sure this little story has been repeated thousands of times by other Window users trying to upgrade. I was not surprised – but quite pleased it left my machine in a useable state after all.