Tuesday, 4th May, 2021

[Day 414]

Today was a day to which we had been looking forward for quite some time because it was the day when Meg and I were due to be shorn of our lanky locks i.e. receive our long promised haircuts. It was last December when we were last ‘done’ so we have had to be quite patient. Knowing that our hairdresser was due to come mid-morning, our morning walk had to be foregone. Instead, I went down by car to collect our daily ration of newspapers and then, whilst in the car, made a trip in person to hand in our postal ballots. I could have popped them into a postbox but with the Bank Holiday they would stayed sitting in the postbox from Friday afternoon until the following Tuesday with delivery on Wednesday at the earliest. So I handed in our postal votes, hoping that by saving a day they would get into the system and be counted as they should be. Then when I got home, we spent some useful time waiting for the hairdresser by doing some tidying up and filing of one sort or another. Eventually, our hairdresser turned up – about half an hour late- but Meg had a perm and I had my typical haircut, so we feel we have entered the ranks of the ‘normals’ for a change. The weather was very variable today and seemed more akin to April than to May and for a few minutes we actually had rain that turned to sleet and eventually to little round pellets of hail – before giving rise that is to bouts of brilliant sunshine. That is why it is sometimes said that you can have four seasons in one day.

This afternoon was a lazy type of afternoon. and I alternated between bouts of reading, bouts of tidying and bouts of getting my ‘Power Banks’, purchased yesterday afternoon, properly charged up and loaded to go. I intended to search on the web to load Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 (popularly known as ‘Elvira Madigan’ after a Swedish film of 1967 in which the second movement features prominently) This was a slightly frustrating search as most of the offerings available on the internet feature the second movement only. Indeed, the second movement ‘Andante’, of sublime beauty, with its few notes and bare outline, is incidentally a classic example of the manner in which Mozart frequently left himself room to improvise within the context of his own concertos. It is incredibly well known and frequently played on Classic FM for example. I did manage to find a complete recording but it seemed to be in mono, not stereo, and sound pedestrian in the extreme which is why, probably, it is made available in its entirety on the internet because nobody wants to listen to it!

We FaceTimed our close ex-Waitrose friends late this afternoon and they told us a tale of woe concerning her daughter. Whilst motoring slowly through the centre of Bromsgrove a youth dashed in front of her car and then proceeded to vandalise it. Apparently this 17 year may have been high on drink and drugs and had fallen out with his girlfriend. The police eventually proceeded to apprehend the offender whilst the youth was busy inflicting damage on several other vehicles in his crazed state. The police had been round to take statements but were, apparently, unwilling to take any further action as the youth, despite causing mayhem, was ‘under the age of 17 and of unsound mind‘ This sounds to us like a complete cop out (sorry about the pun!) and it did remind me of my own accident in 1973 when I was run over by a probably drunken driver but the police did not show any inclination to be involved as the driver had knocked himself unconscious and one cannot perform a blood test for alcohol on an unconscious subject (but one coming round, he immediately caught the next flight to Florida where we eventually served a High court writ on him five years later) We advised our friends to get some legal expertise focussed upon their options in this circumstance as soon as they could and before any evidence trails grow cold even though they might have to pay for it in the short term.

There are several other little snippets of political news this evening. The Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer is admitting that the party has a ‘mountain to climb’ before the bye-election on Thursday of Hartlepool, formerly a rock solid Labour stronghold but now one in which, according to one poll this evening, the Tories have a 17-point lead. It sounds as though Keir Starmer is already conceding defeat. In the meanwhile the political analysts are all saying that the amount of sleaze swirling around No 10 at the moment is not having any severe consequences because the voters ‘have already priced this in’ i.e. they know that Boris Johnson has a proven track record of lying and duplicity but they tend to vote for him anyway (like Trump and other populists)