Thursday, 10th June, 2021

[Day 451]

Today was the kind of day when you knew your typical routine was going to be amended and thus it proved to be. The shopping lorry arrives on a Thursday morning and we thought that the fridge needed a good clean out before it got repopulated so this took up quite a bit of time this morning. We knew that our hairdresser was due to arrive around midday so one way or another, we knew that our timetables would go awry. In conversation with our domestic help, she spoke in glowing terms about the super AirBnB in which she has stayed whilst visiting her son in Devon so we speculated how something might be available in the Conway area. Whilst we were just vaguely looking we found what seems to be a super place not far away from Meg’s Uncle Ken who we badly want to visit when we can.So, almost on the spur of the moment, Meg and I booked up for three nights away in just a fortnight’s time in one of the AirBnB’s with a ‘Superhost’ commendation. The booking was all very easily done but we rather had fun and games getting registered with AirBnB to make sure our booking was accepted. Fortunately, I had a copy of the relevant page of my passport in my computer system so this bit was easy to supply. Then what was needed was an up-to-date photo of you which had to be matched up with your passport photo within their system. I opted eventually for their system to upload a photo of me taken with our own webcam – then we had an anxious wait to see if this would match up with my passport photo (which I must say looks fuzzy and blurred to me) After 20 minutes or so the confirmation came through and I could then go ahead and confirm the booking and exchange a message with our ‘Superhost’. I was relieved the technology worked OK on this occasion. The last time I tried anything similar, when applying for an NHS app then the images did not match and were rejected, the application froze, the computer crashed – quite a nightmare which took hours. However, ‘all’s well that end’ well so we are looking forward to our three day stay in a fortnight.

After we had our haircuts and a light lunch, I knew I needed to get into town principally to visit the local branch of Santander. When I go there, I was actually two minutes late after their closing time (of 4.30) but I was very grateful be let in. I had been sent a new debit card through the post and as it was the first time in use, I was relieved that it dispensed me my money (and I could withdraw some cash, which I do once in a blue moon) but also revalidated my pin which I suspect might only have possible from the big machine inside the bank. This worked OK – but I still have to do the rounds of the people who have my card details on file in order to get the details updated. I hate this part of getting a new card but I hope it will see me all right for a year or so. After my visit to the bank, I picked up my newspapers ( and they were amazed to see me so late in the day but at least my papers were secure) and bought a few cosmetics. Then I spent quite a long time in our local Waitrose trying (and failing) to match up the incredibly good low-alcohol lager which I acquired through my Waitrose order recently but which seems to have disappeared both from their websites and, judging by today, from their shelves as well. I found a substitute but only consuming it will let me know whether they simulate the flavour of a lager or not. I also bought, on the spur of the moment, a low-alcohol milk stout which, again, may prove to be an interesting drink experience.

Today, in the House of Commons, Matt Hancock the Health Secretary has been given his own evidence of a type of ‘rebuttal’ of the claims made by Dominic Cummings a fortnight ago. The committee have asked Dominic Cummings for some documentary evidence to back up his allegations – this has not been forthcoming as you might expect (if only because the documentary evidence to support ‘who said what’ in a heated conversation is hard to find) This will then allow the committee to disregard as much of the Dominic Cummings as they like which will keep them in the good books of the Prime Minister and make any final report that they are to issue so much more anodyne (i.e. with any criticisms muted, which will suit Boris). It also appears that we are still a long way of ‘herd immunity’ as although the doubly vaccinated adult population is now over 50%, there is still a huge ‘reservoir’ of the virus in the bodies of schoolchildren who, it appears. might carry the virus but not get sick from it.