Sunday, 22nd August, 2021

[Day 524]

Today has been a wonderful day in many senses of the word. Firstly, the weather was set fair and I enjoyed ny Sunday morning walk early for the newspapers, together with my (by now) traditional music concert on my ancient iPhone (Bach in the the main). I time my journey for the Sunday newspapers so that I can get back in time for the Andrew Marr show but, of course, I had forgotten that in the middle of August all of the political elite are on holiday (even when countries like Afghanistan are falling to the Taliban) We sent a quick text to our University of Birmingham friend because we were having our customary weekend meeting with him half an hour earlier than planned because we were seeing our other lots of friends after 11.0am. We were very pleased to have a long chat with our friends over coffee and cakes because they had just returned from Ireland and we had a lot to catch up. The first thing wa to coordinate our plans for possibly ‘resurrecting’ our planned little holiday to Rome. Having conferred with out friends, we have decided to go for a date in March if the flights are still available and the UK/Italiam governments have lifted their quarantine regulations by then. Of course, it is also possible that we are in the middle of yet another wave of the pandemic by then but we shall have to wait and see. A second pleasurable task lay before us and that is to see if we can coordinate plans for a joint wedding anniversary meal for 9th September which is, of course, only just over a fortnight away. Our friends were going to contact some other mutual friends whose wedding anniversary is incredibly close to ours. So to cut a long story, we are going to hold a 6-strong wedding anniversary meal in just over two weeks time. This is the first time that we have ever participated in a joint wedding anniversary celebration of this type but it makes a lot of sense and is really something to which to look forward.

We have some more good news of a family nature – we have now firmed up completely that we are going to journey up to Bolton on October 3rd which just happens to be a Sunday on which Meg’s birthday falls. So this means we can have a great reunion plus birthday celebration rolled into one and, again, that is a family occasion to which we can look forward. Even more family news came through to us as we were blogging this evening. Meg’s very aged uncle who we used to try and see as regularly as we could (in North Wales) has moved into a care home in Alsager, Cheshire, in which his sister is already resident and his nephew lives quite near by. One of Meg’s uncle’s relatives phoned up this evening and we have all of the news about the care home that he is in (which sounds absolutely marvellous by the way) Knowing how frail a 94 year old can be, Meg and I feel quite relieved because as he was getting so much more frail, he was only a fall away from some kind of tragedy so we are relieved that he is a much safer place than his own home and with staff (in theory) available at the touch of a button.

In the later part of the afternoon, I finally got my accounts up-to-date. What I mean when I say this is that I like to copy each of my transactions into a large day book and so I have a permanent record going back over the months and the years. Then I have a few spreadsheet pages going back over the months for about a year – once my system is up-to-date, I record current balances and regular payments on the spreadsheet so that I should be able to see what my available balance is but also what commitments are likely to turn up one during the month. I have most of my regular payments organised around the date when my pensions flow in but there are one or two in the latest stages of the month and these can be a nuisance if you don’t have an accurate spreadsheet page with commitments detailed on it as you might think you have more money than is actually the case.

A little household ‘system’ that we have is a largeish whiteboard in which the various comings and goings of family members are detailed with a dry marker and updated every month. Then we can see, ‘at a glance’ what is coming up in the forthcoming week, fortnight or month. Looking at next week, for example, Meg and I have only thing which we must not forget which is Meg’s appointment with the opticians on Thursday next