Sunday, 26th September, 2021

[Day 559]

Another Sunday dawns and Meg and I are getting used to our ‘normal’ routine having just returned fom our jolly holidays. I must say I rather like getting back to a routine again after our stay in Brecon. Living in one room in a guest house is, I rather feel, rather like life in a submarine – everything has to be absolutely shipshape and all of your temporary systems (e.g. for making a cup of tea) is always a bit of a logistical challenge rather than the ease of doing things in your own kitchen. Today was an overcast day when I walked down for our Sunday newspaper but later on in the day it brightened up and even became quite warm by the afternoon. I was hoping that this little spell of fine weather might continue for one day more so that I can get the lawns cut tomorrow but if the weather forecasters are correct, then a heavy band of rain is going to sweep across the country all tomorrow but sometimes the forecasters get it wrong by a day if they do not forecast the wind speed accurately.

After breakfast we made our elevenses and progressed towards the park as normal. Meg had a bit of a stumble and slid gracefully to the ground but she is a bit of a weight to pull to her feet again. A passing motorist stopped to give assistance but by this time I had got Meg on her feet and steadied again. However, I have made a mental note to myself that tomorrow I must pop into town and buy a dog collar. Before you ask, I deploy dog collars in the following way – the rucksack that I utilise every day has a habit of gradually slipping off my shoulders and the best way to prevent this occurring is to have a small strap (e.g. a dog collar) to provide a bit of a ‘tie’ between the two straps of the rucksack. By doing this, I always have both hands free – or at least one as, in the other, I have my little portable, aluminium, three-legged stool which we use as a miniature table once we are seated on our favourite bench. It didn’t take too long before there was a congegration (aggregation during the week but a congregation on Sundays) of the Bromsgrove Literary amd Philosophical Society where we discuss issues of the day. This morning was an issue raised by the first showing of this season ‘Come dancing‘ where some of the professional dancers had not been vaccinated – should contestants have the right to refuse to dance with an unvaccinated partner? It is the age old question of one’s right to privacy versus the collective good and my general stance on this is to argue tht whereas freedom of speech is always to be desired, one is not at liberty to stand up and shout 'Fire‘ in a crowded theatre. But we soon descended from these lofty heights and discussed the local rugby (as the local team is enjoying some success), the weather, our holidays or what remains of them and a general sense of enjoying the autumn sunshine whilst it lasts. When we returned home, we treated ourselves to the venison and juniper berries pie that we had bought recently in Brecon, to which we added some onion gravy and a generous portion of curly kale.

This afternoon, I busied myself with ordering some more of our medications before they run out. In theory, the system should ‘know’ when you are about to run short and reorder almost automatically for you – or at least issue a reminder but it doesn’t always work out this way. Anyway, we made sure we had got all of Meg’s medications ordered so that she doesn’t run out. Then I turned my attention to reactivating my old National Savings and Investment account. I remembered that I had a dormant account from the days a few years back when George Osborne, I think it was, gave an exceptionally good deal in what became known as ‘Granny Bonds‘ aka Guaranteed Growth bonds. This account was empty but I had forotten the password and after three attempts I was locked out and needed to get a temporary password by post. This arrived but did not appear to work so yet another phone call to NS&I was needed. I was directed to another department where I had to dictate my new password but this required OTP verification with pressing a hash key on one’s mobile following by a OTP on the computer screen. One way or another and after several attempts, I now have a fully functioning NS&I account into which I may put my savings as the 0.5% I am getting at the moment is so derisory that I am happy to forego the derisory tiny bits of interest in exchange for something approaching 1% if I am lucky – and even remote possibility of even more if I am extremely lucky!