Monday, 1st November, 2021

[Day 595]

Today being a Monday and also the 1st of the month, it very much feels like the time of year to make (and keep) good resolutions. As a baseline measurement, I decided to weigh myself for the first time for a month or so and was quite reassured to finish off with a BMI of 27.3 The evidence is somewhat mixed on this measure – there are some studies that suggest that anything over a BMI of 25 contributes (somewhat) to a reduced mortality but there are some studies ‘out there’ that indicate that a BMI a little over 25 can actually reduce the overall mortality. The reason for this discrepancy can be found on the amount of muscle mass that an individual possesses. As muscle is denser than fat, then a BMI of 27 for a muscular person may well be heathier (i.e. people die less ) than a BMI of 25 of which a higher proportion is fat rather than muscle. Notwithstanding all of this, I intend to nudge my weight down (particularly in the weeks before Chrismas) and get my BMI to below 25. Meg and I tarried a little as there seemed to be rain showers still sweeping across the country. Nonetheless, we walked down to the park and made for the bandstand as showers could engulf us at any moment. There we were joined by Seasoned World Traveller and we chewed the fat a little (politics, mainly) until the time came to strike for home. Then we had another meal of chicken which seemed to taste even nicer than yesterday’s.

After lunch, we were having a bit of a tidy up after lunch when we received a telephone call from the wife of the person who gardens for us (the ‘heavier’ and ‘more arkward’ type of gardening such as pruning) He had been found collapsed and was quite seriously ill in hospital whilst the medics were using scans of all kinds to discover the sources of the ‘leak’ of blood. After transfusions, he was in a better state than yesterday but investigations are continuing. Needless to say, our Thursday ‘garden up’ has been cancelled and all we can do is to send our good wishes and hopes for his speedy recovery.

Today is the first full day of the COP26 and there have been a number of stirring speeches. Prince Charles, who made one of them, must feel as though his hour has come as he has been going about this and similar green issues for about the last fifty years! But of course, stirring speeches are one thing and then we have to determine whether enough countries will pledge towards trying to achive the 1.5% target (in the rise of emissions). Finally, of course, a pledge is one thing but how many countries will actually achieve their goal is another as parts of the electorate may reject or not be able to afford critical policies (e.g. replacing domestic boilers with much more expensive heat pumps). A question to which I have been trying to find the answer is as follows. How are we going to judge whether the delegates as whole approve a move to a 1.5% target? Evidently, it will not be a simple majority of the delegates (even weighted by the size of their populations) – so will it judged to have been ‘adopted’ of a certain proportion of the earth’s population (measured via their delegates) reaches a certain trigger length, say 70%? No doubt, this question may well be answered once we get towsrds the end of the conference but in the meantime, I can only just wonder.

For the COVID news tonight, I will just quote just one statistic. The last UK figure was 40,000 new infections today whilst in Disneyland Shanghai the entire number of visitors (nearly 34,000) were in lockdown because of one positive case of COVID.

One political story this evening is the amount of money that has been completely wasted by the present government. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has insisted it is ‘slightly unfair’ to focus on the amount of taxpayers’ cash lost to fraud during the emergency rollout of schemes during the coronavirus pandemic. Labour’s Dame Angela Eagle raised concerns about the £37 billion spent on the test and trace scheme and the possible £27 billion lost to fraud under COVID support schemes. It is certain true that the government threw all kinds of cash around in the early days of the pandemic and an enormous number of ‘white collar’criminals made off with an eye-watering amount of government cash with little or no accountability.

SoupMaker time again this evening and my fourth venture in this regard was to make some celery soup (the recipe also calls for some fried onion and a couple of potatoes as well) This worked out fine and I used some of the croutons I made the other day (and had deep frozen) which got reheated with a little hot oil and some marjaram herb (out of a pot)