Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021

[Day 596]

The day started, as far as I was concerned, at 5 minutes past midnight as this was the time when we could access the National Savings and Investments (NS&I) Premium Bond checker to see if we had any success in the November draw. I have been impatiently waiting for this day to arrive as I had consolidated some of my savings into Premium Bonds on the basis that ½% interest was so miniscule that I might as well as forego this in order to participate in the NS&I ‘lottery’ that takes place every month. If you are successful, these ‘winnings’ can be added to the rest of your bonds – they are, in effect, a type of interest payment but there is the remote chance that you might win quite a lot. On the other hand, once you have built up a certain number of bonds then statistically you should be able to generate some ‘interest’ by winning a prize every month. Having got my collection of bonds in place by the end of September and then waiting the mandatory month, then the November draw is the first in which your tranche of bands can participate. I was delighted, and a little relieved, to find out that I had actually ‘won’ £25.00 in the November draw, which is then added to my total.

I was awoken early in the morning by my wife who informed me that the toilet in our ensuite was blocked. When I got up, I discovered that it was not only blocked but I suspect that my wife had panicked and flushed the loo again with the net result that it had actully overflowed. A quick burst on the long handled plunger which I always keep to hand in the garage was immediately put to use and whatever blockage there was was transitory in the extreme as the loo cleared itself and stayed unblocked after several more flushes. In the meantime, I had to cope with the effects of the flood which was mainly a soaked carpet although the toilet pedestal mat had taken some of the brunt. Several applications of ‘jumbo’ sized kitchen paper, treaded carefully to ‘lift’ the water out of the carpet eliminated most of the overflowed water so I have now put ‘policies’ in place to make sure that this event does not reoccur.

Immediately after breakfast, I telephoned our doctor’s surgery to get an appointment for Meg as we had been urged by a recent circular letter to phone for an appointment as part of a ‘normal’ annual monitoring to which Meg is now subject. We were were offered a telephone appointment in the late morning which, whilst wecome, rather threw a spanner in our normal daily routine. So I went by car to pick up our newspaper and milk from the local Waitrose which we often treat like the old-fashioned corner shop on occasions such as these. Then we had our elevenses at home eliminating any walks to the park and sitting back to wait for the doctor’s call (‘in the late morning’) This duly came along at 12.10 so we just had time to get this consultation all done before it was time for me to start my weekly walk down to attend my Pilates session. Once this was over and done with, we go home and had a rapid lunch and washing up knowing that we had arranged a Skype call with one of our Hampshire friends at 4.00pm in the afternoon. Then we had the most wonderful chat but an hour shot by incredibly quickly so we had to make a fairly rapid farewell to our friends. This was because we have another regular FaceTime call with some of our oldest Waitrose friends who we call to have a chat once a week. Once again,more than an hour shot by and then it was time for our tea.

We have been following the COP26 talks with more than a passing degree of interest. Two interesting things have actually emerged today which actually might just be a sign that all is not lost on the Climate Change front. The first of these is an ‘agreement’ from several countries, including Brazil, Russia and Indonesia that aims to halt and reverse global deforestation over the next decade as part of a multibillion-dollar package to tackle human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. This is particularly significant as forests are one of the major ways in which carbon (dioxide) is actually removed from the atmosphere. The second agreement was potentially just as important. Leading an alliance of more than 100 countries, US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have launched the Global Methane Pledge – an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% between 2020 and 2030. As methane is some 80 times more lethal for the environment than carbon dioxide, then this too is another step in the right direction. One is intrigued to know how this reduction is to be achieved – if we can put men on the moon, surely it is quite possible that we fix low-cost contraptions to the back ends of animals to mitigate the effects of excessive methane emission.