Tuesday, 30th November, 2021

[Day 624]

Well I must say I am rather glad to be at the last day of November which I always think to be a type of ‘non-month’ and one that has to be lived through rather than actively enjoyed. The month of December always has a few things in it to be enjoyed. Evidently, there is Christmas Day itself (which, I must say, has to be carefully managed) but then there are the social events with friends which is always a real pleasure. In a perfectly managed world, I suppose one should have massively cut back on the carbohydrates to prepare for the excess of carbohydrates with which one’s system is assailed in the latter days of the month. At the same time, I always look forward to December 21st/22nd of the month, after which it starts to get lighter by an imperceptible minute or so per day and this helps to raise the spirits.

Tuesday is my Pilates day so we never quite have time enough for a normal walk down into town. We got up somewhat late this morning so all we could squeeze in was a quick dash to the newsgents by car before we returned home for a quick elevenses and then I began my walk to my Pilates class. As a matter of tradition, we generally wears pairs socks desporting some kind of animals – our teacher’s favourite socks, for example, always seems to be a pair displaying seals. When Meg and I went shopping to M&S last week, I hunted out some socks and discovered a collection of socks which happened to feature dalmatians (the sausage dog, that is). But this was enough for me to awarded the prize of ‘sock wearer of the week’ which makes a change. After next week, we shall all flash our Christmas socks at each other and I am pretty sure I have some stuck in a drawer somewhere with reindeers frolicking around which, evidently, I only wear at Christmas time. When I got home, we were going to have a fish-based meal and last week I had bought some mackeral fillets that could be eaten either hot or cold. In order to solve the dilemma of how to heat up the mackeral fillets without smelling the rest of the house out, I hit upon the idea of taking some of the mackerel fillets (that could be eaten either hot or cold) and putting them on a small plate absolutely covered in cling film. This was then lowered into a saucepan of boiling water which I hoped would impart a little of heat to them. This sort of worked but I think I need to refine my technique a little before I repeat the experimemnt next week.

Now for the ‘isn’t that completely obvious’ time. I have been doing a little bit of research into disposable batteries – and it isn’t really obvious that you get what you pay for. Like the rest of the population, I tend to use Duracell or Energiser for things that I regard as absolutely essential such as my computer mouse. More trivial things can take the cheaper ‘Poundland‘ type offerings. Well, we all know that lithium batteries are the best and the most long-lasting but they do cost the earth compared with the others. The middle of the range are the alkaline batteries which have a wide range of uses. The cheapest battery of all (the kinds that Poundland sell 10 for £1) are typically zinc batteries and self-evidently do not last for long. The important thing that one must remember is whether you intend to put the battery into a ‘high drain’ device such as a digital camera, portable video game or radio-controlled toys. By contrast, low drain devices are things like clocks, smoke alarms and a computer mouse. Whereas you would use lithium or alkaline batteries for high drain devices, you can put the ‘el cheapo’ batteries into low drain items. The battery makers Duracell reckon that many of their batteries are thrown away with up to 40% of their potential powr unused. If it ‘fails’ a high drain device then it might have a lot of useful life left if put into a law drain decide. That I didn’t really know or appreciate. One trick is to take out you ‘Duracell‘ battery out of your high drain device, leave it for a few hours, warm it slightly (top of a radiator is excellent) and then insert into a low drain device of which clocks are the best example.

The location of the Omicron cases has been revealed. They are as follows:Barnet 2 (new), Brentwood 1, Camden 2 (1 new), Haringey 1 (new), Liverpool 1 (new), North Norfolk 1 (new), Nottingham 1, Sutton 1 (new), Wandsworth 1 and Westminster 2 (1 new). Of the nine cases in Scotland, five are in Lanarkshire and four are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Boris Johnson has given a news conference in which it has been announced that all adults in the country should have received a booster by the end of January. Is this a case of being really prudent or a panic reaction by the government?