Thursday, 17th February, 2022

[Day 703]

Today is our grocery shopping day so it was up at 6.15am so that I get to the supermarket at 7.00am in the morning before there are a significant number of shoppers around. I must say that I have felt somewhat tired this morning as a result of my long journey of yesterday followed by not too much sleep during the night. I have taken with me a very long (computerised) shopping list from which the items I do not need this week have already been scored out. But as always in a (newish for me) supermarket you can spend trudging around and looking for eg soy milk. Should this be with the other milks? With cream and cheeses and so and and on on. Eventually I sought the help of one of the shelf stackers who took me to the other end of the store, explaining that all of the ‘vegan’ type stuff was now stored a long way away from more conventional lines. As always there is a logic in all of this but it will take some getting used to over time. Altogether, my shopping trip took well over an hour and a half so next week should be a lighter week and therefore easier to cope with. Once the shopping was unpacked and Meg and I had breakfasted, I went down into town by car and picked up our daily newspaper and then we had a fairly early lunch and decided that we would have a little walk some time after lunch when the weather was a little more accommodating. After lunch and a nap, we journeyed to the park by car and did one complete circuit around the lake so as to give ourselves a little bit of exercise and some fresh air. On our way home, we needed to call in and see our Irish friends because we had some potential holiday arrangements to discuss. Our plans to go together to Rome as part of a larger group from church have been subjct to constant change as the pandemic got in the way of our original plans and then flight information and availability kept changing. The travel agent who is trying to cope with all of this emailed us so that we could decide upon and then coordinate the various options that are now open to us. We had a good opportunity to discuss the various ins and outs of the options under discussion and we have now decided that we shall postpone the plans for this year, take the offered refund of the deposits that we had paid and then start again with new plans next year when the situation should have clarified considerably.

In the last few days, Meg and I have been evaluating some of our clothing options. Meg has a series of kilts of various tartans and they are incredibly versatile pieces of clothing because they never really date, are really practical and are very hard wearing as well as being good ‘winter clothes’ weather. We evaluated one of Meg’s favourite kilts which is now getting a little ‘tight’ around the waist so we took it to our local dry cleaners who also act as a agency for clothing repairs. When the kilt was examined in the shop, the assistant was of the view that there was not sufficient spare material to extend the waist in a properly tailored way. We explained this dilemma to some of our ex-Waitrose friends when we were FaceTiming them the other day and they told us about the concept of ‘waist extenders’ (which was, of course, news to me, a mere male) So I got onto the web and bought very cheaply a set of five ‘extenders’ which arrived today. The things that arrived were actually designed and marketed to extend jeans and they were interesting little gadgets, being like a loop of really tough elastic with a metal design button on one end. You loop the extender over the existing button and the new button will take over about ¾” displaced to either left or right. So tried this on Meg’s kilt and actually used two (an extender on an extender) to give an extra 1½” on the kilt. This was worked superbly well, so Meg can now bring a wonderful garment back into use at absolutely minimal expense -so you live and learn.

There is a huge storm (codenamed Eunice) destined to sweep over the country tomorrow with the South West taking the initial brunt of the storm. This storm is predicted to be the worst that the UK has experienced for decades – so a rare red warning (imminent danger to life) has been issued by the Met Office. All trains have been cancelled in Wales, the army is on standby and the country is waiting to see what damage winds of 90mph might cause. Exceptional winds and heavy snow could hit many parts of the UK so we await tomorrow with a degree of trepidation.