Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022

[Day 716]

Today must have been one of the gloomiest days I have experienced for a long time. There seems to have been a thick blanket of cloud all day long long and intermittent bouts of rain. So Meg and I were running a little late today so we decided to pop into town by car, collect our newspaper, pop into Waitrose where we pick up some supplies of things that we only seem to get in Waitrose and then get back home to have our ‘elevenses’ at home. Then, as it was such a gloomy day we decided to cheer ourselves up with a heart-warming curry. This is a sort of tradition which we have carried over from our student days. Even then when Meg and I lived in a block of flats with a couple of our university friends, we shopped in a ‘Spa’ supermarket down below. Thursday was always our traditional night to shop becuse we didn’t want to clutter up our Friday evenings which were devoted to partying. By Wednesday, we were running out of a lot of our provisions so anything we had left over tended to go into the curry on a Wednesday evening. The curry that we made today followed our fairly conventional formula which is always to start off with frying some onions and then using up the last of the tomatoes and mushrooms bought in last week’s shopping. In the absence of any meat left over from the weekend, we threw in some Quorn ‘mince’ and then supplemented the whole of this with some frozen petit pois and a mugful of onion gravy. The bit that makes it a bit special is that we always throw in a few sultanas, a couple of apples diced small and a spoonful of demerara sugar. This makes it a little bit special – we serve it not on conventional rice but on of those specialist pouches that are available these days of what is sold as ‘Riced’ sweet potato which claims to be 62% lower in carbs than white rice. Just before serving up, I stir in some Chinese curry paste to which I am partial and then finish it all off with a big dollop of Greek style yogurt.

The assault on the Ukrainian cities is terrible to behold – and it looks as though Russian paratroopers may actually have landed in the second city of Ukraine which is Kharkiv. The number of refugees is now of the order of 800,000 whilst the Ukrainians are claiming that they killed nearly 6,000 Russian soldiers. Of course, both sides have a vested interest in over or understating military casualties but even the heavily censored Russian state media is now admitting to deaths in the Ukraine. I realise that it is just part of the propaganda war but the Ukrainians are doing two things which are interesting. Firstly, it is broadcasting pictures of captured or killed Russian militia so that their families in Russia can identify them – this, I believe, though is a contravention of the Geneva convention. Another thing that they have done is to broadcast the interviews of some captured Russian POWs in which young conscripts were saying thay were tricked into the invasion. They claim that they were told they were just part of a military exercise – when they discovered they were part of an invading army, they were warned they would be shot as ‘enemies of the people’ if they did not continue with their mission. They claim that they were ‘cannon fodder’ and, as such, were cynically used by the Russian military authorities. Back home, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that the Russians were guilty of war crimes and certainly the evidence is being collected on the ground on a day-by-day basis. The Ukrainians are calling for a ‘no-fly’ zone across the whole of Ukrainian air space. But if Nato were to introduce a no-fly zone then they would be committng themselves to shooting down any Russian military aircraft and this would certainly trigger a complete war against Russia. With Putin in such an unpredictable mood, then this could be the start of Amarageddon so NATO is probably quite correct in not being drawn into this. But I am puzzled why some powerful weapons could not be smuggled in the Ukraine so that they could fire them at the apparntly static 40 mile long Russian convoy making its way to Kyiv.

Our son popped by this morning and helped me to reinstal the virus protection on my Apple Mac desktop and which does not seem to have been properly operative since the upgrade to the operating system. Nonetheless, we managed to get the virus checker properly reinstalled so this has got to be a ‘good’ thing. In the meanwhile, I am enjoying using my system where I put the system to sleep when it is not in use and with a keystroke to bring it back into use when needed.