Friday, 27th May, 2022

[Day 802]

Today proved to be the most beautiful day so Meg and I were looking forward to our walk in the park. First, though, I needed to go and do my weekly shopping and I arrived a minute or so before opening time. However, as it was a Friday (instead of my usual shopping day on a Thursday) there was a queue of about 8-10 people of which I was the No. 2 and evidently Friday is a much busier shopping day than my usual Thursday. I thought I would treat ourselves to some sea bass to be served on a bed of a simple salad but this was to come later. Meg and I had a pleasant coffee and comestibles and when we had finished these, we went in search of sone of our park companions. In the vicinity of the cafe we came across Seasoned World Traveller and actually quite an interesting discussion on the accuracy of domestic (rather than clinical) blood pressure monitors. I have decided to purchase a new one as there was such a large discrepancy between the results I got with testing myself at home and the results when taken by the Health Care Assistant yesterday. I discovered that there is a list of NHS approved ‘home’ monitors and having consulted the list I chose the one at the top of the list that came out as the ‘Most recommended‘ in the NHS list and seemed to have a very high proportion of favourable reviews. Having said that, I am slightly wary, not to say cynical, about a host of glowing reviews, because it is well known by now that these are capable of manipulation.

After lunch my son and I negotiated a new package with our broadband provider. To be honest, we need to wait until an engineer comes to assess whether our property is capable of being wired up with a new fibre optic cable and only when we get his report do we know if an upgrade to our broadband is feasible. A new router is being provided by our broadband provider and all we have to do is to pay for the postage to our house. Although the broadband supplier is saying that fibre optics are being rolled out in your area, we are not sure whether this is feasible down what is a private road when the cabling was laid down about 17 years ago. When the telephone call with our broadband supplier had been completed to our satisfaction, I needed to get the lawn mowing done. Before I could start on this, though, I received a text from the Community Pharmacist of our GP practice indicating that as a result of the blood sample taken yesterday (and analysed probably by computer in the last 24 hours) one of my medications could now be discontinued. I got in touch with our practice but this took a long wait of about 20 minutes or so. However, I requested that I be given a full copy of the blood serum analysis and was informed that I could pick up a copy today if I could get to the surgery by the time they closed at 6.30. So the minute the lawns had been cut, it was time for a swift cup of tea and then a lightning visit by car to pick up my results. I had a rather curious but quite amicable exchange with a receptionist as she was handing over my results. As I handed over a list of the dates when I recording my weight reduction programme, the health care assistant said she would scan these and affix them to my medical records. The doctor who received my test results had evidently seen these scanned results and indicated that as I looked as though I had some ‘unexplained weight loss’ perhaps I should seek a consultation with the practice in case the ‘unexplained’ weight loss was an indication of something more serious!

Boris Johnson’s latest manoeuvrings make one almost gasp with disbelief. He has rewritten the Ministerial Code so that ministers will henceforth not be expected to resign for breaching the code. Johnson has also blocked his independent ethics chief, Christopher Geidt, from gaining the power to launch his own investigations and has rewritten the foreword to the ministerial code, removing all references to honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability. All of this at a time when he himself is under investigation by the Privileges Committee for misleading Parliament. Labour and the Liberal Democrats accused Johnson of rigging the system to ‘get himself off the hook’ ahead of the inquiry and one has to be amazed at the constitutional propriety of rewriting the rules when you yourself are under investigation. Chris Bryant, the Labour MP and chair of parliament’s standards committee, said the weakening of the system was ‘appalling’. He writes “The new ministerial code is a disgrace. It means that the tiny semblance of accountability disappears. ‘If you break the rules, just rewrite the rulebook’ is the motto of this despicable government”