Wednesday, 1st June, 2022

[Day 807]

We were a bit delayed this morning for a variety of reasons, not least sleeping in a little longer than usual. Then when we did get going, our domestic help turned up as she has switched her day from Friday to Wednesday for the next few weeks ahead. Answering a ring on the doorbell, two large BT Openreach vans had turned up intending to do a survey (from the outside) on our property to ascertain whether it would be feasible to supply us with BT Fast Fibre broadband which is being organised for us by our current broadband supplier. The two youngish operatives set to work identifying the location of the ducting that would bring the fibre optic cable into our house and then got stuck. It transpired that there was a blockage outside one of our neighbours houses. The BT personnel indicated that this happened quite often – typically fencing posts when driven in damaged the BT cables. So we informed that a civil engineering team would work on the blockage and repair the damaged section – fortunately, the BT staff had secured the permission of the relevant neighbour to work on their property boundary so we shall just sit tight and wait for this to happen, with the bill being picked up by BT. Once the BT staff have established a clear run, then we shall some cable put into place stopping short of our access point but waiting for the installation to be completed together with a new router inside the house. The BT staff were pretty confident that they would be overcome the slight difficulties that they had encountered and which they reckoned were commonplace. Having been delayed by all of this, we decided to go into town by car to collect our newspaper and to take the car to the park for our daily walk. We swung by the café to see Seasoned World Traveller but he was a bit preoccupied evidently waiting for a telephone call. So we left him in piece and tracked up to our normal bench to have our coffee. Then on the way back down, we managed to have a brief conversation with our friend in the cafe but the expected telephone call came through so we took our leave. Then it was a case of getting home and putting together a quick kind of lunch where we had promised our domestic help a taster of a specialist type of fish risotto I was preparing. Our hairdresser turned up just before we dished up our meal but our domestic help and I ate the meal off our knees in the living room whilst the hairdresser worked on Meg in the kitchen (where we normally eat our meals). The meal lived up to all our expectations I am pleased to say and then after a brief rest, it was time to go into town.

I walked into town primarily to visit our local cobblers who offer a wide range of services. Firstly I had a couple of new (and spare) keys cut which I felt were needed and to be kept in a secure place in case I ever lost the front door key I use every day. Then, I needed some new and fairly long bootlaces of the correct type to go into the boots that I purchased yesterday. As they were one size too large, I had fitted some insoles into them and put on an extra pair of socks and then walked into town in my newly acquired boots to ‘break them in’ if necessary. But in the event, they turned out to be supremely comfortable. Whilst I was the cobblers, I took in our portable stool and had three new rubber ferrules fitted which have been needed for some time now but I was waiting until I needed to go into the cobblers to get this job done. Finally, I handed in my trusted leather hat which I wear every day as it has a leather band glued above the rim but over time, the glue dries out and it needs to be replaced. These particular cobblers, well known throughout Bromsgrove do all kinds of leather work repairs so they take this in their stride and have done it for me me, albeit some two and half years ago now in the pre-pandemic days.

Tomorrow the Jubilee clebrations are going to kick off with a vengeance and consequently all political activity will be stayed for a few days until the MPs return from their constituencies after the various junketings. The number of MPs voicing their dissatisfaction with Boris Johnson has now reached 28 and experienced commentators say that this figure can be multiplied by 1.5 to ‘guesstimate’ the number of letters actually submitted to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee which may now number 42 – approaching the 54 letters needed to trigger an election. Again, some commentators are saying that many in the party may see the result of the bye-elections to be held in three weeks time to guage precisely the extent of dissatisfaction with the Tories in general and Boris Johnson in particular.