Sunday, 12th June, 2022

[Day 818]

Today being Sunday, I walked down as usual to collect our Sunday newspapers. Knowing that our friend from Oxfordshire is coming in about 11 days time, I was trying to look at a familiar journey through the eyes of a visitor and noticed how green things were, taking one thing with another. On the way back, as I was crossing the road with a sustaining banana in hand, a car stopped for me and the lights flashed. When the window was wound down I then realised it was our Irish friends from further up the road. We had a snatched conversation for a few seconds before the traffic built up behind and we both had to resume our separate journeys. After the Sophie Raworth show at 9.00am and yet another apologist for Boris Johnson, we started to make preparations for our journey down into town. I prepared our normal flask for our elevenses and then devoted some time to tidying up a table in our dining room that I use as a bit of overflow workspace and from where we occasionally FaceTime some of our friends on the iPad. This was a useful 15 minutes whilst waiting for Meg to get ready which were well spent so I can carry on and make it even more ship-shape in the next day or so. It rather looked as though a bit of rain might threaten, so Meg and I indulged ourselves by going down to the park by car. The park was teeming with 3-4 year olds on a medley of scooters, bikes and tricycles and we were lucky that the seat we were going to sit on was vacated for us just a minute or so before we arrived. We bumped into one of our regulars who whizzes all over the place at very great speed in her wheelchair but we had not seen her for about a week or so. After she left us, we walked down the hill and we made contact with Seasoned World Traveller. I had read an article in yesteday’s Times that I suspected might be of interest to him so I said that I would rescue it from the ‘vertical’ filing system and keep it in my rucksack ready for the next time I see him. Then it was a quick ride up the hill and I started to think about the lunch that we were going to have. Fortunately, it was easy to prepare as I had taken the frozen half of a joint cooked some weeks before and all I had to do was to prepare some onion gravy, cut into slices and


After lunch there was documentation I had set myself the task of completing and fortunately this seemed to be unproblematic. I needed to consult some government websites but these seemed to be well written and error-free as well as being easy to navigate so I was pleased to able to complete my task relatively quickly. As I had now had a bit of time in hand and the weather was set fair, I thought I would tackle some of the really overgrown bits of Mog’s Den. This is the sliver of land (more of a triangle actually) which was gifted to us when we settled the line of our boundary fence and which I am making into a sort of ‘wild’ garden. But the plum tree is manifesting a fair bit of fruit this year and some of the Vinca major (Greater Periwinkle) is doing a great job of providing some colourful ground cover where nothing else will grow as it is so shaded. A bit of benign neglect can sometimes yield some nice surprises. But not having tended Mog’s Den this season meant that some really tall weeds had gone somewhat rampant. These were largely rose bay willow herb and nettle and being shallow rooted I managed after half an hour’s work to effect quite a change. The idea is to do a little bit each day so that when our friend – a keen gardener- comes to stay with us, then Mog’s Den will look a little less of a wilderness. I am hopeful that after a bit of turning around, this little plot of land will stay pretty maintenance free.

Before the two by-election results which will be a week on Thursday, Boris Johnson has evidently engaged to two policies designed to throw some ‘red meat’ to the most fervent of his supporters. One of these is the Northern Ireland Protocol where one senior Tory has told Sky News that planned legislation on the Northern Ireland Protocol is ‘clearly not in the national interest but is about appeasing the ERG’. ERG is the ‘European Research Group’ and is a group of Tory MPs radically opposed to anything remotely European. The other policy is to take asylum seekers and to transport them to Rwanda – the policy of transporting such individuals to ‘darkest Africa’ is seen as a masterstroke by some of Johnson’s supporters. But an appeal against the first trasnportation of refugees to Rwanda will come before the Appeal Court tomorrow.