Today was always going to be a really ‘action packed’ day and so it turned out to be. As Tuesday is my Pilates day, then we know we would have to have a quick turn-around so that I can be ready to walk down into town. So Meg and I went straight down to Waitrose by car expecting to see some of our friends and acquaintances. In the event, no sooner were we sitting down having our coffee and comestibles, than we bumped into a friend of our pre-pandemic friends who we have now got to know quite well. Then the wife of our pre-pandemic friends turned up so soon the four of us were busy chatting away at a table. As there was a photograph of some members of the Order of the Garter in my newspaper, I told the story of how King Edward III who founded the Order of the Garter was the recipient of several titters when a garter slipped from a lady’s leg (thigh?) whereupon he put it around his own leg and spake (in normal French) 'Honi soit qui mal y pense'. (‘Shame on anyone who thinks evil of it’.) This story is probably apocrypal and I may have mis-remembered some elements of it but it is essentially correct. I seem to remember my mother telling me the origin of the phrase whilst I was still quite young (and not into lady’s garters or any other kind) After this jollity, we were joined by a wheelchair associate of ours who had heard the peals of laughter and wanted to be a part of it. In the midst of all this jollity, Seasoned World Traveller turned up and I gave him a press-cutting I had been carrying around with me. Then I espied a particular friend of ours who teaches Politics and History at Bromsgrove School who was stuck in the middle of marking. I commiserated with her, explaining that the prospect of marking about 75 assignments at 45 minutes for each one making a total of 50 extra hours of work that had to be handed back within days was not a happy memory. This generally meant several late nights until about 3.00am armed with tea and biscuits which was not good for one’s waistline. When faced with a lot of irrelevant material (a common failing when students do not know the answer to the question but fling together random facts rather like mud at a wall hoping that some of it might stick), I was reminded of the schoolboy who answered thus. In a Religious Studies examination when asked for a list of the 10 commamdments he indicated that he had forgotten them but he could (and did) reproduce a list of the first thirty kings of Israel. So eventually, we left for home having met five of our acquaintances in one place.
When we got home, I prepared some of the elements of the quickie meal of fish fingers which we have upon my return from Pilates. Then immediately this was over, I needed to check over the document I as preparing that needed some signatures on it. Fortunately, my next door neighbour proved to be more than obliging and so I have all of the elements in place to have my document dspatched in the morning. Then I had to have a quick change of clothing into something vaguely respectable as I had been ‘volunteered’ for membership of the parochial church council which was meeting for its inaugural meeting tonight at 7.00pm. One of the chief items of business in the evening was to elect a Chairman and a Secretary. After an embarrassed pause in which no-one was willing to step forward, I made a suggestion which helped to ease the logjam. Instead of a permanent chair ‘person’ I suggested that we think of electing a Chair and a Vice-Chair (of different genders) so that one person could grow in to a role and take over after a year of observation and experience of the meeting. Quite quickly, having gone round the table to introduce ourselves and indicate what we could offer to the Council, a Chair and a Secretary seemed to emerge quite quickly and we are are going to meet again in some 2-3 weeks time to refine some of the draft documents we had in front of us as models for our constitution so that we can fashion a Council in our own image. Tonight, of all nights, I had to miss ‘Today at the Test‘ where the England team had pulled off one of the most stunning of victories. Some 299 runs needed to be scored and the BBC Sports website gives us a summary: On a breathless final day at Trent Bridge, Bairstow made the second-fastest century by an England batter in Test cricket as the hosts strolled to what should have been a challenging target of 299 from 72 overs. Bairstow’s outrageous hitting in the spell after tea took him to three figures from 77 balls, only just missing the England record of 76 balls that has stood for 120 years. He was eventually out for 136 from 92 balls, having clubbed 14 fours and seven sixes in front of a delirious full house. Unfortunately attendance at the church meeting means that I missed seeing a summary on one of the most exciting day’s cricket in decades.