Sunday, 17th July, 2022

[Day 853]

Today started off quite well. First of all, Meg and I made sure that our bedroom was sufficiently cool for a good night’s sleep and this we both obtained, so at least we got off to a flying start. Then quite early on, I sent off a quick email and WhatsApp message to my friend in Scarborough to check his availabiliy for late August. Once I had received a positive reply, I went ahead and made a booking with the same hotel in Harrogate for which we already have a booking in ten days time. We were offered an incredibly good price – better than some B&Bs – so I was tempted by and quite readily accepted a room upgrade which means that we have an even better room when we go at the end of August for about the same price. Actually things could hardly have worked out better because when we have a stay in the hotel at the end of this month, we can make some arrangements for a good afternoon tea for my sister and we will be able to enquire what arrangements we are able to make for a suitable birthday cake. All of this having been done, we then decided to make our cautiously down to the park for our daily perambulation. I had already picked up the Sunday newspaper early on this morning as part of my usual Sunday morning routine. As I walked down for the newspaper, I noticed that the park gates were shut so we parked on a service road opposite the park. Then we made our way onto our normal bench and were soon joined by our University of Birmingham friend who we were especially pleased to see as we had not seen him for several days. We were just on the point of leaving when we joined by our Irish friends who were off on an extended walk as they often do on a Sunday morning so we had our normal jolly little chats before we made our way home by car as we specially wished to avoid walking in the full mid-day sun today. Looking at the TV schedules for this afternoon, we noticed that they were putting on a re-run of The Railway Children which, of course, we all saw decades ago. I think the reason for the re-showing at this point of time is because a sequel to The Railway Children has just been written and is due to be released into cinemas quite soon now. Many of the TV pages are saying that it would be a good idea to see the original before you go off and see the updating, so this repeat makes a lot of sense. Jenny Agutter played the part as a 17-year old and will star all of these decades later as the grandmother in the update of the story. We had some ham cooking in the slow cooker so to make sure we did not waste any time cooking on an already hot day, I put thick slices of ham between two slices of toast (for Meg) and rice cakes (for myself) so we finished off having a hot, but smallish meal, within minutes of getting in so that we sit down and watch the film in some peace.

This afternoon, and thinking ahead to our second little stay in Harrogate towards the end of August, I decided to renew my Senior RailCard. As it hapened, Meg’s card had a couple of years left on it but mine runs out some three weeks before I intended to use it again. You would think that the system would be simple enough to set up and run but it kept falling over and apologising for enexplained and unanticipated errors. I was just on the point of clicking ‘Accept’ when I noticed that they had my details and Meg’s intertwined even though we obviously had seperate numbers. Eventually, I got my card renewed by following different routes on the website but this one needed one to type in a 30+ ID number fom one’s passport as proof of identity. Although it was time consuming and error prone, I eventually got my renewal conducted on time and opted for a plastic card rather than a digital one on my phone as if my phone goes AWOL or the App falls over then I would have no backup. So at the end of today, I have two little mini-breaks in Harrogate ordered as well as a luncheon date with our friends in Oxfordshire. In addition our Irish friends are going to make a booking for the four of us on the occasions of our wedding anniversaries in early September that are within days of each other (and hence a joint meal). Meg is looking forward to seeing the adapation of ‘Little Women‘ which is the kind of book which was put in the path of adolescent girls whilst we males were fed a diet of G H Henty and similarly (vaguely imperialistic) stuff by G Rider Haggard if I remember the author’s name correctly.