Saturday, 20th August, 2022

[Day 887]

Today dawned as a bright and cheerful day but after Meg and I had breakfasted, I needed to go in search of some pharmaceutical stores where I could buy some medicaments for Meg wo has been suffering lately with the excessively high temperatures that we have experienced of late. I got several preparations that I think are going to be useful for Meg so after applying one of these, we were ready for our venture into the park today. Perhaps because it was a Saturday, we seemed to bump into a lot of people, some of whom we have not seen for some time. We had just about finished our coffee when we bumped into a couple who are the next door neighbours to one of ex-Waitrose regulars. They had been on holiday to Croatia which explains why we had not seen them for some time. Wev exchanged news about the holidays that we had taken in the former Yugoslovia and it happened that we had both visited some of the same places in the extreme north of the country – Pula with its magnificent Roman ampitheatre which must be one of the best preserved outside Italy and the lakes of Bled (where rowing competitions are often held) and Bohinj both on Slovenia. Then we were joined by Seasoned World Traveller and shortly afterwards by our University of Birmingham friend. Then, they too were joined by dog-owning friends and their dogs so lots of multiple little conversations were taking place between several of us. Then we made for home and had a completely vegeterian lunch of some quiche, primo cabbage and a melange of tomatoes, peppers, onions made a little spicier with some tomato and some brown sauce.

This afternoon, Meg and I were absorbed in the mens team event finals in the European gymnastics competition being held in Munich, which may be a part of the entire athletics competition. Here there were five male British gymnastics who have to perform on four pieces of gymastic equipment as well as a floor piece. The British team were favourites and eventially won the competition with over 6.5 points clear which is quite a high margin. The gold medals have to take an awful lot of winning when you think of the various events at which needs to excel. When it came to the medals ceremony, it was interesting to see that the coach is also awarded a medal which must surely be fair. What is extraordinary about this competition is that the gymnasts have come hot from the Commonwealth Games of only two weeks ago so the amount of recovery time after competition must be minimal. To cap all of this, two British girls have just won gold in the Diving finals held in Rome although the field of competition was quite low. But the British pairing had only to start to dive with each other a few weeks before the Commonwealth Games competition and this one so that is a gold-rush if ever there was one. Tonight, as last night, will be a fairly full night of semifinals and finals in the track and field events so we will probably be glued to this all night. Earlier in the afternoon, I suddenly thought about the train tickets that I needed to buy for our journey from Harrogate to York next week. I use ‘thetrainline’ to buy tickets but with the pandemic having been rampant, I have not bought any train tickets for a couple of years. I had forgotten that you can actually nominate a train station from which you can pick up the actual physical tickets if you feel he need for them. However, I opted for electronic tickets and, fortunately, this worked out OK and I printed out the electronic tickets complete with QR-codes. There is probably an app I can download onto my phone but I have not investigated this yet.

In the Tory leadership elections, Michael Gove has accused Liz Truss of taking a ‘holiday from reality’ with her plans to cut taxes during the cost-of-living crisis, and warned the Tory leadership frontrunner is putting ‘the stock options of FTSE 100 executives’ before the nation’s poorest people. The former cabinet minister launched the outspoken attack as he endorsed Rishi Sunak to be the next Conservative leader. After this attack, perhaps it is no surprise that Michael Gove intimates that he will not be offered another Cabinet post and therefore he is resigned to living the rest of his Parliamentary days on the back benches. There is quite an irony in all of this as Michael Gove had the reputation of being one of the most effective ministers in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, finally taking on some of the big builders to make them responsible for correcting the cladding on many of the hgh rise buildings that have been built recently. But as Enoch Powell, the notorious conservative politican observed (and I paraphrase a lengtheir quotation) : ‘All political careers end in failure’