Monday, 7th November, 2022

[Day 966]

Today was rather dominated by both the weather which was showery and blustery and also by the fact that I had a dental appointment in the early afternoon. This morning after Meg and I had breakfasted, I treated her to a mini-concert which was a playing of Cecilia Bartoli singing Mozart arias played on my speaker-enhanced CD player. We must have played this CD in the past but I do not remember hearing it before and the singing was superb. It was a Decca recording, made in 1991, and with Vienna Philharmonic as the resident orchestra and so one would have expected a fine recording. Having said that, I was delighted by how my little newly configured system performed and I can forsee some hours of pleasure ahead when doing Christmas cooking or even Damson gin bottling. As the weather was evidently unpleasant and time was a little limited, Meg and I decided to forgo a drink sitting on our normal bench in the park but confined ourselves to a circuit of the park with the pool in the centre. This gave us the opportunity to have a breath of fresh air before we returned home to have our elevenses at home. Sometimes, we drive past our friends on the Kidderminster Road to see if anyone is around but today (and tomorrow) they are relaying and re-tarmacing the whole of the side road so this was denied to us. We lunched on some chicken legs which I made sure were well done and served with baked potato and green beans. And so it was off to the dentist which was scheduled to start at 2.15. I got there about 10 minutes early and was almost immediately whisked into the dentist’s chair. Our dentist is a very personable Irish lady who is evidently very skilful. Having had years since I can last remember needing a filling, today, I needed quite a lot of work doing and this resulted in three fillings plus a temporary crown fitted. I must say that the modern dental anaesthetics are brilliant because I have vivid memories of the times I used to go the dentist in the early 1950’s. There were a couple of aged dentists (who appeared to me then to be in their 80’s) who operated an old fashioned belt driven drill which they operated by pressing pedals on the floor. They refused categorically to give anyone an injection for the pain as they declared, emphatically, that if they did they could not tell if they were drilling on a nerve but without an anaesthetic, they would soon tell. A visit to the dentist was like a scene from a horror movie because as you sat in the waiting room, you heard the howls of agony from the dentist’s surgery and you knew that it was your turn next. Things have evidently improved beyond recognition and I thought my own particular dentist was very skilful because all of the procedures were completed within about twenty minutes and very expeditiously as well. I am due to return in about three weeks time to have the temporary crown replaced by a more permanent one. As the anaesthetic has worn off, I have the slightest of aches but nothing that a good night’s sleep will not put right.

This afternoon, I finally got around to booking the train tickets for Meg nd I to make a trip to Winchester in about 9 days time. This is a meeting of the ‘Old Fogies’ who are a group of colleagues who all retired some 12-15 years ago and used to meet regularly twice a year to have a lunch and a reunion. But with the pandemic, we have not managed to meet for about three years and even this year’s meeting has been thwarted on two occasions by the rail strikes. We are hopeful, though, that we are now set fair. After the meal, we may end up in a local hostelry where we can have a beer or two until it is time for our train to depart. Meg and I are going to travel from Birmingham International which saves the time of having to get into Birmingham and then out again which saves up about an hour and a half at each end of the day.

Tomorrow is the day of the American mid-term elections which are particularly important on this particular occasion. It seems likely that the Republicans will capture both houses of the Congress and there is little, if any bipartisan spirit left in the American legislature. Republican gains may well result with plans to ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Jo Biden’s ability to push through any new laws in his remaining two years may be severely curtailed. Trump has endorsed nearly 300 candidates and a large measure of success for them would embolden Trump to push ahead with a further bid for the presidency. Finally, the enquiry into the 6th January, 2021 attack on the Capitol which was, in effect, a right wing insurrection designed to restore Trump to the presidency by force will be terminated. Any one of these outcomes would be pretty bleak but if the Republicans succeed in all of their aims then the results might mean an America so bitterly divided it is not an exaggeration to say they may be on the brink of a civil war.