Saturday, 12th November, 2022

[Day 971]

Our day started off early this morning because at 6.30am, there was a live broadcast of the Women’s Rugby Union final between England and New Zealand. England were coming to this match with 30 straight wins behind them but New Zealand had beaten them on four previous occasions. The England team played pretty well and their rolling maul from a lineout was superb and resulted in at least two tries. However, an English player was red-carded half way through the first half so England were generally playing with 14 rather than 15 and it showed on one or two critical occasions. England were leading by two points some nine minutes before the end of the match and then New Zealand scored a try (not converted) which put them three points in the lead. The clock turned red and England won a lineout only a few metres from the try line. All they had to do was to catch the ball, push on with another successful rolling maul at which they had excelled all during the match, score a try and victory would be theirs. But New Zealand poached the ball and therefore won the match, leaving the English players so distraught as they had been so near but in the event failed.

Meg and I collected our newspaper and coincided in the park for a minute or so with our University of Birmingham friend and Seasoned World Traveller. The former had to motor off to Lichfield on a Rugby connected event so we said ‘hello’and ‘goodbye’ but thought that we might meet in the park tomorrow. Our stay in the park was absolutely wonderful today – there were hints of autumn sun and the park was starting to look at its best. Whilst sitting on the park bench, we chatted with a near neighbour who was walking her little dog and then, on the path on the way home, we were overtaken by one of my Pilates classmates (and we think that we go back in the same class about eight years) We chatted with our friend and her husband who we had not met before. He said to me archly ‘I have head a lot about you’ which does make me wonder what possible reputation I have that has been spread abroad. They were there with their two greyhound dogs, one of whom was friendly but the other of a somewhat more nervous disposition. Not for the first time, we were immensely grateful for the pleasure that the park provides for us.

I have been following the last three states in the race for the Senate in the US elections. The three left to decide are Arkansas, Nevada and Georgia. In the course of the day, the Democrats edged sufficiently far ahead for CNN to ‘call’ the state of Arkansas which has the status of an extremely confident prediction. The situation in Nevada is much more on a knife edge – the Republicans are leading by about 0.1% and the Democrats need to find that little bit extra to win the race. It may well be that the counties yet to report are Democrat inclined and there is quite a huge postal vote to be counted – one election official has even ventured that a result might not be known for another six days at the current rate of progress. Meanwhile, Georgia has to wait for a run-off vote between Republican and Democrat in the first week of December so the nexy day or so will be an anxious one for election watchers.

This afternoon, a long awaited parcel was eventually delivered which was a reconditioned Polaroid BoomBox integrated CD/radio once my own Grundig had been consigned to the bin. I got this this at an unmissable price and quickly brought it into use. The CD function plays correctly and immediately with no errors but with outstanding sound as the speakers are so relatively large. The FM radio is subject to the normal FM background ‘hiss’ which I can live with as I shall hardly be playing the radio in any case. It has a Bluetooth function on it as well so tomorrow when I have a bit more time I will experiment with sending the output from my trusty old iPhone (with its 200+ tracks). This afternoon, I decided to do some soup and so I spent a fair amount of the afternoon chopping up parsnip, carrot, swede and celery to form a ‘winter vegetables’ soup. To this mixture in the soupmaker, I added some almond milk (in the absence of coconut milk), some tomato pasta sauce and a goodly dollop of some sauce which is called ‘Chip Shop curry’ sauce to add a little bit of spice. This ought to keep hot in the soupmaker until we get back from church at about 7.00pm this evening and we generally serve it with a good dollop of yogurt and some croutons. To cut down on my carbohydrate count, whilst Meg has a slice of toast to make her croutons, I make do with a couple of cream crackers which are very low in calories. Tomorrow we have the T20 cricket final to which to look forward and I trust we shall not lose two finals in two days.