Saturday, 19th November, 2022

[Day 978]

Today dawned as a beautiful bright day with a clear blue sky but I think we will have to make the best of it today because for the few days we can expect a succession of squally type weather being driven across the Atlantic. I think it is true to say that New York is feet high in snow at this very moment. So having collected our newspaper, we made for our normal park bench and had our elevenses and then wandered down to see our usual park friends who were having a coffee in the park’s own coffee bar. The weather was quite fine enough to stand around and chat which we did before making our way home for Saturday lunch of quiche. Just before lunch, I decided to give some of our CD collection a good examination to see what might be lurking there that we had forgotten about. We have some discreet little CD units which hide away in one corner of our living room but access to them is rather occluded by a settee and other items of furniture so it is not particularly easy to browse without a good light and making space for oneself. Having said that, I had a very successful 20 minutes or so because I managed to locate a cooy of Beethoven’s 9th which I thought I had somewhere but could not immediately locate. Having found this, then by the act of searching for it, various other CDs came to light which I was pleased to rescue. Some of these were Bach CDs but there were also examples of Mozart operatic arias as well as several items of baroque which I pleased to let see the light of day again. After lunch, I managed to locate in our garage an empty cardboard box the dimensions of which happened to be almost exactly right to press into service as a way of keeping my newly rediscovered CDs in one place. So I spent some time covering this in some (grey) ducktape which gave it a sort of neutral appearance and then filed away the CDs taking the opportunity to create some index cards to remind me of the various categories and now I have it sitting available but unobtrusively on one of our kitchen working surfaces. After lunch, I played some of the Bach CDs on our newly acquired little Boombox CD player and I still continue to be amazed how a piece of equipment for which I paid so little is giving us the quality of the sound that it does. I surmise that the size of the speakers has a lot to do with it but certainly the reviews of the product when I was contemplating its purchase often mentioned the good quality of sound that it produces. As I was making us a swift cup of tea before we paid our weekly visit to Church, an extraordinary little thing occurred. I happened to turn on ClassicFM and the music track that was being played was the Bach double violin concerto. I stared at the machine in some disbelief as the last track I had played on the CD was the same Bach double violin concerto. For a few seconds, I wondered how it was possible for the CD to be still playing although it was tuned to Classic FM and then I realised that it was one of the extraordinary coincidences that sometimes occurs when a piece is broadcast which you have just played a few minutes before.

I would not say that I was one to revel in the misfortunes of others but some news did emerge today that gladdened my heart. The chief executive of Rochdale Boroughwide Homes which was the social housing organisation in which the two year old died after exposure to black mould was today forced out of his post. Only a day or so, he was refusing to resign and the housing assocation were even expressing complete confidence in him until it was announced today that his position had become ‘untenable’. If one was of a cyncical bent, however, one could argue that the Board had sacked their chief executive in order to save their own skins. There is now a pressure group building up to argue that after this incident, black mould should be treated as just as hazardous as escaping gas with a concomitant duty to make repairs within hours rather than weeks.

The football World Cup is starting in Qatar tomorrow and, I must say, that I could not be less interested. Controversy has erupted again before the competition has actually started. The president of football’s international governing body FIFA says the West should not criticise Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup – adding that European nations should instead apologise for their own histories. The president of FIFA attempting to buttress the choice of Qatar is adding fuel to the flames with a comment that ‘For what we Europeans have been doing around the world in the last 3,000 years we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.’ I have a feeling that all of this is going to end badly, even including the football.