Saturday, 3rd December, 2022

[Day 992]

Today as soon as we woke up, we realised that the weather had drifted somewhat colder, so we had to ensure that we had lots of warm clothing to face the day. We picked up the newspaper and then made our way to the park, wondering whether it was too cold to actually sit down. On our perambulation through the park, we met with some of our park friends we had not seen for a few weeks and we chatted about her neighbour who we both knew. The neighbour had been widowed just before the pandemic struck and we went along to the funeral of her husband to whom we tried to give some advice and consolation about the cancer which killed him all too quickly. Anyway, the neighbour had met a soulmate in the golf club which she attended regularly and despite the 16 year difference in their ages, we were informed that they were to be married in the spring. We carried on our way and eventually decided to brave the park bench but it was decidedly cold so we kept our sit on the bench to a minimum, gulping down our coffee and then walking quite rapidly to seek the comfort of the car. As soon as we got in, we made ourselves a ‘cuppa soup’ of some packet soup we already had in stock and this was very welcome and filled a gap before lunch.

Just before lunch, I made contact with the Bank with whom we are having dealings and (eventually) got through to a person who was quite helpful and who promised to send me a link to submit the documents that the Bank still needed. No email arrived which I thought was suspicious but we broke off to have a lunch of largely curried vegetables (well, my mixture of onions. tomatoes, peppers and petit pois) served on a bed of low-calorie rice. Once I had a hot lunch out of the way, it was back on the phone to the Bank to enquire why the promised email failed to arrive. After negotiating all of the security protocols once again, eventually I got through to a person who after some serching located my details and it became evident why the promised email had failed to arrive as a mistake had been made in the email details I had supplied to them. So whilst I was on the phone, I checked that the email had now arrived and, fortunately, it was quite a simple job to upload the various documents that were still needed. Then they had to be electronically signed and all seemed to be safely transmitted. I also sent an email to our contact in the bank, telling her what documents had been submitted and that we were loooking forward to our forthcoming appointment in the middle of next week.

After getting all of this necessary task completed, I thought I would treat myself to watching the second half of the USA vs. Netherlands match in the World Cup. I tuned in one minute before the end of the first half and said to Meg that I would watch until the end of extra time before I made a cup of tea as things ‘often happened’ the the last minute or so of a half on a football match. There happened to be one minute of extra time and about 45 secods of the way through it, as I thought might happen, the Netherlands scored a second goal, doubling their lead. I then thought I would watch the whole of the second half, knowing that the USA would have to score three times to win. In practice, the USA did get one goal back after the Netherlands had played a little dangerously but then the Netherlands scored a third goal and that sealed the fate of the Americans (I am pleased to say)

We hear tonight that the footballing legend, Pele, is in hospital after the chemotherapy he was having to combat colon cancer was failing to have much more effect. Although he reports that he is feeling strong, nonetheless it looks as though he will now be receiving end-of-life palliative care in a Brazilian hospital. He is receiving good wishes from all over the world, including the English captain (and, no doubt, many others) This reminds of me of a story that I read in a book called ‘Great Footballing Anecdotes’ which was being remaindered in a local bookshop. In a local football match, one player received a blow to the head and was being treated by the side of the pitch with about two minutes left to play. The manager was desperate to get the player back on the pitch to either win or save the match and urged the trainer to get the player back on the field. The trainer replied that the player had only just recovered consciousness and didn’t know who he was, to which the manager had responded by saying ‘Tell him that he’s Pele and get him back on the pitch‘ To true footballing fans, Messi has just appeared in his 1,000th game and won the game for Argentina (against Australia) with what is being descibed as a moment of true magic.