Wednesday, 20th May, 2020

[Day 65]

Well, it’s been one of those days today when I seem to have been chasing my own tail all day long. I had got onto the Iceland website yesterday and it indicated that no slots were available but new slots would be available at 11.00 am each morning, from Monday to Friday. So I got onto the website and made up an order of things that I knew I needed as well as doubling up on other items and managed to secure a slot from 8.00-10.00 on Friday i.e. just over a day’s time. This was handy because I am running out of certain things which are in short supply (according to one of our friends, eggs are hard to find because everyone is at home baking away and using up eggs as a consequence) Nice to get this done but it delayed all of our normal routines by about an hour. The park was absolutely teeming and when we first entered, every single bench was occupied although some were vacated just as we approached. There seemed to be a lot of sunbathing, yappy dogs, scootering children (but a bit too warm for serious jogging) On our way home, we saw two sets of friends and had pleasant chats with each of them, helping to set the world to rights.

After our lunch of chicken fricassee, I embarked on my path construction. Before I could really get going, though, I had to supply myself with a set of retaining pegs that involved a certain amount of sawing, putting points on the pegs and finally creosoting. The actual path construction turned out to be just about what I had anticipated with no real problems. I cut a shape around each wooden ‘step’ with an edging tool and extracted about an inch of baked topsoil (which I can use subsequently) before putting down a couple of shovel fulls of builder’s sand and then setting each step in place, preventing subsequent movement by driving in a wooden peg about 7″-8″ long fore and aft to prevent any slippage or drift. The end result was just about what I had expected/intended – any fine-tuning can be dome tomorrow! After I had finished, we FaceTimed our good Waitrose-era friends as we do every 3-4 days and had a good old natter, mainly centering around our differing experiences with online shopping with the local food supermarkets. I am starting to warm a little to Iceland as their delivery slots – only a day or so to wait – seem quite useful if you know you are running short of things although their range is necessarily limited. As you may have guessed, I am missing the regular supply of ‘Unicorn hoof oil essence’ available only in Waitrose stores which is absolutely de rigeur in the modern kitchen.

In the early evening, I received an email from Clive’s son who very much appreciated the rendition of Clive playing ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s desiring‘ ( a J.S. Bach Chorale) on the occasion of our 50th wedding anniversary celebrations. I had an iPhone video clip of this as part of the wedding website so it was quite easy to extract this and send it on. I mentioned in my email that the whole ‘funeral service’ was very ‘Clive-like’ and he would have approved heartily – as it turned out, this was no surprise as Clive had largely organised this before his demise. It is wonderful in these days of modern and easily accessible technology to have little movie clips of old friends like this. Meg and I miss him a lot as we used to see him nearly every day or every other day-for once, I was absolutely struck by the finality of cremation where, of course, nothing remains.