Thursday, 25th June, 2020

[Day 101]

Today has been the hottest day of the year so far and may well turn out to be the hottest day of the year. It really is pretty humid and I, for one, cannot wait for a tremendous downpour which I hope will turn up tomorrow. At least, I am hoping that is the case because I have been working on my latest project with the aim of having it completely finished by tonight before the rains come tomorrow. It looks as though the UK as a whole has been hotter than Ibeza in Spain today with the temperature at Heathrow recorded as 33.3ºC which is 92º degrees F. As we walked down to the park this morning, there was quite a strong breeze blowing and this persisted even as far as the journey back. Then we made a salad lunch and prepared for the afternoon’s activities. I was putting the finishing touches to my home-made plantholder which is now completely finished as I needed to put some vinyl squares onto the top surface, even up one of the legs which had somehow finished up being shorter than the rest, applying some wide black vinyl tape to the edges, affixing some guards to the top so that plant pots don’t slip off and finally finishing off with a creosoting of all of the areas of uncut timber that evidently needed waterproofing before it is brought into use. For those whose life would be incomplete without seeing the results of all of this, then you pick a photo or even a video from the last two items in the directory listing which is available at: plantholder

Tomorrow is going to be quite a busy day for us. We are expecting a Waitrose delivery in the morning and our domestic help will be arriving to help to turn the house around. Then in the early afternoon, our chiropodist is going to call to have out feet checked over and then we have a FaceTime with our friends at 5.0 in the afternoon which is part of our Friday routine. Earlier in the day, one of our friends in Oxfordshire has invited us over for lunch together with some other friends the week after next, so there is a feeling of life returning ever so slightly to normal. And as it is Thursday, we have also had our weekly fix of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (full of dramatic tension in this episode!)

There seem to be two big political stories that have broken today. The first is the situation arising in South Brixton (massive illegal street parties with 20 police officers injured) and Bournemouth (people flocking to the beach on the hottest day of the year in clear defiance of the current 2-metre social distancing rules) One does get the feeling that many in the population, and particularly the young, have almost decided that the lockdown has ‘ended’ and do not really care much about the consequences (they won’t die, only the ‘oldies’ and we don’t care about them anyway) One does not have to subscribe to a kneejerk reaction to this news and feel that the moral fibre of the nation is somehow lessening but there must be a legitimate worry that as a nation we are storing up trouble for ourselves. I am sure that in private, the scientists advising the government must have the feeling that current developments are increasing the elements of risk of a second coronavirus spike occurring. The other major development is Keir Starmer’s sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey after her endorsement of what may well have been an anti-semitic tweet. When he woke up this morning he could hardly have dreamt that such a gift-wrapped opportunity would come his way – at one stroke, he could lessen the influence of the Corbynite left, he could help to appease the Jewish community and he could demonstrate that as a political leader he could act really decisively (compared with Boris who has failed to act with any degree of decisiveness over the Dominic Cummings affair as well as the latest Jenrick scandal)