Thursday, 26th January, 2023

[Day 1046]

Thursday is my shopping day and I was pleased to get going well before 8.00am without having to defrost the car’s windscreen – I think that the temperature overnight was exactly 0 degrees so not cold enough for a heavy frost to form. After I got the shopping home and unpacked, Meg and I breakfasted whilst listening to Hayden’s ‘Creation’ which disks arrived this morning. The version I got must have been the fullest version as it came on 2 CDs and I felt that I was supporting home industries as a (very youthful looking) Simon Rattle was conducting the Birmingham Philharmonic. I found the program booklet extremely informative as Hayden wrote it intending it to be sung in eiher English or German. I think it might have been first performed in Vienna (to rapturous acclaim,evidently in German) but apparently the Englist text was not so easy to adapt to the natural phrasing of the musical score and the first attempt tranlating from the German was a rather botched affair – subsequently, this has been worked upon and the English text now seems to sit nicely within the musical parameters. By the time we had breakfasted, the morning was progressing somewhat so we decided just to have a wander up and down the High Street in Bromsgrove instead of doing a circuit of the park. When we go to the end of the High Street, I looked inside the Age Concern furniture shop as I am on the lookout for a little occasional table and have, in the past, been extremely successful in a delightful CD cabinet/display case which they had on offer and is now sitting in our ‘music room’. After that, it was a case of getting home, having a cup of warming soup and then progressing on with our quite simple lunch of quiche. I prepared some cavolo nero and I had some tomatoes spare which, after a quick microwave, I dressed with a little mayonnaise (on one) and spicy chile sauce on the other. I only mention this because the results of what might be quite a banal lunch turned out to be exceptionally tasty so I must have done something right.

This afternoon as been a ‘musical concert’ afternoon which drags us away from the TV for an hour or so. In the spirit of experimentation, I have now relocated my (not so little) Polaroid Boombox on a chessboard (made, I believe by my father) and this sits on one of those fabric storage units bought with our suite decades ago. I am not sure if these are properly called a ‘pouffe’ or not but they are relatively large and contain things such as CDs and DVDs. I think they were manufactured to be exactly the same height as the sitting position of the settee and the chairs so that they form a natural extension to the furniture if you want to use it in that particular way. We have two of these which sit snugly on either side of the fireplace and fortunately, they are both on castors the more easily to be wheeled about. My point here is that I can pull out the unit for want of a better term with the CD player on the top of it and thus gaining a metre and angling the CD player somewhat means that we can have the volume of sound we would get from a full scale HiFi. It must be a tribute to the quality of the electronics design and/or the speakers that even at maximum volume (which is not needed) I cannot discern any distortion of the sound even when the volume is turned up to a maximum. I have been enjoying Cecilia Bartoli singing Mozart arias and as well as being a source of great pleasure, her incredible phrasing and high notes helps to test out the capabilities of the Polaroid to its maximum.

The Zahawi affair is rumbling on and is likely to do so for another ten days or so. It is reported that Rishi Sunak wants the whole enquiry process (‘to establish the facts’) to be cleared up as quickly as possible but this affair is not going to go away. The media and the news bulletins are running the story constantly and occasionally there are some contradictory accounts- so there must be some ‘porky pies’ (= lies) going on somewhere. The Times reported that the PM was ‘livid’ that he not been properly informed of Zahawi’s tax affairs when appointing him as Conservative party chairman but this has just been flatly denied by No. 10. However, in a meeting with MPs on a select committee, the chief of HMRC has stated that ‘there are no penalties for innocent errors in your tax affairs’ But the concept of ‘carelessness’ in tax law is equivalent to that of ‘negligence’ in other spheres of life and from this we can conclude that Nadhim Zahawi has not just made a simple mistake but committed a transgression for which a penalty is payable and which he has, in fact, paid. So this would appear on the face of it to be an admission of guilt even before any enquiries are actually concluded.