Saturday, 25th February, 2023

[Day 1076]

Today after a leisurely start, Meg and I decided that we would go for a walk in the park, given that we are tending to use the Waitrose coffee bar somewhat more these days (if only to meet up with friends and acquaintances) But when we got to the park, although the weather seemed bright enough, there was a particularly icy wind blowing and whilst we had our flask of coffee in our rucksack, we decided that the last thing that we wanted to do was to sit down on a park bench and get thoroughly chilled by a cold wind. So we decided to do a circuit of the park round the lake and we thought we then make for home and enjoy our coffee at home. This we did and then we had a leisurely look at all of the supplements in the Saturday edition of ‘The Times‘ For lunch, we cooked ourselves some chicken mince which I found in the recesses of the freezer and then cooked some Primo style cabbage and a baked potato to accompany the meal. We knew that today was going to be another Rugby weekend and so we made sure that we had got all lunched up and then washed up before the Ireland-Italy match. One might have thought that this was going to be one of the most one-sided matches of the series, as Ireland are probably the stand-out team and the team most likely to win the tournemant whilst the Italians will probably not win a single game and finish up at the bottom of the table. But whereas a few years ago, one wondered whether the Italians could field a sufficiently good team to participate in the competition, today was entirely different. The Italians have a young and very fit team and they now play with a free running adventureness which makes for a thoroughly entertaining match. The Irish won the match now having an unbroken run of success so far in the competition but the Italians made them work really hard for their success. At one point, three quarters of the way through the match, the Italians were only four points adrift from the Irish so the game actually turned out to be a fairly tight one. The Irish did get the ball over the line on two other occasions, one in each half, where the TMO ruled (in the event, quite correctly) that that the ball was not properly grounded and therefore a try was not to be awarded. The other match this afternoon is the England-Wales match but we shall be able to watch about the first 35 minutes of the first half before we go off to church. Hopefully, we will pick up the second half when we return from church provided that our PVR has recorded the series correctly or, failing that, we hope that we can get it on i-player.

This morning, whilst browsing on the web, I happened to see a spare remote for one of our little micro HiFi systems that I have acquired through eBay recently. Remotes, particularly for older systems, are evidently lost quite easily and it can be quite hard to match up the original. It is possible to buy other remotes that advertise themselves as ‘compatible with’ but there is always an element of doubt whether although these will work with the full functionality of the original. So seeing a remote that was an authentic duplicate of the original, I successfully submitted a lower bid than the asking price on eBay. I know from a study of the relevant manual that there are certain things for which the remote is essential. For example, on my existing remote I can press the ‘FM’ button for a second occasion and this switched from stereo mode into mono which as it happens is an excellent way to almost completely eliminate the FM hiss if this should prove to be troublesome. But having ordered this remote, I then studied the details more assiduously and it became evident why my lower offer had been accepted as the vendor did state that the battery compartment cover was missing. I was a bit dismayed by this but decided to improvise a battery cover for the remote when it arrives. I was using a metal ruler to precisely fashion my duplicate cover when I had a stroke of luck in that the width of the ruler was the exact width of the missing cover. So after successfully cutting a bit of the ruler off, I successfully made a metal replacement cover the correct size for the remote. The original cover I will then use in the duplicate copy when it arrives. So all in all, I was very pleased with my little bit of handiwork which worked far better than I could possibly have envisaged and in which I admit I had a little bit of good fortune to assist me.

I am looking forward to the next few days in the political sphere to see whether Rishi Sunak successfully sees off the Brexit ‘rebels’. Matthew Paris in ‘The Times‘ was urging Rishi Sunak to be bold and isolate the rebels by making a vote for the revised Northern Ireland a vote of confidence in the government and see if the Brexit rebels dare to bring down the government and precipitate a general election.