Saturday, 18th March, 2023

[Day 1097]

Today was one of those days when we knew we did not have to dash out for anything in particular, so we each had a leisurely shower followed by our normal cooked breakfast. The weather looked gloomy and a little rainy so we decided that it might be a good idea to make a lighning visit into Droitwich to Wilko, my favourite hardware store. After we picked up our Saturday newspaper, we did make a trip into Droitwich and the fates must have been smiling upon me because the little tray/table that I knew that Wilko stocked and of which I needed to make use was in stock. So this was one of those occasions when Meg stayed in the car whilst I made a quick dash to get what I wanted from within the store and then it was a case of getting home amd having our somewhat delayed elevenses at home. After this, I gave my newly acuired little tray/table a quick dab of polish and then installed it where I wanted it to be and it slotted into place exactly how I intended and wanted. We knew that today was going to be the final day of the 6-Nations rugby and the two critical matches were Wales against France during the afternoon and Ireland vs.England in the early evening. This latter match only starts at 5.00pm in the afternoon so we have decided that we would not even start to watch it but we would rely upon the PVR recording the match in its entirety and we will watch it when we get home after church. I had temporarily forgotten about the earlier Scotland vs. Italy match and after we had made our ourelves a pasta/ curry lunch, we thought we would watch the last 10 minutes of it. Italy were only five points behind Scotland and in the closing minute or so of the match, the Italians were only inches away from the try line. If they had scored a try under the posts and then made a simple conversion, this would have been the first match that Italy had won in the 6-Nations championship. After being awarded a series of penalties and then deploying the tactic of ‘tap and go’, the Ialians assaulted the Scots try line again and again but eventually a technical penalty went against them. From this, although the clock had gone over the 80 minutes but in Rugby, the match does not end until the ball goes out of play, we saw the spectacle of a Scotland breakaway try in which the backs and wingers ran the full length of the pitch and scored a try at the oher end. So the final score did not reflect how close the Italians had come to actually snatching their first victory. As I remember it, something rather similar happened in the Italy vs. France match as well.

As I flicking through the channels, I noticed that on BBC2 they were showing the film of Dr. Zhivago. Now alongside Amadeus, this is absolutely our favourite film of all time. I think we first saw it in about 1967 in Leicester Square in London so the film is now over a half cntury old but still compelling in its story telling, cinematography and the quality of the acting, not least from Omar Sharif, Julie Christie and Tonia Chapman as I remember them. So this is going to be a real treat for us to watch tomorrow afternoon. Before lunch, there was a ring on the doorbell and it was our friendly next door neighbour, just popping round to see how we were were doing. We have a long standing invitation for them to pop round for an afternoon tea but so far, things seem to have happened for both of us to get in the way of this happening. Our neigbour had one of his wife’s relatives staying with them for a few days, but we promised ourselves that as soon as their little engagement was over, we would both really try and find the time for our long planned cup of tea and a chat. Tomorrow, if the weather is as fine as it turned out to be this afternoon, Meg and I will make a visit to the park which has been a little neglected by us these days. If however, the weather is really wet and rainy, then we shall see our University of Birmingham friend in the Waitrose café as we often do on Sunday mornings. In the last few days, we have noticed that two sets of bloom can be witnessed. First in the hedgerows, there is plenty of white blossom of what I think is hawthorn but when I mentioned this to friends in Oxfordshire the other day, she thought that in that part of the world it was probably blackthorn. But there are several flowering cherries up and down the Kidderminster Road and this is really a sign to us that spring is well and truly on its way. Next weekend will see a combination of the clocks going back, the start of the lawn mowing season and my son’s birthday all of which almost coincide with each other. I must remind myself to get some freshly drawn petrol so that the lawnmover gets off to a trouble-free start as well.