Thursday, 23rd March, 2023

[Day 1102]

Well today has turned out to be an interesting day. It was the day when I was scheduled to have a routine checkup at the hospital after the surgery I had nearly five years ago and I don’t intend to bore anyone with the details of all of this apart from the fact that it was necessary for our son to stay with me and bring me home after the sedation I received. Everything went well and we were home soon after 10.00am after a very early start. But it was a day when I needed to keep fairly quiet for the rest of the day and fortunately, I had a treat planned for the afternoon. We made a lunch of rice and some of the left over chicken stew from yesterday and then we settled down for our treat. This was a delayed viewing of Dr Zhivago, first seen by Meg and I in Leicester Square some 55 years ago and watched regularly about once a decade over the years. Almost the last scene of the film is incredibly poignant as the aging and sick Zhivago thinks he espires Lara (one of the two loves of his life) when aboard a Moscow tram. Zhivago struggles to get off and runs to catch up with Lara but he dies of a heart attack in the street before he can get reunited with her. So what with ‘Brief Encounter‘ the other day and ‘Dr Zhivago‘ today, I have had a full ration of poignant film endings for quite some time.

Now that all of the shenanigans of yesterday’s political events are over, it is a possible to have a degree of reflection on the two events together. One view if that the respective bandwagons of both Brexit on the one hand and the Johnson era on the other hand are disappearing over the horizon. This is not to say that there will not be the occasional squirmish and last-ditch stand within Parliament in the months and years ahead but there is now a feeling that we are moving on towards a new era in politics. One factor is undoubtedly the fact that there will be a general election in the not too distant future and both parties are trying to make sure that they look forward to a period when internecine debates have to be a thing of the past and policies are adopted that may appeal to the wider electorate. Attention may well shift to the American political scene because Donald Trump is facing multiple legal challenges of various kinds – these generally started off some months ago but some may be coming to fruition. In the next few days, it could well be that Donald Trump is arrested for making illicit campign contributions to buy the silence of a pornstar with whom he may (or may not) have had a relationship just before he started to run for office. Some of his madder supporters are even arming themselves with rifles so that if the police come to try and arrest him, they will attempt to shoot police helicopters out of the sky.

Now that spring is practically upon us, we have the ritual of putting the clocks forward one hour this weekend. As usual, one hour less in bed is not a great tribulation but we seem to have a fair number of clocks to adjust which is a job for Sunday morning. Normally, on the weekend around the last week of March, my thoughts turn to grasscutting and related activities. But the weather forecasts are indicating that we might have a run of cooler and windier weather which does not sound ideal for grass-cutting, particularly as the first cut of the season is a bit longer and more troublesome than subsequent cuts. I may well get the petrol and oil all in place but delay the actual cutting for a day or so until the weather warms up. Over the weekend, though, we now have the women’s 6-Nations Rugby competition to which to look forward, so now doubt this will occupy Meg and I for Saturday afternoons for a week or so.

I am not a great fan of the BBC TV programme ‘Question Time‘ these days and nor have I been since the Brexit debates. However, it can still be an interesting spectator sport to see a government minister occasionally howled down or jeered by a Question Time audience. I think that tonight’s broadcast might prove to be partiularly interesting because those who lost relatives and could not be present at the death of a parent or other relative may feel particularly anguished and may well vent their anger when a ‘Johnson’ type question appears at the top of the agenda this evening. As these events are live, there is alwaays an unpredictability about how a live audience is actually going to react, so I think I shall look forward to tonight’s broadcast with a fair degree of anticipation. Public opinion can be fickle and difficult to guage at times. It could be that the public have generally made up their minds about Boris Johnson and want to move one and find other things to concern them. On the other hand, the recent well publiicised committee proceedings may be igniting a slow burn of resentment against the evident breaking of the rules whilst the rest of us were observing them.