Thursday, 6th April, 2023

[Day 1116]

Thursday being my shopping day, I got up reasonably early in order to get to my supermarket of choice about one minute before the doors opened. This I did and reminded myself to buy a couple of Easter eggs for my son and his wife as it is Easter Day on Sunday in only three days time. An interesting philosophical question that arises from this is: how old do your children have to be before you stop buying them Easter Eggs? Whenever I have posed the question, the answer appears to be ‘Never’ which might mean that in some time in the future the 90-year olds in our society will be buying Easter eggs for their 65 year old offspring. As Easter approaches and this is probably, together with Christmas, the greatest of the Christian festivals, I wonder how many children in our society know what Easter is all about? As there seem to be quite a few websites published which explain the meaning of Easter to children, I can only assume that there is a lot of ignorance out there. It is probable that most 5-6 year olds know all about Easter Bunnies and probably Easter eggs as well but that is probably as far as it goes. To be fair, the name ‘Easter’ was derived from ‘Eostre’ originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honor of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Another explanation is the Norse eostur, eastur, or ostara, which meant ‘the season of the growing sun’ or ‘the season of new birth.’ The word east comes from the same roots. In this case, easter would be linked to the changing of the season.

This morning, Meg had intended that we pay a visit to Alcester, a pretty little Georgian town not too distant from here. Although there were plenty of rain clouds first thing this morning, there was every hope that these might roll away and we might finish up with a fine day. I attempted to make a booking at the hotel where we normally dine but the telephone rang for a long time before there was a message that the line was out of order. I did not really believe this so tried again half an hour later when I got through and made the appropriate booking. Then we set off in plenty of time but ran into a massive problem into one of the little towns en route where the main route was blocked and traffic was diverted. Once we had gone all the way round the houses, it was unclear in which direction to travel so I chose the route which was not signposted Birmingham and the M42 and promptly found myself going round the same diversion again. I then switched on the SatNav but it too failed at a point where another exit route from a roundabout was blocked off. This time I followed the diversion signs again but at one point where it indicated that I should turn left, I went in completely the opposite direction. This turned out to be an inspired, intuitive guess because I found myself on a road which I knew which bypssed the town and then got me on the correct road into Alcester. Although we were too late for a coffee, we had an element of luck because we found a parking place, against the odds, and went straight into the hotel for a meal. This was as excellent as usual and we avail ourelves of the special ‘Pensioner menu’ After lunch we did a tour of about three of the excellent local charity shops and found two extremely good tops for Meg which, when we got them home, both proved to be an excellent fit and interesting design. Just before we left, we could not resist a little tour round a local hardware shop which is full of the little things that you suddenly realise you can make use of. In the event, I bought a couple of stationery items but as we were prepared to leave, there was a cloudburst punctuated by hail. Together with many others, we had to dive into another charity shop which we did until the weather had abated sufficintly for us to get back to the car. After that, it was a very rainy drive home but and as is often the way with these things, as we got into Bromsgrove the clouds rolled away and we experienced a really bright and sunny afternoon, just about as we got home.

More about the scandal of the Tory MP offering himself ‘for hire’ as an advocate of a company with gambling interests which was actually a ‘sting’ operation mounted by The Times. Apparently the gambling industry had learnt somehow(!) of provisions that were going to tighten up the regulation of the gambling industry and had succeeded in getting some of these measures adjusted in their favour before they come into effect. Apparently, Westminster has been aware that the gamblong industry must have some ‘insider’ knowledge and now we realise how and why. The Tory MP involved just happened to be the Chair of the Select Committee on the Gambling and Gaming industry and has been shown to be well and truly ‘nobbled’