Wednesday, 10th May, 2023

[Day 1150]

Thank goodness we are coming to the end of the gloomy weather that has plagued us for the last day or so. Today dawned fairly bright and clear for which we were well and truly grateful. Today, after breakfast, Meg and I set forth for a little village called Finstall only some three miles distant in which Herefordshire and Worcestershire run a club coffee morning once a month. The village hall is a good location for this gathering becaue it has sufficient parking at the rear and is evidently used as a centre for community activities. It reminds me of the village hall of the small village in which as a 9 year child I was taught how to play badminton and there always seemed to be enough to keep us occupied during the long dark winter evenings. Today we had a general quiz where we were ‘competing’, if that is the right word, against similar gatherings across Worcestershire. Our table, and the group as a whole performed quite well but the last section of the quiz was to supply the missing words of popular (and once popular) pop songs at which we were hopeless. The community activity today was photographs of old Bromsgrove but as a resident for the last sixteen years (only), this was not very meaningful to us. But the organisers are friendly and welcoming and there were about two dozen of us in total which made for a pleasant morning. After that, it was a case of returning home and a lunch of ‘meatballs’. I must admit that meatballs never has good ‘vibes’ for me as I remember that Campbells used to have a meatballs in sauce in a tin which was mainly soy as I remember. But the way that the Spanish make meatbals or ‘albondegas’ is always quite a treat. Typically, they are made from minced beef and pork blended with fried onions, cumin and smokey paprika and shaped into large meatballs with egg and/or rice as a binder that are slowly cooked in a rich tomato sauce made with roasted red peppers and Rioja wine. So if I am offered ‘albondegas’ in what I call a ‘peasant’ type cafe in Spain (good homely cooking) I never turn down the opportunity.

This afternoon, the grass was evidently due for a cut as it is a week now since its last cut and the grass (and buttercups) has well and truly shot out of the ground. The minute I had changed into my gardening clothes ready to do the mowing, a shower opened up overhead. It was one of those occasions where I wondered whether to carry on in the hope (expectation) that it might be a light quick, passing shower. I did carry on mowing the grass and the shower proved heavy enough to make life a little uncomforable but not of the intensity to abandon the mow altogether. I had a particular motive in wanting to get the grass cut today because tomorrow is my birthday and we intend to see some friends in the morning – but then I wanted a more relaxing time in the afternoon. Needless to say, no sooner had I finished the mowing but the clouds rolled away and we had one of those beautiful and glorious late sunny afternoons but of course this can never be predicted. Amusingly, Miggles, our adopted tabby cat came running across the grass to greet me when I was extracting the mower from the garage but the cat sensibly retreated to sit on one of the brick staunchions (which I think they are called) which adorn our porch and meant that the cat could escape the worst of the rain. The cat observed me mowing, had a good wash and then followed me into the rear garden where he/she deigned to sit on my lap and have a stroke whilst I was having my mid-mowing break. I did relent and give the cat a few titbits as a reward for loyalty or patience, I know not which.

he breaking news last night was that Donald Trump had lost a case for sexual harassment taken against him by a New York magazine columnist. The case dates from a decade or so ago but New York has passed some legislation to allow for such cases to be heard. Donald Trump did not turn up to defend himself but his defence was hardly helped by the fact that an audio clip exists of him bragging about grabbing diverse women by the genitals. But a damning feature of this case was that he denied ever having met the woman until he was confronted by some photographic evidence. He then proceeded to argue that the woman bringing the complaint was ‘not his type’ but subsequently mis-identified a photograph of the woman as his first wife. This was a civil case and as such it did not attract a gaol sentence. But the civil damages were put at the best part of $5 million which may almost be back pocket money for Trump. In any case, I am sure that his avid supporters would raise this money in no time at all so the eventual financial pain might be very small. But there are several cases outstanding against Trump including tax fraud and incitement to the invasion of the Capital building two years ago so that it is possible that Trump may suffer a death by a thousand cuts if some or all of these outstanding cases succeed.