Tuesday, 13th June, 2023

[Day 1184]

Tuesday has dawned on my Pilates day but first of all, we paid our customary visit to Waitrose where we met two of our regulars. Our third friend was away on holiday with her family in mid-Wales (somewhere beginning Llan…which must narrow it down a lot) After our customary chat we raided the shelves of the supermarket, buying some cordial, a decent bottle of Rioja and one or two other ingredients thinking about the things I need to have to hand before I start to prepare the meal on Sunday for Meg’s cousins. In Waitrose, we were greeted by our Irish friend who had just returned from a fortnight’s holiday in Ireland. I joked with her whether the Irish had needed to throw her out for drunken and debauched behaviour but she assured me that this was not actually the case. We promised to meet up with each other in the days ahead. After getting home and changing into my Pilates gear, I left for the class giving myself an extra five minutes so that I could make a detour into the ‘Age Concern‘ second hand furniture shop which has a presence on Bromsgrove High Street. In there, I knew what I was looking for which was a stool which would serve as a second ‘piano stool’ to accompany the one I purchased the other day and I happened to see almost exactly what I was looking for. This was an adjustable stool clad in a serviceable leatherette. As it was only £2.95 I was quite happy to purchase this and, as I was just around the corner from my Pilates class, I carried this into the studio, explaining why I was turning up to a Pilates class complete with stool. One of my fellow class members made me a quite unprompted offer to take it home for me and drop it inside our front porch. This was an incredibly kind offer and although I hesitated for a moment, I was happy to accept as otherwise I would have needed to carry it a mile home, uphill and in some blazing sunshine. Needless to say, I was delighted to see it in the porch when I arrived home several minutes later on foot but I made my priority getting on with the lightning speed lunch of fishcakes which is part of our Tuesday routine. After lunch, I gave the stool a ritual clean (not that it needed much) and an examination that all was well. Although it was adjustable it seemed somewhat on the stiff side but it was exactly the height, almost to the millimetre, of the bench I collected last Sunday so now I have the two stools sitting side by side. The idea here is than when, and if, I get Meg to sit by my side whilst I teach her some keyboard skills, it will be faciliated by us sitting side by side and on stools of the same height.

After we had our lunch and customary post-prandial drink, Meg expressed the desire to get out and experience some fresh air. We decided to visit the large Webb’s garden centre which is just down the road but which has a wonderful little meandering series of paths that eventually lead you onto the banks of the River Salwarpe which flows through the Webb’s gardens. Before the pandemic, we used to do this little walk on a fairly regular basis but we have got out of the habit once the gardens were closed during the pandemic and were then subject to some upgrading. So it must have four years since we last walked these gardens and, four years ago, Meg’s health was much better than it is today. So today, it was a bit of a struggle for Meg to traverse the paths and to make our way to the river. We just about managed to make this trip but it was proving to be quite a struggle for Meg to manage even this little journey. As I was walking back to the car, Meg was making some rather slow progress, having to stop for breath on occasions when we actually received the offer of assistance to get Meg back to the car. This offer of help (from a retired nurse) was gratefully received but in the event, declined as we were we were only about 150 yards from the car and I felt this was manageable on our own. Still, it does give me pause for thought as to the kind of trips that Meg can manage these days so I may need to keep plans under constant review.

For the last day or so, we have had the same weather pattern in that in the early evening, the rain clouds build up and then there is a sudden rumble of thunder, a flash of lighning and a downpour. But tonight, we have a brilliantly sunny evening so this pattern of daily rainstorms seems to be passing. When my son spent a pre-university year in Mexico, he used to tell us how it rained regularly between about 2-3 in the afternoon which was just the time when Mexicans traditionally took their main meal of the day. This was then typically followed by a walk when the day had cooled a little and the air was wonderful,crisp and clear after the rain.