Thursday, 22nd June, 2023

[Day 1193]

Thursdays, of course, mark my shopping day and I was delighted to get to my favourite supermarket when the doors open at 8.00am. Today was a fairly conventional week’s shopping and after I picked up our newspaper, I arrived home by 9.00am. After that, it was a case of cooking breakfast, unpacking the shopping and then getting ready for the day. We could tell that today was going to be a wonderful fine day for a walk in the park and ventured as far as our normal park bench. We go to the park a little less regularly than we did at the height of the pandemic when the park was the only venue available to us. Occasionally it happens that we bump into people that we had not seen for some time and we were told that our absence from regular walks around the park had been missed somewhat. So then we got home and I cooked lunch with a little culinary experiment. I had bought some celery last week but not used it. Today, I wondered about ways in which I could prepare it and make it a little more exciting. So I parboiled the celery with some carrot batons and then tried an experiment with the celery. I popped the drained celery into a vegetable dish, gave it a good serving of butter and finally just a tad of a hot chilli sauce to make it all a little interesting but not to overwhelm it and then microwaved it. This worked out pretty well, really, so I think it is a little culinary experiment that is worth repeating.

This afternoon, I thought I would download and activate a Barclays app for an account we have just opened. I must say that the security provisions to supply credentials to the app were a little daunting. Having entered my account details and chosen a password, I was required to allow the app to take a photo of the critical page of my passport. Then, a special oval appeared where I had to center my own image within it and the app took a snap of me. Then I had to repeat a series of numbers so that the app had recorded a sample my voice. Then when I tried to access app the message came through that the app was still trying to reconcile these series of identity checks with each other and to try again later. So I gave the app about 15 minutes after which I was mightily pleased to say that I had successfully passed all of the required ID checks. When I did get through to my account details, I was both pleased and relieved to see all my account details were properly up to date and accurate. Once these security details have been set up and passed, I am sure that accessing and operating the app is going to be a breeze from now on but certainly the set up details were a little daunting.

This afternoon, starting at 4.00pm, there was going to be a showing of Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility‘ with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, Robert Hardy, Imogen Stubbs, Imelda Staunton just to name a few. Emma Thompson herself directed the film and I think it made a fine production. This absorbed us until practically 7.00pm in the evening but the production was quite enthralling. As I have seen this production before and quite some time ago and had not read the novel as a teenager, I was unsure how it all ended so it made the whole film very enjoyable to watch. Tonight, although there is still some verification to be done, it looks as though the fate of the missing submersible exploring the site of the wreck of the Titanic is becoming clearer. It looks as though a debris field has been found and two particular items (the sub’s landing frame and the rear cover) had been found. Therefore the craft might have imploded and catastrophically broken up up in the course of the descent. The craft has been dubbed ‘experimental’ so as to avoid the normal stringent certification procedures that apply to crafts of this type. But there are still International Maritime Organisation’s rules that needed to have been followed and one wonders if there will be any any legal sequelae once the fate of the craft has been determined. Stories are now coming to light of others who had provisionally booked a place on the craft at a cost of thousands of pounds but who had then pulled out once the essentially risky nature of the whole enterprise had become more evident. Certainly, the media have been full of the progress of the search for this missing craft but the point is being well made by some in the media that much more attention had been paid to the fate of five, very wealthy men who had perished whilst ignoring the plight of the dozens of indviduals probably dying each day as they attempt to cross the Channel and other European waterways.

Today the Bank of England raise interest rates a full 0.5% to 5% and this will prove a real financial blow to those whose cheap fixed rate mortgages are ending. The rates may well go up another 0.5% and even more before the ‘battle’ against inflation is won and I suspect that they may drift down more slowly than the speed with which they were raised.