Monday, 3rd July, 2023

[Day 1204]

So Monday morning dawned as a fairly gloomy and rain bespattered day but we had no real projects that we had to undertake today. But by yesterday’s and today’s post, some very interesting mail arrived for me. They are principally a set of organ manuals for beginners (where I managed to get a job lot for six parts of a series via eBay). But most prized of all was a collection of carefully curated classical pieces for beginners such as myself acquiring or developing keyboard skills. There are quite a lot of these booklets in the world ‘out there’ evidently designed for children aged 8-14 (I would imagine) so that they can get the satisfaction of playing some of the themes from the well known classics but with a simplified format. Some of these are almost babyish in that they actually have the names of the notes written inside the circular shape of the notes themselves. But they serve their purpose to get you going – I suppose the best analogy is armbands that you put around the arms of young swimmers to give them a little bit of assistance (buoyancy) until the need for them is past. Some of these pieces I am really going to enjoy tackling once my skill levsls have improved a little and they are a ‘delight’ to be enjoyed down the line as it were. In the meanwhile, I have been learning ‘Morning’ from the Peer Gynt suite which I imagine is a well known tune, recognised by us all. I have tried a little experiment today, as follows. Looking on the web, I found a site here I could download a .pdf of some ’empty’ staves. Then I followed the advice I found elsewhere on the web to transcribe some of my tunes onto my own staves. The reason here is that I wondered if I could make my own musical scores a little less ‘baby-ish’ and I also considered that I might be able to add some of my connotations for fingering once I start to practice doing this properly i.e. using all of the fingers of my hand and not just picking out notes with an index finger which is what I have done so far.

After we had breakfasted, I collected our newspaper and then we swung by Waitrose for a few essentials. The car park was absolutely teeming, so much so that after circling around a few times we had to go on another errand and then try the car park a few minutes later. I suspect that it is a combination of the wet weather on one hand and a funeral in the local church on the other which leads to temporary overcrowdings like this. After lunch, I busied myself with making myself a piece of ‘storage’ furniture. One of the interesting things stocked at amazingly cheap prices in our local Poundland are adhesive floor tiles where you get about half a dozen for £1. There are two designs that I always like to have in stock, one being a type of wood laminate design and the other being a black and white tile design and both of their have their uses if deployed with care. This afternoon, I wanted to liberate a magazine rack for which I had other intentions. With the spare floor tiles enhanced with some black ‘gorilla’ tape, I made a pretty decent looking and quite strong storage box into which I could decant the former contents of the magazine rack. This I could then use to house some of the collection of piano song books I have accumulated in the last week or so so that I can ensure that everything is neatly put away but also quite accessible when I need to try my hand at something.

As many motorists have suspected, fuel prices tend to rise like a rocket when external events such as the war in Ukraine drive up prices but only fall back to earth very slowly ‘like a feather’ when the whole sale price softens. The net effect of all of this is that Asda and Morrisons, in particular, have been accused of extracting a lot more profit via their petrol stations and consequently being fined (only a ‘rap across the knuckles’) by the Competition and Markets Authority. Retail prices are now providing a 6p of profit per litre to the supermarket giants and almost £1bn has been extracted from the public via higher prices. There is some speculation that the supermarkets themselves are tryng to service mountains of debt incurred when ownership of them changed hands and as we have come to expect, it is nearly always the supermarket’s customers who have to pay the bill.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the right wing Conservative and arch Brexiteer is being investigated by Ofcom for his role in the so-called news channel of ‘GB News‘ An OfCom spokesperson has indicated that they are investigating whether this programme broke OfCom rules, which prevent politicians from acting as newsreaders, unless exceptionally, it is editorially justified. Certainly, the claim to be solely a ‘news’ channel is somewhat tendentious when the only ‘news’ avalable to the public is one from an extreme right wing perspective. One can only surmise that these channels are actually following the examples of Fox News in the United States where the sole ‘raison d’etre’ is to promulgate a right wing agenda rather than keeping an audience objectively informed.