Wednesday, 26th July, 2023

[Day 1227]

Today was always going to be quite an attenuated day because we knew that our hairdresser was due to call around at 12.00pm so we needed to ensure that we were ready and waiting for when she came. Early this morning, I idly perused ebay which will often list things based upon your past searches for anything that might interest you. I have been on the lookout for a week or so for a piano stool to accompany the other stool I purchased the other day so that, in the fullness of time, Meg and I may be able to sit side by side and pick out tunes together on the organ. I was amazed to discover that quite a nice piece was on offer and in Bromsgrove as well, starting at a very reasonable £5.00. I worked out the maximum that I was prepared to pay for this piece and noticed that there were two other bids. I waited until about 90 seconds before the auction was due to end and then put in my bid in which I was eventually successful with a winning bid of £7.50. Upon sending a message to the seller, I was amazed to discover that not only could I pick up the piece later on this afternoon but it also just happened to be sold by the next door neighbour of one of our friends. Our hairdresser turned up rather late because she had been delayed by horrendous traffic jams all over Bromsgrove. Actually, we are being very badly effected by this because the whole of the road to which our drive gives access is closed off to practically all traffic whilst it looks as though a new gas main is being installed. Just outside our drive, we have a deep hole dug with the gas main exposed but with the workers nowhere in sight. So it takes some manouvering out of one’s own drive just to go anywhere at the moment and to make matters worse, having dug the holes the company responsible for the work seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth – I wonder if they are off digging holes in front of other people’s driveways as I blog. I waited at the end of the drive to guide our hairdresser in after which we both had our monthly shearing. After we had lunched a little late, it started to rain a little so I did not start to cut the lawns but Meg and I had a wonderfully quiet early afternoon listening to Fauré and the Brahm’s requiem in our newly equipped music room amd this had the desired effect in making Meg feel calmer about the world. In the late afternoon, we set off to collect the piano stool and although it was spotting with rain, we managed to get it into the car without it being rained on. Then my ‘low type pressure’ symbol came again which necessitated a trip to the garage and an inflation of all of the tyres. I have a supicion of a slow puncture in one of the tyres so I must go and get it resolved in the next day or so.

Having got the piano stool home, now is the time for a good examination. I gave it a good clean with washing-up liquid and a sponge type cloth and then applied some furniture polish to it, before a final buffing with kitchen paper. On a complete examination of it, it is a nice, without being an excellent, piece of furniture. It complements the standard lamp besides which it sits as they seem to be made of a very similar wood and certainly is a useful addition to the other furniture in the ‘music room’. Now that this piece is in place, I have almost completed the total complement of furniture which I intended for the room.

On the regional news tonight, pride of place is being given to ‘Ozzie the Bull’ This large, mechanical bull was originally constructed for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham a year ago. The original intention was to have a completely temporary arrtifact which, in theory, should have been dismantled after the games were over. The 10-metre creation, which was designed as a homage to the city’s contribution to the Industrial Revolution, has been rebuilt by a specialist team of designers and engineers and is now on display at Birmingham New Street station. But ‘Ozzie’ (named by the public after the local Black Sabbath singer, Ozzie Osborne) has found its way into the affections of the people of Birmingham and it was decided to replace some of the ‘temporary’ parts with more permanent ones and to find a permanent home for it. Today that home is the concourse of Birmingham New Street station. Ozzy’s eyes will light up, his head will move and his tail will swish as he roars to commuters. His performance is set to last for several minutes and will be repeated hourly between 10am and 8pm for the first ten days. The whole I think as well he may breathe some smoke at the same time. After the Commonwealth Games, Ozzie had some months in a car park but there is some useful affection for this permanent reminder of the very successful Commonwealth Games. The whole artifact is a great reminder to the Birmingham metal-bashing and engineering industries and is already attracting large crowds to witness the offical unveiling which has taken place today.