Sunday, 6th August, 2023

[Day 1238]

At last, the run of rainy weather seems to be coming to an end and so we look forward to a brighter day. I must confess that when I got up this morning, I felt like death warmed up and so went in search of some Cold and Flue Relief sachets as I felt both cold and shivery. This did alleviate the worst of my symptoms but not having had a good night’s sleep last night, I seemed to doze during the political programs broadcast on Sunday morning. I made Meg her breakfast and she had it on her knees in front of the TV whilst I sipped my ‘Cold’ preparation. This morning, we had an assignation to see our University of Birmingham friend in Webbs, the large store down the road which defies categorisation. As part of my membership fee which I renewed a couple of weeks ago, we have a card entitling us to a dozen free hot drinks which again I utilised. As I was still feeling a little fragile, I decided to treat myself to a round of toast thus breaking my ‘no carbohydate before 1:30’ rule but they say that one should ‘Feed a cold, starve a fever’ which I did. Meg, for her part, indulged in a huge slice of chocolate cake and as usual, we spent a very happy three quarters of an hour chatting away. When we eventually got home, neither Meg and I felt particularly hungry so we used a pork pie which we had been gifted by our next door neighbours and complemented it with some salad trimmings. To our surprise, we both ate most of our dinner and then we settled down to a range of Sunday afternoon activities. After I had given the newspaper a good read, I gave the bamboo chair I am restoring another coat of Scratch cover. When I have exhausted this little bottle, I will have given the chair multiple treatments and then we have two or three options which I shall discuss with our domestic help when she calls around on Friday. One option is to leave things as they are whilst another is to give a coating of a gloss laqueur which will add a shine to the whole. But a third option might present itself after I bought the set of four cushion covers with an autumn leaf design. I raided an old tin tunk that we have in our bedroom in which we have stored assorted cushions and pillows and discovered a circular cushion which we have evidently not used in decades but can be well and truly pressed into service at the moment. This sits nicely on the seat and the other cushion covers can be utilised to cover the chair back. I think the overall effect is very pleasing but the ultimate arbiter of all of this is our domestic help, whose chair it actually is.

This afternoon, we enjoyed a spell in our music room listening to a CD which I had bought on the internet the other day – this was ‘Renaissance music for inner peace’ and as such it will be complement the other CD of a similar nature that we very often play. So this was a relaxing hour in our newly equipped music room. Whilst sitting quietly, I gave the two decorated jugs that I bought the other day a really minute exmination to attempt to establish some degree of provenance. The bottom of the jugs just indicate ‘1 Litre’ and ‘Foreign’ so this gives no clue. I very rapidly flipped through 25 pages of decorated ceramic jugs advertised on eBay and cannot see anything even remotely similar to the two I have just purchased. If I had to make a wild guess, it would be that the jugs might be of Germanic origin as the style of decoration, although an intricate abstract design, is not dissimilar to the kinds of decoration I have seen on Beer jugs. A very slight clue might be a small decorated motif whih when examined under a magnifying glass could either be a lions head/a gorilla head/a neantherdal head. It would be fascinating to have them examined by a pottery expert who may be able to give an opinion but in the meantime, we are more than happy just to enjoy them for what they are.

Meg and I watched the final between England and Australia women’s netball. As non-expert viewers, it seemed evident that the Australians were never going to get caught and were always 2-3 points ahead in the first quarter (although that finished as a draw) and thereafter gradually pulled away before winning by 16 points with is a huge margin under the circumstances. The whole commentary team on the TV would never admit that the English team were just not good enough and no match for the Australians – it was full of pseudo-technical analysis but nobody seemed to state the obvious.

As a follow up to the story of the prisoner realsed after 17 years in gaol for a rape that DNA analysis shows he did not commit, the powers that be have relented and it is now agreed that the released prisoner will not be charged for board and lodgings for the past few years. But he still has a big fight on his hand to claim compensation which is by no means certain and will probably take years.