Sunday, 13th August, 2023

[Day 1245]

Today being a Sunday, I was looking forward to watching some of the political programs that normally take place from 8.30 onwards but as it now the midst of the holiday season and all of the politicians are off in no doubt quite exotic locations, there were none broadcast. We did not mind this too much as we were a little late getting up as we had a somewhat disturbed night but we knew that we were going to have a rendez-vous with our University of Birmingham friend. Our meeting place this Sunday was a venue called the Jinney Ring Craft Centre which is best described as a series of craft workshops around a huge courtyard together with a large and well frequented coffee-shop-cum-restaurant where we had our morning coffee. There are some water features where youngsters can go and feed the ducks and there is some pleasant rolling countryside. I have taken a photograph of what appears in the distance to be a double headed horse – on closer examination, it is a pair of horses that seem to like to stand together but each facing in opposite directions so that from a distance once could assume one is observing one exotic animal. As we had stayed so long, we had a brief tour of some of the workshops without being particularly tempted by anything so we treated ourselves to another cup of coffee before making for home fairly late in the day. When we got home, we had a gammon joint in the slow cooker so I had to race around to make a Sunday lunch in fairly short order. On this occasion, I saved a bit of time by not making onion gravy but ordinary gravy but we were reasonably hungry when we eventually came to dish up.

This afternoon should have been a fairly quiet and peaceful afternoon but it was not to be. Meg expressed the urgent desire to go and see our friends down the road and actually wanted to walk but I judged that this was probably now beyond her. I have recently bitten the bullet and bought a wheelchair which is quite easy to fold up (once you know how) and got into the back of the car. So I put Meg in the wheelchair and we made our progress down the hill in the new conveyance. At this point, I am aware of how unfriendly and unforgiving certain surfaces can be. Our local pavements often have an adverse camber and are extensively patched making life a little difficult on occasions. Also, one has to look out well in advance for dropped kerbs and plan ones trajectory as it were but we made down the hill to see if our friends were at home. One half of the couple was gardening whilst their spouse was out shopping so we had a brief chat and then turned around for home. Getting back was marginally more difficult but it could have been worse. Meg was starting to get increasingly agitated what with one thing or another but when we got home, we found that a cup of tea, some biscuits and a good serving of Fauré in our music room restored a degree of calm.

We are quite looking forward to tonight’s TV showing. To start off we have a program about the life of Mozart and a concert of some of his music including one of the horn concertos. Very much later on, and perhaps we may need to resort to catch-up TV in the next few days, we have some repeats of some of the outstanding documentary programs by the mathematician, Jacob Bronowski, entitled ‘The Ascent of Man’ This series was lavished with praise when it was first shown in the late 70’s. I believe but some TV executive has saved the series from mouldering in the vaults and it is given a repeat viewing so this is well worth a watch.

The government have decided to make the last week theme of ‘Stop the Boats’ week, which they hoped to pepper with announcements designed to appeal to the populace at large. Actually the government may have misjudged the appeal to public opinion because attitudes towards migrants and asylum seekers is by no means as hostile as the government would like to believe and to foster. But this week has shown that a long term solution to the migrant crisis cannot be solved in a week and the last week has seen both the forced rescue of a boat floundering in the channel with about fifty saved but at least half a dozen lives lost. Also, of course, this was the week when the goverment was forced to disembark all of the recent migrants which they had dragooned onto the accommodation barge floating off Portland, once the virus of Legionnaire’s disease had found in the barge’s plumbing system. I heard a brief comment from I believe the deputy editor of the Conservative Home website to the effect that both wings of the Conservative party were unhappy – the ‘left’ or ‘moderate’ wing of the party on the basis that they disliked the whole of the process of operating the migrant policy and the right wing of the party because they not like the outcome i.e. it was not proving effective. To dissatisfy both wings of the party at once takes some doing.