Tuesday, 15th August, 2023

[Day 1247]

Today was quite a full day. We got up a little late this morning having slept in a little so we had a minimal breakfast because we knew it was the day to meet up with friends in the Waitrose cafe. We met up with a couple of them and I regaled them with a story from our honeymoon. The basic elements were a large German lady with a very décolleté (= low cut) dress in the centre of the restaurant, with a waiter advancing towards them balancing a huge tureen of hot tomato soup on one hand and then, like a cartoon, the way in which the tureen slid off but performed a perfect parabola before depositing its contents right down the German lady’s cleavage. Tje screams were heard around the restaurant and the waitor hovered around with a large serviette with the dilemma of whether to dab or not to dab the lady’s torso. Eventually, a table cloth was thrown around her shoulders and she was led off into the kitchen here no doubt there was a copious supply of acriflavine (if that existed in 1967). So we parted, each intent on doing a little bit of shopping before we indicated to each other that we would meet up again on Saturday morning. Then, as it is my Pilates day, I knew that I was about to have an experimental session whereby I do my exercises at home but using ‘Zoom’ to join with the rest of my regular class mates. At first, I didn’t think the technology was going to work as my Applie iPad kept informing me that the ‘zoom’ link was not recognised by the system. Eventually, I downloaded a copy of the Zoom app (I think) because suddenly the credentials that my Pilates teacher had sent to me by email worked as intended and so I joined the class. I had taken the precaution of acquiring a little foam tablet rest and I experimented with both vertical and horizontal positionings so that my teacher and I could see each other. I hit on the obvious techniques of ‘portrait’ mode for the standing exercises and landscape mode for when we were doing the lying down exercises and so the class proceeded. Meg was not absolutely ‘au fait’ with my entering a class remotely so I spent an interesting hour with half an ear cocked to hear sounds coming around the house indicating that Meg was making some active peregrinations around the house.

We had known for some time that I was due to have a ‘Diabetic Retinopathy’ clinic at 3.00pm. This procedure is part of the routine annual diabetes monitoring offered by our practice and I have had at least a couple of them before with negative (i.e. nothing to fear)results. Basically drops are put into each eye which massively expand the pupils and then, after a wait of some twenty minutes, photographs are taken of the back of the eye with a very sensitive camera. The subsequent results are then interpreted largely by hand by trained specialists but after discussion with the technician operforming the test, this is one of those routine monitoring procedures where AI will make its presence felt over the years. The results wlll be available in some weeks and are sent to the doctor’s surgery and, in theory, to the individual although I do not remember getting my results last year. This procedure is fairly straightforward in itself but the problem is that with impaired vision whilst the pupils are dilated and one’s vision is affected in the short term, then there is no alternative but to be taken there and back by car. So we ordered a texi for the journey down into town and. although the taxi was delayed by 5 minutes, it was good to get to the clinic 5 minutes before our appointment slot. Everything went smoothly and after 35 minutes I had had the back-of-the-eye examination and Meg and I walked slowly to the taxi rank which is not too far away from the surgery. Then it was a case of getting home and a very welcome cup of tea. I had taken the precaution of taking with me a pair of ‘wrap around’ sun glasses hich I only wear on occasions like this and this helped to shield my eyes from the bright sunshine. Our meals were all made a little topsy turvey because of the commitments that we had today. So at lunchtime, we just had a really quick repast of biscuits and cheese whist this evening, we are going to have the fishcakes that we generally have at lunchtime on Tuesdays.

In the United States, Donald Trump has been indicted of attemts to rig the prsidential election in 2020. The evidence against Trump seems to be irrefutable- for example a telephone call which lasted for more than an hour in which he harangued a state official to ‘find’ him 11,780 votes in order to be declared winner in the state election. But interesting in this case is that Geogia is a state, not a federal indictment. This means that Trump, if elected president, could not put aside the convictions as would be the case in a federal conviction. The evidence is not only strong, not to say overwhelming and if convicted Trump could find himself in gaol for five years – and he would be powerless to prevent it. I suspect that this is the case that actually ‘does’ for Trump eventually (and Al Capone was brought to book evenually for income tax evasion)