Saturday, 19th August, 2023

[Day 1251]

Today started brightly enough and so Meg and I got ourselves going, knowing that after breakfast we had friends that we were going to meet up with. We collected our newspaper and then made for our favourite haunt on Saturday mornings which is, of course, the Waitrose coffee cafeteria. I had taken along with me a simple piano primer with twenty (simplified) classical tunes in which the melody can be played with the right hand whilst the more ambitious can try to add the appropriate chords with the left hand. This was destined for one of the staff who, like me, is starting to teach himself the rudiments of piano so I thought to myself that the loan of the booklet might be very useful for him. If it proved useful, he could always order his own copy from Amazon and, if not, at least he had not wasted any of his money. As he was not on duty, one of the ‘Saturday’ girls who is always very friendly towards us old lags promised that she would give it to him tomorrow morning. Our friends turned up by degrees and we had the usual wide ranging chat over this and that, spending the best part of an hour and a half. After this, we reluctantly parted but said that we meet up again on Tuesday morning. As we were leaving, I enquired of our University of Birmingham friend what our arrangements might be in view of the all important football match in which England Spain meet in the World Cup final starting at 11.00am. He very kindly invited us round to his house so that we could all watch the football match together which promises to be a very enjoyable occasion. Incidentally, I heard that in the third round play offs (which no team enjoys) Sweden had actually beaten Australia, the hosts 2-0. I suppose that by the end of tomorrow’s match in which we know the winner and the runners up (gold and silver) they will present the winning medals in reverse order starring with the Swedes who are now in third place.

After we had parted from our friends, I made my way again to the AgeUK charity shop where I have found so many good bargains recently. The lamp standard I had my eye on which had been around for weeks seems to have been sold but I did make a purchase of a shower stool which will be worth its weight in gold, helping Meg in the shower. After a good clean up with a bleach spray, I transported it to the en-suite bathroom to see how it fitted. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it seemed to sit securely in either orientation (lengthways or across the bath) and the stout rubber feet ought to ensure no slippages. So I am looking forward to a good try out of this piece of kit which looks as though it may prove very useful to us under the cirumstances. I have also put together and ‘prettyfied’ the stout cardboxes in which the wheelchair was delivered and this is now pressed into service as a stand for a spare desklamp which I happened to have which shines some light on the Casio keyboard at just the right height and angle for when I get the urge to play the ‘Barcarolle’ which I always find so relaxing. I may need to do a little more work finishing off my stand but I will wait until Meg is safely tucked up in bed which is when I tend to do some little craft type things.

Last night afer Meg was in bed I happened to tune onto BBC4 and found myself in the middle of a Joan Baez concert, recorded evidently in the mid 1960’s. I forgot all about the other viewing I intended to do and immediately immersed myself in the Joan Baez experience. I already have some of her CDs but I suspect that this show was actually recorded in London to a UK audience. The camera shots, in black and white, showed an incredible array of 60’s faces and hairstyles and the audience was fairly restrained and polite compared with what might be the norm nowadays. I am waiting until there is a total dearth of anything worth watching on any channel before I start to watch this again with Meg on catch up TV. I am hoping that I can master the technology and that I manage to get this recorded on our PVR even though the program itself will be a ‘catch up’ item – I suspect that my son may have to be pressed into service to give me some guidance.

The media is full of the Letby case, as you might imagine. The nurse was found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six other infants while working in a hospital’s neonatal unit between June 2015 and June 2016. What is happening now, though, is an urgent check of every case with which Letby may have had some contact to see if there a plethora of as yet, undetected cases. All of this seems eerily similar to the Harold Shipman case who, as a GP, murdered his elderly patients systematically and has the reputation of the UK’s biggest serial killer.