Sunday, 10th September, 2023

[Day 1273]

Meg and I watched the England vs.Argentine rugby match last night and it was one of the strangest matches we have ever seen. For a start, there seemed to be no free flowing rugby on either side. The whole tone of the game was not helped by the sending of the England player, Curry, whose yellow card after a collision of heads was upgraded to a red so that England played for most of the time with only 14 players on the pitch. England won fairly easily after a succession of opportunistic drop goals by the English fly half, Ford, who actually scored the total of the England score which were all penalties or goals. Still, a win is a win and perhaps after the recent spell of poor form, it was good to see an English team with a bit more discipline (much more than the Argentinians) and sense of purpose.

After we had breakfasted and seen the Laura Kuennsberg politics program, we received a very welcome telephone from our University of Birmingham friend which help, as it happened, to resolve a huge mystery for us. Yesterday, after our friend left our little party to go in search of his lost credit card, I rescued his hat and brought that home, together with two slices of chocolate cake. These I put on a brick plinth in our porch whilst I was helping to get Meg out of the car and rescue other things.Later on, I searched in vain throughout the house for both the cake and the hat which I knew I had brought home but I could not find anywhere. What had happened was this. Our friend turned up to the house whilst we were having our family meal, saw the cake and his hat outside the door and assumed they had been left there for him to collect so he took possession of them without ringing the doorbell and shot off home. So when I looked all over the house thinking that in a moment of abstraction I must have put the items somewhere, it was no wonder that they could not be found. So today’s phone call cleared up a mystery for us. In view of the fact that it was either raining or threatening to rain, we decided to meet our friend in the Waitrose cafeteria is where we spent a very happy hour if not longer.

When we got home, neither Meg or myself felt particularly hungry so we threw together a salad from bits of pieces and some pork pie donated by a neighbour (who works in Webbs and sometimes gives us food items that would otherwise be thrown away) So we actually had a very satisfying lunch and then settled down to watch a variety of TV programs before we start watching rugby again. In the afternoon, we received a very welcome FaceTime call from my niece who had called in on my sister in Yorkshire and we had a long session updating each other of the various little tribulations with which we both had to deal over the last week or so. The video call was wonderful to receive, though, and was a source of great emotional support to us.

This afternoon in the late afternoon we were starting to watch the Scotland vs. South Africa rugby match with low expectations of Scotland given the world rankings of South Africa. But by half term, they were behind by only 6-3 so it will be an interesting second half. There is still a lot of discussion whether the red card given to England’s Curry was justified or not, one school of thought being there was no malice forethought but another being that head contact has got to be a ‘red card’ with the present interpretations of the rules and the desire to protect all players from head injuries. It was no surprise that in the second half of the game, the Springboks cut loose and scored a couple of tries against which the Scots had no real answer. The major contest this evening is going to be Wales vs. Fiji. As Fiji recently beat England, then this might be quite a mighty contest and I would not like to predict at this stage who might emerge as winners.

We have had several days of pretty hot weather which is so unusual for early to mid September. In fact, all of our married life I cannot recollect a period in which in the week in which we had our wedding anniversary, the weather should be so hot. We have rather got used over the years to a period of quite gloomy weather, as it was indeed on a wedding itself in 1967 when it threatened to rain the whole of the morning but then the sunshine broke through just at the point at which we were heading for our wedding reception. We have made a provisional arrangement with our University of Birmingham friend that he might pick us up and we all enjoy a coffee in the cafe/restaurant which we visited in Droitwich last week. Here we know that we will be able to get a table as it never too crowded and the staff are particularly attentive which as Meg gets a little more frail is actually quite important to us.