Friday, 15th September, 2023

[Day 1278]

We always look forward to Fridays and with good reason because it is the day when our domestic help does her weekly cleaning duties and, as we have not seen her for two weeks as she was taking her summer holiday, we had a lot of news to catch up on. Last night, I got ‘Alexa‘ activated on our new TV. Our domestic help showed us to access what I think is technically called ‘slow TV’ which are generally tranquil scenes of lakes, campfires and cafes which you can watch until what we really want to watch is scheduled. I think we shall use these quite a lot whilst having a cup of tea if there is nothing else on the TV to occupy one’s interest. Last night, Meg went to bed a little early and I watched the France vs. Uruguay game which was so entertaining. It was never in doubt that France would emerge the winners of this particular game but the French played somewhat below themselves and the young Uruguay team played excellent and exciting rugby making the whole match a delight to watch. Later on tonight it is going to be New Zealand (All Blacks) against Namibia which really is a David vs. Goliath type contest. Nonetheless, it should be entertaining and one wonders by how many points the team from Namibia is going to lose.

This morning, whilst our domestic help was keeping an eye on Meg, I was charged to go to a local hardware stock to get some replacement LED type bulbs as, until today, I did not the opportunity to get the types of bulbs required by some of our lighting units. Some of these have been failing but I have not had the opportunity until today to get out of the house and purchase some. The assistant within the store was very friendly and made sure that I good supply of what was needed and then they got fitted the minute we got home, which was all to the good. Outside the hardware store, I bumped into one of my fellow Pilates class members who had offered to pop by one afternoon for a chat and this is something to which I am sure that Meg and I will look forward. I am going to return to do another half session next Tuesday so that I can keep my participation in the group going, albeit at a somewhat reduced level for the time being.

Today, Meg and I had our by now traditional Friday lunch of a haddock and cheese pie, eaten with some mange-tout and baked tomatoes. We then tuned in to what is becoming a daily treat which is the James Martin culinary programme which also acts as a mini-travelogue for various parts of the Spain. James Martin always focuses upon that which is the regional speciality and today he was visiting Extramadura (a part of Spain practically unknown to most Brits) and, naturally, spent some time extolliong the virtues of the ham which comes from acorn-fed pigs, often adjudged to be the finest ‘jamon’ in the whole of a country noted for the quality of its ham. When this program finished, Meg felt as though we needed a breath of fresh air so we thought we might make a journey to Droitwich and walk by the side of the canal there, as it was a beautiful fine afternoon. But getting to the car, I had forgotten to pack the wheelchair and the late afternoon rush-hour traffic was particularly heavy in any case, so we cut our losses and made for a very short walk in the park, availing ourselves of the nearest park bench to the car and the only one that Meg can now manage if not in a wheelchair. I am thinking of ways to help Meg’s frailties, such as they are – many elderly people in practice have a doze as they are in their 70’s and 80’s. I am still coming to terms with the practical steps that I can undertake to help Meg as she is now quite frail. One thing which is relatively easy to organise will be to make sure that she always has a good nap, if not a sleep, on an almost daily basis. In theory this should be easy to organise if I can make Meg comfortable on our settee with the lights off, blinds drawn and some soothing music in the background. Another practical measure is making sure that Meg gets into bed in the correct orientation i.e. North-South versus East-West. I think I may have found a solution to this because I am going to organise a ‘step stool’ that I happened to have in another part of the house. Then with some judicious use of some intermediate steps, I think I may be able to get Meg into bed much more easily than proved to be the case last night but tonight may be a critical test whether my adaptations will work (as they generally do)

Sky News is reporting tonight that after years of strife, weak and corrupt governance, corruption and negligence, the Libyan authorities were simply not up to preparing for or coping with a disaster of this magnitude – and it is the Libyan people who have been killed, or left displaced in their thousands. It is being reported that this is a disaster of biblical proportions with an estimate of 11,000 deaths in the Libyan city of Derna alone.