Saturday, 16th September, 2023

[Day 1279]

So we run into a Saturday morning routine this morning and, having washed and breakfasted, it was time to make our way to the Waitrose cafeteria to meet up with our friends (as we did last Saturday on the celebration of our wedding anniversary but here we are one week further forward) We met up with our regular meeting with the three older ladies. After our customary chat, we bought som lime and mint cordial which Waitrose have on offer and to which we have become a little partial. Then it was a case of getting home and starting to think about our Saturday midday meal. Today, we were finishing off the remains of a large family pork and apple pie to which we added some broccoli and a special mixture of my own. The mixture was one onion, one sweet pepper and one tomato and once this was nicely softened and blended in the saucepan, I added a little tomato source and just a tad of sweet chilli sauce to add a little piquancy to the whole. This all worked out creating a very tasty meal and although Meg thought she not be able to manage it all, in fact she did.

Now that we have our new TV installed and Alexa activated, we are now starting to enjoy some of the other services on offer. Having got ourselves logged into YouTube (eventually), we then started to look at some of the relaxation videos on offer. These are generally of the mountain stream/forest/seaside nature but some are based upon the concept of the ‘Cosy Cafe’ whilst many of them seem to feature campfires (one of them being the sort of campfire you might have at the entrance to a cave in millenia gone by) Many of these are quite interesting, not to say relaxing and no doubt if you found one on one’s laptop you could bookmark it and return to it time and again. Although I although I seem to have seen a variety of these on the TV, the selection seems to alter each time I switch on an I can never seem to get back to the ones that I particularly liked (but no doubt there is a way which I shall discover). But the highlight of the middle of the day was that we just happened to be tune into YouTube when they were broadcasting a live performance of ‘The Messiah’ direct from the Sydney Opera House in Australia. The performance really was of the highest quality and I must say tht I enjoyed it tremendously both in the bit that we saw before lunch and its continutaion afterwards. There were three little moments that stood out in my mind, the first being a beautify rendition of ‘He was despisèd’ which Kathleen Ferrier almost made her own. I said to myself that it was a case of beautiful contralto singing but when I looked at the images on the TV, it was actually a counter-tenor. The second thing that I noticed was what appeared to be an exceptionally small sized trumpet, smaller even than he cornet. I did a little investigation on Google and discovered that this actually what is known as a ‘piccolo’ trumpet (being to the trumpet, I suppose, what the piccolo is to the flute) I discovered that the piccolo trumpet is recognisable for its small size and high pitch, making it a very specialised instrument that is mainly used in Baroque-era music. Distinguished by its shorter tubing length, its compact design produces brilliant and piercing tones with a bright, crisp sound. So now I know. I also saw what I now know to be a renaissance lute with the neck turned at sharp angle to make it more playable I suppose. After the performance ended with the traditional ‘Allelujah Chorus’,it looked as though there was going to be an encore of some kind and, indeed, one of the solists came out to give a rendition of ‘I know that my redeemer liveth’. Then there was a modern harpischord continuo and some oher arias followed for which we did not stay tuned in. I found this to be very enjoyable as I could simultaneously read my weekend copy of ‘The Times’, listen to the music and occasionlly glance up at the TV as the occasion demanded.

Wales met Portugal in the World Cup this afternoon. Actually most of the Portuguese players seemed to play for French clubs but some as low as in the 4th division. The game went the way that many of these type of fixtures seemed to go in this tournment. There was no doubt that Wales was going to win (but they only secured the bonus point for their fourth try after he clock had turned ‘red’) Wales played very much below their their potential whereas the Portuguse played the game of their lives – and in many ways played the more enterprising and entertaining rugby (which was a pattern that we also saw in the France vs. Uruguay match) This makes the whole tournament so much more entertaining – and the interesting thing is that the ‘best’ rugby seems to come from the minnows of the game rather than the well-established rugby nations, who you would have thought should have performed very much better than they did against inferior opposition.