Thursday, 21st September, 2023

[Day 1284]

Today is my shopping day and I was happy that I managed to get everything done whilst Meg was still in bed. As she was up several times during the night, I was relieved to see that she was staying in bed until I got back and slowly unpacked all of the shopping before cooking the breakfast for her. Whilst yesterday was wet all of the day, today seemed to be a beautiful day but appearances can be deceptive as we shall shortly see. I made up a flask and some things to eat and then progressed through the park, pushing Meg in a wheelchair. On the path, we met up with one of our regular ‘park’ friends that we used to see on an almost daily basis during the COVID days when the park was our lifeline. We had not seen each other for quite some time and we learned that our friend, who is not in good health and a wheelchair user, had been in hospital for a three week period and was still recovering from her hospital stay. We indicated that our trips to the park were less frequent than they used to be for a variety of reasons but it was nice to see her and to have a chat. Our friend went on her way and then we made for our usual bench and started to drink our coffee. Then within seconds, the heavens opened and we started to experience a really sharp and intensive shower of the sort that can wet you really thoroughly within seconds. Just to make matters worse, I was just receiving a telephone call which we had to terminate incredibly quickly and then dive for cover under the branches of the nearest large tree. Meg and I got soaked through but we had to stay there for a good 5-10 minutes until the intensity of the rainstorm had diminished considerably and we could make our way back to the car. This we did but, of course the minute we got home, we needed to strip off all of our outer layers of clothing and more besides, so that we could get ourselves dressed in some dry clothes. Once this was all done, we needed to get warmed up with a hot drink and then it was time for us to cook lunch. This turned out to be the kind of lunch which is quite typical for a Thursday when I made a sort of fry up of vegetables which were then served on some pasta (for Meg) and some cream crackers (for Mike)

After lunch, we received a telephone from one of the volunteers who works for AgeUK. We are trying to find some type of companion for Meg to perhaps sit with her for a little period of time on some afternoons but all of this may prove to be a little problematic and may not be possible. One of the volunteer organisers is going to perhaps pay us a visit and make some kind of assessment whether Meg could benefit from the voluntary services that may be available but we are rather in the lap of the gods until this happens. But we have been in text contact with one of Meg’s cousins with whom we have made an arrangement to visit Cheltenham to have a family meal a week on Saturday and to this, we are looking forward very much (but as we are both fairly ardent fans of Welsh rugby, let us hope this does not coincide with an important World Cup fixture)

So far, I have failed to comment on the Russell Brand affair but the latest revelations tonight have spurred me into comment. In the latest allegation, a woman says Brand exposed himself to her, then laughed about it on Radio 2 show. It strikes me that puffing up the egos of presenters and making them into ‘super stars’ as it were was almost inevitably going to lead to a situation in which some of these individuals (not all) must have felt themselves to be above the law or not subject to any kind of control or restraint. If we were to examine the context of the Brand comment in the latest allegation, Radio 2 was desperate to attract a younger audience and to be appear a bit more ‘edgy’ and ‘cutting edge’ and therefore probably let Brand get away with things which, upon a more sober reflection, should have never seen the light of day. The BBC is conducting its own investigation and it is apparently the case that in any tape of a Radio show which is pre-recorded, this has to be listened to someone in the BBC with editorial responsibilitie and adjudged to be compliant or not. But it is interesting to reflect that in the 1970’s there was an incredibly relaxed ‘zeitgeist’ surrounding some broadcast content. About a year or so back, a series of programmes were broadcast on the theme of ‘What they said in the 1970’s and then showing them to modern audiences – who viewed/listened with their eyes agape. In one infamous example, there was an advert in which a young woman was seen sauntering through a corn field exclaiming ‘I want to be – RAPED!’ One is amazed that anything like this was broadcast but indeed it was, to modern day astonishment.