Friday, 6th October, 2023

[Day 1299]

We always look forward to a Friday as it is the day when our domestic help calls around and we always seem to have a lot of news to exchange with each other. Today after Meg was breakfasted, I made a lightning visit into town both to collect our daily newspaper and also to visit a local hardware store that sells all sorts of bits and pieces. A fairly crucial nut had fallen off Meg’s wheelchair and as it is integral to the whole structure and not just an extra, it was important that I replace it as soon as possible. Having looked in my collection, I found a nut which almost did the job but not quite so I suspect the nut I found was imperial but what was needed was a metric one. I took the nut from my collection into the hardware store ,found a ‘thingmajig’that it too failed to fit, found a nut in the store that did fit the thingymajig and concluded that this was probably the right size. I spent a total of 8p plus another 10p for an appropriate washer and was delighted, upon my return home, to find that it fitted perfectly. My only regret, now, is not buying two of them as a second nut will probably prevent the first from working loose again.

We decided to revisit the cafe again in Droitwich which evidently caters for an older clientele and treats us like long lost friends. Here we indulged in cappuccino and Meg was treated to some carrot cake. Afterwards, we went up and down a row of little street stalls which is evidently a feature of life on a Friday in Droitwich. I stopped by a stall displaying leather goods and was persuaded to buy both a replacement car key fob case as the zip is going on my current one. I was also tempted into buying a new credit card case as my existing one is home made and showing signs of wear. We then went off to the Webb’s Garden Centre and store where we were due to meet up with some friends for a lunch date at 1.00pm. We coincided in the car park and proceeded to lunch which was adequate without being brilliant. After a morning out and a lunch filled with interesting conversation, we decided to get Meg home to give her a rest as I feel that she really does need to rest as much as she can in the afternoons to keep going all day.

The political news this morning is dominated by the success of the Labour party in the recent Rutherglen by-election in Scotland. As the incumbent SNP MP had messed up big time and been thrown out of the party for riding on public transport whilst infectious with the COVID-19 virus, it is of no surprise that the Labour Party polled twice as much as the SNP candidate. Some commentators are getting very excited about what this means in the forthcoming general election, gifting perhaps a dozen more seats to the Labour Party which may well prove critical. But this is one of these elections where because of the special factors in play, I feel it is rather too premature to read too much into the one victory. All that can be said is that if Labour had not won the seat, then their chances of having a majority in any forthcoming general election must be vanishingly small. In the meanwhile, there was a brilliant, savage and funny cartoon in The Times today which shows Rishi Sunak as a puppet in the hands of a cruelly drawn Suella Braverman who has one hand with a tight grip upon his crutch and the other around his neck whilst Sunak is exclaiming ‘It will take a Braverman than me to shut her up’ Incidentally, as I was leaving the house this morning to pay a visit to the hardware shop, I popped Meg in front of the TV to watch a catch-up version of last night’s ‘Any Questions‘ in which most of the panel agreed that the Braverman language was inflammatory. The Tory transport minister was eventually forced into to the admission that it was not language that he would have used, personally, and Rishi Sunak is giving off the similar vibes as well. I also read that Justine Greening, an ex-Tory minister, is arguing that the recent Conservative party conference abandoned the centre ground and may be ceding the next general election to the Labour party before the campaign has even officially started.

A rather extraordinary survey has just surfaced on the ‘Which‘ website. It claims that Sainsbury’s have taken over from Waitrose as the UK’s most expensive supermarket – this may certainly prove to be a surprise to many. Although I used to be a Waitrose customer in the bad old days of lockdown when I used their delivery service, I have now transferred my allegiance elsewhere. When Meg and I lived in Hampshire, we shopped in our local Sainsbury’s which was so huge that when one looked down the rows of shelves, it seemed like an exercise in perspective towards a vanishing point that we got used to in our art lessons at school. If you forgot an item in the top end of the supermarket, it was certainly a huge trek backwards in order to find it. I must say I prefer smaller supermarkets and am quite prepared to have a smaller range of choice as a consequence.