Monday, 9th October, 2023

[Day 1302]

Last night, Meg and I watched the Portugal vs. Fiji World Cup match and it proved to be enthralling. The scores were tied with about 10-15 minutes to go but then Fiji were awarded two penalties which put them six points ahead. Then with about two minutes to go, Portugal scored a try which then made them just one point behind Fiji. Portugal then converted this try which gave them an additional two points, meaning that they had secured a victory – their very first in World Cup competition- by a single point. What made the match so gripping is that the viewer really had no idea who was going to win. My sympathies were with Portugal, some of whom are amateurs and nearly all playing in the lower divisions of the French rugby league. Fiji go on to play England in the quarter finals and although Portugal does not progress beyond the pool stage, it does leave the World Cup with a most satisfying win under its belt. They had previously tied with Georgia and at one stage in the match, appeared to be the only team in the history of the World Cup about to experience two draws in the competition.

Today, Meg and I decided we would visit our friendly cafe/restaurant in Droitwich which is never too busy and they have plenty of comfortable chairs as additional recommendations – I think the regulars are the ‘oldies’ in Droitwich in the cafe we have started to frequent recently and where we are treated so well. After cappuchino and home-made scones, we also paid a visit to the Droitwich branch of the Worcestershire Association of Carers who have a large shop quite nearby. It was full of quite tempting things but we confined ourselves to the purchase of a couple of classical CD’s at 50p a throw. We popped inthe Droitwich branch of Waitrose to pick up some supplies and then made it back to view the Politics programme at 12.15. In truth, I didn’t see much of this because the programme was devoted to speeches at the Labour Party conference and then it was necessary for me to start cooking the lunch. This was a straightforward affair of ham, a baked potato, some mange-tout and a roasted tomato and Meg seemed to relish her meal very much. In the afternoon, we got rather diverted by putting on the BBC iPlayer and stumbling into some of the early episodes of ‘Outnumbered‘ which we always found to be achingly funny (the parents always being ‘outnumbered’ by their three children who present them with all kinds of challenges) Then it was a really beautiful afternoon so we spent a bit of time enjoying the warm autumn sunshine by sitting on a bench that we have at the front of the house. Our adopted cat, Miggles, espied us from a distance and came and sprawled on the bench next to us which is quite extraordinary as he is not even our cat. Having enjoyed the sunshine for a little, we then repaired inside and were halfway through a wildlife programme featuring the wildlife of the Serengeti National Park when we received some not very pleasant news by email. We were informed that Meg’s cousin on her mother’s side of the family who had been ill recently and had a spell in hospital had actually died last Friday. Although news of a relative’s death always comes as a bit of a shock and a blow, we had to sit down and work out how old she probably was. Meg’s cousin was an opera singer but almost entirely on the Austrian circuit. Just to make life confusing, her name was Gwyneth Jones but she had to insert a middle name of Maud to differentiate herself from the very famous Gyneth Jones who was probably born at almost the same time and therefore the two singers were exact contemporaries of each other. Meg told me how before we knew each other, she had travelled to Austria to stay with her cousin and must have heard her sing on several occasions. She probably sang in what you might call the second tier of opera houses and her repetoire seemed to be Offenbach, Strauss and the like rather than what is termed grand opera. This news, unfortunately, came as quite a shock to Meg but we had to sit down and work out how old her cousin actually was when she died. We suspect that Meg’s cousin must have been some 8-10 years older and that must have made her late 80’s at the time of her death. Naturally, I sent off an immediate condolence to her daughter who we have met for meals, together with Gyneth on two or three occasions when the pandemic did not get in the way and asked that we be given details of the funeral arrangements as soon as they have been finalised. Meg and I will certainly make the journey up the M6 to Bolton in Lancashire and, fortunately, although the distance is quite long it will be motorway (the M6) all the way so we will certainly make it there and back in one day. In the meanwhile, we have to reflect that as Meg and I are getting older, it is almost inevitable that some of our relatives will be meeting their end before us.