Sunday, 5th November, 2023

[Day 1329]

So Sunday morning has dawned with a beautiful bright day which is very welcome after the storms that have swept the country over the last few days. Also, it would not be a matter of great surprise if the conveyor belt of storms brought more to sweep over the country in the next few days. This morning after we had breakfasted and not having any particular assignations of people to meet, we decided to set forth to both buy our Sunday newspaper and also to do a ‘mini’ supermarket shop-up. Last Thursday we missed out on our normal shopping because we had the visit of the two specialist nurses first thing in the morning but thought we ought to replenish some of the things that we know we are running out of. We decided to visit the large Aldi store in the centre of town and it seemed incredibly busy. Nonetheless, we managed to get parked (just!) and then there were about half a dozen items that I knew we really needed but almost inevitably as we went round the store we discovered more things that it would be useful to have.

I spent a certain amount of time last night trying to achieve the following, which sounds simple. I have a little website devoted to my finds/purchases of both pottery and furniture and what I wanted to do was to show side by side both an example of a Captain’s chair which I found on the web at three times the price that I paid, togther with a photo of my newly restored chair longside it by way of comparison. In theory, it should not have been too difficult to display two images next to each other using standard HTML but in practice it proved more tricky than I might imagine. Fortunately, I discovered some code on the web that achieved exactly the result that I wanted to achieve but I must say that I would never have worked it out for myself. As always with these coding poblems, other people have faced the similar issue before, have asked for advice on the web and some more skilful people have provided the answer. So I now have the answer that I wanted. The interesting thing is that the more ‘expensive’ item on the web seems to be identical with the chair I have just restored – either they both came from the same ‘stable’ or workshop as it were or else there is a very strict design protocol to which all makers adhere. In my restoration, I took off the outer layers of dust/dirt with baby wipes assuming these could create no damage, put on one application of orange oil (although some purists I have subsequently discoevered rather ‘pull a face’ at this), followed by two applications of a polish reviving cream. Finally, yesterday there was an application of a high quality beeswax polish followed by a buffing and that is a good as it is every going to be. Of course one wants to restore what you might call the ‘original’ finish but exactly how things looked, and were treated, when they were first constructed 120-130 years ago is a matter of conjecture.

After lunch today, Meg and I finished off watching the ‘Testament of Youth‘ which is the biopic of Vera Brittain, an early feminist and pacifist. Towards the very end of the film, a character pops up in Oxford to say to to Vera ‘I am Winifred Holtby’ at which my ears really pricked up. Winifred Holtby is best known for her novel ‘South Riding’ but, of course Yorkshire only has three Ridings (Norman French for thirds) of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Yorkshire. When my mother was alive, I am convinced that she often spoke of Winifred Holtby and they hailed from the same part of the world (Hull and East Yorkshire) What I do not know if whether my mother ever met or knew Winifred Holtby or, more likely, was just in awe of a local well-known literary figure. The person who may well know is my niece who whilst training to be a teacher lodgd with my mother (her grandmother) and they often had chats of a literary nature with each other. I think a long text to my niece is in order to try to throw some light upon the matter.

Tonight Meg and I are following our normal routine of a little bit of culture, a bit of comedy in another episode of ‘Outnumbered‘ finished off by a YouTube concert at the very end of the afternoon before we look forward to our tea. In the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Jordanians are trying to broker some kind of peace, if that is possible. Without overtly getting involved in controversy, I would have thought that many would have agreed with the Jordanian Foreign Minister who has opined that ‘Nobody is benefiting, on the contrary everybody is losing. Palestinians are losing their lives, people in the region are losing faith and Israel is losing its humanity in this war. A ceasefire was important because it would stop the killing of the innocent. A ceasefire is a must because with every minute that goes without a ceasefire, the pictures that are shown on TV show the human cost that is being paid’ Just to reinforce this point, an Israeli minister has been suspended after he said dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza was ‘one of the possibilities’. One can only drop one’s jaw in amazement that such a sentiment could be expressed in a western style democracy.