Thursday, 23rd November, 2023

[Day 1347]

Last night was an interesting ‘first’ for Meg and myself. Our very good University of Birmingham friend was travelling to Coruña in Northern Spain via Barcelona and then was due to meet our best Spanish friend in a large cafe near to the hotel which everybody knows, called ‘Manhatten’ I made a WhatsApp call at 6.30 which would have been 7.30 in Spain so it was long enough for our two friends to establish contact with each other and to chat for half an hour before I called. This WhatsApp video seemed as satisfactory as it could be under the circumstances but the cafe was somewhat noisy and it was difficult for our friends to hear us although we could hear them quite clearly. The WhatsApp contact did not last too long because of these communication difficulties but at least I now had proof that they had actually met up as they intended. We shall have to wait until Sunday for a full debrief to see how things went but I University of Birmingham friend had lost no time in seeing some of the sights of Coruña and seemed to be enjoying the city (and the hotel, next to the sea) Our Spanish friend send me a text apologising for not speaking for too long but I said we would correspond longer by email, which we generally do in any case.

So my normal shopping day has dawned yet again and I ensured that I got to the ATM outside a nearby supermarket, dashed into the supermarket itself for one or two things that I can only get there and finally did my shopping getting home before 9.00am. The second tranche of help is scheduled to come today so that I can get out on the shop and do the shopping that I need to do for things I cannot get as part of my routine shopping. So far, so good – the care assistant came on time and I got out on the road but most of the things for which I was looking I could not actually find so the whole shopping trip was a little frustrating. So then I got home rather late, unpacked the shopping eventually and then set about preparing a vegetable curry for lunch. This turned out to be bigger than I expected and although I cook a little pasta for Meg, I avoid this and just use a couple of broken up water biscuits to provide me with the little bit of carbohydrate that I need. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised that Meg managed to eat up all of her dinner because I felt that I had probably prepared too much. It started off with a couple of onions to which I added some fragments of beef, tomatoes, mushrooms, frozen peas, an apple, some sultanas and some left-over gravy and the trouble is that whilst each ingredient is not that much, they too tend to cumulatively add up to quite a large meal.

This afternoon, I started to make arrangements so that I could start to write this blog in one room but finish it off in an other, including the bits where I transfer it to its WordPress site and also a text version to my own personal website. For a reason I cannot explain, the normal FTP process did not work (either of the two FTP clients that I have) in our main lounge although the FTP worked flawlessly using a much older FTP transfer program that has been around literally for decades and which works fine on the re-commissioned IBM TbinkPad. I was trying to think of ways around this glitch and got the laptop to rest itself on a couple of occasions when suddenly the problems that I had disappeared. As I have been transferring programs over by FTP literally for years, why the glitch should have happened and then cleared itself, I shall never know. In the meantime, I am rather enjoing a YouTube rendition of most of the major Mozart pinao concertos (Nos 20-27 inclusive I think) which for me is always a pleasant way to sepnd an afternoon. Late in the afternoon, Meg’s social worker made a call to ascertain how the new care arrangements were working out. I gave what I thought was an honest response which was mixed – some overall satisfaction but a bit of dismay that the first care worker would not have known (or have the physical strength) to cope with Meg if she had staggered and fallen which is an almost daily occurrence. Today, though, I particularly wanted to watch the ‘Politics Live’ program which starts after midday on BBC but was so tired that I fell asleep right at the start of it and probably only saw about a minute or so before my need for sleep overwhelmed me.

There is quite an interesting political row going on at the moment because a Labour MP, representing Stockton on Tees, asked the Prime Minister why 30% of the children in his constituency lived in poverty. The new Home Secreatry was heard by many to say quite audibly ‘Because it is a sh*thole’ The Times, to its credit, prints out the offending word in full and the Home Secretary is having to climb down and to make a semi-apology – but it is indicative of the mindset of prominent Cabinet members in today’s Britain.