Thursday, 30th July, 2020

[Day 136]

A good fine day, today, as befits late July and there are promises that tomorrow may well be the hottest day of the summer. We had hoped that some of our friends might join us for tea in the garden late on in the afternoon but as it turned out they were both busy with other domestic commitments. As we were due to have a pest control firm to deal with our wasp’s nest we were felt that all had probably turned out for the best. In the morning before our walk, I busied myself getting the Waitrose order updated ready for delivery first thing in the morning. In order to do this, I have to mentally walk around the supermarket I used to frequent before the lockdown and then update my list accordingly. The Waitrose pattern involves selecting a slot done 12-14 days ahead, populating a shopping basket with a previous order and then updating it the day before it is due to be delivered. This might sound a little quirky but it seems to be the way that the regular customers get the best out of the system. After this, Meg and I enjoyed our normal walk to the park, only a little disconcerted that we met none of our usual friends and acquaintances for a chat. Once we got home. we acted on a text I had received from my Pilates teacher for classes to resume on 1st September. I was fortunate, I feel, to be one of the four enrolled in the face-to-face class (there were previously eight in our class) and the rest of the class will participate with us doing the exercises but via Zoom. How this is going to work, we shall have to wait and see – I had already taken the precaution of buying my own Pilates mat to take along with me.

It is that time, which comes round every three years when we are due to change our car. To be honest, we are not great car-enthusiasts, only wanting something that is ultra-reliable, gives us enough space for shopping and suitcases when we go on holiday (what is that?) and is easy to park. We are going to go for a Honda again as we have been more than satisfied with the Honda we have had for the last three years but we are going to go for a slightly different model because I particularly want a manual gearbox. I need to explain that I have never driven an automatic in my life and I do not intend to start now. Anyway, we have made an appointment for a test drive and have made an appointment to see one next Wednesday, so we will have to wait and see. We do not anticipate that we need to change until November (our changeover date) so we are getting things organised now in case we have to wait for our preferred colour which is sometimes the case. Enough of cars – except the YouTube reviews make them all sound wonderful but I am sure that there must be some quirks that are not to one’s liking.

In the late afternoon, our pest control man came round and did his stuff as we expected. This basically means that some extra strength powder is squirted from the end of a long lance into the wasp’s nest and the worker wasps get asphyxiated and then basically die as they do not want to enter the nest and so there is no work for them to do (so it was explained to us) If all is not well at the end of a week, then the firm will come to give a final fatal ‘puff’.

Boris Johnson had previously intimated that there 30 areas in the country where the virus was ‘bubbling up’. Tonight we learn that the whole of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and some parts of West Yorkshire are in a semi-lockdown – people are being forbidden to meet in groups in each other’s houses. Whether this applies to parks and other open spaces, is uncertain. These measures are designed to combat a sudden rise to 846 new cases (the highest total for a month) and a sure sign that the virus is still out there in the community but I am sure the vast majority of the population will be confused by the absence of any particularly clear message or guidance this evening.