Wednesday, 3rd January, 2024

[Day 1388]

Today was quite a sad day for Meg and myself. As the Methodist Centre is not back into full operation until next week, we decided to call in at our favourite cafe in Droitwich. On the way there, I made a detour through the town to see if my usual newsagent had reopened. The shop was being prepared by an Asian female and although she had no newspapers in stock today, I informed her that Saad (our newsagent) used to keep a copy of ‘The Times‘ behind the counter for me to ensure that I could be assured of my copy. But I was informed that the elderly newsagent had died some two weeks before which came as quite a shock to me. I knew that he was suffering from a very serious lung condition but my reading about this condition on the web indicated that his life expectancy might be between 6-12 months and certainly not the week or so. I think that he was in his 80’s and was certainly working until a week or so before his death and I can’t imagine how distraught his now widow must feel. The funeral is to be next Monday and although I have no other details as yet and a possible clash of commitments, I am going to see if we can probably attend the funeral. So then we progressed onto Droitwich with heavy hearts, and then parked quite easily, picked up a copy of our newspaper and made our way to the cafe where we indulged in our usual fare (a pot of tea and a huge bacon butty between us) After this, we thought we would progress down into town and visit some of the charity shops we had not frequented for a month or so now. I wanted just a simple item which was a coffee or teatray on which we could rest our refreshments whilst sitting together on new settee. In the event, I did not find exactly what I wanted but ‘en passant’ I found a smart top for Meg which she can try on in the morning. We noticed, as we were passing by, that Poundland had taken over the old Wilko store and we had a quick whizz around. I have the feeling that Poundland probably took over a lot of the Wilko stock or at least suppliers because the store did not look too far removed from its precessor. We availed ourselves of a melamine coffee tray into which we fitted a heavy glass display dish and the two items complemented each other well and will serve our intended purpose very well. As we were walking through Droitwich, we were hailed by a person who knew us from our park meandering days and it transpired that she worked locally and had probably seen us emerge from the cafe. So we had a pleasant chat about times past and we indicated to her that we did not venture forth into the park as much as we used to do when Meg was a lot more mobile than she is now. When we got home, we had to race around and make a rather delayed lunch but this was not too difficult as all we had to do after putting the quiche into the oven was to prepare some runner beans and tomatoes to make the meal complete.

Further news is now emerging about the terrible aircraft fire in a Tokyo airport yesterday. But first, we have to say that it was little short of miraculous that the entire passenger and crew list of 379 were safely got out of the burning plane although there are a small number of injuries as people slid down the exit chutes. There is some chatter that Japanese society, which is incredibly ordered and compliant, probably helped to save the lives of everybody on board and one can only speculate that a planeload of Brits would have probably been a lot more argumentative with a consequent loss of life. It now appears that the light aircraft that collided with the Airbus was supposed to be in a holding area and had not been cleared for take-off i.e. they should not have been on the main runway at all. The pilot of the small fixed wing is very badly injured and all of the rest of his crew lost their lives.

Last night, I wondered if any of the radios upon which I used to listen to ClassicFM and had been rendered obsolete with the ClassicFM upgrade from DAB to DAB+ were at all capable of salvation. One radio cannot receive DAB+ and does not appear to have an FM mode so it will have to be junked. But in every other case, I have managed to access the FM mode upon which ClassicFM is still transmitted and the quality is surprisingly good given the fact that FM is so susceptible to background hiss and what-have-you. But a bit of experientation and fiddling with aerials has produced surprisingly good results. The reason this had not been discovered before is that if you have a DAB radio and one can access all one’s favourite stations, then there has never been a reason, or an incentive, to access the FM mode which some DAB radios still possess. So that makes me quite a happy bunny because I am now in the position of having practically of the functionality and the ease of access to ClassicFM which look so threatened only a day or so ago.