Thursday, 4th January, 2024

[Day 1389]

Thursday is my shopping day so a different routine swings into action. I make sure that Meg is up, washed and dressed before I leave for the supermarket. Then my son sits with Meg and works at my little Music Lounge work station until I return which is generally an hour and twenty minutes later. Today, everything went beautifully as planned and then I started to unpack the shopping unil the carer arrives, which she does on a Thursday later in the morning and I have a chance to step forth and buy the things unavailable in my local food supermarket. The carer who calls on a Thursday comes originally from Peru so we take the opportunity of a few exchanges of words in Spanish and explanation of the type of customs e.g. asssociated with the 6th of September which is ‘Epiphany’ in the UK but ‘Reyes Magos’ in the Hispanic world. What I do not know is to what extent Meg can remember the Spanish in which she used to be so fluent but I hope that the carer from Peru might help to unlock a bit of it for her. After we had a little chat, I went on the road to buy some cosmetics and bits-and-bobs. Of course, I cannot resist the temptation of popping into some of the charity shops of which there are half a dozen along the Bromsgrove High Street and bought some cosmetics of which we were in need. But I also acquired two further little items both of which took my fancy and were pretty good finds under the circumstances. One was a small cushion the colours of which perfectly match the new leather armchair which I bought for myself just before Christmas so this has been claimed as my own. But the second was a flower vase with quite an ornate peacock design on it and I surmised that it must have been applied by a transfer process as there is no way that it could have been handpainted given the level of detail upon it. I thought that it looked vaguely reminiscient of a vase that we already own and, although they are of somewhat different different designs, it is evident from studying the peacock transfer that they must have come out of the same stable and therefore from the same pottery. There is no hallmark associated with it and if there were to be one, this would have increased the value tremendously. But as things stand, they form a quasi-matching pair and I am left to marvel at the coincidence of finding a match like this and, of course, if we were in closer contact with any of our relatives who were steeped in the history of designs from the English potteries, then we may have discovered some chapter-and-verse about their provenance. Suffice it to say that for the incredibly low price for which I picked up these pieces (i.e. less than my unit of currency which is the price of one cup of coffee) these pieces are mass produced and pleasant enough without ever being labelled as valuable. I might just do a ‘Google Images’ search, though, later on tonight which might thrown some lights on the history and provence of the design.

I got home at midday and the specialist nurse who had been booked to come round and give some advice on Meg’s condition was already at the house, having arrived early. She was moderately helpful and may be instrumental in getting some additional medication to help things along. Of course, one does not expect any dramatic breakthroughs in terms of medication or practical aids at this stage but it is generally a case of discussing ‘tweaks’ and working out what works in any particular case. At least, I know she is available if I need some more specialist help later on and it is always a good idea to be able to put a name to a face under these circumstances.

There are some developments on the political front today as Rishi Sunak has announced there will ‘probably’ be an election later on in the year, pointing to an autumn poll. From the Tory point of view, this allows for some huge tax handouts a.k.a. known as ‘election bribes’ to be handed out in the Spring budget and for the electorate to feel the benefit of these as they work their way through the economy. In addition, there is always the ‘something might turn up’ factor and I am always reminded that Margaret Thatcher was the most unpopular prime minister of all time just before the Falklands invasion which came as a godsend to her. Inmediately, after the successful re-capture of the Falklands (Malvinas to my Hispanic friends) her popularity rating soared to new heights and she won a huge election victory shortly on the back of this military triumph. Although the Labour Party is massively, and consistently, ahead in the opinion polls, I fear that this election may one of the dirtiest ever to be fought in British politics. Also the malign effect of misapplied AI (Artifical Intelligence) and the prominence given to fake news, I would not be surprised if the Tories managed to pull back quite a bit of lost ground.