Saturday, 6th January, 2024

[Day 1391]

Meg and I had a bit of a lie-in this morning, which we quite appreciated. Normally our day starts some time after 6.00am when the carers come along at about 7.00am but at the weekends, we do our own thing so we enjoyed the extra hour in bed. Mid-morning, the parishioner from our local church came along to conduct a little service for us and this visit is always very much appreciated. Apart from the religious elements, we always have a chat about things and our parishioner is pretty knowledgeble about things in the locality so this is useful for us. After she had departed, I popped Meg into the car and we trundled down the hill to pick up a copy of our daily newspaper. In about a week or so, we will resume service with our regular newsagent but first there is a little matter of his funeral to attend. This is to be held in the Redditch crematorium but is at 12.30 where it conflicts with a doctor’s appointment (face-to-face) which we have. Although I do not like cancelling appointments with doctors given the long times one has to make an appointment in advance (currently the best part of three weeks) but under these circumstances, I feel we have no alternative. I always attempt to buy something a little different for our meal at midday on a Saturday and for today I had bought what was labelled as a ‘lamb hotpot’ Apart from some sliced potato on the top and some miniscule portions of carrot, it was mainly a lamb mince. So I think I must not be seduced by so called ‘ready’ meals but revert to my current practice of always cooking our meals from our own ingredients. In the early afternoon, our domestic help and her husband called around, by prior arrangement, to pick up a spare freezer which we had in our kitchen. This had belonged to my son and his wife and we had no real use for it so it has been relocated to a good home. When we had a large house in Leicestershire, we did allow ourselves the luxury of a second fridge in the garage but I seem to remember that instead of trading it in we decided to make it a ‘yogurt and beer’ fridge. In those days, we had a yogurt maker which was just a plastic box type of thing that supplied a minimal amount of heat to the contents. We used to make up our own yogurts with a bit of yogurt to supply the culture and then, I think, some condensed milk and some flavourings. It enabled us to eat lashings of yogurt quite cheaply. We also made our own beer, in keeeping with most of the male population in the 1970’s when the Chancellor of the day relaxed restrictions upon home brewing and many men went mad with their supply of half height plastic dustbins and some ready made kits, of which the best that I remember was called ‘Tom Caxton’ I used to make a lager and also a barley wine which blew your head off when I made it with double the amount of sugar (to approximately double the alcohol content) We all grew out of that fad, eventually, but it was fine whilst it lasted.

Before our little Epiphany party this evening, the thought flitted across my mind whether there was any easily improvised fancy dress that I might sport this evening. My first thought was to create a kind of doublet-and-hose in the manner of a mediaeval king, utilising a pair of Meg’s tights and then one of her kilts made double in its middle by the strategic use of abelt (the ‘doublet’ part) It did not take me too long to reject this idea as insufficiently realistic and lacking in effect so then I hit upon the idea of constructng a crown, in either silver or gold, from some paper doylies.On looking at our fast depleting store of such items, I only had one gold doyly left and no silver ones so this idea soon bit the dust. I am not averse to a bit of dressing up on occasions, the boldest of which was a pair of skimpy flame-red briefs worn under my Father Christmas outfit and flashed at the end of my turn. This is captured as a bit of video on my phone and on the basis of that we were offered a free coffee and a light meal (gratis) when I revealed this bit of video to a friendly cafe owner in La Coruña in Northern Spain. I must say that I have not been tempted to attempt the same here in Bromsgrove for fear of being arrested on the spot, at the very least. So I think that tonight, we shall just content ourselves with taking along a bit of ‘fizz’ to help the evening along.

The weather forecasters are preparing us for a spell of cold weather that may last as much as a whole week. It looks like a high pressure area stuck over the county which will give us clear skies by day but frosty nights and temperatures that drop below freezing at night. Now that we are forewarned, I will get my tried-and-trusted windscreen protectors in place so that if we need to go anywhere in the morning, I shall not have to do a massive defrosting job on the car.