Monday, 15th January, 2024

[Day 1400]

We knew from the weather forecast that today was going to start off as a cold day but as we were getting ourselves up,washed and dressed then we had the sudden flurry of a snow shower which was not really anticipated for this part of the country. It did not last for very long but was just enough to give our driveways a good covering but one, once the sun started to shine, we felt would soon melt. After we had breakfasted, we thought that we would make a trip into Droitwich which is our normal pattern for a Monday. We knew that we did not have a totally uninterrupted morning because we were expecting visits from the nurses who care for Meg’s condition in the late morning so we decided just to make a visit to Waitrose and to treat ourselves to a bacon butty as it was the start of a really cold snap. This turned out to be quite a good move because we made contact with one of our normal Tuesday crow who was there in Waitrose with a friend. This friend, once we had got into conversation with her, had been an embroiderer for several years so although it is a subject about which I know practically nothing, we could still find some points of contact. For example, I mentioned that Meg’s cousin was a superb quilter and in her time had taken part in exhibitions of the quilter’s art at, I belive, Westminster Abbey or a similar venue of note. Then we got home and waited for the visit of the two specialist nurses and who then spent some time with us, one with Meg and one with myself, whilst we discussed a whole range of issues concerned with the management of Meg’s care.

This afternoon was going to be a quiet afternoon but we had a delayed lunch of ham, beans and baked potato after which we wondered what current news was on offer today. This was the first opportunity that Rishi Sunak could take to inform the House of Commons of the necessity, as he saw it, to take military action against the Houthi rebels of Yemen. After what many regard as the disastrous intervention of Tony Blair in the Iraq war, a convention arose in the House of Commons that before, or as soon as practicable, before military interventions took place the House of Commons needed to be informed and take a vote, if necessary. When David Cameron had it is mind to commit UK forces to the conflict in Libya, this was vetoed by the House of Commons which many hoped would be a precedent for the future. But here we have another Conservative Prime Minister informing Parliament about a military action that had already taken place. On tis occasion, as the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Armer, was supporting the stance taken by the Prime Minister, then Parliament would not have withheld its approval but there is some concern, not least amongst Liberal Democrat and Scottish Nationalist MPs that we have been here before and whatever the military justifications appear to be, it could well be the case that the UK action in joining the Americans may well to help to spread the Israel/Gaza conflict further around the already volatile Middle East.

I had a very pleasant surprise this morning as our son called round to make me an impromptu present. This was a scarcely used 'Pure' DAB+ radio that he just happened to have as a spare and he thought that I could probably make use of it (on the condition that I threw one of my older and now defunct radios away) The ‘Pure’ was amazingly simple to tune into the stations that I wanted (Radio 4, Classic FM, Radio 3 and Radio 4 Extra) and I had it installed in the kitchen and playing away in no time. As this is a relatively modern DAB radio receiver, this has the advantage of the rolling display so that when a track is playing on ClassicFM that you vaguely recognise but cannot quite a name to, then the additional program information supplies this for you. After what I thought was going to be the trauma of the move of ClassicFM to DAB+, our household has survived this transition pretty well but I think that some of this is due to the happy accident that on the receivers that could no longer receive ClassicFM I could retune to the station on FM and the location of the radios just happened, fortuitously, to be in areas of good reception without the dreaded FM hiss and whispering that can bedevil FM transactions on occasions. This afternoon, as is quite normal for us these days, Meg and I enjoyed some rather fine baroque classical music tracks by courtesy of YouTube. The algorithms that they deploy generally choose some linked tracks so that you are never quite sure what track is going to follow its predecessor but it is nearly always something that we enjoy. Over the months, both Meg and I have started to appreciate the music of Fauré more and more which we find relaxing and to which we can listen over and over again without ever getting bored by it.