Friday, 2nd February, 2024

[Day 1418]

Today turned out to be quite a busy day, as it happens. We were expecting the duo of carers for Meg to turn up at 8.00am but nobody arrived. Even our domestic help was well delayed and we gathered that there had been a massive traffic jam right through the centre of Bromsgrove in the middle of rush hour. So Meg was got up, washed, dressed and breakfasted and then our two carers turned up, in a slightly different pairing to the normal. It it turned out that one of the pair, whose car had broken down and was still being repaired, was reliant upon the other carer who lived fairly nearby for transport but the second carer’s car had itself broken down. So when the pair of carers did manage to make it to our house, there was nothing left for them to do. Instead of turning them away, I invited them to stay and have a cup of coffee with us and I was glad that they accepted our invitation. As one of the carers comes from Peru and the other is Polish, it transpired that we are all co-religionists so we spent some time exploring the various things that we all had in common with each other. Normally, of course, it was all of a rush to get the job completed before they were off onto their next engagement so it was pleasant to be able to get them to know them a little under somewhat more relaxed circumstances. After they had left, we chatted as normal with our domestic help until it was time for the visit of our Eucharistic minister who calls from our local church each Friday to deliver us a little service. After her visit. we then thought that we would make our normal little trip into Waitrose, even though it was fairly late in the morning by now. In the car park as we were preparing to come home, we bumped into one of our Irish friends and she explained that she and her husband had been in Tenerife in search of a little winter warmth which explains why our paths have not happened to cross for several days. We promised to make contact again with each other, now that their little holiday is complete. Upon our return, it was time for our Friday style lunch and so we popped a bought fish pie into the oven and we then enjoyed this when it was ready.

By this morning’s mail we received the most interesting little letter from the wife of one of our oldest erstwhile Spanish friends who was the Head of the Department of Public Administration at the Complutense University, in Madrid Spain as well as being a member of the Spanish Supreme Court. In fact, earlier in his career, he had helped in the writing of the new democratic Spanish constitution after the death of Franco in 1975. He has died during the past year but we had sent a Christmas card, complete with some news about Meg’s health, to his widow who we also know quite well. What we got back was a sheet of folded A4 paper with a beautiful hand-drawn painting oe drawing of an angel and our friend had written her own letter, in English, on the reverse side. Tonight, when I have the time, I am going to reply but I suspect that I will need to cheat as my Spanish is nowwhere as good as her English. So I think I will compose a little letter in English giving her some of our more current news and then I will use one of the many translation services available via Google to turn it into respectable Spanish. Then I shall send off both the English and the Spanish version of my reply together. All of this is probably going to have to wait until Meg is safely tucked up in bed so that I can have a bit of time on my own to complete this little task. In the late afternoon, our hairdresser called around for an appointment which was on our planning board but about which we had forgotten for the moment. Our hairdresser has been coming to us for at least ten years now if not longer and she has learnt how to adapt what she does to Meg’s hair as our circumstances have changed. We do not normally talk about health-related issues but in the course of our normal conversation, it transpired that she had lost one brother to cancer in the last year or so and now another has been diagnosed with the disease with a prognosis that is less than favourable. We exchanged commiserations with her as her brothers had not reached what you might call a ripe old age and therefore were somewhat taken before their time.

Later on this evening, there will be a treat for us to which we have been looking forward for some time, namely the start of the ‘Six Nations’ rugby competition. Tonight’s match starts at 8.00pm and France v. Ireland is being played in Marseilles which is about Meg’s current bedtime. In order not to deprive either of us of this spectacle, I thought I would get Meg prepared well before the kick-off time and then I would get Meg propped up in bed to watch the first half whilst I sit myself in a chair to watch the match. No doubt, there will be other interesting matches over the weekend but I must await tomorrow’s newspaper for a full list of the rugby fixtures to which we can look forward.