Thursday, 8th February, 2024

[Day 1424]

We have decided to have a slightly different pattern to our Thursday, starting today. Normally, I have asked Meg to stay in bed whilst I shoot out and attempt to do the shopping very quickly but I think the time has come to abandon this particular pattern. We have a carer allocated to us for this Thursday (the same one as yesterday who locked herself out!) so I thought I would wait until she came and then go and do the shopping. This worked out pretty well given that road works on the A38 impedes one’s progress to the supermarket but I managed to get there, get some money out of an ATM, do the shopping and get back in just a little over an hour. Today has been one of those wet, drizzly days where it stays gloomy all day long and there always seems to be rain hanging in the air, so to speak. The weather forecasters are talking about a band of snow sweeping across the North and the Midlands during the course of this afternoon and this evening. Insofar as I can discern from the weather maps, it looks as though Bromsgrove is absolutely on the edge of this snow line and so I am hopeful that we only get sleet or, if the snow does fall, it is sufficiently light to dissipate quite quickly. So having got the shopping done and then unpacked, we said goodbye to Meg’s carer who we might not see again if we replace her mid-day ‘sitting’ visit for an earlier one provided by the couple who get Meg up, washed and dressed. I promised to give her a reference if she applies for other jobs because, as a Psychology graduate, she may not to remain as a carer for the rest of her life. We had to have our lunch fairly expeditiously this lunchtime as I have a hospital appointment later on this afternoon and this having been done, I left for the hospital just after 2.00pm. When I got to the hospital, the car parking was a nightmare as we have come to expect oven the years. I joined the queue of cars searching desperately for a space and zigzagging through the car park on several circuits. The upshot of all of this is that I arrived some 5-10 minutes after my appointment time and apologised profusely although I suspect this must be happening all of the time. Nonetheless I was seen for my scan on time and chatted with the Polish radiology assistant about Brexit-related matters whilst she was getting me prepared (CT scans require a radio-opaque die to be delivered via a canula) This CT scan was routine insofar as it may be one of the end points of the monitoring of an operation that I had nearly six years ago now)

Now that I am exploring gradually some of the features of the Windows 11 operating system on the new laptop I have just acquired and on which I type as Meg is following news or listening to music in our Music Lounge. One such feature may seem a little like a gimmick but I found it quite intriguing. Once I got the webpage displayed that I composed for the benefit of fellow carers yesterday evening, I received a prompt that I could have the text on the website ‘read out’ to me if I pressed a combination of keys. This I did and heard an English style (i.e. not American-accented) female voice reading out the website to me. Excited by all of this, I thought I would try it out on the text version of these blog pages and again, this worked perfectly. I may get into a pattern where I play the ‘audio-enabled’ version of the blog to play the last day’s entry to Meg whilst she is sitting in her favourite armchair. I am intrigued to see what the reaction of various people might be (our domestic help, some of Meg’s carers) if I inflict any of my blog entries upon them.

Today, we feel as though we almost in an election mode as both of the principal party leaders attack each other. The Labour Party has decided to abandon its pledge to spend some £28 billions of both public and private sector money on green projects before the end of the next Parliament (always assuming they were the government of course) This pledge has become an albatross hung around the neck of the Labour Party even though it was first formulated in an era of low interest rates before Liz Truss trashed the economy and was always meant to be a mixture of public and private sector involvement. The Labour Party was finding that spokesman after spokesman were attacking the £28 billion figure as typical Labour profligacy and it was becoming evident that in the forthcoming election this attack line was going to be hammered to death across the social media and every time a Labour Party minister took to the airways. I think that ditching this figure was quite sensible even though environmentalists and the green lobby are up in arms. Rishi Sunak also massively opened his mouth and put a foot in it at PM’s question time yesterday by trying to taunt Keir Starmer over the definition of ‘a woman’ Whatever the rights and wrongs of this argument, the fact is that the murdered ‘trans’ adolescent’s mother was in the public benches of the House of Commons so this was not time or the place to issue what seemed a supremely insensitive comment into the debate at this particular point of time. In fact, the murdered girl’s father has already asked that Rishi Sunak’s insensitive comments should be withdrawn but of course, that is not going to happen either. One does get the feeling in these pre-election skirmishes that the personal attacks and ‘dirty tricks’ are only going to grow exponentially. A very ‘old fashioned’ political expression, taken from football, is that one ‘should play the ball not the man’ but one suspects this is going to be the reverse of what happens as the election campaigns unfold.