Friday, 9th February, 2024

[Day 1425]

So Friday has dawned and two carers turned up this morning, one of them being one of our regulars and the other new to us. So between us, we got Meg up, washed, dressed and breakfasted and we started to look forward to the day ahead. Apart from our domestic help turning up which is our usual Friday commitment, the Eucharistic minister turned up as arranged from our local church and we had our usual little bit of spiritual solace. Then we had a very welcome telephone call from our University of Birmingham friend and we responded with due alacrity to his suggestion that we all meet for coffee in the Waitrose coffee bar, which we did in the late morning. Afterwards we had spent a very pleasant hour in each other's company, we parted and it was time for me to come home and prepare our Friday lunchtime meal, whch was a fish pie. One way or another, we had had quite a busy morning which seemed to fly by. Our domestic help mentioned a TV programme which featured cookery and a visit to Santiago de Compostela so after we have had our post-prandial rest, we may see if we can get this on catch-up TV. I have consulted yesterday's 'T2' section in 'The Times' to see if any good films or series are available for us to watch later on this afternoon. Last Friday was the start of the 'Six Nations' rugby competition and I was not sure whether a match was going to be shown this evening or not. There are at least a couple of matches that are to be shown tomorrow afternoon of which the Wales vs. England match in the late afernoon is certainly the highlight.

I have just installed the type of memory card on my new PC which is normally reserved for photographers - technically, an SDHC card. This card was pretty cheap (£8) and stores 32GB of data and at the present rate at which this blog accumulates (2 x. 7kb a day) I calculate that I have enough space left to last me for over 1,000 years. Having said that, the manufacturers (Sandisk) give a warranty of 10 years but most computer experts advise against using this kind of flash memory for long term storage for a variety of technical reasons. Whilst you can read the card as many times as you like, writing data to the disk actually degrades the memory cell by a few electrons and in the course of time, say after 10,000 writes, this type of memory may fail. However, I am happy sticking with it for a few years, say five, and then immediately replacing it with a newer version. Whilst memory has got cheaper and cheaper, the newer types of memory is not manufactured for long term storage. The old-fashioned hard disk drive may actually be somewhat better for long term storage and this type of drive has technology associated with it which can 'tell' when the disk is starting to fail and can map out 'bad sectors' In other words, the old fashioned drives degrade more gradually whereas the newer technology can fail more dramatically.

The police are now saying that the Afghan who conducted a chemical attack against a woman with whom he was previously in a relationship is now probably dead. The attack itself was quite horrific as a caustic soda solution was used in the attack on the woman and he had actually injured himself in the course of the attack. Every single bit of CCTV footage that could be scoured indicates that the Afghan was making his way to the River Thames and that some footage indicates that he was near to the water. Some medical experts were of the view that untreated, the chemical burns which the attacker had unintentionally inflicted upon himself would probably result in his own death and the pain must have been insufferable. The latest thinking of the police is that the suspect is almost certainly dead having thrown himself into the river but that his body may never be found. This is admittedly conjecture at the moment but is the best guess that the police have of the whereabouts of the attacker. On the other side of the Atlantic, President Biden is the subject of a report which indicates that he may be suffering from quite severe memory problems. This is a political nightmare for the Democrats who know in their heart of hearts that Biden is not the most suitable of candidates but it is now probably too late the political process for him to be replaced. So the American electorate are faced with the choice between Trump who has a track record of inflammatory rhetoric if not downright insurrection on the one hand versus an aged and evidently ailing President on the other. From this side of the Atlantic, one would have thought that there might have been some time within both the Republican and the Democrat camps for new candidates to be chosen and to come to the fore in both cases. But given the popularity of Trump with a hardcore section of the American electorate for whom he can do no wrong, then Jo Biden seems to be the only Democrat who is capable of beating Trump amongst the non-committed. All of this is building up to a scenario in which Trump, against all of the odds, may well be re-elected and the consequences for Europeans and the rest of the 'free' world are almost unimaginable.