Sunday, 11th February, 2024

[Day 1427]

We pop into our Sunday routine this morning which means getting ourselves ready for the Lorna Kuenssberg program on BBC1 which we manage in time. Once we were up and breakfasted, we wondered if our University of Birmingham friend might make contact with us. This, indeed, he did but only to inform us that he had another commitment this morning so could not meet with us today. Nonetheless, we still went down to Waitrose on the off chance that we might bump into some people that we knew. There were some Sunday morning regulars that we know by sight only so after we had our coffee and a Danish pastry for Meg, we came home to settle down for the treat that we had promised ourselves. Two Sundays ago, we dropped into the second half of a three part series in which a group of very dissimilar minor celebrities were joining forces to walk an ancient route from the Swiss Alps over the St. Bernard’s pass and thence to Rome. Last week, we saw the third and the final part of this series but today we had promised ourselves that we start to view the series on iPlayer from the very beginning and in this way find out who the eight minor celebrities actually were. This proved to be an hour of the most absorbing TV that it was possible to watch – as well as the stunning mountain scenery and ancient Italian towns, there were the various group dynamics to consider. There were a variety of faiths – and no faith – individuals on offer but they were all, in a way, trying to prove something to themselves by undertaking the pilgrimage. One fascinating fellow pilgrim that they met en route was a British doctor who quite liked to walk along alone although he acknowledged that many pilgrims found walking in a group was extremely enjoyable. He explained that when one was alone, you concentrated on food, drink, appropriate clothing and where you going to spend the night in a hostel along the route. All of the other problems that you might have faded away when you were concentrating upon these bare essentials of life he argued and one could understand that he had a good point. So Meg and were delighted to have tuned in successfully to this first episode and are going to get to view the other episodes at about the same time each Sunday morning as some viewing to which we can look forward each week. This morning, we had some unsmoked ham cooking in the slow cooker and made ourselves a fairly conventional Sunday lunch of baked potato, broccoli and the slices of meat bathed in a thick onion gravy. There is always a certain amount of preparation preparing a Sunday meal like this but, once done, it makes life easier for the rest of the week as the meat is cooked, the onion gravy is prepared and so meals are quite straightforward for the remainder of the week. We knew that we were going to watch the Ireland vs. Italy Six nations rugby match this afternoon and this turned out to be quite enjoyable. Although this was one of he strongest teams of the competition playing the weakest, the Italians put up as good a show as they could and the match was reasonably entertaining, even though the Italians finished the match without a single score on the board. Whilst we were waiting for the match, we tuned into BBC 24 hours news programme and saw a fascinating half hour of the Art of Islam which was pretty enjoyable in its own right as well.

The next week is going to seem quite strange to us in a variety of ways. Our son and daughter-in-law are going to be away in Spain enjoying a half term break and some nice warmth away from the winter weather in the UK (although to be fair, we have not had he snow which was forecast last week and the next few days are going to be quite mild) But we are moving onto a new pattern of carers for Meg in which the carers are going to come every day rather than three days a week. My Pilates session this week is being junked so that we can enjoy the visit of the Admiral nurse under whose care Meg is receiving at the moment and whose advice and support we find quite valuable. Then on Thursday, our allocated social worker is due to visit for another visit in which the care and support for Meg are to be reviewed.

There is a story told about Clement Attlee, the Labour Prime Minister of the landslide win for the Labour Party in the 1945 election. After a reshuffle, one of his ministers was very disappointed that he had not been offered another portfolio and sought an interview with the Prime Minister. When asked why had had not offered another appointment, Clement Attlee apparently took a suck on his pipe and looking up from his desk just said ‘Not good enough’ – which ended the interview. I am reminded of this story because a Tory Treasury Minister was caught out in a Radio 4 interview last week not knowing some of the most basic facts about the British economy and hence the ‘not good enough’ epithet which ought to be applied to her. Mind you, the same could be said of many members of the current Cabinet whose days are surely numbered.