Saturday, 15th August, 2020

[Day 152]

Today was the day when we were booked into St. Mary’s, Harvington Hall at 10.00. Last week there were only a dozen of us but this week there somewhat more of us (about 17) but just enough to make the atmosphere quite an intimate one. We were greeted warmly by the parish secretary with whom we need a booking week by week so it was nice to put a face to a name. After the service, we drove back home, dropped off a few things and went to collect our Saturday complement of newspapers before having our elevenses in the park.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of Miggles, our adopted cat who we do not own but who adopted us, much preferring our garden to her own. The exploits of Miggles will be well known to regular readers for she insisted on accompanying me to supervise whatever job I happened to be doing in the garden. Today, though, I am sad to say that Miggles is no more. We first were aware that something may be wrong when her rightful owners (we know who they are) could be heard regularly calling for her all day long a few days ago – so they evidently were aware that the cat was missing. She has not turned up for breakfast for five days now and although last time we saw her she was happy, well-fed, playful and basking in the sunshine, now she is only a memory. I have to say that Meg and I feel her loss quite keenly! She was an incredibly good-looking as well as intelligent cat so I shall leave her a tribute of the lines from Edward Lear’s ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat‘ which I regularly used to repeat to her:

‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are!
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

As she walked into our life we think about two years ago, now she has walked out of it so we shall have to get used to not seeing her bound across the grass to greet us as she typically did. I have a collection of nice photos on my iPhone on the occasions when I would wish to be reminded of her.

Idly seeing what was on the TV we saw that a rugby match was being played for the first time in months (Exeter Chiefs v. Leicester Tigers) but as the Tigers were being soundly outplayed and beaten, it was not the source of pleasure one might expect. We also got cheated out of our 1-hour ration of ‘Today at the Test’ as the (cricket) The Test match had to be abandoned for the day with a combination of rain and bad light. And finally, whilst on a sporting theme, whilst I was getting ready this morning I heard a sports report that indicated that Barcelona (one of Spain’s and Europe’s premier teams) had been defeated 8-2 which was their biggest defeat since 1940 (which is a very long time ago!)

It will be interesting to see which particular scrape the Government has got itself into will hit the Sunday newspapers tomorrow. It will be a tossup between bright A-level students who, because of the algorithm which reduced their teacher-assessed final grades, will miss out on their choice of university course. However, one brave Oxford college (Worcester College) has guaranteed a place to all students holding an offer irrespective of what the diminution of the grades might happen to be. They argued that they had enough information in the round without having to have recourse to a hypothetical final examination grade which was then moderated down!) And the second big story is the holidaymakers desperately getting home from France to discover that they need to undertake a strict 14-day quarantine (they cannot even take the dog for a walk)