Monday, 24th August, 2020

[Day 161]

Today is one of those days when you look at the calendar and can scarcely believe that the month of August has only a week to run. It was a pleasant walk to the park with no rain being threatened (in the past few days we have been caught once or twice) We notice particularly in the park today that groups of people are evidently getting organised to meet with each other but evidently to keep on the right side of the social distancing regulations. We notice that there tend to be two types of these groupings – in the first place we evidently have a group of more elderly (retired?) people who have got themselves organised. Secondly, we have the impromptu birthday party and we noticed one was in process today. Evidently, three elements are involved – a groundsheet or blanket, some portable garden chairs and finally a hamper of food. It was clearly a nine-year old’s birthday party today and the group had carefully placed themselves in the bandstand where they could display things in the centre (like food) whilst the chairs formed a ring on the periphery. You also got the advantage of the open-air on the one hand with the opportunity to shelter from the rain in the event of a sudden shower on the other. It shows what a bit of organisation can do. On the way home, we encountered one of our oldest ‘church’ friends who is always good to see and we exchanged news about family matters and the like.

When we got home, Miggles the cat was lounging about in a variety of poses enjoying the late morning sunshine. We have come to the view that she quite likes our terrace because as our house is ‘L’ shaped, she can desport herself without fear of attack from two of the four directions. Before we got down to the park, we received a friendly text message thanking us from Miggles’ true owners thanking for looking after the cat but asking us not to give her any more food in future (in case she never returns home?) We indicated that we would certainly comply with their request and as we are going away later in the week then the cat might learn not to expect any more food in future from ‘Cold Comfort Farm‘ This message, too, was acknowledged in a friendly fashion so it is good that we have established a good modus vivendi with her real owners. Incidentally, I thought I might do a quick google search on ‘Why does my cat keep going to the neighbour’s house?‘ The internet is replete with information on this, much of it American, but I gleaned from it one interesting fact. Apparently ‘entire’ i.e. non-neutered cats are much more likely to roam and therefore to regard a neighbour’s house as merely the extension of its own territory. So if you possess a male cat and wish to keep it within the confines of your own garden, then apart from feeding it well the solution seems to be to ‘cut its knackers off’ ( you live and learn something new every day)

Knowing that we were going on a journey, I went out on the road to fill the car up with petrol (a rare event in these days of lockdown) and also to check the air pressure in the tyres. To my dismay, as well as paying for the privilege of free air, I found myself in the queue behind another motorist who decided not only to check the type pressure but also avail himself of a vacuum service (which is a utility just added to the air and water) I then discovered that the drycleaners from whom I wanted to collect some garments now shut at 4 pm in the afternoon rather than 5 pm so that will entail another journey to tomorrow. As we leave for our trip to Chester on Wednesday, much of tomorrow will be devoted to packing in any case.