Wednesday, 26th August, 2020

[Day 163]

Today has arrived at last when we are going to go on our little trip to Chester to see Meg’s Uncle Ken in Penrhyn Bay ( next door to Llandudno). We had set ourselves a schedule of getting off by 9.30 but as it was, we actually left promptly at 10.00. We called in to get our newspapers and then made our way with just a brief stop half way along for a drink of coffee in a lay-by but not requiring a loo visit. We got to the hotel and everyone turned out just as we expected – we had been given a family room with two double beds in it which was welcome. We had brought a selection of wipes and cleansing materials with us and although, no doubt, the room had been ‘deep cleaned’ we still gave it another go on all of the evident flat surfaces before venturing forth for our lunch at the Country Club which is only a couple of miles distant down the main A55. We have never had a poor meal here and we have had meals at least three times before. We felt we both have had a magnificent meal (starter of black pudding and chicken salad, followed by a main course of sea-bass and finished off with a sticky toffee pudding. I suppose it might be a function of not having a meal out for practically six months but we both enjoyed our food tremendously – and of course, thanks to the government we had it with £10 off per person. Afterwards, it was a case of repairing to our room and whilst Meg slept off the meal, I buried myself with unpacking and getting my little hotel systems sorted out. I must say the WiFi works effortlessly nowadays and it really does make a tremendous difference not to have to struggle with the technology the minute one arrives.

Being in a ‘hotel room’ disposition, we idly flicked through the available TV channels and found one which had filmed some of the ‘lost’ Dad’s Army scripts. The BBC had wiped, or failed to save, the original recordings so these episodes were created using actors who approximated to the original cast ( the vast majority of whom must be dead by now) It was marginally amusing but didn’t quite match the original.

Three political stories seem to be Hitting the headlines this evening. The first of these was an asylum seeker in Glasgow who had lost her job and with no food, starved to death with her starving baby beside her. The Home Office said it was ‘sorry’ but crocodile tears, methinks. The second story is one in Sky News ( the BBC wouldn’t run a story like this for fear of offending the government) which documents the 11 ‘U’ turns the government has made, giving the impression of a government completely out of control. And the third issue is the way in which Boris Johnson has had sacked first the chief regulator at Ofqual and then the chief civil servant in the Department of Education. Interesting, isn’t it, how civil servants have been sacked or sanctioned (making it look as though they are to blame) whereas no politician has yet had to ‘walk the plank’ and resign ( or lose office). Of course, the constitutional dictum used to be that ‘civil servants advise, ministers decide’ But in the new style of politics, it looks as though a not particularly bright bunch of politicians ( but all ideologically pure as all of the competent remainers have been got rid off or sidelined) refuse to accept any degree of accountability and blaming the civil service is cowardly. It also lessens the degree of trust between civil servants and ministers that must flourish if a healthy democracy is to flourish.

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