Thursday, 27th August, 2020

[Day 164]

Today was the day we have been looking forward to for some time when we are going to see Meg’s Uncle Ken. We planned to see him immediately before the lockdown started 160+ days ago but we were rather overtaken by events. We had spent a restful night in our hotel, aided by the gentle playing of ClassicFM on an app called RadioPlayer installed on the iPad. The trick is to have the music playing sufficiently softly to lull you to sleep if that is your desire or just loud enough to concentrate on the item being played if you so wish. It had its desired effect because we didn’t awake fully until 7.30 and had to get showered and organised before our breakfast slot at 8.30 When we got down to breakfast we noticed we were the only non-BAME family in the breakfast room and wondered if everybody was taking the first opportunity to visit members of extended families. Breakfast was traditional or Continental and already ‘plated up’ which felt a bit like a regression to the 1950s.

After breakfast, we made for Conway and then for Penrhyn Bay, the distance being a little further than we had imagined. Ken seemed to in fine shape for a nearly 93 year old – whilst we were enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of fruit cake first the District Nurse turned up to dress Ken’s leg and then one of the army of carers who pops in on Ken to help him with his more social needs. We left Ken in good heart and headed off to enjoy our (pre-ordered) lunch in Conway town itself. When we got to our favourite tea rooms we were delighted to have successfully made a prior reservation as other would-be customers were being turned away but our reserved table was awaiting us. I had a fantastic home made fish pie and Meg had cod and chips – we have never had a poor meal there yet. During the lockdown period the owner had undertaken some renovations, knocking the wall through to liberate the space taken by a small shop area they used to have but now replaced by a serving counter. We also begged some empty Prosecco miniature bottles as a neighbouring table was being cleared, ready for the damson gin I hope to make the minute I have picked all the damsons off the decades old series of damson trees that runs along the bottom of our garden.

Then after lunch we made our way to see some other relatives on Ken’s side of the family who live in Old Colwyn ( not too far away) and we managed to get a bit of sea air into our lungs before the visit. We both had lots of Covid-19 stories to share with each other. In particular, the police in North Wales seem to have interpreted their role very zealously moving anybody from sitting on the benches overlooking the sea even though the guidance at the time said you could tale a rest whilst taking your daily exercise. Some members of the family are currently in New Zealand so it was to interesting to share stories of how they were coping with the virus over there. I made the offer to give some advice on dissertation writing as an MA needed completing within the next few months and whilst I was working I was responsible for providing the material for dissertation writing on all of the undergraduate programs.

When we eventually got home, we turned to see what was on the TV tonight, only to find it all seemed to be absolute rubbish. However on BBC4 they were re-broadcasting the film of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and although initially, I was not sure that I liked the production ( a voiceover giving expression to some of the actions and emotions as though read out from the book itself) eventually from the half-way point onward I got absolutely absorbed, not least because one could never be quite sure what the ‘denouement ’ was going to be.

As a postscript, I might add that this blog has been written twice over because whilst at the point of saving the final draft, the iPad seemed to ‘freeze’ (every computer user’s nightmare!) and I lost everything I had written and just had to sit down and write it all again!