Saturday, 19th September, 2020

[Day 187]

After the traumas of my blogging experience yesterday, hopefully today is going to be a much more tranquil day. As is by now customary on a Saturday, Meg and I got up reasonably earlier and after we had breakfasted went to collect our newspapers before we set out for our church service at 10.00am this morning. There were only about a dozen of us in the church so it remains quite an intimate experience. In addition, the drive to and from Harvington village, just outside Kidderminster, passes through some beautiful Worcestershire countryside and it is a pleasure to motor along. When the church service was over, we returned home and picked up or normal ‘daily walk’ gear which is a rucsac, National Trust collapsing stool which doubles as a little table, good walking shoes, outerwear which is appropriate to the weather conditions. Just before we set out for our walk and seeing that our next door neighbour was toddling about (and who had just celebrated his birthday yesterday) I made him a gift of a especially restored horseshoe – and this is such an unusual thing to be given, I suspect that he was genuinely very pleased to receive it. I joked with him that he needed to have three more birthdays to acquire another three horseshoes and then a final year to acquire a big strong animal to put on the top of them (he said he would try and oblige). As we started our walk, I am reminded of the expression attributed to one of the Scandinavian nations – ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’. That having been said, we did have a rather peculiar combination of climatic conditions this morning as the sum was shining in a wonderful blue sky but coupled with quite a good and gusting wind. To my mind, the park was a little less full this morning but we still occasionally speculate how we would have coped with the COVID-19 lockdown and its sequelae without this regular part of our routine.

In the afternoon, we decided that we needed to buy a few things from one of our cut-price cosmetics shop as well as a tour around Poundland to buy a few more materials necessary to restore a few more of my supply of rusty old horseshoes whenever I can find the time. I decided to walk down into town in order to get a bit more exercise and bumped into some of our good friends (with whom I discussed the contents of last night’s blog as they are avid readers of this as well as following all of the latest political developments) I am not sure how we got onto the subject as I am not really a very ardent or knowledgable football fan but I did discuss with our friends the formidable ‘back four’ of the 1960’s Leeds defence – ‘big’ Jack Charlton in the centre (not a pretty footballer but difficult to get round), Billy Bremmer (who was terror like in his pursuit of attackers), Johnny Giles (sublime tackling skills) and Peter Lorimer (who had a fearsome shot and linked the backs with the forward line) The fullbacks were Paul Madeley, Paul Reaney and Ian Bell – although the goalkeepers played for their respective countries ( Gary Sprake for Wales and David Harvey for Scotland), I suspect that that the famous Don Revie philosophy was not to have goalkeepers in the team that were outstandingly good (as this would motivate the ‘back four-seven’ to let nothing get past them!). What started off the conversation was that Leeds had just gained promotion to the Premier League and had narrowly lost to Liverpool in their first match in this division. Today they are playing Fulham and I thought I would have a quick look at the result (Leeds won 4:3) and YouTube showed all of the goals and terrific goals they all were. It seemed a tremendously good game of football and of much higher quality that I remember in the 1960’s. Enough of boring football!

Tomorrow, nearly all of the newspapers are headlining the proposal? suggestion? that those who refuse to self isolate or break quarantine should be subject to an £10,000 fine. In case this sounds excessive, the govermemt has data to show that compliamce with self-isolation is some of the worst in Europe so, we might say ‘Something has to be done‘!