Today was a special day as it was Meg’s birthday (now 74!) so we were going to have a routine that was out of the ordinary. We made a fairly early start to our day and then went to he church in Harvington, as we generally do on a Saturday, collecting our supply of newspapers en route. Today was a slightly sad occasion for us in that we have now decided to resume attendance at our ‘normal’ church as from next Saturday and hence today is to be our last attendance at St. Mary’s Harvington. Next week we shall return to our normal church which has been redecorated since it has been closed during the lockdown – attendance is now resuming but a booking system is going to be in place so that attendance can be kept down to ‘social distancing’ norms. This is going to seem rather strange next weekend but at least we will manage to resume contacts with old acquaintances.
After we returned home from church, we missed our general walk to the park (it was raining fairly hard anyway) but we indulged ourselves with some cake that had been baked for us by two separate friends. Then we made our way to our favourite ‘gourmet’ restaurant which is about some 5 miles distant where we had a magnificent birthday meal (crab followed by belly pork for Meg, a delicious pumpkin soup followed by beef for Mike) washed down with a lovely bottle of Rioja. Our meal was timed for 1.0pm but it was 4.0 pm by the time we had had our meal and a post-prandial coffee and chat with some fellow diners in the bar afterwards.
When we got home, we turned on the television to see what had happened to Donald Trump. As it happens, I was just posting last night’s blog when the news came through that he was about to be hospitalised in the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington – transported by helicopter. Although it was a rather unworthy thought, I did opine to some of the members of the church that we visited this morning that I was actually in some moral conflict – should I pray for the life of Donald Trump or for his death? Some of the scenes to which we were subject bordered on the farcical. The first was when a list of the medications that Donald Trump had been prescribed was followed by ‘and an aspirin’ The second scene which was hammily stage-managed was when some eleven white coated members of the medical team were assembled outside the hospital to say that Donald Trump was doing just fine. One doctor solemnly announced that it was his responsibility to look after Donald Trump’s ‘cough’ whilst many of the rest did not volunteer their specific role. However, one did get the feeling that there was a certain amount of dissimulation going on e.g. to the question ‘Has Donald Trump received any oxygen‘ we get a rather evasive answer to say that Donald Trump had not been administered any oxygen ‘today‘ which still leaves some questions unanswered. As I write, I did quick flick over to Sky News and it appeared that Donald Trump had been administered oxygen by his medical team in the White House yesterday and also that the president’s vital signs were ‘very concerning‘ yesterday evening – which is certainly not the story we were being fed yesterday the the presidents symptoms were described as ‘very mild’ and that he only being admitted to hospital because of an ‘excess of caution’. When a truer picture emerges in a day or so as to what exactly has happened a day or so earlier, one does get the sense that the news is being massively managed. Of course, we have been there before with Boris Johnson but he ended up in intensive care. The next few days are going to be critical for Donald Trump because if the virus is going to intensify its attack on his immune system, it generally takes a few days for this to happen. I think Joe Biden has done absolutely the right thing by taking the moral high ground and immediately ‘pulling’ any political advertising that was going to be critical of Donald Trump in person in the forthcoming election – of course, this might help to neutralise some of the poisonous advertising that it is going to come from the other side but I won’t hold my breath! The Sunday newspapers tomorrow may be contain fuller details of the inside stories that tend not to get mentioned in the Main Street Media press.