Friday, 9th October, 2020

[Day 207]

As predicted, it was a brighter but colder day this morning so we really have the feeling that autumn is upon us. We collected our newspapers as usual and swung by Waitrose in order to pick up some bottles of tonic water which had inadvertently been left off our shopping list. Then off to our usual comestibles in the park although this time we had been treated to some delicious sausage rolls, handmade for us by our domestic help. Then on the way home, we waved to our friends who live at the bottom of the hill and communicated to them our news that we had got ourselves booked in for the church service tomorrow evening. As it happens our friend will be one of the people who needs to check us in and out of the church to ensure that we are one of the select 36 who has been booked in. We will, of course, be asked to quote our names so I thought that I would call myself Mr.B. L. BeZub to see what the consequences might happen to be. Because it looks as though we might be in some tighter degrees of lockdown early next week, our friends have invited us to have a socially distanced with them tomorrow morning, to which we are looking forward (as always)

We had to have a fairly rapid lunch when we got back and sometimes I used to make a salmon risotto – but have got out of the habit so as to avoid partaking in too much carbohydrate (aka rice). But today I thought I would try a little culinary experiment. The supermarkets sell these days packets of what they call ‘cauliflower rice’ which is, as the name suggests, a rice-like foodstuff made from the finer florets of cauliflower which has much lower levels of carbohydrate than rice. So I prepared some kipper fillets (boil in the bag) and then made a risotto out of the cauliflower rice, onions, peas, kipper fillets, grated cheese and yoghurt. The experiment worked – I will try this again another week.

This afternoon, Meg had another medical consultation via a ‘webbed’ link and, like last week, the technology worked well and the consultation filled all of its objectives. At this rate, one wonders whether one will ever see a doctor in the flesh ever again as I am sure that this type of video consultation will rapidly become the norm. Then this evening we had a wonderful FaceTime chat with one of ex-Winchester colleagues giving us lots of news about our respective families (and some not altogether welcome medical news as well)

Later on in the afternoon, I read a long and fascinating email from one of my Winchester friends who, as it happened, had worked at the ‘toastrack’ domestic science college to which I made reference in last night’s blog. He had a welter of fascinating stories about his early professional life as a lecturer in Manchester and as I am going to Skype him in a few days time, no doubt we can exchange a lot of stories about the parts of Manchester that we had both known so well – but separated by a period of about five years so we did not actually overlap. On Sunday evening, Meg and I are going to Skype a great-niece (aunt’s daughter?) who is currently in Seattle so we are going to exchange lots of news about both families, and then I suspect political news. Although we get a lot of political news from the army of correspondents, it is always interesting to see what people ‘on the ground’ are actually thinking. As you may have noticed, we are trying to keep in touch with more and people by Skype or FaceTime which helps to keeps us sane in the strange times in which we are living.

Finally, we are all getting prepared for more stringent measures, to be announced on Monday. These have been very heavily trailed so far (support of up to two-thirds wages for those whose businesses are forced to close, a three-tier local lockdown system, perhaps some restrictions on travel into/out of the worst affected areas). It will now come as no surprise as the government have been ‘preparing us’ and, perhaps, the sooner the better!