Saturday, 10th October, 2020

[Day 208]

Meg and I had a somewhat different routine this morning because we had been invited to stop by at some of our friends in the Kidderminster Road thinking that a more stringent lockdown might soon be on the cards. We collected our newspapers, replete with supplements and then called by at Waitrose to pick up a bottle of wine. We then spent a most enjoyable hour and a half with our friends who treated us to some beautiful sandwiches and portions of cake whilst we chatted and joked away until we had to make our way home and prepare lunch. We treat ourselves on a Saturday to some Waitrose sausages which we bake in the oven and then have with (pre-prepared) carrot and parsnip mash before settling down to a solid afternoon’s reading of the Saturday newspapers. Halfway through the afternoon, I nearly leapt out of my chair with excitement when it was announced that Donald Trump had been admittted to hospital with a fever and I concluded that COVID-19 must be wreaking an unholy vengeance. I was soon to be disappointed, however, because there seemed to be a remarkable lack of attention to Trump being hospitalised – that is because they running a ‘review of the week’ program and the news of what was happening to Donald Trump related to the events of last Saturday and not today. So I sighed and carried on. I am preparing a metaphorical crate of brown ale which I will have by the side of my chair which I shall slowly consume as the American election results roll in (on what, for us, will be Wednesday, 4th November as the Americans are at six hours behind us) By tradition, my son has generally joined in these usually all-night election binges but he is now resolutely refusing to have any more to do with them. This is because every time he has sat down with me to watch the election results roll in, the side that he is not supporting is making all of the electoral gains. Hence, I am blamed for putting a jinx on whatever election we decide to watch together so I will have to do it on my own (although I may text some fellow election-night junkies) By consulting Google, I have discovered why the American presidential elections are traditionally held on a Tuesday. The assumption was that you attended church on the Sunday, travelled the quite large distances to where you are going vote on the Monday but knowing that Wednesday was sacrosanct as it was market day. So in the course of time, Tuesday became the best available day and was subsequently written into the constitution. I haven’t manage to work out why it should be the Tuesday following the first Monday in October, though.

Yesterday, an anticipated parcel arrived from Amazon which was yet another Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. I treated myself to another one because this particular one is only 11″ in length (the iPad is 10″) and it does this by dispensing with a numeric keypad. It also makes it much easier to transport together with the iPad if we are putting it in a travel case of any kind. I followed all of the instructions to make the Bluetooth pair up and nothing seemed to happen. As I was preparing to reinstall the former keyboard, the connection suddenly seemed to work and hey presto! For only about a tenner, the keyboard is about as cheap and Chinese-y as it is possible to get but various key combinations work as they should (to give you the ‘Home’ button and the shutdown) so I am more than satisfied. The batteries should last at least a couple of months and perhaps even more – and it really is amazing how much more proactive you can be on an iPad when you have a proper rather than a virtual keyboard with which to work.

Tonight was the first night of returning to church for the 6.00 pm service (our former pattern) and it really did seem as strange as we thought it might. The congregation was limited to 36 and well spaced out (i.e. only every other row of pews and only 2-3 in each pew). I have to say that the atmosphere was not really there at all (although it had been present in similar circumstances in the much smaller church at Harvington) but I am sure we will get used to it in time. We saw the friends with whom we had spent coffee in the morning in church and I duly signed as Mr. B. L. BeZub for which I am sure some divine retribution will shortly be forthcoming. Tomorrow night, we are looking with great anticipation to speaking with a great-niece in Seattle and seeing how the Americans are coping with things…