Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

[Day 400]

Well, I suppose it is some kind of landmark to have reached day 400 in these blogs – who would have thought I would pass this milestone when I started well over a year ago. Today was always going to be a ‘chewy’ kind of day because in the morning I had to finish off helping our gardener finish off lowering the height of the golden privet hedge which surrounds i.e. screens our BioDisk. This was accomplished on time and when we sat on our front garden bench and surveyed our work we were pleased with the result i.e. the hedge is delightful (it wouldn’t be the first time gardeners try to lower the height of a hedge and its gets wavy or sloping) Now it is this size, we are going to give it a bit of a tickle with some Growmore fertiliser or perhaps some Blood Fish and Bone.Our gardener was pleased with the result as well and we think that the bare top may well have greened over in 3-4 weeks time as we have pruned this particular privet at just the right time of year. Of course we could do with a skyfull of rain because at the moment, the earth is starting to look incredibly parched. So to recoup on a little bit of time, we took the car down into town and collected our newspapers and then went onto our normal ‘top’ bench expecting to see our University of Birmingham friend. After some three-quarters of an hour, we reckoned that he was not going to turn but as soon as we got to our car, another park friend with whom we had been chatting caught up with us and told us our friend was sitting on one of the lower seats, also looking and waiting for us. What hadn’t helped is that the local authority had erected a temporary tent type arrangement whilst they are doing some work on a drainage pipe or something similar – as it happened, this tent completely obscured or view each from the other and hence we missed. Anyway, we caught up with other and had a few jolly moments of conversation before making our way home. We won’t see each for several days now as we off to Coughton Court (National Trust property) tomorrow and our friend is engaged in tennis matches here and there so we will probably not see each other again until Saturday (quite a long time for us park regulars!)

In the mid afternoon, I thought I had better get to work mowing the lawns, even though the fine weather had suddenly become rather overcast and gloomy. Still, I got the lawns all done in good time as I like to keep a regular weekly schedule at this time of year. Just before I started on the lawns the doorbell rang and it was a computer technician bringing me a reconditioned HP laptop. Although it is not a very highly ‘specified’ machine, even when new, it does have Windows 10 on it, 4Gb of memory and a hard disk sufficient for my needs. The idea is that I run my statistical software on this machine as well as resurrecting my PhD written in very old version of Word and needing modern machine to access it. When I was offered a laptop like this for £99.00, I thought that the offer was too good to miss so the machine duly arrived. Naturally, I haven’t had time to play about with it yet but the technician helped my get my Outlook email account up and running. We both of us had a quick bash at running my Dos-based statistical software without a great deal of success – it looks as though I may have to get a DOS-emulator on the machine as thought I was going to play a DOS-based game. However, I am sure this has been done lots of time before so it will just take a little playing about time.

We are just on the brink of two big news stories breaking in the next day. One of these is going to be the jury returning to give their verdict in the George Floyd case in the next day (probably) and there is a lot of tension in the air to see what result is going to be returned. Anything other than ‘Guilty’ is likely to start the most intense black backlash right across America (as to British eyes, this is an an ‘open-and-shut’ case) but we shall have to wait and see.(Stop Press: Guilty on all 3 counts)The other more domestic issue is the case of the new ‘European Super League’ where it appears that at least two of the six English clubs (Chelsea and Manchester City)Stop Press: All 6 English clubs (led by Chelsea) have now pulled out of the proposed new Super League – which is now effectively ‘dead’.