Tuesday, 27th April, 2021

[Day 407]

The spell of really good weather is gradually coming to an end and today was certainly cloudier than yesterday. Nonetheless, we popped off down to collect our newspapers and then onto the park where we enjoyed the company of several of the ‘park regulars’ – I was joking with them whether we ought to form a lodge or one of those funny societies you occasionally used to see. In my youth, I vaguely remember that there was an Independent Order of Oddfellows which sounds broadly like an offshoot of the Masons but it is not. (To confuse matters, many masons are also Oddfellows but not the reverse) They have their roots in the 1700’s in England but faced a degree of suppression but they seem to have a much bigger and more vigorous movement in the United States. By the time we had chatted anyway and even met up with one of our friends from yesterday, it was nearly 2.00pm when we got home so we had to organise a pretty fast lunch for ourselves, which we did. After all of the excitement of yesterday, we decided to have a nice peaceful afternoon whith we did but we had some telephone calls to make and receive so the afternoon seemed to shoot by, one way or another.

I am trying an experiment, not succeeding to get audio drivers to installed onto the Thinkpad, to get our composite .mp3 of our wedding music loaded onto my iPhone. You would have thought that it would have been as simple as emailing yourself a copy of the relevant .mp3 and then saving it into your ‘Apple’ music collection but this is not the Apple way of doing things. To be fair, Apple do not allow you to to do this directly as it is a route by which viruses and other nasties could infect your phone so Apple has its own way of doing this which is to get your .mp3 file uploaded into iTunes and then sync this with iTunes on your iPhone. But to complicate matters, iTunes no longer exists in the latest iteration of the operating system but you do have Apple Music. When you read on the web how to perform the procedures of getting a mp3 file onto your Phone, it all sounds so very straightforward but it didn’t seem to turn out that way. Many people suggest a third part app and, indeed, I already had got DropBox installed on both my computer and also on my iPhone. I must have previously uploaded my wedding music some two and a half years previously but I discovered that with DropBox you can actually download a file such that it can be played ‘offline’ This seemed to work fine and I tested out that it works by turning off my WiFi and Bluetooth and making sure that the music I wanted on my iPhone was actually there as it would play OK. There is a point to all of this which is this: if I want to play the moving slide show of our (original) wedding photos and have a facsimile of the original music playing alongside (on the iPhone) this I can now do. We are thinking about when we go and visit Meg’s cousin in Bolton in just under three weeks time.

As it is approaching the end of the month, the weather forecasters are casting an eye backwards over the last month which has been pretty strange, historically. I had not appreciated that it actually been the frostiest April for 60 years and rainfall has been only 10% of the average. Of course, there will be a few days of rain at the end of the month to moderate these statistics but is hasn’t all been ‘down’ side because we got some gloriously sunny days last week associated with a stationery high pressure system.

The political scene in the run up to the elections in interesting, to put it mildly. There are a swirl of allegations swirling around No. 10 on a range of issues but the most important is whether the redecoration to the flat in Downing Street was done legally or not (if a Tory donor had put up the money and then Boris Johnson repaid him this would not be within the rules) But the extraordinary thing is that many political journalists think the Prime Minister’s problems, which are largely of his own making, are potentially very serious. On the other hand, the Tories seem well ahead in the opinion polls and no amount of sleaze appears to have done them any harm as yet. One explanation is that voters know that Johnson is a serial liar and untrustworthy but they are prepared to overlook these failings as a price for having got Brexit done. A not dissimilar view ix expressed by some Tory MP’s for as one senior MP told me on Monday: ‘The Conservative Party’s relationship with Boris is very transactional. He wins us elections and we put up with his crap. If he starts being a vote loser, well that will change.’