Tuesday, 29th June, 2021

[Day 470]

Tuesdays are a little bit of a rush round because of the Pilates session which is my weekly commitment (and has been for a good few years now). After our return from our little holiday in Wales, the time had come for us to make an evaluation of our B&B which will be published for the clients to read. The system that AirB&B utilise takes part in three stages. First you can send private comments to the owner of the B&B which are ‘private’ and not intended for publication – so I took the opportunity to mention the malfunctioning toilet which kept us semi-awake for most of our last night with its constant burbling. Then you write the review which is actually going to be published on the web for others to read. When this has been done, you can then read the comments that the B&B owner has said about you, the clients. So an interesting little set of procedures.

Meg and I in order to save a little bit of time altered our normal routine a little. Now that Waitrose has liberalised itself a little, it has some benches outside for the use of clients to eat and drink (presumably?) Waitrose food and drink. So whilst Meg sat and waited, I popped round the corner and got our newspapers – our newsagent is very much a tennis fan and is following Wimbledon intently including the career of Any Murray. For him. the attraction of the game is the fact that ‘much of it is in the mind‘ and that ‘you have nobody to blame but yourself’ I suppose this is quite true but I have stopped being a very keen of Wimbledon ever since the big serves (and grunts) dominated the game. I made a lightning visit into the store to pick up some milk and oranges and then we headed homewards. I always have a quick turn around on a Tuesday but as the weather was so humid, it was one of those occasions when you feel the need to change one’s shirt in the middle of the day. I undertook my Pilates class with my by now ‘normal’ three Pilates class members and as usual, a few jokes went chasing round the room. As we exercise with the door open, shielded only by a screen we often wonder what the reception staff make of the peals of laughter which occasionally emanate from inside our exercise studio.

We have a quick but conventional lunch of fishcakes on Tuesdays and today was no exception. After lunch and a bit of a rest, I put in a 20 minute shift ‘gully clearing’ in our front of house communal area. I discovered quite a few little young saplings but I am not quite sure what they are – they could be ‘Acer Campestre‘ or field maple saplings but I shall ask our gardener when he calls around on Thursday to make sure. In the meantime, I have transplanted them to a safer ‘nursery’ bed area where I can keep my eye on them before I grow them on. I have to say that about 12 years go, I discovered a little field maple sapling under one of our hedges. This I grew on in a pot and then transplanted into my neighbour’s garden whilst I was looking after it for him. When this tree was about a metre and a half tall, I relocated it into a gap in one of our row of trees and it is now quite mature and must be some 7-8 metres in heigh (and is my pride and joy).

Of course, we knew that the impending football match between England and Germany was going to be the highlight of the afternoon. I thought that the result was going to be quite predictable in that I suspected there would be a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw, even after extra time and that Germany would eventually win the game on penalties. I have to say that the England team after an initial ten minutes were reasonably good without being outstanding – and the German team certainly lacked the penetration, menace and sharpness of German football teams we have known in the past. The second half was a fairly pedestrian affair with no team seeming to have the ‘killer punch’ but with about a quarter of an hour left to play, Raheem Stirling scored a stunning opportunistic goal and suddenly England were 1-0 ahead. Then the English captain, Harry Kane, who had had an arid time over the last few games and hardly seemed to have touched the ball in this entire game scored an incredibly good header and there we were 2-0 against Germany. The very last time we were had knocked Germany out of a major competition was the World Cup which England won in 1966 – as this was 55 years ago, I doubt whether I shall ever see the likes of it again in my lifetime. England will now meet the winners of Ukraine vs. Sweden (currently being played) in the quarter finals and, whisper it softly, now that we have beaten Germany our route to the final does seem within the bounds of of both hope and possibility.