Wednesday, 30th June, 2021

[Day 471]

It seems extraordinary to me that here we are on the very last day of June which means that after today, the year is half over. To add the air on unreality about it all, as well, we are waking up with the realisation that England has beaten Germany and knocked them out of a football competition for the first time in 55 years. Moreover, England progressed to the quarter finals by winning the game within 90 minutes and therefore having to endure extra time or the almost inevitable penalties. When I got my copy of ‘The Times‘ I see that in their regular supplement (called ‘The Game’) they have devoted no less than 9 pages to analysis and comment. What happens if we are get to the final (which now seems less improbable than it did), we shall have to wait and see. But there is a strange feeling in the air that life is not supposed to be like this – the normal order of events is a national malaise and breastbeating after we lose to Germany on penalties. I suppose a fair comment is to the effect that here were two teams with a moderate ability to excite crowds with scintillating football but England manage to make the most of their very few chances whereas Germany fluffed theirs. If Mueller’s shot hd equalised very late in the day then Germany would probably have gone on to win the match. Enough of football – except that that the plucky little Ukrainians (with whom we had considerably sympathy when they were giant killing Sweden) will be our immediate opponents on Saturday next.

We were a little delayed this morning whist I completed my Waitrose order, ready for delivery tomorrow. I was more than a little disconcerted when my Apple mouse seemed to have given up the ghost and I had to make do with a little temporary one that I use on occasions like these. I think the system had updated itself during the night and the mouse charge might have run down to zero – but recharging it seemed to have no effect. My son hearing of my plight took the mouse, rubbed it on his jumper for a second or so, clicked it and everything sprung into life again. I am at a loss to understood what had happened or why but at least all is now restored to normality. This morning Meg and I were due to make a visit to the dentists, not having been for about 18 months or so. Under more normal circumstances, we would see the hygienist for one appointment and then see the dentist some three months later and repeating the pattern so that we seem them both each six months. We were a trifle apprehensive about how today was going to go, but in practice it was fine. Whilst Meg was being seen by the hygienist, I was examined by the dentist and then we swopped over. After so long a gap, I was fearful that our dental health might have deteriorated somewhat. But it was the most pleasant of news for both us that our teeth and gums seem to be fine and have stood up well to the deprivations of the last year and a half. So it was a quick run home and a lunch of quiche which is often our Wednesday bill of fare.

This afternoon, I had set myself the task of trying to get more of the gully/border cleared by the side of our communal area. This is no easy task and there is no substitute to getting on a kneeling mat and doing a painstaking foot by foot clearance. The most important thing is to get hold of the invading bracken and pull it up so the stem is pulled up from the rootstock. Then, there are the nettles but the ivy and the counchgrass prove to be the most troublesome to remove. I reckon that on average it takes about 20 minutes a foot to restore some sense of order and I think I have another 8-10 feet yet to do before the job is completed. Tomorrow, our regular gardener and I are due to tackle the overgrown ‘Mog’s Den‘ and I am hopeful after a couple of hours of hard work, we will have got this, too, restored to some sort of order.

The latest COVID-19 figures are 26,000 new infections which seems to be a horrific increase on yesterday. Yet the government seems curiously unconcerned about all of this as the link between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and a consequent death rate seems to have been broken, at least in part. It also looks as though ‘the vulnerable’ are now to receive a third, booster, jab in the autumn onwards, so the government is evidently trying to make plans for when we see a resurgence of the virus in the winter months, perhaps coupled with a ‘normal’ flu which will no doubt fill the hospital beds (and the mortuaries) quite rapidly.