Tuesday, 6th July, 2021

[Day 477]

Tuesdays are always quite busy days because it is the day when I have my Pilates class in the middle of the day. So to save time more than anything else, I took the car down to the Waitrose carpark where I installed Meg partaking of her elevenses whilst I popped off around the corner to collect our newspapers. I had quite a lengthy discussion with the Asian shopkeeper on the psychology of tennis players – we both agreed that probably some of the young players may not have been adequately coached on how to cope with failure rather than with success. Once we got ourselves logged into the system at Waitrose we were delighted to bump some of our ex-Waitrose friends from about a year and half ago. The husband had been diagnosed with dementia but we were recognised straight way and we were delighted to see that he still seemed to be quite alert and in touch with the world. We imagined that COVID-19 and the experience of lockdown might have resulted in a deterioration of his mental condition but this did not appear to have happened – so we were very pleased on his behalf. We have agreed that we might be able to coincide with each other next Tuesday when we can no doubt catch up on the last year’s news. Whilst we were in Waitrose we got a ‘Get well soon!’ card for the neighbour of one of friends from down the hill and this can be posted through the door when I traverse this route again on the way to my Pilates class. This proceeded with only three of us regulars (the fourth being on holiday) and it was one of those weeks (which happens in both Week 3 and also Week 6) of our block of classes when our Pilates tutor gives us the opportunity for 10 minutes of ‘relaxation’. It is a standing joke amongst my fellow members that I will always fall fast asleep in these precious 10 minutes. However, to be fair, I am never absolutely asleep because I am always just about conscious that instructions are being given to us to gradually come around from our relaxation session – however, I try not to disappoint these days and it is very much the case that I can (and do) fall asleep very quickly.

This afternoon, I knew that after lunch and a brief rest, I could go into the garden and complete a fast 20-30 minute job in ‘Mog’s Den’ However things did not quite turn out that way because although the weather was fine when I was walking home, there was a very intense rain shower just after I arrived home and was preparing lunch. Then we discovered that our 2-metre tall Lavatera (English name – mallow) which we have growing in a pot immediately outside our kitchen window had been caught by the wind and had immediately blown over. I tried a few little ‘feet’ under the pot but this was not enough to stabilise it – so I resorted to a length of fencing pole (I just happened to have one spare) and this was secured in the ground by some hefty blows from my sledge hammer (or do you call it a lump hammer?) Anyway, it’s worth its weight in gold on occasions like this and the Lavatera in its pot is now rock solid secure. We FaceTimed our friends as we always do at 5.00pm on a Tuesday evening (I made it before our iPad with 3 seconds to spare!) and as well as chatting for an hour, we made arrangements to go round and see them on Friday next, celebrating our friend’s birthday the preceding day. As soon as we had finished our FaceTime call and had some fruit-and-icecream for tea, I went outside to Mog’s Den to finish off the job I intended to do earlier.This involves laying a small portion of weed-control fabric and getting the forest bark evenly distributed over it (the easy part), whilst tomorrow, I just have. small section to dig over and some clipping back, tidying up to do to keep myself on schedule.

Tonight we watched the Italy vs. Spain semi-final which Italy eventually won 4-2 after extra time and in a penalty shootout. Both Meg and I thought this was one of the finest football matches we had ever seen – Spain perhaps deserved to win playing a much more attacking game whilst I felt that the Italians actually played a little below themselves. We are steeling ourselves for the England-Denmark semi-final which will be played tomorrow night and I, for one, am not completely filled with confidence. I suspect that the game will be decided on incredibly fine margins.

A final thought on COVID news. Is not wearing a mask (soon to be made ‘legal’ again after July 19th) the equivalent of blowing smoke into someone’s face (which is technically illegal) And is an infection rate of up to 100,000 a day a ‘price worth paying’?