Tuesday, 13th July, 2021

[Day 484]

Today was a ‘chewy’ kind of day but not without its compensations. I had been phoned up yesterday by our GP practice who indicated that one of their GPs needed to have a telephone consultation with me concerning some of the results from the recent array of blood tests I had taken. I sat by my phone at the appointed time but was eventually contacted some 40 minutes later and had an inconclusive consultation in which it was indicated that they wanted to see me ‘in the flesh’ either later on this morning (which I couldn’t manage) or some time tomorrow. I refuse to be worried excessively by such things but evidently some alarm bells are being rung somewhere and we shall see what transpires. The upshot of all of this was that Meg and I couldn’t get our ‘normal’ walk in down to the park so we decided to take the car into town, pick up our newspapers and then make our way to the park for a bit if a walk and our elevenses (Waitrose being out of action for about a fortnight, so we were told yesterday). When we got to the park we were dismayed that parking was incredibly difficult. Anticipating the end of lockdown, no doubt, and with the school holidays imminent, a fair-ground was setting up its machinery for its big rides and so on. Are hoop-la stalls only a distant memory, I ask myself? Evidently, we had not exposed to anything like this since the 484 days that this blog has been written and the fairground suppliers must have been chomping at the bit to get their act up and running as soon as possible. So we had roadways blocked off, other ones being resurfaced and general mayhem but we managed to locate a parking place and eventually made our way to our normal watering hole. There we met a husband-and-wife pair who are one of the park regulars but they had been on holiday to Cornwall so we had not seen them for about a fortnight or so. We had a pleasant chat and then proceeded off home, having to rely upon the good nature of another car-owner without whose assistance we would have been blocked in by fairground vehicles before making it home for a quick turnaround ready for Pilates. The Pilates went ahead with the normal four of us (one in each corner of the room) and we had our normal jolly banter before it was home for a delayed lunch.

This afternoon, I had a little border-laying project in mind to get done. I have a little curving path in Mog’s Den but it needs a border of some kind so that the forest bark does not constantly impinge. I had previously bought a log-roll (little pine staves attached to each other by wire) and this has the advantage of being able to be shaped around curves. However, it needs some ‘legs’ to get the whole thing sunk into the ground. So I prepared four ‘legs’ (which involved sawing a couple of 80cm staves so that I finished off with 4 x 40cm staves) each with a point on. I then screwed the log-roll onto the legs which fortunately went very smoothly as the pilot screws were easy to make in the fairly soft pine of the log-roll and I happened to have some very high quality 60mm ‘Spax’ screws which screwed in quite easily and then made a perfect fix. After that, it was a fairly simple job to make some guide holes (of almost exactly the same shape using another of my 80 cm staves, of which I always have some ready for use) and a progressive hammering down with a small lump hammer until all was finally in position – and looking good as well. I am not a natural wood-worker (not having had male relatives to guide me who young or the benefits of woodworking in my boy’s grammar school) but over the years I have learned the importance of both pilot holes and also the highest quality of screws (which, if they are well designed, have a thread making them easy to screw in but with excellent fixing power)

I heard in the background that every single one of the nine water and sewerage companies in the UK had failed to meet the environmental standards set for them by the regulator and discharge of sewerage into our rivers was now rife. Channel 4 news to which I had been listening in the backgound approached representatives of the water companies, and the regulator (OfWat) and finally the Environment Agency for a comment on this situation but in every single case there was ‘no-one’ available to give a comment on this situation. One has to ask what is the point of regulators and agencies if they are so much in league with the people they are meant to be policing that they refuse to be interviewed – or to be democratically accountable. Tonight, as well, the Tories have passed the legislation allowing them to cut the overseas aid budget which will will result in a large loss of life and lack of opportunities for women. Theresa May lead the ‘rebellion’ but the rebels were outvoted.