Saturday, 31st July, 2021

[Day 502]

Well, today was a very different kind of day. Although Meg and I have a TV in our bedroom and very often watch Newsnight and similar programs in the evening while we are getting ready for bed, we hardly ever watch the TV first thing in the morning. However, this morning proved to be the exception because as soon as we woke up and were ‘compos mentis‘ we realised from the news broadcasts on our bedside radios that Team GB had won the mixed triathlon – the first time this event has ever been part of the Olympics schedule. So we turned on the TV straight away and we did not have to wait for too long before we were rewarded with a very full video summary of the race form start to finish. So Meg and I just sat on a large blanket chest that occupies a position at the foot of our bed and watch the whole race as it unfolded. It did not detract from the enjoyment of it watching a summary of it like this – although Team GB were the pre-race favourites, this did not mean that they held the lead at all times and indeed the at the various ‘transitions’ from one phase of the race to the next the lead did keep changing according to the strengths of the individual competitors in their various disciplines e.g. some were much better cyclists than swimmers and so on. So the way you watched the race unfold was by observing the gap in seconds between the first and second.We really enjoyed all of this but I did delay us for the morning. [Actually, as I was writing this blog, the BBC compilation program was showing the whole of the Mixed Triathlon completion again so I stopped blogging in order to watch it all over again – and it was just as exciting the second time around]

Eventually, Meg and I after a delayed breakfast walked down into town and we decided to adopt our normal routine which because of my isolation we had not managed for about a week. Everything worked brilliantly, actually, because as we approached our usual bench one of our regular crowd was already there. No sooner had we served ourselves with some coffee than our University of Birmingham friend showed up and I departed to collect our Saturday complement of newspapers. On the way back, I met up with Meg and two (male) companions and then another married couple who know us well stopped by and we had a very pleasant chat as we had not seen each other for about a week or even longer (this seems quite a long time when you are used to bumping into people nearly every day) So we set off for lunch quite late – so late, in fact, that we did not really have time to cook a conventional lunch so we made do with a cheese-and-biscuits followed by ice cream type of lunch.

After lunch and a bit of a rest, we suddenly realised that we were scheduled to FaceTime our oldest ‘Waitrose’ friends. We knew that we had a lot to chat about, not least because they wanted to know the results of the medical investigations that were performed on me on Thursday. We were able to give them some reassuring news that whilst multiple non-life threatening conditions had been found, the endoscopists had found no evidence of any cancer which is always the fear at the back of one’s mind. so I live to fight another day – although with our friends on FaceTime and in the park I did joke that whilst they were sticking various instruments into various orifices, at least I meant to successfully fend off the stake through the heart with which I felt be threatened at any moment. So we would had a long and very informative chat with our friends that went on for about an hour and twenty five minutes. Then we broke off to have a cup of tea and biscuits before we got ready for going to church at 5.30.

When we got home, we had our normal Saturday evening tea of a really good Waitrose soup and then turned on the TV to see if we could get any of the latest Olympics news. Whilst idly channel-hopping, we found we were half an hour into one of the best films of Pride and Prejudice ever made – it was the 2005 version with Keira Knightley, Donald Sutherland, Judi Dench etc. I think this production was nominated for several Oscars. In face, I think one of the best (and wittiest) lines in the whole film comes from the lips of the paterfamilias, Mr. Bennet, who having seen three of his daughters get married off or at least affianced, said about his other two daughters: ‘If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, for heaven’s sake, send them in. I’m quite at my leisure!