Monday, 9th August, 2021

[Day 511]

Well, the start of another week and at least some of our friends should be returning from their holidays. After we collected our newspapers, we made a quick call into Waitrose because we had run out of one or two things that I forgotten to specify in the last order. As always, the staff in the store were delighted to see us (and us them) and we managed to tell a joke to brighten up their lives a little. When we got outside, we encountered one of the Waitrose regulars we used to see regularly once or twice a week but we have hardly seen her at all in the last year (with the COVID-19 restrictions in place). We now know that she often goes along to the cafe on a Saturday morning so we can visit and coincide a bit more frequently from now on. Once we got to the park, we bumped into one of the park regulars and we exchanged news and pleasantries. The weather forecast today indicated that we might have heavy showers in the morning but they would moderate in the afternoon. As it turned out, the morning was a quite fine although a trifle humid – as Meg and I had put on anoraks in case we had a violent shower, we were feeling a little over-dressed considering the weather.

In the afternoon, I decided to take the car and go for a mini-shopping trip to Asda. I started off with a little list of about nine items and they are all things that I can only get in Asda and nowhere else. The first few items on the list I managed to get very easily but the last item took as long to hunt for as all of the rest. In the past, I had bought an excellent LED torch from Asda which I use constantly (I use it if I need to get up in the middle of the night but I don’t to wake Meg, or myself, up too much with a bright light). Needless to say, it wasn’t stocked any more and Asda had reorganised the section from which I last bought it so I drew a blank. On the other hand, I did find one or two very useful things including a miniature (and cheap) sort of wastepaper basket which I am going to use in Mog’s Den to store things that will clean up my tools such as an old washing up brush, some volatile oil (think WD-40) which I can use to clean off the tools before they get stored. Evidently, this needs a lid to prevent the Ingress of rain but I have liberated a plantpot ‘saucer’ which complete with a handy brick will serve the purpose of a lid. I also bought some extra bits and pieces from Asda I did not realise I needed until I happened to see them so, all in all, it was quite a worthwhile little trip.

One thing I am trying to do for a variety of reasons is to try and increase the amount of fibre in my diet whilst also incorporating some protein. One of the best sources of fibre plus protein are beans and I seem to remember, years ago, I used to particularly enjoy little tins of Heinz curried baked beans. As I remember them they were a combination of beans, some sultanas and a subtle, i.e. not overpowering, curry sauce. When I hunted around in Asda, these did not seem to be in stock (or even manufactured any more) soI am going to try and recreate the same. Whilst in Asda I bought a tin of mixed beans as well as a jar of Chinese curried sauce and I already have some sultanas in stock. So tomorrow breakfast time will be an experiment. Incidentally, buying half-size tins of food is always what I call ‘sad’ food. This is is because when I was commuting between Leicester and Winchester, staying in lodgings in Winchester during the week and coming home for the weekends, I needed to go shopping to buy ‘meals for one’ which is generally a half-size tin. You could tell the males who were in a similar plight because at about 5.30 on a Monday morning, you would see a succession of cars with shirts hanging up in the back of the car and evidently a lot of people on the road at that time were on a similar commuting experience to myself (Annie Nightingale on Radio 2 produced the most empathetic radio broadcasts as well just for this group although I am not a regular Radio 2 listener). In the late afternoon, I finally completed the renovation of my spade involving a radical de-rusting. Now that I have got it into good condition and protected by a volatile oil, I am tempted not to store it outside again where it acquire new patinas of rust.So now I have got my Mog’s Den garden too;s on gapped condition, I really do intend to keep them that way.