Wednesday, 25th August, 2021

[Day 527]

Meg and I have no real commitments today so we decided to have a more lazy type of day. Consequently, we did not rush to get ready too rapidly this morning and made our way into town at a fairly leisurely pace. It was one of those gloomy, overcast days that is always a little oppressive but we strolled on to the newspaper shop to pick up our newspapers and then onto the park. In the park we met one of our regulars who was busy looking after a child in her charge whose thirteenth birthday it was today so we wished him well and occupied our traditional park bench before we struck off for home. Meg and I consulted the TV schedules imagining that the paralympics would be on all day but it was not to be. Although the more conventional Olympics were shown in repeated bits during the way, the Paralympics is shown live in the morning and then there is only a half-hour résumé of the highlights later on in the day. As we tend not to watch things in the morning, it looks as though we shall have to rely upon this summary program to keep up with the games.

We were somewhat late for lunch but nonetheless I busied myself preparing a roux to act as the basis for a cheese sauce to baste over the half cauliflower head I have left over. I must say that the roux I made on this occasion was somewhat better than on the last occasion but I have some way to go to perfect my technique. I made far too much sauce but I have kept some back just in case I can use it up in the next day or so. At least the result was very tasty even though I had probably made a lunch that was far too big for the two of us. Late on this afternoon, I knew that our lawns badly needed a cut and so I started on this task fairly late on in the after noon. However, I had the task completed by 6.00pm which is a kind of ‘shut-off’ point for gardening activities at this time of year. The grass seemed to have grown enormously thick since it was last cut – that must be the combination of masses of rainfall and some quite warm days.

The COVID news continues to be a source of concern. The number of new infections is about 36,000 and the number of deaths just reaching 150 per day. The available data seems to show that it the young, unvaccinated who are increasingly likely now to end up in hospital and the government, for its part, is trying to get all children from the age of 16 upwards to get the jab. A little disturbingly, some of the evidence is pointing to the fact that the various vaccines are effective for about 6 months and then their potency seems to decline somewhat so this point to the fact that as some of the older sections of the population received their jabs about six months ago then there is a strong case for a ‘booster’ jab. Whilst on the subject of jabs, we received a message on our mobiles today inviting us for a mass flue vaccination event on Sunday, 12th September. The last time our surgery ran an event like this, it was run like a military operation and with military precision. We queued outside and were then invited in about 30 second intervals into one of several vaccination ‘lines’ Every member of staff I.e. the entire complement of doctors and the nursing staff were all on duty – I was amazed that by a coincidence I actually got vaccinated by own preferred ‘family’doctor ( the sort that it would normally take three weeks to see if we lived in normal times) I suspect that they are trying to get as many as 1,000 vaccinated with the ‘flu jab in one day which is very sensible when you come to think about it. The thing that I am unsure about is whether this mass vaccination event is just the initiative of our own surgery or whether it is part of a huge NHS drive and in practice, most surgeries throughout the country are being encouraged by the Department of Health/ NHS England to vaccinate in this particular way.

I had an interesting discussion with members of my family regarding the prevalence of iron in one’s diet. It may well be that in my desire to cut down on red meat over the last year or so, I might have gone too far in the opposite direction. Therefore I may try and ‘rebalance’ my diet to include more iron-rich foods (such as liver, some seafoods) so I will have an early opportunity when I go shopping first thing in the morning to start my ‘diet re-balancing’ activities straight away.