Thursday, 30th September, 2021

[Day 563]

Thursdays are the days when I traditionally used to have our weekly shop but this week, we are having to change our plans somewhat. Having used the Waitrose online and delivery service during most of the pandemic, I have started to shop in a Waitrose store in Droitwich which is about 7-8 miles distant. My new pattern involves getting to the store about one minute before the store opens so that I am often the first customer though the doors. It is ? was? an absolute delight to shop in a store like Waitrose which is absolutely deserted apart from the staff doing bits of last-minute restocking. However, today because of the fuel crisis and because we are going up to Bolton on Sunday next, I decide to have a somewhat lighter shop by patronising our very much more local, but smaller store, about ¾ mile away. This will save me some precious fuel-miles which might yet prove critical in the days ahead. So I turned up a few minutes after 8am and did a lighter shop as intended – it could be that I will get into a new pattern of a ‘lighter’ week just down the road followed by a ‘heavier’ week in the more distant store. I don’t think that I missed out anuthing important, though, even though the range of goods in the smaller store if commensurately smaller. Meg and I thought after breakfasting, unpacking the shopping and showering (a little late) we would decide whether to go into town by car on on ‘shank’s pony’ (old fashioned expression for walking!) The reason was that we wished to buy a plant as a birthday present for some of our closest friends and this might have proved a little awkward to lug home. But this had the bonus of us having a conversation in the Waitrose cafe who we remember from our pre-COVID days.

Having got home, I thought I would cook a more exotic lunch as we had some venison steaks in the freezer. For veg I decided to try an interesting combination as follows. I had previously bought some red cabbage which can be a little bland, not to say boring, so we cooked one quarter of this alongside a couple of our own cooking apples that are now ready for picking down in Mog’s Den. I put in a smidgeon of demerara sugar as well. For our second veg, I parboiled a carrot cut into small wedges, added some petits pois and then, having drained the pan, I finished off with some oil and a bit of runny honey which is a mixure I have tried before. All in all, this was quite a good dinner although we seem to have finished of with a moungain of washing up for our pains. Just after lunch, our friend called around to deliver a little ‘prezzie’ and a card for Meg on Sunday next. As it is our friend’s birthday the day before, we ended up exchanging cards and gifts and saying that we would have a bettter get together once the weekend (and our travels) are over.

What with all of the comings and goings in the morning, we had forgotten to pick up our newspaper. So I decided to walk into town, if only to get some eercise during the day. However, the weather was decidedly showery and blustery and walking was not a particularly pleasant experience. However, once this had been done, I ‘amused’ myself to adding to my Premium Bond selection (by running down some other savings accounts) I had entertained myself on my journey into town by doing calculations in my head how many wins I would need in the course of a year in order to match the measly 0.5% I am getting on my accounts at the moment. I am trying to convince myself that I will maximise my chances of winning a prize if I can get my Premium Bond holdings as large as possible.

The media today has been full of the sentencing of the murder of Sarah Everard, walking home in an area of London near Clapham Common. I do think it is important that society recognises and deals with the problem of violence against women but the circumstances of this case are very, very rare. A policeman had used his powers of arrest to arrest, handcuff, rape and then murder his victim. There are calls for all kinds of immediate action, one suggestion being that no policeman should ever arrest a suspect on his/her own but only when another colleague is present. When society reacts to very rare events, you sometimes get legislation with really bizarre consequences, particularly if the legislation is passed in a panic. For example, the Official Secrets Act was passed in 1911 (since repealed but going for about a century) which made it an offence to communicate any knowledge acquired as a result of one’s employment by the state. So it became an offence to communicate the colour of the walls of the office in which you worked as all such information was deemed to be an ‘offical secret’