Saturday, 16th October, 2021

[Day 579]

For a whole variety of reasons, and now that the winter nights are drawing on, I have started to wonder whether a soup maker might be a worthwhile investment for the kitchen – particularly as after some rearrangement and rationalisation, I have now space for it. Our daughter-in-law is a great soup maker and consumer, as is our domestic help. So under these dual influences, I decided to take the plunge and order one. Although it was only ordered very late at night last night, nonetheless delivery was extraordinarily prompt and it was delivered before our morning walk this morning. During the night and having ordered the soup maker, I took the precaution of finding and then ordering a book full of soupmaker recipes and I also ran off two or three that I discovered on the internet. All of this was just as well because the Tefal soupmaker booklet which arrived with the machine which appeared voluminous was less so when you took into account that the booklet was written in 10 languages and included not only soups but also smoothies and purees. One of the recipes that rather took my fancy was a parsnip with apple soup and as I already had plenty of apples as of yesterday, all I needed to buy was some parsnips. I left Meg on her customary park bench and an earnest discussion soon ensured beween our University of Birmingham friend, the ‘NHS Queen’, the ‘World Traveller’ and myself before I was despatched to run my errands. Just before I went, though, we knew that the towns local football team (Bromsgrove Sporting) were in a crucial FA preliminary match against Grimsby Town. By halftime, we discovered that Bromsgrove were 3-0 down and by the end of the match, they had been defeated 5–0 which is about as comprehensive a defeat as is possible. Having then picked up the newspaper, I then popped into Waitrose and noticed some huge parsnips, which I bought together wih a supply of carrots, the last remaining coriander plants and some biscuits of which we were running short. Now I have enough root vegetables to make soup until it is running out of my ears so tomorrow I will devote to a bit of experimentation with my new toy/kitchen gadget. When we got home, we feasted on a special ‘Steak and Ale’ pie which we had bought from the market when we had our little stay in the Brecon Beacons. I decided to give the pie a bit of an extra twist by painting its surface with a raw egg which worked fine. We used up some red cabbage supplemented by a bit of our own apple and finally augmented the ‘jus’ I made yesterday so we could have some more gravy with the pie. Altogether a success.

This afternoon, we had a quiet afternoon, as we always do when we we know we are going to church later on the evening. The church was rather a subdued affair – the church heating sysem had broken down, beeen repaired with a new part and had then broken down again.

The reverberations from the killing of Sir David Amess continue to dominate the media. As a very well respected local MP with no ministerial ambitions, there is now a lot of concern how we can protect a vital part of our constitution i.e. the link that an MP must have wih its constituents by face-to-face contact. The political elite have come together in the face of the tragic events. Both Boris Johnson and David Cameron went jointly to lay wreaths at the murder site today. Also, there is a report that in the ensuing by-election, the Conservative candidate when chosen will have no opposition as other political parties will not field candidates (Even if they did, they woiuld have lost massively anyway.) The whole incident has been declared a terrorist incident even though the attacker seems to have been a lone-wolf attacker of Somali origins. No count, this is so that the secret organs of the security services can trawl all kinds of data sets not available to the ‘normal’ police so that they can ascertain if the assassin is part of a wider social network or not. Great parallels are being drawn with the murder of Jo Cox, a Labour MP, during the referendum campaign some five years ago. Two MPs murdered within a space of five years is a bit of a frightening statistic and one hopes does not lead to the situation, increasingly common in the US where elected populations feel the need to wear body armour and/or stab proof vests. As is often the case, one looks to the Sunday newspapers for a bit more in depth analysis of the background to a story like this. Normally NewsNight would fulful this function but not on a Saturday or a Sunday night.