Monday, 15th November, 2021

[Day 609]

Apart from being the start of another week, I am driven to reflect upon the fact that when today is over (being the 15th of the month) then half of the miserable month of November will be over. I suppose it is a truism to say that as you get older, the days seem to fly past at an increasing rate and personally the date to which I look forward at this time of year is 21st December. This is because after this date, the days are starting to get longer again by 1-2 minutes a day and even though there is bad weather yet to come, at least the days are getting (imperceptibly) longer. Meg and I knew that we needed to visit the High Street in Bromsgrove to get Meg’s spectables adjusted in our local opticians. This they do on ‘while-you-wait’ basis and it only takes a minute or so. After this I called in at Waitrose to replenish a few supplies and then we made our way to the park by car. As we parked in one of the more distant car parks, I could not help noticing a chap who seemed to be pointing his camera at the bare trees. I assumed that he had a app on his phone that identified the trees by their shape and foliage – I know that apps exist like this for plants and shrubs so I assumed that the chap I noticed was doing a similar thing for trees. As I approached him, he was very friendly but he showed me what he was actually doing which was to control a drone he had just purchased with a controller that had on it a screen (to show what the camera on-board the drone was showing) The drone was apparently quite small its camera showed magnificent aerial views of the park which showed all of the trees in their autumn finery. We even manipulated the camera so that the two of us (the drone owner and myself) could be seen as minute pin pricks standing in the car park. I wondered aloud what were the implications for the privacy of individuals with the operation of drones such as these but the drone-owner assured me that to operate a drone like this was beset with a host of restrictions and regulations about what one could and could not do. It is said, of course, that Amazon are experimenting with drones and it may not be too long before a combination of a drone assisted by AI (Artificial Intelligence) will start to drop parcels for us just outside our front door.

As it was a Monday, lunch was easy to prepare as had one half of yesterday’s gammon joint so all we needed to do was to microwave soome baked potato and green-stem broccoli to go with it. After lunch, there was a little sweeping job which I needed to do at the back of the house. Our roof on the easterly side seem to accumulate little bundles of moss on the roof titles which eventually drop off and litter up our patio. Sweeping them up was a simple little job which I did when the daylight was just starting to fade. Then it was brought home to be quite forcibly that Miggles, our adopted cat, has not been seen for over a week either in our back garden or anywhere in the vicinity. I am forced to the view that given the territorial nature of cats and as Miggles was adventurous in the extreme, I could only conclude that Miggles was no more. According to Google predation of cats by fox is extremely rare and it is much more probable that Miggles has come off worst in the fight with another cat, not to mention a road vehicle. Having given us hours of pleasure since he/she walked into our lives, I can only conclude that he/she has now walked out of them. As Miggles often made an appearance at dusk to observe what I was doing (and snaffle a few titbits, I have to say), then I felt a few pangs of separation thinking that in all probability Miggles would never be seen again. I write this without wishing to sound mawkish or over-sentimental but I do have a good series of photos and one or two videoclips to bring back some memories.

And now for some interesting political news emerging from the USA. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has surrendered to the FBI to face criminal charges for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the US Capitol riot. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on one count of contempt of Congress for refusing to appear for a deposition and a second count for refusing to provide documents in response to a subpoena. He is expected to make his first appearance in federal court later on Monday after being taken into custody.