Saturday, 4th December, 2021

[Day 628]

Today dawned fairly bright and clear and the only thing to disturb our equilibrium was that quite a cold and gusty wind blew from time to time. On hearing some banging noises from an adjacent garden, we looked out of our bedroom window and noticed that our next door neighbour was completing the construction of his garage-type replacement adjacent to his house and right up to our boundary fence. We spent several minutes observing them closely, largely so that we could act immediately in case there were any more trespass to occur as it did about a fortnight ago. The builders (evidently, employed to work over the weekend) were busy putting on a type of damp proof membrane, fastening it down with battens and finally hanging the tiles on it. When they evidently having a coffee/cigarette break, I popped down into Mog’s Den to ensure my video camera was working OK (which it was), largely to act as a reassurance that we wouldn’t have workmen hopping over the fence into our garden to finish off the job. Meg and I walked down to the park, where we met with our University of Birmingham friend by prior arrangement and he turned up with Seasoned World Traveller so that we could make up a foursome. About a couple of days ago, Meg and I had watched the first hour of the spoof disaster mobie ‘Airplane‘ that we had first seen in a little local cinema in Leicestershire about 36 years ago. We still enjoyed many opf the visual gags and some of the dialogue, funny at the time and still funny, could not be repeated in these more politically correct times. So we spent a few happy minutes mutually recalling some of the more memorable scenes in this and similar movies before we were joined by one or two of the local dogs (complete with their owners) who sensed that food was in the offing whilst Meg nd I were consuming our coffee and biscuits and they hung around expectantly, to the chagrin of their owners, waiting for crumbs to fall from the rich man’s table, as it were.

We collected our Saturday newspaper and were then fortunate to bump into one of our Irish friends who we had not seen for several days as we had tended to make our journeys by car rather than walking down in the last few days. We got invited around for coffee tomorrow morning at 11.00am to which we will look forward tremendously as we have quite a lot to catch up with one thing or another. We also saw some of our other oldest friends who had been espcially busy preparing Christmas wreaths which are sold through the church. Having spent some time last year getting suitable screws into the walls in our porch upon which to hang our wreaths, we will be delighted to receive ours in about a week’s time. Needless to say, we haven’t heard any more about our missing Christmas tree so I expect that will be even more hassle and another ½ hour wait on the customer helpline on Monday.

We had to have a ‘quickie’ lunch as we got in a little late after our conversations this morning. The wind was biting cold and most unpleasant on the way home so we were delighted to get home as soon as we could. One thing that we could not help noticing as soon as we got home was that the building work next door seems to have been largely completed. I took Meg down into ‘Mog’s Den‘ so that she, like myself, could inspect the new edifice at close quarters. From what we can tell, the overall result is not displeasing – the bricks match up with the original house and the new construction has been tiled. From what I can tell, there has been no provision made for any rainwear goods so I suspect that after my intervention of a couple of weeks ago they have decided not to bother. The ‘catchment’ area for any rainwater is not huge but nonetheless I suspect that in the fullness of time a certain amount of water, not to mention snow, will shed onto our land. I will have to decide what to do about this a little later on. At the same, I showed Meg my new video camera which is trained on the fence and provides us with a measure of security, as well as capturing images of any would-be trespasser. Much to my surprise, Meg thought the installation looked very professional and would certainly do the job for which it was intended. At the same time, I can check that the electronics are all working as they should.

Meanwhile the number of Omicron cases has risen to 160 in the UK. The government has also announced today that all travellers to the UK will have to have a negative test before they are allowed to travel to the UK.The rule applies to all travellers visiting the UK or returning from a holiday, regardless of vaccination status, and will come into force from 4am on Tuesday 7 December.