Tuesday, 11th January, 2022

[Day 666]

Today was always to be one of those days when there was a certain amount of running around to do and things to get packed into the day but in the event all ran smoothly. The prime event this morning was I due to attend one of the local hospitals for a routine monitoring and afterwards there was a Pilates session to fit in. I got to the hospital in plenty of time and was seen fairly promptly, with only three of us in the waiting area. I do think that in these pandemic days, the occasions when one had an outpatient appointment and joined a clinic of anything between 30-50 people jammed in like sardines are well and truly over. (I remember a fracture clinic which Meg had to attend which was somewhat like this in the pre-COVID days) Having been seen, I needed to have a blood test but for this I was ushered into a room next door, had the blood taken and am then to have a telephone appointment in some six weeks time. I asked the HealthCare assistant if she knew the original Tony Hancock sketch often associated with blood tests and blood transfusions but she had not. This was a particularly famous Tony Hancock sketch in an episode called ‘The Blood Donor‘‘. Tony Hancock had a pin prick in his finger in order to supply a smear of blood, presumably to determine a blood group. Having been so pricked, Tony Hancock exclaimed ‘‘Can I have my tea and biscuits now?‘‘ in the belief that this was the end of the procedure. When informed by doctors that in a blood donor session, one was expected to donate a pint of blood, Tony Hancock exclaimed ‘‘A pint – that’s an armful!‘‘ (incidentally, as there are eight pints of blood in the human body, then a pint of blood being an armful is approximately correct). In my experience, many people of my age will say to the haematologist ‘‘Are you going to take an armful?‘‘ and many personnel know about the joke but not many have seen the original sketch (a videoclip of which has been shown on numerous occasions) Having emerged from the hospital relatively quickly, I got home as rapidly as possible and prepared myself a cup of coffee and a rice-cake biscuit. Then it was down into town to call by my bank to get some much needed cash out of an ATM. I approached this task with a certain degree of trepidation as both Meg and I have had to be isssued with new debit cards, the previous ones not being accepted into the machines (although the chip driven contactless payments seem to have worked OK) Both of these cards have worked as they should on their first occasion of use. In order to make sure that that cards do not rub against each other or the magnetic strip gets compromised, out of an old diary I have constructed a special card holder which can accommodate two cards securely but safely and this little system, too, has worked very well.

Today’s political news is dominated by the seqelae to the ‘drinks party’ held in the Downing Street garden on 20th May, 2020. The few clips I have seen of the Labour-called debate in the House of Commons have been fascinating. The Labour benches are full, the Tory benches are practically empty as the Tories do not seem to relish the prospect of turning up to defend a Prime Minister who has not denied the allegation that he attended this party (at which attendance was then illegal, a crminal offence and with a potential fine of £10,000 for the organisers of a large event). Some of the contributions of MPs were heart-rending, particularly from one Northern Ireland MP who broke down in tears whilst making his speech, distraught at the death of a near relative). Tomorrow Boris Johnson did not even turn up to Parliament to face the music but tomorrow he has no option as it is Prime Minister’s Questions. Meg and I intend to watch this live in tomorrow’s transmission as it promises to be a blood sport. The ‘resignation’ word is now being used and the Leader of the Scottish Conservative party has called for the Prime Minister’s resignation if any illegality is proved. The rampant hypocrisy is really cutting through with members of the public who are painfully recalling their experiences in May, 2020 when they were not allowed to be present at their relative’s demise under the then current COVID regulations whilst the Downing Street personnel seem to be enjoying themselves in a totally illegal drinks party. The rules at the time were that one should only meet with one person in the open and keep them at a distance of two metres. Athough we are awaiting for the report into the Downing Street parties by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, it also seems that the police may (at last) be taking an interest although it was evident from the last Downing Street transgression that they are not interested in ‘historic’ transgressions.