Monday, 17th January, 2022

[Day 672]

The high pressure over most of the country remains today and we looked forward to our daily trip. In fact, a wonderful golden light seemed to suffuse the morning air and whether or not it was a trick of the atmosphere I know not, but it felt a beautiful day for our walk.As it happened, we were a little late setting off this morning so we decided to make a trip by car which actually turned out for the best. On our way out, we bumped into our neighbour and we exchanged notes about the bungalow facing us across our green communal area (which I call ‘Meg’s Meadow’) and which is now on the market via the Purple Bricks agency. We discussed what we thought may well be an inflated price but the housing market is all a little cray at the moment so we shall have to wait and see. Then we popped down to Waitrose where we needed to buy quite a number of items and bumped into one of our favourite staff members who gave us some good news. She informed us that the coffee bar area in the store, long since unused because of the COVID restrictions, was scheduled to reopen at a date probably in February. It appears that a policy decision may be taken at higher echelons within Waitrose that whilst some coffee lounges would close ours would be reprieved. Needless to say, we earnestly hope that this is the state of play and if so we will patronise it regularly and encourage many of our entourage to use it as well on the basis of ‘Use it or lose it’ When we eventually got to the park, later than we would have liked, we encountered many of our regulars. One is the Intrepid Octogenerian Hiker who was busy doing his series of laps so that he can complete the 8-9km a day which is a part of his daily routine. He told us that his daughter-in-law organises these ‘walks’ for him and, following the app, you pretend that you are actually walking in China, the Andes or where-have-you. Once you have walked an actual 60-80 kilometres, the app which has measured you awards you with a medal! Our friend now had a display cabinet full of these medals. I joked with him that when he dies, if they hung all of his medals around the outside of his coffin they would clink together as they carried his coffin down the aisle! (In case this sounds like incredibly poor taste, he agreed wholeheartedly). Then we met with Seasoned World Traveller who we had seen yesterday but he nonetheless trundled along today. We agreed to differ on whether the Brexit referendum was a ‘fair’ result but we have disagreed ever since we first met so it is unlikely that eiher of us will convince the other now – but we don’t fall out about it. Finally, we met with another couple that we know well by sight but whose names we have not yet ascertained and we chatted for a bit before the cold crept into our bones and we made for home. I haven’t mentioned our friendly cat, Miggles, who has adopted us but as soon as we got home, he/she recognised us when we got out of the car and came running towards us. Knowing the intelligence of the moggy, I let her follow me to the (locked) back door gate and indicate that some treats will be available in a moment. As soon as I have got into the house and prepared the ration of treats (courtesy of Waitrose) Miggles has negotiated the tall back gate (at least six feet high) and I can guarantee will appear, face appearing in the cat-flap portal installed by the previous owners, waiting for the treats.

There is some interesting political news this evening. In his latest blog post, Dominic Cummings accused Mr Johnson of lying to parliament about parties in Downing Street. Referring to the “bring your own booze” party organised by principal private secretary Martin Reynolds on 20 May 2020, Mr Cummings said the prime minister had agreed the party should go ahead. At least two other people had said the party should not happen, the former aide said. Mr Cummings said he would ‘swear under oath’this is what happened (all of this courtesy of Sky News) Incidentally, as a sign of how emasculated the BBC has become on a day when the Culture secretary accused the BBC of a systematic left-wing bias, it is interesting to nore that this Dominic Cummings was the lead story on Sky News but on the BBC website, there is not even a mention. Cummings goes on to say that “Amid discussion over the future of the cabinet secretary and PPS himself, which had been going on for days, I said to the PM something like: ‘Martin’s invited the building to a drinks party, this is what I’m talking about, you’ve got to get a grip of this madhouse …The PM waved it aside.” If Boris Johnson can be shown to have lied to the House of Commons, this is instant curtains!