Wednesday, 9th March, 2022

[Day 723]

Wednesday is a generally a day free of other commitments for us and is therefore a good day to enjoy a day out. We determined a few days ago that if the weather was to be reasonably fine, we would make a little trip out to Evesham. So after we had had breakfasted at some leisure, we set out for Evesham which we have not visited from way before the pandemic so it must be at least three years ago now. When I consulted one of my trusty road maps to give myself an overview of the road systems, Evesham lies at the opposite corner of a parallelogram from Bromsgrove so we could basically choose an easterly route or a westerly route, the difference in timing and miles being minimal. We chose a westerly route which turned out not to be ideal. We had been making reasonable progress until we had come to one of the villages through which we had to pass to get to Evesham but the road was entirely blocked so we sent on quite a long diversion to get into the town by another route. We got parked reasonably centrally once we remembered the layout of the town- by this time, it was getting a little late so instead of seeking out a place for a late coffee we decided to cut our losses and make for an early lunch. We walked down the high street which we vaguely remembered and then espied an Italian restuarant in which we recall having had a magnificent meal, probably the last time that we visited. As we approached it, we realised with some dismay that it was only open in the evenings and at lunchtime on Fridays or Saturdays. One can sort of understand this – often better restaurants do not have a lunchtime opening and last time we came, perhaps we had struck lucky and come on a Friday. So we progressed down the main street and came across another place which was evidently serving both coffees and light lunches. So we entered and ordered a risotto which was pretty good once it arrived. It contained salmon as the principal ingredient and was garnished well with watercress but had a lightly poached egg served on the top of it which seemed an excellent idea (as the egg overflowed into the rice once you started to eat the dish) I thought this was a good idea so I have ‘filed it away’ in my mind to do this the next time we cook a rissotto for ourselves. I used to do this about once a week but have got out of the habit since I am trying to minimise carbs when I can. After lunch, we strolled around the old buildings which constitute Evesham Abbey and its surrounding buildings. But by this stage, the wind had really intensified so we did not stay overlong but reminded ourselves of he magnifient view over the park which runs down towards the river (Avon). The last time we were here, we seemed to remember it was a brilliantly hot summer day which is when the park can be appreciated at its best. We viewed the memorial to the burial place of Simon de Montfort which we remembered as having a prime location. Simon de Montfort’s parliament of 1265 is sometimes referred to as the first representative English parliament, because of its inclusion of both the knights and the burgesses, and de Montfort himself is often regarded as the founder of the House of Commons. So the specially constructed memorial stone had been formally opened/re-opened by the Speaker of the House of Commons in 1965. As it happens, I remember the date of 1965 well as it was the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Parliament. I was working in the reference department of the Central Office of Information, in London, and we were beseiged with whatever information we could uncover to feed to the world’s press at the time. This was quite an eventful year because it was also the year in which Winston Churchill died which occasioned another feeding frenzy from the world’s press.

My observations of the last few days concerning the donation of Mig fighter aircraft from Poland to the Ukraine via the Americans now seems to have been unduly optimistic. Basically, the Americans are refusing to ‘play ball’ with this proposal arging that the plan was ‘untenable’. Evidently, the USA feels that this whole gesture might be seen as a hostile act by NATO and might occasion a Russian attack on NATO which would almost certainly be the start of WWIII. Meanwhile, the stories emanating from the Ukraine are equally horrific. It seems that the power has been cut to the crippled Chernobyl reactor which could mean that the ‘normal’ cooling processes of the radioactive waste become less viable. The even more horrific event is the shelling of a maternity hospital in Mariupol in which it looks as though newly born infants (and presumably their mothers) will have been buried alive in the rubble. One could not think of a clearer example of a war crime than this.