Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

[Day 737]

The spell of fine weather continues, so it is a case of enjoying the spring sunshine whilst we can. Although Great Britain generally enjoys a ‘north atlantic’ style of weather system in which storms and weather systems sweep across the country, we seem to be enjoying a high pressure system over most of continental Europe. As we know, high pressure systems tend to persist as other low pressure areas ‘bounce’ off them, so that it seems that we will enjoy this good weather for a good few days yet. This plays into our personal plans quite well as tomorrow we intend to make a trip out to another small market town in Worcestershire (Pershore) to see what delights it has to offer. The big day in my personal calendar is this Friday, March 25th, This is for two reasons, the most important being that it my son’s birthday. We shall see some of him this Friday because he is working a little from his ‘office’ which he has in our house and then from mid-day onwards, I am going to run him to the station so that he can go down to London, staying with a friend overnight, whilst the two of them join another party of ‘rail enthusiasts’ starting from Paddington, I believe, and going off to Paignton. I have another reason to have Friday marked in my personal calendar because it is the date when I traditionally start the grass mowing. As experienced gardeners will know, once one starts the season of grass cutting, a hormone is released from the cut grass which stimulates further growth. I tend to delay this first cut as long as I can because I know that once I start, I am then on a weekly regime. The first cut of the season is always quite an arduous one because one has to have the blades set as high as possible and the overall effect always looks a little untidy. This is because I do not have a conventional grass collecting mower but a ‘mulching’ mower in which the grass is cut, thrown upwards and then cut a second time on the way down. When the grass is a normal length, the cut pieces are mulched into the surface of the grass. I have to ensure that I start off with a gallon of freshly drawn, high quality petrol (hopefully low in ethanol) whih will see me through for the first half of the season.

This morning was always going to be a slightly ‘chewy’ morning as we have two appointments in the middle of the day and we had to hold ourselves in readiness for a telecommunications engineer who was coming to check our internet connections/router/ASDL box and he was due any time between 8.00am and 1.00pm. Meg and I made a lightning visit by car to get out our newspapers collected on time and the engineer called us, when we were on the way home (and fortunately could pull in at the side of the road to receive the call) and we were to expect him in 10-15 minutes time. When he arrived he gave our system a good check over and fortunately it was in the best of heart even though router is a little ‘old’ by today’s standards. As our internet provider, PlusNet, had ordered the inspection they were going to pick up the bill. We received some good advice as to whether or not we could convert our existing landline to an add-on with our existing PlusNet package- but this is a discussion for another day. We started to watch the Chancellors ‘Spring Statement’ in which there is particular interest this year as inflation is rapidly rising and the OBR is forecasting the greatest reduction in living standards since modern records began. More of this later, no doubt At about 1.15 I took the car into town as I had a routine optician’s appointment. We always greet each other in the same way which is ‘I cannot believe that it a whole year since our last appointment‘ and then spent a certain amount of time, before we got down to the serious business of an optician’s appointment of discussing our university experiences. I was pleased to learn that my eyes have shown no signficant changes in the last year so as my mother had a history of glaucoma at my age, this is good news. As I was in town already, I popped into the Asda supermarket to buy a few things that I know I can only get in that store so this was a good opportunity. By the time I got home, I was in no mood to cook a conventional lunch so we treated ourselves to a hefty cheese and pickle sandwich as by this time, it was late in the afternoon.

A senior Putin advisor has reportedly resigned from his post and fled Russia. Whether this is an isolated event or the start of a steady stream of ‘rats leaving the sinking ship’ we shall just have to be patient and see.