Saturday, 2nd April, 2022

[Day 747]

It seemed quite a bright and cheerful day today and we were in a good mood as we contemplated the rest of the weekend. As we were having breakfast, we turned on ClassicFM on the kitchen radio, which is quite normal for us, but when it came to a ‘tumpty-tum’ type of Strausss walz which is not really our cup of tea, we flipped onto Radio 3. Quite by accident, we landed on a programme which, first thing on a Saturday morning, is called ‘Record Review‘ (I think) The musiciologists were discussing what they considered to be some of the finest recent recordings of Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ which, as it happens, is probably our favourite opera.This programme turned out to be absolutely facinating because they were taking each of the individual aria, discussing its context and then playing what they thought was the finest of the recent recordings. As we know the opera very well, it was an extraordinarily good listen to experience the dissection of each aria by the musicologists and we listened in rapt attention until the program concluded. So this was a bonus way to start the day. By this time, we were a little late so Meg and I went to collect the newspaper by car. Then we parked in the bottom carpark in the park which meant that we were allowing ourselves a much longer walk around the lake. We had our normal coffee and comestibles and then, on the way home, we parked for a minute outside the house of our Irish friends. We were soon spotted and then the four of us had a brief chat to catch up on the week’s news and our various comings and goings. We got back to the house just in time for the 1.00pm news on Radio 4 which on a Saturday is always followed by ‘Any Questions‘. There was an interesting discussion amongst the panellists (followed up by the subsequent programme which is ‘Any Answers’) dominated by the two big issues of the day, namely the cost of living crisis on the one hand, followed by the bureaucracy concerning the issue of visas to Ukrainian refugees on the other.

This afternoon, I had set myself to at least make a start on a little gardening job. This is to edge and neaten up the edge of our communal green area which borders our access road. I know there are 20 yards of this as evidently when the roadway was laid down, measures were still in feet and yards (and not metric) as each kerb stone is 36″ long. I managed to achieve about a third of the total this afternoon. The task is not as simple as it sounds as I like to ensure that the grass abuts and does hang over the kerbstone so this generally involves using a succession of implements in a sequence such as an edging tool, conventional edge clippers and even a knife which is run down the inside of the kerbstones. Once it has been done for the season, it should be relatively easy to keep it in good conditiuon, but as always, the first cut of the spring is always the worst. When I had finished this, I was going to give myself a treat which is to watch the Wales vs. Scotland Women’s Six-Nations rugby. In the first half, the Scots were dominant with a lot of possession and some really fast line speeds. But in the second half the positions completely reversed themselves. About 5 minutes from the end, the scores were tied and then the Welsh scored a try which they converted. But then the Scots came back hard and were within an ace of scoring a try after the clock had gone red but a ‘play’ was still in process. All ended in tears for the Scots when a pass went forward but it was one of those matches that could have ended in a tie, or a Welsh win, all the way to the final whistle.

There seems to be a lot going on for the Sunday newspapers to get their teeth into tomorrow. On the Ukraine front, it looks as about 30 areas around Kviv have been recaptured by the Ukrainians. A Red Cross convoy is still attempting a mass evacuation from Mariupol but whether they will be successful is too early to say. A Tory MP has had the whip withdrawn for ‘inappropriate behaviour” and Rishi Sunak is having to defend his wife’s massive investments in Russia. Partygate rumbles on – but will the press manage to discover any of the identities of the Downing Street staff who have fined? Meanwhile, people are taking to the street in many of our major cities whilst the citizenry protests against crippling cost-of-living increases. Tomorrow may well prove to be a good read if any of our press get their teeth into any or all of these stories – but it won’t be the first time that the Sunday press fails give the issues the coverage that they deserve.