Wednesday, 6th April, 2022

[Day 751]

Today was to all intents and purposes the typical April day with many showers followed by bursts of sunshine. In view of the variable weather conditions, Meg and I decided that we would pay our visit down into Bromsgrove by car. On our way down, we popped off a new wire brush for the benefit of our friend who was busy restoring one of the pair of flower stands that adorns our local church. Most churches, irrespective of denomination involved, tend to be a blaze of spring flowers with which to adorn the church over Easter and this year, Easter Sunday falls on one of the latest dates possible. Having collected our newspaper, we then paid a visit to Waitrose and, in particular, which has just re-opened fully after bing closed for the best of two years (to be fair, it did open for a short period in between lockdowns) But now it seems to be one of the few cafes in the Waitrose network that has been reprieved. We were pleasantly surprised to see the cafe was practically full and we got the last available table. By happy chance, on the next door was our old park friend, Seasoned World Traveller, so we had a fascinating conversation over a whole range of subjects – we spent a good half an hour and perhaps even more in the most conducive of surroundings. Neither of us would have appreciated being rained upon in the park so it was wonderful to be back. One of the staff who knows us particularly well gave us a little ‘Welcome Back‘ present of one of the small Waitrose hessian bags which will prove tremedously useful to us as it just the right size to accommodate our newspapers and one or two small items of shopping. Then we returned home and had extensive chats with our domestic help who has swopped her normal Friday day for today. She and her husband are due to go off to Venice shortly to enjoy a delayed wedding anniversary trip – as they actually got married in Venice, they are hoping to retrace some of their steps and experiences from their wedding/honeymoon days. We are hopeful that they will get away in time as I have just read in The Times that there has been chaos at Manchester Airport with the director resigning and walking out in the midst of airport chaos and the police are having to step in to restore a modicum of order. But as our friends are leaving from Bristol airport and not one of the large metropolitan ones, and so perhaps the omens are set fair for an uneventful trip. We have promised some interesting photos once they are safely there.

This afternoon I thought I would pop out do a bit of gardening, but everytime I was thinking about it, there seemed to be an imminent shower and the subsequent sunshine did not last for very long. Eventually, I decided that even if the sun was shining, the gound was likely to be soggy or even downright muddy so I decided to write off all thoughts of gardening for the day.

The latest Omicron virus figures are hgher than ever and the latest rates show that 1 in every 16 people in the country are infected by the virus. The infection is by the mildest version and some peopke have no symptoms or just the slightest sniffle to indicate that they have the virus. Evidently, we are in the phase of the pandemic where we are ‘learning to live’ with the virus but to withdraw the free availability of the lateral flow tests appears to be premature by at least a couple of weeks. Whilst the economy can still function as barely infectious personnel resume their work roles, the possibilities seem to be immense that a new variant might well arise. There is no law of biological viral evolution that indicates that one mutation of the virus should prove to be less dangerous i.e. able to generate a severe illness, than another. Therefore it is quite possible that we are living in a ‘fool’s paradise’ and another variant of the virus might be around the corner to bite us severely in the behind.

Tomorrow, whilst it is our normal shopping day, we may take the opportunity to make another little visit to Droitwich is about some seven miles away from us. Droitwich has several attractions for us, not least the Waitrose and Wilko stores both of which we like to visit but also some congenial coffee shops and interesting charity shops. There is also an ‘Olde Worlde’ type teashop which every Thursday puts on a magnificent roast dinner – these are so popular that space is limited and one has to book to ensure a chance of a meal. So we shall see how we feel in the morning but Droitwich is always a pleasant little toddle for us and has the advantage of being quite compact which cuts down on the amount of walking that Meg has to do.