Tuesday, 12th April, 2022

[Day 757]

When we woke up this morning, we had evidently had quite a drip-drip of rain during the night and it continued throughout most of the early morning. If I have done some gardening the day before, this always gives me rather a smug and self-satisfied feeling that I have got my quota of gardening done before the heavens opened. To be honest, we were not particularly concerned about the rain as we had intended to make a journey to Droitwich by car in any case. So after breakfast, Meg and I collected our newspaper and then hit the road for Droitwich. Following our well-established routines, we made for our favourite cafe where we indulged in cappuchinos and our favourite large toasted teacake between us. After that, we had a quick tour round the charity shop next door to the coffee shop. Within seconds, my eyes alighted on a very sophisticated purple top made by Eastex which I suspect was brand new stock but ‘remaindered’ so we snapped it up. Tomorrow, Meg may well have the occasion to wear it as our son and daughter-in-law have invited us out to our favourite hotel/restaurant just outside Kidderminster and she can no doubt show it off. We knew that we were somewhat time-constrained this morning as Tuesday is my Pilates day so we then made a lightning visit into our local Wilko hardware store. Here I bought several packets of seeds which I intend to sow in the next few days, assuming the weather conditions are propitious. I bought some parsnip, leek, beet, spinach beet and lettuce seeds and I already have the reclaimed space ready by the side of our communal area once the soil has warmed up a little. Whilst I was it, I also bought some seed pots for young plants and a Wilko carbon steel edger tool which previous buyers have raved about in their evaluations on the web. The purpose of our visit was ultimately to pop into Waitrose to buy some more sweet pea ‘baskets’ but in this respect I was disappointed because the Droitwich branch of Waitrose were offering some different kinds of swet pea baskets which were 50% more than their Bromsgrove counterparts so I decided to give this a miss and see if our local Aldi have some more suitable offerings when I go food shopping on Thursday.

After I had attended my regular Pilates class in the middle of the day, I popped into our local Asda because there are one or two things that I can only buy there. I made for the motoring section and bought one of those special brushes that are designed to fit the irregular spaces within car wheels and associated trim. These brushes are of a slightly unusual design as they are effectively two loops of wire with the brush components set at right angles to each other. I think that one of these brushes will prove invaluable for cleaning the blades of my little cylinder lawn mower in sparkling condition and whilst I was at it I bought a large canister of WD-40 at a good Asda price. Well, I thought the canister was a bargain because it looked twice the size of the regular 200ml which I am using at the moment – but this was a triumph of marketing and appearances over actual contents because although the tin looked as though it was probably double the size, the contents were only an increase of 25% over the ‘regular’ size.

When I got home, I discovered that Meg was in a state of high excitement and had been glued to the TV. This is because the news had broken (at about 2.00pm) that Boris Johnson, and his wife Carrie Johnson and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak have all received Fixed Penalty Notices as the Met police have adjudged that they are in breach of the COVID regulations in force at the time. By all accounts, these fines have been paid already which means, presumably, that the recipients are acknowledging their guilt rather than denying the offences and arguing their case in court. Of course, the most critical players in this scenario are Tory MP’s who have the power to dispose Johnson within minutes if they had a mind. Sky News, though, have been organising a little ‘diary’ of which cabinet ministers have already pledged their support to Boris Johnson and when (it comes as no surprise that first out of the blocks was Nadine Dorries) The rest of the Tory party appear to be biding their time but of course the overriding sentiment is that one should not change the prime Minister whilst the country is so heavly involved (if not actually at war) with the situation in the Ukraine. This, of course, is a specious argument as it is being quoted that Churchill replaced Chamberlain just days before the Second World War, Lloyd George replaced Asquith weeks into Somme and Eden lost his job during the Suez crisis. But many Tory MP’s are of the opinion that Boris’s indiscretions are ‘priced in’ to their loyalty to the PM.