Thursday, 28th April, 2022

[Day 773]

It was remarkably colder today – I suppose we have got quite used to the almost balmy spring days in the last week or so and hence it comes as a bit of a shock to the system when the weather drifts remarkably colder, which it will for the next few days. Thursday is my shopping day so, as usual, I got to the supermarket about one minute before opening time but I did allow myself a quick perusal of both ceramic planters and clematis in case we eventually decide to replace our moribund clematis plant with a new one. By the time I had got the shopping unpacked, we were running a little late so Meg and I decided to make our visit down to town by car. Once we had collected the newspaper, we installed ourselves upon our usual park bench in an almost empty park. As it was pretty cold and I had a job to be done this afternoon, we decided not to linger but made our way to the parked car. As we wandered along, we remarked to each other that we had not seen our Intrepid Octogenerian Hiker for several days now but as we got near our car, he hove into view. It transpired that he had recently had a dose of COVID- paradoxically, he may have been exposed to the virus whilst he attended a busy doctor’s waiting room as he was attending the clinic for his second booster (4th jab in total). He had experienced a few mild symptoms and one of his eyes had been somewhat affected but taking one thing ith another, it had not set him back too much. However, it did explain why we had not seen him in the park for several days.

When we got home it was only about 1.00pm so I decided to make a start on removing the big old clematis root, now that I had got the whole of the old plant snipped into little pieces and ready to be disposed of. I have a particularly good spade for this particular job which i think I had inherited from Meg’s father. It is a ‘Spear and Jackson’ and goes by the rather quaint name of ‘Neverbend’ but it does have the virtue of having a pretty hefty iron shaft. A quick look on the web reveals that this brand name for the spade is still in use and users claim to have massively abused their gardening tool but it has withstood all rigours over the decades. I wanted my trusty old spade to cut through tree (or rather shrub) roots and I had recently sharpened it so it should have been up to the job. Indeed it was and the old huge stump came out in about ten minutes of concentrated effort. I then sawed it in half to aid its disposal and spent a fair amount of time disposal of a huge quantity of dead leaves that had been left behind. I think I will sink my yet-to-be acquired ceramic planter so that it sits in the hole left by the old root and I have also left some of the support wires and hooks in the wall so that I can quickly support the new clematis as and when it is needed.

Immediately after lunch, our hairdresser was due to call but she was delayed by about half and hour. By the time Meg and I were shorn, we decided to have a rather lazy afternoon so I devoted myself to writing a few emails and then to a good read of the newspaper.

This Thursday, Parliament is due to be ‘prorogued’ i.e. this session of Parliament is brought to a close and then a new parliament will open with a Queens Speech on May 10th. No business can be carried over from the current Parliament to the next, so any legislation which is only half way through the process is, I believe, lost. When the new Parliament commences, there will be a ‘Queens Speech’ (written for her by ministers) delivered in the House of Lords, where the members of the Commons have to crowd in to whatever spaces are available. But what is significant at this time of the parliamentary timetable is that the Government has to really make up its mind and decide what legislation will be brought forward in the next session of Parliament and will therefore be announced in the Queens Speech. But whilst Parliament appears to be in abeyance, there is plenty going on behind the scenes. Most importantly, of course, are the elections to be held next Thursday. Also several scandals are rumbling on, of which one is the Conservative MP recently discovered to have been watching porn whilst in the House of Commons chamber. Some other MP’s (female Tory MPs) know who that MP is but given the rumour mill at Westminster, will the identity of the Tory MP leak out (before Election Day?)