Friday, 29th April, 2022

[Day 774]

Well, today turned out to be a beautiful day and whilst a trifle cold, there was not much to spoil our enjoyment of the day. Meg and I tarried a little this morning so that we could have a chat with our domestic help who arrives every Friday. She was a little later this morning as she was taking her dog to the vet (and, incidentally, it seems to be overcoming its health problems and responding well to treatment) So we strolled down to the park and had a chat with our Italian friend down the road who was about to give her plants a bit of a watering. We got to the park about midday and fell upon our coffee and comestibles of which we were by now feeling the need. Before long, our Univesity of Birmingham friend strolled along and we had our usual far-ranging discussions, speculating about which parts of Spain we wanted to visit, and when. Our friend is teaching himself Spanish and is going to organise an expedition to Spain by himself where he can just sit and chat and absrb the culture. He is thinking, and quite rightly, that the best way to really learn a language is to travel alone which forces you to interact with the culture. If you travel with a companion, then the two of you will always form a ‘bubble’ within the country that you are visiting – travelling alone forces you to interact with culture and get things like bus and rail tickets organised, meals and drinks ordered and the like. Meg and I think he is absolutely right in all of this and although it would be wonderful for us to travel together, we respect and understand our friend’s reasons for wishing to travel alone. Then a surprise was sprung upon us- our friend had acquired a cake cooked by his 92-year old mother-in-law but he is trying to cut down on his consumption of cakes and the like so he wondered if we would like it. We accepted it gratefully as we could regard it as an advance birthday present (in less than two weeks time) To help us transport the cake home, our friend gave us a lift home which, again, was gratefully received and we said we would meet again tomorrow to discuss some other matters of mutual interest. Whilst at home, we cooked our by now conventional meal on Friday which is smoked hake baked in the oven. Our domestic help who loves smoked fish shared a smidgeon of this with us and we also helped us to a little, advance portion of the cake we had just received.

Being a creature of habit, Friday afternoon is time allocated for the weekly mow of about 250 m² of our communal lawns at the front of the house and approximately half of that for our lawns at the back. I preceded my main mow with a quick flash of the edge overhanging the gullied area with the ultra light hand mower. This adds only about 5 minutes to the overall cutting time and ensures the grass is cut right to its edge. The main mowing proceeded to plan and, as it was so warm, I even needed to take my gardening jacket off. When I had finished, my neighbour who was toddling about in his own garden, wandered over and gave me a few complimentary words about how well the overgrown and troublesome clematis had been disposed of. By this time, it was time for tea so we popped in and treated ourselves to some fruit and ice cream.

I have been wondering over last few days whether the identity of the Tory MP who has been ‘caught’ viewing porn on his mobile in the Commons Chamber will be revealed – if not by the (female) Tory MPs who witnessed his viewing or by part of the ‘sisterhood’ if one of the Tory MPs had communicated with her one of non-Tory brethren. Tonight, the identity of the male Tory MP in question has actually been revealed – a certain Neil Parish, who is the MP for Tiverton and Honiton. I must say, though, that the way the MP is being treated by the press so far is quite extraordinary. A male Sky News reporter started his questionning of the MP with the question (or something similar to it) ‘I wonder if you came across the porn site and opened the file by accident‘ to which the ever-grateful MP responded ‘Well, yes, it was an accident…‘ One cannot imagine that a non-Tory MP would get such a lenient and sympathetic tone of questionning, nor can I imagine that a female journalist would come up with a similar tone of questionning. However, no doubt, the satirical programmes broadcast late on a Friday evening wil have a field day and I am also looking forward to what ‘NewsNight’ has to say on BBC2 (hopefully, one of their female presenters)