Saturday, 30th April, 2022

[Day 775]

Today seemed to be one of those ‘running around’ days where I rushed from one thing to another. I went down by car to collect the newspaper even though it was a fine day. This is because we wanted to meet up with a Waitrose acquaintance way back from our pre-pandemic days. We had arranged to see her for a coffee in Waitrose because I wanted her to have some material in my possession fron a body called ‘Worcestershire Association of Carers‘. From what our acquaintance had told us the other day, it was evident that she was having to give a lot more care and attention to her ailing husband – as I already had several leaflets and pamphlets in my possession, I thought some of the material I had might be useful to help her get ‘plugged’ into whatever networks she might find helpful. So I was glad that we made contact and shared a few stories before I had to dash off to WH Smiths both to buy a birthday card and to get it into the postal system as soon as I could. Having selected my card I found an incredibly long queue at one of the counters. There were two counters in operation and one counter was being used to check the passport application of a couple who were getting married/re-married. Whilst their complicated form was being processed at one counter, a queue of about 20 were waiting (impatiently) in the other queue. I decided to save time by writing the birthday card as I waited in the queue but even this became complicated as I needed to handle/juggle a parcel I needed to post, a diary with the address of former colleague within it, the card itself, its envelope and finally a stamp to transmit the whole thing. Fortunately, I managed to finish this and pop it into the post box as the queue slowly advanced through the shop. When I reached the counter, I needed to post my parcel (maps of Madrid for a former colleague who is visiting there in a week or so) and I also bought a ‘book’ of first class stamps. A first class stamp is practically £1.00 (95p actually) and the Post Office are trying to compensate for this by making the stamps bigger but also incorporating a bar code. Although I like to have a supply of first class stamps in the house on a ‘just-in-case’ basis, today I only bought the stamps that I knew I was going to actually need in the next few days. Several of my former colleagues all have their birthdays in May so I need to get myself organised to get the card buying and posting activities suitably sequenced. After all of this, I made a lightning visit round one of our local cut-price cosmetic stores to get Meg and I things we both needed and finally, I picked up Meg at the entrance to Waitrose, still chatting. Meg and I made our way to the park and to our normal bench but we did not have our coffee flask with us as we had drunk our fill in the Waitrose café. I left Meg on the bench to see if I could locate our University of Birmingham friend in the park cafe. Fortunately, he was there and I managed to hand over a few little calculations I had done for him and wanted him to have before we both forgot. When we got home, I made up a salad by throwing together some thing I already had in stock, supplemented by a few last minute purchases at Waitrose.

Once we had done this and were settling down after our lounge, I was perusing the newspaper to see what we might watch this evening (not a lot as it turned out). The newspaper told us that it was the England v. France Rugby final of the Women’s ‘Six Nations’ both teams having undefeated before this match. So we settled down to watch this, the match only a minute or so old. The French women made a storming start and scored a try which they converted in the first few minutes. But the English women slowly started to reassert themselves and eventually won the match 24-12. It seemed that French errors, typically in the lineout contributed to their demise. The English team certainly had the maul perfected and scored several tries after their maul and the English defence was very robust. Both England and France had a player ‘sin-binned’ for transgressions that were more technical than as a result of foul play but in the end, not even the partisan French crowd would deny that England were the better team.

After the rugby match, I shot outside to do a little lawn edging at the font of the house. This took me about half an hour and I am going to keep on top of this if I do it the day after the main mowing is done. Then we went to church which is usual each Saturday evening and treated ourselves to a bowl of ‘good’ soup before we settled down for the evening.