Tuesday, 3rd May, 2022

[Day 778]

Today is the day for my Pilates session so that rather dictates how we plan out our morning.It was a somewhat gloomy start but with the promise of better weather to come later in the day. Meg and I went by car to collect our newspaper and there we were quite surprised when the newsagent enquired after my five daughters. I had to disabuse him of the fact that I had any daughters, let alone five, and I was reminded that even Mr. Bennet, the patermilias of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice only laid claim to four. I cannot for the life of me think how such an impression might have arisen apart from the fact that in the very earliest day of the pandemic my son and/or daughter-in-law used to call in at the newsagent, complete with my token, to collect the newspaper on a daily basis. Perhaps he thought that each time my daughter-in-law entered the shop, she was a different person but who can say – anyway after this revelation we journeyed on to Waitrose. We rather hoped that being a Tuesday, we might bump into one or two of our pre-pandemic Waitrose friends but it was not to be. So we made our way home and I got things prepared for the rapid lunch that we have when I return from my Pilates class. On my way back home, I made a lightning visit to my local Asda store because there are one or two things which I know can only buy there. It was frustrating to find the item that I really wanted to buy was sold out so I shall have to see that as we are on the road, we might be able to find out what we want from Waitrose in Droitwich. But whilst in the Bromsgrove store, I did manage to get one or two things that we needed. Later on this afternoon, we popped round to see our neighbours because I needed them to witness a document which they readily did and provided us with a nice cup of tea and biscuits as we were there. In the late afternoon, we always FaceTime some of our Waitrose friends and we exchange news about the sort of week we have had. Both of our friends have badly compromised immune systems so thay were incredibly cautious during the whole of the two years of lockdown that they had endured. Anyway, now they are getting out and about quite a lot more and really appreciating a taste of liberty. They gave us some advice about a local Crafts Centre complex in the locality that we intend to visit tomorrow. We understand there are a variety of craft workshops which we can visit as well as a tearoom/restaurant so we shall have to see how it all works out.

There is quite a big political story playing out in the Unites States at the moment. One ‘achievement’ of the Donald Trump presidency was to make nominations of known right-wingers to the Supreme Court such that the balance of the Supreme Court has changed from a position of approximate equality to a conservative majority of 5:4 or even a 6:3 split on some issues. Many on the extreme right of american politics have been waiting to bring a raft of issues to the Supreme Court of which the most prominent and important is abortion but many other issues queuing up behind such as LGBT rights and some raclal equality cases. The most famous case in abortion law is Roe v. Wade which is the classic case that guaranteed abortion rights to US women for the last half century. But the conservative right have been pushing issues upwards towards the Supreme Court to facilitate it making a decision that would effectively set back abortion law to the position of at least fifty years ago. There are several states which have already passed legislation such that when Roe v Wade is nullified, their own state legislatures will immediately bring in draconian abortion laws into action. In the case of Texas, a prosecution can take place when a women is only six weeks pregant (as soon as a foetal heartbeat can be detected) and before some women even realise they are pregnant. Any citizen can initiate a prosecution and anybody even remotely involved in an abortion, e.g. a taxi driver taking a women to an abortion clinic can also be prosucuted and sued for thousands of dollars. Now to bring us up-to-date. It seems that the draft of what may be the majority opinion has been leaked, the full judgement being available in July. The draft judgement is rumoured to rule that Roe v Wade has never been constitutional and should be repealed immediately. This judgement is much more severe than anybody could possibly have projected and the whole issue seems likely to split the USA from top to bottom. Most of the population support the abortion provisions of Roe v Wade but the conservative right have money, a lot of the airwaves and extremely vocal advocates so a battle royal is in the making.