Wednesday, 4th May, 2022

[Day 779]

Today started off with sporadic rainfall, although it was quite sustained in the early part of the morning. We did have some tentative plans to have a mini-day out this morning but, having picked up our newspaper, we only made a decision where to go at the very last moment. We eventually set course for a local crafts centre called Jinney Ring. This curious name comes from the invention of the Jinney Ring which allowed horse power to be converted to drive the previously manual farm equipment. The horse would walk around a large wheel with cogs, which turned shafts, and then the belts and chains of the farm equipment. We had often seen signs to Jinney Ring but never got round to actually going there until this morning. We made straight for the restaurant where we ate some locally prepared produce (apple pie) to go with our cappucchinos. Then we had a cursory look at some of the arts and crafts on display but I did not have a burning desire to purchase a pen with a genuine wood-turned barrel (at either £49.99 or £99.99) or to buy any glassware or pottery. But we did tarry a little at one of the units which was selling plants and purchased both a sweet pea plant also a mange tout pea plant – these we can plant out almost straight away. As our elevenses turned out to be quite filling, we decided to prepare a light lunch once we returned home as we had most of the ingredients to make up quite an extensive salad lunch for ourselves. This turned out a bit bigger than we initially thought but there again we did manage to combine a lot of different flavours and if we hadn’t used up some of the ingredients they would have gone to waste anyway.

As from 1st May, I have decided to try and keep a tight control over my diet with the aim of losing 7 lbs (½ stone) over the next few weeks. This is going to be established not by a rigid or a crash diet but just by being careful with my carbohydrate intake, whilst at the same time keeping my exercise levels at just above the previous level. So far (after only a few days) I am on track and am keeping my results in a little spreadsheet. I do have some historic spreadsheets where I have recorded BMI and body-fat indicators and I am stitching my recent results into this historical series (which, I must say, is rather sporadic) However, it is quite reassuring to know that I am only 2-3 lbs away from the weight that I recorded at the same time of year three years ago.

This afternoon, the highlight of my afternoon was a Skype call to one of my Hampshire friends. We have been in touch by email quite a lot over the last few weeks but have not had a face-to-face session via Skype so we thought we would make up for it today. We had a good old natter over topics more numerous to mention but after an hour and a half we felt our respective spouses might be wondering what had happened to us so we decided to call it a day. I knew that in the late afternoon, I had a job to do which had to wait until it was the relevent bin-emptying day. This was to take the canvas bag garden waste containers in which I had stored my chopped up pieces of my moribund clematis plant and dispose of the contents via my neighbour’s ‘brown bins’. I managed to squeeze three of my four bags of clippings into two of my neighbour’s bins but they were already at least three quarters full. I was relying upon the fact that the bin belonging to the empty house across the way from our communal green area could be utilised but it looks as though the relatives of our neighbour (who died last August) had turned up to tidy up the garden, no doubt to attempt it to make it look more attractive to facilitate its sale. So it looks as though once the shopping has been done in the morning, I shall have to make a ten mile round trip to our local domestic refuse site to completely get rid of garden clippings.

A bit of breaking news which is quite significant. Last week, the High Court ruled that the government acted unlawfully by discharging untested hospital patients into care homes during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government have decided not to appeal against this ruling and therefore, it should follow, that relatives might have a claim for compensation against the Government. The Government may have cynically calculated, of course, that any court case claiming compensation may well fail because of the difficulty in establishing an exact line of causation or route of infection. The Government could argue that COVID-19 could have been brought into the home by a care worker or transmitted from another resident.