Saturday, 21st May, 2022

[Day 796]

Today dawned quite a cloudy day but no rain was forecast all day and there was the promise of sunshine later in the day. In fact it was fairly warm and almost muggy and one would not have been surprised if thunderstorms had threatened. But there were none on the radar and none forecast so we looked forward to a day when we could walk and complete some gardening. Once I had collected the newspaper this morning, Meg and I set off the park at a gentle pace and after some chats with dog-owners that we know by sight, we were joined by our University of Birmingham friend. As we had not coincided for quite a few days now, we were delighted to see him and we chatted about a variety of things, including holidays that we both might make, separately, to various parts of Spain and when we might undertake such trips. After a long chat we said we would meet again tomorrow in the park and we wended our way home. To go with the quiche that we were warming in the oven, I decided to put together a type of ‘melange’ of vegetables which consisted of a gentle fryup in some good oil of peppers, onions, tomatoes and a few frozen French beans that I had steamed to tenderise them. I let these cook for some time until the onions were almost caramelised and the results were so good (to my taste) that I may well repeat it another time. If I had need to, I could have put in a dollop of brown sauce or even some a splash of onion relish but in the event the result were delicious enough not to need further enhancement. I must confess I also wanted to try out a new ceramic saucepan I was tempted to buy when I was last in Aldi and I reckon that. new one is overdue as I do not think we have bought a new saucepan in 15 years. Anyway, this new one is absoliutely excellent as after my fry-up, it just took a quick wipe with some kitchen paper, a dip in some hot soapy water and it was cleaned up like new in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Straight after lunch, I got to work to finish off the semicircular gravel bed which lies at the front of the house and which badly needed a radical weeding. By the time this was done, we had our afternoon cup of tea and then I thought that I would finish off a complete weeding of the roadway which constitute the principal access way to the Close in which we live. Now that all of this is completely weed free, then tomorrow all of the work I have done in the last few days will be finished off with a good soaking of PathClear which should keep us all weed free for several months. Now it was time for a weekly visit to Church which is a regular commitment for Meg and myself each Saturday afternoon.

There is quite a ‘briefing war’ going in around Downing Street at the moment. The Sue Gray report into ‘partygate’ is due to see the light of day early next week. This report has been said to be ‘independent’ but it now transpires that Boris Johnson and Ms. Gray have already had a meeting about the contents of the report some time ago. No. 10 first suggested that Sue Gray had asked for the meeting – if Boris Johnson had instigated it, then this would be tantamount to an attempt to influence the contents of the report. This was then denied by Sue Gray but it is now clear that the meeting had been organised by ‘some’ officials in No. 10. One way or another, Opposition politicians and many independent observers are bound to smell a rat. The Labour Party is calling for full transparency of what appears to be a secret meeting and one has to wonder what was the purpose of the meeting. As it is, both parties are manoeuvring to try to demonstrate their independence but I suspect that some of the beans may well be spilt by some of the inside analysis to which we can look forward in tomorrow’s Sunday newspapers.

My newsagent was telling me that are some plans for Bromsgrove to close off some its streets and to host an impromptu ‘street party’ to celebrate the Queens Jubilee in a couple of week’s time. This does not sound to be exactly our ‘cup of tea’ as it were and I am not sure I want to engage in jollities with lots of people on the High Street. This feeling is intensified a little as about a couple of days ago I received a text to say I had been in contact with a Covid infected person. I immediately did a lateral flow test on myself which tested negative but it seems strange to get the text out of the blue and when the pandemic has lost it sting.