Saturday, 28th May, 2022

[Day 803]

A beautiful day dawned and it was a delight for us, on a Saturday morning, to look out over the front and back lawns freshly mown as of yesterday. After we had got up and showered and I had made a lightning visit into town by car to pick up the newspaper, Meg started to undertake our daily walk down into the park. We drank our coffee and ate our comestibles in comparative isolation, after which we strolled down the hill in search of companions. We soon bumped into Seasoned World Traveller and after we had decided to buy a coffee from the park’s own café, we were shortly joined by our University of Birmingham friend. His slight tendon injury which had left him not being able to play tennis during the last week seemed to have healed so he was looking forward to a normal round of tennis matches. Seasoned World Traveller and I exchanged some observations of a medical nature, as well as talking politics and then we made our way home for a Saturday lunch. I had prepared some Quorn mince which I tarted up a little with some fried onions, peas, onion gravy and some brown sauce which I often utilise to impart a bit of flavour. So we had a total vegetarian dinner but it felt like a ‘meat and two veg’ if you know what I mean.

I had a little project upon which I was intent in the afternoon. I wanted to stake up a Weigela which I want to grow up as tall as possible to provide a bit of screen from our next door neighbour’s garden. I had already purchased a stout piece of timber and I put a point on it with a saw and a spot of Danish Oil to help to prevent the stake rotting in a year or so. In the event, though, I found the hornbeam I had planted about a year back had actually grown a really stout ‘bole’ (the technical name for a tree’s trunk) and so instead of sinking a stake, all I had to do was to utilise some rope to lash the Weigela into a somewhat more upright position. This particular Weigela has beautiful ruby red flowers and I am hoping that it will grow to its full height of 2.5m within a year or so. Having got this job done, I then gave the communal green area a quick edging (as it quickly grows over its natural borders at this time of year) and then Meg and I spent some happy minutes having a chat with our next door neighbour who had just returned form a week’s holiday. We love discussing politics and have a sort of macabre fascination for the machinations of Boris Johnson so we are speculating how the whole of partygate will play out in the longer term.

As is normal on a Saturday, we attended church in the early evening. One of the parishioners who is ‘sport mad’ asked us if we were going to watch the European cup match between Liverpool and Real Madrid which he assured me was on terrestrial TV. Once we got home and had some soup, we realised that this was somewhat duff information so we had to content ourself with the normal Saturday night fare for a Saturday.

There has been a dripfeed of Tory MP’s who now realise that they cannot continue to support Boris Johnaon any more and are consequently writing letters to that effect to the Tory MP who chairs the 1922 (= Tory backbencher’s) committee. The magic number is 54 ‘letters’ but Sky News is keeping a tally of those Tory MP’s who have called upon Johnson to go and think that the tally might be 24 i.e. less than one half. However, I suspect that two events may prove to be significant. Parliament is now in recess until after the Queen’s Jubilee junketings which start on Thursday and I suspect that many Tory MP’s might be having thir ears bent by their constituency party chairmen and committee members when they are in their constitutency for several days. I suspect that the numbers of ‘malcontents’ may be larger when MPs return back to Westminster in about 10 days time. There is another theory about the days ahead which is interesting. There are two bye-elections next month and one in Tiverton is interesting. There the majority is 25,000 but if the Lib-Dems, most of the Labour voters and discontented Tories join forces this could be a stunning Lib Dem victory. Even if Lib Dems fail to take the seat but reduce the Tory majority from 25,000 to say 1,000, then this would put scores of seats across Southern England in danger. Ex-Tory voters might be more willing to vote Lib Dem if by so doing they are not allowing a Corbyn-led Labour Party into power, being able to tolerate a Starmer-led government for some years. We shall have to wait 3-4 weeks until the bye-elections are held to see what will transpire.