Monday, 30th May, 2022

[Day 805]

Today started a little gloomily and there were a few spatters of rain early on. But this soon gave rise to some sunshine and what turned out to be quite a pleasant day. As we needed to do a little running around today, we decided to take the car into town so that we could retreat reasonably quickly if we were caught in a sudden downpour. So having collected our newspaper, I then called in at Waitrose to get one or two things that we needed. I then called in at our local Health Centre (a newish building housing two of the largest GP practices in the town) to drop in a sample and to make a further appointment for a blood test that seems to have been overlooked.We then drove to the park and had a short walk to our normal bench where we communed with dog walkers which is quite normal for us. The skies started to darken so we were pleased that we had got the car with us as a real downpour threatened but did not actually materialise. Once we got home, we had an easily prepared lunch and, as the weather had brightened, started to think of some little jobs to be done outside. I wanted to apply some Danish Oil to a couple of new outside brooms that I have so that they will be weather resistant i.e. will not rot if I were to leave them outside. Danish Oil is a miexture of linseed oil and Tung Oil and, once applied, it has great resistant to water and other liquids. Danish oil works as a waterproof coating on your woodwork. The reason for building this kind of strong water-resistant layer is that the particles that are contained in danish oil react with atmospheric oxygen for a highly polymerized strong solid structure. Moisture cannot penetrate through this surface. This makes danish oil great for outdoor furniture. As it turned out, the oil was incredibly easy to brush on but I had diluted it with 20% white spirit to help it penetrate brand new timber (as it suggested on the tin). Altogether, I am going to put about three coats on so I will put a second and third coat in the next day or so. Whilst I was in the middle of my painting job, I received a telephone call from the surgery and it seemed that there was some doubt as to whether one of my scheduled blood tests has actually been performed although the nursing assistant with whom I spoke can remember requesting it on the form but the results don’t seem to have come back. So I am going into the surgery at midday tomorrow so that, if the blood test has not been done, I can get another one into the system ready for a chat with a nurse in my appointment in a couple of week’s time. As I finished my painting job quite quickly, I spent a bit of time clearing a gully of holly leaves that I thought was going to be quite an unpleasant task. But slugs and snails do not like crawling over holly leaves, so armed with some industrial style gloves, I need to build this into a fortnightly routine i.e. in the day before our garden waste bin is due to be emptied on a fortnightly basis.

One of the The Times regular columnists, Clare Foges, has floated a very interesting idea in today’s edition. She floats the suggestion, first formulated by a Conservative peer, that we establish an Office for Demographic Change analagous to the Office for Budget Responsibility. Given the toxic nature of immigration in British politics and the enormous role that it played in our EU referendum campaign, perhaps this is one in which, as a society, we could work out how much immigration we need and of what type and how we can accurately measure both the costs and benefits of whatever level of immigration we collectively desire. I wonder whether this suggestion will be taken up by any of the political parties.

‘Partygate’ continues to rumble on and the number of MP’s who have now written a letter to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee (requesting an election for a new PM) now numbers 27. One of the MPs who declared today is Jeremy Wright who is a former attorney general. He has also published a long statement on his personal website indicating the sources of his dissatisfaction with the PM. So we are now at the ‘half way’ point of MPs calling for Johnson to go (the critical number of letters that need to be sent in being 54). I suspect that the numbers may grow slowly as MPs have a chance to chat with their constituencies over the next week but the critical event is going to be the two bye-elections in about 3-4 weeks time which will be a good indication of far the electorate as a whole are prepared to withdraw support from the government.