Thursday, 2nd June, 2022

[Day 808]

Today being a Thursday it is my routine shopping day so I set my alarm to get up a little earlier tham usual. Then I made for my local supermarket but as I was several minutes early, I managed to get some money out of an ATM and also fill-up with petrol at an adjacent supermarket. Then it was a case of getting home, having a ‘quickie’ breakfast and an unpacking before I prepared our coffee and ‘small-eats’ ready for our trip down to the park. It was beautiful day down in the park and we assumed that it would be teeming with children. But there seemed to be no more children that we anticipate in a normal weekend and we were diverted by some of the local dogs trying hard (and failing) to catch a squirrel that scampered amonst them and then made an escape up one of the trees in the park, much to the frustration of the local dogs who could not follow. On the way down to the park, we spent a few minutes in discussion with our Italian friend and she explained to us how typically a fiesta would take place in Italy. What made these things special for her in her home town is that her father was a talented musician and was always heavily involved in both both organising and participating in local concerts whenever it was fiesta time.

After lunch, I knew that I needed to go into town to collect my repaired leather hat from the local cobblers. This morning, though, when I got into the car to go shopping, a strange symbol appeared as a warning message in my car’s notification area. I had no idea what is meant to symbolise so I needed to consult the car manual and after wading through masses of information symbols, I discovered that it meant that the battery in my key fob (used for opening/shutting the car) was running low. So knowing that my cobbler changes batteries in car key fobs, this was an additional incentive to walk down to town and to get the battery renewed once I was picking up my repaired hat. On my way down into town, I bumped into a Teaching Assistant neighbour who we know fairly well, living on the main Kidderminster Road. Her husband/partner had been incredibly ill some three or four years ago but is making. long, slow recovery. So we exchanged some notes about caring functions and it may well be that we invite each around to each other’s houses for a cup of tea and a chat.

When I got to the shop it was shut even though yesterday, they had said to me ‘See you tomorrow’ Eventually, I walked the entire length of the High Street hoping I could find a jeweller or similar shop who would change the battery for me. I know that I have been caught out with these kinds of dilemmas before – typically on Good Friday, despite the Bank Holiday status, one half of the shops are likely to be open and the other half shut. At the end of the High Street, my local Waitrose store was open so I managed to get some (but not all) of the things I need to buy in Waitrose as the Aldi in which I do my main shopping does not stock them.

There is wall-to-wall coverage of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations today and tonight as you might expect. I will be quite interested to see how the media covers the lighting of the beacons across the country and whether you will see the beacons gradually being lit if the media capture this event with modern technology at their disposal. Of course, in the past these beacons were spread at strategic locations across the country such that one beacon was visible from another. Hence in days of great national danger (for example, the Armada in 1588), the beacons were a way of quickly disseminating a message across the whole if the country. Evidently, as soon as we had modern communications, this function became redundant but over time, the lighting of beacons across the country is deployed at times of national celebration and this continues to this day. When we lived in Leicester, the highest point of the county in the north of the county was called ‘Beacon Hill’ for evident reasons nd I am sure that there are similarly named high points across the country.

No doubt thousands of words will be written about the Depp/Heard libel trial but theee particular features stand out. Firstly, Johnny Depp lost a similar case in the UK but won it (against the odds) in the USA. Secondly, the social media massively swung behind Depp for whatever reason. And finally, as strategy was deployed in the USA court case in which the accused becomes the accuser and vice versa. “Lawyers and judges tend not to fall for it, but it’s very, very effective against juries” one american lawyer has argued.