Tuesday, 28th June, 2022

[Day 834]

Today we enjoyed our Tuesday morning routine which is to make a journey to the Waitrose coffee bar, knowing that some familar old faces will be in evidence. As we suspected, three or four of our ‘pre-pandemic’ regulars were taking their coffee as usual as well as Seasoned World Traveller who seems to make a point of coming to Waitrose on a Tuesday. I wouldn’t say that we were a noisy crowd but we are a little on the excitable side. During the morning, several of the regular staff popped their heads around the corner to say ‘Hello’ to us all and I am now wondering if they rather like the whole of the previous gang coming back as it helps to justify and sustain the coffee bar enterprise as a whole. As it is getting towards the end of my normal ‘shopping’ week, I rather welcome the opportunity of popping round the shelves to pick up some things of which I know we are short. In common with other supermarkets, Waitrose is having to reorganise itself to comply with the new HFSS regulations (‘High in Fats, Sugar and Salt’). These regulations are designed to ensure that HFSS goods receive less prominence and should be denoted from positions at the end of aisles and near to the checkouts. For smaller stores, like our Waitrose, this means considerable reorganisation throughout most of the store, and the practical consequence of this is that many familiar items now have to be hunted for and the overhead aisle signs are no longer accurate. So this meant that I needed to hunt considerably for a few staple items such as tea which is no longer where I thought it was. After our jolly discussions, it was time to get home and start preparing for my Pilates session in the middle of the day, As rain still threatened, I thought it wiser to walk down into town wearing a waterproof in case the heavans opened.

In my Pilates class, our instructor kept us amused as we all tried to balance on one leg for a minimum of 10 seconds. A very important study had been published in ‘The Times‘ which shows that if you cannot sustain a flamingo type pose on either of your feet for 10 seconds, then you are at almost twice the risk of dying within the next ten years. Even more dramatically, those who could stand on one leg with their eyes closed were most likely to be well in 13 years time (the study being performed upon people in their 50s). Those who managed only about 2 seconds were three times more likely to die before the age of 66. Now none of this is absolutely ‘new’ knowledge in that the relationship between balance and the aging process has been used by physicians for a long time. For example, it is well known to GPs that an 18-year can stand on one leg with their eyes close for at least 30 seconds whereas for a 90 year old it is likely to be 2 seconds. The point about eyes being closed is that one’s balance without input from the eyes to adjust the balance means that one had to rely upon very primitive parts of the brain’s structure to maintain balance and this ability deteriorates wiith age, even amongst athletes. Having recovered the article from our vertical filing system (the ‘green’ waste bin for papers and plastics that we keep outside out back door), the article is well worth a detailed study. But there is some room for hope because there is evidence that balance work for just a few seconds a day can bring health dividends for us all.

Tomorrow all being well we should have our super fast fibre broadband installed. This should have been done about ten days ago but tomorrow is the day of reckoning. I am just hoping that once we have a new router installed, that access to the internet is trouble free for us because over the years – from email to banking – we have all become accustomed to life with the net for all of our daily living activities.

Today is the day when Gislaine Maxwell is to be sentenced after her conviction but there seems to be quite a lot of courtroom darama to be played out so I imagine that the sentencing process will take hours. It is always a rather gruesome part of American style court proceedings that prisoners appear shackled in chains – as though escape were at all likely. I am sure that this is a part of the humiliation process and although I am not a lover of things American, I would surely like to see some of our bankers and other high profile criminals to appear at the Old Bailey chained around their hands and feet. In the case of Ghislaine Maxwell, the sentencing may well appear to be academic. Maxwell’s lawyers are suggesting a 4-5 year sentence whilst Government prosecutors are pushing for Maxwell to be sentenced to anything between 30-55 years. In the event, she was sentenced to twenty years.