Tuesday, 9th August, 2022

[Day 876]

I have come to expect Tuesdays are busy days and today was certainly no exception. Tuesday morning is the morning when a lot of the pre-pandemic Waitrose ‘gang’ congregate in the Waitrose coffee bar to see each other, exchange news and gossip and generally enjoy each other’s company. I seem to be at the intersection of many overlapping circles so I have to manage my interactions with a degree of care, giving a certain amount of time to each one. I started off having a few words with Seasoned World Taveller who I see in the park many days each week but he seems to have got into the habit of 10.30 on Tuesday mornings. Then there are three more elderly ladies, all of whom of course know each other. Two of them have husbands with dementia so to some extent we act as a source of mutual support to each other. Finally, there is a person who used to be our regular gardener and he himself is recovering from quite a serious illness so again, we do what we can do to help his recovery which seems to be taking place im very small increments. As my regular shopping day is a Thurday, if there is anything of which I have run out, then Tuesday is a good day to top up supplies and today there were about five or six things that I needed to buy. Then, of course, we need to return home and get some lunch organised so that upon my return from Pilates, we can eat wit the minimum of delay. There were only two of us in my Pilates class today which was a little unusual but some of the regulars are either away on holiday or have moved, temporarily or permanently, to other classes. On the way home, I popped into my local Asda to buy one or two commodities that I know I can only buy from there – it was very hot walk back so it was one of those days when I was actively seeking the shadiest part of the street. On my way down to Pilates, I had a quick word with our Irish friends and the upshot of this is that Meg is going to spend part of he evening with the lady of the house whilst we two husbands are off to the church for a church meeting which will take place every 2-3 months, once things settle down.

This afternoon, I busied myself getting some documents run off that I need for the meeting this evening. At the same time, and knowing that I need to get myself a birthday cake for my sister, I found a website from a firm in Nottingham that makes personalised cakes and delivers them by post. Rather than chasing all over Bromsgrove choosing, ordering and then collecting a cake, I have bit the bullet and ordered what I need over the web. The design I have chosen looks excellent and my ordered cake will arrive in a few days time. I have sent a query off to the firm to which they say they will respond within 24 hours to ask about such things as keeping qualities, storage advice and so on. It may be that I have odered it a tad too early but I was not sure how long the delivery was going to take and hence my spur of the moment order today. You can see why busy people resort so much to the internet as you could spend a fortune on petrol chasing around to find even a local retailer who will supply you with what you need. We will see if my questions are answered when the reply comes.

Today the political debate seems to be intensifying. A consensus appears to be developing across most of the political spectrum that massive problems are facing the country with rocketing fuel increases and an inflation rate that may well exceed 13%. But there do not seem to be any government plans to do anything about all of this until the new Prime Minister is first announced on 5th September and then takes office some weeks later. Gordon Brown, the ex-Labour Prime Minister who lost to David Cameron is suggesting that there is now a need for an immediate, emergency budget. The Conservative front runner, Liz Truss, is announcing that she will cut taxes and green levies but is setting her face against what she calls ‘handouts’. Such a policy will benefit the already wealthy but those on low incomes and Universal Credit will soon experience massive cuts to their living stndards. Some are arguing that such a policy spells electoral suicide for the Conservative party but in the race to be Conservative leader, this seems unimportant to members of the conservative constituency parties who form the electorate in the voting for a new Prime Minister and amongst whom Liz Truss still has a commanding lead of over 30%