Friday, 19th August, 2022

[Day 886]

Friday promises to be the most delightful day as it bright and sunny with a slight cooling breeze and rain quite a distance on the horizon. Meg and I popped down to Waitrose where we picked up our newspaper and much-needed supplies of icecream which I had forgotten to replenish when I shopping on Thursday. In the park, there was a little bit of the gathering of the clans. First, Seasoned World Traveller spotted us from afar and trotted over for a chat. Then we were joined by our University of Birmingham friend who we seem to have missed for some days now so it was good to all meet up. In the midst of all of this, our Irish friends (who live adjacent to the park) strolled along and conveyed some good news about the wedding anniversary celebrations we hope to hold in about three week's time. It looks as though the three couples who are all celebrating (commiserating?) wedding anniversaries in some three weeks time can all coincide to have a joint meal as it now looks as though all of our dates can be made to coincide. I am awaiting a text from our Irish friends who is coordinating the whole of this little celebration for us. When we got home, we indulged in a little of the sports competitions and watched some of the heats in the kayak, and two varities of canoe before cooking our traditional Friday meal of sea bass served on a bed of salad. This afternoon, I spent a certain amount of time getting some of my financial records in an easily understood form before we have a meeting with the bank at the end of the month. This is a fairly long job but I am half way through it so should manage to complete the rest fairly easily. Before our neeting, though, certain documents have to be assembled before we submit them to a secure website so I am busy at the moment 'getting all of my ducks in a row' so to speak. When Meg and I were having our afternoon cup of tea, I half listened to a Science item on Sky News which I found quite exciting. It is fifty years since the Anerican moon landings and one wonders why we, as a civilation, would want to return. But the Americans are planning to do that in about three years time and to that end are going to test a huge rocket which is the largest ever built. The object of the American interest is the Southern (I think) pole of the moon in which there are some parts in permanent shadow and other parts in total sunshine. The thoughts are that the deeply shadowed areas may contain water in the shape of ice. At the same time, those parts in permanent sunshine might lend themselves to power generation via solar cells. So if that portion of the Moon is found to be a resource in which there is both water and power available, then this might help as a launch base for any further interplanetary exploration. Yesterday was the day when 'A'-level results were to be published and it already been announced that the portion of 'good' grades was to be lower than last year (when grades were inflated because all of the assessments were teacher assessments and the traditional exam was abandoned for the time being) This year, though, traditional exams have been reinstated so the examination baords are trying to get back, in stages, to the 'status quo ante' before the pandemic struck two years ago. Over the years, we have got almost used to the same images of 'A' level students celebrating their success and the photographers have tended to focus on long-legged, blonde females jumping up and down with joy rather than their spottier and (glummer) male counterparts. These images had got so predictable over the years that I think the news gathering media were making some efforts this year to have less of stereotypical images. Nonetheless, my instant 'content analysis' of the media reaction this year was that photograpgers and electronic news gatherers were trying to be more representative than hitherto but I still imagine blondes to outnumber brunettes by three to one (but perhaps they do in the adolescent female ppoluation but I doubt it somehow). More Donald Trump news now that I quote with a fascinated horror. After the FBI came after Trump raiding his Florida home to locate government documents that had been squirrelled away there, Trump's response has been to appeal for funds. He is appealing to 'all American patriots' to help to fund his legal fees and, to date, he seems to have been receiving donations at the rate of $1 million a day. Once the money is received (as it was after the raid on the Capital building where Trump similarly appealed for funds) the money tends to get diverted sideways into various fringe organisations and therefore, not necessarily spent on legal fees. But one of Trump's financial aides has pleaded guilty, as part of a plea bargain, in the investigation of Trump's finances so the noose may be tightning if only ever so slightly.