Wednesday, 28th September, 2022

[Day 926]

This was a type of ‘recovery’ day after the early starts of the past couple of days so Meg and I allowed ourselves a smidgeon of a lie-in and determined that we would have an easier day. By the time we had our got volumes of washing sorted out, dried and put away and had a chat with our domestic help, we were fairly late in the morning. So we decided to forego our walk in the park but after we had collected our newspaper, we decided to treat ourselves to a coffee in Waitrose. Whilst we were on the road, I called in at a big store nearby that sells not only food but also a range of toiletries and domestic cleaning products. All I wanted was something really simple which was an old-fashioned tin of black shoe polish but this now seems as rare as hen’s teeth. I manage to locate one of those ‘roll-on’ shoe wax type of products which I dare say are easier and cleaner to apply but needless to say they only had brown in stock. So I came home fulminating about the types of esteric crap it was now possible to be in shops like this whilst good, old fashioned products just seems to be asking for the moon. Once we got home, we made ourelves a pasta/curry as we often do on a Wednesday. As we go shopping first thing on a Thursday morning, we tend to use up the onions/tomatoes/peppers bought last week to form the ingredients of today’s meal. Having fried up this combination, I threw in the bits of cubed meat left over from last weekend’s joint and then made a pasta for Meg and a curry for Mike. In my own case, I wanted to avoid the carbohydrates associated with rice and so I tried a bit of an innovation which was to crumble a cream cracker into squares and ditto with a couple of rice cakes and the curried vegetables were then poured over the top. This proved to be eminently successful so I certainly do this again.

This afternoon, I set myself the task of putting some black shoe polish on my leather hats – current and reserves. When I explored the inner recesses of a cupboard, I found that I actually did have some black boot polish in stock which I was delighted to find. Having carefully applied the polish, I have then put the hats into a warmish place (underneath our central heating boiler) where I will let them stay until tomorrow morning. Then, after the polish has had a chance to soak well into the leather, I will polish off using soft cloths and kitchen paper and might give a slight veneer of black liquid wax polissh if I can acquire some tomorrow morning. In the late afternoon, as it is the evening to put our refuse bins ready for emptying in the morning, I noticed my neighbour’s car was on her drive so I rang the doorbell to enquire afer my neighbour’s heart procedure which was undertaken yesterday. A previous attempt to insert stents had proved unsuccessful but an eminent Japanese heart surgeon was visiting the UK and my neighbour was scheduled for the procedure yesterday morning. This took several hours during which he was conscious all the time which sounds quite an ordeal. However, the procedure had proved to be a complete success and our neighbour now had four stents inserted into his corony arteries which ought to keep his blood supply flowing. Although he was still in some discomfort after yesterday, he felt ‘over the moon’ that the procedure had achieved such success and,for our part, we were absolutely delighted for him.

The financial crisis has come to a sort of crisis point today when the Bank of England has been forced to intervene to prevent some of the major pension funds investments (which rely heavly upon the 20-30 year old gilt markets to function correctly) from going belly up – and possibly even insolvent half way through the afternoon. The government are denying that this ‘market dysfunction’ is anything to do with them and is claiming that the Bank of England intervention is just part of a general turmoil affecting all major economies. In practice, Liz Truss and her chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng are nowhere to be seen (but reported to have had a massive row in the meantime) and junior ministers have been sent out onto the airways to blame Putin, the rest of the world economy and anybody but themselves. In private (but not on the record) many Tory MP’s are incandescent:inept, humiliating, naive, reckless are just some of the words that have cropped up. What is so irritating to many of them is that this financial instability was predicted – by none other than former chancellor and leadership candidate Rishi Sunak. If Parliament were not to be in recess, it is an interesting question whether this ‘mini-budget’ would even pass through the House of Commons without some significant climbdowns and amendments – and perhaps not even then which would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence.