Saturday, 8th October, 2022

[Day 936]

Today when we woke up and drew back our bedroom curtains, we witnessed a beautifully clear blue sky and so it remained all of the day, with practically no wind to boot. Our adopted cat, Miggles, came around to see us this morning which was a welcome sight as we have not seen him/her over the past few wet days. We spotted the moggy out of our bedroom window as she settled down in one of her favourite sunny spots underneath our pear tree. But, true to form, she responded to the sound of the back door being opened and engaged in her usual practice of rolling all over my outdoor clogs and slippers whilst I was preparing her half portion of cat food which is her breakfast. Then Meg and I got ourselves breakfasted, washed and dressed before we went to pick up our copy of the newspaper. Then we made for our favourite park bench and in no time at all, we were joined by two of our park regulars – our University of Birmingham friend as well as Seasoned World Traveller. The latter informed me with a certain amount of glee that I was in great danger of losing my bet of a large bar of chocolate now that Liz Truss has survived one more week and there are another two weeks to go before our bet comes to fruition or not. On our way home, we knocked at the door of our Irish friends and were invited in for a cup of tea which we readily accepted. We had a little clutch of some church as well as purely domestic issues that we wished to share with our friends so we spent a very pleasant half hour or so in their company. When we got home, it was just before 2.00pm and I was particularly anxious to have a lightning fast lunch as I wanted to get out and give the lawns a mow whilst the good weather was with us and before we went to church this evening. This is where our standby of a tin of chicken pieces came into its own as I quickly prepared a chicken-and-vegetables mixture whch I served on a bed of pasta for Meg and on broken up cream crackers and rice cakes in lieu of carbohydrate rich pasta for myself. This was both quick to prepare and tasty to eat so I managed to get the washing up done and out to mow the lawns by 3.00pm. Despite being a little moisture-retaining, the grass which had been left for a couple of weeks mowed up quite nicely so I was relieved to get this job done in plenty of time without undue rush before we get ourselves for church this evening. We missed lst weeks service as we were both feeling a little under the weather as we had both had a COVID and a ‘flu jab earlier in the day.

Monday onwards is going to be interesting politically. This is because Liz Truss was only in power two days before the Queen died and then we had ten days ‘off’ normal politics, followed by a brief parliamentary return and then it was a week off for the Tory Party conference. So we have hardly had any ‘normal’ parliamentary politics until the forthcoming week. To understand the various ‘tribes’ (or ‘warring factions’ if you like) I turned to Peter Walker of The Guardian who has quite helpfully for us divided the current Tory party into several groupings. These are not really factions as such because they coalesce around particular issues and agree on some issues whilst disagreeing on others. Walker discerns the following groups of which the most influential are the ‘Free Market Ultras‘ (Brexit nd Liz Truss to a man) Then we have the ‘Red Wall Statists‘ who represent seats that have traditionally been Labour but captured by Johnson in the lest election. A third group are the ‘Country set/green‘ who are concerned with environmental issues writ large. Then we have the ‘Malcontents/Big Beasts’ epitomisd by Michael Gove, actually sacked in a fit of pique by Johnson. Finally we have the ‘Culture warriers‘ who feel that the youth of the nation has been coruupted by a liberal/woke/politically correct agenda. It is slightly difficult to find out how many MP’s actually voted ‘Remain’ as Boris Johnson kicked the majority of them out of the party before the last election. Remainers are now a very minority and I suspect the figure is approx 35% of the whole parliamentary party but they dare not make their voices heard. There are, I think, no Remainers in the Truss cabinet and certainly none in senior positions. Paradoxically, Liz Truss herself is the only prominent ‘Remainer’ in her own cabinet (because she changed her mind and became an ardent ‘Brexiteer’ although video clips exist of her in the EU Referendum campaign explaining to the Food and Drink Federation, I think, what a disaster Brexit would be for them).