Tuesday, 22nd February, 2022 [Day 708]

Well, this has been a bit of a strange day – or should I say a day that follows a long night. In the wee small hours of the morning, I got up and spent a bit of time on my desktop computer and wondered if it was eligible for an upgrade of the operating system. The latest version of the Mac operating sysytem is now Monterey and it was released at the end of October last year. Knowing that installing a new version of the operating system is a good way of getting rid of the ‘junk’ files which tends to accumulate over the life cycle of an operating system, I thought I would go ahead. The new operating system took over an hour to download but I thought this was probably just about acceptable as I pop into bed at about 3.00am in the morning. The download seemed to proceed to plan but what I had not realised that it took another hour to install the operating system. This is because the system has to reconfigure and update parts of itself, rebuild fle indexes and goodness knows what else – the system had to restart itself about five times altogether as various components got installed. Eventually everything seemed to be installed and I had to have a minimal ‘play’ with things to ensure that the new system was actually working as it should do – it is not unknown for a new operating system to completely fall over and, in that instance, one has to somehow revert to the old system if that is possible.  After a minimal ‘play’ the critical things (email!) seem to be working OK but I haven’t had chance for an extended investigation until later on. At first glance, the system seems just about as slow as the old system was so that the theory that an upgrade of the system should have cleared out an aberrant file that was slowing down my old system seems to have misplaced. Having said that, systems speed up over time as commonly used software gets prioritised – at least it does on the modern Windows system so I sure the Mac software engineers would have done the same. I crept into bed at about 4.40 not intending to spend half the night supervising the installation of an operating system but I have been there before and therefore should not express any degree of surprise. So after all of this, I slept in a bit this morning and generally felt like ‘death warmed up’ until I had got some breakfast inside me.

In view of all of this, Meg and I did not have time for a walk this morning but time is always a bit limited on a Tuesday morning when I have to prepare for my Pilates session later on. So I shot down to town by car to pick up our Tuesday newspaper and then got changed into my tracksuit bottoms which is my ‘de rigeur’ outfit for my Pilates session. Then it was a brisk walk down and I passed our Italian friend but had to rush past her saying there was no stop to stop for a chat. After my class, I bumped into my park friend, Seasoned World Traveller, and we had a few words about the situation in the Ukraine  and then a little later on my Irish friend who was busy transporting a bag of things for the charity shop so I assume she had been doing some ‘spring’ cleaning – or at least cupboard clearing out time. After I got home, I prepared our traditional ‘fish cakes’ meal that I have upon my return from Pilates and then it was into a spot of dozing and newspaper reading before we get to FaceTime our old Waitrose friends which we do regularly each Tuesday evening. As Tuesday night has a couple of old fashioned comedy programs (one of them Yes Minister!) we tend to always watch these and it means that we have to get ourselves organised in time for these.

As you might imagine, the Ukraine crisis has dominated the airwaves today. The situation is not quite as clearcut as a starightforward invasion of one (small) country but another,much bigger neighbour would suggest. I refreshed my memory about the Russian ‘takeover’ of the Crimea and discovered that Russia formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, incorporating the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia. Despite its annexation, Crimea was considered by most countries of the world in a UN resolution of March 2014 to remain part of Ukraine. I did not know, though, that the USSR formally transferred the Crimea from Russia to the Ukraine as late as 1954 for reasons which are too tortuous to begin to explain. I suppose that it was about the time of the repossession of the Crimea that the two Ukrainian provinces of  Luhansk and Donetsk, the two provinces of the eastern Donbas region, are only about one-third controlled by the separatists now recognised by Russia. But separatist officials in Luhansk demanded on Tuesday that Ukraine removed its troops from the Kyiv-controlled parts of the province and threatened they would ‘take measures to restore the territorial integrity of the republic‘ if ignored.

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