Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023 [Day 1254]

Today turned out to be quite a chewy day what with one thing or another. I had telephoned the garage from which we anticipate picking up our changed car in a couple of months time but various bits of documentation needed to be in place before we could proceed so this delayed things somewhat. We finally got out of the house and did coincide with three of our friends in the Waitrose cafeteria which always brightens up our Tuesday mornings. One of our friends had been driven to all kinds of exasperation when she was trying to pay a bill for a repair to her garage roof but trying to do this online had generated all kinds of alerts necessitating a variety of interactions with the fraud department of her bank causing maximum frustration all round. I am sure that the banks are kept busy fending off the attentions of fraudsters and spammers but the numbers of us conventional people just trying to pay a routine bill must be legion. We parted after about three quarters of an hour and we re-parked the car in a different part of the carpark but one which is a bit nearer to the High Street. I left Meg in the car whilst I dashed into Poundland to pick up something I buy regularly. These are vinyl floor tiles with adhesive backs and there are two basic designs which I deploy for different purposes. But the one I use most is a pseudo wood effect which looks pretty realistic and where I buy five for £3.00. Mind you, when I started buying these several years go, they were five for £1.00 so there is inflation for you. In the order of things, given that I price everything as multiples or fractions of a cup of coffee, these are still quite a good buy. I tend to use them when I construct one of my favourite little ‘craft’ pieces which is a decorated ‘cube’ or rather ‘oblong’ that I use in a variety of ways. Initially, I had in mind a storage box, sufficient for a variety of lightish objects such as papers and bric-a-brac. But latterly, the design has ‘evolved’ so when used as a closed, rather than an open box, it becomes a convenient artifact upon which to place my coffee cup. Using my recently purchased vinyl, I finished off my latest creation today and decorated the top with one of my ‘butterfly’ pictures after my venture of the other day. I have got this off to quite a fine art havin constructed several of these little boxes which I utilise for a variety of tidy up boxes. They are actually surprising strong although they start off life as a cardboard box. The vinyl floor tiles on each side add a measure of stability and I have invested in some really tough black ‘Gorilla Tape’ which is claimed to be thicker and stronger than all of their competitors. As I have used a variety of black tape over the years (mainly as a bookbinding material when I have been putting together conference papers and other academic documents), I can attest to the fact that this variety of gorilla tape is really strong and with an excellent adhesive and I have learnt all kinds of tricks of the trade which is the best way in which it can be cut (at an angle, with a box-cutting knife when the tape is put under some moderate pressure)

This afternoon brought its share of frustration. Normally, Tuesday is my Pilates day but last week I engaged upon an experiment in which I joined my Pilates class via ‘Zoom’ rather than attending it in person. After consulting with Meg to see how she felt about things, we decided to go for the Zoom experience again this week but although the link I had been sent by my Pilates tacher worked last week it did not do so today. After about 40 minutes, I had to give it up as a bad job and was left very frustrated that I had managed to miss my Pilates session both in person and over a videolink. As I have been doing Pilates for some 10-12 years now, to miss a session needlessly is not something I want to repeat. It may be that I have to have an online discussion with my Pilates teacher to work out how I can get this link reactivated as I do not wish to abandon the one exercise session to which I gave some priority in the week. I suppose it is always possible to do it ‘on my own’ and I know the exercises off by heart and could easily put together a routine that exercised all the muscles nd joints that needed it but finding time free from interruptions in the day is going to be problematic unless I can find a way round this.

There was an item on Channel 4 news that genuinely seemed to be apocalyptic. With fires raging in Northern Greece, 18 bodies have found in a mountain hut that may well have been undocumented migrants from the Turkish border which is nearby. In fact, a UN representative was quoted as saying that the numbers of deaths on this dangerous migration route may well rise and it is estimated that some 4,000 migrants may have utilised this perilous route in the summer months.

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