Wednesday, 23rd August, 2023 [Day 1255]

Today was quite a busy day and we had to organise our time a little carefully. Meg and I got up and showered which does not sound at all remarkable, but there was a crucial difference. The other day when I was at our local Age Concern charity shop, they had a bathstool on sale just inside the door which, as it as only £1.95, I snapped it up thinking it might prove to be useful. When I got it home, I gave it a thoroughly cleaning with a bleach spray and noted, with a degree of satisfaction, that it seemed to fit extremely well inside our bath with particularly stout rubber ferrules on each leg. Today was the first time that we had used this and it proved to be remarkably successful. Meg felt much more secure in the shower and I found it easier to administer the shower as though I was washing a car or a horse! You can never be quite sure whether these aids are going to live up to their promise but, on this occasion, Meg and I agreed that the bath stool was a great success. Then, of course, it was a case of getting breakfasted and then making our way onto the road. I had decided that I wanted to visit the Age Concern furniture shop in search of a footstool but one was not forthcoming. But there were one or two pieces of glassware the shape and size of which I was actually hunting for so these were snaffled up together with a little original Wedgewood dish, complete in its box and provenance certificate. Whilst we were in that end of town, I browsed quickly in three of the other charity shops and did find something useful in each one so all in all, we felt that we had a particularly successful morning’s venture out. We knew that our hairdresser was due to call round at 2.00pm and she was actually five minutes early – unusual for her. So we determined that we would have our elevenses promptly at home and then ensure that we had got the lunch prepared, eaten and all washed up by the time our hairdresser arrived.

This afternoon, I spent some time trying to establish the provenance of a decorated glass dish which I purchased for a song this morning and for which I have an anticipated use. I have tried to use Google Images to ascertain whether it has any real value or not but it is a bit difficult, being clear, to photograph and to establish any kind of provenance. I am going to reserve judgement until our domestic help calls round on Friday because I trust her judgement in terms of evaluating objects such as this. During the afternoon, I spent some time perusing a pile of newspapers for articles that I wanted to keep and this is particularly important on a WednesdaY because it is the day this week, for the green and brown bins to go out, the green bins being used for excess paper products of which I have a lot. I managed to make a fair dent on the pile but there is more to do. Whilst I was taking my own bins out as well as those of my neighbour, I bumped into him which was a useful little chat for both of us, so that I could update him on developments that are taking place to assist with Meg’s health status.

This evening, quite exciting new came through that the Indians have managed a soft landing of a craft near the southern pole of the moon. The Russian venture crashed into the moon a few days ago and I think thsat the Japanese might have tried and failed also. So this is a magnificent success for Indian technology and may prove to be quite important if and when we make missions to more distant parts of our solar system such as Mars. The southern pole is believed to contain what might be volumes of ice and, if this is the case, then he resulting water can be split into oxygen and hydrogen or in other words the basic components of a rocket fuel. The Indians have a little rover on board which may make some trips and the craft is already transmitting data back to Earth and, so far, it appears that the soft landing has been successful and that streams of data can now flow. It is early days yet so as the hours and days roll by, we will be able to see how much the Indian soft landing has pushed forwrd the space programme.

There is some interesting political news which is just breaking in the early evening. The Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was said to be ‘on the passenger list’ of a light aircraft that has just crashed and it seems likely that all ten people on board may have perished. If this prove to be the demise of Prigozhin, then the Kremlin may be secretly quite pleased as it was Prigozhin who ordered a march on Moscow some two weeks ago and humiliated Putin in the process. Given the dark arts of the Russian state, then was the crash completely accidental or was it engineered by the Russian state? Perhaps this story will develop in the hours ahead but it does seem that a prominent critic of the Kremlin’s war effort is no more.

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