Sunday, 27th August, 2023 [Day 1259]

Today being a Sunday, Meg and I always have a rather different routine but as we are in the height of the holiday season, the normal politics programs are also off-air for a week or so until the politicians return from their breaks. There are two stories that seem to be well worth our attention at the moment. One of them is the Nadine Dorries saga after her much delayed (and anticipated) resignation whilst the other is the claim, much disputed by the Home Office, that some of the internees of the barge hired to house migrants and asylum seekers were showing symptoms of Legionnaires Disease as a result of their stay upon the barge. These stories I will follow up in the newspapers no doubt in the days ahead. Meg and I decided that we would make a trip to Webbs for our Sunday morning coffee. The establishment was pretty full as many people make a treat to have a breakfast there on Sunday mornings and yet others have an early lunch. We were warned of long delays but actually we had the Sunday newspapers and did not have to wait too long for two mugs of delicious hot chocolate (part of the free tariff of drinks that we get as a part of our membership) followed by a croissant for Meg and toast for myself. Afterwards, we decided to have a wander around the Hobbycraft shop which is a ‘shop within a shop’ at Webbs and we were amazed at the variety and abundance of craft type things that could be bought there. I was looking for something that might engage Meg’s attention and improve some of her skill sets and although we were tempted by a ‘painting by numbers’ package, we eventually decided against it and came away empty handed. Upon our return, we cooked a lunch of gammon, primo cabbage and baked potato – the cabbage was pretty tasty and I wonder whether keeping the cabbage in the fridge helps to sweeten it up a little and convert some of the starches into sugars (this works particularly well with parsnips as all vegetable gardeners are well aware how much parsnips taste when thy have a hard frost on them but this can be simulated by putting them in a fridge).

This afternoon we engaged ourselves in one of the simplest of past-times which is ‘together’ completing a 60 piece puzzle. Of course I remembered from my childhood years that first you located all of the straight-edged pieces and particularly the corner pieces because you than had a framework from which to work. You would have thought this was unproblematic but what to do with the ‘straight edge’ pieces that were left over? It transpired that the puzzle makers had decided to included a mini puzzle together the main puzzle but this only bacame evident to me later on. The jigsaw was a ‘Thomas the Tank Engine and friends’ which include about three engines, a bus, a car, some people, station paraphernalia and so on so it was quite a jolly time getting it completed. This I did and was particulatly pleased to discover that no pieces were missing which I suppose is always the bane of a puzzle completer’s life. So now we have two puzzles completed and I am trying to encourage Meg to rediscover these skills which she must have had as a child decades earlier. Later on this afternoon, we are all geared up to watching the France v Australia rugby match which I hope lives up to expectations. This evening we will be rather spoiled for choice because there is some Mozart at the proms followed shortly afterwards by the world athletics from Budapest which has proved to be quite an exciting competition.

After last week’s success in the World Cup, Spain and Spanish football ought to relishing their success. Instead, the whole week since the match has been sullied by a most extraprdinary row. The Spanish football federation president is refusing to step down from his role following backlash over his behaviour at the Women’s World Cup final. Luis Rubiales has been heavily criticised after kissing forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s victory last Sunday – but he will not be going quietly. All the powers that be from FIFA to the Spanish goverment are doing their hardest to make Rubiales resign for his atrocious behaviour, which probably amounts to a sexual assault. But by refusing to go quiety, the row drags on and on and Spanish football as a whole must feel that their deserved victory now appears tainted. I am pleased to see that the English lionesses have added their support to their Spanish opponents but it seems extraordinary that this row has dragged on as long as it has.

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