Thursday, 31st August, 2023 [Day 1263]

Today has been quite a day, as it happens. During the night when I just happened to be up and about, I idly turned on the Amazon FireStick that my son and I had been manfully trying to install yesterday but without any success. We left the system chugging away with a message on ‘Now registering..’ or something similar but as nothing seemed to be happening, we assumed it was stuck in an endless loop of some kind. But when I tried the system in the middle of the night, the registration seemed to have worked and now I could start to explore some of the facilities. To check all was going well I actually watched the Jacob Bronowoski ‘Ascent of Man‘ episode which looked at the contributions of both Newton and Einstein. I had not fully appreciated that Leibniz had come up with the notion of the differential calculus at the same time as Newton and, in some ways, his thought processes were ahead of Newton in that he did not think of both space and time as immutable constants. I needed to update the BBC iPlayer and the system also downloaded some software updates but all in all, I feel very relieved that I now have some of the functionality of a ‘smart’ TV at a fraction of the price. When after a bit of snatched sleep, I got up in order to go shopping, Meg was feeling quite unwell so she required a bit of sorting out before I put her back to bed again to sleep whilst I went shopping. But going shopping about half an hour later than usual was quite beneficial to me and the store seemed very quiet as it now some minutes after the normal opening time. I espied one of those little ‘folding stools’ which are actually incredibly useful and made a gift of it to my son upon my return. Once I got home and unpacked my shopping, I gave my sister a FaceTime call as it is her birthday today. She seemed to have lots of birthday greetings from other family members and bunches of flowers had appeared as well. One of her daughters is going to take her out for a meal today and I think that another of her sons is doing something similar tomorrow so I was pleased to see the family are rallying around. But we had a long conversation about Meg’s health and my sister expressed her concerns about the developments that I managed to convey to her. She seems to have quite lonesome weekends so I am now resolved to give her a call on Sunday mornings which I shall to build into a weekly routine so that we can give each other a bit of mutual support and comfort as we grow old gracefully together.

Just before we lunched, a workman came round and, as a result of the occupational therapist’s visit of a couple of weeks ago, it had been decided that a grab rail fitted into the shower would be a good idea. The chap who came round was so skilful and neat in his work and we chatted about things going in Bromsgrove whilst he fitted the grab rail – so skilfully and so quickly. There was also a suggestion that we might have a half bannister on the ‘other’ side of our main staircase but Meg seems to cope with coming downstairs much more easily than going up. So after some deliberation, we decided not to avail ourselves of this option and I suppose we can reactivate the service should we need it in the months and years ahead. It is always interesting watching a skilled craftsman at work and although I had been worried that his drill might crack the tiles when the holes were drilled, this did not happen and the grab rail seemed to be fitted in no time at all. Then we cooked ourselves a quick lunch of some vegetables, supplemented by the remainder of last week’s joint cut into small pieces and served with pasta (for Meg) and cream crackers for myself.

During the early part of the afternoon, we amused ourselves (if that is the right word) using the ‘Alexa’ built-in voice command system which is a feature of our updated Amazon FireStick. The frustrating thing is that last night, when I first had the system installed, I had clicked upon some Classical Music options which purported to give on demand the most popular and admired classical pieces of all time. But I tried a variety of voice commands but never managed to get back to the options that I had utilised in the middle of the night. A bit more playing around with the system is no doubt called for such that I think we can get the musical offerings that we actually want. But Meg was happy listening to favourite operatic arias whilst I busied myself with writing some much needed emails. In the late afternoon, I was delighted to receive, at last, a piece of Marzi and Remy pottery will be a companion piece to the two oher pieces I bought about a fortnight ago. I had secured this additional piece for the same price that I paid locally and was not unhappy to pay the postage so that we have, practically, a matching set of Marzy and Remy steinware.

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