Tuesday, 2nd July, 2024 [Day 1569]

We were looking forward to today for two principal reasons. Tuesdays are the day when we meet up with our friends in Waitrose. Also we were looking forward to the journey down the hill using the new wheelchair recently supplied to Meg. As we suspected, the larger wheels at the back (12″ rather than 7″) both made the ride somewhat smoother and also made the negotiation of kerbs somewhat easier as well. We got down the hill in less than 20 minutes so the new chair must have made some kind of impact. But when we got to Waitrose, some kind of domestic engineering crisis had befallen the cafeteria and it was closed until the problem was resolved. We made the best of a bad job and fortunately finding some spare cups in the little bag we carry with us managed to avail ourselves of the free coffee that Waitrose offers to its customers on production of the store card. One of the friendly staff took pity on us and helped us negotiate some special arrangements but we were obliged to sit outside and we had the traffic noise with which to contend. Nonetheless, we had the opportunity for some social contact with each other, not under the best of circumstances and as we were all ready to depart, they got the cafe open again after an obligatory clean down. As the carers were due to make an earlier mid-morning visit this morning, we were obliged to leave a tad earlier than we had intended but still got up the hill in time. Then the carers called and after seeing to Meg, one of them stayed on as it was her Tuesday ‘sitting’ session. I had made Meg some chicken soup as she was complaining of the cold a little and persuaded the carer to have some as well as she had not had any breakfast. Then I went out on the road, as I needed to get some petrol for the mower and get some cash from an ATM. Getting the petrol was straightforward but for the mower, I always buy the highest quality and octane) that there is to reduce the ethanol addition which can absorb moisture and cause problems in petrol mowers. This having been done, I entertained the carer with a bit of my family history (which she was keen to know) and then pressed ahead with our normal Tuesday lunch which is haddock fishcakes and microwaved vegetables. Whilst I had been out, the wheelchair for which I had successfully bid on eBay before I had been informed hat the NHS were going to supply a wheelchair arrived incredibly well packed. I have unpacked this largely but it sill needs the footrests fitting in which may prove a little complicated but we shall see. The wheelchair happens to be exactly the same make and model as the NHS supplied one which is interesting as the manual supplied with the NHS model will cover both machines. The carer helped me to give Meg some lunch although Meg did not seem very hungry today and we did not manage to get much food inside her. After lunch, the weather seemed set fair and I had just bought the petrol I needed, I decided to squeeze in a cutting of the front lawns before the mid afternoon carers arrived. I was praying for them to be late and indeed they were as one of their jobs and schedules had been re-timed. Under the circumstances, though, I was delighted to get the lawns cut and the mower cleaned up before the carers arrived. Incidentally, I always spray the underside of the mower hood with a WD40 preparation and I have started to do this quite liberally as it seems to prevent the grass sticking on subsequent mows and this makes for a smoother and more trouble free mow all round.

Last night after Meg seemed to soundly asleep, I indulged myself a little by watching the last few minutes of the Portugal-Slovenia match in the Euro finals. Normally my sympathies are with the Hispanic teams (including Portugal) but today they seemed to be playing in rather a pedestrian fashion (like England) and the Slovenes seemed to be playing with more spirit and enterprise. So as the extra time progressed, my sympathies switched and now it was time for the penalties.In the penalty shootout, the Portuguese goalie was stupendously good saving each of the first three Slovenian penalties. I do not not think I can ever remember seeing a goalkeeper save three successive penalties before and the penalties were all good shots. But from this point on, Portugal could claim quite an easy victory all, when in all honesty, it looked as though Slovenia had played the better football. I joked with one of the carers today that when England play Switzerland over the weekend, they will probably play the better football and lose rather than playing their normal lack lustre game that they then go on to win.

We now only have a day and half of the election campaign yet to run. I saw a Treasury spokesman banging about tax as usual and their argument was that as Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor had not explicitly ruled out a particular tax then the Labour party must be intending to introduce it. Again, we got the £2,000 per household figure trotted out again together with some tax changes which the Labour party has already ruled out so the Newsnight interviewer was driven in exasperation to accuse the Try Minister of a lie which is a word not to be lightly used these days. There has apparently been an enormous increase in the numbers of postal votes this time around and there is quite an ugly situation in Scotland where postal votes have been sent out in the middle of a holiday period and there is a Royal Mail dispute to complicate matters so it is an interesting question whether these factors bubble away for a bit and then explode after the event, particularly of a seat is won by a handful of votes and the delayed postal vote would have made all the difference. I also think that non-registered voters attempting to vote on Thursday without photo ID may well prove to be quite a big story as the election analysis unfolds.

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