Monday, 18th April, 2022 [Day 763]

Bank Holiday Monday dawned as quite a fair day with the promise of some nice spring sunshine. After breakfast, I popped down by car to collect our copy of the newspaper. Then, as it was such a fine day, Meg and I walked to the park, enjoying the sunshine.  The park was not at all busy considering it was a Bank Holiday – we half expected it to be teeming but perhaps the rest of the population has better things to do on a Bank Holiday. Quite unusually, we did not meet with any of our regulars apart from a snatched conversation with Sesoned World Traveller who was sitting on his own near the lake. We made for home and then I set to work cooking the chicken thighs which we should have started yesterday. What eventually emerged was something approximating to the spanish dish Polla a la Española  but minus the bacon or the chorizo. We did deploy some onions and peppers and then utilised half a jar of a lasagne type sauce before baking in the oven for over an hour. The result turned out to be very tasty – just as well, as we are going to have very similar tomorrow to finish off the chicken thighs. After lunch (and a bit of doze)  I set to work finishing off my bit of border which I was trying to put straight after yesterday. Once again, quite a simple job turned out  to be quite complicated. I needed to resurrect some large round pebble like stones that I hadd evidntly utilised some years back but had got themselved buried in overgrown vegetation. One way or another these got resurrected and then recycled and were used to surround some plastic lawn edging ‘units’ that I had been hanging onto for some time. To be honest, anything plastic put into the garden is liable to be a bit bendy and wavy and, as usual, whenever you study anything too deep into the soil on our back garden you are likely to meet pieces of brick as obstacles.   This is is because the land upon our house was built was not a ‘greenfield’ site but had been a small market garden with a range of outbuildings. By all accounts, these were flattened with a bulldozer (and not properly cleared away) and then soil pushed over the top of them. Hence gardening is always likely to encounter a half (or even a whole) brick and shards of glass that have a habit of working themselves to the surface. So a little job that I thought was going to be about 20-30 minutes turned out to be an hour and a half – still, it should be OK for the rest of the season and I will try my best to keep it tidy from now on.

 Meg and I have the prospect in the next day or so of following what happens in Parliament, largely as the ramifications of ‘partygate’ unfold themselves. As Parliament reassembles after the Easter break, so I think members of the opposition parties are prepared to taunt Conservative MPs who, by staying silent, are judged as condoning Boris Johnson’s illegality. The charge of the opposition parties is that the party of ‘law and order’ is remarkably silent when it comes to any transgressions committed by their own Prime Minister.  No doubt, the taunts will come thick and fast  and if Boris Johnson acquires any more Fixed Penalty Notices (which seems increasingly likely) then the continued silence on the government benches implies that Tory MPs are not condoning just one act of illegality but a whole series of them. There are some indications of fireworks in Parliament tomorrow (and even Sky News are advertising their coverage of this before the event) and perhaps even more on Wednesday which is the day for Questions to the Prime Minister. Today, the energy minister Greg Hands told Sky News: ‘The prime minister will have his say in parliament and will outline his version of events and face questions from MPs.’ Mr Hands said he strongly supported the prime minister who he said was ‘getting on with the job’, citing the COVID-19 vaccination programme and Britain’s support for Ukraine.

Meg and I are starting to wonder about holiday plans or at least short term breaks. The British airports, or at least the major ones, seem to be in a bit of mess with some travel experts arguing that the shortages bedevelling the airlines (quick to fire staff after furlough ended, but harder to re-hire as security checks and retraining need to take place) may persist for months. We are thinking that by September, things might have quietened down sufficiently for us to contemplate a trip to see our close friends in Coruña. In the meanwhile, we may well go back to Chester that we know well for a variety of reasons. The city is quite a ‘human scale’ to walk around which will suit Meg quite a lot. At the same time, we can go north to visit cousins in Lancashire and southwards to visit an aged uncle in Alsager.