Thursday, 16th June, 2022 [Day 822]

Today was the day when we had determined that we were going to visit Meg’s Uncle Ken in Rhos-on-Sea, Old Colwyn. But first we got up after a good night’s sleep and then had a marvellous breakfast, as we have by now come to expect from this particular Holiday Inn hotel. We had been informed by one of Ken’s relatives that we needed to have a negative lateral flow test before we entered the residential home. In the event, although we said we had both tested negative, the residential care staff did not seem to be unduly concerned. So we had a long chat with Uncle Ken in his own room and then decided to join the coffee morning that was taking place in the lounge downstairs. We arrived just at the end of the ‘coffee session’ and they were now preparing for lunch. But we got into conversation with a Methodist Homes for the Aged chaplain who seemed to be an almost permanent fixture of this particular home so he very kindly got us a coffee. He had had a varied and interesting career starting off as a maths teacher before becoming a methodist minister and then rising through the Methodist hierarchy. We exchanged some notes of an ecumenical flavour and then we took our leave of Uncle Ken. As we were only 5-6 miles from the town of Conwy (Conway in English) that we know well, we made our way to our favourite restaurant which is up a flight of stairs and not always attracting a lot of the normal ‘street’ trade. We imagined that it would be teeming but it was only about one third full so we were delighted to avail ourselves of one of their lunches. I had a pea and ham risotto and Meg had a salmon pasta – we swapped meals half way through and found then almost too abundant for us to do justice to them. As part of the music in the background that was being played, one of the tracks was the cabaret classic ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ I got into conversation with the waitress who was evidently enjoying the music and told her the story of  Eve Graham who sang this number to a nightclub (in which I worked as a barman)  stuffed full with about 1,000 people one Christmas Eve with such effect that everybody stopped dancing and/or drinking just to listen to this stupendous performance. Eve Graham became part of a group called the ‘New Seekers’ whose most famous claim to fame was to turn the Coca Cola jingle into the World beating ‘I want to teach the world to sing, in perfect har-mon-y‘ In 1972, the New Seekers took a follow up song to this to No. 2 in the Eurovision Song Context. Eve Graham is still alive and performing but she has let the world know that the singers did not accumulate any real riches afer their evident successes as so much money was creamed off by managers, agents and the like. After I told the waitress of my slight connections with the music world, I also pushed my luck and asked if I could retain the small 275 cl bottles in which we had had some elderflower cordial. I told her that these bottles were like gold dust as I needed about 20-30 for the damson gin which I still have to bottle.She agreed and let me have severalmmore bottles which they would otherwise have thrown away. Not having a bag to carry them away in, I casually enquired if they had a spare bag behind the bar and was promptly supplied with quite a substantial jute bag which they just happened to have spare and very generously donated to me.

After lunch, we proceeded along the High Street in Conway to buy some things of which we were quite short, not least some fresh milk for our bedroom cups of tea. When I got back to the car, I looked in the boot and realised with some dismay that the file with a lot of booking information and sat-nav directions in it, I had left behind at Uncle Ken’s residential home. I managed to consult the Sat Nav history to get us back to the care home which was not too far distant, Fortunately, I then retrieved the file I had left in Uncle Kens room and so we could then make our way back the hotel bedroom for a bit of a rest and afternoon tea.

The prime Minister’s adviser on Ethics, Lord Geidt, resigned yesterday with the briefest of resignation letters. But the mystery hs deepened today as Downing Street has published Lord Geidt’s resignation letter a day after he unexpectedly decided to step down. In his letter he said he had been asked to offer a view on ‘measures which risk a deliberate and purposeful breach of the ministerial code’. We shall have to wait and see what more there is to this story as the hours unfold but it looks like another brick in the wall around Boris Johnson has been removed.