Thursday, 7th April, 2022 [Day 752]

Today was the type of day that I would describe as ‘glowering’ in that it was generally overcast with just some slight bursts of sunshine that did not seem to last very long. But there seemed to be a very strong and blustery wind which made any kind to the park un unpleasant prospect. We were a little late this morning because, as is normal on a Thursday, I had got to the supermarket to go shopping and all of this worked out as planned. One of the joys of Aldi is that after the food shopping has been done, there are always the ‘central aisles’ in which there are a variety of household and hardware type goods (probably remainders from high quality manufacturers) in which you are never quite sure whether you find something useful. Last week, for example, I bought from the central aisle one of those incredibly useful garden ‘Flexi Tubs’ as Amazon calls them – needless to say, they had practically all gone by today which is typical for incredibly good bargains which shoppers are wont to snap up. Today, I was wondering whether it was possible to buy some more pyjamas for Meg as the ones we bought about a month ago have proved to be excellent. Today, though, I picked up what is advertised as a children’s ‘athlete’ suit  and looking at the size of the garment which would fit a 13-14 year old child, I was sure they would double as an extra pair of pyjamas for Meg. So I took a chance and bought them and they have proved to be an excellent purchase insodar as we can tell – let’s hope that they survive their first immersion in the washing machine without shrinkage tomorrow morning. After we had unpacked the shopping, neiher Meg nor I felt inclined to go on a trip to Droitwich as it was so windy and unpleasant. Instead, we went by car and treated ourselves to a coffee in the newly opened coffee lounge in our local Waitrose we have now started to frequent once more. I bought a few things I had forgotten in the morning shop and then it was home for a lunch of quiche.  

Friday (tomorrow) is the day when I routinely cut our grassed areas, both the communal areas to the front of the house and our own private lawns to the rear. Whulst my trusty ‘Stiga’ (Swedish) mulching mower does a wonderful job, I also bought some years back an extremely light weight push mower (about 7 kg in total). As well as being a backup in the case of a total failure of the pretrol mower, I have in the past used my lightweight push mower to cut one of the long borders which can prove tricky when two of the wheels are on the grass and the other two overhang the edge. I have been doing some research on the exact differences between conventional rotary mowers  and the new generation of  lightweight push mowers and this is what I have discovered (from the web) A reel ( or push) mower cuts grass like a pair of scissors. It has blades that spin around a central axis. The spinning blades create an updraft that causes grass to stand up straight for cutting. As the grass meets the cutting bar, a blade comes down to chop it. A reel mower can either be a push (human-powered) or powered (gas, electric), although push reel mowers are more common around home.  A rotary mower is what most people think of when they think of gas or electric mowers. It has a single blade that spins around to cut the grass, like a helicopter. The blade whacks at the grass to cut it. When it comes to comparing the actions of these two types of mower at the ‘micro’ level, then the push reel mowers literally cut the blades of grass whereas the rotary mowers just whack it, by rotating a blade at high speed. A ‘clean cut’ is undoubtedly better for the grass than just a ‘whack’ When I come to clean up the push mower, I appreciate how very sharp the blades actually are and if the mower is properly adjusted (which mine appears to be) then you can actually cut one sheet of paper as though you were cutting it with scissors if it is inserted at the appropriate point between the spinning blade and the base blade. So overall, I was very pleased with my ‘pre-preparation’ of the lawn this afternoon and hope that I can continue to repeat this procedure week by week, time and weather permitting of course.

I have just watched the Sky News interview of Putin’s press spokesperson with Mark Austin and, of course, it is incredible to watch a Russian spokesman so wrapped into their ideological world that they are trying to argue that Ukrainian actors played the part of dead people whilst the Russians were busy patrolling the streets – according to the Russian account, Ukrainian ‘Nazis’ have committed all of the atrocities in the Ukraine. Meanwhile, some breaking news is that the UN General Assembly has just voted to suspend Russia from UN Human Rights Council.