Photos of the prime minister at parties during lockdown abound. The metropolitan police is shown to be racist and misogynistic. The system for testing the level of English in asylum seekers and immigrants is in a mess. The NHS has a backlog as long as your arm, almost as long as the lorries waiting at the Channel. All in all the country is going to the dogs.
But it’s okay. We can blame it all on the pandemic.
Meanwhile Prince Charles of England and King Felipe of Spain have both tested positive for Covid. Does this prove that they are both human just like the rest of us? We can be reassured though. Charles has not been in close contact with his mother, so she’s okay. I read about King Felipe and found out that Letizia and one of the royal daughters have tested negative. What about Leonor, second in line for the Spanish throne? I wondered. Then I remembered she’s been shipped off to school, in Wales I think. So she’s okay too. I will sleep easily in my bed tonight … with my tongue tucked nicely into my cheek.
We’ve had our small grandson here again this morning. We were joined later in he morning by his older sister who arrived on the bus. She could have come along first thing with her small brother but I don’t think she fancied being up at 7.00 in the morning or earlier. Cost is not a problem as she now has free travel on Greater Manchester buses as a perk of working for them. I was hoping she could renew our right to travel free on trams using our bus passes for us but it was not the case. We need to take the bus passes to what is known as a Travel Shop - in other words an office - in an Interchange - in other words a bus station - and pay £10 each for the right to use those passes for free tram travel. It’s money well spent though, even if we only use the tram two or three times in the next year. But I was hoping she could sort it for us remotely, saving me a trip to Ashton or Oldham bus station. After all, what’s the point of having a granddaughter working for Great Manchester Transport if you can’t make use of her?
She arrived this morning with chocolate buns, made she said “with stress and Cadbury”s drinking chocolate”. She had relieved her feelings of stress by beating the cake mix to within an inch of its life. They were good chocolate buns. But I did not find out what was causing her stress. Maybe it’s general stress. After all, I have weird anxiety dreams without having any real reason to feel anxious about anything - apart from life in general!
She also arrived well supplied with reading matter. Some time later I spotted this that a friend had posted on social media:
“Sometimes, the Japanese language is so beautifully perfect. I’m just going to leave this here …
‘Tsundoku - the Japanese term for collecting books and letting them pile up without ever reading them but finding comfort in the mere presence of readily-available reading material’.”
That would suit both her and me. The last time we went to Manchester together she came home laden with books from Waterstones. Personally, I am trying to resist the temptation to buy more actual books. I shall continue to buy some on Kindle and I’ll try to make more regular use of the library but we really don’t have shelf room for extra books! A friend of mine has been wailing about the difficulty of downsizing as he moves to a smaller house. One of his major problems has been sorting out the books!
My granddaughter and I have both decided that what we need to do is reread the stuff already on the shelves, decide what we really want to keep and then give away the rest. That should keep us busy for a while.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!