Sunday, July 14, 2024

 Oh dear. It’s all over. Youth won. The end was extremely gracious and good humoured. And I’m sure Djokovic enjoyed having the crowd cheer for him for once. The Princess of Wales looked well — awfully thin but she always was that.

   Helen and David came to see me this morning. (C.  has Covid.)  We were all agreed, for what that’s worth, that the American election is over. I can abandon my obsessive interest in whether Mr. Biden can be persuaded to stand aside. It doesn’t matter. He might as well run, since he’s obviously so keen to do so. He’ll lose, and so would any alternative.

   Am I wrong? I hope so.

   Tomorrow we get the King’s Speech, and I can settle down to worry about local affairs. And also to knitting again. I got yarn straightened out today, with Helen’s help.

   Wordle: five for me,with the help of a Jean-word in line three. Fives for Thomas and Alexander and Theo. Four for Rachel and Ketki and Mark. 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

 I:m having a grand day of Wimbledon. The weather is fine both here and there, but I can’t get out because the current carer doesn’t know how the apparatus for the stairs works.

That much I wrote for you yesterday. Not until substantially later was it known that that tomorrow’s men’s singles final will be between Alcaraz and Djokovic, youth and age. So was it last year, they say. I have no memory of it. I’m for age.

Good news from both princesses. The Princess of Wales will hand out the men’s prizes tomorrow. The winning lady, today, will have to make do with the head of Wimbledon. And the Princess Royal has been to a Riding-for-the-Disabled event, saying she has no memory whatsoever of her accident. 

   Comment Thursday,Kirsten M: it had occurred to me already that we have a part-time queen. I am a great fan of hers. I think she is doing a terrific job of loving and supporting her husband and turning up for the boring things monarchs  must do and promoting interests of her own such as reading.  But, uniquely among senior royals as far as I know, she has humble family of her own and goes off occasionally to spend time with them. She still owns her own house. 

   Wordle: I failed yesterday. Like many of us, I had greens in the second and final positions (both vowels). Unlike anyone else, i kept on guessing wrong.

   Four today. But the NYT was acting up. It wanted me to sign up for a free app but try as I would I couldn’t do it. Eventually it let me in to save my grid. Nobody else seems to have suffered. 

  Mark got it in two, Rachel three. Four for Ketki and Thomas, five for Alexander. No news from DC yet today.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

 A summer’s day, at last. At Wimbledon, even more so. The first woman’s semi-final was satisfyingly exciting. I am leaving the second to its own devices for the moment.

   The Queen was there yesterday. The BBC didn’t bother to tell me. So they must have things satisfactorily in hand for the weekend, if the Princess of Wales isn’t well enough to hand our prizes.

  I  meant to remark yesterday on the fact that Mr Dkokovic travels with a chef (along with much other staff). What a good idea, I thought. Meal times must be very uncertain during those long days on court, or waiting to go on. The last thing you want is to have to eat foreign muck in the middle of the night when it’s finally over.

   Helen was here this morning but is going off to the country to provide emotional support to a friend who is having a major depressive crisis about turning 60. I won’r see her until Monday. Archie however is coming on Saturday.

   Wordle: six for me. A narrow escape. Three vowels from my starters.  I was forced to resort to Jean-words and was resigned to defeat. Three for Rachel and Roger. Five for Alexander. Fours for the others.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

 Better weather today, and for once better in London than here. I haven’t been very interested in today’s Wimbledon, since Djokovic’ opponent withdrew. 

David and Helen were here this afternoon,on their way back from a happy weekend in Kirkmichael. My iPad was still dropping the signal. (See yesterday) David seems to have fixed it by switching things off and on — the sovereign remedy. But tomorrow’s play will probably be entirely Ladies.

   KD has sent the third instalment of her MKAL. I like it, so I must try to forge on.

   C. was here this morning, in good form. No news.

   Wordle: luck again. My starters gave me a green and three browns. Should be easy. Wasn’t. But eventually I thought of a word. It was right except for the first letter. I tried another. Success. So, four for me.

   Little did I realise how many possibilities there were for that first letter. Ketki failed. Alexander and Mark and Thomas all needed five. Rachel and Roger were with me on four. Theo scraped home with six.


Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Groundhog Day

 I’ve been trying to watch Wimbledon but the signal has been unsteady. And every time it resumed, it went back to a few minutes before the previous break. I watched one section five or six times. I still have no resolution for either of the day’s big matches, but I’m ready to give up.

   At least I saw Mr Sinner. He has a very young and not very interesting face. A few years should help.

   And we had a Princess in the royal box — one of Prince Andrew’s daughters, I think. 

   I meant to say a few days ago: we have had the King and Queen in Edinburgh, doing a garden party and handing out awards. Literature figured prominently because the Queen is very keen on it, but there was no mention that I heard of JK Rowling, surely Scotland’s top author at the moment. Was she on holiday? Staying in the background on purpose? Or non grata in royal circles because of her views?

   Wordle: A familiar pattern for me. Two greens and a brown from my starters. I thought of a possible word. It was right. Ketki shared my three. Mark and Rachel were the fours. Five for Thomas and Alexander. In DC, five for Roger, four for Theo. Various people had to make various guesses at various letters — one and four, especially. I was lucky again.


Monday, July 08, 2024

 Sorry about yesterday — Wimbledon. I am surprised at how short-changed one feels without royals in the royal box. Perhaps memory deceives.. Aging tennis stars are almost as interesting. Rod Laver looks impossibly old and rather stout. Ann Jones is aging well. And we have McInroe and Henman commentating — completely ageless

   I still haven’t seen Mr Sinner. Nor is he playing today. It isn’t a perverse wish — he’s the top seed. I’m watching on my iPad. I might have more choice on a television set. The main BBC broadcast available on the iPad tends to stick to Centre Court unless there is a British Girl playing somewhere and mercifully they are all gone now.

   There is no news that I can detect of either of the princesses about whom I am concerned. Princess Anne must have been more badly hurt than we were told. She had to cancel an overseas trip, so presumably there were a few days without domestic engagements around now.  When she starts cancelling those we can really get going with worry. Nor is there any news on the American presidential front. (I am a Gretchen Whitmer fan.) I am concentrating hard on that one to avoid thinking about GB.

   Wordle: a Wordle special today. I scored three. Poor Theo failed and says he feels like a dunce. But there was nothing in it except pure luck. My starters gave me two greens and two browns. I formed them into a word, easily found a letter to fill the empty place. It was right. But it turned out there were five or six possibilities for that space. Theo reached my pattern by line four and kept guessing wrong. Pure luck.

   Two for Ketki and Alexander and Roger. Three for me and Mark.Four for Thomas and Rachel.

Saturday, July 06, 2024

A whole day of a Labour government! and they haven’t come yet to take away my house and cat. Maybe it won’t be so bad. It sounds as if they’ll be going after the NHS and the trains and immigration first.  It has old people with big houses (and cats) in its sights, however. Council tax? Property tax? Wealth tax? Helen’s family will take the cat when I can’t afford to stay here, but I think she’s happier with me.

I had a happy day with Wimbledon. I watched Norrie-Zverev. It was exciting and the right man won. But this was the day — the first Saturday — when I went to Wimbledon with Helen, twice, and Rachel, once. Early train from Birmingham, bus from station to Wimbledon, half-an-hour’s queue, and it was all yours except for the show courts. I remember seeing Billie-Jean King win on an outside court, and Adriano Panatta in four sets on No. 3. He was the great love of my life.  “The supremely handsome man if you like your ice-cream runny” someone said. I don’t know quite what that means but I’m sure it’s true.

   He’s still alive. If you look him up, skip rapidly past to the old photographs. BJK has aged much better.

   But what I started to say was, if I had been there today, there was nothing I wanted to see. And I don’t think it would have been so easy to get there from Birmingham.

   Wordle: Well, I’m back in the saddle with a string of two. I got it in five today.  My starters gave me two browns. Line three, a Jean-word, turned one of them green. Line four, a serious guess, did  better: three greens. And line five was right.

   Three for Ketki. Mark and Roger were fellow-fives.The other locals, and Theo, scored four.

   Helen and David were here this morning, on their way to Kirkmichael. David knocked it off in four while she was having a pee.