Wednesday, July 01, 2020

David and Helen both came to see me this morning. The weather was dark and gloomy, not quite raining. They tried hard to get me out, but I refused. David is going to (try to) go back to Thessaloniki tomorrow. I preferred to sit and talk.

He had an episode of atrial fibrillation the other day, and I’m glad to say that he found a&e just as in the old days, not overwhelmed with Covid-19. They fixed him up. He tried to pay, since he is not taxed in Britain, but failed.

As for knitting, I did polish off Clue One of the MKAL yesterday evening, and today nearly finished the gradient stripes above the wrist of the second EPS sleeve while watching some Alan Bennett. Gloomier and gloomier. One of yesterday evening’s offerings (which I watched today) must have been one of the newly-written episodes. It was unbelievably gloomy, and totally unremembered. There’s one more tonight (tomorrow’s viewing, for me) – this one I remember fondly. About a clergyman’s alcoholic wife.


I’ve finished Sybille Bedford’s “Quicksands”. It has led me on to two other books, but both had to be ordered on paper so I can't comment yet. One is about the trial of John Bodkin Adams, a GP who was suspected of murdering a lot of his patients, but acquitted. Bedford attended the trial, and thought him innocent. (Sort of a forerunner of Harold Shipman, a GP who did murder an extraordinary number of patients.)

The account of her false marriage left me a bit uneasy. The registrar spotted the fact that bride and bridegroom were scarcely acquainted, and raised an official fuss. Several days passed in which Sybille’s high-placed friends pulled strings. She was issued with a British passport as soon as the wedding happened, and went straight back to France.

It was only about 20 years later (1957) that I got married. Nobody offered me a British passport.

The son of the proprietors of my corner shop got married recently, in Pakistan. He is Edinburgh-born, a recent graduate in engineering with a good job. The struggle to import his wife continues. I don’t suppose Covid-19 helps.


  1. Years ago I saw the clergyman's alcoholic wife on Public TV. They only showed the one. I have remembered Maggie Smith ever since. Now that I have read your reviews (gloomy and gloomier) I doubt I will try to find the others. There's plenty of gloom to go around. Dame Maggie was riveting.

  2. I have a vague recollection of watching something regarding a clergyman’s alcoholic wife. I didn’t even remember it was Maggie Smith.

    I think marriage and the accompanying passport are a different world now. I do hope your neighbor’s son gets his straightened out.

  3. The American-born daughter of a good friend married a Nigerian in Malaysia a couple of years ago and it took the better part of a year before he was able to get into the US....definitely not easy these days!

  4. I was interested in your account of David's treatment for AF because I had an episode of it myself some weeks ago. A and E seemed to be empty on that occasion, but something like that is life-threatening so you would be prioritised anyway. It's what happens afterwards which has been disrupted - standard testing and monitoring put on hold and outpatients appointments done by phone rather than face to face. I admire his courage getting back on a plane so soon. Did he not have a serious abdominal procedure a year or two back?