Thursday 22nd February 2024 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

… a better day today and I feel as if I’ve actually accomplished something too.

And considering how my day was messed around, that is an achievement because once more dealing with people who ought to know better, I find myself thinking of the words of John McCone, the USA”s Director Of Central Intelligence talking to Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defence, and saying "We will find ourselves mired down in combat in the jungle in a military effort that we cannot win".

Going to bed was quite straightforward though and once again, I had a good sleep. Strapping my legs together with an elastic strap is a really good move on my part if I want to bring some life back to weary muscles.

When the alarm went off I was talking about the Titanic disaster, but a similar disaster closer to the shore where a ship like the Titanic had split in two and sunk. Several of the passengers were arguing whether the front or the back was the stern but the radio was broadcasting the names of the people who in small boats had somehow managed to rescue some of the people but several people had died in the attempt – like “Mr So-and-so rowed 12 people home, Miss So-and-so rowed 2 people home, Mrs So-and-so was drowned when her boat overturned with so many people in it”. That was going on

This is probably something to do with the Empress of Ireland disaster. Sailing against the flow of ships, she was in a collision with a freighter off Rimouski in the St Lawrence River in May 1914 and sank with the loss of over 1,000 people. Several local boats took to the water to rescue who they could

This morning’s blood pressure was interesting – 16.8/9.2, contrasting with last night’s figure of 16.1/10.1. It’s usually higher in the evening than the morning.

Having sorted out the medication later, I came back in here to transcribe the rest of the disctaphone notes. At one point during the night apparently I was with that group of people. We were making bread. There was some kind of competition – a bread-making league or something like that and we were competing in it. I was ready to give instructions to my particular side. One thing that I wanted to make sure was that the period of the flour was different than the period when I expected people to look at me so they weren’t looking at me while I was adding the flour and then breaking up the process. So we made the very first mixing so I put it on the side while the alarm went off. Then the other team went to make their bread using their technique and timing to see how they could manage to make it.

A bread-making league of competition might sound interesting but I don’t think that any bread that I might make would be good enough for any competition. And that’s really depressing – I ought to be doing much better than I do.

Ane then at school I had to mention that despite the “nil” returns that I’d sent in during the week I had been involved in some kind of gangland activity and I wanted to talk about it. I was whisked off to the headmaster’s office. What interested them was on which days did I perform the gangland activity? What kind of activities were they? How many people were involved? All these kind of sub-headings to bracket the offence rather than to talk about the gangland activities and try to resolve the issue. It really was a perfectly strange situation.

And as if I am ever likely to be involved in any kind of gangland activity, at school or otherwise. I was always one who kept himself to himself mainly and didn’t interact with many of my peers

But then after this I ended up being in an office. There was a lot of work and it had been building up all the time. For one reason or another I hadn’t been doing it. Then I thought that I’d better grasp the nettle and see. I collected everything in. A lot of it related to work in another office so I went down there to see them to explain that in a couple of weeks I’d be having a huge pile of work to deal with. We worked out where the work was going to be done. It was going to be done by one particular person so I went to explain to him. He was extremely cynical about the whole affair. He showed me dozens and dozens of pieces of work relating to enquiries that he’d sent out to work that I was doing and which hadn’t been replied. I told him not to worry and I’d help him with the replies anyway once I’d actually replied to his messages. I could see that this spectre of not having done any work for ages was suddenly now going to haunt me for some considerable time while I tried to put everything straight

This actually a recurring dream, isn’t it? Something similar occurs quite frequently during my dreams, although it hasn’t reared its ugly head for a while. Being overwhelmed with work that I haven’t done is, however, something to which I can relate these days as I don’t seem to be doing as much as I ought to do and it is building up.

Back in this dream again … "errr … which dream?" – ed … and here were two burnt-out tanks and also the remains of a Panther …indistinct … had come to the rescue. I’d been attacked by the same machine and it was being slowly destroyed. Then the second Panther turned up too late to save its colleague and ended up with a pounding and beating too

Have I dreamed something like this before in the recent past? If not, I don’t see how I’m stepping back into it. But then again, not very much surprises me about what goes on during the night in my bed. Not these days anyway.

so having dealt with all of that I settled down to think about maybe doing some work, and the telephone rang.

And I don’t know why it is that I can give unequivocal and concise instructions to two people, make sure that they are perfectly understood, and four months later to the day, nothing whatever has been done about it and we have to start all over again.

That’s the kind of thing that totally depresses me.

So after several phone calls I have to write a couple of letters and send a few e-mails, and that takes all of the morning until long after midday, compounded by the fact that I had to clean the print head nozzles in the printer again.

They say that if it’s not one thing, it’s another. But with me, it seems to be everything all at once.

So with letters written I had to send messages to my cleaner about posting them, and she’ll drop by in the morning to pick them up.

After the midday fruit I turned my attention to the radio programme that I’m preparing. And I managed to pair off the music, merge the songs together and write most of the notes for it. It won’t take long to finish tomorrow

And that’s some Famous Last Words, isn’t it?

For tea tonight I tried an experiment. I have a small circular metal dish that is for making small pies in the oven. I tried it in the air fryer and it fits.

consequently, with my pasta, veg and tomato sauce cooked in a saucepan, I fried a burger with onion and garlic in the air fryer in the little metal dish – and it cooked the food to perfection.

Too much perfection actually – I didn’t need to cook it for 10 minutes. 7 or 8 would have done just as well

But now I know that that works, I can experiment with more stuff. Roast potatoes, anyone?

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed when I’ve checked my blood pressure and had my medication.

Tomorrow morning I have a shopping list to write out for my cleaner. And then I’m going to be busy.

There’s bread to make of course followed by a chocolate cake to make and then I’m also going to experiment with some cream filling. If the mayonnaise worked so well, there shouldn’t be any reason why I can’t make a sweet variety and use it as a filling in a layer cake. Or even flavour it with chocolate.

Yes, I’m feeling like being bold and adventurous tomorrow morning and I’m wondering now what else I can make while I’m there with my cooking stuff out.

None of the aforementioned might work but as Edward Appleton said, "I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill" and for a moment I seem to be full of enthusiasm (which is not like me these days) so I intend to ride the wave.

However Théoden said "night changes many thoughts" and I wonder how I’ll be feeling in the morning. But as Mona Lott used to say in ITMA, "it’s being so cheerful as keeps me going".

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