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Monday, 24 January 2022

I'm letting mine grow longer

Hereford centre at a warmer time of year

VR, my wife of 61 years, is stir-crazy; hard to remember the time she last strayed outside our front door. True, she had her hair cut a week ago but that hardly counts. The buses that once served our estate have been cancelled but that shouldn’t have mattered; we’ve accumulated huge reserves in our current account (What might we have spent it on?) so hey-ho for a taxi (cab in the US).

Except BlueLine, our normal service, had no taxis available until after 10.00 hr – a large percentage of drivers having returned to Lithuania and Rumania thanks to Brexit. The remainder are all permanently booked up for school-runs and the salon appointment was for 09.00 hr.

Finally we found a taxi and I accompanied her to Hereford centre, there to play Solitaire on my phone while VR’s white locks were snip-snapped. Since it seemed wasteful to return home immediately (I always tip taxi drivers inordinately; they all have wild foreign stories to tell) we decided to do some luxury shopping on non-essentials in M&S’s food hall. But I hadn’t bargained for it being the coldest day so far of 2022.

I am recovering well from surgery but my resistance to low temperatures is well below par. “Should we get a melon?” VR asked. I shook my head; it was cold in M&S, God knows what the temperature would be on the walk to the taxi rank. Would I have the strength?

Meanwhile I take my car out of the garage every week or so, just to check the battery and to run the engine to add charge. I’m denied using the car for six weeks post-op, just in case my surgery is subject to an emergency stop. Another two weeks to go. There’s always Tone Deaf.

14 comments:

  1. A good start, RR. But I should try to build up slowly by increments. That way it is always pluses. Too much, too soon and the minuses could lead to depression.

    Two weeks more and driving beckons again.

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    1. Avus: My pre-op exercise used to consist of walking to the filling station to pick up The Guardian. While I was in hospital my two daughters looked after VR and took the opportunity to tidy up my untidy life. One solution was to arrange delivery of The Guardian from a newsagent about a mile away. Fine, so instead of the walk to the filling station I walked round a block of nearby houses. That was OK but not terribly demanding and I upped it to two circuits a day.

      However, nothing comes for nothing. The Guardian (plus the Observer on Sunday) is delivered 95% of the the time but since this service depends of the vagaries of some teenager or other there are occasions when it doesn't arrive. My first walk to the newsagent (a round trip of about two miles) to pick up the paper seemed burdensome. But now I positively trot there and back. Have even bought some plimsolls as an aid to trotting. Sometimes overtaking other sadder and more frail octogenarians en route. I shouldn't delight in this but I do.

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  2. I'm curious about which solitaire games you like to play. I've been playing solitaire lately and always looking for new challenging games.
    Two more weeks and you'll be driving again. That's great news.

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    1. robin andrea: I must confess I play the basic version of Solitaire, eschewing all variants. The fact is I don't see it as a game, rather confirmation that my eyesight/brain recognition links, plus those that link my brain to my fingers, are working as they should. The best Solitaire was completely ad-free but it only works in Andoid (ie, on the mobile phone). I have spent many a futile hour trying out Googled Solitaires which claim to be ad-free but sooner or later some commercial snag develops. My present Solitaire plays all sorts of irritating tricks, inveigling me to sign up for things I don't want, and I have had to teach myself ways of getting round these distractions. Since this consists of competing with the younger brain that designed the activity it could be said to be intellectually beneficial.

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    2. RR-- I like to play the basic version of Solitaire as well. I play it on the Washington Post website. I have a subscription to the paper, and they have quite a few games on their Puzzle and Games section.

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    3. robin andrea: I'm drawn to a game that might have been found in The Washington Post's Puzzles and Games section.

      Political Party X is in a bad way, more and more of the electorate is becoming disenchanted; what's to be done? Political Party Y is doing better, so what's their secret? No one knows. So Political Party X decides to break into Party Y's headquarters and steal Y's secrets.

      Alas the X burglars are caught red-handed and it becomes a huge scandal. What would you call a game like that? Something where there's the sound of flushing. Something that opens and closes. Think hard and all will become clear.

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    4. RR-- Is there a game called Watergate? How have I missed it for all these years?

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    5. robin andrea: Sorry, it was a joke. I was thinking of the role Katherine Graham and The Washington Post played in sending Tricky Dickie packing.

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    6. RR-- There should be a Watergate game. Or how about a crazy Trump game that's impossible to play, has no rules, and keeps showing up after it's been deleted.

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  3. It won't be long before all will be back to normal. Or some semblance of normal, anyway. Yes, please share what solitaire game you play. I used to have a perfect one, but it stopped working or something mysterious. The one's I now download are crap.

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    1. Try Freecell: the thinking person's solitaire. It needs skill on top of chance.

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    2. Sr Hugh: Read my response to robin andrea above. I have no desire to play a game for "a thinking person". I'd prefer to read a book. For me Solitaire is - as I explain - a reaction tester, nothing more.

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    3. Colette: As I explain to my brother, Sir Hugh, I am not interested in more complex versions of Solitaire. I use it to exercise my motor skills and/or to pass time in situations which offer no other diversions (eg, hospital waiting rooms, long-distance air travel). The electronic equivalent of swatting flies.

      When you refer to other versions of Solitaire as crap, I'm assuming you mean they're overloaded with commercial distractions. If so, I sympathise. With that one exception - which only works with an Android operating system, and may - by now - have sold its soul to the advertising devil - all so-called "free" Solitaires pay for themselves by exposing their users to adverts. Nothing comes for nothing. Altruism is a nice theory until it bumps up against the inescapable burden of cost.

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    4. RR- Yes I understood your post and was well aware of your motives for playing the simpler game. I was replying to Colette. I clicked "reply" under her comment but it seems to just publish it as a non-personalised comment.

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