(Lord’s day). Up and to church all of us. At noon comes Anthony and W. Joyce (their wives being in the country with my father) and dined with me very merry as I can be in such company. After dinner walked to Westminster (tiring them by the way, and so left them, Anthony in Cheapside and the other in the Strand), and there spent all the afternoon in the Cloysters as I had agreed with Jane Welsh, but she came not, which vexed me ….
There are few things worse than waiting for someone who does not turn up (show up, rock up, pitch up depending on the slang in your country). Vex is a word not used much these days except in connection with litigation – ‘vexatious’ means picking on trivial points and using them as an excuse not to take notice of the major matter in hand. I can be ‘vexed’ by flu symptoms when I get aches and pains, or ‘vexed’ by the behavior of someone who lets me down as in Pepys case above, or being ‘vexed’ by a difficult crossword puzzle. There is no point in using a word that few understand but is that an excuse for not using the word at all. People can ask if they don’t understand.
The word ‘carceral’ was searched for when journalist Sarah Jaffe used the word in a tweet which drew widespread attention. It means “of, our relating to, or suggesting a jail or prison”.
Off to do my monthly duty serving in the kitchens at the local Midsomer Methodist Church. The ladies do the cooking and us men do the pot cleaning and anything else that needs doing. We get fed for our pains and the old people who come enjoy the social side as well as the food. Again I make the point. There is always a jolly atmosphere among us volunteers, teasing and joking etc and it is a pleasure. I could not do it for a full day though so hats off to volunteers who work full time say in charity shops.
And now for more photos. Keep your eyes open and try not to do ‘tunnel vision’ because you miss so much. Have you EVER seen an award for a twinned toilet. Towns are OK but toilets? “Flush away poverty” is their slogan. It even has its own web site.
Evening – off to a talk by a scientist on LED light under the umbrella of the Radstock Scientific group. I got into trouble for taking issue with the speaker on the validity of his statistics. I understand that sometimes you rely on the same old PowerPoint collection. He evoked my wrath because his stats were last updated in 2012 and were given in US dollars. They were therefore unreliable. For the dollars he gave the excuse that American stats are easier to find. When I heard that I gave up. Then I wanted to say but did not – if US figures were easier to find is it so difficult to update them. Five years is a long time in science, as Harold Wilson (previous PM) would have observed.
The woman next to me, who turned out to be the secretary, hissed at me that she would give me my money back. She said she was embarrassed by my behaviour. I did not bother to respond that I myself was embarrassed by the lax standards of the lecturer who also apparently had never heard of either a laser pointer or a remote control for the slide changing. He did make one mitigating point that certain wavelengths of light killed certain bacteria and I told him that this contained exciting possibilities for biology and possibly healing. He responded by relaying information about the use of light to inhibit growth or the ripening of fruit. So much for communication then.
A large whiskey later and I was on my way.
We are undertaking a journey shortly for which I have to purchase tickets. I pride myself on attempting to outwit the complex algorithms used by travel companies to maximise income. The absolute worst thing you can do is to turn up on the day. You will pay the maximum price. One-way plane tickets home to UK from Europe and beyond can be £500+ as recent clients of Ryanair have found to their cost. Point to point distance itself is not the key factor; it is the perceived urgency of travel for which you get hammered.
We do coaches wherever possible. We also use discount cards which give a third off the fare and can pay for themselves in one journey. A single journey by coach to London from Bath is £23 when bought same day but £5 when bought 2 weeks in advance. I got two return tickets involving two coaches to and from an airport for £43.67. Same day it would be about £110. Point made?