Diary…When things go wrong, it’s not always easy to tell why

Waste management… The first question in my Quora feed today sounded quite sad.

I’m 25 and have wasted the last 10 years of my life. I feel I lag behind my contemporaries. How can I catch up with them?

Then I read the opening lines of the top-scoring answer and my day suddenly got the uplift it needed.

Since you’ve “wasted 10 years of your life” already, why bother to try now?

The reply went on about the misery of life after the age of 25. The dull weddings, the tedious children’s parties, the hangovers that last for 3 days.

It amounted to a catalogue of misanthropy that puts manic depression on a sliding scale of euphoria.

Unfortunately the comic rant was soon interrupted by some ridiculous self-help nonsense about thinking outside the box.

It finished with the kind of stupid “learn to be yourself” advice that makes you want to slit your wrists.

Carol’s clicker calamity… News arrived that BBC TV weather watcher Carol Kirkwood had a bad day at the office yesterday.

When trying to enlighten viewers about the imminence and severity of Storm Ciara, her clicker went on the blink. 

That robbed all viewers of the swirly colourful graphics she normally has on a screen behind her.

Poor Carol got into a right state about it and declared with deep regret, “so I’m going to have to talk you through instead.”

Sofa presenters Naga and Charlie rushed to her aid with weak jokes about the uselessness of TV graphics, but Naga then came in with a stroke of wit.

She said to hapless Carol, and seemingly in defence of weather graphics, “Personally, I missed your tightly-packed isobars”.

Luckily, Curvy Carol, 57, saw the funny side.

Bad weather scuppers good intentions…We had intended to spend late afternoon/early evening at Tate Modern.

But it was too cold and windy to walk across the Thames over a super-busy Millennium Bridge, where just moving one slow step at a time is a challenge. 

Tate Modern is always a great place to hang out on a Friday evening, though.

Because my wife is a Member, we enjoy the high-profile paying exhibitions at no cost.

But in doing so, over the years we have accidentally ignored the free exhibition rooms, which are superb.

So I have secretly made 2020 the year in which we make better use of the free stuff Tate Modern.

For today’s aborted visit I also had a mission.

Last year I was asked by Tate Exchange to talk to small visiting groups about a piece of Tate Modern art I especially admired.

I had chosen this photograph by the American photographer William Eggleston.

Problem was that when I arrived to do my bit of arty chatter, the photograph wasn’t there; gone missing, vanished, stolen?

In fact, it had been removed from display and replaced with another Eggleston, presumably to illustrate the breadth of his talent.

This meant that I was forced to improvise my micro-presentation and conjur up some art bollocks on the spot.

I think I did quite well, under the circumstances.

I seemlessly brought together my prepared speech about line, colour, oddness and Eggleston’s use of text, with some of his other photographs. The ones that hadn’t gone missing.

My flesh was crawling with embarrassment as I did it, but the people from Tate Exchange seemed to think it was all a great success, so I sucked up the praise with a smug look on my face.

I had intended to check on our Tate Modern visit today whether my chosen photograph is back in the Eggleston collection on display.

That task must now wait for another day and another walk over the Millennium Bridge, dodging beggars and vendors selling hot sugared nuts.

◾Read yesterday’s diary.