Diary… Sniffer dogs steal the show

Colchester’s canine blood detectives show Genesis and Priti Patel what job satisfaction is all about


Wednesday 4 February, London

>> Genesis are on the radio talking about “re-forming” for some concerts. They are doing an interview and my wife remarks: “God, they’re still boring!”

>> She also raised an eyebrow at the media boot going into Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Patel is facing accusations of bullying, and every day new people from all the government departments she has ever worked in are coming forward to spill the beans. 

>> My wife once worked as a data analyst. Today she sighed with derision when the newsreader on the radio told us the number of people in the UK with Coronavirus had “risen” to 53.

Statistically, 53 is zero.

>> At Guardian Archive I’m still working through the last of the very large Don McPhee collection. 

Today there are some special shots from collection labelled “Glasgow Alcoholics, Holy Loch” (ref DMC 1/4/2/38).

Then came several strips of negatives titled “Whit Monday Walk in Manchester”. 

One shot of a group of very proper looking women features, behind them, a wall poster saying “Black Sabbath bring you Heaven and Hell”.

I verified this online to discover that the sleeve artwork for Sabbath’s ‘Heaven & Hell’ depicts a group of winged angels smoking joints.

>> Later in the Education Centre I worked with Y13 students in teams of 6, 7 and 8.

They worked well together. Sometimes the Editorial Teams workshop gets bogged down in petty squabbling and focus disappears.

As I left I got some shots of Guardian archive material.

One of the display cases holds the remains of a computer destroyed on orders from the Home Office during the investigations that became the infamous WikiLeaks story.

>> In Murder 24/7 the stars of the latest Colchester murder investigation are the police sniffer/blood detection dogs, Mo and Millie.

They looked ecstatic whenever they nosed out a tiny spec of incriminating evidence. Tails wagging, noses darting furiously, they were a picture of job satisfaction.

Pop Quiz… Name That Tune

“But there’s no danger
It’s a professional career
Though it could be arranged
With just a word in Mr. Churchill’s ear”



>> Read yesterday’s diary.

>> Pop Quiz answer.