Diary… Tell a sick joke, sing with Cribbins and squirm at old people having sex


There’s always a cure for a blue mood


Thursday 12 March, London

📌 The government is meeting today to decide whether the Coronavirus response needs to be racked up.

Last night I made a sick joke about a new book detailing the origins of the outbreak. The book was titled ‘Eat Bats and Sneeze’. My wife says that is probably racist. I think it is probably just in bad taste.

📌 At Headway Stuart asked me who originally sang the song ‘Right Said Fred’. “Was it Bernard Cribbins?” he asked.

I said yes I thought it was and then confirmed online, which caused Stuart and I to break into song: “We was getting nowhere, and so we had a cup of tea”.

📌 Headway seems quite sombre today. Attendance is low and the feeling is blue. 

It made me feel quite depressed, and then the news came in that Ireland has decided to close all schools and colleges from tomorrow.

That’s depressing. It’s like the walls are closing in and soon we will be faced with a nightmare.

I began to plot a disaster movie in my head. One by one, the citizens of the world are infected with a deadly virus. Life for those yet to fall victim becomes a race/chase for survival/escape. 

The bleak mood wasn’t much better in the art studio, where normally spirits are buoyant. 

I finished the pesky stitchwork picture, which I complain about but actually enjoy when I’m doing it. 

It is a new way to draw a line and it tests the ability of my left hand to stay still. I’d quite like to do more of this.

I did a few more monoprints straight from pictures cut from newspapers. I can’t remember who any of them are other than Roger Scruton (top right). The woman top left might be Jess Phillips.

I also did a tester for a brain idea I’m thinking for a workshop at the Barbican for ABI (Action on Brain Injury) Week 11-17 May.

Not sure about that. Might try to make it more diagramatic.

There was a cracking picture by Jon sitting on the studio floor. Not Jon on the floor, the picture.

And an old one by Chris, from which I shot the face because as always it is Chris’s face, though a bit to ghostly here, though I think that is intentional. It is about death. There is a skull nearby.

📌 Most of the people I have seen wearing surgical face masks are Chinese or Asian. Perhaps they are wearing them to reassure non-Chinese people that they are not likely to be infected by them.

📌 Kat’s shoes were again a repetition. 

Laura told us that as part of a recent £30,000 charity award, a film crew will spend a day at the centre and asked if I would be prepared to talk to them about co-production. I said yes.

📌 To show some kind of support for northern Italians, we went to Baracca for a meal. Nice to see they were still operating and customers showing up. I had catfish for the first time. It was sweet and moist. 

My wife told me about a media discussion that started this week involving the actor Amanda Redman talking about the apparent dislike of the UK public to witnessing fictional depictions on TV and film of young people shagging old people, or vice versa, depending on your position.

We talked about examples. My wife quoted the case of Daniel Craig shagging Anne Reid, 30 years his senior. I recalled an episode in the cult TV series ‘This Life’ in which randy Anna (Danielle Nardini) shagged Egg’s dad.

I believe also there was an incident in the film ‘The Last Picture Show’, in which a young male virgin is deflowered by a stoical female pensioner. My memory might be playing tricks with me about that. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Pop Quiz… Name that Tune

“All those tricky things you said
On angel wings they’re flying round my head
You were cheap but I was sold
I should forget you but I won’t be told

TITLE …………………………..

ARTIST …………………………

📝 Read yesterday’s diary.

🎧 Pop Quiz awswer here.

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