Diary June 14-16: Questions with no right answers


Can you be trusted not to cheat?


Sunday, London It’s not often a picture comes along that is likely to both define the moment and shape the future. This one of a racist tosser pissing next to the memorial of the police officer who died defending citizens in the 2017 Westminster Bridge terrorist attack is one of them.

πŸ“Œ We were chatting about racism and ended up talking about the play Michael appeared in last year at the Chichester Festival, ‘Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads’. He’d said there was a possibility it would be staged in the West End in the Autumn and we’d agreed he could use our spare room for the duration. All those plans went with the pandemic, but if my memory of the play is right, most of the onstage actors are socially distanced (inside a pub), so the possibility of staging and filming the play inside a big studio is maybe possible. The theme is so relevant after yesterday’s events in London.

πŸ“Œ A psychotherapist friend has been sending us a tune a day during Lockdown. Today it was Ronnie Lane’s ‘The Poacher’.

πŸ“Œ Yesterday I suggested for dinner a cheese feast with Auntie Tricia’s Irish Soda Bread, plus strawberries. It was rejected in favour of roasted veg with Haloumi. And there was so much left over that the cheese feast is now unlikely to make its promised appearance today.

πŸ“Œ The Zoom quiz is a thing of beauty. Because you are trusted to not cheat and to mark your own scores, there is no competitiveness. The sole purpose is to engage with others in the pleasure of testing and sharing your knowledge. Anyone who feels bad after a Zoom quiz has unresolved psychological issues.

πŸ“Œ I was wrong about the cheese feast. It’s back on the menu, and I got to make a small Auntie Tricia loaf.

πŸ“Œ I just found three self-portraits I don’t remember doing.

πŸ“Œ Just as I was missing the input of Gary to the BLM debate (he left the Guardian to be a professor of sociology at Manchester University), he makes a timely comeback with a long essay pulling in the types of empire European countries built and the incendiary presence of Trump in the current US protests.

πŸ“Œ Different Strokes can be a great source of classic ranting…
“Week 12 isolation, and I have one thing to say: Cognitive/neuro fatigue, whatever you care to call yourself, you are an absolute twat!”

Monday, London The Prime Minister signalled his intention to cut the safe-distancing rule in half, which triggered a number of illegal raves. Hordes of unleashed animals grabbed the chance to sniff laughing gas and crap all over the place.

πŸ“Œ Lockdown stitchwork project number 4 is finished, but I think I missed off the black bra strap on the woman in the middle. Might have to go back and correct that.

πŸ“Œ Great news! Mr Pinkjacket (aka, Michael Portillo) returned to our screens with his fascinatingly pompous train journeys.

πŸ“Œ Stuart tells me he has it on good authority that Aristotle’s first name was Trevor.

πŸ“Œ In β€˜Schitt’s’, we discovered that Alexis was not pregnant after all, despite the smiley test stick.

Tuesday London Unintended Consequences, or maybe Half Intended Consequences… Applications that were either developed or have become dominated by a single purpose have been repurposed by the virus. Twitter is now used by many as a simple messaging service. Ditto Instagram. And Zoom, a business conferencing app, is now used for social engagements.

πŸ“Œ From the β€˜Morning Star’…

πŸ“Œ According to β€˜The Conversation’, a tsunami of crystal meth is about to flood Europe. New alliances between Mexican druglords and European labs, plus disruptions to the global supply chain in cocaine (Coronablame) are said to be the cause.

πŸ“Œ Footballers speaking out about political issues was once a standing joke. Not any more. After Raheem Sterling on racism comes Marcus Rashford on free school dinners.
Later: Boris Johnson, under pressure from his cabinet, backed down and extended the emergency voucher scheme. Rashford wins 1-0. Or maybe 2-0?

πŸ“Œ You will never know how close you came. I read a blog by a Headway volunteer telling how he nearly brought Coronavirus to the Timber Wharf centre. He was on his way to the centre when he felt unwell. He called the centre and one of the staff told him to go home. He had Covid-19, was (eventually) admitted to hospital but is now recovered.

πŸ“Œ My wife reckoned one of the experts on ‘The Bidding Room’ was seriously underestimating the value of a nice bit of Isle of Wight Glass. She was right. It fetched double.


Read my May 2020 Diary (8,000 words).


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