Diary: June 21-23

Sunday There’s something happening called Twexit. Right-wing nutters and racists are leaving Twitter en masse, a move possibly triggered by the expulsion of their cheerleader Katie Hopkins.

πŸ“Œ According to Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer: “The voters are running out of patience with the Johnson government’s excuses for its lethal amateurism.”

πŸ“Œ A professor at King’s College has studied the lungs of people who died from Covid-19 and found them to be wrecked to a point beyond recognition. This, he said, suggests possible future problems for those who survived infection, a kind of chronic lung condition or Post Covid Respiratory Syndrome (PCRS, my title).

πŸ“Œ We got the tomatoes planted out and potted up some of Joan’s toilet-roll acorn seedlings, a Memory Group project. We kept one for ourselves, just in case an oak tree might come in useful one day.

I’ve named it Gabriel…

πŸ“Œ The crowd sounds for the Everton vs Liverpool game were brilliant, like there was some wizard audio editor doing their stuff in real time. The game finished 0-0.

πŸ“Œ I can see fanless football becoming a new business project, a whole lifestyle/leisure subscription package in which you get your food and drink delivered to your home to watch the footie, which appears on your Big Massive Telly at a very low price.

πŸ“Œ Lois posted a picture of a Museum Visiting Group online ‘outing’ to the Smithsonian.

At the Smithsonian…

πŸ“Œ My wife discovered another dubious body-shocker TV programme called ‘The 3,000lb Family’, the main character of which fills the entire screen of the new Big Massive Telly.

Monday We did the online Community View of the Barbican’s ‘Masculinities’ exhibition. This was a Lockdown replacement for the usual viewing of a current exhibition and the workshops that would have happened physically. The Barbican staff hinted that the centre could reopen safely at the end of this week, which would be exciting. I facilitated the monoprinting workshop with my wife as my demonstration model. She did a portrait of one of the Portuguese bullfighters pictured in the exhibition.

We also did a free-writing exercise and a photographic study of something ‘masculine’. I did a car made out of a wire coathanger, but I’m not sure why.

Adventures of a wire coathanger…

I noticed in these exercises how I automatically turn topics into stories.

Tuesday My daily email from ‘The Conversation’ tells me that Pluto, the planet that was demoted in 2006 to a “dwarf”, holds massive cosmological secrets. One of them is that “it has had a warm interior ever since it formed, and may still have a liquid, internal ocean under its icy crust”. This means life on Pluto is technically possible. Note the use of the word “may”, always a signal by scientists that they don’t want to stick their necks out and go straight for the “Dog seen shitting on Pluto” headline. It also signals that they don’t know the difference between “may” and “might”. The story brought to mind a picture I made last year as a possible prompt for Tony Brooks.

πŸ“Œ Sophia and Liam are the top baby names of the last 12 months.

πŸ“Œ At last, some real news…

πŸ“Œ My wife brought a package with her when she delivered my cup of coffee, made with the newly refurbished electric espresso maker.

A gift from Carol…

πŸ“Œ I was wrong. Harry Styles is not singing “watermelon sugar smile”, which sounds a bit racist. He is singing “watermelon sugar high”, and something else about strawberries on a warm summer’s evening.

πŸ“Œ Sam sent me a shot of her new picture. I want the wallpaper.

From an idea by Rosie Scott…

πŸ“Œ The Prime Minister has announced that museums and galleries can reopen from July 4.

πŸ“Œ Alan Bennett has remade his ‘Talking Heads’, the TV monologues that were so successful back in the late 1980s. The opening two were both powerful stories, the first featuring Imelda Staunton as a nosey old biddy who has a narrow mind and a mania for writing letters of complaint. She is locked up in her own bitterness and ends up locked up in a real prison, where she finds the freedom to open her mind and expand her horizons. The social commentary of this is hard to ignore, and it had a Ruth Rendell feel about it. The second story starred Sarah Lancahire as a mother who has sexual feelings for her 15-year-old son, AND TELLS HIM! It was a dark, disturbing story that left us both feeling uncomfortable but nevertheless questioning the price of deviance and nonconformity in an intolerant and blinkered world.

Read my June 17-20 Diary

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