Diary: July 1-4

‘I wonder if Nick Cave has changed his mind about an interventionist God’

Wednesday, London My favourite oak shelving unit (below) has been banished to the storage shed in favour of a slimmer model.

📌 There is an editorial in the Guardian that illustrates how events such as a pandemic can derail ideologically driven governments and force them into compromises that challenge the Party orthodoxy. The case of our current Conservative government and the role of the State is one such example.

📌 At a Headway Steering Group group Zoom I noticed for the first time how deeply professionalised the public engagement function has become. This is largely thanks to Catalan Cristina, who has grown into the role and manages to skilfully steer a bunch of brain-injury survivors, all with different temperaments and needs. The members who take part all seem to have adapted and found a way to thrive in the online dislocation. Yoki made a great statement about what she gets from being able to share her experience.

📌 I’ve enrolled at the WordPress Blogging University. Day 1 (yesterday) was to write a blog saying “Who I Am and Why I’m Here“. Today’s task is to give your blog a new title and tagline (see top).

📌 Listening to the new Bob Dylan album, ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’, I imagine myself asking Nick Cave if he’s changed his mind about an interventionist God.

📌 Sam sent some more pictures, one of the still life we did in Open Studio last week and one of her Van Gogh framed on the wall.

📌 Just when you suspected a drought in diary material…

Thursday, London Lockdown Catch-up. ‘Spooks’ started with good character stories (Matthew McFadyean, Keeley Hawes), then it drifted into All Plot No Character. Now (series 5) is all fights and chases. The Harry/Ruth romantic mismatch is a weak diversion.

📌 British reports are nudging towards a description of China trying to turn Hong Kong into a prison island. 

📌 There’s a story in ‘The Conversation’ that suggests Britain might be on a post-Soviet path to hidden unemployment, whereby furloughed workers are put on unpaid leave or no/low pay, but not technically rendered unemployed.

📌 In the Headway Open Studio Zoom session, I managed to turn Connie into a gothic horror character.

Friday, London I still get an ecstatic feeling of accomplishment when I unsubscribe from a load of email lists I’ve stuck with for too long.

📌 My wife really does have a problem seeing things my way. I de-messed our store rooms and she promptly re-messed them in the most space-inefficient way possible. I stormed off, refusing to attempt any further co-ooeration and sat brooding in a dark corner with a flask of cold tea and the new Bob Dylan album.

📌 We finished ‘Schitt’s’ and there was a great moment when Alexis walked David down the aisle in a brilliant role reversal, because Alexis had thoughtfully decided to wear a white wedding dress.

📌 Day 4 of Blogging University was all about targeting your ideal reader. I wrote a post describing how I blog with my sister in mind.

 📌 I wrote a short piece for Michelle about the Open Studio Zoom sessions during Lockdown. The new studio website will be launched soon, so I also supplied some quotes on what I’ve been busy doing at home…

Stitchwork eyeball…

📌 The pubs are allowed to open at 6am tomorrow. Can’t wait to see who goes for that. Meanwhile, other news came in that…

📌 In ‘Spooks’, Adam had the much anticipated coitus with his son’s nanny.

📌 Snooping around items in the WordPress Reader, I found a letter written by Nick Cave in which he uses the word “liminal”.

Saturday, London One of our friends failed to turn up at the Zoom quiz on Thursday. Today we got this…

📌 At the Breakfast Club Zoom, the storytelling theme was Sport. I spoke about the 2012 London Olympics, especially the Paralympics because it took place just before my stroke. And afterwards I was myself disabled, so the memory becomes a landmark with a difference. I described the blind triple-jumper crashing into the judges and knocking them off their seats. Jane recalled watching the 2005 Istanbul Champions League final on TV with Paula (Irish, Man Utd), and we learned from Shirley that the corporate world has its own Olympics and that JP Morgan are the best.

📌 Locally, the Lockdown liftoff is a gentle reawakening. The Two Brewers had a lone drinker sitting outside, but the sense of release is real. I still want to kill cyclists who use the pavements when the roads are empty. Some prick did it in Beech Street Tunnel, which is still closed to all but zero-emissions traffic and has a dedicated cycle lane, which the two-wheel tosser decided to ignore.

📌 Day 5 of Blogging University urged the trial of 3 new Themes (layouts), but they were all deeply unsatisfactory. I’m conflicted. Should I design for phone, tablet, laptop or desktop use? More research required.

📌 We binged on all 6 episodes of ‘Staged’,  a Zoom-initiated TV Lockdown project starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant. Great, tight drama with lots of conflict/resolution (obvious and subtle) and some surprising guest appearances from straight actors doing brilliant comedy. Dame Judi Dench said fuck; Samuel L Jackson and Adrian Lester both sent themselves up hilariously.

Read last week’s Diary

4 thoughts on “Diary: July 1-4

  1. Thanks for link. I took a look it loads fast on my old phone which is good. So many are dragging slow so i tend to just look at them from the reader only.


    1. I think some users load pictures straight from their device into the page. If you upload an image first to WordPress it processes the image for easy loading. Some of my early stuff is so slow I give up. I keep promising to resave the images as WordPress pictures. But I’m not making much progress.


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