Diary: July 5-8

Sunday, London Our lawn is routinely colonised these days by a bunch of ground-floor YWPs (Young White Professionals). I’ve started to define them as the elite performers from a “gaming generation”. I ponder their future moves and plan my own accordingly.

📌 Shirley sent us a link to a Zoom presentation from the How To Academy. It was about community and “sacred capital” from a woman called Zita Cobb. It focused on an island off Newfoundland called Fogo and it referenced EF Schumacher, which made me want to re-read ‘Small Is Beautiful’.

📌 Donald Trump has become a portrait of insanity. He hysterically defines anyone he doesn’t agree with as a raving commie scarily demanding obedience to the cause.

📌 Liverpool beat Aston Villa 2-0 in one of the most boring games in years. If fanless football takes off and the beautiful game loses its stadium identity and becomes a TV sport totally, more of this tedium is likely.

Monday, London ‘The Poke’ has some very funny items, but sometimes they lack detail, like WHERE? I really want this scene to be in Britain.

📌 Luke’s adventures with his rebuilt 1970s RV in America sound dramatic. Last night in Florida he parked his stuttering vehicle in a Taco Bell car park and got ready for bed. Taco Bell staff then told him to piss off so he ended up in a nearby Walmart car park, nursing a dicky fuel filter, a beer and creeping disillusion. 

📌 I’m not too pessimistic about post-pandemic Britain because I think British people are secretly quite good at making things up as we go along.

📌 We watched Oxford United beat Portsmouth in the League 1 playoffs to reach the final at Wembley against Wycombe. Oxford had cardboard cutouts in the stands. We wondered whether they were pictures of real supporters like Jane’s sister and her mate Pat. Portsmouth’s shirt sponsor is Portsmouth University.

📌 Luke is still stranded in Walmart car park, Tallahassee, Florida, under attack from mosquitos.

Tuesday, London The daily emails from Blogging University are a pest. They look at me, taunting, bullying. Do it now! 

📌 We’ve started a mega clear-out and reorganisation project to maximise the use of our minimum space. My wife has found someone on the web who might buy some old style magazines from us.

📌 There’s a nasty argument raging on Twitter about funding for the arts to help them recover from the pandemic. Someone stupidly remarked that theatres are for middle class people and of no interest to the working classes. This prompted a vigorous response from tweeters saying pantomime is attended mainly by the working classes and its revenue is key to keeping the whole theatre business alive.

📌 Jan’s grandson has made 14 zines in the past week. This after my efforts last week in pimping their virtues and those of the Wellcome Zine Club.

📌 My head is quite fuzzy again today. I could be sickening for something, or I might just need some fresh air.

📌 Another ‘Sam’ arrived today. It is a completed version of the ‘Connie’ portrait we all did at the Open Studio session last week.

Wednesday, London There are two noisy magpies in the tree outside, poking beaks with an occasional flutter. I think some kind of ornithological hanky-panky is in progress.

📌 Stuart resurfaced after five days with a reference to Haysi Fantayzee and Yip Yip Coyote.

📌 As soon as I had posted a short rant about the Gaming Generation, pointing out their many faults, I came across a long article in the Guardian by Luke Harding describing how the identity of the Skripal poisoners was uncovered by a Gamer who went on to launch the investigative Bellingcat site. I said in my rant that talented Gamers make good criminals. They make good Spooks, too.

Read last week’s Diary.

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