Diary: 29-31 July

WEDNESDAY, LONDON Taxes could be another deadly blow to businesses if urgent reforms of the business rates is not introduced. Businesses cannot scale down to safe operations at the current cost of this local tax. Businesses have already had massive support from the state, but the economics of enterprise is still no longer sustainable. UK business collapse is inevitable unless the UK Chancellor announces something drastic soon. Bail them out or let them fail?

๐Ÿ“Œ The blogger My Life As A Piece Of String (aka String) has a post in which he imagines a gig at which โ€œold-timesโ€ tribute band The New Normal (“please form an orderly queue for the mosh-pit”) are supported by the Badly Worn Face Masks.

๐Ÿ“Œ I think there must be a debate about weight going on (again) that I’ve missedโ€ฆ

๐Ÿ“Œ Geologists have been speculating as to what the Covid-19 fossil record will look like to the horny-handed excavators of a distant future. The Covid virus itself will leave no geological trace, but discarded face masks and rubber gloves will be neatly preserved as fossils in the layers of sandstone and shale that will come under scientific scrutiny millions of years hence.

๐Ÿ“Œ I got a Like from a blog called The Drabble, and when I investigated, it turns out that a Drabble is a story in exactly 100 words and a genuine literary genre. The Drabble has loads of them so I decided to give it a try.

๐Ÿ“Œ Got an email from James reminding me about the meeting with a disability designer from the Royal College of Art on Friday to discuss making some โ€œdisabilityโ€ face masks. These are my designs. My main concern about masks is that they can act as gags, so I tried to design masks that have a โ€œvoiceโ€.

๐Ÿ“Œ News that Ruth Davidson is to be given a seat in the House of Lords has really pissed off the Wee Ginger Dug.

๐Ÿ“Œ I asked Stuart what he imagined Neil Young meant when he sang, “I was thinking about what a friend had said. I was hoping it was a lie.”  He offered: “Hey Neil, I just saw your lady in the laundromat washing some โ€˜his and hersโ€™ lurex bondage suits with a moustachioed Mexican called Sebastian.”

THURSDAY, LONDON The Hackney Citizen has an absurdly long piece about the backlash against the decision not to remove the statue of slave-trader and philanthropist Sir Robert Geffrye from the Museum of the Home.

๐Ÿ“Œ A nice motto appeared buried in a page from It’s Nice That. It comes from photographic artist Izumi Miyazaki, who is interviewed as their Midweek Mentor. In one line she says, “Think about something fun and ridiculous and get some sun through the window…”

By Izumi Miyazaki…

๐Ÿ“Œ Todayโ€™s Open Studio theme came from Headway support worker and artist Nancy, who showed us some of her drawings and paintings. She says she likes to depict the emotion of a scene as much as the physical content. She then asked us to find an object that symbolised peace for us. I chose a photograph of me and my wife being happy at a party. I chose it because last night weโ€™d had the most ridiculously petty argument, and now needed to restore some peace. โ€œStick to the abstracts,โ€ was her response to my hand of friendship.

๐Ÿ“Œ Window cleaners are dangling from ropes attached to the roof.

๐Ÿ“Œ Sam sent me the picture of the candle she chose to draw in the Open Studio session.

๐Ÿ“Œ The government seems to be on a crash-course to conflict over its decision to end “shielding” on 1 August and order people back to work.

๐Ÿ“Œ You know you’re getting old when you hear Story of the Blues on Radio 2.

FRIDAY, LONDON It’s almost too hot to do anything, but I managed to write a blog review and do some prep for the Headway East London Mask Task design meeting.

๐Ÿ“Œ The Mask Task meeting wasn’t too demanding. We “designers” have been asked to dream big and conjure some crackpot ideas. Dave said he wanted a different mask for every outfit. Tirzah drew vampire fangs with dripping blood on her mask template. Jรฉsus used sequins. That wasn’t a surprise. I started to wonder about the possibilities of fragrance impregnation, as you do.

๐Ÿ“Œ I think Boris might be building up to the reintroduction of full-blown Lockdown. His government once again has failed to get its message across. In fact, all evidence suggests nobody knows what the message is, or even if there is one. A friend in Brighton tried to work out what was going on… “Just checking I’ve got this right: Go out and eat and drink in pubs and restaurants to ‘eat out to help out’ and protect the economy, but don’t do that cos you’ll get fat and die of the Covids you’re helping to spread. But we’ll give you 50% off in the really cheap shit places, but don’t take up our offer, you greedy fat fucks. If you’re in the north, you can go to the pub and meet your mates and family, but you can’t meet them in your garden. Any worsening of coronavirus in the UK will be you and Europe’s fault due the ‘second wave’, despite the UK still having more deaths every week than the rest of the EU combined. And we’re really just still in the first wave. Go on a foreign holiday to help the travel industry, but if you come back with the Covids, it’ll be your fault. And if you can’t quarantine when you come back because you’ll starve or get fired, that’s also your fault. Anything I’ve missed?

Health Minister Matthew Hancock…

๐Ÿ“Œ The Wee Ginger Dug has a very witty name for the ousted Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw. He calls him Surname Surname. The Dug also hints that Ruth Davidson’s tipped appointment to the House of Lords is a bribe for her return to lead the Scottish Tories.

๐Ÿ“Œ I asked the family on Zoom who they were supporting in the FA Cup final (Arsenal v Chelsea). The verdict was Arsenal, but Kate added jokingly that she wanted “mass casualties” so that neither team is a threat to Liverpool next season.

๐Ÿ“Œ We’ve started watching Dead To Me on Netflix, from Series 1. My wife thinks Judy is a psychopath. I think that’s probably what she’s meant to think.

Read more of my Diaries

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