Diary: 17-23 August

MONDAY The Conversation has a story about face masks and their impact on the environment. We are compelled to use them but offered no guidance on how to dispose of them. They litter the streets, the beaches and the seas.

β€˜The majority of masks are manufactured from long-lasting plastic materials, and if discarded can persist in the environment for decades to hundreds of years.’

πŸ“Œ Spent most of the morning clearing up after the flood. We need to hire a dehumidifier, but buying one is probably cheaper.

πŸ“Œ On Quora…

The top answer told of a half-hour on a Miami beach watching the faces of two sun worshippers as they engaged in mutual masturbation.

πŸ“Œ Northern Ireland, then Wales, made a stand on the exam results algorithm fiasco. Then we got the news that the government had caved in and teachers’ grades will count in England, too.

πŸ“Œ A new picture from Sam arrived by email. I asked her if the champagne bottle is full or empty.

TUESDAY The floor tiles continue to pop up, victims of the flood damage. And it seems the woodwork beneath them, which rests on concrete, has been drenched, too.

We are anticipating an almighty fight with the council about this because they hold the bulding insurance and we hold the contents insurance. The Golden Lane Estate, like the Barbican, is Grade II Listed as heritage architecture, but the maintenance is poor.

πŸ“Œ A blogger I follow asked himself what is the loneliest time of day, and reckons it is 3.30am. He says it is…

β€˜β€¦a time when you don’t exist, a between time, a hole in the clock’s ticks… when thoughts are both loudest and quietest… when screams are both loudest and quietest… when life is both dead and alive…’

πŸ“Œ The Quora asks what is the strangest thing you’ve seen on public transport? The top answer starts with a spoiler alert that what follows is β€œa bit naughty” then goes on to describe sitting opposite a man on a train with his β€œthingy madoobly” β€œhanging madly” from his short football shorts.

πŸ“Œ Since very few people read my online diaries (last count: 4), I’ve surrendered and I’m trying again to pimp some traffic from Twitter. My method is to take a snippet and make a picture out of it.

‘Tuesday 11/8’

πŸ“Œ Even middle-ground Labour fanatics are convinced.

πŸ“Œ Andy got a 24-hour ban from Facebook and the comments were hilarious. One of them wanted to know how to do it “I want it on my CV”. No news yet on what the crime was.

WEDNESDAY The temptation to answer “from the allotment shop, stupid!” is almost overwhelming.

πŸ“Œ And on the subject of stupidity, I’m still slightly baffled as to why some people don’t know how to talk to a search engine. I learned some time ago that search engines are now so clever that they can practically read your thoughts. Practically. The problem stems in the transition from thought to word. I once typed into the empty grey strip at the top of my screen, “hook thing that looks like a question mark” and the machine located it in a jiff, best prices included. So my advice now to people who look stumped by the empty grey strip is DON’T BE! Tell it exactly what you’re thinking and it will do the rest. I later turned this into a drabble.

πŸ“Œ Posted another drabble today, a love story set in Postman’s Park. I really like the 100-word limit. It seems restrictive, but with 30-odd years of editing skills, it’s very natural for me, a nice fit.

πŸ“Œ Nominated the studio for a Lottery arts grant. This is something else I find quite easy to do. Stuff I actually care about.

πŸ“Œ I read an article saying that the owner of Zoom developed the virtual background thing so he could watch his kids doing sport and still attend boring meetings.

πŸ“Œ String is off on another rant about going back to normal and how normal it’s not. Social distancing should be physical distancing. No one sticking to the mask rules, and those who even bother to wear masks see them as a green light to behave in the exactly the same way as they did before the pandemic. He lightens up only when talking about porridge. String is obviously quite weird, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to learn that he flavours his oats the in strange ways. Eg, he adds ground pepper in winter, and sometimes single-malt whisky, too.

πŸ“Œ My wife noted a zero compliance to the mask diktat at Lidl, Hackney, where she insists on buying chorizo and washing-machine liquid. In the Guardian is a story about intergenerational Covid conflict. It quotes some young dude who has a nice chat with granny, takes her shopping list, then pisses off to an illegal rave at an airfield near Bath.

πŸ“Œ When I asked which online weather forecaster we can trust, my wife replied that she always trusts the one with the best outlook.

πŸ“Œ Another stunner from Sam…

THURSDAY I used the iPad for today’s Open Studio drawing session. It was a still-life supplied by Emily from an Instagram account she follows. I used Procreate and absorbed myself in all the different brushes, effects and colours for an hour. I should do it more often.

πŸ“Œ I’m working my way into a headspace where I will write a letter of referral for the flood damage to each of our our NINE councillors and see what happens.

πŸ“Œ A friend punted Good Girls as a follow-up to Dead to Me, but it’s a real turkey, though one of the three main characters does have a fascinating pair of eyebrows that appear to be acting in a totally different story.

FRIDAY The question in Quora was: “As a Polish person in the UK, which party most aligns with your views?” And the top two answers were UKIP and Brexit.

πŸ“Œ Convinced that I’d lost my bank card, I phoned up to cancel. It turned into farce when I screwed up the security number and got a bit short with the nice Scottish lady. Then the penny dropped and I remembered where it was. I had to confess my stupidity and slope away humiliated. The nice Scottish woman was laughing as I went.

πŸ“Œ Squeezed out another drabble – about the power of search engines – or possibly a rant from my diary disguised as a drabble.

πŸ“Œ At the family Zoom, we spoke about how good the baddies were in Line of Duty. Lennie James was brilliant in Series 1. In series 2, Keeley Hawes made a soft start, but turned up the baddiness continually after that.

SATURDAY I guess I will never shake off my love if a good headline.

πŸ“Œ I learn that over the past two decades fewer and fewer firms are listing on the stockmarket because listing would mean not only raising more capital, but closer scrutiny by the regulators.

πŸ“Œ Melanie Sykes and the comedian Alan Carr share a radio show. They have taken to describing it as the Mel’n’Alan show, which sounds like the manifestation of a skin disease.

πŸ“Œ Nicola Sturgeon face masks are on sale in Scotland for Β£7 a pop.

πŸ“Œ Wrote a quick crime drabble that came to me last night as I watched a man leaving Bayer House.

SUNDAY Posted this week’s Artwork Archive so I could get on with the business of enjoying my birthday.

Some of my presents…

πŸ“Œ For good measure (ie, contrast), I knocked up a post about last year’s birthday.

πŸ“Œ You can always rely on the child to screw things up.

πŸ“Œ Back to another exhibition, this time The Enchanted Interior at the Guildhall Art Gallery. It was quite relaxed, until we got stuck behind a couple of obsessives who think wearing a mask in a one-way system entitles them to clog it up.

We both got a lot out of these MALE depictions of women sitting and behaving meekly in their “Guilded Cage”. The notable disruptions came mainly from WOMEN artists. But overall, we were glad we bothered to go.

πŸ“Œ My wife believes that the Lee Mack character in the TV sitcom Semi Detached has Ulcerative Colitis.

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5 thoughts on “Diary: 17-23 August

  1. Hi Billy, just dropped in as I like to have a look at anyone mad enough to leave a like on a post when I can, mainly to find out if there are genuine people and not vitamin salesman or investment guru sites there. I’m a fellow stroke survivor (around 10 years ago this year now I think) and, incidentally, a fellow String appreciator.
    Will follow to see how you get on with your flooding recovery battles and everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aye, there is a suspicion that he’s an android from the future made of an advanced form of indestructible alloy underneath his kit though, who sometimes grimaces as if in pain for effect.


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