Diary: 25-27 September


FRIDAY 25 The #fret@4am is becoming habitual. Today it was a rather pathetic micro-worry about my hundreds of blog posts not being catalogued properly.

# In the Guardian, Simon Jenkins is gobsmacked that millions of students are about to mingle. This he says, is an open door to Covid superspreading: “This might be called a giant exercise in herd immunity, a national version of what used to be a children’s chickenpox party.”

# Stuart offered up a reminiscence of a New Brighton nightclub he used to frequent, and a description of what he wore on those special occasions.

Stuart wears: “Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot lookalike black beret circa 1986 glued in place with Studioline fixing spray.”

# Zuber and I will co-host the Headway fundraising quiz during the Action on Brain Injury (ABI) campaign. I am confident it will be a success, so long as I stick solely to begging for money and cracking the odd joke.

# This is an intriguing story.

SATURDAY 26 My wife correctly guessed the Mystery Voice on Dermot O’Leary’s radio show, currently guest hosted by Angela Scanlon. It was the boxer Anthony Joshua. This is a major triumph after the disappointment recently of mistaking Bette Midler for Sandra Oh.

# Stuart has been reminiscing about ABBA. We discovered that Frida’s post-ABBA activities include becoming a Princess. The exchange reminded Stuart that “as a lank, long-haired Birkonian lad I went with my similarly-attired best mate Mike to see ABBA: The Movie”. I replied: “Two Drooling Proggers Caught Watching Abba Movie, that is the headline.” I had to explain the term Progger being short for Prog-Rocker. This type of juvenile correspondence continued until we had exhausted every possible pun relating to ABBA, their music, their nationality and their names (Bjorn was especially tiresome).

# We had a massive techno fight again, this time about setting up a VPN. I came very close to throwing the TV remote at my wife. Instead I messaged my friend Keith and asked him what to do.

# Quora is still a great place to find a sarcastic put-down.

# On the BBC iPlayer Better Things, starring Pamela Adlon, is getting better and better. We got to the end of Series 1 and her best friend is now Lucy Davis, aka Dawn from The Office. And her mother, Celia Imrie, prunes the roses naked.

SUNDAY 27 The newspapers are saying the PM is under the cosh to back down on his dictatorial Covid regime.

And Marina Hyde is circulating the painful news that the PM can hardly afford to feed himself because his ex-wife is sucking off all his money.

# Sweden’s big epidemiology guru says that the country’s light-touch approach to the virus was not aimed at rapid herd-immunity but to slow the spread until the health services were geared up to cope.

# We’ve returned to Cardinal after a lapse into a prolonged period with Line of Duty. The background music still obscures the dialogue, so we’ve sunk to using subtitles, which seems like some sort of defeat. In common with Season 1, there is a weird Canadian death cult in operation that seems to have absolutely no connection with the main story. The sadist-in-chief, Mamma, does very nasty things with fish hooks, but her No1 adopted (ie, captive) ‘son’ is a quick learner and has already put a bullet through his brother’s head.

# We joined the online audience for a Zoom live concert by Modulus, a string quartet. But there were only three of them, neatly separated at 2m, in an underground gangster’s torture chamber somewhere in the bowels of a London warehouse. The music was good and the various composers turned up for a Q&A afterwards. Our friend Nick played the cello in a shirt my wife says was obviously chosen by his wife Sally.

Modulus cellist Nick in his stylish shirt…

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