Diary: 10-11 October


SATURDAY 10 The Labour Party opposition seem baffled as to how to oppose the government. A story in the Morning Star says it is now complaining that the UK government’s does not protect employers as much as France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Morning-star-headline-screenshot

# Marina Hyde is gobsmacked at how little has been learned over the past six months.

Marina-Hyde-quote-illustration
Read the full story…

# The Conversation has a compelling essay about the Lennon-McCartney partnership. John would have been 80 yesterday. The essay doesn’t really say anything new, but it does establish that creative partnerships are a complex chemistry of unpredictable elements. Any attempt to simplify them will always miss the point.

# Positive News has a story saying teenagers are kinder than you think and have proved their selflessness throughout the trials and tribulations of the pandemic.

# Did my first phone check-in today at Barbican Kitchen for a coffee with Gill. You point your camera at a bar code on a coaster and the Benugo menu pops up, from which you order your drinks, etc. It knows your table number and in due course your stuff is delivered to your table. My wife says young people have been doing this for years, but I felt quite chuffed with myself. So chuffed that I downloaded the Kings College Covid research app and logged my symptoms (none).

SUNDAY 11 We’ve decided that Young Wallander is a massive con. I guess we expected something along the lines of Morse/Endeavour, but the only resemblance is the use of the name of the detective protagonist. Endeavour Morse was/is clever. Morse came first, then Endeavour, the young Morse 30 years earlier. Young Wallander is not the Kurt Wallander we already know as a rookie cop in an evolving social democracy (Sweden), but merely a young police officer with the name Kurt Wallander. The setting and themes are contemporary, not retro, so Young Wallander could easily just be Kurt Wallander Jnr, a twentysomething copy following in his dad’s footsteps. It’s hard not to think this is a wasted opportunity, until you remember that this is a Netflix production, a place where dumb-downery is entirely feasible.

# There’s a man on the roof of Great Arthur House talking on a mobile phone. Best guesses at the moment are that he is A. Removing the window-cleaning hoist, or B. Stealing the window-cleaning hoist.

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# We picked the last of the tomatoes, cleared the plot and readied the soil for the nematodes.

# Put together a few abstract ideas for Katrina and the Hove Avenue project, mainly concentrating on the Walthamstow location.

Abstract-illustration-walthamstow

# One of the internet’s biggest crimes is standing the news story on its head. The conventional way to tell readers something in the popular media is to say in the first sentence what happened and to whom. Eg, “Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt had a furious argument live on TV this morning”. The story then unfolds with the facts, explaining what happened, when, who was involved and the outcome. Then, if time and space permits, the story introduces some background, such as, “this is the fourth time this year Naga and Charlie have bitten each other’s heads off”, blah, bah, blah.

The logic of this narrative structure is based on how you might tell the story to a stranger. But soon, if oral storytelling starts to mimic the written word, you’ll be hearing what Naga had for breakfast before you find out what nasty things she said to Charlie. Scrolling to the bottom of the text to find the nub of the story must rank as one of the internet’s worst innovations.

# The Winter clothes are out of storage, the Summer wardrobe is in.

# It says in the news that the government is preparing to hand Covid tracing powers to local authorities. Could this be the start of a new devolved dialogue?

Read all of my Diaries.

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