Diary: 23-25 October

FRIDAY An email from James at Full Fact would have been hilarious if it wasn’t so serious. It reports Andrew Marr telling Michael Gove on TV that an “Australian-style” post-Brexit deal could just as easily be called a “Mongolian or Afghan” style deal. Full-Fact James then points out that Mongolia and Afghanistan have better trading terms with the EU than Australia.

# The Headway Home Studio Zoom session today was themed on Halloween. Alex showed up some creepy pictures of ancient Celts in rag masks celebrating the end of the growing season. The masks looked like something from the wardrobe department of a zombie movie. Then Alex talked about Halloween in a modern context and its association with the horror genre and mass marketing (Trick or Treat?). Then we all did a picture of Connie in scary make-up.

Connie In Scary Make-up, by Billy Mann

# The possibility of U-Turn 2.0 on free school meals is hanging in the air. Will Marcus Rashford slip in a scissor kick before the weekend?

# At the Family Zoom I learned that all my immediate relatives have high blood pressure and one just suffered a TIA. No wonder I had a stroke. It’s in the family. Previous generations I had presumed simply died of old age actually had strokes and heart attacks. I really don’t know why I was surprised by this. Maybe I just feel foolish not joining up the dots of death.

# My wife made the most amazing soup with some old carrots and other stuff. Problem is: she can’t remember what she did.

# Rupert’s local chippy is offering free meals to hungry kids.

# In Better Things, Duke’s friend got the tip of her finger chopped off in a car door, and the dog ate it.

# The Line of Duty trio (Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure, Martin Compston) were on Gogglebox. Dunbar (Guv) sat there, the right arm of his glasses missing, like a moody Victorian Dad while McClure (Kate) and Compston (Steve) rolled around giggling at the ridiculous horror movie they’d been asked to watch.

SATURDAY 24 A politician has publicly implied that free school meal payments go straight to brothels and crack dens.

# The Wee Ginger Dug is irritated by a column in the Telegraph in which the writer urges the British public to man up to the virus, just like they did to Hitler in WW2. The Dug points out that the writer was two years old at the time of The Blitz, adding also that “the threat represented by coronavirus is not the same as that represented by the pissing LuftWaffe”.

# Another powerful statement by Simon Jenkins about Britain’s willingness to sell itself to the highest bidder.

# Kate & Pete are in Dundee today. It sounds really exciting.

# Our neighbour Yvonne knitted my wife a pair of socks. Socks must be difficult to knit because Yvonne swears they are the last pair she will ever knit.

Yvonne’s last ever pair

# Surprise of the week comes from Annie, an artist who works at Barbican Archive. Each week she draws a comic strip based the Barbican and its history. Her characters always have a telling look and the ‘story’ is always fascinating. This week it reveals that the Barbican’s lake is dyed green.

Comic strip by Annie Ward

SUNDAY 25 In his consideration of what will happen in Britain if Joe Biden wins the US Presidency in November, Andrew Rawnsley wittily describes Boris Johnson as being seen internationaly as the “Trump Whisperer”.

# We had a conversation about what liberties we might be entitled to at Christmas if we are still festering in Boris’s Tier 2. There are nice log cabins in the Lea Valley, but they are in Tier 1. Could we, I asked, invite Marge and Derek round for a business lunch? My wife thought not, but I protested that since our homes are now our workplaces, it should be possible to hold a lunchtime brainstorming session with colleagues, tax deductable. That way we could bypass Boris and his nasty stormtroopers and simply get permission from that nice Scottish woman at the Tax Office.

# The latest stitchwork (a dog on a cotton Tote bag) project is stuttering along.

# Stuart has been sending his ruminations on Elvis Costello lyrics. I told him I wished that I could push a button and talk in the past and not the present tense [Brilliant Mistake].

See all of my Diaries.

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