SUNDAY Watching the humiliation of Donald Trump was last week’s guilty pleasure. Pity might be this week’s.
# There’s a heartbreaking set of stories in HuffPost about second-wave Covid deaths.
# I might have worked out how to do Ben’s farewell video message. Will shoot it tomorrow.
# Art Garfunkel sings a song on his Angel Clare album with the subtitle, Do Space Men Pass Dead Souls On Their Way To The Moon? Discuss.
# Stuart pointed me to an especially chilling Nick Cave version of Garfunkel’s Down In The Willow Garden.
# The Italy stitchwork tote bag is finished and bagged.
MONDAY A brilliant crisp sunshine soon gave way to grey as the Prime Minister’s announcement about Christmas drew ever closer.
# My wife opened a parcel delivery believing it to be our new, much-needed Netgear wi-fi booster. It was one of her very few Christmas presents.
# Needless to say the Farewell Ben video message was a bad idea from the start, so I just ended up talking to the wall instead.
# I was scolded for speaking while Alexander Armstrong was counting vowels.
# The BBC has an interview on its website with a “Smell Historian”, who wants to use computers and AI to log what stank in the past.
TUESDAY Edge of Humanity magazine has a fabulous photo-essay on the Earth’s polar regions, its settlers, its wildlife and its fragile natural environment.
# It looks like stitchwork has become my surrogate form of travel and exploration. At the moment I am revisiting the countries we have holidayed and the memories of our adventures there. In 1997 we did a fabulous road trip in Australia.
# As lunch baked, his nose got a gentle reminder that the cooker needs cleaning.
# Did a nice interview with Deborah for the Evening Standard about Headway and the studio’s work.
# Expecting to be in the new Tier 2, but the whole system seems to embrace the expression “fail to plan, plan to fail”. This government is pathologically incapable of using enforcement for the greater good.
# Doh! Laura and Cristina used to sit next to one another in the office. But now they are working separately from home, your message cannot be guaranteed to be shared.
# The short answer is No.
WEDNESDAY The ‘good’ news yesterday of the extended Christmas bubbles didn’t last long.
# Posted two News Diary illustrations…
# Biden has told Boris that if he screws up with the EU on the Irish Border he can kiss goodbye to a US trade deal.
# I hadn’t intended to pay any attention to Rishi Sunak today, but then this caught my eye…
# The green and gold of South Australia is looking nice.
THURSDAY Stuart asked me if the Mersey had ever frozen over. I said I didn’t know but thought not as it is very tidal, and deep.
# Alex was chuffed with her Nova stitchwork tote bag.
# I’m turning into an accidental vegetarian. Headway meals are nearly always veggie and at home my wife has been of that church for some time, so I’ve been converted.
# I was flattered to be asked, but I said no to joining an interview panel for Headway CEO.
# Massive problems and communication screwups following a power outage. But a new speculative bunch of threads were delivered, and I’m happy about their weight.
FRIDAY If anyone was giving the PM the benefit of the doubt, they won’t be now. The new tier system is a real tipping point of faith and trust. The government is facing a massive rebellion from the public and its own MPs.
Marina Hyde in the Guardian sums it up: “It is fair to say the reaction to yesterday’s announcements is widespread WTF-ery…”
# Wales is facing a bio-security problem of a different kind. Exotic insects and other species imported from Australia for the TV series I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here have escaped into the local area around the castle in which the series is being staged. Species said to be wandering around Wales include cockroaches, whip scorpions, mealworms and crayfish.
# The scheduled Home Studio session with the Barbican on Jean Dubuffet was postponed until further discussions about alleged racism and Nazi involvement have been held.
# Mysteriously, I have a Facebook friend I don’t know. Where he came from, I can’t be sure. I never request Friends, but I do say Yes to anyone who asks me to be their friend. Worst thing is, this mystery Friend is a bit of a twat.
# It will be remembered forever as the night they tipped a box of naked rats onto AJ’s head.
SATURDAY As the headless chickens continue to race around in circles, I got quite ranty.
# In search of a calming moment, I turned to the BBC Sounds app and a brilliant edition of Adventures In Poetry about Casabianca, by Felicia Hemans, the poem best known for its first line, “The boy stood on the burning deck…”
# We both agreed that if Maisie got kicked off it would be a miscarriage of justice.