Diary: Week 49

November 29-December 5

SUNDAY My wife says the Christmas tree can’t go up until December.

πŸ“Œ The Poet Daljit Nagra has become a proper noun in the fashion of The Rabbi Lionel Blue.

πŸ“Œ There’s a weird hiatus thing going on, as we wait for the end of Lockdown 2.0 and the beginning of the much despised new 3-Tier system.

πŸ“Œ Human Geographer Danny Dorling outlines the socio-economic national spread of Covid.

By Danny Dorling

πŸ“Œ In different times, turkeys getting the winter flu could have been a joke…

Read the full story here

πŸ“Œ The Green Cross Man (aka, Darth Vader) is dead.

πŸ“Œ There’s an awful lot of random coitus and masturbation in the TV series Industry. Boiling an egg one moment, knickers down the next. I wonder if this is how  City whizzkids tell if their eggs are done yet.

πŸ“Œ Gaming the Covid rules has become a national pastime, but trying to use the Magna Carta to defend the indefensible is just silly.

From Twitter

MONDAY A constant state of alert and the willingness to shut up shop, stay indoors and take the hit is maybe a way of life from now on. If everyone could agree on that, the government could shift gear and work out a new way to make things work again. But I’m not sure it has the skills.

πŸ“Œ Tinder Tales by Dutch blogger Zoe is a guilty pleasure. Today she has it in for men with “neck beards”. I’ll be watching out for them from now on and wishing Zoe’s dislike at them with a withering stare.

πŸ“Œ There’s some debate about who is in charge of the country at the moment.

Read the full story here

πŸ“Œ Philip Green is pulling another one of his spivvy cowboy capitalist stunts and folding Arcadia.

πŸ“Œ Matt Hancock says the virus is under control and we can all sleep easy and dream of Santa squeezing down the chimney with a bag load of treats.

πŸ“Œ Big shock to see two women on each of the teams in University Challenge.

TUESDAY In a dream I got the chance to ask Joanne if anyone had ever called her J K Galbraith.

πŸ“Œ From HuffPost…

From Tuesday, rough sleeping will become grounds for refusal or cancellation of permission to be in the UK.


πŸ“Œ It looks like the main opposition to the sitting government is not from Her Majesty’s Opposition but from pissed off Tories deep inside the Party.

πŸ“Œ Even though it is now December, I have been told categorically that the tree cannot go up yet.

πŸ“Œ Sophia has knocked Olivia off the top of the babyname charts.

πŸ“Œ I’ve done that stupid accidental purchase of the doll’s house version of the thing you really wanted. I believed I ordered a small bench clamp, and what arrived today looks like it fell out of a child’s First Steps in DIY Kit, aged 7-11.

Oops! It’s tiny

πŸ“Œ The Radio 5Live first-half commentary made it sound like Liverpool were under the cosh.

WEDNESDAY Dreams are elusive, or more often in my case simply forgotten. If they wake me up, I write them down.

In this one, I bumped into a former colleague who now has a TOP JOB in a prestigious organisation. She stuttered the confidence that she had been offered another top job, TOP JOB 2, in a rival organisation and was in a dilemma as to which way to go.

Maybe because I had just been listening to the Sue Perkins radio show Dilemma, I unhesitatingly advised her to make me happy and take TOP JOB 2.

πŸ“Œ A No-Deal Brexit is just as likely to come from the dead hand of fate.

From the Guardian

Michael Gove is the sort of metropolitan wanker who this morning decreed that two scotch eggs, β€œwith pickle on the side” and a side salad, is β€œa pub starter”

Marina Hyde, the Guardian, who is the sort of person who believes that Wetherspoons pubs have car parks.

πŸ“Œ Britain Best At Being The Worst stories will not magically disappear once Brexit is done.

πŸ“Œ There’s an article in Edge of Humanity magazine. titled “Tracing The Consciousness Of My Hair”.

πŸ“Œ Someone on the radio says that the vaccine has arrived so quickly because the world’s scientists were left unencumbered by the profit motive to get on with the business of doing the science. All the business espionage and dirty deals behind closed doors were swept aside and testing took place in parallel to development of the vaccine.

All this reminded me of when I worked with the international scientific community back in the late 1970s at Bidston Observatory on the Wirral. Scientists from every corner of the world huddled together studying vector plots I had produced of tidal variations. The eggheads were spectacularly cooperative and dedicated, and great fun in the pub after work. So I can well believe today’s corny good-news vaccine story.

πŸ“Œ I can’t find much to disagree with in this report that agricultural subsidies are to be diverted from big corporate farmers to land management and conservation projects instead.

πŸ“Œ Just found an unnoticed picture attachment Alex sent me last week of Nova posing with the stitchwork tote bag I made of her.

Nova and tote bag

πŸ“Œ On TV’s House of Games, one contestant renamed Michelangelo’s The Creation Of Adam “The Man With The Pointy Finger”.

THURSDAY A man on the radio told us where Mae West got all her best one-liners from (“It’s not the men in my life, it’s the life in my men”)…

Mae West (born Mary Jane West; August 17, 1893-November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. She was known for her lighthearted, bawdy double entendres and breezy sexual independence, and often used a husky voice.


…She stole them from joke books, wrote them down then transformed these often rather pathetic words into sharp, witty expressions merely by her characterised performance of them.

πŸ“Œ Stole a quote from Derrick and tried to make a moody scene.

πŸ“Œ The digital tooling up of the nhs is long overdue, but there are so many conflicting motives that negotiating it will be a long walk through an ethicalminefield.

Read the full story

πŸ“Œ I had a good feeling about the journalist Deborah when she interviewed me about the studio for the Evening Standard. You never can tell. She didn’t make any big mistakes and caught the vibe quite well. Could have done without the picture of my scraggy neck.

πŸ“Œ Australia got quite irritating yesterday with a succession of knotted stitches, but today it has redeemed itself.

FRIDAY Edge of Humanity has a spooky photo essay of Irish sectarian balaclava masks. It demonstrates a form of contact printing in which an iPad screen with picture is laid directly onto old-style photographic paper.

πŸ“Œ Prince Harry was mistaken for a Christmas Tree salesman while out shopping with Meghan.

πŸ“Œ Stuart surrendered a game of Wishbone Ash via sms when I gave him Heaven 17. Wishbone Ash is a word game in which you name a band from the last letter of the band given by the previous player (eg, Wishbone Ash > Happy Mondays > Supertramp, etc).

πŸ“Œ There is some debate on my side of the family as to whether it’s still too early to put up your Christmas tree.

Nice view of the flood-damaged parquet

πŸ“Œ Neil reports that Norway’s biggest problem has been solved by an announcement from the British Embassy where the truly desperate can buy mince pies. And Twiglets and Colman’s mustard and Branston Pickle. Phew!

πŸ“Œ My wife just told me not to use the aubergine emoji because it means penis. πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

πŸ“Œ A love of tabloid headlines is a hard habit to abandon.

From the Evening Standard

SATURDAY Marina Hyde says that Gavin Williamson was trying to crack a joke with his Captain Mainwaring speech in which he said Britain is great and all other countries suck.

πŸ“Œ Our boiler has conked out so I was forced to wash in cold water. It reminded me of our road trip in Australia back in 1997 when I was still young and intrepid enough to step out of the campervan at daybreak and tip a bucket of water over my head.

πŸ“Œ My wife tells me there’s a pub in Brighton that sells a guest ale called “Substantial Meal”.

πŸ“Œ Michael Gove could make his big revenge move on Boris with Brexit. He’s been waiting for this, like Christmas.

Read all of my Diaries here.

2 thoughts on “Diary: Week 49

    1. I have been in two minds for some time. I have a soft admiration for the balance of the House of Lords. It has become a House of Correction for bad legislation. It would be nice if the British public had an appetite for electing such an institution, but sadly it does not.

      Liked by 1 person

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