Diary: Week 52


December 20-26

SUNDAY The radio phone-ins are full of unhappy people bewildered that three days before the PM introduced us to his “crocodile tiers” he was saying the 5-day reprieve for Christmas was an immovable feast. People feel punished by his obvious weakness of leadership (β€œpublic fury over last-gasp change of mind”). The media is happy to report their discontent.

πŸ“Œ A story about Covid sniffer dogs sounds like something out of satire.

From the Guardian

πŸ“Œ My wife has already tucked into the 48 bags of Hula Hoops I’d bought her for Christmas. She blames Tier 4.

πŸ“Œ My wife’s community singalong went off well. I Zoomed it to Sue and (with Baileys coffee in hand) watched people around the estate dancing on their balconies and singing Lean On Me.

πŸ“Œ Christmas needs jokes. And so do those under Tier 4 house arrest.

MONDAY When disability sucked me away from the workplace it took a while to adjust to being a lone rider. I missed being part of the small team, its structure, its fellowship and the politics of its connectivity to the Bigger Thing. What I didn’t miss was the stifling egotism and raw self-centredness of many of my coworkers. Leaving that behind has been a big plus. I wonder if The Virus has performed that healthy separation for others?

πŸ“Œ We have decided that Christmas in Winchester is no longer possible, even if we could slip past the road blocks and the plainclothes detectives glancing furtively up and down railway platforms.

From HuffPost

πŸ“Œ Resigned to our fate, we opted for a Christmas movie we’d never seen. We picked (without irony) Home Alone and it was very stupid, in a cartoony way.

πŸ“Œ That desperate survivalist mentality has crept back in. I want to know what foods Britain can actually grow.

πŸ“Œ The new stitchwork project is an Oxford United tote bag for my wife’s sister.

πŸ“Œ Proving that it is possible to be an EU member and control your borders.

From the HuffPost

TUESDAY Stories about government fiddling need to become a national spectator sport if we want to avoid a future of corruption and nepotism.

πŸ“Œ We agreed that from now on a new mutant Coronavirus strain is likely to be born each year, so naming them in the fashion of US hurricanes would be fun. We could all plan for the new virus “Ceason”, stocking up on toilet rolls and bread flour. Netflix could schedule a new series of The Crown. We could name the virus Brian.

πŸ“Œ The poor children of Norwich have been let down again.

From The Mirror

πŸ“Œ A Dutch blogger I follow says she has a troll who claims she’s not Dutch. To prove her Dutchness she referenced something called hagelslag, which sealed it for me.

πŸ“Œ Just when you thought industrial action was in danger of becoming a thing of the past…

From the Morning Star

WEDNESDAY The pictures and stories of the stranded cross-Channel truckers in Kent are an early warning of a rich-world humanitarian disaster that a crash-out Brexit might spawn. The drivers are being fed and watered by a Sikh food charity.

πŸ“Œ This wasn’t entirely a surprise. It is weird to imagine just how many of America’s pardoned criminals are still at large.

πŸ“Œ Turns out the number of vaccines the government has bought has been greatly exaggerated.

πŸ“Œ When we watched the TV documentary about the rise of Vladimir Putin, I was left baffled as to how much power one individual can crave. How much would be enough?

Read the full story here

πŸ“Œ Quora has been disappointing lately, but now I remember why I persist with it…

πŸ“Œ The Oxford United tote bag is finished. Too much rucking, something I need to work on. Working from inside the bag is awkward.

πŸ“Œ Chris cracked a joke on Facebook: “At the last moment, the EU tried to add a section to the Brexit agreement that said what would happen if one of the signatories were proved to be insane. But Boris said ‘You won’t fool me with this one – even I know that there is no such thing as a Sanity Clause’.”

THURSDAY They’re saying that a Brexit trade and security deal has been done, and the best metaphor I can muster at the moment to describe our relationship with the EU is that we got out of the car, slammed the door, but didn’t notice that our coat tail was trapped.

πŸ“Œ Alex has been doing some fab prints using a pasta machine. I can’t wait to try it.

Alex’s pasta prints

πŸ“Œ The deal is done. That’s a relief. Crashing out of the EU would have plunged the country into dark days. The Prime Minister has probably used all his fuel, so the way his party chooses to bury him will be great sport for the next 12 months.

πŸ“Œ There’s an app that tracks Santa, like the one you get on Amazon to track your latest purchase.

FRIDAY I thought it might help to listen to the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and imagine Boris in the central role. It didn’t.

πŸ“Œ The Cally has become my Christmas Day song.

πŸ“Œ The oven went off while the Paul Hollywood Guinness bread was baking.

πŸ“Œ Cashmere sweaters really are a thing of beauty.

πŸ“Œ Alfie got a Donald Trump dog toy for Christmas. He’s ripped it to shreds already.

πŸ“Œ The Liverpool vs Middlesbrough matchday programme from 1988 was a nice surprise.

SATURDAY We finished the second part of the TV drama ‘Mother Love’, in which Diana Rigg (RIP) plays an obsessive psycho poisoner. In the first part she was menacing, in the second she was hammy.

πŸ“Œ The plan to go for a walk was abandoned quickly when stories of the misery Storm Bella had inflicted on Bedfordshire started to filter through.

πŸ“Œ One blogger I follow spent five minutes trying unsuccessfully to delete a superfluous full stop from his latest posting. Then he realised it was a speck of dirt on his computer screen.

πŸ“Œ I’m starting to think it will take at least one more generation for the British people to get to grips with a realistic national identity.

From the Guardian

πŸ“Œ As someone who has tested positive for the Corona antibodies, I am very enthusiastic about the new injection that might provide immunity.

Read all of my Diaries.

4 thoughts on “Diary: Week 52

  1. People must be finding working from home has many plus points but my so does not really like online teaching, he and his students too miss the personal , face to face interaction.
    Your stitch work is very good, what material are you working on?
    The Sikhs are wonderful humans, I realized that fully when we were in Amritsar in January this year. The feed so many people every day in their Gurdwaras. Those days seem like a dream now πŸ™„
    I started laughing when I read about the blogger and the full stop πŸ˜„
    We wish you and your family a very happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lakshmi. For my stitchwork I use old threads donated by friends and neighbours who gave up on them. And I stitch my own hand-drawn design on to old shirts or, as in this case, old cotton shopping bags. I have trialled some socially distanced teaching sessions and they worked well as an alternative to online, but involve a lot more planning and careful monitoring, so it can be done but not easily.
      Happy new year to you and your family.
      Billy

      Liked by 1 person

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