SUNDAY 24 Reimagining popular pictograms to match the mood of the times sounds like a fascinating but difficult job that always runs the risk of ridicule.
📌 I have a strange premonition that the 50/50 white/brown bread dough I just made will not rise. Then begins the business of reinventing flat dough into something edible. Cheese biscuits, maybe.
📌 It snowed and then it stopped. Children squealing. Joy.
📌 I will never tire of watching The Ladykillers on a cold winter’s day.
MONDAY 25 The latest stitchwork tote bag is finished. It’s title is ‘Alex Plays The Uke’ and is based on a drawing I did of artist/illustrator Alex Brady from a photograph she styled for a Headway East London Home Studio session.
📌 It’s Burns Night tonight and it is still a mystery why no-one believes me when I tell them that one of Burns’s best-loved pieces is ‘Cock Up Your Beaver’.
📌 I’m not sure why I’m surprised but the contractors appointed to fix our leaky roof arrived on time and got straight to work.
📌 The City of London’s eerie emptiness inevitably prompts speculation as whether its avenues of steel and glass will ever again be sardined with people. One new skyscraper, nicknamed The Wodge, seems almost pointless in the extreme.
But no, says an expert in the Guardian Weekly magazine, the City will bounce back post-pandemic with new vibrancy.
📌 The company that counted the votes in the November 2020 US elections is suing Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudi Giuliani for $1.3bn.
📌 CNN reckons China has started taunting Biden already with warplanes over Taiwan.
📌 A 10-year-old on Junior Bake Off fashioned her 12 iced donuts into a display representing her favourite hobby – archery.
TUESDAY 26 Frank Lampard’s sacking as Chelsea manager was not entirely a surprise given the past behaviour of the club’s owner Roman Abramovich. What was surprising was the headline that appeared in the Morning Star.
📌 There seems to be a lot of media interest in the number of pens Joe Biden is using to undo the work of his predecessor Donald Trump. It turns out that all US presidents have lots of pens.
📌 Vanessa gave me my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. We were on a standby list for any leftovers. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at very low temperatures and defrosted before use. It must be used within 3 days of thawing, so our local hospital (Barts) uses up its surplus vials rather than waste it.
📌 Michelle called to say Cleveland died last week. Not related to Covid. I will remember him most for snoring loudly during relaxation classes.
📌 I spotted the elusive bluebottle walking across the rug. Walking!
WEDNESDAY We finished The Serpent last night, which was gripping if a bit daft in parts, like when Nadine felt compelled to wander into The Serpent’s lair in the dead of night, with creepy atmospheric sounds tracing her every step.
📌 Fans of Brexit must be dancing with joy at the latest vaccine spat. with the EU.
📌 The day-to-day repetitions of living in the pandemic have driven out deeper reflections of a world beyond my own immediate needs and desires. That self-centredness masks the secret knowledge that something bad is happening elsewhere.
📌 Michelle got in touch to tell us about a Manifesto Meeting for the studio in a couple of weeks. I started to wonder about the essence of the Submit to Love project, then it all dropped into place in an email from Sam.
📌 Pip is always straight on to Facebook as soon as some government tosser screws up.
And while he is doing it, his partner Andy is hunting down useful websites…
📌 Every day we wait anxiously to see if our favourite Junior Bake Off contestant Naima, 10, survives into the next round. She’s great on flavours but a work in progress on technique.
📌 A hairdresser called Jane Eyre has become a champion wine-maker.
📌 The Mirror reports this year’s first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster, though the included video footage of the “mystery beast” turned out to be spectacularly disappointing.
THURSDAY 28 Tried homemade cuppa-soup porridge for the first time, and it was surprisingly good.
📌 Sam sent her drawing of Romeo, the Royal Academy pony who graced our screens at last week’s Headway Home Studio online session.
FRIDAY 29 New vaccines pop up daily, and with them a wave of optimism.
📌 The Headway Home Studio session was to draw a Jean Dubuffet-inspired portrait of Michelle wearing Jean Dubuffet-inspired face paint.
Early in the pose Michelle had waved her hands and group member Connie’s portrait included those hands, drawn in a typical Dubuffet style that made them look like smeared dog turds.
📌 The Barbican have asked if the studio will collaborate on some workshops for families. It might be a chance to pimp my idea of sharing thumb drawings done on your phone.
📌 It’s a bit worrying now that the EU has slapped an export ban on some vaccines. Will we ever get our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which comes from Belgium?
📌 Edgy Minds is proving a good read.
📌 Billie Piper was on the TV talking about her chickens, one of which looked remarkably like a performative species I illustrated some time ago.
📌 From Ed McBain’s ‘Sadie When She Died’…
It would not be fair if the other men in the police lineup were all Puerto Rican midgets wearing clown costumes.
SATURDAY 30 Amid the skewering humour there’s some proper reflection in Marina Hyde’s column.
No doubt history will judge the merits of the Treaty of AstraZeneca, which the EU seems to regard as the most incendiary dotted line since Versailles.
📌 Buffy The Vampire Slayer has been recommended as good Lockdown viewing. Since we are probably the only people in the world who’ve never seen it, we might give it a go.
📌 The latest stitchwork tote bag is finished. It features Pangaea, the geological supercontinent from circa 300 million years ago. It later split apart to form the seven continents we recognise today – Europe/Asia, North America, South America, Africa, India, Australasia and Antarctica.
📌 The fight between the EU and the vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca is quite an embarrassing spectacle.
📌 Did I mention that very disappointingly Naima did not win Junior Bake Off?
📌 Poirot definitely has a bit of a thing for Miss Lemon.
📌 We finished Finding Alice (nicely set up for another series) and returned to Kendal being a zombie in Succession.