SUNDAY 21 We learned from a radio programme that cronies went to Cambridge University and chums to Oxford.
📌 Sam returned to black and white for a picture of Dolly Parton. It was like revisiting an old friend after all the colour work she has been doing recently.
Then 4 hours later she made a fool of me by sending this…
📌 Caution and prudence are words that stick in Boris’s throat, says Andrew Rawnsley.
📌 Part 2 of the My Own Mona Lisa wax monoprinting workshop was enjoyable. Harshita’s was my favourite.
📌 In our TV viewing schedule, Kris Marshall has left St Marie for a life of love in London with Martha (aka, Lucy from Not Going Out). Meanwhile back in the Caribbean, Ardal O’Hanlon has slipped effortlessly into his seat in the Honoré police station and the prospect of Father Dougal McGuire investigating dastardly crimes perpetrated in paradise is very exciting.
📌 Matt Hancock has been fingered for slipping £30m in government contracts to his local pub landlord.
MONDAY 22 Big downsides of Pandemia include: Someone knocking on your front door at unearthly times of the day with that thing you bought online.
📌 The 25 wards of the City of London were a stitchwork challenge. I intended to memorise them all but failed badly.
📌 One of the contestants on a TV quiz show has the name Pooee. A namecheck website states: “the name Pooee invokes exuberance, meticulousness and kindness”. Urban Dictionary reveals that a Pooee is: “the combination of urinating and pooing at the same time… it is often shouted during the process in an exaggerated, high-pitched voice”.
TUESDAY 23 The excitement around the Prime Minister’s “roadmap” out of lockdown has once again revealed a British public hopelessly hooked on foreign travel. It is seen as an absolute right rather than a luxury. This is depressing.
📌 Stephen Bush in the New Statesman argues that the PM has “too strong an appetite for uniformity of suffering in lockdown” and that socialising outdoors should be fast-tracked because the risks are small.
📌 The new stitchwork tote bag is a badly drawn map of India.
📌 Angela says Dancing on Ice has been jinxed by a series of celebrity injuries. I said I only watch it to see if someone falls over.
📌 New from the Crackpot Ideas Dept. “Anglesey” Police Committee votes to stop funding the investigation of cold cases. An eccentric bunch of locals decide this is a bad idea and take on the job themselves.
WEDNESDAY 24 A new podcast featuring Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen sounded like a recipe for tedious liberal American smugness. But it’s nothing of the kind. Listening to the duo exchange childhood stories was like settling into a really good book.
📌 If the Labour Party isn’t careful, the Tories will slip in a popular candidate and win the Liverpool Mayoral election. The Morning Star says that the intent behind Starmer’s latest order is “to keep a socialist out of a position where socialist policies can be put directly to the electorate or aired on the national stage. It forms part of a wider effort to put the movement that attracted millions under Corbyn back in the box, to disarm a mass party membership with ideas above their station and to banish anti-capitalism to the political fringe.” LabourList takes a softer line on the issue.
📌 My wife’s favourite Monkee was Peter Tork.
📌 I always thought that since my stroke I suffered from pronounced “phone anxiety”. I couldn’t speak to people I couldn’t see. Still can’t. But it turns out that this is more a case of “telephobia”. Full-blown phone anxiety is apparently running riot among millennials.
📌 Marina Hyde today is “literally (and metaphorically)” spot on.
📌 The new balcony tiling appears not to be 100% successful. There is some run-off pooling in one corner. A drainage channel is required.
THURSDAY 25 Stuart sent a poem that referenced Jammy Dodgers and I tried and failed to write one in reply… Jammy Dodgers aren’t what they used to be.
In the Winter cold the jam went rock hard.
The biscuit brittle on the snap.
Another line that rhymes with snap.
Then one that rhymes with be.
📌 Discovered a retro relic while clearing some desk space. I like to imagine techno geeks wetting themselves over this solar-powered “pocket calculator”.
📌 At the Headway Art Café I tried to etch and print Frida Kahlo into a piece of wood laminate we got as a sample for our new flooring.
📌 There is presumably a recognised 21st Century condition called Petition Fatigue. But sometimes an issue can cut through. The campaign to stop US companies taking over doctors’ surgeries is a good example.
📌 Sam sent her Dubuffet-inspired portrait of Michelle in full face paint.
📌 In the Zoom quiz with Brighton friends, Dave asked a “random fish question”. The answer was chubb. We did Ikea or Death Metal?
FRIDAY 26 The much-trumpeted March 8 return for school pupils is already off course with a slew of “guidelines” that spell chaos (bi-weekly testing and mask-wearing are not compulsory).
📌 The anti-vaccination voice is getting louder, so someone decided to step in and tell it like it is…
📌 I like to think every country in the world has its own version of the “Yellow Penguin” story.
📌 Today’s Headway Home Studio was all about different points of view. First we sketched the underside of a giraffe, then a weird Antipodean forest-floor-roaming creature that had unusually been spotted high in a tree by an attentive photographer.
📌 The increasing resemblance of Conservative polices on Corporation Tax to those of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn provides a neat intro to Paul Waugh’s column in HuffPost UK. In LabourList, Sienna Rodgers outlines the contortions that amount to Labour playing cheeky tricks with the issue.
📌 As cricket contriversies go, the state of the pitch is a small one. Nevertheless…
SATURDAY 27 A year ago we were awaiting the arrival of Storm Jorge. On the TV it looked cute.
📌 It looks like the Faye Caton Memorial Birdbath is happening after about 5 years of me moaning about it. It will be a nice reminder of her sitting peacefully, tending her tomatoes and topping up the feeder.
📌 A new series of Unforgotten has just started so we are binge-watching the first three series to bring us up to speed. We’re also eager to get started on Man in Room 301.
📌 The Mirror reports a modern misery story all too familiar as the standard of new-build homes sinks deeper and deeper. Each day seems to bring a new example.
📌 Finding non-meat ready meals in Marks & Spencer is going to be fun in the coming weeks.
📌 A story about spinach sending emails is impossible to ignore.
📌 The We Own It campaign group is indignant that Serco, the notoriously inept contractor gifted vast sums by our government, is to restart paying its shareholders dividends after a 6-year break.
📌 In a detective show on TV, the murdered man was described as “belligerent”. I asked my wife what single word she would use to describe a murdered me. She said “fusspot”.