Diary: Week 12


March 21-27

SUNDAY We did our duty and filed our Census today. I wonder how many other people did, and whether in future information researchers will reject 2021 as being “not adequate” in terms of data quality.

πŸ“Œ Diversity is finally knocking on the door of Buckingham Palace.

πŸ“Œ Headway is about to launch a new Printfest and has trawled the archives for past triumphs. They’ve included a picture of me at an exhibition showing off my prints of Hilda Ogden and Bet Lynch. They were part of a series that also included Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner and Vera Duckworth.

πŸ“Œ Harshita, who made a brilliant contribution to make recent My Own Mona Lisa monoprinting workshop, was inspired to seek out other variations of Leonardo’s famous portrait.

Mona Lisa made of money…
Mona Lisa, made by Harshita…

MONDAY At 1.30am someone was reading an Ishiguro book about clones. It was so disturbing I couldn’t get back to sleep.

πŸ“Œ Law & Order is Labour’s weakest link, writes Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, which makes their response to the new Police Bill tricky.

πŸ“Œ A new series of Line of Duty and a whole new vocabulary of acronyms to get to grips with. A CHIS is a Covert Human Intelligence Source. We intend to bet on how many times this is used by cast members in the next episode.

TUESDAY Labour leader Keir Starmer has failed to make an immediate reforming impact on either his Party or in the public mind. The appetite for more challenging and radical politics is still out there, so this headline in the Morning Star is no big surprise.

Read the full story…

πŸ“Œ Test and trace staff with government cowboy contractors Serco and G4S are paid pittance wages with no sick pay.

πŸ“Œ Not sure which way round it is, but Nicola Sturgeon is either guilty or not guilty of breaking the “ministerial code” and/or guilty/not guilty of “misleading” the Scottish Parliament. Alex Salmond, her predecessor, is all wrapped up in it somewhere, too.

πŸ“Œ To demonstrate its understanding that Spring has sprung, the BBC is chattering about hedgehogs. Today I learned that they are lactose intolerant.

πŸ“Œ Business people most often give me the creeps, but Calypso is a different kind of business person.

I first made contact with her when my wife and I decided we no longer needed material gifts from one another and would prefer experiences instead.

That’s where Calypso comes in. She runs The Indytute, a business that hooks up customers to unusual activities and experiences.

If you want to do something a bit different, Calypso will point you at it – not zip-wires or psychotropic drugs but weird crafts and canoeing up a canal, taco and tequila in a box, screen printing, that sort of thing.

Her business obviously faced challenge after challenge during the pandemic, but Calypso didn’t surrender, kept calm, carried on and, despite breaking her jaw in a biking accident, delivered her bespoke bijou surprises to a virus depressed nation.

Now she has written to all her customers with a synopsis of the last year. And it reads like some sort of prophecy, as if super-extraordinary difficulties in life are just, like, part of the deal from now on.

πŸ“Œ Is this the modern foraging? My daily “exercise” is now a long walk in search of the day’s evening meal, plus a few other “essentials”.

πŸ“Œ The reverse side of stitchwork projects are very often more attractive than the “finished” side.

The other side of Merseyside…

WEDNESDAY If things carry on like this, I’ll soon be writing about the weather.

πŸ“Œ Boris was caught saying the UK vaccine success was all down to “capitalism and greed”. It’s like he read the article that identifies the genius of the clown as what makes him tick.

πŸ“Œ Prince Harry has got a job in the US. His title is Chief Impact Officer (CIO).

πŸ“Œ The Merseyside stitchwork tote bag is finished. I stupidly bagged it up before photographing properly. The stray red dot on the right-hand side is where I was born, Anfield.

Red dot = Anfield…

πŸ“Œ Boris has taken over Liverpool in a council coup.

πŸ“Œ A masked woman at the bus stop drew me to one side and said she didn’t know that the door into the building behind us was a door. The handle obviously wasn’t a clue she picked up on.

πŸ“Œ This nasty state of affairs is, sadly, what the British people voted for.

Read the full story here…

πŸ“Œ Several times recently I have heard people using asap as if it’s a real word, pronouncing it “aye-sapp” in a non-ironic way.

THURSDAY Our movements and activities are restricted for the next month not because of pandemic regulations but by home refurbishment work that  means a fine layer of dust settles on everything, including your throat.

Kitchen work in progress…
This is our life for the next month…

πŸ“Œ Britain could soon be joining Australia and California in being inflicted with wildfires, say experts.

πŸ“Œ “Pro Vaxx Low Tax” is the new Boris soundbite.

FRIDAY The vote in Parliament to extend the Coronavirus restrictions for another six months gave Paul Waugh in Huffpost UK the opportunity to pen one of his excellent synopses summing up where the nation stands.

And ironically it looks a lot like some kind of reinvented Victorian Britain. The Ruling Class is all powerful. Poverty and inequality are out of control. Any real will to solve the nation’s problems have long since been shamefully abandoned.

πŸ“Œ A tree root in Hoxton looked strangely like a small eruption of volcanic lava.

Tree root in Hoxton…

πŸ“Œ The Headway Home Studio featured Calvin doing magic tricks followed by the group picturing him as a stage magician.

My version of Calvin doing a Tommy Cooper

SATURDAY The instability of property refurbishment has spawned one of those makeshift camping-holiday kitchenette corners in our living room.

Kitchenette Korner…

πŸ“Œ The building site outside our front door has never exactly been popular with the locals, although one 3-year-old enjoys hours of fun looking at cranes.

Building-site humour (minus the apostrophe)…

πŸ“Œ Be sceptical of any chorus of criticism that comes from the mainstream media, argues the Morning Star, especially when backed by jingoistic political nutters such as Iain Duncan Smith and Dominic Raab.

πŸ“Œ The poor quality of bus services in places outside London is one subject all people who live in London tend to agree on. Manchester seems to have got the message.

Read all of my Diaries.

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