One year ago: Week 17 2020


April 20-26

MONDAY In Meet The Huggetts on the radio, Joe and Fred decided to “teach their wives a lesson” by hiding their vacuum cleaners in the garden shed.

📌 A thought: when all this has passed, will youngsters name their career goal as “working for the nhs”. Not “to be a nurse” or a surgeon or a phlebotomist, but to be part of the thing everyone clapped and hit pans for.

📌 It’s OK to do odd things these days. Even Socks & Crocs.

📌 One of my others is buying empty tea bags off the internet and filling them with all that loose tea at the back of the cupboard.

I’m nearly done with the bags of horse-strength turmeric powder my wife got off a friend as an anti-inflammatory. Next I will tackle an old packet of  “Christmas Tea”, whatever that is.

📌 I’ve recently started posting snippets of these diaries on Twitter. The drawback is that I’ve been bombarded by big-breasted pornographers. One asked if I’d like to screw my bolt into her nut. Or it might have been the other way round, my nut into her bolt, but that doesn’t make sense.

📌 We did a Zoom with an old friend in Winchester, who until recently had been struggling with an undiagnosed broken ankle (a dancing injury). She said her recovery was going well, and that the chief indicator of progress was that she can now put on her knickers without sitting on the bed.

📌 I noticed that the garlic press had some old stubborn residue lodged inside its pressing cavity. I scrubbed and scraped until my wife told me I was wasting my time. She said the discoloration was corroded metal, not decaying garlic skin.

TUESDAY Conversations these days often end with a guess at what our lives will be like in the months and years to come. An article in Guardian Weekly quotes a graffito in Hong Kong stating, “There can be no return to normal because normal was the problem in the first place.” Another clue arrived via Twitter…

The Guardian article includes the following passage about the British experience: “The definition of public service has been extended to include the delivery driver and the humble corner shop owner. Indeed, to be ‘a nation of shopkeepers’, the great Napoleonic insult, no longer looks so bad.

📌 Obviously, I am trying out some digital artworks to make on my phone, including this one plugging an extract from my March Diary.

📌 My Twitter pest pornographer today is Amanda, who wants to take me on a trip to Planet Orgasm.

📌 We did a birthday Zoom with Rosie. She is being schooled at home and told us how Pandora changed the world forever by opening the box.

📌 My cousin Helen appears to have it sorted.

 Then I spotted this, which was a jolt…

📌 There is a girl outside learning to ride her bike. An overweight male adult is running (with effort) alongside her, making sure she doesn’t fall off.

📌 The media is really going in heavy on government failures over Coronavirus, especially the lack of PPE and a desperate health service staffed by immigrant heroes. The narrative is sticking.

WEDNESDAY Whenever I’m in the mood, I make a digital picture, using text and copyright-free pictures. This one is about the Nordic Noir TV series Twin.

📌I just had a really nice Zoom with Cristina and Dave about the Barbican video, then came downstairs to the most horrible drilling noise imaginable. So bad that I took my rage straight to the place it should never go…

📌 Getting a (scarce) supermarket delivery slot is the new national sport. My wife just nabbed one from Tesco on Wednesday next week (3-4pm).

📌 We will be seeing a lot more of these messages in the near future.

📌 The Poke is poking a funny Twitter feed in which people report on mispronunciations. Things such as, “I was 15 years old before I knew that picturesque wasn’t pronounced ‘picture-skew’…”

THURSDAY An article in the Guardian seems to state quite strongly that our government put its obsessive Little England political aims before UK citizens’ lives by deliberately rebuffing an offer to join a pan-European effort to get ventilators into hospitals struggling with the virus. Earlier it had claimed it did not join the scheme because of “communication problems” in Brussels. In fact, it had told them to piss off with their life-saving equipment. My reading of the article’s bottom line was that Boris and his bootboys weren’t going to let a few thousand prematurely dead Britons stand in the way of a Hard Brexit.

📌 And it gets worse. Labour has now claimed the government ignored offers of the PPE health workers have been screaming for.

📌 I thought I’d lost this epic and timely quote on Facebook by Andy, but then I found it and primped it up in PicsArt.

Then I spotted this refreshing bit of honesty on Twitter from a copywriter.

📌 At the Brighton Zoom quiz Janet & Dave arrived, complaining that daughter Rhona was upstairs “sucking all the bandwidth”. They won. The best question was in the Food & Drink section: “What is Arachibutyrophobia?” The answer is, a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.

📌 A plug from the Economist on the current global positioning in the New World Order opened with the observation: “Perhaps it was a coincidence that China chose this moment to arrest the most prominent democrats in Hong Kong.”

FRIDAY It’s such a pleasure to see Maya and Nina out playing on the lawn.

📌 Still trying to avoid the news, but one story refuses to stop dripping. It looks like Donald Trump has told his countrymen and women that the best way to not get Covid-19 is to neck a bottle of Mr Muscle.

And from The Poke…

📌 A lot of people in our Zoom chats seem quite miserable. I can understand that, but having come through the initial agony back in March, I just wish they’d just get on with it and start living again.

📌 Strange Lockdown experience. I was on the toilet, my wife was downstairs Zooming with friends. I suddenly thought, maybe I should finish in the bathroom in case one of her friends wants to use it…

SATURDAY The woman who says “Hello Moto” whenever I turn on my phone sounds like Yoki.

📌 We went out for a short walk and bought some veg from the safe-distancing roadside greengrocer. The emptiness of the City is eerie, but I guess that’s what the future is now. Cities will be reinvented. Their previous density was a necessary part of their economic and environmental survival. I can almost hear the words “Smart Cities” chiming in the background to the crisis. It is an interesting challenge for a younger generation, to uninvent and reinvent all at the same time, on schedule and to budget.

📌 I was “sucking the bandwidth” last night downloading some home video so the All4 app would not play Friday Night Dinner in catchup. So we watched the final two episodes of Twins instead, and with half an hour to go were gripped by a ‘would-they-wouldn’t-they?’

SUNDAY What I like a lot about Zoom is its inbuilt safe-distancing, which means you don’t have to suffer anyone annoying for too long.

📌 It seems like a statement of the obvious, but much of the Coronavirus crisis is about money, not health. People want to get back to work quickly because they can’t afford not to. The government wants to end the Lockdown because the public purse can’t afford to keep it going.

📌 We finally got the All4 app to work on the telly and watched ‘Friday Night Dinner’. Auntie Val accidentally got locked in Milson’s new cage while waiting for a hot date off Tinder to arrive. BTW, Adam is “Pussface” and Jonny is “Pissface”.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…

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