SATURDAY In Winchester, Liz and Bill live two doors down from “The Gerries”. Gerard and Geraldine.
📌 Looks like Aukus isn’t a dream geostrategic alliance after all. It’s Britain playing poodle to the US, who has bribed Australia with nuclear submarines in order to keep an eye on China.
📌 Squadrons of kamikaze pigeons are being trained to intercept deadly terrorist drone strikes.
📌 Winchester has a red telephone box that still has a working phone.
📌 The Ghurka Museum in Winchester might have won an award recently for its hi-tech overhall, but it’s still the scenes built with toy soldiers and cheesy waxwork warriors that steal the show.
📌 Jill looked up at the night sky and said the actor Jason Isaacs “could eat crisps in my bed any day.”
📌 Portrait of Claudia Winklemam.
SUNDAY The Socialist Worker has a useful long read outlining the origins and the potential for individual action in the workplace. It re-makes some valuable points about organised labour, but cannot resist introducing the word “revolution”. That single word has thrilling connotations for some but negative ones for others. It has some truly gross baggage involving death, destruction, torture and misery. I nominate “Disruption” as a replacement, with emphasis on the potential beauty of upheaval and change.
📌 Someone on Quora puts forward a very rosy view of Europe before the EU, only to be shot down in flames by a very long list…
📌 RIP Jimmy Greaves, 81, annoyingly brilliant soccer star of my youth.
📌 Winnall Moors, Winchester, never fails to offer something new and exciting…
📌 Every time a runner approached the finish line of the Winchester Half Marathon, the local children started to bang on the hard plastic hoardings that lined the street. The rolling, frenzied rattle built to a cacophonous, maddening thunder.
MONDAY Nigel Kennedy has pulled out of one of his violin gigs because he wasn’t allowed to play Jimi Hendrix songs.
📌 Beans on toast for Christmas dinner. It could be worse, I suppose, but that’s probably what the PM wants me to think.
📌 Owen Jones says young people think communists are sexier than capitalists.
📌 Butch Vig sounds like the name of a character in a bad mafia movie. His real name is Bryan and his parents turned their home into a museum of creativity.
📌 My gym trainer asked today what my wife thought of my new, post-Covid fitness levels.
TUESDAY There must be a way to capture the carbon dioxide emitted by aeroplanes and use it to make fizzy water.
📌 I don’t hold out much hope for the totem pole we’re meant to be making as a community craft project at St Luke’s. Delivery day is next week, but only two members of the group of six have actually bothered to do any work. At least Gary got to play with a chain saw…
WEDNESDAY Government bails out private US business to prevent price increases being passed on to customers/citizens. This is crony capitalism by any definition.
📌 Decorative headband and necklace for the community totem pole done. All I need to do is source some big marbles for eyes and small ones for nostrils…
📌 Sam’s building her backgrounds in more and more sophisticated ways…
📌 At the new art class I met a woman whose first ever record was ‘Making Plans For Nigel’ by XTC. She is compiling a glossary of onomatopoeic words for the sounds of music (eg kerrraang!) The theme for today’s art class was to sketch what you see out of a window, so I just looked out the nearest window and did that…
📌 The community totem pole project is starting to look weird.
THURSDAY The Conversation reports that lockdown has spawned a national identity crisis and large numbers are quitting their jobs in an effort to find a better work-life balance. But shifting the ballast from work to life doesn’t mean loafing around more than usual, feet up, gin and tonic in hand. What makes us happiest, say the psychologists, is being busy and tackling tasks. In other words, doing some work. It’s called Eudaimonic happiness.
📌 Someone on Quora asks whether English will eventually replace Dutch in the Netherlands, since most Dutch people speak English. No was the answer. And look a bit more closely, open your ears, and you will discover that behind your English back Dutch people are talking to each other in Dutch.
📌 I always thrived in the environment where the teacher was a mentor rather than an instructor.
📌 Project Book Cover is progressing slowly. It’s stitchwork plus water colour on linen. And very experimental.
FRIDAY “…he hoped a 14,000-word essay would get his leadership back on track” is the standout line in a Morning Star editorial slagging off Keir Starmer. Closely followed by a description of the essay as “a focus group crafted version of the Sermon on the Mount”. Ouch.
📌 We’re still talking about the two “niche” films we saw last night in the Barbican’s season on Autism, as recommended by Chris. The first, Illuminating The Wilderness, was by Project Art Works’ Kate Adams about a trip to Scotland with six artists from the PA studio. It was a kind, characterful portrayal of people with “complex needs”. The second, Jigsaw, from 1980, was anthropological and sometimes borderline intrusive. The school children portrayed were all silence and twitches, whereas the Wilderness bunch were outgoing and noisy. In the discussion afterwards the term “complex needs” was repeated over and over, yet the idea that almost everyone, neurotypical and neurodiverse alike, has complex needs still seemed remote from the conversation. And only by accepting that can more open, flexible and fluid social and political systems develop.
📌 An email from the Women’s Equality Party on abortion rights urges me to “find out more about our top secret action on Thursday 14th October…”
📌 The Worldwide Web has many faults, but Full Fact isn’t one of them.
📌 The anniversary card my wife “sent” me sparked a discussion about who is speaking the words.