Scrapbook: Week 44, 2021


October 30-November 5…

SATURDAY The Conversation has a fascinating analysis of modern witches and witchery, which includes the revelation that witches have been forced to take their broom sticks online because Britain no longer supports a decent Pagan environment from which they can wave their wands and cast their spells, etc.

Modern witch identity is empowering women to stand loud and proud within a patriarchal society.

Maggie Webster, The Conversation

πŸ“Œ It looks like Samhain is the new Christmas. It’s pronounced sah-ween and its purpose is to celebrate Death – or Passing, to be more euphemistic about it.

πŸ“Œ Katrina’s feature about the studio has arrived on the Art et al. site. It is surprisingly complete, doesn’t cut any corners and has a good pace. It genuinely reflects the voices of people like Sandra, Yoki and Affiong.

πŸ“Œ During Strictly Come Dancing I pretended to be amazed that Craig has become the voice of reason. I suggested that upvoting and downvoting would turn the show into the kind of gross spectacle it pretends so hard not to be.

SUNDAY Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer predicts hard times ahead for the government if it cannot conjure some kind of economic boom to supports its increases in tax and spend. “There’s a reason why many public services will remain mediocre or worse even as taxes rise to their highest level in 70 years. The fundamental explanation is the sluggardly pace of economic growth. When the economy expands at 2.5% a year, the country can afford to buy itself decent public services with relatively modest levels of taxation. At growth of 1.5%, you end up with inferior public services for higher levels of taxation.

πŸ“Œ An anti-Conservative progressive alliance is a fantasy, writes Nick Cohen. But if the decline of autocracies in Turkey and Hungary are anything to go by, minestrone alliances are the only way forward for Democracy.

πŸ“Œ Very impressed by Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown.

MONDAY The Connecting Conversations event at the Barbican is finally getting some publicity. I’ve agreed to float around the room connecting conversations about power within the arts.

πŸ“Œ The Cheese Woman is threatening the French fishermen.

TUESDAY The big fishing dispute with France is nothing new, says an article in the Conversation. Britain scrapping with other countries about fishing is a long-running story stretching back to a colossal fight with the Dutch in the 17th Century.

πŸ“Œ I felt my eyes closing as I watched a video of the camping trip we took in Australia in 1997. Then I read that Joe Biden dropped off to sleep during a Cop26 climate meeting in Glasgow. HuffpostUK were quick to react with top tips on how to stay awake during boring meetings. Then the Mirror waded in with a picture of maskless Boris Johnson snoozing alongside the saintly David Attenborough.

πŸ“Œ Prepped up the artwork for my Art Class project, which is my interpretation of the title ‘A Place Where All My Thoughts Are Frozen’. Just a few final touches to make.

πŸ“Œ Simon Jenkins makes a valid distinction between Britain leaving the EU and Britain leaving the European single market and customs union. The first was political and decided by the 2016 referendum. The second is the personal preference of Boris Johnson.

WEDNESDAY At Stitch & Bitch, one new member didn’t know how to thread a needle.

πŸ“Œ The drip, drip, drip of sleaze has returned to haunt the PM. If his political opponents stay focused and keep stoking the fire for the next two years, they could strike lucky. It will be hard work, but it’s a real stain that could be made to stick.

THURSDAY Looking forward to writing a memoir essay to go with a selection of works from the Muma collection.

πŸ“Œ Just finished Episode 5 of Mare of Easttown and it looks like Kate Winslet might be dead. There are still two episodes remaining in Series 1, so my bet is that she pulls through and gets it together with Guy Pearce.

πŸ“Œ John Crace minces no words in his report of the latest government attempt to pardon its sleaziest member Owen Patterson.

πŸ“Œ The sleaze will soon engulf the government, argues Polly Toynbee.

FRIDAY At Art Class earlier in the week the challenge was to create something based on the title of an existing artwork. The title I got was ‘A Place Where All My Thoughts Are Frozen’. It is a real work of art by the Dutch creative Mark Manders and looks like this…

‘Leg Bone Attached To Empty Coffee Cup By Sugar Cube’ is not the real title of this artwork…

It says in Wikipedia that Manders wanted to be a writer, but rather than use words, as is the convention, he chose to use sculpture. So I suppose it’s important to understand that ‘A Place Where All My Thoughts Are Frozen’ is probably sculpture’s equivalent of the cryptic crossword clue.

My own work of art with that title finished up like this…

It is meant to represent the mind of a footballer. The place is the football pitch, where the player’s thoughts are frozen into the task of winning the game. Around the pitch is the crowd, which includes, on close inspection, a variety of embedded emoji faces, the modern pictograms with frozen expressions. Emojis are used on digital devices as a graphic shorthand for actual words, so I guess my piece and Mark Manders’ are not in essence that far apart.

πŸ“Œ Stuart messaged with his thoughts on the word “lolly” to describe money. I referred him to the old biddy in the comedy film The Ladykillers, who uses the term lolly to describe to robbers’ loot, whereupon Stuart got hooked on the origin of the word “biddy”.

πŸ“Œ If you thought Greta Thunberg was the product of pushy political parents, with implausibly youthful looks for an adult, think again. According to the Conversation Sweden has a long record of teenage environmentalists. And the idea of the “autonomous and competent child” is a characteristic feature of the Nordic model of childhood, it states.

πŸ“Œ Only just noticed how brilliant Steve Bell’s cartoon of Angela Rayner is. Those boots are epic.

πŸ“Œ The picture at the top of this page is stolen from Lakshmi Bhat. It shows part of an Indian temple, onto which I put a red tint.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…

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