Scrapbook: Week 2, 2022

January 8-14…

SATURDAY According to the Vice horoscope today I will be focused on money matters and learn something new about love and harmony.

πŸ“Œ I bet quite a lot of the people who have continued to suck up to Boris are now looking for ways to breathe out and move away with dignity intact.

πŸ“Œ My wife gave a cautious thumbs-up to my genius idea for saving the NHS from being overwhelmed by the unvaccinated. It is the Covid equivalent of the pox party. Anyone not wanting the jab can go sit in a room and breathe in a dose of “pure sars-cov-2”, get infected, self isolate at home for 14 days, take lots of paracetamol and lemsip, stay hydrated and watch the whole back catalogue of Taskmaster on All4.

πŸ“Œ Watching, listening and reading Boris being ridiculed is a cruel, guilty pleasure.

πŸ“Œ The British Museum’s Peru exhibition is fascinating and inspiring. Peruvians appear to have found the knack of living in partnership with the environment rather than trying to boss it. The exhibition was also a great opportunity to nick some readymade patterns for my stitchwork projects.

The Naszca geoglyphs were a special favourite. I can see myself thieving from this collection for many years to come.

πŸ“Œ The description of this afternoon’s movie, Viva Las Vegas, makes it sound like a satire: “A charismatic racing driver arrives in the city to prepare for its first grand prix. Unfortunately, his car has no engine, so to make the money to buy one he takes a job as a casino waiter. However, he loses focus when he falls in love, leaving a rival with the means to steal the race and his girl.”

πŸ“Œ A news item on TV saw health minister Sajid Javid go up against a hospital doctor over the government’s intention to make vaccination mandatory for frontline health workers. The doctor questioned the effectiveness of compulsory vaccination and said he was not vaccinated and didn’t want to be. He thought losing his job for holding that belief was unfair.

SUNDAY We are likely to see more cases of flurona this year because the Winter flu virus was so benign, says HuffpostUK.

πŸ“Œ There are lots of nice tributes to Sidney Poitier, who has died at 94. To Sir With Love will always be a standout film for me. And a standout song by Lulu.

πŸ“Œ In Ed McBain’s Poison one of the chief investigating officers is having it off with the chief murder suspect.

MONDAY It looks like the Australian prime minister has some tough choices to make. The tennis star Novak Djokovic complied, albeit cackhandedly, with state law. His continued presence in Melbourne is an embarrassment to a country with very strict federal laws on Covid vaccination. In the light of looming elections, the opposition parties are probably rubbing their hands with glee at the discomfort of Liberal prime minister Scott Morrison.

πŸ“Œ Paul Waugh has a fact-packed analysis of Boris’s lying and its corrosive effect on British politics, arguing that the current House of Commons rules on truth-telling need reform.

If a better way of forcing him to make corrections was in place, he may cease to be as slapdash with statistics.

πŸ“Œ I learned recently that Covid lateral flow tests are more reliable than I thought they were. What I also learned is that social-media pranksters have been continually testing their efficacy with substances such as tap water, fizzy drinks and ketchup. Full Fact po-facedly gives its verdict on these stunts.

πŸ“Œ The backgrounds on Sam’s pictures are getting more and more complex. I’d like to have seen this image with a flat wash as background.

Sea Life Menagerie’, by Sam Jevon...

TUESDAY Note to Self: Even if projects with Australia sound like the best fun in the world, remember the time difference and the VERY early Zoom conversations.

πŸ“Œ The prime minister living it up at secret parties while all other UK citizens were in lockdown is a story that has gained such momentum that it is now unlikely ever to slow down.

πŸ“ŒAt the Guardian cybercoffee no one believed me when I said George Clooney was a fellow #sewbro. Then Angela sent a picture of George at a sewing machine, when I thought he was a dedicated hand-stitcher.

Nice hemline, George…

πŸ“Œ Aisling pipped Sunetra at the post in TV’s House of Games to take home a matching set of red salt and pepper mills.

WEDNESDAY Angela Rayner has resumed her nagging attacks on Boris this morning and Marina Hyde refers to him as a “smirking fibreglass toby jug”.

πŸ“Œ “It’s all men!” my wife blurted as we discussed those who sit brazenly maskless on public transport.

πŸ“Œ What were you doing on 20 May 2020 when the prime minister was at a secret boozy party in Downing Street? Lots of stories are emerging, including one from the actor Rory Kinnear. One of my postings from that day read:

I can’t be the only one who had the passing thought that at some point our prime minister calculated how many virus deaths could be parlayed into some sort of national sacrifice. It is a cynical view, but one obviously shared by others, as evidenced from this TV clip that appeared under the #WhereIsJohnson trending hashtag.

THURSDAY Paul Whiteley, my wife’s old colleague at Essex University, is in the Conversation saying Boris is doomed. He has sped towards the Maggie Thatcher position of being a liability to the Conservative Party. Sue Gray, who is currently investigating the accusations of rule-breaking at the 2020 Downing Street drinks parties, is in a tricky spot because Boris actually has the power to quash the findings of her inquiry.

πŸ“Œ Stephen Bush in the New Statesman reckons Boris is safe for the time being because none of his predicted replacements (Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss) is any cleaner than Boris himself. Only by electing Jeremy Hunt leader could the Tories potentially put the issue behind them, Bush says.

πŸ“Œ Michelle wants to press on with the idea of getting the studio affiliated to the Crafts Council with a #sewbro project, inspired by the ground-breaking stitchwork of George Clooney.

FRIDAY Image of the day is The Queen sitting alone at her husband’s funeral when hours before Downing Street was Party Central.

πŸ“Œ The Tortoise reports that the Greek government has come up with a fresh ruse to get the British Museum to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece, where they are known as the Parthenon Marbles. The sticking point in this long-running ownership dispute rests on the British Museum’s refusal to accept the Greek insistence that the Marbles are stolen goods. Loot, in fact. The ruse is an attempt to initiate an antiquities loan deal similar to one Greece has just done with Italy. So far, the British Museum has remained stony-faced in its refusal to play, arguing that the Marbles were obtained legally (bought from the 7th Earl of Elgin).

πŸ“Œ Full Fact has drilled into the doctor who told Health Secretary Sajid Javid to stuff his booster jab and found his claims to be shaky. Unfortunately this story, which another doctor in the Times described as an “anti-vax wet dream”, will stick.

πŸ“Œ There’s a scary story in Guardian Weekly asking whether a new American civil war is likely. And the answer, with the rise of clusters of right-wing militias fuelled on Trumpist hatred, is a definite yes. It will look a lot, say experts, like the Troubles in Northern Ireland, with targeted attacks designed to maximise death and division.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…

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