SUNDAY James Meek dares to imagine a future Ukraine had Russia not invaded – as an independent European state where liberals and nationalists have learned to live together in a way that satisfies both.
📌 Bent down to put a tissue into the bathroom bin, keeled over and gashed right ear. My wife fashioned a bandage that makes me look like one half of Mr Spock.
📌 Biden and the West need to show some mettle, writes Simon Tisdall.
📌 Sam’s skull necklace looks like something she lifted of the corpse of Lemmy.
📌 Finally finished the stitchwork of Cecil’s praying woman. Linen is such a nice fabric to stitch into.
📌 The L-shaped gash on my right ear is scabbing up comfortably.
📌 Stuart says Wayne Hussey’s mum was a dinner lady, which prompted a series of anecdotal recollections involving mashed potato, gravy, sponge pudding and custard.
📌 The Guardian Weekly has a Long Read essay on the rise of the Russian oligarchy in London and its dealings with the British establishment, which puts a lot of little-known context to the war in Ukraine.
TUESDAY It will be exciting to see which candidates get voted in at our council elections on Thursday. Some of them seem quite dubious, and one of them was once arrested by police on suspicion of possessing child pornography.
📌 At the VIP opening of the Art et al. Season One exhibition at Cromwell Place in deepest Oligarchland, I learned that Posy plays in a football team where anyone who is any good gets kicked out, and that Jennifer supports Aston Villa. I gave a bungling short speech about collaboration and drank wine.
WEDNESDAY A secret gun-running operation was in full swing during the time of the supposed sanctions against Iran that prevented the UK paying the £400m debt that kept Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe in prison for six years.
📌 At art class, I’ve started a two-week project to develop a quickie portrait-production method using thermal paper. It’s called the Till-Roll Portraits. I started with existing images of my wife and Taylor Swift, then moved on to some portraits of Shaila done after a one-minute sitting.
📌 There’s s a timely photo essay in the Guardian about some crank who collects trashy political memorabilia. His haul includes a Vladimir Putin toilet brush.
THURSDAY It was good last night to see Catalan Cristina in her new public-engagement job at the Crick Institute in King’s Cross. She was leading a relaunch of the free Outwitting Cancer exhibition. I would have liked to have stayed longer to talk to scientists about the language used around cancer. The Crick exhibition attempts to shift the terminology from verbs such as “fight”, “beat” and “combat” to the idea that human intelligence is more important than naked aggression, hence the use in the exhibition’s title of “outwitting”.
📌 I think Zelenskiy might be starting to irritate some western leaders with his moralistic hectoring.
📌 It’s sometimes easy to forget, but still fascinating to see, how much the affairs of Ireland are linked to the United States.
📌 At Headway I made a massive foccacia to go with parsnip soup.
📌 At the local elections the candidates assembled outside the polling station reported a low turnout.
FRIDAY It looks from all the budget reports that Rishi Sunak is fully back on manouvres for the leadership of the Conservative Party. His Spring Statement was, according to most accounts, a fidget at best and a supreme act of callousness at worst. Yet he knows fully that making the poor poorer will impact negatively more on Boris than on him.
📌 The world is upside down: Tories call for nasty boss to resign for sacking workers.
📌 In the local elections, all the people we wanted to win won, and the one we most wanted to lose lost.