May 7-13, 2022
SATURDAY 7 Michele went out without her glasses and mistook a dishevelled early-morning street drinker for her vicar.
📌 RIP Roland Hyams. Sad message on Facebook from his wife Lorraine and a flood of condolences from the rock music fraternity.
📌 Chris has sent her glum-looking one-eyed teddy to the be repaired by experts. I quite like him the way he is and can’t imagine how he might be improved.
📌 Good headline in Positive News about an innovative Welsh road-building project.
📌 The May Day festival on our estate went off surprisingly well given there was some confusion as to whether it was a festival of protest or a festival of biodiversity, such were the power struggles at work. The Stitchers huddled into a corner and bitched endlessly. Dawn even gave a verbal reality check to the miniature toff who is standing for our ward in the upcoming aldermanic elections.
SUNDAY 8 I never thought I’d ever see a united Ireland in my lifetime, but I secretly knew one day it would happen. But now the DUP looks defeated – by strong women – anything seems possible.
Jeffrey Donaldson looks increasingly like Miss Havisham, sitting abandoned amid the mouldering ruins of the wedding feast.Susan McKay
McKay’s article finishes by quoting the WB Yeats poem Easter 1916 with its ominously recurring line “A terrible beauty is born”. It must be a trend to reference that poem because Poetry Extra on the radio devoted a whole programme to it.
📌 I very nearly binned this latest stitchwork project but decided instead to live secretly with it for a while.
WEDNESDAY 11 The jump from Sunday to Wednesday was not intentional. Two days of witterings mysteriously went missing from the WordPress server. I have requested an investigation, but don’t hold out much hope of a retrieval. This must be what it’s like when your cat disappears and you issue urgent pleas on social media and via hastily printed pictorial messages on lamp posts.
The only thing I can remember writing about on Monday 9 is Beergate, urging Keir Starmer to simply resign and claim the moral high ground. On Tuesday 10 he announced that he will do so if fingered by Durham police. Also on Tuesday I re-plugged the Australian Memoir digital curation I did with Art et Al, which has now appeared on the Monash University website. I also wrote a recollection of meeting the musician Stan Ridgway in the mid 1980s. It was full of picturesque detail. But that is all I can remember from those two lost days. Maybe I gave an update on the unfolding magpie courtship on the lawn outside, maybe not. We finished Ozark, which was dramatic. And Sam sent a picture of painted feet.
📌 Two footballers’ wives are slugging it out in the high court over insults and accusations exchanged on social media (the courtroom artists’ drawings are apparently hilarious). I’m more interested in the placement of the apostrophe in the second word of the previous sentence.
📌 Keir Starmer’s consumption of beer and curry have fallen off the Daily Mail agenda…
THURSDAY 12 In the middle of the night a new verse arrived from Stuart, which he attempts to model as a long-forgotten, late-career song by George Formby.
Turn off the faucet dearest, my womb has had its fill, there will be no more children as there’s a new thing called The Pill. The Pope says its immoral, but I just don’t give a damn, He didn’t spend two hours in Tesco with two toddlers and a pram. He doesn’t understand a mother’s stresses, the heartache and the troubles when one kid eats the Persil and expires in clouds of bubbles. The other thinks its funny and tries the Weedol too, he’s now turned green as new-mown grass and won’t come out the loo.
📌 Vice reports a “bloodbath” in the cryptocurrency market as Bitcoin values take a massive plunge. The article quotes a columnist in The Spectator declaring “crypto is dead”, which had me searching desperately for a pun on crypto resting peacefully in a crypt.
📌 Sometimes Twitter has its uses.
📌 In a remarkable turn of good fortune, the “Happiness Engineers” at WordPress found the missing two days of babble from earlier in the week. Many thanks for that, and I have written a recommendation for someone called Jay to be awarded a pay rise. Here they are, Monday and Tuesday embedded in Thursday…
MONDAY 9 Yippee! The lonesome magpie is cavorting around the lawn with a partner.
📌 We just wish Keir Starmer would swallow “Beergate”, take one for the team, resign, make Boris look bad and let someone with a personality take over.
📌 Another cracking piece by Fintan O’Toole analysing and contextualising the outfall from the latest elections in Northern Ireland. We might even have to stop using that expression soon and employ the more accurate Six Counties.
📌 The controversy in our house over today’s Wordle fiasco wasn’t so much about the answer of the aborted puzzle as of the American spelling of the solution. My wife took 5 attempts when she normally completes it in 3 or 4.
TUESDAY 10 I have discovered Head Ballet, a podcast that invites guests to ramble on about a favourite song. In the one I played, a journalist described Stan Ridgway’s hit single Camouflage as a satire on the trend in the 1980s for cashing in on the Vietnam War. I just thought it was a daft ghost story. It did, however, make me revisit his music and my memories of interviewing Ridgway back in the mid 1980s. He had a dingy DIY office/studio in Noho (North Hollywood) modelled on the design leanings of Sam Spade. One small room that looked like a toilet was in fact a techno wondercave in which he composed all his music on synthesisers and a vast number of instruments. We met in a smelly bar where the interview took place and he outlined his noirish view on life. He said all he was trying to do was “parlay a neurotic habit into an empire”. He drove me round Hollywood in a battered Honda. He looked like the man in the movies who is always being chased by an angry money lender. Apparently he is now a Twitter megastar and I have about 25 unheard albums to catch up on, plus the work of his wife Pietra Wexstun.
📌 The Australian Memoir digital curation I did with Art et Al and Monash University is now on the Melbourne University site. I was beginning to think they were embarrassed by it, so I’m glad it has finally appeared. It was a lovely project to work on.
FRIDAY 13 We are on our way to Margate for a weekend with friends, one of whom grew up there from the age of 6 to 21. A check of the cultural attractions we can look forward to references the Chas & Dave song Margate and a quote from TS Eliot saying that Margate was where nothing connected with nothing.