Scrapbook: Week 23

June 4-10, 2022

SATURDAY 4 Seems the French are upset that the multiple screw-ups in the hosting of the Champions League final have tarnished the nation’s standing globally.

πŸ“Œ Found a fab stitchwork artist, Vera Shimunia, who is Russian and married to a Ukrainian. Sanctions have forced her to close her Etsy shop.

πŸ“Œ There’s a scene in the TV drama Inventing Anna in which one character observes that no one offers their credit card to pay for something unless they want to. Tonight I offered my credit card to my wife to pay for some drinks. She returned with the drinks but later told me she’d booked a helicopter ride.

SUNDAY 5 Nick Cohen looks forward to life after Elizabeth II and the installation of Charles III as monarch.

We will have a monarch who doesn’t accept that his authority has nothing to do with his ability and everything to do with an accident of birth.

Nick Cohen, the Observer

Charles will rule Britannia like a tinpot dictator, Cohen predicts, poking his reactionary impulses everywhere, both local and global, in a wilful incontinence that contrasts sharply with his mother’s caution and dignity. I think maybe the Clown Prince whose embarrassing behaviour has hitherto been tolerated will become The Mad King and subjected to the hardest cruelties satire can muster. Expect to see him depicted in the style of Hogarth walking the streets of Windsor naked muttering dark thoughts about his lost inheritance and something about feminine hygiene products.

πŸ“Œ Martin Kettle also looks towards life after QE2, comparing the platinum jubilee celebrations with previous jubilees. He concludes by describing it as a “soft-focus funeral for an era.”

πŸ“Œ A London Inheritance has gone all Queenie, first with a long piece about commemorative royal jubilee beer and a second article featuring unseen images from the 1953 Coronation, the 1981 Royal Wedding and lots more.

πŸ“Œ Trying to work out whether a good session down on our communal allotments project (The Golden Baggers) weeding, sweeping and generally sprucing things up counts as equivalent to a session in the gym cycling and rowing.

MONDAY 6 All reports suggest Boris is doomed, even if he wins the confidence vote among Conservative MPs later today. According to Polly Toynbee they will oust him eventually, more from the need to save themselves than to reform the party which, Polly says, has descended into a cult.

πŸ“Œ The image of Boris dragging his wife up the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral to a chorus of boos from assembled citizens will be the moment the nation finally worked out that the game was up.

πŸ“Œ According to Wikipedia the 1922 Committee was formed in 1923.

πŸ“Œ Blimey, I never knew David Bowie was in awe of Bruce Springsteen’s Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ album and his cover of the song It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City is superb.

πŸ“Œ With the Prime Minister facing a confidence vote I sense the end of a political era for the UK and that the vandals are about to be vanquished, whatever that amounts to. In this light I decided to start a collection of till-roll portraits (quick sketches printed on the receipt printers used by waiters in bars and restaurants) of the key political players in this intriguing time.

Boris Johnson…

TUESDAY 7 No one seems interested in reporting that in last night’s confidence vote Boris won the backing of 59% of Conservative MPs. The 41% who voted against him make the headlines. He is fatally wounded, carrying a hollow victory etc. One ordinary party campaigner yesterday remarked that “selling Boris” has become the hardest job in the world. Traditional Tory voters who were happy to back him in 2019 have noticed the cost of heating the cottage in the country and presumably sit shivering in anger that the PM does not pay to heat 10 Downing Street, the location of multiple boozy parties during lockdown. Tory fanzine The Telegraph seems to be more aware of this discrepancy than the PM himself.

πŸ“Œ I’ve long been fascinated by pictorial languages so decided to try some words as stitchwork patterns. This is Japanese for “forward” or “go for it”.

WEDNESDAY 8 Boris has blown it for the Conservatives’ long-held reputation for being the party of business.

πŸ“Œ We were very disappointed by the ending of the TV miniseries Your Honor. For some stupid reason we wanted Jimmy the gangster to see the light, reject his half-wit son as useless and bless his daughter’s relationship with her elder brother’s killer.

πŸ“Œ In art class our theme was Nature, which we set about after a lengthy moan about the data security breach the college had just unleashed. I used a dead rose on six layers.

πŸ“Œ Dawn described someone in her choir as having an RBF, which stands for Resting Bitch Face.

πŸ“Œ My wife imposes a ridiculously strict ban on foodstuffs in the cinema, so it was with amazement that today we were allowed to eat a whole a bag of Haribo Tangfastics while watching Men, a movie that will enthrall fans of silly 1980s horror but is meant to be a serious comment on toxic masculinity.

THURSDAY 9 The new Wembley stadium has a super-sensory booth for disabled people. I’m on the list to try it, but the gig is… Coldplay.

FRIDAY 10 Finished the latest stitchwork featuring the expression “Go For It” in Japanese. Will probably try something in Traditional Chinese next.

πŸ“Œ Trip to Kew Gardens aborted because the taxi didn’t turn up and no explanation given. To Oxford Street instead to buy clothes for the Swiss wedding next month and a ride home on the new Elizabeth line.

πŸ“Œ Resigned from the committee of our local allotment project because one member hysterically and unilaterally implements a cult misanthropic form of what they call “biodiversity” without consultation or any real understanding of environmental management.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…


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