June 18-24, 2022
SATURDAY 18 I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought Boris was using the war in Ukraine to deflect attention from his own crimes.
📌 Someone on the radio reading a traffic report just interrupted themselves mid-sentence and said: “Sorry, I’m going to stop now. I haven’t written it down properly. I don’t know where the accident is.”
📌 My wife started picking at my eyebrows. She said I had “a bit of Denis Healey going on”.
📌 According to Marina Hyde, Labour leader Keir Starmer has “the feel of someone who’d ask for your informed consent before kissing you. You sense there’d be a waiver in the air.”
📌 At the AGM of our local residents’ association – so scantily attended as to resemble a cranky church meeting from The Vicar of Dibley – the treasurer proposed a letter of thanks to our outgoing Alderman. Amid lots of tittering and muttered swear words, a seconder could not be found and the proposal was withdrawn.
SUNDAY 19 I’ve just found out about an ancient local charitable foundation that appears to be feeding vast amounts of money to a single organisation in a neighbouring borough. Must look deeper.
📌 My wife is showing me how to use a sewing machine. I say she is a bad teacher. She says I am a bad pupil.
📌 MONDAY 20 The heat has obviously been a treat for bacteria because all of our bread had gone mouldly. Luckily there were some Greek flatbreads in the freezer.
📌 Sam’s surrealist pictures really are up there with the best..
📌 Had my first experience today of trying to buy something from the EU on Amazon only to be told I can’t.
TUESDAY 21 Listening to the radio interviews with rail bosses and union leaders you sense that a government determination not to resolve the current dispute is at the root of it all. Both sides seem to want modernisation, it’s how to get it that has become the political football. It obviously leads to further comparisons with Britain in the 1970s, and Boris obviously thinks there’s mileage in resurrecting the spirit of Maggie Thatcher. It might unite his party and save him for a while, but the rest of the country has moved on from those dark days.
📌 My wife says that being able to stand on one leg is a sign of good health.
📌 Islington Council says that the school alarm that rang continuously from 2pm to 2am last weekend did not stop residents affected from “enjoying the use” of our homes.
📌 The media really does feed on itself. The Tortoise reports a story in the FT as saying that Brexit costs Britain £100bn a year in missed income.
📌 The best thing Keir Starmer could do is to resign pdq. If he tries to wedge a party stooge into Jeremy Corbyn’s North Islington seat he will be humiliated. And Corbyn knows that.
📌 I thought the water supply to our allotments had been cut off because the hose didn’t work. Then someone pointed out that I hadn’t turned the tap on.
WEDNESDAY 22 My wife’s actor cousin arrived yesterday to stay with us while he attends the rehearsals of a a play he’s in, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads. Last night we heard lots of actory gossip, but repeating any of it would be grounds for divorce, I’m told.
📌 Our art class subject today was Yellow. I struggled to find much interest and ended up simply playing around with methods and materials in between eating chocolate treats bought to celebrate a top-notch Ofsted report.
As we all presented our images at the end of the session, Marianne said of the banana she had painted: “Once I found the shadow, I found the image”. We did have a surprisingly interesting conversation about what yellow actually is and the edges at which it leaks into orange and brown.
THURSDAY 23 Impressive performance on the radio this morning by rail union negotiator Eddie Dempsey, who told his interviewer in a relaxed but firm tone that in situations where the RMT union and rail bosses have been able to negotiate without any interference from a government mouthpiece, good settlements have been made. He quoted the examples of Merseyrail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR). His principle complaint was that mouthy government ministers are wrecking a possible solution to the dispute by waging a dirty propaganda war (my words) in the media when a proper negotiating conversation is what is needed.
📌 My wife and her choir-singing friends were disappointed to learn that the LSO Community Choir is to be disbanded. Their final performance in July will be Fauré’s Requiem, for which they are required to dress in black. I suggested they arrive carrying a fake coffin to show their disapproval.
FRIDAY 24 I’ve just been invited to be interviewed for a podcast about “awkward customers” in the healthcare system. These are the people who “won’t do what they’re told” by nurses and therapists. I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.
📌 The government has just lost two by-elections and Boris has gone into hiding in Rwanda.
📌 My sister messaged to say she is the last member of our family to join the pandemic. I did not congratulate her. My cousin recommended drinking lots of fluids. She already does that, most of it burgundy in colour.
📌 I probably deserve an award. I have persuaded the grumpiest of our neighbours to join our allotment project. I nailed him when he came scrounging some compost for his balcony pots. I sold him a bag of compost for £5 then told him that for £5 a year he can get fresh, homemade compost anytime for free. He paid up and agreed to smile more often and pop by for a cup of tea and some light conversation about courgettes.
Other than that it was haunting images of women that got to me – one by Lucian Freud and the other of Lee Miller having a wash in Hitler’s bathtub.
📌 There is something inevitable about what will now happen to Boris. Unless he can craft himself a virtuoso exit, he will be eaten by his own breed. The feast could last quite some time.