September 17-23, 2022
SATURDAY 17 The Guardian has a totally serious guide on “other things to do” during the Queen’s funeral. They include going for a walk and baking a cake. My wife said she would be swapping the duvet on our bed for the Winter Duvet, which has lain idle in a big suitcase all Summer.
📌 The congested sprawl of retail mega-mall Westfield is a great place for experimental photography projects such as shooting backwards over your shoulder to see what random images result.
SUNDAY 18 Joe Biden has ducked a meeting with Liz Truss, presumably because giving her a piece of his mind might add a sour note to the Queen’s funeral.
📌 There’s a lot of frantic last-minute shopping for food and drink in advance of the Queen’s funeral tomorrow. We went out hoping to find some cut-price luxury foodstuffs but came home only with a loaf of toasting bread and two bottles of beer.
📌 The helicopters are circling – some noisily, some silently – in vigil over the Royal Queue.
MONDAY 19 Andrew Rawnsley says King Charles III has so far stepped up to the plate of modern monarchy with a cultured approach to national duty and leadership. His solid performance has, Rawnsley adds, been matched by Keir Starmer. Not so, though, by newly crowned prime minister Liz Truss, who has bungled badly and even managed to entrench some of the antipathy still held for her in factions of her own party.
In its early political dealings and behaviour, Ms Truss and her band of zealots have neither shown respect for tradition, stability and continuity nor for solidarity, community and togetherness. Whatever she represents, it does not feel much like the nation.Andrew Rawnsley, the Observer
📌 My wife was annoyed that the Royal children were paraded in front of a gazing nation when maybe they were really quite sad at great granny’s death and just wanted to cry.
📌 Idle web browsing while the Queen’s funeral procession made its way down The Mall revealed that one of my cousin’s old boyfriends who became an actor had died in 2020 but appeared in a 1988 Christmas special of Only Fools & Horses. He played an online dating agent, charged Del Boy £25 but was eventually told to “put that on ya floppy disk” for his efforts.
📌 In another sparkling opinion piece Aditya Chakrabortty cracks a whip on the archaic feudalism of the British monarchy and its continued hold over modern Britain.
TUESDAY 20 I’m tempted to start modelling my behaviour on what Marina Hyde describes as the Queen’s chief way of conducting Oneself.
The Queen never spoke but seemed to spend her life of service embodying: “Don’t just do something – stand there.”Marina Hyde, the Guardian
📌 The pavement outside our house has been repurposed into an e-scooter graveyard.
📌 Liz Truss wants us all to sit in the cold while she works out how to “turbo-charge” Britain’s economy.
WEDNESDAY 21 Maybe cynicism is the new rampaging virus because every time I hear reports of failure in the NHS I suspect the perpetrator to be our present government ripening some public fruit for privateers to pick. Maternity provision is the latest example.
📌 Got my Covid booster jab quickly and comfortably at St Luke’s.
📌 In art class we were given a piece of stale white sliced bread to make an artwork out of. For me bread symbolises sharing, so I used the sharing symbol from the worldwide web, colouring each terminal point red, blue and green as a nod to the RGB colour system used on computers. After painting the slice of bread I photographed it and processed it on my iPad to look like an oil painting. Pointillism works well on bread, I found.
THURSDAY 22 The Guardian has five not unreasonable top tips for King Charles to modernise his monarchy. The bald numbers point to an institution that is bloated and wasteful, which is not exactly a good look for modern times.
📌 Larry Elliott’s plain explanation of Trussonomics would seriously bother me if I were half my age.
📌 The next entry in my series of tree leaves in stitches is the fig, which I have distorted slightly in an attempt to make it look like it’s wilting. Picking the right colours to serve that purpose will be fraught with danger.
📌 Started to experiment with blue outline on Cecil’s gang of 60s hipsters.
📌 My wife is suffering from post-jab side effects (loss of appetite, shivering) and I’m doing my best Florence Nightingale, but I stopped when she said No to cherry chocolate liqueurs.
📌 The Headway #SewBros teamed up with the #BowGeezers to work on a massive stitchwork wall hanging as part of a Crafts Council 50th Anniversary celebration.
📌 Russia’s war in Ukraine seems to be unravelling very fast. I expect to wake up in the morning to hear that Vladimir Putin has shot himself.
FRIDAY 23 Wedding anniversary today. 34 years.
📌 Putin didn’t shoot himself, but some fascinating geopolitical noises that started with reports from the UN general assembly yesterday have been pulled into something resembling analysis by the Guardian. States formerly supportive or neutral towards Russia’s war in Ukraine have started to hedge their bets.
📌 I bumped into an elderly neighbour in the park and she told me she recently had a fall, “splat”, with cuts and bruises to her her knees and chest. “My bosoms didn’t help me one bit,” she said. “I haven’t had much use for them for a long time now, but when I finally do need them, they’re hopeless.” She went on to tell me that when they try to lower the lid on her coffin she will shout, “Hang on! I’m not finished yet.”
📌 The new Chancellor’s mini budget has set the chatterati off on a game of If I Were In Charge. The response that seemed to ring true for me was from shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, who described the PM Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng as being like two desperate gamblers trying to bet their way out of a losing streak.