Scrapbook: Week 10

March 4-10, 2023

SATURDAY 4 The UK food shortages are the result of price and contract rigging by supermarkets, says Henry Dimbleby, in a roundabout way of course.

📌 The City of London stitchwork project I contributed to is now assembled and complete. An outline of each of the City’s 25 wards was allocated to City residents to create a composite stitchwork. I did Cripplegate, where we live, and the neighbouring ward of Aldersgate. I’m very pleased with the result. It is a classic piece of London folk craft.

📌 Our friend, a university teacher, told us about a meeting she had with a third-year undergraduate whose excuse for not completing an assignment was that she couldn’t read.

📌 I’m doing a stitchwork emoji depicting sadness. The reverse side makes the sad guy look like he’s having a mental-health meltdown.

Upside: sad…
Reverse side: in need of psychiatry

SUNDAY 5 Kept wide awake in the middle of the night by The Stopping Places, a radio exploration of the gypsy-traveller world.

📌 A joyous, rampaging victory over an old enemy…

Read the match report here…

📌 I’ve been asked to talk to some special-needs schoolchildren about my stitchwork projects and the benefits of doing craft. So much is all I can say.

📌 To the Barbican to hear songs from Paul Simon’s 1986 Graceland album performed by the London African Gospel Choir. I remember well the album’s original release and the criticism Paul Simon faced for working with South African musicians during the international anti-apartheid cultural boycott of South Africa. In the Barbican Main Hall there were 23 black faces on stage entertaining a sell-out audience of middle-class white people. If this was meant to be an exercise in stealing back something that was stolen in the first place (re-appropriating the appropriated) it was quite hollow.

At the Barbican…

MONDAY 6 Completely distracted from anything I should be doing by the City of London’s Lady Mayoress. She is to visit our community Stitch & Bitch group for a cup of tea at the end of the month and a gold satin tote bag is the gift we intend to present to her.

Luxury tote bag in progress…

📌 My wife visited our 96-year-old neighbour, who is back in hospital after another fall. When she tells the nurses she’d like to visit the toilet they tell her to wet the bed and they’ll deal with it when they have time.

TUESDAY 7 We went to the local election hustings last night to support our friend Dawn, who is standing to become a councillor for our City of London ward. She is up against two men from the Barbican. One, who claims to work in IT project management, is without personality, totally dim and painfully boring. The other claims to be a student now working as a cab-driver for City bigwigs. His pomposity is pure Boris, oozing privilege and overcooked self-confidence from every pore. Fingers crossed for Dawn, a working-class single mother of two who works as a primary-school administrator.

📌 What does it mean? I dreamt last night that I was a contestant in a radio quiz show. I was so bad that half way through, the show’s producers replaced me with someone else and the presenter glided seamlessly to the new contestant, as if I was never there in the first place. ‘Listeners’ (it’s a dream, remember) must have been confused as to how Billy became Dave.

📌 The attempted nailing of Boris continues with the first of a juicy series of three podcasts from the Tortoise, investigating his dodgy dealings with money.

WEDNESDAY 8 I suspected Rishi of setting up Suella to take the rap if his Illegal Migration Bill doesn’t get through parliament. He needs to get rid of this toxic character if he wants to have a genuine chance if winning at the next election. But it looks like I might be wrong, because Rishi says he is “up for the fight” with the rest of the civilised world by defending a bill that would have seen Mo Farah deported to Rwanda. The Tortoise has a telling analysis of his tough talk, with emphasis on the cold fact that talk is all it is.

📌 Art Class was all about touching and seeing, an extension of the braille project we did a few months ago. The task was to feel what’s in a paper bag and to draw the sensation. Then you could peep at the mystery item inside the bag and create a representational drawing. In my bag was an empty medication blister pack.

L-R: Feel and see...

THURSDAY 9 I had two minutes before the Headway Writing Group to knock off a 100-word story with the title Who’s Got Covid? I wrote: “He wasn’t super sure, but it was probably around 2,000 people in London. That isn’t a big figure compared with ones from the recent past, but it did mean the spiky monster had not been slain. Getting that message across had become more and more difficult. His job got harder and harder each day. Lockdown gave people the chance to fight something. But now the threat had retreated. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s behind you is a line from pantomimes, not from public-health messages. So he stole one from a colleague and Fight COVID became Outwit COVID

📌 I’m trying to see it as a stroke of good fortune that I only just started this stitchwork before I noticed it was the wrong size.

Big head…

FRIDAY 10 Suella’s been caught tampering with the facts again to promote her hate-filled cause.

📌 Heard on the radio last night that Woody Harrelson’s dad was a hitman.

📌 The daily newsletter from the New Statesman (an email summarising the top stories) really is one of the best of its type.

📌 We’re trying to work out which is the worst TV quiz show for prize money, The Chase or The Bridge.

📌 Back in Brighton feels comfortable.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…


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