Scrapbook: Week 12

March 18-24, 2023

SATURDAY 18 Lily, my Duolingo French teacher, never looks terribly excited when I successfully complete a lesson, but today she celebrated with a slow handclap and a look that says she’d be happy to stamp on my testicles.

📌 Donald Trump says he will be arrested next Tuesday. What’s so special about Tuesday is unknown.

SUNDAY 19 The ginger curly hair on the man in my latest stitchwork is testing my ability to weave stitches together in a way that doesn’t look neat.

The beauty is that if your stitches start to accidentally knot you can easily turn the error into something that looks like unkempt red hair.

MONDAY 20 A Hampshire man on the radio said he got a call while on a family day out to London that a rare shark had washed up on his beach. By the time he got home someone had decapitated the shark and stolen the head.

📌 Boris’s much anticipated appearance before the Commons Privileges Committee this week is said to be costing him around £220,000 in legal bills. Not that he’s bothered, because he’s not paying. The UK taxpayer is.

📌 The DUP has rejected, the Windsor Framework, Rishi’s big plan to restore relations with the EU and to get government in Northern Ireland back up and running. Even if large numbers of Conservative MPs now join them, Rishi can still win the parliamentary vote easily, but it won’t look good. And the DUP might even still opt to defy parliament and refuse to work with Sinn Fein. That will make them look like sore losers, but I guess they don’t care.

TUESDAY 21 Is another global banking crisis just around the corner? The experts say not, but with very few exceptions they said that back in 2008.

📌 Boris is saying yes, he misled Parliament but didn’t mean to. Is ignorance a reasonable defence when you are a prime minister?

📌 At a meeting to choose the design team for the Headway exhibition at the Barbican this Summer I discovered I have five paintings and a stitchwork listed to appear. Whether they will still be included when the time comes, I don’t know. Can’t be sure they’ll make the cut as “less is more” is the prevailing ideology.

WEDNESDAY 22 It’s hard not to see the state of disgrace within the Metropolitan Police as a mirror image of the ugliness of British society in general. I pity other hard-working police forces around the country whose image is stained by the rotten Met.

📌 I’ve joined a new Facebook group called Terrible Art In Charity Shops, mainly because it gives me a sense of belonging.

I’m with the band…

📌 Boris and Liz have both said they’ll vote against Rishi and his Windsor Framework solution to the potholes in the Northern Ireland Protocol. A new Ultra Brexit splinter group is forming fast. Can Rishi hold his nerve in putting pragmatism before party politics? I don’t think he’s got much choice.

📌 The journey north to Liverpool will be punctuated…

First stop Hayes & Harlington…
Book bank at services on M40…
Lunch, somewhere in the
middle of Cannock Chase
Welcome to Hanover Street,  Liverpool…

📌 Tuesday came and went and Donald Trump wasn’t arrested. Now he says he wants to be marched into court wearing handcuffs.

📌 Boris looked and sounded quite rattled during his grilling by the Commons Privileges Committee (clenched fists, lots of pointing, high blink rate, hectoring tone).

Boris rattled…

THURSDAY 23 Return visits to Liverpool always throw up a few new experiences, or memories that have lain dormant for so long they almost slipped into extinction. The ferocious currents and swirls of the Mersey at high tide, for example.

River Mersey from
Tate Liverpool…

📌 Never been that much of a Turner fan, but the exhibition at Tate Liverpool set his tempestuous seascapes to an electro-symphonic soundtrack by the musician Lamin Fofana. This translates as a weirdly haunting rendition of Rivers of Babylon echoing through the gallery. The exhibition is made even more exciting by the inclusion of Turner sketchbooks, which to me are obviously more impressive than the paintings.

Turner sketches at Tate Liverpool

📌 My wife sent me a photo from the Elton John gig she’s at with her friend Rachel and it made me slightly thankful I decided not to go with them.

Waiting for Elton John at the
Echo Arena, Liverpool

📌 Every time we stay in an aparthotel we come away with a list of faults/improvements that we pledge to post on Trip Advisor. We never do it. This one, StayCity, had plenty, but the worst was a bedroom that included the tiniest of wardrobes, with two of its three shelves missing. The remaining shelf then collapsed under the weight of two bras and four pairs of knickers. I went to Poundland for extra hangers; I stored my socks in a colander (the kitchen was ok) under the bed.

The offending wardrobe…
Did I say the kitchen was ok?

📌 My wife returned from the Elton John gig in a state of frenzied excitement, wanting to drink champagne and dance. Then news came though that our friend Dawn got elected to the council with a massive win over her two rivals.

FRIDAY 24 Secret gift from wife: SuperLambBanana lapel pin.

📌 A man came to fix the busted light in our bathroom, so now I can shave before our evening meal at Italian Club Fish.

📌 At Crosby Beach to see Anthony Gormley’s cast-iron figures we were driven back by sand blast so intense we only got to see two of the 100 sculptures before retreating to safety and the onward journey to Southport for lunch.

📌 We knew it was Friday when we arrived back at our aparthotel because the reception was a rolling mawl of hen-party excitement.

📌 Down at the Albert Dock the buildings started to move in mysterious ways.

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