29 April-May 5, 2023
SATURDAY 29 The Conversation detects serious intent in Sinn Féin’s acceptance of an invitation to attend the coronation of Charles III.
📌 I can sense a growing interest in next weekend’s coronation of King Charles III. At a Thai restaurant in Brighton our friend Sue tells us that her foreign language students are all very excited and keen to learn everything they can about the royal family. Sue tells them proudly that as a younger woman she was often mistaken for Princess Diana.
📌 My wife knows, off the top of her head, who is 10th in line to the throne.
SUNDAY 30 Fast-food restaurant chain TGI Friday has stopped feeding its minimum-wage workers.
📌 In preparing to leave Brighton we have been reflecting and remembering the city we came to more than 30 years ago. It has changed a lot in many ways (when we arrived it was still a town). The sea front is unrecognisable, although still a bit weather-worn. Most of the restaurants and shops have changed ownership several times. But some things don’t change. The blue plaque on the wall of the Holiday Inn commemorating a historic visit by Charles Dickens reminded my wife that the Holiday Inn used to be the Bedford Hotel, where she once visited a friend attending a conference for the sole purpose of using her hotel room bath.
📌 Back to the Paris House for a performance by a jazz crooner known to his friends as “Dave Sinatra”. It is said that sometimes Dave’s performances are so disappointing that his mother comes onstage and takes over, pushing Dave aside with a stern look of disapproval. At one point I thought Dave was tipping me the wink, then I realised that sat behind me was what I believed to be a well-groomed woman of a certain age. As I typed that last sentence I wondered whether she spied what I’d written about her. She did, and told me later that she was pleased to have been described as “well-groomed”. She was no more than 30 years of age.
MONDAY 1 The Guardian has a cheeky list of 71 things you never knew about King Charles III. A student who once threw eggs at him was banned from carrying eggs. And in one of the pestering letters he used to send to government ministers he wrote “Illegal fishing of the Patagonian toothfish will be high up on your list of priorities because until that trade is stopped, there is little hope for the poor old albatross”.
📌 Chris and Sue have bought a massive new house. Jaq and Lynne have bought a Bongo (the Mazda motorhome, not the antelope or the drum).
TUESDAY 2 As the local elections get closer (two days to go), speculation as to how badly voters will punish the ruling Conservative Party gets louder. How well the Liberal Democrats perform is also a discussion point. If Labour manages to win the next general election, to govern without the collaboration of the Liberal Democrats would look like a wasted opportunity to keep the Conservatives out of office for a generation. Yet factions within both Labour and the Liberal Democrats would baulk at such an “arrangement”: the Liberal Democrats because of the nasty taste left after their attempt at coalition with the Conservatives in 2010, Labour because to some fanatics in the party, collaboration with other political parties amounts to heresy.
📌 I think I’ve got dandruff in my eyebrows. Then I discovered that Eyebrow Dandruff is a thing.
📌 Princess Anne, 72, doesn’t think much of Charlie’s plan to slim down the royal family.
WEDNESDAY 3 In Art Class we were treated to a presentation from Museum of London staff and shown some artefacts from their collection, which is soon to move from the Barbican to a new home in the old Poultry Market in Smithfield. Some were from the recent past, others were from ancient history. The leather goods (boot and water carrier) were especially fascinating, but since the project required us to work up sketches prior to making linocuts of our drawings, I simplified one of the items (a telephone) to make the lino-cutting easier
📌 Having watched the Coronation Special of Channel 4’s The Windsors we decided to keep the royal satire machine humming by catching up with previous series, which we had for some reason overlooked. With good planning, all the previous episodes will keep us going right past the real Coronation.
📌 Brighton are 7 points behind Liverpool with 3 games in hand. Tomorrow they play Manchester Utd, who are 4 points ahead of Liverpool with two games in hand.
THURSDAY 4 Last night I had a dream in which I attended an event in the US, met Barack Obama and found him to be the most boring person in the world. All he did was talk about himself, how great he was and why America and all Americans ought to be grateful to him. At one point I went to the toilet and on my way back overheard Michelle Obama complaining to a group of women about how Barack “drones on” incessantly.
📌 The next “emotion” detail in stitchwork from Tirzah’s big brain painting is meant to depict Disgust. Think I need to work a bit harder on the eyes.
FRIDAY 5 King Charles’s friend Jonathan has said he does not want any of his subjects to swear the Oath of Allegiance we’ve been asked to make during his Coronation tomorrow. Apparently he finds the idea abhorrent.
📌 Yesterday at Headway for lunch we had something called Coronation Quiche, which featured beans, peas and spinach and is said to be a personal favourite of Charles III and his wife Cammy.
📌 The Guardian uses the eve of the Coronation to urge for a better national conversation on the relevance of a monarchy so deeply wedded to the pageantry of the ancients past. It stops short of any real solutions such as a modern, historically self-aware monarchy as part of a democratic institution (Department of Heritage?).
📌 Our friend Paula treated us to a day out, first to the Design Museum in Kensington for the superb Ai Weiwei exhibition Making Sense, then on to a number of bars. The day was punctuated by strange happenings, which made it all the more memorable.
Read all of my scrapbook diaries…
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One thought on “Scrapbook: Week 18”
The Design museum looks fascinating. I will read about it later. Google helps 😊. I am reading Eavesdropping by Stephen Kuusisto. It is very good. You may like it.
We too were reading about the Coronation. Charles will always be compared to his mother. Life must be difficult for people who are always in the public eye or that is what we think😊. Thank you for the post.
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