Scrapbook: Week 21

May 20-26, 2023

SATURDAY 20 An item on Quora asked for recollections of incidents when hotel staff entered a room unexpectedly to find, for example, someone ironing their clothes, totally naked. It reminded me of the time our friends Liz and Spud were selling a house and an estate agent (with keys) brought customers to view the property while they were still in bed. They faked being asleep, overheard everything and waited for the incident to pass. Then they ate toast.

📌 The play we saw on Thursday evening, Best Of Enemies, features a head-to-head debate between two political rivals. I am trying to imagine other head-to-head encounters that might have the same dramatic impact. Police interviews with criminals are a staple of TV drama, but might imaginary interviews made fictional be just as compelling?

📌 One last look at the view from our Brighton apartment. Time to say goodbye, old friend.

In Brighton…

📌 To Percival Mansions on Kemptown seafront to visit our friend Paul, who was exhibiting his photographs as part of the Brighton Festival Open House weekend. On the way we spotted Humphrey Bogart enjoying some sunshine.

At Percival Mansions…

Here’s lookin’ at you, Humph…

📌 RIP Martin Amis, 73. Never liked your writing to begin with, then somehow came around to it. Sharp, it was.

SUNDAY 21 On TV Ian Hislop abbreviated National Conservatism to Nat-C.

📌 One of our friends who ran the Brighton half marathon recently confessed to accidentally pooing their pants towards the end of the run and then unapologetically excused themself from the post-marathon revelries to go and get cleaned up.

📌 Maybe Boris’s “Get Brexit Done” fib was a fib too far. Rishi and Suella’s pledge to “Get migration down” looks very hollow indeed right now. Suella even plotted to dodge a crucial vote on it.

📌 Is the Conservative Party turning into some low-rent version of the nastiest wing of the US Republican Party? A lot of commentators seem to think so and are quite pessimistic about the drift. Not so the actor Rachel Weisz who appeared on an episode of the News Agents podcast about gobby Liz Truss. Weisz, a self-proclaimed “superfan” of the News Agents, says it is characteristic of British people to politely look the other way when in the presence of political lunacy, so no worries. Try telling anti-Brexiters that, Rachel.

MONDAY 22 Kevin Maguire in the New Statesman reckons Jeremy Corbyn, 73, is being strongarmed into not standing in the next general election to make way for Angela Rayner’s partner Sam Tarry, 40, who was ejected from Keir Starmer’s front bench for picketing with striking railway workers.

📌 We’ve persevered with three episodes of Ten Pound Poms and will probably see this super-mediocre drama through to the end, despite finding it more and more irritating with every dragged-out minute.

TUESDAY 23 One correspondent on Quora asks if female astronauts wear bras in space. The top answers stated that it was a matter of personal preference and none of anyone else’s business, but that in training for zero gravity, sports bras were commonly worn.

📌 Will Suella survive the rest of the week in her job as home secretary? One news organisation reported that on her first day as an MP she asked if speeding fines could be claimed on expenses. But now the finger is pointing at Rishi for being too cowardly to remove someone who is quite obviously incapable of doing the job.

📌 A forensic analysis in the Guardian shows that Rishi’s big fat lies are bigger and fatter even than Boris’s. And he’s just as shameless about them.

📌 We are still searching for a near-empty bottle of Cillit Bang. My wife used it to clean some kitchen cupboard shelves, put it down and now it has been missing for around 2 hours.

WEDNESDAY 24 Fun fact from medical historian Dr Lindsey Fitzharris: Marie Curie’s notebooks are radioactive and must be stored in lead-lined boxes. Curie’s body is also radioactive and lies in a coffin lined with one inch of lead.

One of Marie Curie’s glow-in-the-dark notebooks…

📌 You do see some of the strangest things if you wander the backstreets of Brighton.

Spotted in Little Preston Street, Brighton

📌 Not being in Art Class this week, and next week being half term, gives me the opportunity to spend longer on the current project, which is to draw or paint a brown paper carrier bag. I will work harder on this over the next week but getting a first draft done is always a good way to start…

📌 RIP Tina Turner, 83. You were my Dad’s favourite.

📌 We finished Ten Pound Poms and it ended inevitably in a way that can allow for a second series. Trying to imagine what that might look like triggered the impression of a Little House on the Prairie in 1950s Australia.

THURSDAY 25 Common-sense conversations about immigration are rare. The Labour Party, despite Keir Starmer’s awkward, borderline aggressive posturing on the subject recently, appears keen to work it into the national conversation. Or so says the New Statesman‘s Freddie Hayward.

📌 As we prepare to leave Brighton, the number of “last” looks out of the window will multiply. Belchers Cafe has been there with us all along. I always wondered whether it was a meeting place for people who belch a lot or whether the owner had the surname Belcher and the apostrophe went missing at some point.

In Brighton…

📌 The long-running BBC radio crime drama Annika has transferred to TV. And its star, Oslo murder detective Annika Strandhed (played on both radio and TV by Nicola Walker) has moved to Scotland. Glasgow, in fact, which makes a good home for her neurotic internal monologues and bad jokes. It is surprisingly enjoyable.

FRIDAY 26 Katie, our financial advisor, says our “wealth portal” is healthy and big enough to allow us in the future to transition to a suitable property without stairs.

📌 Celine Dion has a condition called Stiff Person Syndrome.

📌 The latest stitchwork emoji patch based on Tirzah’s paintings is finished. It’s meant to depict the emotion of disgust. Not sure it does.

Disgust emoji patch…

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…


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