Technical issues

You might notice somethings a bit wrong with my blog. My friend Darryl kindly offered to help me upload my archive. He succeeded, but unfortunately all the old entries were uploaded with today’s date. We’re both working hard to resolve the issue. In the meantime, please bear with me.

UPDATE: all issues have now been resolved, thanks to Darryl. My archive – all fifteen years of it – has at last been restored!

Friday Afternoon Liberties

It’s a lovely day here. I’ll probably head out for my daily roll, and may well find myself a pub to have a drink in later, perhaps down by the river. I don’t go into pubs very often these days, and when I do I try to aim for the least busy times, say around mid afternoon. It seems to me that I better make the most of the opportunity while I can: those in the know are now predicting another massive surge in Coronavirus cases in a few weeks time due to restrictions being eased too quickly, so my hunch is, vaccinated or not, we’ll all have to lock down again before long. A Friday afternoon pint in a reasonably quiet pub is something to make the most of this year. If the recent past is anything to go by, we don’t know how long such liberties will last.

The Awesomeness Drought

I remember two or three times in the past, suddenly coming across bits of news that made my jaw drop in disbelief. Days when, turning my computer on in the morning and checking the headlines, I do a double-take at what I see. They’re usually bits of arts and entertainment news which make me squeal spastically with excitement, such as when it was announced that James Bond would have a role in the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, or when we found out that the Monty Python guys were reuniting in 2014. Out on my trundle yesterday though, I began to reflect on how long it has been since one of those moments happened. I check the arts and ents news regularly in the hope of something to brighten my day, but it feels like years since such a moment of awesomeness occurred: no reunions to look forward to, no concerts to try to get tickets for. I suppose it’s a mark of the times we are living through that we are enduring a kind of awesomeness drought.

Yet history shows me that the potential for awesomeness is infinite: if Bond can parachute out of a helicopter with the Queen, and if Stephen Hawking can sing The Galaxy Song, then surely nothing can be ruled out. I have a feeling that one day soon, I’ll come to my computer and see a bit of news so shocking, so thrilling, that it will set me buzzing with excitement. What it might be I have no idea, but that’s half the fun; yet I know it will happen – it’s just a matter of time.

Two very Different Countries

As profoundly disturbing as I find this tweet, I think it’s correct. It’s like we’re now living in a completely different nation to the outward looking, tolerant one which hosted the Olympics.

The question now is, how do we get the UK of 2012 back?

Italy is just as beautiful as it was yesterday

After last night I was hoping for something more positive to write here today. I deliberately didn’t post an entry yesterday because I thought I might have something better to blog about this morning, but what can I say? Like everyone else in England I’m gutted that it didn’t go our way, but I’m currently trying to continually remind myself not to get too wound up about it. It’s only a football match, after all: we only have to wait until the next tournament in a couple of years before it happens all over again. It is no cause for animosity or anger. Italy is just as beautiful as it was yesterday, it’s food and wine just as delicious.

What we should be angry about, though, is what remains: we still have a government which tried to use the Euros to distract us from it’s woeful failings during the pandemic; which cynically attempted to bend the good will created by the results onto itself. When it is obvious that Gareth Southgate was trying to build a team based on principles such as equality and diversity, Johnson tried to barge in and claim it for his own. Had England won last night, no doubt Johnson would now be acting as if he had been instrumental in the victory, or at least had supported it fundamentally rather than, for instance, refusing to condemn the fans who booed while the players took the knee. Southgate and the team stand for principles Johnson manifestly does not, yet he tries to usurp it’s success. That is the type of cynicism we should remain angry about. Things may hurt this morning, but when this disappointment has faded, we’ll still have bigger, nastier things to deal with.

Life of Brian to hit the stage

Having been itching for something cool to look forward to for quite a while, I think this could do the trick nicely. Reports are that John Cleese has now finished the first draft of a stage adaptation of Life Of Brian. Unlike Spamalot, it will be a play, not a musical, and will apparently hit theatres after the pandemic next year (hopefully). If true, it will definitely be something I want to go to see. Life Of Brian is one of the greatest, funniest films of all time; a stage adaptation can only add to it’s legacy, taking it in potentially fascinating new directions. After 2014 I assumed that Monty Python was dead, but it now appears that it was just resting.

A Petition to Sign

One of my earliest memories, from when I was very, very small, was watching my Mum type at an old BBC computer. She worked from home, typing the abstracts for old medical research papers. Now that I come to think about it, the number of papers mum must have read over at least a decade of doing that job, then after in her subsequent job in medical journalism, must range into the tens of thousands: she must be one of the most knowledgable people in the field there is. Thus I think we should take this very seriously indeed.

It is a change.org petition, flagged up by my Mum on Facebook, to keep the wearing of face masks in supermarkets and shops mandatory after 19th of July. As I wrote a couple of entries ago, the pandemic is far from over and it is only by working together and keeping our discipline that we’ll ever be able to get past it. Mum knows better than most – far better than any Tory itching to let their rich pals get back to exploiting the rest of us – how essential it is that we keep our faces covered wherever possible. If she thinks it is necessary to link to a petition like this, I assure you it is nothing to ignore.

Good Luck Beth

I just have something quite awesome to report today, and it has nothing to do with last night’s football result. I learned yesterday that Beth Moulam, one of the young people I know from Onevoice, has been selected for team GB’s Boccia team and will go to the Tokyo Paralympics. I think that is incredible news. Her parents, whom I also know, must be very proud. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Beth the best of luck, and assure her that I’ll be watching the competition in Tokyo with baited breath.

You can read Beth’s incredible story, in her own words, here.

No more predictions

As my last prediction was so wide of the mark on Saturday, I’m not even going to try to predict the score for tonight’s football match. I just hope I stay awake to watch it this time, rather than drinking too much beer, falling asleep before kick off, needing Serkan to wheel me to bed and only finding out who won the following morning.