I don’t want to write about the resignation of the head of the Civil Service because there is more to this than meets the eye and you have be desperate – especially nowadays – to resign on camera.
I don’t want to write about the Blond and Carrie, their engagement or their baby. It is quite clear that Johnson hasn’t signed up to any accord, Parisian or otherwise: this is his fifth child we know about. Ever heard of overpopulation ?
And however smart his partner allegedly is, she thinks she is the one who will last. I wonder if the titular head of Dominic Cummings will feature as a celebratory gift ?
It is hard to feel anything positive about the incumbent Home Secretary. The elephant in every room in Whitehall is Windrush and it is a scandal. She may not have incurred this mess but she could do something to alleviate it. Of course that would involve goodwill rather than stilettos and power – you pays your money and you makes your choice.
So, unable to influence the world to be more thoughtful let alone kinder or greener, I went about my business,( small woman, small world), starting at Peter Jones, the John Lewis flagship to buy ziplock sweater bags, roughly 44 x35 cms. (I measured). From the fitment devoted to them I was offered under the bed bags, lavender scented and mothproofed bags, hanger included hanging bags – but not what I wanted. The courteous assistant murmured about not stocking what doesn’t sell. I said it reminded me of that “placed” message on a delayed bus : ”This bus has been instructed to wait for four minutes here, to help us regulate the service.” Sunshine, I am the service. Offer that thought to Dame Sharon at the next troubled directors’ meeting. The multiples are imitating each other – cutting back on stock and putting in machines instead of people. How about a different take on the same problem ?
Otherwise it was Christmas in February – I bought a sheepskin hot water bottle cover, a bottle of brandy and 11 yellow roses (three promptly collapsed but the remainder survive on the mantel). As the hottle queen, I know that when the cover goes, it goes. So I had worn through cheap cashmere (a present) and pretend heavy knit (acrylic, ditto ) and I was ready for something better that should see me out.
I bought the flowers in the supermarket on a whim. I hardly ever buy flowers in store. And if roughly a third die on unwrapping, you can see why.
The friend who gave me brandy for Christmas giggled when I told her I thought VSOP stood for Very Seriously Over Priced. It was delicious but I have low taste and as long as there is a superior tonic, I’ll buy a cheap cognac. The girl behind me goggled when I bought a bottle. “Don’t look like that” I said. “I don’t drink a bottle a night, just one tot with tonic.” Strange how nobody thinks anything of buying a bottle of wine (though Wal did manage to bring his local M&S to a standstill buy dropping one of two into the automatic tills – he swears it was accidental, I am unconvinced) but buy a bottle of spirit and people start muttering about five steps and detoxification. And no, not hydrangea tea.
Long ago, when people still made movies, there were one or two very good very long films but however much I admire The Green Mile or Bridge of Spies in the bits that I have seen of them, three hours is TOO LONG. Even with brandy and tonic. In the days of the studios, If you couldn’t tell the story in about 100 minutes (give or take) the director was judged incompetent . And I received a foaming email from Brendan, usually the kindest of men, just released (appropriate word) from Portrait of a Lady on Fire (a mere 122 minutes). The abandonment of the hour and forty five minutes for two hour slot is killerdiller to all too many television scripts. It means three too many twists and a discontented viewer. Extraordinary how as the world spins faster, art slows down. A bit like life with the coronavirus.