The *Is It Safe Yet Diaries?* 19th June 2022

So busy. It’s like the old days. I am working. Due the current economic climate I hardly dare to turn anything down, just like the old days, but boy it makes me tired. Today was a welcome day off. Colm returned the book table yesterday. While it’s been at his workshop I have realised how much bigger the room seems without it. In the long term it’s a piece of furniture I could part with. In the short term it’s much too useful. Still, I felt inspired to cull some of the books normally housed in it. They have been taking up an impressive amount of space in their strong carrier bags in the corner of the living room.

I carried as many as I could to the Oxfam bookshop in Bloomsbury. Since coming home I have filled another bag, and put a selection aside for my great nieces. Some of the books are too old for them now, but they are growing up fast.

Others are old in a different way. Two big books on natural history belonged to my great grandfather and he has written his name on the flyleaf. How do others part with inscribed books like these? I foresee a day when the only books I own will belong to long dead relatives, most of whom I never met.

The news: Could it be bleaker? The war in Ukraine goes on with no end in sight. News of atrocities have become everyday. Here, the government says it cannot provide for everyone as the economy goes tits up. Which means what exactly? Will we become accustomed to mass homelessness and starvation, and primed to accept it as the only option? Dead people on the streets an everyday occurrence. Shrug and pass on until the day comes when we are those desperate, abandoned people. Laws are being passed which make the government unassailable. Those at the top cling on to power for power’s sake. They don’t even try to hide it, yet a compliant press published distracting non-stories on their front pages: family rifts between William and Harry as related by William’s ‘close friends’. He doesn’t need enemies then. Faux outrage that Keir Starmer has sympathy with striking rail workers. Who in their right mind wouldn’t have? Grant Schapps saying the last thing rail workers need to do is strike. Well Grant, what’s the first thing they should do then? Do tell. Strikes are not popular, they are disruptive, and that’s the point of them. And they are often the only effective way that continued grievance over pay and work conditions can be conveyed to an apathetic public, and a government which frankly does not care. Its indifference shown by its refusal to join last ditch talks. Cynical conniving bastards.

Boris Johnson has so far stayed out of prison, as indeed has Trump which seems daily more improbable, but surely it’s only a matter of time. Oh no, I’m forgetting the new laws. Johnson’s inviolate. Nadine Dorries (if you live in another country than the UK and have never heard of heard Ms Dorries, thank your lucky stars) will be the person who decides what should be censored from our news feeds. Read about it here. It seems someone has jumped the gun. A story about Boris Johnson trying to get Carrie Symonds a £100,000 per annum job when he was at the Foreign Office, a story which was reported in the newspapers, has disappeared both the Times and the Mail online. Well what a surprise.

Fortunately The Outlaws has returned for a second series, and as it’s starting in less than five minutes, I am stopping here.

Have fun.

11 thoughts on “The *Is It Safe Yet Diaries?* 19th June 2022

  1. I wonder how far down this wicked road the world needs to travel before the tide is turned. If I remember my history lessons well enough, there have been dark periods that lasted, not for years, but for decades. The public hearings of the 1/6 committee give me hope that justice will be served because they are doing such a splendid job of connecting all the dots and our Department of Justice is paying attention. However my hope is tempered by experience – Trump and those close to him have gotten away with so many crimes. If I think of what has transpired here and how close we are to having our democracy crumble I get so scared.

    • Likewise Pat. Did you read the article to which I gave the link? The way this government is steadily eroding all the machinery of democracy is terrifying. We are constantly distracted by stories of its inadequacies and corruption, but while we wail about those, the real work of dismantling everything that safeguards democracy here goes on. People will still be saying it couldn’t happen here when it has.

  2. Like everywhere, the economy here isn’t great. Gas is $6 a gallon, and that’s where I live. It’s surely more in other states. But I was thinking of people living on minimum wage here, which, again where I live, is ~$7 per hour. No one can live on that.

    • Never was I more glad that I gave up my car earlier this year. I rarely used it, so the battery was always going flat, and transport has been good here. that may be about to change as major changes (by which I mean cuts) are proposed to our bus services. How little many popped earn and are expected to get by on is scary. Equally scary is how much some people are paid (I am not going to suggest they earn it). The gap between the rich and the poor is more a chasm these days.

      • Unfortunately where I live a car is a necessity. But in more urban areas busses are available, however idk how available. I tried to have this conversation with my mom, and she immediately started comparing herself to the less thans.
        She doesn’t have a house payment or rent.
        She has an insurance policy in the bank earning interest.
        And she receives retirement and social security.
        How can she begin to think she has a right to think she’s in the same category?

        • I don’t know. Maybe she grew up in hardship so always is anxious about money. I grew up in a home where money was tight and twice my father was made redundant. My mother’s childhood was one of poverty and the lived that all her life. I still have levels of anxiety about money which are not realistic.

        • Well, I understand that. My family and I, my husband and children, were homeless for almost 3 months ~ 10 yrs ago. My husband was offered a job, the company moved us, but 2 weeks later rescinded on the offer. It was in Arizona, and then the economy was really bad, probably getting the same now as then. Maybe? Anyway he couldn’t get a job right away and there were no homeless family institutions. So we bought a tent and “went camping.” I too know lack. And I know my kids do too. But I also am very much aware of how much more I have bc of where I was born, my husband has a college degree, he has retirement, etc. I just choose to count my blessings rather than think my life in any way compares to ppl making minimum wage like my mom. It’s just a frustration, a lifelong one of being her child. Sorry for the rant.

        • Rant away! Maybe she will slowly start to see things differently, but I wouldn’t bank on it. Try not to let it get to you – easier said than done I know, I have relatives I like but who think the Daily a mail is the voice of truth. I have to leave the room when they start on politics.

  3. It is time for the small sorting of the books and otherwise putting in order what can be – I’m trying to toss out or straighten up something or other every day. Control what you can; poke the nose out of the burrow to see what’s up; curl up with the cat. I’m happy to see the title change.

    • Thanks Kathy. I’m still not sure about the title change. seems like tempting fate. No matter how much stuff I get rid of, the rest seems to breathe out and take up as much space. Cat cuddling very much my thing.

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