The Coronavirus Diaries, 20th April 2021

I just remembered I promised Pat I’d put a link to an excellent long read in the Guardian on the subject of whiteness and race. I’ll do that now. Here it is. I find the subject fascinating, how we started defining people by the colour of their skin not by where they were born. which explains how some people on these islands just do not understand how you can be black or brown and yet British. It’s really not that difficult. And it would be a great move forward if we could get over it. I think it’s easier if you live in a multicultural place like Walworth, where we are all colours, all languages, united by Britishness.

This morning I met Karima who I knew through my work some years ago. When I say met, it wasn’t an arranged meeting, we were walking towards each other down a street. She was wearing a wonderful pink outfit which I wrongly assumed was to to do with Eid. No, she explained, it was something she liked to throw over her pyjamas or scruffy clothes if she had to go out. She was her usual sunny self. this is a woman who spent two years with a severely ill son in hospital who the doctors told her would die. He’s now twenty, and although his legs are weak, he’s fine. She’d be at the hospital all day, come home, cook for her older children, clean, go to bed, get up, make breakfast for everyone, then return to the hospital. Her attitude is eternally positive.

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The Coronavirus Diaries, 24th September 2020

It’s hard to believe that two days ago we were enjoying warm sunshine. Today the temperature suddenly dropped mid afternoon and tonight I have put on an extra layer and started thinking about making soups. I’m watching the Grayson Perry programme. The first was on last night and I watched it earlier this evening on catch up, but I see the other programmes in the series are also available, so when I finish writing this I am going to settle back and watch the second one.

He made the programmes last year, travelling to different parts of the US by motorbike. The episode I have seen was about his visit to Atlanta and the main focus was on race. He’s a good listener. Maybe he has learned from his psychotherapist wife Philippa, and he says back to people what he has understood them to be saying which allows for further clarity if he has got it wrong. There was a performance poet whose name I didn’t get, but whose work I should like to know more of. Some of the conversations have a greater urgency about them now due to events this year – George Floyd’s killing, the BLM protests, the news today about the acquittal of the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Trump’s intention to replace her with a judge who supports him, the increasing threats by Trump to disrupt democracy at the election. Continue reading

The Coronavirus Diaries, 15th September 2020

We had another (chipless) evening in the garden. Hartley is definitely bonding with J. The aloof fox came and ignored us. It’s been a hot day, and the evening is still very warm. MasterB is out. I am pleased, as when we go to das Boot tomorrow he’ll spend most of his time afloat. It gets dark so early now, and unless the light by the pontoon has been fixed – I’m not holding my breath – I am reluctant to step off the boat where I cannot see. It’s still going to be warm, but not as warm. I have put some bits and pieces in the car including the older great niece’s birthday presents as her parents are hoping to make a flying visit on Friday. I have bought her a range of art materials, and the not-plasticine-but-something-akin-to-it is very heavy. Too heavy to post in my opinion.

I was in the City and in Westminster this morning. Both were pretty quiet, though people started to emerge from their offices at lunchtime. I found a message on my ‘phone from B&J asking if I was going to the shops. I replied that having eaten my lunch I was thinking about the vegan Magnums I had seen but not bought in Morrison’s the other day. I ended up buying them for both of us. Yummy. Perfect on a hot afternoon. Continue reading

So Mr Johnson, What did Mr Putin do for you in 2016?

We know social media, and in particular Facebook, was responsible for targeting voters in the 2016 referendum with false information. We know that the Leave Campaign has been found guilty of breaking the rules, though mysteriously this is still often referred to as an allegation, and was even denied by Fiona Bruce on Question Time last week.
For those of you still unconvinced, you can read about it here, not as reported in a newspaper with a particular view, but the Electoral Commission’s actual report. Continue reading