Of Freecycle, Political Pontificating, the New Everyone, and Thank Goodness for Artists Like Yinka Shonibare

When Freecycle works it’s brilliant. When people who say they want your stuff then start faffing about and saying they can’t come at the time you’ve arranged, it’s a pain.

Last night I put two items up. For one, the texts came thick and fast. I offered it to the first person who gave the information I asked for, and could come at one of the times specified. The other had a similar quick but more muted response. Great. Both items to go tonight.

Then I got a text from the first person saying she had to work late and couldn’t come. No worries, I replied, there are others waiting. That’s when the faffing began. People saying they could come at times when I shan’t be here; people giving me more details about their home lives than I could ever want to read. I crossed them off the list and went to the next person. Hurrah, a responsible man who turned up when he said he would, was polite and pleased to get a second hand digital photo frame that I had given to Aunt several years ago. He’s going to give it to his mum with a USB full of photos. Brilliant.

In the meantime I texted the person who was to collect the other item and asked them to confirm they would be here between six and seven. Oh no, came the reply, I have to work tonight. I can come tomorrow lunchtime. Had I not texted I presume she wouldn’t have bothered to tell me at all and I should have been hanging around wondering when I could start making the dinner. I didn’t feel up to more texts, so I shall readvertise in a week or so and hope I get someone reliable.

On the news I saw snippets of Theresa May’s speech, and learned that UKIP has yet again gone beyond and below anything considered normal in political behaviour. Under a banner saying The Party That Works For Everyone the various speakers at the Tory party Conference are redefining what everyone means. And it seems to exclude a lot of us: Remainers; foreigners who have unsportingly been taking those jobs people armed with a British birth certificate won’t touch with a barge pole; people who want evidence and facts in debate rather than post-truth politics. Someone, I don’t remember whom, talked about putting the needs of the indigenous people of this country first. That’s going to be tricky. I’m not sure there are any indigenous people here. They must have disappeared around the first ice age. The Queen, whose European heritage makes my own seem quite tame, may be looking to relocate somewhere on mainland Europe where us mongrels are more welcome. Continue reading