16 September 2018
Good news this week: I saw one of my favourite words, petrichor, in print for the first time in 2½ years (if you got it, see my email of 7 February 2016), which probably says more about how little time I now get to read than about the rarity of the word.
It provided some small relief from having the bathroom wall moved to make enough room to manoeuvre a wheelchair into a shower with a fold-down seat and refitting the entire bathroom at the same time. This involved moving a lot of things and sleeping in the spare room where my autopilot doesn’t work in the middle of the night.
Meanwhile, to add to the fun, my computer failed once too often so I replaced it with a new machine which developed a fault after (naturally) I’d spent two days loading software and transferring files – why couldn’t it have reported a faulty fan when I first turned it on?
Then the TV broke, the recorder refused to turn on and, when the new TV arrived, none of the cables fitted. And my internet connection kept failing while I was deciding what to buy so I had to use Judy’s computer and start again. But everything I’ve loaded so far on the new machine seems to work, though installing itunes and music files took five attempts. I’ve now put “have a nervous breakdown” in my diary for next Friday, the first day I’ll have time for one.
Further light relief came from making a small contribution to one of those silly subjects so beloved by the Guardian’s correspondents and the news that the long-suffering Mrs Johnston has finally got fed up with Boris and is divorcing him after decades of his having unprotected sex with other women (well, he has at least one known child born out of wedlock). What baffles me is – and I know a cis-gendered man may not be the best person to judge this – how could anybody fancy him?
Curiously, not his infidelities nor divorce nor his racism nor his back-stabbing nor his failure to understand the concept of collective responsibility seem to have affected the Tories’ willingness to see him as a possible future leader / prime minister but I suppose there’s little competition.
Because the other well-known sociopath has made even the most childish behaviour seem normal, Boris’s peccadilloes are overlooked. When Trump arrived in Johnstown PA to attend the 9/11 Memorial Service for United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked by terrorists whose plans were foiled by passengers who forced the plane to crash in a field killing all 44 people on board, Trump’s reaction was to punch both his fists into the air in celebration. This was so inappropriate it caused widespread disgust across the world as the picture went viral and even one of the security men behind him seemed to be curling his lip.
There were also reports that White House staff remove some papers from Trump’s desk before he has a chance to see them but he’s still the one with access to the nuclear codes that can end the world. However, he’s not clever enough to program the missile systems so we can only hope somebody with a mental capacity greater than that of an under-ripe banana has removed places like Moscow and Beijing and Pyongyang from the list of targets and programmed them all to land and fail to explode in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, Russia has found the two people wanted in connection with the Salisbury poisonings. Unofficial sources say they have links with Russian military defence but, in a Russian interview, they turned out to have no military connections and, after a quick look in Wikipedia, had just decided to pop over to Salisbury to look at the 123 metre-high cathedral, Stonehenge and Old Sarum but they got lost in Salisbury and never got to Stonehenge or Old Sarum and went home again because the weather was too bad (two men from Moscow thought a Wiltshire spring was bad).
Next week Mary Poppins will give Mary Plain a hard stare and she will wonder if the twins are missing her back in Narnia.