I’ve just been reading Readly. It’s £7.99 a month, allows me access to hundreds of magazines and I resisted it when I first heard of it, but when you think of the cost of magazines it isn’t that bad. I feel guilty every now and then when I have a months where I don’t use it much, but generally I get much more than I would if I was still buying paper magazines, with all their environmental costs.
The selection changes, so you can’t always get what you want. On the other hand you don’t find yourself paying £4 for a magazine that really only contains two articles you want, and finding that neither were as good as you hoped.
Last night I was able to read two writing magazines, bookmark and article in a collectors’ magazine, find some new information on Commander Frank Brock, the fireworks man, and read two good articles in the Times Literary Supplement, which enabled me to take my mind for a walk (as the advert for the TLS says, assuming I can be so crass as to call anything associated with the TLS an “advert”.
There’s a very good article on the meeting of Sassoon and Owen in Craiglockhart Hospital in 1918, though that’s a subject which has, to be honest, been done to death. There’s also an excellent book review by Rory Stewart. The book in question is a biography of Boris Johnson and Stewart’s review is a masterpiece. I don’t think he likes Boris. It was a sad day for British politics when Boris beat him to the leadership.
Which all goes to prove that it’s dangerous for me to have time on my hands.
Whilst chatting to Tootlepedal last night in the comments section, I was able to formulate an acronym for Boris. He asked me if I could make it into a haiku, but I admit I am unequal to the challenge. It runs to twenty syllables and even the old-fashioned 5-7-5 Haiku only run to seventeen. I have managed to work it into a haibun.
Warning – contains an acronym of dubious taste.
After admiring the acronym POTUS for some time, I have decided that our Prime Minister needs an acronym. I’m still working on one as a general acronym for our leader, but have managed to develop one specific to Boris. Few, I imagine, would dispute that he is a Famously Unprincipled Conservative Kingpin Without Intelligent Thought.
I was thinking of other alliterative terms too, but good taste prevents me from using them.
The long-awaited speech from the Prime Minister on TV tonight turned out, after two days of leaked snippets, to be pretty much useless. It wasn’t so much a speech as a succession of vague mumblings, and very short on detail. It did verge on the Shakespearean in being told by an idiot and signifying nothing, but there was a sad lack of sound and fury.
Shakespeare – British Library
As a result, I am none the wiser about the way forward, but I do have a feeling of deep gloom. I didn’t have much confidence in the Government before lockdown, and I have less now. The only time I’ve been reasonably happy with the conduct of the Government coincided with the period the Prime Minister spent in hospital.
We don’t have a plan, it seems, just ‘the shape of a plan’.
It reminds me of Churchill – ‘ this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’
It is not a plan. It is not even the beginning of a plan. It is the shape of a plan.
Sadly, Boris Johnson, in addition to being no Shakespeare, is no Churchill.
Forgive my underwhelming response, but I now have to plan for going back to work.
This starts tomorrow, or Wednesday, or the first week in June. It’s even more non-specific if you work in a pub or restaurant.
They would like me to walk, cycle or use my car because public transport is going to be limited due to the need for social distancing. That should quickly undo all the gains we made by staying at home for six weeks.
And there was no mention of masks.
Although we are allowed to do a bit more mixing they are going to beef up the police powers by doubling the fines for breaches of the regulations. If severe punishments worked I’m sure we’d still be hanging people for stealing handkerchiefs, but try telling a politician that.
That never looks correct in writing, but I checked it up and dictionaries seem happy with either handkerchiefs or handkerchieves. The spellchecker isn’t, but that’s life. The strange thing is that I pronounce it handkerchieves, but spell it handkerchiefs.
I’m just watching a programme about Ladybird books, which is why I’ve missed my deadline. It seems that a child only needs a vocabulary of 12 words to start reading. One of them appears to be ‘dog’ but ‘cat’, it seems, is not necessary. Adults, they claim, have a vocabulary of 20,000 words. I am dubious about that. I honestly doubt that I use 1,000, but I really can’t be bothered to count them. I do know it’s possible to get by with eight words on my drive to work. These eight don’t feature either ‘cat’ or ‘dog’.
I just went looking for a vocabulary test to see how large my vocabulary is. Instead, I started to do a quiz about how long I’m going to live. Based on diet, lifestyle and various other quasi-scientific mumbo-jumbo I have 6 years 293 days and 32 minutes. That’s a bit less than I calculated in a previous post. (2,483 compared to the previous calculation of 2,920). That’s a nuisance as I was planning on using those 500 days to write my memoirs.