Tag Archives: confederacy of dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”  – Jonathan Swift

The second shoe fell today – I am laid off until further notice. It wasn’t unexpected, and in some ways it’s a bit of a relief as I now know what is going to happen regarding work. I didn’t want to let anybody down, but I didn’t want to bring any germs home to Julia either.

This isn’t as selfless as it seems. Without Julia I couldn’t cope in a world of technology, political correctness and compassion. It isn’t in my nature and I need someone to guide me through it. I would be lost without her and would just have to fade away, which I don’t want to do that just yet. They call it the widowhood effect.

Having done badly in a round of Pointless which demanded knowledge of US State capitals I will be starting a course of increasing my general knowledge from tomorrow.

I’m also planning on measuring and cataloguing my collection of Peace Medallions.

After that I may rearrange my sock drawer. The question is whether to sort them by colour, length or type.

After that I may run down the street screaming and waving an axe.

I’ve been amusing myself with watching news reports of the coronavirus, or even news reports not about the coronavirus. Listen to the advice then watch what happens.

There were pictures on TV of Italian policemen stopping people for breaking curfew. Some police were wearing masks pulled away from their mouths and noses and others were wearing them over moustaches.

Our government advice is that healthy people should not wear masks, and that masks without eye protection are not useful. Advice for many years has been that masks don’t seal properly if you have facial hair. I have been told that many times by Health & Safety men, but I was working with chemicals, not pathogens. And finally, they only work when you wear them – seems obvious but several of the Italian Police hadn’t thought of that.

Then there were pictures of Alex Salmond. I’ll leave it to you if you read the article but look at how close they all are. That’s not two yards apart. To be honest, even if there was no coronavirus I’d be wary of standing too close to Alex Salmond after some of the things that were said at the trial.

How about the daily press conferences? They seem to have changed now but until yesterday the journalists all seemed rather tightly packed. Have a look at this picture– how far apart are they?

Do as I say and not as I do seems to be the watchword.

Tonight a news crew stopped a man in London and asked what he was doing. He was filming for his YouTube channel.

“Should you really be doing that?” they asked.

Am I the only one detecting the irony of the question? I’ve been saying for days that we’d be better off without all these news reporters roaming the streets to complain about people roaming the streets.

So there you are – the inside of my head during a day in the life of a crisis.

I will look for a picture, but I’m not sure I have any that are appropriate. Instead, here are some ducks on the duckpond at the Mencap garden. Julia took them on Friday when we popped by to water and check seedlings.

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Ducks on a Pond

If you want a good book to read whilst self-isolating try this.

Chickens, chintz and a confederacy of dunces

It’s been hot, and the poultry and the polytunnels have both needed a lot of water. So did I by the time I’d spent the best part of twenty minutes in the tunnels.

However, I did get a reasonable picture of an angle shades moth, as featured in the opening picture. We had one about two years ago. It was blown onto a table outside while I was having a drink on a blustery day, clung on for a few minutes to allow me to take a blurred picture, and then flew away at high speed as the wind took it again.

This one was more leisurely.

We’ve had an attack of chintz in the cafe, which is starting to resemble my memories of my grandmother’s front room. Apart from the piles of sugary snacks and the juice drinks, and the notices. Looks like we’re having a turf war again, as all my pizza ingredients and the emergency gluten free bases have all been moved to the ice cream freezer. Apart from the notice banning me from the fridge freezer I’ve had another one ordering me not to move anything round.

I’ve also had to move out of the store cupboard I was using so they could fit an extra table in.

Jonathan Swift wrote: When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

It does seem that there is a confederacy of dunces ranged against me, but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

They have a group of specially invited people coming round on Saturday to test the new look cafe. Now, I’m not a marketing genius but, as I’ve been telling them for a while, the people we need to talk to are the ones that don’t come, or the ones who come once and don’t come back. The friends who come for a chat every Saturday morning are nice people and loyal customers, but their opinions aren’t going to help us appeal to a wider customer base.

Needless to say, I haven’t been invited. It must be something I said…

We’ve had a good showing of Small Tortoiseshells in the last week or so, which is a relief as they seemed to have almost died out. There is a parasitic wasp that attacks them; it arrived from the continent some years ago and in some areas has almost wiped the Small Tortoiseshell out. We’ve also had several pairs of Painted Ladies, some silver Y moths and an upsurge of mint moths.

So far we haven’t had any hummingbird hawk moths this year but they only started to show in late August last year so there is still hope.