Sunday, 30 June 2019

On the home front

I’m living in an out-of-sync parallel world, watching our Britain decline into something unrecognisable. As with life in general, allowing others to dictate your existence is essentially self-destructive; there’s nothing worse than knowing you’re trapped by other people and their ambitions or schemes. An uncertain future threatens. Too many different interests are clamouring for attention at the same time. While the impact of the international Climate Emergency crusade is to be applauded, its coincidence with the Brexit fall-out, the machinations of the UK’s Conservative party, and an approaching interregnum in Europe’s officialdom, all mean no single issue stands front and centre.  
  While this is a period of too much chaotic disorder, rather than inactivity, it feels much as the Phoney War of 1939–40 must have felt. The G20 summit is a joke, a parade of macho posturing. Unspoken realities are ignored. (And why is Putin there? Okay, Pooters always plays the long game, but he now has what he wanted, vis-à-vis the destruction of Syria: i.e., Mediterranean port facilities?)  

My LibDem online feed informed that the hard-line Brexiteer MP for Welsh Brycheiniog a Sir Faesyfed was recalled by his constituents, so there’s a push afoot to oust the Tories. Although some believe the man may get back in, a Lib there could mean the Cons lose their working majority. Millimetre by millimetre, perhaps this Brexit insanity could be defeated.
 The Attorney General’s opinion, that the domestic fracas at Johnson’s girlfriend’s flat should not affect the prevaricating Bojo’s chances to become PM, displays a lack of empathy with the real world. Of course it will, and should – for female Tory members, anyway. Do you really want this man in charge of your futures, ladies? Ecce homo.
 The fawning Daily Telegraph declared the party membership won’t care. It’s a personality cult. “They’ve been waiting since 2016 to vote for Boris Johnson.” Well, the D/T would say that: the 55 year old BJ writes for it, and its diehard view appears to be that a useless or ‘bad’ Tory is superior to any number of ‘good’ politicians in other parties. (The term is comparative!) Johnson also maintains that his relationship with the US’s Steve Bannon is a ‘lefty delusion’ – his favourite riposte to anything he doesn’t like, on a par with the Trump playbook’s ‘fake news’ bleats – (sorry, tweets!) Hunt, on the other hand, younger by some three years, has a better grasp of PR control, as well as a reputation for calmness under fire. Perhaps this will crack, but stress does tend to sort the men from the boys. I get the impression that Boris, like Trump, never grew up. Also in common with Donald T., Johnson has a string of relationships behind him, and multiple offspring. As above – ecce homo ...
  I’m more of the Prof. Mary Beard view ( – that BJ’s ‘economy with the truth’ gives a “powerful lens on how BJ argues (misleadingly, over-confidently, blusteringly) and how his supporters read his arguments.”  The great British public must be pitifully dense, but, there again, they swallow tabloid garbage wholesale, and avidly consume trash magazines that present imaginary TV soap characters as if they’re ‘real people.’ 
  However, neither candidate for #10 Downing Street mentions the elephant in the room: Europe has no intention of shifting its position. All the EU needs to do is wait.

Life here is half-and-half. Tasks are either half-completed, or ignored, but I’m ticking off the indoor demands. The bathroom awaits a finished floor. I was so impressed by the local firm that quoted for it I’ve opted to have the study floor redone as well. Major upheaval in prospect: everything, but everything, will have to be moved out. With my genius for procrastination, it will take an aeon before it’s moved back ...
 Outside, everything in the garden’s stifling summer heat is not lovely. An Amazonian jungle is creeping up on us. Triffid-like, the biggest Scottish thistle you ever saw is growing like a palm tree – it’s nearly as tall as I am – and the grass is two feet high. Too bad. It’s designated as an area of common access, which refers to Scotland’s archaic feus, before Holyrood passed the Abolition of Feudal Tenure (Scotland) Act 2000. Thus, I’ve never been permitted to fence it off. Let the common holders sort it. No partition? No duty of care!  
But the problem of are-we-ever-going-to-move persists. Recently, the idea that we will have to buy began to tentatively rear its unwanted head, when renting could avoid future complications, hassles, obligations – and expenses – for the family. But the zeitgeist is against it. It seems hordes of people have the same idea. The not-for-profit housing associations are inundated.
 Thus, a myriad intricacies of where, and how much – freehold or leasehold, part rent, part buy, and all permutations thereof. I did find one opportunity: a new development at the right price, in the right general location – and no pesky common areas, either! – but adding the pursuit of property to the current bewilderment of living isn’t wise. I don’t need complex stresses. I guess the best option is to do what I’ve always done in life, including v/v the university and the thesis. Do one thing at a time, impose a deadline, a necessary condition, and stick to it.

Engrossed in fettling the Gt. Thesis Endeavour, the second chapter was suspiciously easy. This caused anxiety. Surely revamping it should be fraught with difficulties? Then Chapter Three was more problematical, and Chapter Four’s proving a nightmare. Some of it contains linchpin theories, but a simple approach – treating the whole thing like any other MS in need of editing – removed the worst of its emotional aspects. It’s just words now. Words I can deal with. Academia I can’t. (Why is academia so factious?)

The years have caught up with little cat. A couple of weekends ago, around 12.30 am one night, she had a fit of some sort. I don’t know if this was the first time, because we’re not always here and she’s on her own in the house.
 The spasmodic convulsions continued for several minutes. No clue yet as to cause. This remains to be diagnosed, possibly, in the wake of a broad spectrum of bloods – although a long shot. It could have been a central nervous system malfunction. (The vet’s blood pressure monitor’s a miniature version of a BP cuff. Our feline, politely but repeatedly, kept withdrawing the front paw ...)
  I’ll miss her dreadfully, when she eventually receives her ‘call home,’ (as the Scots say). She’s grown old very gracefully, queen of all she surveys, enjoying her secure ‘only cat’ status for many years. She’s never had to move house, or countries, as others of a long line of black cats have done in the past. But age is something none of us can defeat. 

Picture credits: Johnson, © Financial Times,

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