642

All over the country, Thousands march, humour prevails.  Spiderman’s placard reads “With great power comes great responsibility Ya radge orange bampot”. A baby has one that says  “Babies Against Trump”.  A courageous Greenpeace protester para-glides through police snipers as Trump plays golf : “Trump Well Below Par #resist”.

641

The Tory leader doesn’t strike me as overly blessed with insight or brilliance. She invites Trump and lays on Blenheim, Sandhurst, Chequers, Windsor, a smiling Queen. Trump insults his host, recommends she sue  the EU (which he would like to topple, along with NATO) , plays golf and flies off to meet Putin.

640

Beautifully written, profound and thought-provoking This is Going to Hurt is quite simply one of the funniest books I’ve read. It’s also very moving. The NHS, once the pride of Britain and envy of the world. has, for decades been gradually dismantled by successive governments, crass money-saving incentives and stupidity.

639

Sarah Palin calls Sacha Baron Cohen “evil, exploitative and sick” after he posed as a wounded military veteran and interviewed her. “HOW DARE YOU mock those who have fought and served our country. Truly sick.”  America only fights just wars, wouldn’t dream of dropping atom bombs/napalm, selling arms, or using war to grow rich?

638

Headlines this morning:  UK government plunged into chaos.” How can you plunge into chaos something already flounderingly chaotic?  Events in Westminster appal on every level and just get worse & worse. Explain how the vicar’s daughter who couldn’t lead a group of scouts around a campsite, was elected to run a country?

637

Eternally attention-seeking, Boris Johnson has resigned.  The Eton- & Oxford-educated father of 5 who told British voters Brexit would make Britain richer and more independent appears to have no moral compass. New York Times headline: “Johnson has ruined Britain.” He’s certainly jeopardised national security, the economy, and innumerable work/educational opportunities.

636

Rees Mogg, not so much “Honourble Member for the 18th Century” as the Middle Ages. Ex-Etonion, Oxford, Hedge Fund Manager, millionaire, father of SIX children, anti-abortion, even in cases of rape…  What qualifies him to make decisions for the British people? And who actually votes these people in?

635

Michael Gove, Brexiteer, expenses scammer (which MP isn’t?), mooted bringing back capital punishment. As Secretary of State for education, approved creationist schools and suggested presenting all schools with signed copies of the King James Bible. The NUT passed a vote of No Confidence in him. Why don’t voters follow suit?

634

Invited friends for a drink. One arrived with a headache and left with a bleeding leg. I have no idea what happened.  Other than that, it was a good evening : local wine, good food and plenty of rain – fabulous storm after blistering spell of cracked earth cracked & scorched plants.

633

I’ve been grumbling about British Airways for a while but didn’t realise the extent of their descent into crassness. No longer included in the advertised price is a) food b) a cabin bag!! c) seats and d) the return flight, any of which might come in handy on a long haul 2 week trip

632

My flight to London coincides with Trump’s visit when thousands, hopefully, will take to the streets in opposition to the politics of hatred, misogyny, racism and bigotry he successfully normalises.  The US, exporting myths of being a great democracy, has a long & sordid history of racism, oppression, intolerance and unjust wars.

631

Lifted directly from The Guardian : “Meanwhile the far right is emboldened and brazen, with neo-Nazi groups once again marching on the streets of London, and fascists in the US openly flying Nazi flags and chanting anti-semitic and Islamophobic hate, confident in their belief that their views are shared in the White House.”

630

We live in a rural area. Gun ownership is rare and licenses not readily available. Hunters with guns kill for gastronomic reasons. Yet our local high school now looks like a prison, all bars and locked gates, more apparently obsessed by “security” than delivering education. So secure, it’s almost impossible to get not just in, but out.

629

Most teachers are admirably hardworking, committed to doing a really tough job.  So I find it devastating my sons’ experience of  French schooling was never joyous. Never were they excited about learning. I wonder that people who have no interest in psychology or kids, end up working in schools.

628

I’m frequently asked why I came to France. The answer includes a head full of romantic notions not helped by a year’s subscription to Country Life magazine, the waging of unjust war, a sickly child, a naive belief in Utopia, a desire to live lightly, off grid, away from phone masts…

627

My reasons for moving to France clearly show a startling lack of research.  But I live in a region awash with artists and activists, idealists who don’t vote for the Trumps of this world or disasters like Brexit. So I’m here, but my heart is often in California, Edinburgh, Chicago or London, with people and places I miss.

626

The Number 9 took me to school in Hammersmith, or the 27, which I didn’t get on if my teenage crush wasn’t top deck back, smoking his fag. Later, the 73 took me to amatory adventures in North London.  I might have learned more had maths been taught through bus routes.

625

It’s the early 1940s. Some 20,000 Chinese sailors are recruited into the British Merchant Navy (& paid less than their white counterparts).  Around 300 of them based in Liverpool marry local women. In 1945 the British government, colluding with shipping companies unwilling to increase wages, decides to “rid” Liverpool of them and many disappeared without trace.

624

On 5th June 2018  ten women in Saudi Arabia were granted a license to drive. One luminary said “Saudi Arabia has finally entered the 21st century.” No, sir: you’re entering the C20th. Women were driving cars at the start of the last century. Still a way to go, guys….

623

While we’re on the subject, how long before Saudi women can swim in public pools? Or take part in the Olympics (unchaperoned) without covering their hair?  When will they be able to go for a walk in a park dressed however they like, holding hands with someone they’re not married to? A terrible thing, fear.