This morning I was lying back on the lounge, covered in cockerpoos and listening to the World Service programme In Conversation when I noticed a Tweet from someone I follow. She had posted a black and white photo of herself and was asking her followers to do the same.
I couldn’t think of any reason why not and took one. For a spur of the moment thing and for someone who is shit at selfies and isn’t keen on having photos taken of him, I was quite pleased with the result.
It rather shows off my impressive corona beard, I think.
The big thing today, however, was not my beard but the prime minister. He was due to give an address to the nation(s) today. And in the typical Tory fashion, there was no indication of when it would be broadcast.
Then, it turned out, it had been pre-recorded and there’d be no questions. I can only think that our prime minister can’t be trusted to speak live and then be forced to justify his words. Not that that happens much. Actually, I rather think it would have been better given in the House first so it could have been debated. But what do I know?
Eventually I found out it was going to be broadcast at 7pm so, for a change, I tuned in.
My first thought was that it certainly made a difference when he reads a prepared speech. There was no bumbling, foolish foppishness peppered with Greek and Latin words that no-one (not even ancient Greeks or Romans) could understand. And he actually sounded like he knew what he was talking about.
No, the problem was definitely not in the delivery. The problem was it was all rather confusing. The country really only wants a couple of things. It wants reassurance that the Government knows what it’s doing and it wants clarity. This broadcast gave us neither.
For instance…it would seem that on Wednesday we can go out and exercise as many times a day as we want. We can drive to a park and sit and read on a bench, if we want. However, we can’t visit relatives and still have to social distance.
Most confusing (or sinister as some people claim) was how people who are unable to work from home should go to work tomorrow (Monday) but not use public transport. Drive, bike, walk, scoot or roller skate but don’t catch the train or bus.
The people who claim this is sinister reckon that the Tories have now given employers a mandate to sack people for not coming in to work. Others say that it’s a bit hard on a Sunday night to suddenly have to make arrangements for the next day in fear of their jobs.
Whatever the real reason for this strange Lockdown Relax, the rest of the broadcast depended on a graph for it to make sense.
From my understanding, the curve on the graph is our progress along the Infection Line (my name for it). The top of the curve is the Peak. Step 1 is hopefully going to occur on June 1 and is for little kids to go back to school, cyclists to ride their bikes (which they can do now) and people to sit under trees (which they can do from Wednesday).
The second step (hopefully July 1) is for the rest of the kids to go back to school and some shops to re-open.
Finally, step 3 is just there for balance because nothing else is going to happen. So the graph says.
There is no Step 4.
As I said, it was a bit confusing. And, frankly, a waste of 15 minutes. I could have watched most of an episode of Brooklyn 99 instead.
Something that irritated me a lot (and which Dawn highlighted in a tweet) was his stereo hand gestures. Two thumbs up, hands open like jazz hands, hands thumping the desk. It doesn’t give a reassuring message when he seems to be trying to punctuate with double hands rather than one.
I don’t know what a body language expert would say but on stage, an actor who makes stereo gestures does not look at all convincing.
Possibly the most confusing thing of the day was the new government message.
A lot of people were wondering how to Stay Alert against an invisible killer. A fair enough question I thought.
Meanwhile, in Queensland, the number of visitors you are allowed to have at home has now increased from two to five. That’s because it was mother’s day. Presumably it’ll go back to two tomorrow.
And there’s noisy anti-vaxxers demonstrating in Melbourne calling for the head of Bill Gates who, of course, is responsible for everything.
Apart from wasting 15 minutes listening to our useless prime minister, I make Persian roast chicken for dinner which was delicious.
I just want to finish this post with a photo of a flower.
This is from one of the monkey plants which Mirinda had delivered a few weeks ago. The ones that arrived in a not very happy state. It looked like someone had played basketball with the box they were in.
After some lovely nurturing and not giving up, flowers have started to appear on the fragile stems. They look a lot like orchids but they’re not. They are quite lovely.