Hello all. How are you doing in the second lockdown? Or circuit break? Or whatever the hell it is called this time. A communal and national effort to look after each other. I have been struggling to write for months, as you may have noticed from my silence. I have found things so difficult that I have just started reading a biography about Thomas Becket a) to force myself to focus on something and b) to try and cheer myself up. I kid you not.
I have been considering how differently people’s minds work over the past few months. I often feel that my brain doesn’t work quite in the same way as a lot of people, and that my eyes don’t see things in quite the same way. This can leave one feeling rather even more discombobulated than usual, particularly at the moment and particularly when some people seem to make it their business to talk utter rubbish, and oh how much rubbish we have been treated to over the past few years. My word, where to start.
For obvious reasons I have converted entirely to the online shop this year. I was browsing one of the many catalogues to land on my doormat. I saw, amongst other things, some angel wings. I gather that one is supposed to hang these in your house and marvel at the other-worldly idea that angels might be watching over us, and in short, it is all going to be all right in the end. Rather a lovely idea. Everyone needs to feel loved and cared for. More now than ever.
Unfortunately this is not what it says to me. Unfortunately I have seen the film ‘Maleficent’. And those of you who have also seen it you now understand why it doesn’t say ‘love and fluffiness’ to me. I see a brutal scene. Angels have been hunted. By people in air ships, armed with nets and probably spears as well. Once pinned down the angels’ wings have been cleaved from their bodies with axes. The wings are then cleaned, mounted and photographed for sale. The angels are abandoned- bloodied, bruised and entirely bereft. Left to spend all eternity wandering the cosmos with their entire reason of being taken from them by the very creatures that they were stationed to protect…..I am not the target market for angel wings. Neither, I suspect, now are you. But plenty of people must do or they wouldn’t have been in that catalogue.
Another example is a sign that I saw whilst driving through a small village: “To the Nursing Home and Church.” I burst out laughing. What could be more cheering for a person who has become so frail that they need the care and attention of a nursing home, on their arrival to see a sign advising them that they will be of little inconvenience once they leave us, because a place of worship is just a short hop away? How comforting. How sensitive. I would have loved to have been in the meeting for approval of that sign. And the layers of people it must have gone through to have been approved, then re-approved and eventually signed off.
“Next item on the agenda, Snodsbury needs a sign for their church. Everyone knows that churches are notoriously difficult to find with their big pointy spires and being built in prominent places in order to be seen from afar, so I know it’s taxpayer’s money, but we need to help this village out.”
[earnest nods all round]
“Isn’t the Nursing Home opposite?”
“Couldn’t we put it on the same sign?”
“Hmmmmmmm……..I know! I’ve just had a brilliant idea. We could put it on the same sign. Saving taxpayer pounds. Green as well. Might also save some time for those visiting the nursing home as they’ll know where to go in the future. Ha, ha! Excellent.”
“What about putting some angel wings on as well? You know, church, nursing home – showing people that we are throwing a protective arm around them.”
“Don’t be absurd, Brenda. How monumentally insensitive. Haven’t you seen ‘Maleficent’?”
Another more obvious but distinctly less hilarious example is to the soon to be ex-President Fart. If there was ever a person to make you wonder if you are even both human, let alone think differently about things, he is it. Currently found to be having the biggest public tantrum since Childerbeast Number One lay down in a shop doorway because he wanted to be both inside and outside at the same time and didn’t, aged three, understand the contradiction. However, baffling as it is to me and everyone else who has expressed a view to me, there are a lot of people who voted for him. They have watched him over the past four years. Not through their fingers in horror, but listening and thinking “good point, why aren’t we injecting ourselves with bleach to kill the virus?” In my darker moments my only question has been “yes, in a limited and specific way, why aren’t you?”
Closer to home, we can find another example, the soon-to-be Strictly contestant, Boris “the Fridge” Johnson. Whilst I have not been keen on many of the people who have governed us (I feel as if it would be like being keen on estate agents), and we have differed politically, I was broadly of the view that they were reasonably intelligent people and earnestly doing what they believed to be the best for the country, even if I fundamentally disagreed with them. Sadly not with this lot. England does bleed. Or rather, be bled. Us. By them. Follow The Good Law Project and you’ll see what I mean. In addition, every day is a new nadir of incompetence. Pick an area of government, any one you like, and I bet a complete hash is being made of it right under our noses. On that basis, as I can decline Latin verbs and have been known to string a sentence together, perhaps I should have a crack at running the country? We are being governed by a group of people who, seemingly in their entirety, are demonstrably less intelligent than absolutely everyone I interact with on a day to day basis, including the cat. And he just meows constantly for food. But someone voted for them.
There we are. I don’t like angel wings, that sign is utterly ridiculous and I’m sick to my hind teeth of the endless spewing of lies. The last few years is enough to make you wonder what is wrong with you when you seem to see things so differently and the world seems to be so upside down. Even in times such as this, there is one thing I am sure of that doesn’t discombobulate me; I know who I am. I don’t like cheese, I have never seen ‘Game of Thrones’ and you really shouldn’t leave me alone with a box of After Eight mints. But I don’t cheat, not even at Monopoly. And I don’t lie. So whatever happens, when the time comes for an angel to bring me my wings (later rather than sooner, I hope) – I will be okay with that.