In the beginning, God created man.  Mistake #1’

I have a sign inscribed with these words which used to hang next to the front door in our old house.  Now above the sink, here, it never fails to make me smile – and, by jove, do we need something to smile about!  So, God must take the ultimate responsibility for that original blunder but it’s pretty much been downhill ever since, let’s face it.  Who knew 2020 would be payback?  Nobody knows what the hell is going on but Donald seems happy, rising from his hospital bed for a drive-by to acknowledge his supporters gathered outside.  At the same time, there are those relishing his illness, one former Obama aide taking to Twitter to say she hopes he dies – and Twitter allowed it!  Social media.  Licence to ‘kill’.  A must for every child!

That horrendous woman, Margaret Ferrier SNP, has been thrown out of Westminster; however, a week on from her Round the Country with Covid-19 trip, she is refusing to resign from her party.  Has she no shame?  Meanwhile, Jeremy is still suffering the hangover from his dinner party of nine and Stanley Johnson?  Well, forget a mask, he would benefit from a balaclava after the weekend serialisation of the forthcoming Boris biography, ‘The Gambler’ by Tom Bower!  Allegedly violent towards Boris’ artist mother, Charlotte, he broke her nose in the early seventies, while his serial adultery, absenteeism and intent to demean led to her breakdown in 1974.  Hospitalised for eight months, ten-year-old Boris and his siblings were pretty much left to fend for themselves.  His parents divorced in 1978 when Boris was in his first year at Eton …

Once more, one is reminded that each of us has a public façade; the protective mask which denies the inner angst.  A coping mechanism beyond which only the chosen few are permitted.  The celebrity with the, seemingly, glittering life; the comedian who finds humour in it all; the friend with the devoted family …. the clown with the painted smile.  The perfect idyll doesn’t exist, not even over the rainbow and, more and more, it becomes clear the importance of a happy, secure childhood; the necessary armour against future ills.  Throws a different slant on Boris, that’s for sure.  He of the big buffoon persona, belying an intellect commensurate with ambition, who is, in truth, a damaged and lost soul destined never to find the safe harbour he seeks while he, himself, mirrors the behaviour of the father who stole his innocence.  Sadly, time and again, life imitates life.

The mood has, inevitably, sunk.  Anyone know any good jokes?  That’s one thing I can never remember … jokes.  Pop loved nothing more than to hold an audience with his anecdotes and stories, most only funny because he laughed so much, himself – and, therein, lay the charm.  Now, there’s somebody who very much had a public façade belying the inner angst.  A complicated man, he was an only child and, really, very shy.  A misanthrope, at heart, he was select in his chosen company inspiring lifelong loyalty in those who earned his friendship – receiving his in return.  Intelligent and hard-working, he reached the pinnacle of his profession, respected by peers and patients alike, while, inside, he remained the victim of his own insecurity.  Renowned for his wonderfully sarcastic Glaswegian humour, few would ever have known …  I learned so much from my father.

Pause and picture Donald on his drive-by, bemasked and waving to his devoted followers through the window of his black armoured vehicle.  There, guaranteed to raise a smile!  Yes, it is the most ridiculous scenario and it would seem the guy is barking mad but he is anything but dull and I thank him for that.  Still, too, on the subject of Donald and ridiculous scenarios, what of the footage of his ‘team’ of doctors in Maryland descending the stairs behind their spokesman?  There must be at least ten!  Why?  What is the point?  The only person missing is Simon Cowell as they, seemingly, re-enact an X-Factor results show – or an equally trivial awards event.  One almost feels as if they are backing singers about to burst into song.  Hallelujah!

Back to reality and the admission from Public Health England that there has been a technical glitch in their ‘world-beating’ Track and Trace system resulting in the oversight of 16,000 positive COVID cases!  That’s 16,000 people whose individual contacts have failed to be made aware of their potential infection – meanwhile, potentially, infecting thousands of others.  Typical British farce!  The whole thing is a mockery.  The rules are embarrassing and futile.  The power to lead is dependent on trust and respect.  This country is devoid of both.

Never fear, one is told, Rishi Sunak’s latest package will make it all better.  It includes interview coaching for those who have been out of work for three months or more.  Perfect.  Superb.  Or not!  The present-day interview process should be abolished.  Human Resources?  Serving only to reduce the individual to words on a piece of paper – my mistake, screen – devoid of character, charisma, intelligence or ability and, more importantly, a vehicle for lies!  The dehumanisation of the workforce.  Unequivocal incentive for freelancing; going it alone.  All hail to that!

I have a note about Prince Harry – and a quote: ‘The world that we know was created by white people for white people.’  Harry?  What the hell is she feeding you?  There is nothing worse than watching a much-loved figure being totally demeaned.  Magnify that a million times for his brother, father and grandparents!  The outcome is sad and the damage far-reaching.  Meghan, though, has ensured she has the ultimate weapon in place – his son.

Finally, on the subject of Royalty, I succumbed to ‘The Crown’, this weekend!   Admittedly, only the first two episodes of Season One, so far … I’m assured it gets better!  My verdict, as one who has read a great deal about the Royal Family?  Insulting!  George VI and his bloody handkerchiefs and lung removal; Princess Margaret walking in as her dead father’s body is embalmed; Prince Philip emerging, triumphantly, from an encounter with a wild elephant …  poetic licence on speed!  Oh, the power of hype.

Back to masks …

You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.’

Oscar Wilde

This is Trish, signing off.