Oh dear, those darned text messages are causing trouble again. First David Cameron was placed in the stocks for his begging Greensill messages. Now they’ve jumped out to bite Boris.
He must be yearning for those days of W. H. Auden’s Night Mail when ‘the chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring, the cold and official and the heart’s outpouring’ were safely contained on paper.
The PM’s amusingly unenthusiastic text comments about Matt Hancock’s performance in the early days of the pandemic – summed up as ‘f****** hopeless’ – may have been dragged out by his old mucker Dom Cummings as supposed evidence of the chaos of No10.
But, frankly, who has not run into problems with our digital comms, knowing there’s a minefield lurking on someone’s phone if they choose to share it.
Only yesterday I pinged off a text to someone thinking he alone would read it, only to discover I had mistakenly sent it as a group text.
Oh dear, those darned text messages are causing trouble again. First David Cameron was placed in the stocks for his begging Greensill messages. Now they’ve jumped out to bite Boris
Moments later an unintended recipient replied: ‘Not for me I think?’ Fortunately, on this occasion, I was only banging on about train time-tables but that’s not always been the case when I’ve sent something to the wrong person.
I once shared my views by email on an Italian fashion house who were threatening to pull their advertising out of Vogue if we didn’t run a massive story on them. I included a number of choice phrases about their bullying tactics.
The email was intended for a colleague but instead I’d sent it straight to the designers’ inbox, and still remember the sense of icy horror when I realised the mistake. It certainly wasn’t a moment for a jokey ‘Whoops!’
Surely most of us have been guilty of sending something off, misspelt and ungrammatical, in the heat of the moment using words which, with more consideration, we might have realised were less than wise.
In my rational moments I remember the sage advice to never send emails or texts at night but rather wait, reread them in the morning and ask: Does this still seem like a good idea?
However, an equal number of times I have woken to find a bruised response to something I sent off around midnight with the utter conviction that the better part of a bottle of wine tends to bring.
The PM’s amusingly unenthusiastic text comments about Matt Hancock’s performance in the early days of the pandemic may have been dragged out by his old mucker Dom Cummings (pictured) as supposed evidence of the chaos of No10
Give me a car – not a nightmare nanny
The other day I got a new car – a serviceable VW Golf. At least a car is what I thought I’d bought, but it turns out that what I actually paid for is a nanny – a total nightmare continually spewing out bossy commands.
I’ve only just come to terms with the noisy screech that compels us to wear seatbelts but that’s nothing compared to the frightful nagging edicts now popping up on my new dashboard.
‘Take your foot off the accelerator’, ‘Close your windows, the A/C is on’, ‘Traffic hazard restricted’ (whatever that means) and endless eco guidance.
All I wanted was four wheels to get me from A to B. Instead I’ve saddled myself with the worst kind of back-seat driver – one that will never, ever shut up.
Time to sink these briefs encounters
Better news though in the development of men’s swimwear. The sight of a group of British and Irish Lions rugby players paddling in the Jersey sea last week was a reminder that the snug briefs once traditional for men are now simply unacceptable.
he sight of a group of British and Irish Lions rugby players paddling in the Jersey sea last week was a reminder that the snug briefs once traditional for men are now simply unacceptable
Most of the players were resplendent in baggy black shorts, beefy thighs and taut six-packs on display. But one guy wore an ill-chosen pair of super-tight Union Jack briefs, giving prominence to a quite different part of the anatomy.
The last time I saw a man wearing this style was a couple of weeks back on a beach outside Lisbon. He must have been in his 80s and was accompanied by a woman of a similar age wearing a thong bikini, just like all the young Portuguese girls.
My first thought was that it wasn’t a good look for a woman of her age and shape, folds of fleshy bum hanging out the back. But then I realised how wonderful it was she felt comfortable enough in her body to wear it. Might I be guilty of double standards here?
Famous Five had to hide under my bed
When I was a child my best friends were not allowed Enid Blyton books.
I never knew whether their banishment was on the xenophobic and racist grounds now condemned by English Heritage or because the parents just thought they were rubbish.
When I was a child my best friends were not allowed Enid Blyton books. I never knew whether their banishment was on the xenophobic and racist grounds now condemned by English Heritage or because the parents just thought they were rubbish
All I knew was that, like so many banned things, they were regarded as immensely enjoyable and that if I wanted any chance of playing with my visitors, I had to hide my huge stash of Blytons under my bed.
Otherwise they would spend the whole afternoon lost in the forbidden fruit rather than hanging out with me.
People’s Princess… to People’s Goddess
It’s no time to be a sculpture. Historical figures are being yanked off their plinths at every possible opportunity and contemporary memorials are generally criticised for both their artistic qualities and subject matter.
So what chance of Ian Rank-Broadley’s Princess Diana pleasing anyone when it’s unveiled?
Working on the assumption that he won’t be following the example of Maggi Hambling’s recent nude Mary Wollstonecraft, I’m intrigued to see how he dresses his subject.
Will he commemorate her in one of the sharp Catherine Walker suits she loved – or her more off-duty chino look? Or will she be draped in folds of fabric towering above us as an immortal People’s Goddess?
Will a sparkler from a lab keep its shine?
What makes status symbol items worth their price? Rarity value used to be a factor but as diamonds can now be lab-grown, Gucci are replacing leather trainers with recycled steel and wood pulp, and Hermes bags will be made out of mushrooms, will they keep their expensive kudos?
And what else might undergo similar transformation? Will Osetra caviar go plant-based and Ferraris be manufactured from compost? I have no answers – only questions.
A massive step up the political ladder
My Lib Dem friend spent Thursday last-minute-canvassing for the Amersham by-election. She’s triumphant. She logged up 18,000 steps.