Red Bully loses West Wing


© BBC◇MB mash-up

Over the past four years, these pages have attempted to be interestingly rude about the intriguing US #Resident; Tweetie-Lie, DJ – or do we mean MC – Trump … waddeva.

Doubtless, we’ve fallen short of the mark as trans-Atlantic litigation isn’t one of our strong suits and unleashing the full contempt rolled up in our curled lip would be both counter-productive and entirely contrary to genially rational notions of emotionally resilient intellect.

So it is with shattering relief the American Electorate has removed that irresistible temptation to laugh at their Joke and installed a fresh attempt to join in with the Globe’s serious, thought-full circulation.

We wish the Biden-Harris Presidency all the discerning strength it will need to restore authority, dignity and calm to this great Office and hope the abboration of these past four years will be swept quietly away as the plangent debris of an unfortunate experiment.

As an aside, recently we’ve been catching up on Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing which aired 154 episodes between 2002 & 06 in the UK (somehow missed first time round). In light of that depiction, how would it be were some clever soul to write a reflection of the revolving door juvenalia – or even a flight of fancy – mapped over the West Wing’s excumbent flapper?

Memory Day celebration


©  Hanna-Barbera Productions

You know how rosey it is when you hear others say in a public forum what you know to be true? That visceral ease in knowing your mind and heart chime with others about things that matter?

Well, earlier Rethink on BBC Radio 4 mused over qualities leaders will need to support levitation from the mire into which Covid-19 has plunged most countries.

Were I to give you a synopsis of the programme, you might not bother to listen. Thus, Listen.

The picture of an emotionally intelligent world that emerges, one inclined to Listen makes radical sense: yet there’s nothing radical about a thing promoted for over twenty five years.

Today is Memory Day: celebrating the day a six-year anteriograde amnesia episode retreated and new life began. There couldn’t be a better moment to rethink how to recover from – and hear how important Listening will be to comb through – the tangle de nos jours.


These routes are made for walkin’


What is a life?

Some hold the definition of a straight line as the shortest distance between two points : seems both intuitively and rationally true. Yet it strikes me as intrinsically sad: unless you’re a Roman foot soldier whose feet have a vested stake, what’s beguiling about an unexplored path?

The pestilence, which appears to have acquired a tidal nature rolling in and out, has thrown up opportunities to rethink how we behave, replenish, ventilate, assume responsibility, acknowledge [mind ya prolix, Ed], aspire … you get the idea?

To which end, Town Centres: they iz a-changin’. A break-out group of a North London Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise [NLCCE] conference in February – remember February? Before Covid-19 had hinted itself into being – discussed the future of the High Street which seemed prescient then but now, the conclusions drawn appear self-evident.

The High Street evolves in ever-shortening waves. No-one’s left who remembers two sweet&paper shops, a baker, DelikatEssen, Blacksmith and a hairdresser with those terrifying, rigid dryers standing sentinel along a wall – and all of them privately owned.

Well, mebbie it lies in virtue that harmoginodge – a somberly vaccuous case of national brands engulfing individualism – has been found wanting.

Brits, it seems, want shops with variety and idiosyncrasy: in the absence of which they shop online. Thus, the function of a High Street evolves into a place for socializing rather than commerce. Java joints and Houka lounges smoulder where once a haberdasherery rubbed shoulders with the green grocer, where that essential hardware store jived with the mistress of vinyl.

Life, lived to its fullmost extent, requires mingling in social celebration. Live, thrive, strive and stride into a multi-coloured/ethnic/aroma’d/possibilitied future where the rules have been thrown in the air and are landing in different patterns.

If the root of all evil is money, then perhaps this is a time to divert one’s route along different corridors to see what exists beyond?

It really is Appalling


C3P0 comforting R2D2                               Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker

Amid a plethora of aphorism to cascade from the tall Irishman, one which constantly delights is I can resist anything but temptation. Bless his heart, Oscar Wilde.

Well, it’s been a struggle since hearing it and has now proved impossible to resist howling … cackle-ing even … at this no-brainer news.

The Health Secretary announced this week the Covid-19 contact tracing app trialled on the Isle of Wight would be superseded by a different model: seemingly, it bombed.

It’s plausible to say only a minority of the professional population take account of the impact the emotions have in determining the decisions we make: which still strikes me as odd as it ain’t a new idea.

Genial and rotund David Hume in the 18th century would tell you no decision was made without reference to emotion – “reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

Expecting a Brit to obey a script received on a phone issuing life-style limiting instructions was not a plan in which emotional intelligence ever played a role.

How proud Mrs Hancock senior must be of her son’s vision, empathy, compassion and humanity. Such foresight into the hearts and minds of the population.

We are the human beings. Our phones are the Android. Seems vacuous even to have to say that.

By the by: Prince Philip who gives us the headline above, has been a life-long adopter of cutting edge technology. Mebbie he should be consulted on this?!

Stew, Stew, Barley, McGruel, Cupboard, Dribble, Grub


© Gordon Murray                                Trumpton’s heroic firemen dashing out

At the time of writing, of the 1.5 million felled by this global, indiscriminate pestilence, 88½ thousand have died. It is bewildering, tragic and will need more than fortitude to protect the vulnerable and conquer its cause.

While complying with instructions to make way for key workers and help the NHS by washing hands & staying home, the one walk a day has been a perfect moment for idle reflection and escape from the grimness of it all.

Do you think in music? words? pictures? numbers? colours? scents? something else entirely, perhaps? Whatever its medium, the mind can soar with spectacular freedom, particularly when there’s nothing else one is obliged to do.

For example, now that grocery shopping has become a rice-less requirement of careful planning, daily menus have evolved à la Trumpton. The entirely justified, well spaced queues at food stores focus concentration on exactly what’s needed as nipping out for a loaf or pint of milk is no longer a matter of … nipping.

Therefore, if prone to stepping across the threshold of shops and entirely forgetting what you came for, here’s a cheerful mnemonic for each day of any week: Stew, Stew, Barley, McGruel, Cupboard, Dribble, Grub.

Bon app’tit.

Let’s pander to our humanity


© South China Morning Post                     Ye Ye & Ling Ling, wondering why

HoooooDaThort? It seems privacy ain’t just a human requirement and desired acknowledgement of respect.

Th-Rilling evidence has emerged that with Covid-19 forcing the withdrawal of visitors from Hong Kong’s Ocean Park zoo, a Panda couple has felt more relaxed.

Indeed, it seems removing spectators from wild animals’ orbit enables them to feel more like Ailuropoda melanoleuca at home in South-West China chomping through, inter alia, up to Forty pounds of Bamboo daily.

Ling Ling and Ye Ye have been behind bars, together for ten years. Doubtless, the constant zoological scrutiny traumatizes sensibilities to such an extent, only now that she’s not on show, Ling Ling exhibits signs she inclined to natural behaviour while Ye Ye has left markings around their dwelling.

That which infuses our uncertain times is the scent of longing for something more imaginatively humane. We reached #PeakWeaponizingHearts aeons ago.

While we have time, might these not be moments of wonder? To take a breath and muse on how better/ deeper/kinder/brighter/smarter we step on the Earth: in tandem with which, how we flourish and ventilate understanding that living creatures are conscious and consciousness is life.

From Pandas International: When available, Giant Pandas will eat fish, flowers and small animals. In captivity they also receive milk, eggs, ground meat and specially formulated vitamin bread. Apples and carrots are a favorite treat.

Since the Giant Pandas’ digestive system is not very efficient, they must consume large quantities of bamboo every day in order to obtain the nutrition they need. Cubs are especially prone to digestive problems.

© Scientific American     In supine relaxation

Pandas eat for up to 14 h/day holding and biting the bamboo stalks. They generally eat in a sitting position but also like to snack lying on their backs.