Day 400 – Marking milestones

It’s 400 days since SA embarked on its Coronavirus lockdown. Back then, we weren’t even allowed out of our property.
Since that day, we’ve been through two fairly horrendous waves of Covid-19, several alcohol and smoking bans, beach restrictions, economic disaster, and a stuttering, non-starting vaccination programme. Currently, our R number – marking the progress and pace (or not) of viral infections in the country – is sitting at 1.03, meaning that we’re ever so very slightly on the wrong side of where we’d like to be, but equally, that things aren’t nearly as terrible as they have been or could be. And that R number is currently being fuelled by minor outbreaks in the Northern Cape and the Free State. Touch wood, with the major centres doing ok at the moment, we’re still not seeing any sign of the expected Third Wave. Long may it continue.

Which does make one wonder why there’s still a midnight to 4am curfew.
Not that I had any plans for that particular period.
Other than sleeping.
Which is allowed.

Another milestone today: our wedding anniversary. The day each year when I sit back and reflect upon just why Mrs 6000, very much of Champions League standard, is still happily existing in my Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Second Division company. I’ve no idea either, but I’m very happy that she still seems content with my muddy, clod-hopping, somewhat makeshift agricultural style. Not much skill, but a whole lot of effort. As the actress said to the Bishop.
We’re going out to celebrate at a very good restaurant this evening.
But we’ll be back before midnight, Cyril. I promise.

I have spent much of the day painting. Not in any artistic sense, more in the “I’m not old enough for this Antique Cream to seem anywhere near acceptable in my house” sense.
I’m obliterating it all with brilliant white. Or rather, I was, until I ran out of paint. Very frustrating.

Soundtrack to my endeavours was provided by The Streets. I went for their Spotify catalogue, which has loads of live stuff, remixes and collaborations. Really nice trip (no pun intended) down memory lane, and one which culminated in me singing Fit But You Know It to the somewhat bewildered beagle.

A proper highlight of a milestone day for all concerned.

Day 332 – The day of rest

And on the seventh day, God rested.
God clearly didn’t have DIY to do.

The cottage in the back garden was the initial focus of the family’s efforts this morning. There really is no excuse for the amount of Antique Cream on the walls and woodwork of this house.
We began to annihilate it with pure white. Clean, crisp, not beige.

And then, while the kids went and did Scouts stuff, the grown-ups tackled the peach study.
We’re going for a grey in there. After all:

Grey is often perceived as a classic, sleek and refined neutral colour. Grey is highly adaptable and used by designers to let other colours shine, as it is subtle and can be either warm or cool. Best used as a restful backdrop to complement the mood you’re trying to create. It can also be combined with more playful colours.

Yeah. That’s me: classic, sleek, and refined. Highly adaptable.
And I’m all about creating a restful mood.

And there’s such variety. I counted more than 49 different varieties in the special shop I was at earlier. Amazing.

There is one slight hitch. The peach doesn’t want to give up. It’s fighting back through two coats of Boulders Plume*. I’m reminded of Adrian Mole using a felt tip pen to colour in the bells on Noddy’s hat after thirteen coats of black paint in his bedroom.

Has there ever been a more sublimely comic vignette of teenage angst than the sorry tale of Adrian Mole and his Noddy wallpaper?
In a series of diary entries over a torrid week one May, Mole, aged 13¾, decides that he can no longer sleep in a room papered with Enid Blyton characters (“positively indecent”) and paints his walls a vinyl, silk-finish black.

It does not work out well for him.

“Wednesday May 27th. Third coat. Slight improvement, only Noddy’s hat showing through now.”

“Friday May 29th. Went over hat bells with black felt-tip pen, did sixty-nine tonight, only a hundred and twenty-four to go.”

We’re not quite at that stage yet, but we’re certainly not grey yet either.



* seriously, who makes these names up?

Just Hanging Out

Much hubris from the ANC over Brett Murray’s depiction of President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma in a Leninist pose, but with his bits hanging out of his trousers. As far as I’m aware, Lenin never did that.

Nope. Vladimir is all tucked in there. And thank goodness, if the rumours of his immense statue are to be believed. Apparently, “Once you go Red, you never go back.” Or maybe it was all propaganda.

I’m not publishing the JZ picture on here, not because I disagree with it being painted, drawn, whatever, but because I really have no compulsion to have a stylised image of Mr Zuma’s parts on my blog. If you want to see “it”, then pop over to this M&G story on the subject.

But come now, it’s just another big fuss over nothing. In protesting, the ANC have now ensured that the Streisand Effect is in full force and the 99.99% of the nation that was wholly unaware that a picture of the President with his fly down even existed are now marvelling at… at… Murray’s work.
It’s fantastic publicity for Murray and for the Goodman Gallery for what, to me, resembles a GCSE art project (but with a willy). If the artist is trying to portray a message with his work – and apparently he is – it’s been thoroughly lost in the rumpus around JZ’s bits being on display. If you want to send a message through art, maybe go back to throwing loo rolls into trees.

Meanwhile, the “freedom of speech” brigade are out in force again, citing Constitutional rights as they always do when this sort of thing happens. And, of course, they are right: Murray is well within his rights to illustrate the genitals of anyone he wants.
But I would love it if despite the fact that Brett Murray had the right to paint JZ’s genitals, he chose not to. Just because you’re allowed to do it, just because it’s your right, it doesn’t mean that you have to. And yes, the ANC has its knickers (not depicted) in a knot over this and it’s all awfully silly, but there really was no need to have done it in the first place. Except to earn the fat fee that some stupid overseas buyer has paid for it, I suppose.
Meh. Brett should head off and find something else to do that actually benefits the country.

As for Jacob – if he didn’t want the picture painted, he should never have agreed to pose for it.