Honoured to address a branch of the Omnibus Society on Zoom. Whoever said there’s no such thing as society? Because here’s a whole society dedicated to the study of those weekend broadcasts of EastEnders, The Archers etc, where the past week’s episodes are concatenated into one. Although it turns out that the EastEnders omnibus ended a few years ago, killed by the iPlayer I suppose, which must be why the Society pivoted to focus on the “man on the Clapham omnibus” sort of omnibus.
I think a video recording will be published at some point. I forgot to say some of the things I’d planned to say – in “Chekhov’s gun” terms, it was like I’d brandished a gun but never fired it – but that’s OK. Everyone was very effusive, and any pigheadedness resulting from that was neutralised today (entirely unrelatedly) by a grumpy email from a charmless Graham, who made some valid points but… (I think I wrote some similar emails as a child, but I grew out of it. Learn about compliment sandwiches, dude.)
Found myself scrolling through the Instagram account of a “car-free [name of city]” campaign. I think I’m as motor car intolerant as anyone, but suddenly I felt like a Mr Toad ready to combust some hydrocarbons. I don’t think they post very often, so with a few strokes of the screen I got a concentrated dose of a whole year’s worth of lobbying … but ugh. In particular, it’s shitty to complain about creative parking by delivery drivers, who are just trying to meet their paymasters’ unrealistic targets, and who have never knocked me off my bike.
On Sunday evening, I had a lovely bicycle around the unusually quiet streets, with the football commentary in my ears (AirPods Pro transparency mode), the radio stream lagging a few seconds behind pubs’ televisions. And it was lovely. I was mildly annoyed by the police van parked on a pavement (sidewalk) blocking a bicycle lane, but I’ve nothing but respect for vans of all kind (see previous bullet point). And I saw a hedgehog.
“You can shove your Lamborghini up your arse” is a fine thing to chant and I’ve never felt such national pride, because that make of motor car is stereotypically owned by folks profiting from exploitation, nothing to do with “the politics of envy” or anything like that.
I think I’m going to go to a foreign country at the end of the month. Incredible stuff. I’ll be slightly relived if a mutant variant or something means we can’t go, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ what are the chances of that?