The lockdown is relaxed and I’ve been able to go out to pubs and restaurants. Last weekend I was able to have fish and chips, and hopefully today I will have Sunday lunch in a restaurant.
1. Quote of the week
Betrayal, assassination, trashing of reputations are all part of the everyday toolkit of a person obsessed with power, control or revenge. — Gil Amelio
2. What I’ve been enjoying
This week I finished season 2 of Cheers. I still think that Cheers is some of the best comedy I’ve seen from the US. I was reminded on a long-haul flight last year. Onto season 3 and then perhaps Frasier.
I don’t actually watch much television. I have a Netflix subscription and a Prime subscription, but I’m not sure how long I will continue with those. Whilst they have some content, I will.
I discovered that I don’t actually need a Television License anymore. I don’t watch terrestrial television anymore. Perhaps I should remove my aerial and stop paying for my license in solidarity with the over-75s who are being asked to pay theirs again.
3. What I’m reading
I’m still dragging myself through Vikings and SRE. The second part of the SRE book is very detailed and I’m not sure it is of much use unless you work at Google. I will press on and finish it. My Spectator subscription has given me a free Telegraph subscription, so I’m reading the newspaper daily.
On the spur of the moment, I picked up The Road to Wigan Pier by Orwell. As I type this, I’ve read half of it and I expect to polish it off this weekend. It’s gripping and I can’t put it down. I’ve put it down to do other things obviously, but it has been a long time since I’ve stayed up beyond midnight to read a book. The first part documents the lives of the coal mining communities in Wigan. Their life is tough and dirty. Living conditions are not good. The book is a view into another world. I’ve read 1984 & Animal Farm by Orwell – I’ve probably read both books twice. I should read more Orwell – I clearly get on with his work.
4. What I’m doing in my free time
For various reasons, I have been walking Luna more this week, usually 4-5km a day and I have managed to get out on the bike more. This week I got on my road bike for the first time in two years. What a difference it makes to be on a road bike versus a hybrid. It was easier to get up hills and build up speed. The problem is that many of the cycle routes around here are not designed for road bikes – a hybrid is necessary.
5. What I’m learning more about
I despair with the world at times. As I walked along the road the other day, it occurred to me that I’ve never had to suffer persecution to the extent that others have. I am lucky that I live in a country where I can pretty much believe what I want and practise what I want, provided I do not break the law. Others have not been so lucky. Two examples that I learnt more about this week: 1. The Drownings at Nantes, where many were drowned for not supporting the French revolution or in some cases merely for being a suspect. More recently, 2. Former Yugoslavia. Miserable. But we must not forget these events because we must remember that as human beings we are capable of horrible things.