If Boris was as well versed in The Classics as his not-so-humble bragging suggests, he would have been able to predict his inevitably sticky ending. People like this are never struck down by a single blow, instead death by a thousand cuts. It was sleaze that lead to his rise, and so it seems almost appropriate (a word not usually associated with our great leader) that sleaze should be his downfall. Sticky ends do after all, come most naturally to those of sticky origins (please see contact details if you’ve a weak spot for nice bums and sticky endings – I can be of assistance). But seriously, we all know someone like Boris. You’d trust him to bring a 6 pack of lukewarm beer to your BBQ – 90 minuites late and in yesterdays clothes, but what else would you trust him with? Your wife? Your child’s education? The tax money of an entire nation? Well of course if you’ve been contemplating divorce anyway you can always accelerate the process by introducing your significant other to Boris, but otherwise there can be no more conclusive evidence that we are a nation of masochists than the election of Boris as leader. We are a nation engaging in the mother of all toxic relationships with a man who couldn’t be trusted to manage his own household let alone your country.
It’s more nuanced than that of course, Boris = Bad, palpable dislike of Boris = Good is to simplistic a narrative. So try this one. We are all flawed (if you think you’re not flawed then being a narcissist is your flaw). The good news is flaws are what make people beautiful. The more endearing someone is, the more we feel they offer us, emotionally, spiritually, financially, whatever… the more likely we are to tolerate their flaws. And we understand that everybody tells lies. We have all been hypocrites. Sometimes we cut corners. Sometimes we turn a blind eye to behaviour we should call out. And so on. We tolerate these traits in other people because we tolerate them within ourselves. For this reason it can take a while to identify the person who is always a hypocrite. Always cutting corners. Always lying. We don’t go through life expecting everyone with a flaw to have fundamentally bad character. And because so many of us feel ashamed of our flaws or wish to change them – we perceive those whon “own” or even promote their flaws, to be somehow braver and more worthy of admiration than us.How could we ever trust anyone or function with a more pessimistic mindset? By the time you’ve elected a Boris, the journey climbing down from your position of support is a painful one. This is a human relationship. Unconditionally, we rely on our political leaders to do right by us (a moments pause here for the hilarity of Boris becoming the nations father figure). Admitting that you, I, the nation have made a fundamental mistake is so hard to do that (as I did at the beginning) you start to make excuses for behaviours you know to be objectively wrong. You come up with all kinds of theories like “It’s a double bluff. The person who appears beyond all reasonable doubt to be a fool, is actually a genius who’s hiding it very well”. You ignore all historical standards whilst concocting another theory that “Because he’s better than the other guy he’s good”. Or perhaps you adopt the most ridiculous but philosophically pure option “Yes I know about all that, but I like him so it doesn’t matter”. In the end “I like him so it doesn’t matter” became the mainstream line of support. You wouldn’t hire a bad surgeon because he was likeable, you wouldn’t hire an awful hairdresser because she made you laugh, yet despite us allegedly being more intelligent than ever, political tides have moved to populism. Never before has it been so easy to win: the electorate now judge what people say rather than what they do (a recurring theme in wider society where mere words, mere verbal missteps can render an entire life of tangible good deeds “cancelled”). Who cares what Boris has to say? He doesn’t write those speeches himself anyway. Why has it taken so long to start caring about what he’s actually been doing? Have we really become so bed wettingly naïve that a frisson of excitement may be obtained by mere “words of affirmation” from anyone with a plummy accent?
Therapy should come free on the NHS.
It’s a ladies prerogative to Win at Wimbledon. This outcome is easily achievable with my simple guide:
More a collection of poetic thoughts I jotted down whilst being driven through Kruger. This particular day was rainy, and a lot of vultures were in trees above – favouring the dead trees. In the heavy rain found myself drawn to the most destructive forces of weather and animal behaviours. I’m currently reading Les Mis and am at the part where Valjean is shortly about to attempt escape from the convent in a coffin. I think this part of the book has influenced the religious imagery that has featured in my recent poems. I’m not religious – but I think particularly in the wilderness you get a sense of magnitude that is usually reserved for religious iconography.Will work this into a poem when I get the time. Most poems I write come from the first stanza (or 2) that come to me fully formed and I build around those to complete it.
Kruger in Rain.
Vultures perch on Baron trees Windswept and wicked: Dangerous fruit Others Dive to death and play That haunting hammer: Beak on bone The Beast will take its share Of death The Bird will scavenge What is left The Bush will salvage Bones bereft: A noble feast Descends to theft Black leaves rot on riverbanks Like gangrenous lobes All from dust: To dust returns. BF.
*This isn’t really a poem, more a few ideas I jotted down whilst running through the forest*
This be the birth of a season
Dead trees pose and posture like Spiders Some fall into each other And stay there Forever like Drunken soul mates Old daffodils shrivel to barely a memory Ferns unfold and wave their loss Trees so high they touch God And have been Touched by God Leaves the colour of wine Form a majestic chandelier That casts a carpet of dancing foliage Crushed underfoot as Birds sing overear
Thought I would share some positive moments:
(Left) A one eyed old cat that disappeared for 5 years, finally found (living in a prison 😂) and returned to owner.
(Right) Closer to home, my lovely cleaner finally reunited with her mother and daughter who had to flee Ukraine on foot.
Your Monday Morning reminder that good things do happen!
Enjoyed 10 Michelin Stars in 1 week(!) Heston Blumenthals “Fat Duck”, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Alchemist in Copenhagen, and 1 Green Michelin Star at my favourite country hotel. And some shopping because naked people have little to no influence on society 😋 I’ve also started reading “Putin’s People” a fascinating book recommended to me a while ago. Whilst I was away I’ve been trying to keep up with my fitness regime (although I think in some ways it’s best to just submit to these tasting menus and enjoy them for what they are). Still, I loved running through the woods at Heckfield, and it put me in a great headspace for writing and ideas. Wordsworth was right when he said “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” I love being outdoors and in nature, so with my makeup off an my wellies on, it was a nice escape from the pomp and pace of London – I could have stayed there forever! It may surprise you that my eventual plan is to live in the countryside in a house with a lot of land, a 3 car garage (even though I can’t drive 😂) and a kitchen with a Sub Zero fridge (owning a Sub Zero fridge is the second fastest way to woo me 😂😂, the fastest way to woo me is to have a bottle of cold Champagne in said fridge and if you’ve had the foresight to put the champagne glasses in the freezer I’ll be moving in tomorrow 😂). In Denmark, I also tried working out in a High Altitude room for the first time. Phew! A really exhilarating workout – I wish this was available in London.