In these heady days of video chats and meetings I have wrestled with the thorny problem of what to do with my background.
After all, a plain wall with a cupboard door and a radiator is hardly edifying viewing.
I have tinkered with options, such as a virtual background that makes it look like I’m somewhere else.
But the one putting me in the bar at the Marine was just a depressing reminder of what we can’t do. Ditto me in the stalls of His Majesty’s.
Besides, no matter how good the tech, my bald head still starts to blend into the image in a distracting way.
Mostly I now just blur what’s behind me, but now I have been handed a better idea, courtesy of Her Majesty’s Government.
I’m going to buy an absolutely mahoosive flag and stick it up on one of those really imposing spear thingies.
Then whenever anyone talks to me on a video call they can see where my heart and passion truly lies and know they are dealing with a proper patriot, a serious individual, worthy of their respect.
Now, where can I get a Saltire the size of my study wall?
In all seriousness, I have no intention of sitting talking to people with a flag behind me.
That is the sort of jingoistic nonsense best left to Americans who are into all their saluting the flag stuff as a constant reminder to the world and themselves that they are the best of the best. (Cough – Trump – cough. Sorry Uncle Sam, you’re still not forgiven that one.)
It is incredulous then, to see flag-waving is now bleeding its way into the Tory boys and girls running Westminster.
Clearly an edict has gone out to make sure you have the Union Flag on view at all times when on camera, even to the extent of having bunting up, if you don’t run to the sort of thing that would cover the deck of an aircraft carrier.
This preposterous pomposity is obvious and laughable – although woe betide you if you do find it funny. Take the beasting that was unleashed on the BBC Breakfast presenters Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty for making a joke about the ever-growing size of the flags turning up in Government ministers’ living rooms.
Cries of treachery and: “Why do you hate Britain?” and demands they be fired assailed from some quarters.
This culminated in Conservative MP Lia Nici saying if people are not proud of the British, perhaps they should move to another country.
Well, now you mention it Lia, I would much rather be in a country that doesn’t fly the Union Flag, thanks.
In fact, it’s been a near lifelong ambition of mine to see that happen.
If you would like to facilitate my bold move, perhaps you could have a word with your boss, Mr Johnson.
Ask him to stop telling the Scottish people they aren’t allowed a say in their own future, no matter who they elect either (democratic deficit, anyone? )
Let’s at least ask the question and see which flags are flying in the background after that, shall we?
Keyboard warriors should be unplugged
The genius of author Neil Gaiman came up with a character the world really needs right now.
In his book of short stories, Trigger Warning, one tale told of the uninventor. This was a time traveller who travels back to “uninvent” technology that actually made the world worse, rather than better.
Flying cars? Had to go – too much congestion in the skies and cars falling to earth all over the place.
The hero of the piece is regaling folk in a present-day pub about his undoings, but then they lose interest, pick up their phones, get lost in the screens and conversations stop dead. And the reader is left in no doubt what will be uninvented next.
Tell you what, a quick look on Twitter on Friday night left me in no doubt that some things might be better off not having existed.
I wanted to see what folk were saying about Red Nose Day and couldn’t believe the bile and hatred being spewed at everything and anyone associated with Comic Relief.
Seriously, people savaging folk who raise money to help kids, while entertaining viewers. Sure, it might not all be to your taste, in which case, don’t watch it.
But why broadcast your vitriol to the universe?
And, as we all know, social media does that with everything it touches.
It is strange and sad that technology, which should unite us, is hijacked by sheer malice.
Why anti-vaxxers give me the needle
Right, I’m rolling up my sleeve and doing my bit to get Covid cuffed…
The blue envelope of hope dropped through my letterbox on Saturday inviting me for my vaccination. I’ll be there for my jag without hesitation, ready for the next step towards normality.
I’ve paid no attention to the scaremongering anti-vaxxers. Not into tinfoil hats, ta. And if I end up full of microchips so Bill Gates can track my movements, so be it. He’ll soon get bored watching me trudge from my study to the kitchen for another Gold Bar.
Please, when the invite comes, get the jag – get our lives back.