Like most weeks in 2020, a lot has happened. John Gilding is here to cut through the noise and give you a refreshing take on the best (and worst) of the past week.

  1. Kanye West’s Still Life 

On Tuesday, Kanye West announced that Kim Kardashian West was becoming a billionaire. Naturally, that would be a cause for celebration for the pair. Perhaps a small gift and a romantic meal with a bottle of champagne was in order, however Kanye, not one for mainstream congratulations, took to Twitter to post this heart-warming message about his wife’s success:

The fact he made a still life isn’t the only thing that’s baffling. This image opens up so many questions. Why did he choose those six items? Why does he appear to have laid them out in the middle of the road? Does this mean Kanye has an allotment?

I’m hoping the answers to these questions are; “They made for a delicious congratulatory soup”, “The neighbours wanted to help with his big project” and “yes”.
But I don’t think we’ll ever really know. Unfortunately, Forbes later revealed that a deal between Kim’s KKW Beauty company and Coty, a beauty giant, left her wealth just $100 million shy of the big $1 billion. Which, although a disappointment for her, might mean that we get a sequel to the still life. I can’t wait.

  1. Leicester going back into lockdown

After a spike in coronavirus cases in the area, Leicester was put back into lockdown on Tuesday. This was a result of the city accounting for 10% of all positive coronavirus cases reported across the country over the previous week. This meant pubs didn’t open, shops closed their doors again, and those shielding from the virus won’t have their restrictions lifted on the 6th of July, unlike others around the country.

If this localised lockdown works to slow the infection rate in Leicester, it could be used in other areas around the UK, and the world, when there is an outbreak.
But why stop there? After this crisis has passed, we could use localised lockdowns for the benefit of society. For example, if there’s a sudden rise in queue-jumping in Leeds, stick a lockdown in there and soon people will be queuing straight as an arrow.

An outbreak of tailgating in Bristol? Lockdown. Surge in seat-stealing in the IC? Sheffield will be locked down faster than you can say “Western Bank Library”. It’s the way forward.

  1. English pubs opening up

After a three-month absence, pubs in England reopened on Saturday as part of the Government’s plans to restart the economy. They are operating under strict guidelines, with social distancing and the use of beer gardens being encouraged. Most of the country was responsible with their new freedom, but some may have taken it a little too far.

If, like me, you’re a little hesitant to get back to the pub just yet, but don’t want to forget what it’s like, we have a handy guide for you to recreate that pub atmosphere in your own home.

  1. Spread a thin layer of honey or jam over your carpets, to give them that authentically sticky feel. Not so much that you can’t move, but enough to make you suspicious.
  2. Hire a man in his mid-fifties to sit at your kitchen worktop and occasionally engage you in a conversation about Sunderland’s decline from Premier League football.
  3. Put post-it notes on taps around your home, and call them ‘guest ales’ with names like “Careful Badger”, “Mungo’s Return” and “Garden Centre Decking”
  4. If you want to make your garden feel more like a beer garden, start by adding some picnic benches, complete with slightly faded umbrellas. Then, to finish the look, have a wasp’s nest nearby to provide an irritating number of insects, but not enough to make you want to move.

Congratulations! You’ve captured the essence of a pub visit, and now all you need is a name. I’ll leave that up to you.

Image Credit: Roger Blackwell


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