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Leviticus 245/84: Jab for Avril ... and other events to remember ..

Blissfully efficient ..and Avril got a Pfizer jab like Gordon. Yes, they've perfected the processing since the first week and Avril was from the carpark and back after 15 minutes in recovery phase in a total of 35 minutes. I'd had no luck at the Co-op interlude at Grange Park failing to find NoSecco which seems to be much sought after now but I did get some more parmigiano to replenish stocks. Lunch had been a fine bowl of vegetable soup, lots of kale, which I urged Avril to grate parmigian onto. What emerged from the fridge was mildew on all four sides - what might be called a parmigiano blu. Couldn't spot any penicillin growing but the blackbird and magpie enjoyed their portion. The grated parmigiano was excellent, enhancing the soup as it should. Back to the jab then; no badges left, just the card with the batch and date of vaccination and we'll call you for the second jab later. Some excitement this afternoon too as my note in a box back to Big House seeking cake supplies brought two splendid slices of freshly baked Bakewell. It's a speciality with Laura who's cheerful today because as well as Avril both her parents, Audrey and Gerry, were vaccinated too.
Also a day to remember. January 21st has not always been a good news day. Three truly memorable individuals who died today were King Louis XVI of France who was guillotined [1793], Vladimir Lenin died of a heart attack [1924], and George Orwell [1950] died of tuberculosis.

Louis XVI was King of France during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months just before he was executed aged 38. He had been a liberal monarch with many reforms put in place during his reign from 1774, a believer in the wisdom of the people he had supported the American Revolutionaries in 1776 but his attempt to flee the country was used as evidence that he was seeking foreign interference in the revolution. He was unfortunate to be monarch at this particular juncture in French history. Lenin was a Russian lawyer, revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik Party and of the 1917 October Revolution. He became the first leader the revolutionary proletarian communist government that took over Russia from 1917 and then led the formation of the USSR in 1922 until his death aged 54 having survived two earlier assassination attempts. George Orwell, his pen name, died aged 46. Born in India he returned to England for education at Eton then worked as a policeman in Burma, a teacher back in England and with the BBC. He has become one of the best remembered 20th century English novelists, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, biting social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism. He is perhaps best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working-class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences soldiering for the Republican faction of the Spanish Civil War (19361939), are as critically respected as his essays on politics and literature, language and culture. Orwell's work remains influential in popular culture and in political culture with the adjective "Orwellian" describing totalitarian and authoritarian social practices is part of the English language, like many of his neologisms such as Big Brother, Thought Police, Two Minutes Hate, Room 101, memory hole, Newspeak, doublethink, proles, unperson and thoughtcrime. Intriguing that, as Avril remarked, all three had died relatively young. They all died with names that differed from those conferred at birth. Vladimir Lenin's real name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov; George Orwell's was Eric Arthur Blair; and Louis XVI was Louis-Auguste de France.
What if any of them had lived a full life? Lenin was just at the threshold of the revolution he inspired and after his death the USSR descended into chaos and the inevitably abominable dictator ship of Stalin. Louis XVI had the instincts of a reformer but again was replaced by the abomination of the excesses of the French Revolution until Napoleon's Empire brought some sense of order to much of Europe but was eventually as vain glorious as Stalin or the European Union today. Perhaps only George Orwell can be seen to have already created an incredible legacy which a longer life might not have done much to further enrich. Yet his legacy was to heighten our awareness and understanding of what life had been during the French Revolution and Stalin's rule and Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Nazi Empire in 1945. What more might Orwell have added to our struggles today with social media and AI?
It's Tesco's Click & Collect again tonight we've come to relish it although 7/ 8pm slot tonight almost interferes with watching Death in Paradise . but I can only guess what Orwell would say about a comment like that!

Published Date: January 21st 2021

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