Oh, the terrible black mould. I went out to one of the buildings that was redone two-three years ago this autumn last week. It was refurbed in that slightly Scandiwegian style of interesting shapes, wood slat cladding and pleasantly coloured render that seems very popular in municipal buildings at the moment (East Oxford Health Centre is a good example of the genre). I noted gloomily through the curtains of falling rain that the wooden slats had gone to the black mould, just as they are on every building in that style. I wonder what went wrong? The architects must have anticipated the problem. Maybe it's a materials failure; a new preservative not as mould proof as advertised.
The mould has come into the house, as well. My big fat duvet of a winter coat, the one the dry cleaner quoted me £WHAT??? to clean, is now shedding spores in a wheelie bin. My old peacock bag that I've had since I was a teenager, it's gone. A moleskine notepad bought for me by a friend is currently in assessment. I'm currently taking off the wall cladding which has been the black mould's nursery garden (a crazy laminate of heavy, non-porous wall paper, over loose layers of spongy lining paper, over thin polystyrene tiles, over a black and silver plastic layer, over a further layer of lining paper, then finally the plaster beneath). According to my boss, people used to sell this stuff door-to-door as insulation and I was lucky just to have a wall (possibly two walls) of it. She had it all over the house when she moved in, ceilings too.
The South Park fireworks (which were great - some lovely new peach and violet colours) had a guyless bonfire this year. Previous years have involved a gigantic wicker man designed by school children touring the county before finally being stuffed with fireworks and going up in flames at the Rotary Club Fireworks. As I stood in a muddy field watching a colossal stack of pallets burn, like our primitive ancestors did (actually in the village we mostly burnt tractor tyres, but those were simpler times), I wondered what had become of the guy. My surmusings were pretty much exactly right, as it turned out. The National Theatre of Horton Cum Studley (or whoever they are) were back again, but they really need puppets on sticks and a louder loud-hailer if they're going to bewilder more than the front row, as the audience is on a downhill slope (although the bit with the drumming was enlivened by a random choir in the audience flash-improvising a harmony version of Uptown Girl around it).
Either way, austerity. Austerity in a time of plenty, whatever that means. Actually, Oxfam has a quote about that, though I can't remember it. One of my colleagues kept it up on his wall, and it gave me a little stab of a annoyance, each and every working day*. Speaking of which, that Typhoon looks bloody awful. The DEC haven't declared general disaster yet (give it an hour) but it looks like Oxfam have an emergency appeal on, and they'll be doing the toilets, so time to drop in the shop and put money in the box.
*I am not a good enough person to be working here, the little stab of annoyance said, and it was right.