What the papers have said. Week ending September 5th
What was lost: A small painting which had been donated to the Ashmolean in 1951 has lingered sadly in the basement since 1981 when it was dismissed as a fake by the Rembrandt Research Project. Careful review by determined experts, using new technology has revealed that the painting is on wood which comes from the same tree as at least two other established masterpieces by the great artist. ‘Fake’ no more https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/aug/30/fake-rembrandt-came-from-artists-workshop-and-is-possibly-genuine-ashmolean-oxford#:~:text=%27Fake%27%20Rembrandt%20came%20from%20artist%27s%20workshop%20and%20is%20possibly%20genuine,-Head%20of%20a&text=The%20Ashmolean%20museum%20in%20Oxford,1951%20as%20a%20Rembrandt%20panel.
‘Sit still’. The University of Fine Arts in Hamburg is offering scholarships to students to explore the concept of ‘active inactivity’.
- ‘What do you not want to do? For how long do you not want to do it? Why is it important not to do this? Why are you the person not to do it? An exercise in the virtue of ‘sit still’ which has been lost in the hurry and scurry of modern life, but was valued by the stoics and the Christian tradition of contemplation. A very suitable return for our times
A step too far, for now: Anna Soupa – a 73 year old female academic – theologian and biblical scholar has applied to become the next Roman catholic Archbishop of Lyons.
- Gender rather than age will deem her not to be considered – but she is making a serious point and this may be a glimpse into the future https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/30/women-are-future-of-catholic-church-anne-soupa-leads-renewed-fight-for-female-ordination#:~:text=A%20French%20female%20academic%20has,women%20within%20the%20Catholic%20church%E2%80%9D.
Lost: Frank Fisher (90) is closing his butcher’s shop in Dronfield, Derbyshire. It was founded 1702 (The reign of Queen Anne) but has lost custom to supermarkets and home deliveries. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/sep/01/frank-fisher-butchers-shop-closure-death-of-high-street#:~:text=Frank%20Fisher%27s%20butcher%27s%20shop,for%20more%20than%20300%20years.
Suicide rates in the UK have risen to heights last seen 20 years ago. Younger males are particularly affected. A comment on the stresses of this time – and perhaps the frailty of services to help.
- These data predate the Covid-19 pandemic httphttps://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2019registrationss: ://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/01/male-suicide-rate-england-wales-covid-19
Dispassionate analyses condemn the effects of harsh, wrong and care-less rulings against blameless citizens:
The life and death of a Windrush campaigner are celebrated: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/sep/04/wolverhampton-marks-life-of-windrush-campaigner-paulette-wilson
Views on Covid-19
- The pandemic continues and takes many headlines. The spread is international. The number of new cases has fallen in some countries, including Europe but we are seeing new peaks as restrictions are relaxed – and these are followed by the imposition of lockdowns again, with unhappy consequences for individuals and families. Most new cases are amongst young people. Death rates from Covid-19 in these countries remain low compared with the earlier months of this year, but world-wide deaths continue to grow.
A former Prime Minister of Australia, who is about to take a senior position in the UK government, has said we should consider letting older victims pass away naturally. Not a view shared by Guardian readers
Consequences of Covid-19
- We are reminded again of the widening gap in education for the poor and the well-off: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/sep/01/disadvantaged-and-bame-pupils-lost-more-learning-study-finds
- Poverty is hitting the supply of food to poor children – Marcus Rashford the Manchester United and England soccer-player is working with others to raise awareness and to lobby for changes to protect the poorhttps://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/01/marcus-rashford-takes-aim-at-child-food-poverty-with-new-taskforce
- Camilla – The Duchess of Cornwall – has spoken for the extra victims of domestic abuse occasioned by the restrictions of lockdown: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/03/britain-lockdown-domestic-abuse-help-violence-camilla-duchess-of-cornwall
- The cost of buying a house has risen following the easing of restrictions but finance is scarce – many people turning to older relatives for help. Not a new phenomenon – but an increased emphasis https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/aug/07/surprise-as-uk-house-prices-set-record-after-four-months-of-falls
- Flowers are selling well as comforts – and suppliers are responding. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/01/bloom-time-morrisons-doubles-in-store-flower-stalls-to-meet-demand-coronavirus
- Construction toys are being bought in greater numbers as families find time to play https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/02/lego-reports-sales-jump-after-covid-crisis-kept-families-at-home
- Better quality food and drink is being bought for home consumption https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/03/uk-organic-food-and-drink-sales-boom-during-lockdown
- Fewer people are flying: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/28/gatwick-airport-hit-by-343m-loss-as-passenger-numbers-fall-covid-19
Books are being bought and read. They are seen to be good therapy
The consequences of an ageing population are being felt in criminal gangs, as with the wider society, and faith communities: The Yakusa of Japan are affected
Cutbacks, accentuated by covid restrictions have led to loss of public toilets – not helpful to an ageing society: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/01/its-hard-to-spend-a-penny-on-the-high-street
The Met Office’s wish to be inclusive in its choice of names for storms hit a problem with ‘Heulwen’ – which is Welsh for ‘blessed by the sun’. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/sep/02/met-office-mocked-giving-storm-welsh-name-meaning-sunshine
Holidays in the UK have discovered the joys of woods and forests https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/sep/06/forest-bathing-in-south-wales-wye-valley
- Including some with literary connections and memories Pooh’s corners: magical stays in Ashdown Forest