Trying to make sense of 2021 – part two

Or #WTFhappened

So, how was your Christmas? Did you ask Santa for the Wolf Alice album like I suggested last week?

Following on from last Sunday’s episode, here is the Fiskal Policy’s interpretation of the final six months of 2021.

A jubilant July?

I went to Wimbledon to watch quite a bit of tennis. Strictly speaking I went at the end of June but history relies on when the past is written down, not when it happens.

This was in my pre-vaccination days so I had a test to get a kind of Covid passport.

As well as being able to sit next to strangers it meant I could stand at a urinals flanked by an elderly gentleman and a man who may have been in his early-20s. It was something I hadn’t done for years.

Pimms on Henman Hill
Anyone for Pimms on Henman Hill?
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe
And the world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas was stunned by the unseeded American Frances Tiafoe

It was also the month of the Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey.

Yes, the best story ever told (unless you work for Sutton Council – it is probably something most of them want to forget) happened in a library in south London.

If you haven’t heard about it before then click on the link above and enjoy the pictures.

Butt Monkey - Tim Pool tweet
Look at the colourful spectacle of the Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey (Picture from Tim Pool’s Twitter)
Butt Monkey - Dr Jane Harris tweet
And here’s the butt of the Butt Monkey (Picture from Dr Jane Harris’s Twitter)

Amazing things happened in August

There was a mix of indoor and outdoor fun in a month where I mostly felt ill in a non-Covid way.

When I wasn’t trying to work while lying on the floor I managed to thoroughly enjoy Motherland: Fort Salem indoors and watched quite a lot of music in Crystal Palace and Portsmouth outdoors.

If you haven’t seen Fort Salem already you really should watch it.

Burning face
This season I’m now completely aware of why some witches can burn their faces (Picture is a screenshot from the Motherland: Fort Salem YouTube page)
Syclla Ramshorn and the Camarilla
Syclla Ramshorn, played by Amalia Holm Bjelke, is definitely one of my favourite characters in Motherland: Fort Salem (Picture is a screengrab from the All Powers Scene YouTube page)

Was September super sexy?

Indoor concerts were well and truly back when Nick Cave and Warren Ellis performed at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, South London.

It was a long time coming, not just because of the pandemic but because of the bankrupt Labour council.

Proclaimed as having better acoustics than the Southbank Centre on the bank of the Thames in Central London, Fairfield Halls had only recently reopened following a multi-million pound refurbishment.

And as outlined in Inside Croydon (don’t tell the old me that I’m linking to an article by Inside Croydon) and The Stage in more words than I have space for here, the refurbishment was fraught with disaster.

Nick Cave 3 - by Lou Burrell
Oh what fun we had at the Fairfield Halls (better than that time I went there to report on the general election). Picture by Lou Burrell
Great British Bake Off judges - Twitter
The contestants have changed but the judges – Paul Hollywood & Prue Leith – and the presenters – Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding – are still the same (Picture from Great British Bake Off Twitter account)

Similarly to last year, Great British Bake Off was back on our screens.

People love it as feelgood TV. I think there has to be more to life than people baking and being nice to each other.

An October to remember

Undoubtedly most of the year in review pieces you’ll read will look at other things in October, like how Boris Johnson was faring in the autumn.

But for me the most unexpected event was how I turned my hallway into an art gallery full of pictures of Lauren Baker neon sculptures.

(It wasn’t completely unexpected as I’d known it was going to happen since August when I recruited a photographer friend and someone I met on Facebook to take photos of me in Chelsea. But unexpected in the way I never thought of myself as any kind of ‘street model’ when the year began.)

Lauren Baker - Expect Magic and Miracles
How amazing do these pictures look on my hallway wall?
Lauren Baker - The Answer is Inside
The frames are some of the only IKEA things I have
Lauren Baker - Do you want to change the world with me?
The walls of my hall have been transformed by the artworks
These photographs are the final 'dyptch' in the series
These photographs are the final ‘diptych’ in the series

Remember remember the 5th of November (and other dates too)

November typically marks the start of the Christmas season, when the John Lewis advert comes on the television and other shops try and get in on the act too.

One day everyone will admit the Kenzo advert from a few years back is the best commercial ever made.

Until then people will look forward to the wintry cover version of whatever song the department store finds for 2022.

Kenzo advert 2
The Kenzo advert is the best one ever (Picture is a screenshot from the advert)
Crowds around Barack Obama painting
The Barack Obama painting is very popular whenever it is on display in galleries

Also in November I finished a six week course about contemporary painting at The Barbican in London, run by Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Some of you will already know about the life-changing effects of the course.

One day I may write about some of the other aspects of what happened.

December isn’t just about Christmas

This year the Christmas party season has undoubtedly been much bigger than last year, for most people.

One event which couldn’t happen last year but did in 2021 was Fiskmas. At some point hopefully soon I’ll finish writing the piece.