A man who was already king had an elaborate ceremony at great expense in the middle of a cost of living crisis. Everyone loves the monarchy, and you know it’s a harmless and benevolent institution with univeral support because if you think about saying otherwise you get arrested by the Met police, when they’re not arresting volunteers who already work with them for giving out rape alarms. Not a good look for an organisation that had two officers arrested for rape and kidnap only a week before.

I sold a few more things on eBay. I’ve been really impressed with Royal Mail’s collection service. It used to cost one pound, but it’s now free, and I don’t even need to print the labels, as they bring one along. It’s a little bit nerve-wracking when I have several items to send on the same day. I do my best to mark each so that I don’t get confused when sticking on the labels, but I’m never completely confident.

The biggest problem I have is that in order to take advantage of the printing and collection (and, indeed to get access to the full range of services), I have to buy the postage from Royal Mail’s website rather than via eBay, but eBay makes it really hard to get the buyer’s email address and phone number to let them track and manage the order. They say that the relay email address ([email protected]) is available from the order page, but it’s not on mine. However, I finally found a workaround: if you use the Seller Hub, you can export orders to CSV from the order page, and the phone number and email address are in the CSV. It’s not what I’d call straightforward, but it works.

I’ve been doing a bit of luthiery. Inspired by a chance find on Gumtree and a very long forum thread, I picked up an already cheap guitar (a Squier Bullet Mustang) secondhand for £65, and I’m seeing if I can improve my skills and make a fun, light, playable instrument out of it. So far, I’ve levelled and reprofiled the (rather uneven) frets, rounded the fret ends, rolled the fretboard edges, and refinished the neck from its barely finished pale state with several coats of Tru-Oil (a wipe-on poly finish that isn’t actually an oil) that have brought it up to a lovely golden shade. I’m replacing the bridge, and as the original bridge was mounted too far back and not straight, that leaves me with some holes to fill. They’re not especially visible, but they’ll look better if they’re the same colour. So I took the body to Superdrug and found a shade of nail varnish that’s an exact match for the “Imperial Blue” metallic finish (Aruba Blue by Essie if you need to know). I’ll have plenty of photos to show when it’s done.

It cheered me up to see the Conservative Party do so poorly in the local elections, even worse than they did at the peak of Theresa May’s unpopularity. I don’t have high hopes for Starmer, who won’t even commit to reversing the worst of the Tories’ legislation, but I’ll be glad to see the back of this tired, venal, mean-spirited government.