Saved By the Bell; Sumptuous Defined; Saved By the Bell Explored; Qatar Has Definitely Let Both Me and Its Populace Down: Outbreak Due to Grandiose Parade; But Scotland Provides Hope with News of Prime Minister Sturgeon: A Face Mask Cartoon

The rather unusual expression Saved By the Bell came to mind when reviewing the Reuter figures on Qatar’s startling rise in Covid infections and dismal vaccination rates. Now 28.6% of the population has been vaccinated but at the current rate of injections it will increase by only 10% in thirty days. I can tell you this with absolute certainty. – I ain’t going there despite a myriad of invitations to stay in palaces, including an invitation to live in a sumptuous palace on a full time basis. I do have a witness to that ‘event’. I do love the word sumptuous, with its descriptive synonyms: lavish, luxurious, deluxe, opulent, magnificent, resplendent, gorgeous, splendid, grand, extravagant, lush, lavishly appointed, palatial, princely, rich, costly, expensive, impressive, imposing; informal plush, ritzy, swanky, swish. The palace seen through the wonders of video chat was opulent, lush, lavishly appointed, palatial, ritzy, and swish. Do not forget, I was born in Saskatchewan. But tempted I am not, for many reasons which shall be explored. The most important is that my health would be at risk.

But what does Saved By the Bell mean? “The idiom ‘saved by the bell’ is believed to come from boxing slang, when a boxer who is about to lose is ‘saved’ from defeat by the bell ending the round. However, some experts believe that it comes from an old custom of burying coffins with a bell attached as fear of being buried alive was widespread.” My goodness, that is a gory thought – a bell attached to one’s toe so that one could say: “Let me outta here!” But, more later day explanation: “Today, the phrase has become a metaphor for anyone who escapes a catastrophe through some type of last-minute intervention” Now traveling to Qatar might not have been a catastrophe, but it might have been. I am very well liked in those environs for some reason. My face painted as the Qatar flag brought a reaction from a Qatar Princess: All of Qatar sends its love” that was my remembrance. Well, what if they were so crazy about me that they would not let me come home to the USA?? That would definitely be trouble in Paradise. Air-conditioned palaces might be quite comfortable (to say the least) but I would miss my freedom, my independence and my solitude. I need some solitude and having spent a few days in a hotel in London with many from the Royal Family of Qatar, I can say this with conviction – I would be surrounded, probably day and night as there is so many of them. My Prince recently testified that he now had 43 brothers and sisters. Please do remember that I did not have children on purpose – I would be the unofficial Granny to all those children – and these children are needy, definitely not money needy (obviously) by emotionally needy. The child rearing practices of these extremely rich Royals leave their children rootless, as one said to me: “It is like I am a foster child.”

But the ultimate disillusionment arose when studying the graphs of the Reuter site, seeing the sudden and alarming peak in infections. It was shortly after December 31, 2021 and it does not take a genius to see what happened. There was an absolutely HUGE celebratory extravaganza on December 18, 2021 in Doha. Absolutely no expense was spared, it was a spectacle of military might and power, the likes of which I have never seen. Face mask were worn by some, but by no means all. Both the Emir of Qatar and his father were in attendance, Royally receiving all and at the conclusion the Emir walked through the swelling crowds occasionally kissing babies and children who were thrust into his arms. That mighty show of force might have ended the blockade as – Saudi’s shortly thereafter capitulated but the Emir put his country at risk. Not that he was asking me for advice, but he should have been concentrating on vaccinating his peoples, not on the display which must have taken hours and hours and millions and millions. The following conversation took place:
He: I have got Covid! I have got Covid!
Me: It is unlikely that you will die because of your age. You should have gotten the vaccine. Granny did.
I assumed that vaccines were available in extremely wealthy Qatar, it appears I was wrong. It is impossible to make any sense of this. The Middle East is murky at best, news media not reliable for many reasons. So I am not going to try and understand it all. But my teenage crush on the Emir of Qatar came to a sudden halt. I do laugh at this point. But here is a confession, there is a link on this beloved blog to the spectacle that caused the swift and deadly outbreak. I will make an attempt to have it removed.

But closer to home, in a way. The New Yorker features the Prime Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon speaking of the upcoming elections with the chance that a second referendum will ensure Scotland’s independence. This tremendously funny phrase caught my eye. “She became known as a “nippy sweetie,” Glaswegian slang for a woman who is overly assertive. But now, among her many supporters (the S.N.P. is routinely twenty-five points ahead of its rival parties in Scotland), Sturgeon is “our Nicola.” I would love to be called a nippy sweetie. I did visit Scotland extensively during my London days 2014-2017. The biography of Uncle Dave Dryburgh served as the impetus for many of the visits – although the first with cousin Gail in 2015 when we visited Dryburgh Abbey, the highlight of that trip for me. I have fantasies of marrying there, it would be the fourth time around, IF I marry again, which is most unlikely. A Muslim would be necessary groom material but a Christian ceremony could follow. The mosque event resembles (and is) the signing of a contract enforceable through the faith, not the courts. Marriage MOST unlikely. But back to Prime Minister Sturgeon. Sturgeon implores Scots “to work as if we are indeed living in the early days of a better nation,” a quote attributed to the Canadian poet Dennis Lee, but she complains that she must govern with one hand behind her back. Sturgeon would like to introduce a universal basic income, and wants Scotland to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the U.K. She invites comparisons to other female leaders of beautiful, small, forward-thinking countries, such as Jacinda Ardern, of New Zealand, and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, of Iceland. Sturgeon has described Birgitte Nyborg, the fictional Prime Minister of Denmark in the TV show “Borgen,” as her favorite onscreen politician. In 2019, she gave a ted talk about the importance of placing measures of a country’s well-being ahead of its G.D.P. “The entire article many be found at I was an avid fan of the TV show Borgen, viewed on Netflix.

These are some of the promises being made by Sturgeon’s party “The S.N.P., in its manifesto, promises to increase Scotland’s N.H.S. funding by twenty per cent and to raise the country’s social-care budget by a quarter. It offers a “minimum income guarantee”—a first step toward a universal basic income—and plans for free child care for one- and two-year-olds from low-income families.” Ambitious and lofty promises. I do wonder they would welcome an old lady. – I was not welcomed in the UK and had to leave upon the expiration of my student visa despite efforts including, but not limited to, hiring an immigration attorney. But gave up, and decided to go where they wanted me – both the United States of America and Canada. But always felt so at home in Scotland, for some reason or another. Well, part of it might be is that I am 100% Scottish, can trace all of my ancestor’s roots to Scotland. My father was almost born in Scotland, his other pregnant with him when the family returned to Saskatchewan from Scotland at the conclusion of WWI.

Sometimes it is necessary to take action. Is it possible to paint my face like the Scottish flag – as it is very well known that my face was painted like the flag of Qatar? It looks as if the answer is yes
My face painter, the talented one is coming by later today. It its not all that difficult. It is just blue and white and I do look good in blue, if I say so myself.

The cartoon is from The New Yorker – sent it to Chris
Me: This is for blog of today – soon to come. Which one are you? I am, of course, the Canadian.

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