IS THIS THE END FOR TUMBLR?

So the countdown has started.
Monday the 17th December, 2018, see’s the implementation of new rules and regulations by Tumblr.

As I briefly mentioned in a blog a few days ago, HERE, Tumblr announced that it will permanently ban adult content from it’s platform on December 17th. A blanket ban on ‘adult content’, regardless of what it is with just a few exceptions.

Like I said in that blog, “they seem to think that everyone who enjoys a bit of ‘adult content’ is automatically looking for ‘porn’ and this is simply not the case”.

The exceptions include nude classical statues and political protests that feature nudity. It’s interesting that Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos. If this is the case, why are artistic photos of the human form being  flagged? 

Several people I follow on Tumblr are photographic artists who specialise in the nude human form. Beautiful work that is now being flagged and will not be visible to the public from 17th and, in some cases, the blog itself will be deleted.
One of the photographers has written a wonderful little article about how he feels about this kind of censorship.

Michael Stokes starts the article with the following paragraph….
“Part of my morning routine is to wake up the computer, have coffee, and see if Instagram or Facebook have removed any of my photos or, worse yet, deleted my account. Social media sites are important because not only are they my main source of exposure to income, they are my calling card for the models who pose for me. As a photographer who specializes in the male form, I shoot still images of men in various state of undress, everything from shirtless to full frontal nudity. I’m also known for photographing wounded, amputee veterans in the nude, work that has been the subject of about a dozen doctoral theses and published in various academic journals, with themes from changing perceptions of the handicapped to an analysis of masculinity in America as it relates to war.”

You can read the full article HERE

Michael’s work is stunning! And in my eyes, is no different to the classical statues and paintings that Tumblr has made an exception for, and here we have a prime example of the problem.

The image on the left is a ‘classical statue’ and, can I just point out, is completely nude. This image, by Tumblr’s new rules, will still be allowed on the site.
However, the image on the right is a photo by Michael Stokes, a photo in which the model is wearing shorts and the model wouldn’t be out of place strolling on a beach. This photo is one that has already been flagged as inappropriate.

Again, classical statue on the left will be allowed, the stunning photo by Michael Stokes on the right will be flagged and banned. I don’t see the difference!!

Like I said in my previous blog, “Tumblr has always been a safe space for people and minorities to find like minded people to share content with regardless of what that content is”.

And as Michael says in his article “This is not exclusively a LGBTQ+ issue, it applies to all minority voices faced with further marginalization. Not everyone wants to live in a strictly homogonous society defined by a social media giant. Facebook is a monopoly and Verizon acquiring and sanitizing Tumblr is just another example of a large corporation manipulating social media to serve its own purposes”. 

So, I will continue to follow these people on Tumblr to see what happens.
I suspect the site will become extremely boring at best, or die completely at worst. How fast that will happen is anyone’s guess. So for now, I’ll continue to add wonderful images to my blogs, although my blogs also get automatically posted to my Tumblr site, so it will be interesting to see if I get any flags!

STUNNING

So it finally happened last night.
After nearly 4 years, I finally got to see Hozier, live at the Birmingham O2 Academy.

Gone are our days of driving for hours, seeing a show and then driving home again, so we pre-booked a hotel. We couldn’t have got much closer if we tried!!

We arrived around lunch time, got settled into our hotel room and went to check out the venue before heading into town for something to eat.
We haven’t been to Birmingham for years and were really surprised at the changes and the modernisation that’s going on.
Not far from the hotel, we found the ‘Mailbox’ area around the canals and it was absolutely wonderful.
Absolutely loads of restaurants and bars and entertainment, and because of the time of year, everything is decorated and sparkling for Xmas.
We are definitely going to be returning at some point to check it all out a little more thoroughly. Looks like there’s loads of places that will be heaving in the summer with lots of outdoor spaces to chill and relax.

Anyway, back to the main event.
What can I say?
I’ve waited almost four years to see this guy live and I wasn’t disappointed.

The venue was cosy, with 3000 standing capacity on the ground floor but as Ian is unable to stand comfortably for any length of time, I got Balcony unreserved seats. Finding seats was first come first served. We didn’t do too badly, it was a little snug but at least we were sitting and we had a great view.

The music was incredible. Not that I ever doubted it wouldn’t be!!
The man just oozes talent. I think I counted him playing at least 6 different guitars throughout the show, and then I was introduced to his dry humour side for the first time, as he introduced various songs and what inspired him to write them.

I’ll let the following videos speak for themselves. It’s not the full songs but they give you a feeling of just how good he really is. With apologies for the size on screen. WordPress has made some changes and I can’t figure out how to reduce the size…..yet!!

Take Me To Church. An audience favourite.
Movement. Stunning lighting.
Cherry Wine. Beautiful.
Work Song. Blissful end to a perfect night.

So that’s it. A wonderful end to my annual leave.
Christmas is just about sorted. I only have date sensitive foods to think about now before the big day.
It’s back to work with a big bump tomorrow. I’m on placement on the delivery suite!!
Absolutely terrified. My stomach is already in knots thinking about it.
Don’t think I’ll be getting much sleep tomorrow. 

GOOD WEEK!

It’s been a pretty good week so far and I’m in the mood for a big blog.
I’ve been on annual leave and preparing for Xmas, but with that said, I did still have to do a placement day, which was actually quite enjoyable!

Anyway, Tuesday evening we went to a secret screening at Cineworld.
I love these events because we have absolutely no idea what film is going to be shown until it starts. All we know is that it is a film due for release at some point over the next couple of months. Two cracking films in the past, and shown a good 8 weeks before their actual release dates were ‘Love Simon’ and ‘The Incredibles 2’. This time it was ‘Green Book’.

When it started, the whole audience did a collective ‘whaaaat???’
I’ll admit, I haven’t seen a thing advertised about this film and knew absolutely nothing about it.
It’s a bit of a slow starter……BUT…..stick with it. As you get more and more invested in the characters and the humour of the film, it’s actually really good. Viggo Mortensen is almost unrecognisable, and Mahershala Ali is wonderfully amusing.

Based on a true story, Green Book is a comedy-drama set in the 1960’s about the classical and jazz pianist Don shirley, played by Mahershala Ali and the Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen. The pair take on a tour of the Deep South, not a safe thing to do for people of colour in the 1960’s! Tony is initially quite prejudiced but the two slowly form an amazing bond and end up as life-long friends.
The film itself is named after ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, a mid-20th century guidebook for African American travellers, written by Victor Hugo Green, to help them find motels and restaurants that would accept them.

Would I go and see it again?
Possibly, but I will, in all likelihood, add it to my DVD collection.  

Not so good this week, was the announcement by Tumblr to ban ‘ALL’ adult content from the 17th December.
This is a real shame and to be quite frank, I think it will kill Tumblr!

Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations. The exceptions include nude classical statues and political protests that feature nudity. The new guidelines exclude text, so erotica remains permitted. Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos.

They have already started to flag posts and inform users that their content is not suitable, but something is very wrong if they think that this kind of photo is ‘explicit’!!

I have been on Tumblr for almost three years and it is a wonderful place to find any kind of weird and wonderful content you’re interested in.
I would never have fallen into the Kylux fandom and started writing fan-fiction if I hadn’t found this site!
It has always been a safe space for people to find like minded people to share content with regardless of what that content is. Artists have found it a great place to showcase artwork that would probably never get to see the light of day due to censorship restrictions elsewhere.
The failure of the site is their inability to control ‘bugs’ and ‘porn bots’ and their inability to ban sites that include pedophilia. Their answer to the problem is a blanket ban.

They seem to think that everyone who enjoys a bit of ‘adult content’ is automatically looking for ‘porn’ and this is simply not the case.

10 years ago, the same thing happened to ‘Livejournal’ and all that happened was that the users migrated to a different platform and Livejournal died.
I have already seen this happening on Tumblr. A lot of the people I follow are setting themselves up on Twitter and Instagram and getting ready to jump ship if they need to.
Michael Stokes, the photographic artist who I’ve discussed on my blog recently, has had to purge around 90% of the photos he has on Tumblr, including all of his wounded veterans photos because they have been deemed inappropriate! 

Classical statues are allowed but not this apparently!! What’s the difference?

Anyway, I wait for December 17th with baited breath. I have a feeling that Tumblr will become quite a desolate and boring place very quickly.

So now that I’ve had that rant what’s next?
I’ve made a start on my three reflective essays for my portfolio. That’s not exactly going well but at least I’ve made a start.
I have been really enjoying ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of here’ this year and last night had me and the kids in floods of tears as the five remaining contestants got visits from family. When John clapped eyes on his husband Scott, I just melted!
I really don’t know who’s going to win this year, after James left, the four remaining contestants are all fantastic for different reasons.
Personally I’d like to see John crowned King (or Queen!) of the jungle.
The annoying thing is, that I won’t be able to watch the final on Sunday because I’ll be in Birmingham at a Hozier concert.

WAIT…WHAT?!!!

Yep. Sunday evening, I’ll be at a Hozier concert!!!
I’ve only waited four years for this.
I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!

This is the moment, almost four years ago, after falling asleep on the sofa, waking up in the early hours with the TV still on, showing a re-run of Graham Norton. I had been woken up by an angel singing and that is when I became mesmerised and totally fell in love with Hozier.

So, back to today, better bring this blog to an end.
I’ve got a few small chores to do, clean car windows, fill car with petrol, de-wookie the husband, pack for an overnight stay in Birmingham and then head to the cinema to see Mortal Engines!

I will ‘hopefully’ bombard my blog with photos and possibly some videos of the concert when I get back on Monday.

TTFN!

GIVE A LITTLE

I have taken up a challenge by AITAF.
Arts in the Armed Forces is a wonderful organisation set up in 2006 and going from strength to strength.

Please take a look.
I am aiming to raise around £200 ($250) by the end of December.
It’s a wonderful cause. Any donation, big or small, will be gratefully received!!
Click on the link and spread the love guys! 
Happy Holidays! 

https://www.facebook.com/donate/489665058210292/489665084876956/

ALMOST THERE!

So we’re coming to the end of another year and what a year it’s been.
My university course has been the driving force for the entire year, taking up all  my free time and my sanity with family life taking a bit of a back seat. Any chance of getting out and having some fun has been grabbed with both hands.

Anyway, the academic writing and exams has now finished and I’m relieved to say I’ve passed it all.
Now I just have to complete my placements and get all my skills documents and portfolio signed off before confirmation of an overall pass (hopefully) at the beginning of March.
I can now breath a little bit as the pressure has been taken off of home life and I can finally get back to the things I love to do.

Speaking of which…….

 Awards season is just about upon us and I am happy to announce that my man, Adam Driver, has already been nominated for one!!

The 2019 Golden Globes nominees have just been announced and BlacKkKlansman has received 4 nominations for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

As a Best Movie nominee, it has some strong competition with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘A Star Is Born’ also having nominations.

Best Actor nominee, John David Washington, who is the lead in ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and was brilliant, is unfortunately being outshone this year by Rami Malek who has received the nomination for his stunning portrayal of Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. 

I am torn between two actors for the Best Supporting Actor nominations.
Adam Driver has been nominated for his role in BlacKkKlansman and he totally deserves it (not biased in any way, but he was brilliant!)…..BUT…..
Timothee Chalamet has been nominated for his role in ‘Beautiful Boy’, which I haven’t seen yet but I have read the book and after seeing his breakthrough performance in ‘Call Me By Your Name’ last year, I suspect he is going to be tough competition this year, although both of them are up against Sam Rockwell, Richard E. Grant and Mahershala Ali.

Finally, Spike Lee is up for Best Director for his wonderfully dark humoured take on BlacKkKlansman.

This is just the start.
I hope to see this film get a lot more attention and acclaim over the next few months.
Watch this space.

FUMING! (with apologies for language)

Absolutely bloody fuming!

Addenbrooks have fucked up AGAIN!!
Ian’s follow up appointment, that has already been moved 3 times, has just been cancelled because it was a nurse review and should have been a consultant review. He’s back to waiting for a review with no idea of how long it will take.

This has now been going on a year and it has been fuck up, after fuck up, after fuck up.
No regard to the fact that Ian is losing quality of life, is relying on a work colleague to drive him to work, is LUCKY he still has a job, has to rely on other people to drive him to his appointments.

Today alone, he’s used the last of his annual leave to be able to attend this appointment and I had to turn down a shift swap to help out at work because I need to attend this appointment with him!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Where do we go from here?
This is literally the straw the breaks the camel’s back.

ALMOST THERE – ARSE IN GEAR!

OK, where to start…. where to start.

As anyone who reads my blog regularly will realise, my posts have been few and far between over the last few months.
The reason was simply a build up of everything in my life to a point at which it was all conflicting with each other and it became a bit of a mess.

Don’t take my happy smiley face, when I do get out or I’m at work, as a sign that I’m ok and things are going great. They most certainly are not……. BUT…….

Things are getting better.

There has been a lot on my plate since January 2017. This is when I decided to take on a course, offered to me through work, that will see me with a foundation degree under my belt when I finally finish the course in March next year.
I can’t say it has been easy because it certainly hasn’t, and I knew when I took on the course that I would be making compromises for a while, however, I think I seriously miss-judged just how much of an impact it would truly have on my life for two years.
Apart from my trip to Italy last year for my brother’s wedding, real breaks have been non-existent. I have tried to keep up with odd days out with hubby and/or kids, but things are now stacking up and interfering with each other. Even when I do take annual leave, I have to go to my placement days.
As I would have to make these hours up in my own time anyway, it would be silly to miss them.

Over the last year, Ian, who has psoriatic arthritis,  has been dealing with impinged nerves in his neck meaning that his left arm and leg are painful, constantly has pins and needles and he can’t drive very far. He has been relying on a colleague to get him too and from work for at least the last 6 months because he can’t drive long distances anymore. We owe this colleague more than he will ever know because I really don’t think Ian would have a job at the moment without him!

Ian has had appointments and a big procedure at Addenbrookes, and I couldn’t attend any of it because of course commitments.
For the same reason, I have recently felt like a really ‘shitty’ Mother because, 2 of my girls have ongoing orthopaedic issues and I haven’t been able to attend all of their appointments due to course commitments. My 16 year old had a trip to A+E with a knee injury, on the bus with her 19 year old sister because ‘I’ was committed to something and Ian can’t sit for more than 5 minutes in the A+E chairs without being in excruciating agony.

With all that said, I am now in the closing months of the course.
The last of the essays, presentations and reports have been submitted and I have sat the final exam. I now wait with baited breath to see if I’ve passed each one.
I think I may just break if I haven’t.

With all that said, from next week, I will be in consolidation until March.
My learning is now all work and placement based and my days off, are ACTUALLY days off again!

My own health has suffered over the last year. I’m not eating healthily and I’ve piled on a lot of the weight I lost for my brother’s wedding and I’m also drinking too much.
It’s far too easy to sit in front of this computer procrastinating with a bottle of wine and a bag of crisps!…… Exactly what I’m doing right now!

I have kept myself sane by forcing myself to take time out.
Imagine Dragons in London earlier in the year has been a highlight.
Trips to the cinema, although not as many as usual, are always a welcome break but all too brief and of course the odd night out with my eldest and her mates in town have been fun and we celebrated my birthday with a night out to see CC Smugglers at Esquires, our local music venue and we went out for a meal.

I won’t deny it’s been a tough 2 years, and I refuse to ‘sugar coat’ it for anyone who asks me about it because they are interested in it. That wouldn’t be fair to them.
There have been times in the last couple of months alone, where I’ve really felt like packing it all in, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel and I am determined to see it though.

With the pressure of essays, etc, now gone, it’s time to start thinking about ME again.

Silly as it sounds, over the last week I’ve been doing a bit of decorating. Little jobs to tidy things up that have literally been driving me nuts for two years and I haven’t been able to do because of course commitments and I absolutely cannot wait for spring to get stuck into the garden that is lucky to have seen a lawn mower just once over the same two years.

I have decided that on Friday this week, I will start a ‘new me’ regime.
Nothing drastic.
I will be using my Samsung Health app to it’s full potential and I will be recording my whole day on it.
My sleep patterns, my diet, my weight, my exercise.
I’m hoping that seeing it all laid out in front of me with hints and tips on what to change, will be enough to get me back into the swing of things…… before it’s too late.

I’m not stupid.
I actually eat quite healthily….. it’s just all the wine and the crisps in between that’s doing all the damage.
Time to be realistic.

I’ve said it…. too many times before….. watch this space.