NOT A CLUE!!!

To be completely honest, I hate politics and I think that is probably the way most of the country feels at the moment.
I, like most of the country, are fed up with being lied to all the time.
The thing that’s pissing me off the most is that I honestly thought that I lived in a democracy.

Democracy = government by the people or their elected representatives, a political or social unit governed ultimately by ALL it’s members..

So, when this country (i.e. ALL it’s members) voted, or had the chance to vote three years ago, and the result was that this country wanted to LEAVE the EU, we did not expect our elected officials to shit all over that decision and say that they didn’t agree with it. We expected them to accept the decision of it’s members and actually proceed with the decision, and yet, here we are, three years down the line, and the arrogant prigs in parliament are STILL arguing and trying to get the decision overturned.
Some are even calling for another referendum, which to be completely honest, makes them a traitor to this country and democracy.

That’s not how democracy works!!

We are now faced with another election on December 12th, to decide who should be running this country and therefore, who should be trying to solve this issue and get the country back on track again. There’s just one small issue…….

I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHO I AM GOING TO VOTE FOR!!

So, I have been having a look at the top priorities of each party.
The following has been taken from the BBC news website who contacted all the parties to help identify their key policies ahead of manifesto launches.

Conservatives

Leader = Boris Johnson

Image result for boris johnson"

Top priorities
Deliver Brexit on the deal agreed with the EU.
£100bn investment over five years on road, rail and other infrastructure.
20,000 more police officers over the next three years in England and Wales.£2.7bn for six new hospitals and plans for 34 more.
£7.1bn a year more for schools in England by 2022-23.

Labour

Leader = Jeremy Corbyn

Image result for jeremy corbyn"

Top Priorities
£150bn for schools, hospitals and housing.
£250bn of investment to instigate a “green industrial revolution”.
£10-an-hour minimum wage for all workers.
Scrap tuition fees.
Hold another referendum on Brexit.

Liberal Democrats

Leader = Jo Swinson

Image result for jo swinson"

Top Priorities
Stop Brexit, which the party argues will release money to be spent on public services over the next five years.
Tackle climate change by reaching 80% renewable energy by 2030 and improving the energy efficiency of homes.
1p rise in income tax to spend on health and social care.
More investment in schools.

Change UK

Leader = Anna Soubry

Image result for anna soubry"

Top Priorities
Hold another referendum on Brexit, campaigning for remain.
Achieve carbon net zero by 2045.
Transition away from the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 and phase out non-essential plastics by 2025.

Green Party

Leaders (plural) = Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry

Image result for jonathan bartley and sian berry"

Top Priorities
£100bn a year for a decade to tackle climate change.
Pursue a “green new deal” including a “structural transformation” of the way the economy works.
Create more than a million new jobs through green investment.
Opposed to Brexit, committed to another referendeum on membership and will campaign to remain in that vote.

Brexit Party

Leader = Nigel Farage

Image result for Nigel Farage"

Top Priorities
Negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU, similar to the deals the bloc has with Canada and Japan, with a new deadline of 1 July 2020.
Leave the EU and move to World Trade Organisation Trading rules if a free trade agreement cannot be struck.
Leave all institutions of the EU and restore the primacy of UK law.
£200bn spending programme on infrastructure, wi-fi-and services for young people.

UKIP

Leader = Kirstan Herriet (party chairman)

Image result for kirstan herriot"

Top Priorities
Leave the EU immediately with no deal.
Cut immigration to low, sustainable levels.
Reverse the introduction of LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education.
End “politically correct” policing and support freedom of speech.

I will admit now, that I voted to leave 3 years ago and before anyone starts yelling at me about being racist…. hold your fucking horses.
I love diversity in all forms.
I welcome people from all over the world wanting to come and live and work in our country and want that to continue.
What I do not like, is being dictated to by Europe.
Britain blindly following Eu rules and then seeing countries like France completely ignoring those rules and getting away with it.

The fact is, this country was never given the option of voting IN to the EU in the first place and I think, if it had, we wouldn’t be discussing leaving it now.

So!
If I dismiss any party who wants to hold another referendum or stop brexit or are opposed to brexit, that narrows down my options already.

Conservative Party, Brexit Party and UKIP

OK, where do I start?…..

I definitely will not be voting UKIP!
Not only do they want to leave the EU immediately with NO deal, which, I think is a really bad decision, but they also want to ‘reverse the introduction of LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education.

I mean, c’mon guys… this is the 21st century and not the dark ages. Get over yourselves. There is nothing wrong with introducing LGBT relationships to young kids and proper LGBT sex education to older kids!
Same sex relationships, marriages, intercourse and all forms of queer from trans to non-binary and everything in between IS NORMAL!
If this is not normalised through education then it is never going to be seen as normal and lots of kids and teens are going to be excluded and feel left out and have nowhere to turn because they are scared.
These kids already suffer with mental health issues and some feel that there is no other option than suicide simply because they are ‘excluded’ from life and have no-where to turn. There’s NOTHING wrong with these kids and they need to know that and they need to know that the people around them understand that too.

If there is one thing that makes me really angry, it’s homophobes, and that’s exactly what this party is full of.

I will not be voting Brexit
The reason is quite simple….. Nigel Farage

He is an absolute knob, and much like Donald Trump, I can’t even look at the guy without wanting to smash his face in.
OK he wants out of the EU but he’s not convincing me on much when it comes to investment in this country.

That leaves the Conservative party and I have to admit that I like their priorities, the only problem is their leader is an absolute bafoon and has made this country a laughing stock. Do I really want this man running the country?

Image result for boris johnson funny"

So I am back to square one.
I’ve got some thinking to do over the next few weeks.

HALF A CENTURY

What a week.

I turned 50 this week.
I am now ‘officially’ in mid life crisis mode and it is totally depressing!!
I have reached the pinnacle of my life and everything is downhill from here.
If I’m lucky and take after my Nan, I’ve got another 45 years to go. On the one hand, I’m unfit, over weight and my hips and knees are on the way out. I’m also pre-menopausal, just to rub that half century right into my nose.
On the other hand, I’m finally more relaxed about who I am and I like to go out and enjoy myself occasionally, even though there are people in my life who frown upon it.

Well, they had better get used to it because I’m not stopping now and I intend to enjoy myself for as long as I can. I am going to grow old disgracefully.

I’ve had a quiet week as I had annual leave.
The aim of the week was to let the event go by quietly, but with that said, I did go out for a few drinks with a friend at our local.
Earlier in the day, I went to Milton Keynes to do a little shopping with two of my daughters and one of them treated me to dinner.
I found myself a new Star Wars themed t-shirt in Primark and I couldn’t resist buying myself a new Rise of Skywalker backpack at Disney. (Yeah, I really am 50!!)

Speaking of Star Wars, this week saw the release of the final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, the last in the current trilogy and the end of the Skywalker saga.

So we are now heading into the final weeks. 54 days to be precise, before the Skywalker saga ends. A saga I’ve been watching since I was almost 8 years old. I’ve grown up with it and loved every minute of it. It has been a big part of my half century.

The original 3 movies were amazing and I never dreamt that we’d get any more, so when the prequels came along, I was excited, just like everyone else. The prequels were OK but a little disappointing. They simply tried a little too hard, especially with the special effects. The current 3 have been amazing but have split the fandom. I have personally LOVED the current movies. They have given me Adam Driver and Domhnall Gleeson and this in turn, sent me down a rat hole of fan fiction known as Kylux and I’ve even written a few short stories myself for this fandom.

Anyway, back to the current trilogy.

Looking through all the merchandise that’s gone on sale, there is a lot of Kylo Ren based stuff. This gives me the hope that Kylo gets his redemption and we see Ben Solo return. Whether or not he survives that redemption is another matter!

However, there is no sign of General Hux in the trailer! There’s a lot of First Order ships however. A LOT! We’ve also been lacking in any official photo’s of Hux. Apart from a new cardboard standee, I believe this picture of Hux with Allegiant General Pryde is the one and only official photo released so far.

Richard E. Grant and Domhnall Gleeson in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Now, he’s either going to be glossed over in The Rise of Skywalker, which will make me very upset, or, they are going to give him one last hurrah and hopefully give him his dignity back after he was made the laughing stock in the last film. That said, I have absolutely no doubt that Hux is going to die in this one. I just want it to be glorious and worthy of his character. For anyone who reads the books, Hux has a history. Like Kylo, he even killed his own father….ok he got Phasma to do it, but he did it none the less. He’s ruthless, and I want to see that in this film.

The press tour will be starting soon and how much of it Adam will attend is anyone’s guess. This will mean lots of interviews and new photos to collect.

I know it won’t be the end of Star Wars. I know there are plans for a new trilogy and stand alone movies, but this is the last of the Skywalker saga.
Han Solo is gone, Princess/General Leia will be gone after this film, Luke Skywalker is gone (although no-one’s ever really gone!). The Franchise just won’t quite be the same and I’m really going to miss it.

I have my ticket for the first of the showings here in the UK at midnight on the 18th December.
I have no doubt it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster and the next few weeks are going to be exciting as we see more and more of the press tour and all the speculation that will be flying around the internet.

Right, one more day before I’m back at work.
Might just have a Star Wars binge!

THERE IS A LINE….

It is a standing joke in my household that I am called a stalker.
But after what I found out today, I’m actually quite uncomfortable being called that because there are lines that even I wouldn’t cross.

I have a tendency to obsess about actors.
I will get an interest in one and then I will endeavour to watch whatever I can lay my hands on. I collect photos, watch interviews, read articles, keep up to date with whatever they may be doing. It’s my hobby.

My current favs are Adam Driver and Domnhall Gleeson, with Adam being absolutely my favourite.

I have had my obsession with Adam for the last four years and yes, I will admit, I got that obsession because of Star Wars. I’m a geek, I grew up with it. But that interest has lead me on to some incredible movies that I probably wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t had my interest in Adam in the first place.

However, I feel really sorry for Adam.
Star Wars fame has made him ‘uncomfortably’ famous.
Adam doesn’t do well on red carpets and avoids chat shows and is an intensely private man.

Today I found something out that I find quite incredible, in the fact that he managed it for two years and also quite sad, in that he had to go to this extreme in the first place.

In an article written for ‘The New Yorker’ by Michael Shulman, that can be read HERE

In what Adam has described as ‘a military operation’ he’s managed to hide the fact that he and his wife, Joanne Tucker, welcomed a baby boy into their lives TWO YEARS ago!!

My heart leaps at the thought of Adam as a Daddy!

But I also found out about crazy fans who shout ‘Kylo’ during his live stage performances and that his charity ‘Arts in the Armed Forces’ has had to limit who can attend performances to just veterans after Joanne was accosted during an event and then bad mouthed about online. There is even a crazed fan on Twitter who moved to New York to be near him who then went on to post his address online, and they have 20k followers!

It’s frightening to think that he and his wife have to live with that level of fear.

So from now on, I consider myself a ‘super fan’ and not a stalker.
I would never dream of terrorising someone in that way, and now that the Skywalker trilogy is coming to an end, I hope things settle down a little for him and his family.

MEET THE BOYS

I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long to dedicate a whole blog to these guys. I’ve mentioned them before and would love to be blogging better news about them, but sadly, this may be one of my last chances to get my memories of these guys down in writing…… and pictures….. and videos.

Meet the boys…… The CC Smugglers.

Richie in the middle is the one responsible for forming the band 10 years ago. He is the lead vocalist and plays rhythm guitar, harmonicas and banjo.
He’s actually been dragged home by my daughter Murron after a night out on the town, to jam in our garage until the early hours of the morning.
Not that I’m complaining!!
He’s quite welcome to drag the rest of the boys round if they ever want to jam together in the future.

Sam, on the right, I know from work and he is one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet. He’s also incredibly talented. He does vocals and plays rhytm guitar and fiddle.

The tall guy on the left of Richie is Dan and he does vocals and plays the double bass.

The guy in the hat is Ryan and he does vocals, lead guitar, dobro and banjo.

The guy in between Ryan and Sam is Tom and he does vocals, accordion and is one of the most talented piano players I’ve ever heard.

Then, last, but not least, on the extreme left of the photo is Iain who does vocals, drums and percussion.

I have had the privilege of seeing these guys in concert at least 5 times in the past (yes, I’ve lost count!) and I am pleased to say that I will be seeing them again in Cambridge on 1st November and I have also just secured tickets for their last EVER gig together back here at Esquires in Bedford on 19th December.

I say last ever, because after 10 years and some extremely bad luck in the last couple of years, the guys are calling it a day.

#GUTTED

I remember the first concert. It was October 29th 2016 and my daughter was working on one of the doors at our local music venue, Esquires. It was Halloween weekend and fancy dress was optional. A friend decided to do some wicked makeup on us and Murron talked me into going along with her and having some fun for the evening.

She managed to get me a free pass into the main stage to see a band called the CC Smugglers.
So I stood at the bar in the main stage, on my own, and I waited.
I wasn’t disappointed. They were amazing. They were talented, catchy, enthusiastic and I needed to find out more about them.

I was lucky enough to see them again in December the same year as they did a tour rehearsal show on one of the smaller stages at Esquires. It was announced last minute so had a smaller audience and this time I dragged my husband along. He was hooked too.

That cemented my following of the band and I took every opportunity to see them from that point onwards.

A couple of years ago they decided they wanted to record and release an album and they wanted to fund it themselves. They used a company called ‘Pledgemusic’ to raise funds and they asked fans to buy merchandise.
All seemed to be going well for them. They were nearing the stage where the album could be recorded and released when the unthinkable happened. Pledgemusic went bust and ran off with their money.

That was really the beginning of the end for these guys, and in an interview for the ‘Bedford Independent’ this week, Richie states…

“Financially, it’s the end of the road for us,”

“The collapse of Pledgemusic cost us £20,000 and then we cancelled the How High tour after an incredibly traumatic bereavement that hit the whole band really, really hard.”

“We’ve given it ten years and we’ve thrown absolutely everything into this. We’ve sacrificed so much and everyone’s just emotionally drained.

“We’ve made a call to prioritise our relationship as friends over success in the industry.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t get back together at some point in the future, but for now, it’s time to call it quits.”

In the last ten years they have come close to a major record deal on two occasions. Releasing an album under their own control has seen them being played and interviewed on National radio and they have toured festivals across Europe and just as they are on the brink of well deserved fame and fortune, their luck runs out.

I am absolutely gutted for the guys. If I won the lottery, I would be backing them all the way!
I was lucky enough to be at their Album Launch Party and the start of the ‘How High’ Tour and I cannot wait to see them again on November 1st as they finish the re-arranged tour.
I will also be there at the final gig at Esquires on 19th December, a gig that sold out in minutes and meant that they added a penultimate gig on 18th December.
It is going to be a very emotional evening.
So for now, I will leave you with a few of my own photo and video memories.

LAST OF THE BIG BREAKS

I can’t believe it’s been almost a week already.

Last Thursday saw the last of our breaks away for a few days this year.
We got our middle daughter, Marjorie, tickets to see Russell Howard for Xmas last year. That show wasn’t until 3rd October this year!

My Brother and Sister in Law also wanted to take me out to celebrate my 50th birthday, and they wanted to take me to the place they got engaged, the Hawksmoor restaurant in Covent Garden.

So, we made an early start on the Thursday 3rd and drove down to Stanmore where we parked the car up for a few days and caught the underground to Wembley Park.

We arrived at the hotel before 9am and got them to stash our luggage away until we could check in later in the day.

We then headed into the city to do some shopping.
Marjorie had money to spend and wanted to go to the Primark and Disney stores in Oxford Street.

We then headed back over to the hotel in Wembley. The Premier Inn, right by the stadium, the SSE Arena, and a designer shopping and food outlet. Lovely hotel, friendly, efficient, clean and all that you need for a few nights in London.

We then headed into the shopping centre and had dinner at Zizzi’s before heading over to the SSE Arena and having one of the best laughs we’ve had for ages. Russell Howard was really on his game and we literally laughed our asses off for two whole hours. The Respite show was amazing and I really hope it comes out on DVD.

To say that Marjorie was a little excited is an understatement. I wanted to get a video of the Arena filling up. Watch this to the end.

Friday was spent doing more shopping with Marjorie in Camden before heading back into town and having dinner at my favourite cinema, the Picturehouse Central before making sure that Marjorie got on a train back to Bedford on her own.

Me an Ian were staying until Sunday because we were going out to dinner on Saturday with my Brother, sister in law Louise and my parents.

My Brother wanted to take me to the restaurant where he proposed to Louise. It was lovely!! I tried a cocktail called ‘French House’ which was incredible and was just like drinking sherbert! Deadly.
The food was amazing and the steak was to die for.

We slept in on Sunday before checking out and heading home.
London is tough on the body.
The streets are uneven, there’s countless steps to navigate.
Over the time we were there we walked about 40km!
After a full day at work and two days off, I’m only just recovering!
My muscles are so sore!

That said, I love London and would do it all again.
Roll on the next show, whatever that will be!

A GOOD WEEK AHEAD

I have a long day tomorrow, Sunday, but next week promises to be a good week.
I have a couple of days of annual leave but the only day I am officially working is an extremely short shift on Tuesday.
I did an odd shift for a study day this past week, so I’ll be making the odd hours up on a 15:00 – 20:00 shift on Tuesday this coming week. The rest of the week is annual leave.
I’ll be driving down to London, very early on Thursday, with my husband and my middle daughter, Marjorie.

We bought her tickets to see Russell Howard at the SSE arena in Wembley for Christmas last year. We have the night booked at a hotel for the event that we are all really looking forward to.
Marjorie will be travelling home by herself on Friday.

Me and the hubby will be staying over for a couple more nights as my brother, his wife and my parents have arranged to take me out on Saturday in Covent garden for my 50th birthday.
They are taking us to the Hawksmoor, Seven Dials, and we are really looking forward to it.

This will be the last of our trips away for a while.
We have to be really careful between now and April next year.
We are so close to completing our financial plan. This time next year, things should be, if things go to plan, much more relaxed and happy.
It’s going to be a tough few months. But it will all be worth it in the long run.

DISH OF THE WEEK #81 – Tom Holland

This one is long overdue, but I have been putting this one off because it didn’t seem quite right. This one is a BABY!! and he’s only a year older than my eldest daughter!

Image result for cute tom holland

Tom Holland.
C’mon, who couldn’t love that adorable face!

His debut movie role was as ‘Lucas’, Ewan McGregor’s son in ‘The Impossible’. A performance that got him noticed, immediately.

Image result for tom holland ewan mcgrwgor the impossible

After a little bit of work on a TV show, honing his dancing skills as Billy Elliot in the stage production of the same name, and a role alongside Chris Hemsworth in ‘In the Heart of the Sea’, our little boy matured enough to become Spider-man!!

Image result for tom holland spiderman

After years of doing some good Spider-man movies and ‘almost’ getting things right, particularly with Andrew Garfield, they finally hit the jackpot with Tom Holland.

First introduced to us in Captain America: Civil War, Tom came bounding onto our screens with the enthusiasm of a puppy dog!
He melted the hearts of millions of young followers and the hearts of every Mom on the planet.
Tom is the ‘all around’ package. He’s young, charismatic, fun to be around, a great actor, hits the nail on the head with his portrayal of Peter Parker, hilarious in interviews and just an all around nice person in real life.

I don’t know anyone who didn’t cry at this………

After 3 appearances in the Avengers movies and 2 standalone Spider-man movies, fans were devastated with news back in August that after a fresh deal with Disney, over the character of Spider-man (owned by Sony) couldn’t be reached, we may not be seeing Tom in any future movies.

Fans were angry… in fact they were fuming!!

However, yesterday saw the news that fans had be holding out hope for, as it was announced that Spider-man is officially staying in the MCU and will actually be making another standalone Spider-man movie! YAY!

Tom’s response on Instagram was hilarious!!

View this post on Instagram

😏

A post shared by Tom Holland (@tomholland2013) on

I’m so happy for him. (and look at the amount of followers he has… CRAZY!)
I’m happy for me too! As he will clearly be hanging around (excuse the pun) as Spiderman for a few more years yet.

I for one, cannot wait to see how this young man matures in his film career.
For now though, he’s clearly having the time of his life as Spiderman.