BUSY BEE

It’s been a tough few days.
I work 12.5 hour shifts and so far I’ve worked 2 on, 1 off, 2 on, I’m off today and then 2 more!
So a grand total of 75 hours in 8 days. Mostly on my feet.
The light at the end of the tunnel is 4 days off with my daughter’s Baby Shower on Saturday.

Anyway, it’s also been a miserably wet few days as the UK weather took a bit of a turn for the worse.
However, the sun is shining today so I took my chance to wash my car and then pootle around the back garden tidying up my planters after they took a bit of a bashing in the rain.

While I was doing this I notice a lot more bees than usual and I discovered that they were all coming in and out of a little hidden corner on my patio under the fence between us and the neighbours.

It’s a very sheltered little corner, I’ve actually pulled a pot away to get this video.
I always thought Bumble bees were solitary bees but as I’ve just found out, they are actually very social and can form colonies of 50 to 500 individuals!!
The are very docile and it takes an awful lot for them to sting you. They will actually give you a warning first and even then, you have to be really provoking them. If you just leave them alone, they will just carry on being busy.
I absolutely love listening to them and watching them on a hot day, although I can’t deny I do get a little freaked out when they bump into me!!

Right, I’m going to get a drink (albeit a soft one because I have to pick someone up from work later!!) and go and sit in the garden and watch my new friends for a while.

CATCHUP!

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog, so I thought I’d have a little catchup.

It’s been crazy busy at work. I literally do not stop running around from 7:30 in the morning to 8 in the evening!!
I’ve got 5 of those shifts to do this week. 2 down, 3 to go.
Upside is that I only have 2 of them to do next week.

Anyway, how’s life been otherwise?

Not too bad really. The pub over the road has finally opened it’s doors again! Heaven.
I actually went to the cinema for the first time in year. I went to see Peter Rabbit 2 which was a little disappointing.
The first one was hysterical and I still love watching it, however, the second one lost it’s sparkle a little bit. They were trying too hard for the laughs.

Dharma passed her driving theory test. Great!!
However, they are so back logged with people wanting to take the driving test itself that she may not get a test until next year!!

I went to Coventry last Saturday with Marjorie and Dharma.
Dharma has a really good friend she met online a couple of years ago and they meet up occasionally.
Because of COVID restrictions they haven’t seen each other since December 2019! Bit emotional!
Did some shopping and had some lunch. I wanted to show Marjorie the old Cathedral but it was closed because the University was doing graduations in it. Marjorie was a bit peeved about that because Bedford Uni aren’t doing graduations because of COVID. Her tutors weren’t very happy about that either so they made all the students graduation caps and had a bit of a private celebration with some food and drink and Marji went out for lunch with some of her Uni colleagues.

Dharma finished her first year of University studies last week and Marjorie finished her final year!!
Dissertation handed in and just waiting for the result. Fingers crossed.

It’s Dharma’s birthday next Monday and I’ve promised her that she can drive us to see Murron in Kettering.
Since Murron moved out last September, and because of restrictions, we haven’t seen too much of her recently.
She is blooming though!! Only 89 days to go!

The weather has been beautiful this week. Typical that I’m working most of it!
I’m off today and I plan to have a little tidy up in the back garden before Debbie comes over later today for a drink and some dinner.
My mantra for the day is…. I must remember I’m working tomorrow….. I must remember I’m working tomorrow!!

STUNNING

OK, I’ll be one of the first to admit that when my wayward eldest daughter took a liking to P!nk waaaay back when she was still in single digits age wise, as a very naive parent who hadn’t experienced much during her teens years I was pretty horrified by this brash, confident, tattooed, no nonsense, chameleon haired singer.

However!!!

The more I got to know about her and the more I actually realised I enjoyed her music, the happier I was that my daughter has had such a fantastic role model growing up.

My daughter is confident, strong, loving, doesn’t take any shit from anyone, and is going to be an incredible Mum and as much as I’d like to think that I was responsible for that, I know that seeing P!nk being this incredible force of nature has also played a big part in how my daughter has turned out.

This woman is absolutely amazing.
If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend watching her new docufilm on Amazon Prime, ‘All I know So Far’.
What a hard working but down to earth Mum she is.
Her kids are going to have an incredible life.

Last night at the Billboard awards, where P!nk received the Icon award, she performed on stage with her daughter Willow. They released a record together earlier this year which is amazing called, ‘Cover Me In Sunshine’.
At just 9 years old Willow did some acrobatics with her Mum to that very record and it is pure magic to watch.

I was privileged enough to see P!nk at Wembley in 2019 with my daughter and I can safely say that I hope to be able to see her again in the future.
I will also be watching little Willow grow up with great interest.

TIX

I’ve never been a huge Eurovision Song contest fan.
I know people love the show and rave about it all the time but I have never been able to get excited about it.
The songs are usually cheesy, tacky or downright awful and this year was no exception.

However……

Just out of curiosity I had a quick flick through the finalists on Youtube to see what abominations were on offer again this year and found myself quite surprised by one particular song.
In fact, I absolutely love it and it has made it to one of my Spotify lists!

Fallen Angel by Tix is a beautiful song and in my opinion it is far superior to the winning entry by Italy which was completely tuneless!

The final performance was simple and effective as Tix, who has Tourette Syndrome, battled with his demons live on stage.

So sad that it didn’t manage to do any better with the scores on the night, or even win to be honest.

Anyway, I tuned in to watch the final few votes of the final.
You couldn’t pay me enough to sit through the whole show!!
When Marjorie came in from work she sat and watched it with me and asked me when the UK last won the contest and apart from Bucks Fizz who won when I was just 11 years old and was a mega hit at the time, I couldn’t remember a single UK winner.
However, when I did a bit of research, I found that the UK has actually won the competition 5 times and I knew every single song!
All of them cheesy, and apart from Save Your Kisses for Me which I loved as a 6 year old, I hated every one of them!!

1967 – Puppet on a String by Sandie Shaw

1969 – Boom Bang-a-bang by Lulu

1976 – Save Your Kisses for Me by Brotherhood of Man

1981 – Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz

1997 – Love Shine a Light by Katrina and the Waves

So! Whatever possessed the UK to enter Embers by James Newman?
I can see where they were going with the song and if it had been preformed by someone else it may have done better.
James Newman was a BAD choice.
Listening to some of his , dare I say ‘autotuned’ work on Spotify, this song was totally out of character for him and it showed as he could barely get through the first verse in tune!

Anyway, thankfully it’s all over for another year and hopefully the UK will choose a little more wisely next year, if they even enter the contest at all after getting 0 points this year!!

Nice one Tix!!

COULD I BE THAT LUCKY?

Could I really be that lucky?
Adam Driver’s next film, Annette, is opening the Cannes Film Festival in July, but it has just been announced that it is getting it’s theatrical release in the US on August 6th.
UK releases usually coincide with US releases but there is no confirmation yet.
This is the kind of film that gets a pretty limited run here in the UK and I would usually have to travel outside of my hometown to a cinema that is showing it…..

However……

I will be in London on August 6th because it’s our wedding anniversary and we are spending 4 days in London!!
This will be the perfect opportunity to see it at my favourite cinema, the Picturehouse Central, if they are showing it.

August 6th this year is shaping up quite nicely.
Possible trip to my favourite cinema to see a new Adam film and dinner at the Hawksmoor in Covent Garden.

URGH! I have just realised that Adam was just 10 years old when I got married!!
My kids are all over 18.
One has left home and is currently producing a baby.

I AM SO OLD!!!

CHECK IT OUT

Over the last few days I’ve been catching up on an old favourite obsession, Joel Kinnaman.
Back in 2014, I became quite obsessed with a Swedish actor by the name of Joel Kinnaman.
It was kicked off by the re-make of Robocop back in 2014.
My review can be read HERE

Suicide Squad' Star Joel Kinnaman Is Ready to Be a Leading Man | IndieWire

After Robocop, I expected big things for Joel, but although he has teetered on the edge of ‘A’ list, he’s never quite crossed the line.
He continues to have a lead role in the Suicide Squad movies and he’s had numerous other roles in movies like ‘Run All Night’ with Liam Neeson, Edge of Winter and The Informer, it is in TV that he appears to be most comfortable.

Before Robocop, Joel made his name in a fabulous TV series called ‘The Killing’.
He is currently in a series called ‘For All Mankind’ and I have been binge watching it.
It’s so good!!

The series starts off during the 1960’s space race and is a bit of a ‘What If’ series.
It basically asks the question, what if women had been involved from the start.
How would things have gone?
What would have happened if the quest for equality for women and gay men and lesbian women and black people had taken a leap forward way back in the mid 60’s?

It starts with the moon landings and has a kind of butterfly effect on the rest of the series.
A Luna base is situated on the moon after the original landings.
After that, what would have happened if this is the way it had gone?
Right into series 2 in the 80’s with subtle changes like Lennon surviving an assassination attempt, Camilla marrying prince Charles instead of Diana, the moonbase expanding and the situation with the Russians.

Joel has been brilliant so far.
In Season one, he was the all American hero astronaught and in season two, he’s the same character but with a desk job at Nasa that realises he should actually be in space!

Joel Kinnaman, Apple TV+, Disney+, streaming wars, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, TV binge, sci-fi, drama, space travel to the moon

I am just coming to the mid section of series 2 and it just keeps getting better and better.
I know series 3 is currently in production so I am really looking forward to where series 2 is taking us.
Suicide Squad 2 is due in July this year, so things are looking rosey for Joel.
Gives me something to look forward to too!!

16 MONTHS

Ok, 16 months.
16 months to lose some weight and get into shape.
That’s about 12 months more than I gave myself before I went out to Italy in 2017 so I should be able to achieve it!
The only issue this time is my knee which has slowly got worse and worse over the last year.
With no Dr’s doing face to face consultations and no elective surgeries being performed which will cause a HUGE backlog, there was just no point in seeing anyone about a problem that was not life threatening.
So, I just keep ticking along on pain killers. It’s not horrendous. I am still walking. It’s just becoming more and more noticeable and annoying and I don’t exactly walk anymore, l limp or hobble.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have seen the start of my build up of interest in the Olympics!
I had annual leave last year to be able to sit and watch it all to my hearts content, but then COVID got the event cancelled.
I have the same annual leave booked for this year, and so far it’s full steam ahead.

Unfortunately, over the last year, one of my favourite Gymnasts has had to retire due to an ongoing injury that he just can’t shake. I blogged about it in January this year and if you want, you can read it HERE.
He injured his neck a couple of years ago and had to have some major surgery and since then he just hasn’t been able to reach full fitness and has never quite recovered.
So, he’s gone onto the next step in his career and is opening a couple of Gyms where his exuberant and inspirational attitude towards gymnastics will hopefully produce a few world class gymnasts in the future.
It won’t stop me from following the GB boys in Tokyo though!
The final announcement of who has qualified for the team is expected over the next few weeks but it is looking pretty good for Max Whitlock. He should be defending his Olympic Gold title but it will probably be his last Olympics. It would be nice to see him go out with a bang!

Rounding Off: Max Whitlock dazzles in first competition in 16 months

The other event I like to watch is the Diving. Specifically the 10m individual and 10m synchro.
Competition events in preparation for the Olympics have been taking place over the last few weeks and my boys, Tom Daley and Matty Lee walked away with the gold medal for the 10m synchro and Tom walked away with the gold for 10m individual at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo between the 1st and the 6th May.

matty lee Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

They both continue to do well at the European Championships in Budapest with the pair again walking away with the gold for 10m synchro yesterday. Tom is going for another gold in the 10m individual later today.

Gold medallists Great Britain's Matthew Lee (L) and Great Britain's Thomas Daley pose on the podium after the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving event

They are both shaping up nicely for the Olympics later this year!

Anyway, back to today. I’m on day three of three days off and I was ‘hoping’ to get the grass cut in the front and back gardens but it’s been raining a lot the past few days and is just too wet to do anything with.
It’s really frustrating because my back garden is looking really good. The grass is just getting too long and messing it up.
The front garden is another story. I haven’t done any work in it yet this year so it’s beginning to look a bit like a jungle.
I want to do something with it before it gets too out of control!!
Oh well, it’s going to have a to wait a few days.
So today, I will be watching a couple of movies instead, so there is an upside.

NEW START

Right!

After my little scare on Thursday, I have spent a few days chilling and letting the Ramipril take effect.
It seems to have done it’s job as my BP is now a blisteringly perfect 120/83!!
It will be interesting to see what it is after the next two days of 12.5 hour shifts!

Anyway, I have also spent the weekend getting rid of (i.e eating!) all of the rubbish in the house.
So, no more crisps and snacks and absolutely no more milky coffee.
Alcohol consumption……. will now be reduced. I’m f####d if I’m giving that up completely right before the pubs and restaurants open up again!

I may not get into those tops at the back of my wardrobe this summer, but I’ll give it a good go.

So, if any of my work colleagues see me making a milky coffee, sneaking a chocolate, or heading to the canteen for a sausage roll and a packet of crisps, you have permission to slap me!

WAKE UP CALL

Yesterday was a wake up call.

When I went to bed I had a bit of pain between my shoulder blades that I put down to tension and being tired. It wasn’t unusual and I didn’t worry.

I had set my alarm for 05:30 as I usually do when I have to get up for work, however, I was woken up at 04:30 by a very uncomfortable central chest pain.
It didn’t matter how I positioned myself, it just wouldn’t ease off and took a good 45 minutes to dissipate.

I got up and got ready for work but while I was drinking my morning coffee I felt a bit of fluttering in my chest and this got me a little worried. Worried enough to do the NHS 111 symptom check which then told me I should be seen in A+E.

I arrived in A+E just before 7am and was triaged pretty quickly.
After observations, ECG, Chest X-ray and bloods the possibility of a heart attack or aortic aneurysm had been ruled out but I discovered I was hypertensive!

Thinking back, I have been having the odd dizzy spell as I put my head on my pillow at night for the last couple of weeks, so I’m thinking this has been going on for a little while.

Anyway, I have been started on Ramipril for the hypertension and I have to go back for a follow up next week to see if it has had any effect or the dose needs changing.

So! Time to stop dancing around the fact that I really need to lose some weight and think about my fitness.
Shit…. I hate getting old.

UNEXPECTED

So, today did not go quite as expected!

I had planned to have a complete day off today.
Doing on/off/on/off/on shifts in a week, can take it out of you a little bit.
I hadn’t slept very well the previous night either, so I was planning to just put my feet up and watch a few movies.

However…..

I received a phone call from my Dad just before 10am to say that Mum hadn’t been too well over night.
Mum and Dad were supposed to be attending the funeral of an old friend and neighbour, Terry, and Mum wasn’t feeling up to it, so Dad asked if I would like to go with him instead.

I couldn’t say no.
With current COVID restrictions, I didn’t want to leave a space that could have been filled by someone else.
I’ve also known Terry for most of my life. His daughter, Kirsty, was born the same year as my brother and we literally grew up together. I actually felt quite honoured to be part of it.

Me and my Dad were the only ‘friends’ with everyone else being related to Terry in some way.
We initially felt a little bit out of place but that soon changed at the wake.
As we sat at a table with a few other family members, with my Dad being the only gentleman in the group, the conversations and stories started to flow with the alcohol and we ended up having quite a laugh!!

Plans have been made to meet up with Kirsty occasionally in our local when they can open up again and what should have been a quite sombre day, ended up being quite reflective and uplifting.
An old, long neglected friendship may have just had a bit of a re-boot.