IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE

Another birthday comes and goes and again I feel stuck in a rut.
This has been one of the worst years of my life so far.
Don’t get me wrong, my marriage is strong, I love my kids but life just seems to be on hold for one reason or another.

The biggest problem this year has been health issues. Not just mine but across the family in general.
Me, Ian and all the kids are under various consultants for various issues so there are countless appointments to attend.
When you work at the hospital, the last thing you want is to spend your days off there too!

Mum and Dad have both had health issues this year too.
Dad’s has been a particularly worrying one but thankfully he now has the all clear.

I don’t think there has been a single week in the last three or four months where there wasn’t one of us attending an appointment at the hospital or having to go to the GP. Murron threw us a curve ball a couple of weeks ago with dental surgery a couple of months earlier than expected so that makes 2 surgeries for her alone this year.

Let’s see, next week Murron has a follow up with plastics at the hospital following her thumb surgery earlier in the year and Ian has an appointment with his pain consultant.
The week after that I have my appointment for an MRI on my foot.
Then I actually go for a whole two weeks before my follow up with the surgeon about my foot following the MRI and Murron has another Orthodontist appointment.
The week after that Murron has another follow up with a Paediatrician at the hospital about her dizzy spells.
Oh and today Dharma has been referred to a physiotherapist and we are just waiting for a date.
Then unbelievably (and I do expect it to change) there’s nothing on the calendar until the new year.

All of this coupled with finances getting tighter and tighter that means we simply can’t afford things like clothes and days out for the kids is beginning to have a negative effect on me.
I have to keep such a tight reign on the finances and plan everything in advance to such a degree that if something unexpected crops up I ‘lose it’ completely.
All the fun has gone out of life.
The only time I’m happy just lately is when I’m getting lost in a film or a good TV show.

To be able to pack the family up and go off on a holiday where we are relaxed and happy and not stressing about spending is simply a dream that is never going to happen.
Passports are going to cost us over £400 to start with FFS!

I need to become more positive about things.
So come the new year I am going to try and blog at least once a day.
I’m going to use this blog as more of a diary interspersed with my usual Dish of the Weeks and rants.
I’m hoping it’s going to be quite cathartic.

Whatever, I just need to get out of this slump before I end up in an institution.

A DAY OFF

Finally….. looks like I’ve actually got away with a day off.
ALL the kids have been out and about doing various things and staying away from Mum.
There have been no Dr appointments, no hospital appointments and so far no-one has said they need a trip to A+E.
I did a quick Tesco shop this morning and then spent the afternoon on my posterior.

So! what to do with my time.
I decided to pop a film on and snuggle on the sofa with 50 Shades Darker.

I’ve also been checking out up coming movies for 2013.
I have to say that I’m more than a little excited about 2 of the films on offer.

In May we have Star Trek: Into Darkness
The re-boot of the franchise is hopefully going from strength to strength.
I absolutely loved the casting for the first film. They nailed every character, especially Spock and Bones. So yes, here is the first mention of my man of the moment. Karl Urban.
Trying to find out any information about this film is impossible. J J Abrams is doing a bang up job of keeping everything under wraps as usual……. or is he.
During a recent interview about Dredd 3D, Karl Urban seemed to let slip that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing a character called ‘Gary Mitchell’, a character well known to Trek fans.
Whether or not this is just another red herring or is in fact true is yet to be confirmed because as yet J J hasn’t released a single teaser! So Frustrating!!

In contrast, a film due out in June and one that I’m salivating about is Man of Steel, the new Superman re-boot and one that I’m hoping they finally get right. We have at least had a teaser trailer for this one and although it’s giving nothing away, it looks very gritty and very different to all of the previous Superman films.
It also stars the scrumptious Henry Cavill.

My man of the moment is not just appearing in but starring in 3 movies next year and doing a cameo in another. Whoo hoo!
First one is Star Trek that I’ve already mentioned where he just channels Deforest Kelly as Dr ‘Bones’ McCoy and then there is ‘The Loft’. It comes with the tag line, 5 friends, 5 keys, 1 loft, 1 secret that will change their lives forever.
Karl looks like he’s playing a bit of a smooth talking sleaze ball, something I haven’t seen him play yet.
Not just Karl in this movie either, there’s also James Marsden and Wentworth Miller!
Check out the trailer at www.theloftmovie.com  lots of Karl yumminess.
Both of these movies are in post production.

Then there is a film called Overdrive that is currently in pre production.
In this one Karl goes back to doing what he does best, a bit of action. In this one he plays one of a pair of handsome and adventurous brothers, known for being high-profile car thieves, who travel to the South of France looking for new challenges and come across a tough local crime boss.

The fourth film I’m having a little trouble finding anything out about. It is another ‘Riddick’ movie with Vin Diesel.
‘The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking’
From the little I have managed to pick up, I am lead to believe that Karl has a cameo role as a character he played in the original ‘Chronicles of Riddick’. A character called Lord Vaako. He had an amazing look for this character.


A cameo role would make sense considering how the original one ended. He would probably only be part of the story that springboards Riddick into the rest of the film, however, IMDB are listing him as second only to Vin Diesel so I am hoping my info is wrong and that he does have a much larger role to play.

Aside from lots of Karl scrumptiousness next year, we have another outing for Iron Man with Iron Man 3 making it to our screens in May. Another Avenger making an appearance next year is Thor.

The current trend for fairly tales looks to be continuing with a wicked looking take on the story ‘Hansel and Gretel’ called ‘Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters’.
Go and watch the trailer on Youtube, this looks like it’s going to be lots of fun.
We also have an outing with ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ based on the Jack and the Beanstalk story.

Other films to look out for are ‘G.I Joe: Retaliation’ with Channing Tatum, ‘The Lone Ranger’ with Johnny Depp as Tonto, ‘The Wolverine’ with Hugh Jackman and the start of ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy.

None of them are expected to be oscar worthy (except maybe ‘The Hobbit) or brain challenging (except maybe ‘The Hobbit) but they do look like they are going to be fun and exciting and that’s what movies are all about. A couple of hours of escapism.

So at least it looks like my escapes into fantasy are going to be good next year.
I can only hope that the rest of my life is just as good because to be completely honest, this year has been SHIT!!! and I can’t wait for it to end.

TIME FOR A RANT.

OK, time for a small rant.
Something I have ranted about before but this is something that really does my head in!!

I have just been watching the BBC morning programme and they had a Mother and a Head Teacher ‘discussing’ the pros and cons of taking a child out of school during term time.
Neither of them had the ‘guts’ to say what they were actually thinking.

Parent’s must obviously apply to their children’s school to ask for permission to take a child out of school during term time.
This is not something I condone but there are times when there is no choice.

However, what about schools asking parents for their permission to close a school for whole day for ‘teacher training’.
Not just once but on several occasions across a school year that total up to a ‘whole week’ out of our children’s education.
Not to mention the absolute chaos it causes for working parents who have to pay for extra child care or even take a day of their precious annual leave.
This is made worse for parents with more than one child in several schools who for some reason can’t coordinate their teacher training days so that they are actually on the same day!! Grrrrrr.

Why can’t these training days take place in the ’13’ weeks of holiday the children get every year.
‘Whoaaa’ I hear all you teachers cry, ‘we are entitled to holidays too because we work very hard and are entitled to it’
I’m not saying you don’t.
What I am saying is that you take your ‘6’ weeks of annual leave that every other hard working person in this country gets (if they are lucky) and that will then leave you with ‘7’ weeks to prepare school work and do teacher training. Simple.

As for taking a child out of school for a holiday.
The Head teacher’s argument was, ‘why can this not be done during the 13 weeks of holiday that the child gets?’
The simple answer is ‘the cost’.

I haven’t taken my family on a holiday for 3 years because we are being squeezed so hard there’s no money left in the pot for clothes at the end of the month let alone a holiday.
This is made even harder by the fact that costs virtually ‘double’ during school holiday periods.
We like to go to York and I regularly keep check on holidays in the hope that we can someday afford to go back for a week.
I have seen rent on a house for a week in march go from around £350 and then it will rocket to over £600 during school holiday periods! It’s rediculous and there’s no need for it. Apart from taking advantage of people to get more money there’s no reason to hike prices like that.

So there you have it.
I’ve never had the need to officially ask for my children to have time out but I would if needed.
It is now a lot harder to consider because my eldest has just started her GSCE years and when she has finished her sister will be starting.
So apart from medical appointments I won’t even consider taking them out of school at the moment but I do feel for parents that are being penalised for it.
It is sometimes more beneficial for a child to do some travelling and learn about the world around them than to sit and talk about it in a book at school!

SHELLSHOCKED.

It’s been an eventful morning.
Both myself and my eldest daughter had appointments at the hospital.
Mine was a first appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon about my achilles heel spurs and the appointment was at 10:45.
It went pretty much as expected.
I got there early and was sent for an x-ray.
I was seen by the surgeon just after 11.
I am being sent for an MRI and then going back to see him again in about 6 weeks before any decisions about treatment are made.

Murron on the other hand had a totally different experience.
Her appointment was at 12 but as my appointment finished nice and early we walked into the Max Fax department at 11:30.
She was seen immediately!
They had a quick look in her mouth talked about what would be happening and then casually announced that they had a spot available on Thursday!!
I was taken back a bit because she only started wearing her headgear a week ago and we were under the impression that the surgery wouldn’t happen until she’d seen the Orthodondist again at the end of November.
Nope, they called the ward there and then to make sure there was a bed available on Thurs and then she was taken through for a quick pre-assessment, given her arrival time and starving instructions and we were out of the hospital by 12!!

Thursday will be an interesting day.
I’m working on the ward so Ian will have to bring her in for the surgery.
No point in trying to re-arrange shifts this late in the day if I don’t need to, it will just be a bit strange having my daughter on the ward for surgery when I’m part of the nursing team instead of being Mum!.

THE MEANING OF FRUSTRATION!!

I can’t understand it.
Dredd is bombing at the box office.

It really is a mystery to me. It’s getting great reviews.
Every time I click on a review it is singing the praises of Dredd and going on about how it is staying true to the comics and getting it just right…….

Bloody, brutal and brilliant. Bring on the next instalment.

Dredd is nothing but a good time — a fantastic action spectacle set
against the backdrop of two people trying to escape hell on Earth. There are
massive bombastic fights, near-death face-offs and bro-ing out between new BFFs
Anderson and Dredd.

Grungy, compact and delightfully violent, Dredd wants to hit you as hard as it can. The sequel may be the movie you really want, but for now, justice has been done. 

There was much to dread about this new iteration of Dredd, but it’s a solid,
occasionally excellent take on the character, with Urban’s chin particularly
impressive.

Everywhere I look the film is being given 8 out of 10.
People are raving about how they got the character right! How we can now thankfully forget the horrendous 1995 Stallone atempt at the character.

And there is one of it’s first problems.
People cannot forget that camp and oh so sparkly attempt at Dredd and the fact that Stallone actually had the audacity to take his helmet off!!
He will never be forgiven.

Even though people and critics are raving about Dredd 3d, one thing I am noticing are the comments about the lack of being able to get to see a 2d copy in cinemas. I have noticed that here in the UK, there wasn’t a single 2d showing at either of my local multiscreen cinemas.
A lot of people will not pay the extortionate excess to see a film in 3d.
Some people don’t even like to watch films in 3d.
Some physically ‘can’t’ watch a film in 3d.
If they won’t pay the excess, they are certainly not going to pay to ‘travel’ to see a 2d copy.

I know the film is being marketed as Dredd 3D but the decision to limit the 2d copies is really adding to the films failure to thrive in the box office.
I think they have made a BIG mistake.

Unless the film does exceptionally well on DVD and Blu-Ray a sequel is not likely to be on the books.
But hey! 28 Days Later didn’t exactly do great in the cinemas but it sporned two sequels!
I can but hope.

Unfortunately it looks like Dredd 3D will just become another one off cult classic and I won’t get to see Karl Urban explore his Dredd character development.

I think I may cry!