Category: General diary entries

PRODUCTIVE FIRST WEEK

First week of annual leave is finished and what a busy week it’s been.
Lots of changes around the house and gardens and still going!!

We had a 12 yard skip delivered on the first day, last Wednesday. It was a bigger skip than intended because they don’t like garden rubbish in the 10 yard skips for some reason, anyway, it was just as well we got the bigger skip because we filled it!!

Weds, Thurs and Fri last week were spent hacking back the front and back gardens. They haven’t had a good hack back for a couple of years. I had intended to do it gradually this year but after lockdown stopped the green pickups, the gardens took a back seat and went wild! The amount of cutting back that needed doing meant a skip was our only option. We also had a pile of rubbish in the back garden that had built up over lockdown as we sorted through things in the house and garage.

These are just a few pictures to give you an idea of just how much we cut back.
Ordinarily I would have kept the budlea because the butterflies absolutely LOVE it, however, it gets hacked back every two years and was due to be cut back before winter this year and as we don’t know what the situation in the country will be, we took the opportunity to do it while we had the skip.

Luckily we got all this done while the weather was good. It then started raining over the weekend and if we’d left it any later we probably wouldn’t have got it all done.
The garden now looks like a hurricane has come through but the fine tidy up can be done now when I have a little more time.

After the garden we moved our attention to the house.
Some shopping on Friday afternoon and Saturday saw us purchase a new three piece suite for our living room and a new bed base. For the last 15 years we’ve had chocolate leather sofa’s. We saw this suite and fell in love. It’s so comfortable and colourful and now that the kids are old enough to have a little bit of respect for it, we decided that this would be our new addition.

The arm chair will be Mummy’s new domain when watching movies!!
Unfortunately we’ve got 8 – 10 weeks to wait until it arrives.

Saturday proved to be an expensive day because we also went out looking at cars.
I had a budget set aside for a new car but hadn’t intended on actually getting one until Ian goes back to work which probably won’t be happening until the end of the year or even early next year. We had only intended to get some ideas of what kind of car to get, however, we stumbled on a car that was too good an opportunity to miss.

This is Evin (long story) and we picked him up yesterday.
He may only be a 1.0 but he’s really nippy and he’s really pretty. He has half leather seats and I can use my Spotify account via blue tooth and the stereo sounds great. He’s only 4 years old and my insurance has halved!! Road tax is only £20 for the year! Perfect for running too and from work.
The only downside is that all the kids fit in this one comfortably. (Kidding!!!)

So, the attention then moved to the house.
A reorganisation of furniture in the living room and dining room was first.
The dining room now has one of the two seater leather sofas in it and it has become a bit of a hobby snug. Model collections, musical instruments etc.
We are moving a large sideboard into the garage at the weekend to create a little more space in the living room.

Tuesday was spent in Dharma’s room. It needed gutting and she wanted to have a move around. We were ruthless. 5 huge bags of rubbish went into the skip along with her old wardrobe that was falling apart. We replaced the wardrobe with a spare one from my room. This took all day and at one point I really didn’t think we would get it finished.

This coming weekend we will be working on our room.
The old broken divan bed base went into the skip while we had it and our new solid wooden bed frame will be arriving in a week or two.
With the spare wardrobe now in dharma’s room and the divan out of the way, we have a chance to organise the rest of the room which has been taken over by Ian’s home work space and boxes of his modelling/gaming hobby.

Tomorrow will see the arrival of some Ikea Billy’s with doors and a new desk top so that we can create a better working environment for Ian now that he is working from home indefinitely and storage for all his gaming crap…. I mean models!!
Once this is sorted, the only thing left to do will be to get the bed base in place when it arrives.

Then I can slow down a little and pootle around at my own pace just tidying things up and hopefully, my last week of annual leave will be a little more relaxing!! Although I’ll probably have heart failure when I have a chance to think about the money we’ve just spent!!!

CATCHUP

It’s been just over a month since I last posted anything.
I’ve had a bit of time away from social media. I’ve lurked a bit to keep up with things, but I have generally kept my mouth shut.

So, what’s been happening?
Not a lot really. Work has been going OK. It’s far from normal, but we won’t have normal for a long time yet, so better to just get used to it. Masks are now worn at all times. It’s draining and makes you really tired. Forget FULL PPE which consists of fit tested mask, goggles or visor, cap, shoe covers, full length long sleeved gown and gloves. The longest I’ve spent in this getup is 45 minutes and I nearly passed out!!
So imagine a 12.5 hour shift in a surgical mask and ask yourself, do I really have the right to complain if I’m asked to wear a mask for an hour or two when I go shopping? The answer is quite simple, no you don’t. So when the new government guideline comes into force next week, don’t be a dick, just wear your fucking mask!!

Anyway, I finally got a haircut! You have no idea what a relief that was.
I keep my hair VERY short and it was already due a cut as we went into lockdown back in March.

As you can see, I really needed it. It’s surprising what a lift a haircut can give you. I think it shows in my face.

I went to a friends birthday picnic down at the river last weekend and it was a wonderful afternoon. Great weather, fantastic friends, music, food and booze. What more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, I was kept awake that night by an annoying tickly cough. When I got up for work it seemed to have gone and I enjoyed my milky coffee and thought nothing of it, but as I got to work, the cough started again and I coughed my way through handover (in a mask) and then thought that it was probably a good idea if I got swabbed. So I was swabbed and sent home until I got the result.
This meant that me and everyone in my household had to also isolate until I got that result.
Poor Dharma lost a shift at work and me and Murron had to miss another friends socially distanced birthday gathering at a local pub on the Monday evening.
Thankfully the swab result was negative and I was back at work on Weds.

I’ve had the weekend off and went to yet another socially distanced gathering for another friends birthday last night. Didn’t get home until nearly 3 am! and slept in until 11 am. Cannot remember the last time I did that. It was a lovely evening, with lots of laughs and we simply just lost track of the time.

Image may contain: Micah Pates and Debbie Crawley
Mum and the birthday boy. Happy 21st Micah!

I have just two more 12.5 hour shifts on Monday and Tuesday this week and then I have three weeks of annual leave!! It was originally booked off so that I could enjoy the Olympics, but obviously things have changed.
We have hired a skip, that will be arriving on Wednesday, so that we can get a lot of clearing done. There’s a huge pile of general household rubbish that’s built up in the back garden as we’ve slowly been organising the house and garage during lockdown and we plan to do a lot of hacking back of the shrubs and trees in the front and back gardens.
There’s no way we could get all this to the tidy tip with the current limitations on visits because of COVID, so a skip made sense.
It just means that instead of putting my feet up and watching the Olympics, I will now be busting a gut and working.
Strangely enough, I’m actually really looking forward to it!!

I must remember to do before and after pictures.

I CAN’T WIN

Forget my ‘opinions’ on recent events, it looks like I even ruffled some feathers by intimating I was excited about the cinemas opening on July 10th as a Facebook status!!

Quite frankly, yes I am!!

As someone who has continued to work bloody hard throughout a demanding situation, in a hospital while the rest of the country sit at home and soak up the sun while ‘staying safe’, damn straight I’m looking forward to a bit of normality.

It’s been made doubly hard by the fact that my body has decided, that now would be a good time to go full on menopausal!!

I see my Mum and Dad regularly and can go sit in their garden and ‘catch up’.
I live with my husband and my three grown kids who, quite frankly, I could do with actually getting away from at times, so the prospect of spending a couple of hours in the cinema and getting back to one of my hobbies is very appealing.

And I will NOT apologise for it.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Right, after the last few weeks on social media I’m really at the end of my tether when it comes to my own mental health, so I’ve taken the decision the ‘step back’ a little.
I’m not deleting any of my accounts but I’m just not going to be posting or responding to anything negative.

I have found the last few weeks quite worrying and upsetting.
I consider myself to be one of the most accepting and loving people on the planet, but anything I say on social media is receive with ‘hate’ and people disagreeing with my ‘opinion’ in a most unsavoury way. I have no concerns about people disagreeing with my opinions, but I do have a problem when they attack me for my opinions instead of trying to ‘discuss’ their opinions.

The last few days have given me food for thought and I thought I would leave you with this.
Always look a little deeper before you attack.

I have just finished 3 long days at work. A total of 37.5 hours. I’m tired. I’ve done chores and now I’ve had time to think, it is time for me to say something.

I had a really interesting discussion about current events with some colleagues at work yesterday, and I was reminded of a London stage show that I went to a few years, and also 2 of my favourite films as I was growing up.

The stage show was ‘The Jolsen Story’ and the films were ‘The Jolsen Story and Jolsen Sings Again’

Before I go any further, I can see the faces of everyone reading.
The wide eyes and the ‘OMG’ how could she even say that expressions.

Hear me out.

During that lunch hour, it occurred to me how wrong I may have been, enjoying these films as I grew up. After all ‘blackface’ is one of the worst forms of caricature and racism there is!

However, when I got home, as a complete coincidence, I read an article about Al Jolsen.

Al Jolson - publicity.JPG

At a time when black people were banned from starring on the Broadway stage, he promoted the play by black playwright Garland Anderson, which became the first production with an all-black cast ever produced on Broadway. He brought an all-black dance team from San Francisco that he tried to feature in his Broadway show. He demanded equal treatment for Cab Calloway, with whom he performed a number of duets in his movie ‘The Singing Kid’, and he was the only white man allowed into an all black nightclub in Harlem. He was so active in fighting Racism, but people today can’t see past the blackface.

So you see, don’t be swayed by everything you see going on in the news.
Do a little research. Dig a little deeper.

I can stand proud, saying I loved these films.
I completely understand why blackface is so racist, BUT, at the same time, this performer was using his ‘privilege’ to stand up for the black community at a time when it was EXTREMELY dangerous to do so!

I am now going to be a bit of a lurker. I will watch what is going on on the social media platforms I follow, but I will remain silent on current events.
I will,, however, be educating myself as I go and will not be so quick to judge things in the future.

MMMM JUST A THOUGHT

The last couple of weeks have been absolutely shocking!
And for good reason.

The Black Lives Matter campaign, spurred on by yet another black death in police custody and every day, a new video of white privilege being recorded and released onto the internet for the whole world to see.
It actually makes me sick to my stomach.

Anyway, with the BLM campaign at the forefront of the news, it has now highlighted other areas that have been campaigned for and ignored for years.
Statues that honor men and women for their achievements, are now having those achievements questioned, and rightly so.

It all started with the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, being torn down by protestors and dumped in the harbor.
Edward Colston was honored as a ‘philanthropist’ because he donated money to charitable causes which supported those who shared his political and religious views.
What it doesn’t do, is tell you how he was a merchant and Tory member of parliament, involved in the slave trade.

There’s a whole list of statues that are in question.

Local authorities in London have already taken down a statue of Robert Milligan from West India Quay. Robert Milligan was a Scottish merchant, ship-owner and slave-factor, and was the driving force behind the construction of the West India Docks in London.

A statue of King Charles the II in Soho Square is on the list.
The monarch “founded the Royal African Company which transported approximately 212,000 slaves, of whom 44,000 died en route between the years 1662 and 1773”.

Christopher Columbus in Belgrave Square.
Columbus’s voyages are considered some of the most important events in world history, kickstarting modern globalism. This is why we have statues of him, however, what is not commonly known or taught in schools was that he was a colonizer and slave trader. He may have found the Americas but he became an abuser and exterminator of Native American indigenous communites.

These are just a handful of examples. There are statues, monuments and place names all over the country that need to be seriously looked at.

As the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated “It’s a sad truth that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade – but this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces.”

Very true, but I have to ask…… AND PLEASE HEAR ME OUT

What is going to happen to all of these statues?
Yes, after educating myself, I know exactly why these statues and monuments need to be removed or re-named, BUT, they are inexorably part of history.

Are we not doing a disservice to ourselves and our youth by eliminating them from history. I’ve always been taught that if we forget our past, we are destined to make the same mistakes in the future and history is always written by the ‘winner’.

Personally, I think that these statues should be collated into one place. A hall of shame, so to speak.
They should be surrounded by a full historically correct telling of each person’s life and exactly why the statue was removed from it’s pedestal.
School history books should be changed to reflect a more accurate telling of an individuals mark on history.

There are going to be a lot of changes in the coming weeks or months and the news is going to continue to be hard to watch.
I just hope that we find balance at some point and the need for these protests subsides.

WISE WORDS

Martin Luther King, 1966

“I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

HE HAS OUTDONE HIMSELF

I think I may have mentioned in the past, exactly how I feel about Donald Trump.
Just a few weeks ago I posted…

“I don’t know why I do it to myself!!!
It started as a laugh.
I followed Donald Trump on Twitter quite a while ago.
The drivel that spouts out of that orange Twat’s mouth is, during normal times, absolutely hysterical, however, we are not in normal times and his drivel and self superiority are becoming increasing dangerous.”

Well, today he has outdone himself.
With the MURDER of unarmed George Floyd in Mineapolis on Monday, there has been a backlash of violent protests.
Murder is exactly what it was, and the officer involved has got a long history of violence and killing of POC in his past. How he is still a police officer is beyond belief.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not, in ANY way condone the violence that has been happening as a consequence, but the tweet that was created by Donald Trump today was ASTOUNDING….. and not in a good way.

These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Twitter have hidden this Tweet behind a warning and have made it very clear that if it had been anyone else, the Tweet would have been removed.

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible. Learn more

Twitter generally actions Tweets that violate our rules. However, we recognize that sometimes it may be in the public interest to allow people to view Tweets that would otherwise be taken down. We consider content to be in the public interest if it directly contributes to understanding or discussion of a matter of public concern. 

At present, we limit exceptions to one critical type of public-interest content—Tweets from elected and government officials—given the significant public interest in knowing and being able to discuss their actions and statements.”

Yes, you read that right, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”!!
What. The. Actual. Fuck!!

I can’t believe this was actually written by the President of the United States.

So, I will now make this official on my Blog site.
Donald Trump is an absolute FUCKWIT! TWAT, PRICK, MORON, DICKHEAD, PILLOCK, CUNT, NUMBKNUT, TOSSER, WANKER and any other derogatory term to describe an absolute train wreck of a human being, although, calling him a human being is insulting to human beings!!

I wish I was more eloquent.

CANNES

So, it’s been two years ago to the day that we got this happy Adam at the Cannes film festival for the BlacKkKlansman premiere.

Adorable Grin Version 2.0 Adam Driver attends the photo call for ...

Spike Lee managed to create a movie that was tastefully funny, still relevant and shocking. If you haven’t already seen it, what are you waiting for?! Think I may even watch it tonight!

Spike Lee, John David Washington, Topher Grace, Damaris Lewis ...

Anyway, this also got me thinking about what we have missed out on this week.
This should have been the Cannes Film Festival week and we should have been getting the premiere of Adam’s new film Annette. A musical of all things and one which is sung from start to finish. I have been waiting with baited breath to see this film. Like I’ve said before, as much as I like a good musical, I like a musical that is scripted and interspersed with songs. I don’t generally like musicals that are completely sung as a narrative. Adam is not a professional singer but he can hold a tune. It’s going to be really interesting and raw. I’m either going to love it or hate it, and I am so hoping that I love it!!

Adam has had 5 movies premiere at the last 4 festivals.
In 2016 it was Paterson. A quirky Jim Jarmusch movie.

Adam Driver - Adam Driver Photos - 'Paterson' - Red Carpet ...

That same year, I actually won tickets to see this film at the Picturehouse Central in London with Adam doing a Q+A afterwards. It was an amazing evening and that very Q+A is on the DVD release!

2017 saw The Meyerowitz Stories released. Adam did not attend this one.

He made up for it in 2018 with not one, but two movies. BlacKkKlansman and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Adam was there and attended the red carpets for both films.

ADAM REN - ultimate-adam-driver: Olga Kurylenko and Adam...
J.D. Washington leaves football behind with 'BlacKkKlansman' role ...

In 2019 he was there for another Jim Jarmusch film, The Dead Don’t Die.

Hollywood Stars Bring The Glamour To Cannes Film Festival Opening ...

Not the greatest zombie movie ever made, but another quirky Jim Jarmusch film.

So, this year we are left hanging. With the cancellation of the Cannes Film Festival because of the world shut down, we have no idea when Annette will actually be released.
I just hope it will be worth the wait.

Annette (2020) - Filmaffinity

SPOKE TOO SOON

After blogging about how terrible I felt yesterday, I’ve actually had a pretty good day today!

I still had a mid afternoon nap, but I actually ‘feel’ better than I have in a long time. It may just be a ‘good’ day, and only time will tell, but it has actually been a relief.

Anyway, I saw an article pop up today that reminded me of what I was missing the most in this lock down.

May The 18th 1927 was the day ‘Grauman’s Chinese Theater’ Opened In Hollywood.

The iconic building now houses a custom designed IMAX theatre that can seat 932 people and has one of the largest screens in North America.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, by Carol Highsmith fixed & straightened.jpg

The theatre hosted the Academy Awards in 1944, 1945 and 1946 and there are nearly 200 celebrity handprints, footprints and autographs in the forecourt.

Since 2011, there has been a surge of concrete ceremonies. However, many of these have been paid for by movie studios for publicity reason. They are referred to as ‘mock ceremonies.’ Despite this increase, the ones placed in the forecourt are still chosen by special committee which selects celebrities based on their contributions to Hollywood cinema. Practice blocks, completed inside the theatre before the ceremony, are placed on the walls of the 6 theatre lobby, which is also used as an event space.

And that all reminded me of just how much I miss going to the cinema!!
Yeah, I have my movies at home, but nothing beats going to see a film on the big screen and maybe making a day of it and going out for dinner too.

With everything on hold, there have been movies I have wanted to see that have had release dates pushed back, or no new dates announced at all.
This week ‘should’ have been the Cannes film festival and Adam Driver’s new movie ‘Annette’ should have premiered!! Now we don’t know if it will release this year or early next year.

As for Adam, he still has about 8 weeks of filming to finish in Ireland on ‘The Last Duel’, the film he was in the middle of in France with Matt Damon.
They were just about to move production from France to Ireland when the world shut down. Adam returned home and we haven’t heard a squeak out of him since!

One film I have been keeping an eye on is ‘Dune’. We have been getting little snippets of news and photos in the last couple of weeks and it is still slated for a Dec 18th release. Fans are just hoping that a trailer will drop soon. I for one am really looking forward to seeing how it will look.
I loved the 1984 version with Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides, but I don’t think it has stood the test of time very well.

Kyle MacLachlan in Dune (1984)

With current special effects and Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, I can’t wait to see what they have done. It is a huge sweeping story that was kinda rushed through in 1984 but ‘Denis Villeneuve’, the director of the new one, has split the story into 2 films, which has given me hope that the studio have got a lot of confidence in the final outcome of this movie.

If nothing else, I get to see Timothee Chalamet and Oscar Isaac like this!

For now, I will make do with my home movies. I added to my collection today with the release of ‘1917’.
Better than nothing.

REALLY ROUGH PATCH

So, I’ve been on the HRT for almost two weeks now.
How do I feel?
In a nutshell….terrible!!

I can honestly say that the hot flushes and night sweats have just about stopped which means that my sleeping has been getting better.

BUT, and here’s the kicker…..

I have been feeling rough most of the time and I’m still so tired, all the frickin time!
I am literally crashing for an hour at lunch time, crashing for a couple of hours at tea time, I have virtually no energy to do anything.

It’s just as well I managed to get a couple of weeks of last minute annual leave from last Monday and now that I’m half way through it, I seriously need to look at what I can do to improve things before I have to go back to work a week on Monday.

According to an NHS website, too much alcohol and caffeine and not enough exercise are the top reasons for feeling tired.
So, from tomorrow, I am going to stop the alcohol intake for a while and I am going to start my walking again.

When I was losing weight for Italy 3 years ago, I was doing some serious walking as well as watching what I was eating and drinking and I felt great!
Getting out in the sun and fresh air has got to help me.
I need to stop feeling so sorry for myself and get my arse off the sofa and get some adrenaline pumping.

Hopefully after a few weeks I will start to feel some benefits.
If not, the NHS website also states that other reasons for feeling tired all the time are anaemia, underactive thyroid, anxiety and stress.
All of which, I will need to go and see my GP for, which is easier said than done at the moment.

Anything has got to be better than the way I feel at the moment!