STILL WORTH IT

OK, time to talk vaccines again.

Way back on Saturday 9th January, I had my first Covid vaccination.
I blogged briefly back then that “I got quite achy around my shoulders and neck late last night (Saturday) and I’m still a little achy this morning, but other than that, I’m absolutely fine.”

I had my second Covid vaccination this Saturday at lunchtime and this one is a totally different ball game!
I was fine on Saturday. I couldn’t even feel where the vaccination had gone into my arm.
Unlike last time, I didn’t notice any side effect at all.
When I woke up Sunday, I thought everything was fine and came to the conclusion that I simply wasn’t going to have any after effect this time around…….

However……….

At around 6pm Sunday evening, I started to feel a little achy across my shoulders.
So it would appear the reaction was a little delayed. I thought that it probably wouldn’t be any worse than the last mild reaction in January.
How wrong I was!!!

By 10pm I was really sore.
My neck, my shoulders and all the way down my back was so sore I just didn’t want to move.
The lymph nodes in my arm pits swelled and were sore.
My head started pounding.
My temperature started creeping and was a mild 37.9 when I decided to go to bed.
This is when I started to experience small needle stick like sensations in my legs.

There was just no getting to sleep.
At half past midnight I called into work and said I wouldn’t be in today and then I tried to get back to sleep.
It didn’t work and by 3am my temperature was 38.3 and as I had taken a dose of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen just a couple of hours earlier, chances are it was probably actually a bit higher.

It was a very restless night.
Today I am absolutely shattered.
The temperature appears to have settled so far.
My head is still pounding but the lymph nodes in my arm pits have settled down.
My back, neck and shoulders are still sore but have not got any worse and I haven’t had any of the needle stick like sensations in my legs yet today!

I have never been knocked sideways by a vaccination like this before.

With all that being said, I still feel like it was absolutely worth it.
A day or two of feeling rubbish to have a summer of relative freedom and help the country get back on it’s feet and to some normality, is not that big a price to pay.

Today I think I will be cat napping on the sofa, trying to catch up on sleep and shaking off the after effects of this jab.

FALLING APART

In January 2018 I added an actor to my list of ‘Dish of the Weeks’
He was ‘Dish of the Week #74’ and this entry can be read HERE.

Armie Hammer.
He is a strikingly beautiful man who is 6’5 with amazing blue eyes and has been in a couple of my favourite films, namely ‘Mine’, the stunning ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and ‘On the Basis of Sex’.

However, over the last year I have become increasingly disheartened with news reports and allegations made against him.
At first I thought that maybe these were just being made by opportunistic women, but the more I heard, the more I was becoming uncertain.

Things started to go wrong for Armie back in 2020 when he and his wife of 10 years, divorced. What I’m asking myself now is, did she know something about what was to happen next?

In January this year, several women made allegations of abuse they said they had experienced during relationships with Armie and a former girlfriend accused Armie of being emotionally manipulative and abusive during their relationship in 2020, and even alleged he said he wanted to eat her flesh, and would suck or lick her wounds if she had a little cut on her hand. Another ex-girlfriend claimed Armie made a serious suggestion that she have her lower ribs surgically removed so he could eat them.
An attorney for Hammer stated, “These assertions about Mr. Hammer are patently untrue. Any interactions with this person, or any partner of his, were completely consensual in that they were fully discussed, agreed upon, and mutually participatory.” which in itself is a little worrying because it doesn’t deny he actually did any of this or made the suggestion, only that it was all consensual!!

It started to snowball from there as in the same month, an anonymous Instagram account released screenshots that claimed to show Armie’s Instagram direct messages to various women between 2016 and 2020, describing sexual fantasies including violence, rape, and cannibalism. 
Although Armie denied these messages, he started to drop out of commitments for a film and a couple of TV shows.

On February 5, Armie was dropped by his talent agency ‘Endeavour’ and it was also reported that his publicist would no longer represent him.
This just does not happen unless there is good evidence to support all the allegations.

This brings me onto the latest piece of news, and one which is probably the nail in Armie’s coffin.
On the 18th March, the woman who initially came forward with abuse allegations accused Hammer of violently raping her in April 2017 and the Los Angeles Police Department subsequently confirmed that he was under investigation for sexual assault.

Armie is obviously still denying all allegations and I am still clinging to the hope that he is innocent and just the victim of a jealous woman, but unfortunately, the more I hear, the more I am becoming unsure.

‘Innocent until proven guilty’.
I am now waiting with baited breath.
I will cling to my hope until the end, however, if the allegations are true then unfortunately he deserves whatever he gets and it will certainly be the end of his career.

If he is proved innocent?
I feel sorry for him if he is proved innocent because there will be a lot of repair work to do.

It’s all a waiting game now.

JUSTICE

So! two 12.5 hour shifts after 11 days off, comes as a bit of a shock to the system, and I’m feeling it today.
After a few chores, I put my feet up this afternoon and watched Zack Snyder’s Director cut of Justice League.
Holy crap! what a difference a Director’s cut can make.
I wasn’t a fan of the original movie because of the rushed nature of it’s post production, and the horrendously bad CGI effects. I came away from it feeling ’embarrassed’ quite frankly. What they did to Henry Cavill was unforgivable.

However, this new cut is amazing.
It’s actually a totally different film and there is no embarrassing Henry Cavill CGI in this one either.
All of the characters get a little more fleshing out, particularly Barry Allen.
Overall it was a much more watchable experience, even at 4 hours long!

For anyone who doesn’t know the hoo ha over the theatrical release, I will enlighten you.

Problems started in post production in May 2017 when Snyder had to step down as director because of the death of his daughter Autumn. Joss Whedon, who co wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio, took over post-production.
The script had already undergone major changes before and during production between 2016 and 2017, alarm bell 1. In July 2017, the film underwent two months of reshoots, alarm bell 2, with Warner Brothers stumping up another $25 million, alarm bell 3 as re-shoots rarely go over $10 million for any given film.
These reshoots coincided with Henry Cavill’s schedule for Mission Impossible: Fallout. Henry was contracted to grow and keep a mustache during filming for Mission Impossible. Christopher McQuarrie originally gave permission to have Henry Cavill shave the mustache for a fee of $3 million which would have been the cost of shutting down production on Mission Impossible but executives from Paramount Pictures rejected this plan and Justice League’s VFX team was then forced to use special effects to digitally remove the mustache in post-production. They did a horrendous job and made Superman and subsequently Henry Cavill, a laughing stock.

Take a look at this clip to see for yourself just how bad this cover up was. Poor Henry.

Whedon eventually received a screenwriting credit on the film but poor old Snyder received sole director’s credit.
Producer, Charles Roven said in an interview that 80- 85 percent of the movie is what was originally shot.
However, cinematographer Fabian Wagner estimates that only 10% of the original footage shot by him and Snyder was used in the final cut, and judging by the film I saw this afternoon I can believe this.

In July 2020, reports revealed that Joss Whedon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable.

Whedon’s vision of the film incorporated a brighter tone and more humor, and cut the runtime down drastically after a mandate from Warner Bros. The theatrical release of Justice League received mixed reviews and was a box off flop. This had the effect of putting the future of the DC Extended Universe in jeapardy.

After the theatrical release, many fans expressed an interest in an alternate cut and petitions were started for what became known as ‘The Snyder Cut’. Initially this did not look very promising but Warner Brothers made a turnaround in February 2020. In May 2020, Snyder announced that his original cut would be released as Zack Snyder’s Justice League and would cost another £70 million to complete the visual effects, score, and editing, with new material filmed in October 2020. The final cut has been dedicated to the memory of Snyder’s daughter, Autumn.

Justice has been served.

ALL GOOD THINGS

All good things come to an end, or so the saying goes.

Indeed, I am now on my final countdown before going to bed because I have to be up at 05:30 for work after 11 days off.
I am really not feeling it!!

It’s been a nice change of pace. I couldn’t really go anywhere because we are still in lockdown but I decided to just get on top of things around the house and tidy the garden ready for when we ARE out of lockdown and I can have friends round again.
It’s nice doing all of this when you haven’t got to worry about getting it all done between shifts at work.

Anyway, the highlight of the last 11 days has been the start of filming for ‘House of Gucci’ in Italy.
This sent Twitter into meltdown and I was inundated with lots of new Adam Driver content.
FINALLY!! After a whole year, we got some serious new images as filming took place on the slopes in Gressoney and on the streets in Milan.
I was also happy to find out that the actors will NOT be speaking in Italian (apart from the odd word) or with Italian accents! One thing I have been a little worried about is that they would all be speaking with dubious Italian accents which would be a little off putting when watching the film. Thankfully they will be sticking to their own American accents.

Unfortunately, filming has now moved to Villa Balbiano on Lake Como and it is now a closed set and much easier to keep fans and Paparazzi away from, so no new photos for the last couple of days.

However, it got me thinking about Italy again.
I know I want to go back at some point in the future and one of the places on my ‘to do’ list is Lake Como.
Not only was it used for scenes in the Star Wars Prequels, it has now graced Adam Driver.

So I did a quick look at apartments for rent on the lake and there are some cracking ones for just £600 – £1000 per week for up to 4 people. I was actually quite surprised.
Balconies, pools and spectacular views, something to really think about.

Just out of interest, I looked at Villa Balbiano, because I know it can be hired out as a wedding venue with the grounds able to accommodate up to 550 guests in the garden.
The villa itself is classical Italian with stunning grounds all around and it’s rear is on the lake itself.

The villa itself can have up to 12 guests in 6 bedrooms and is rented out on a weekly basis and there is a guest house that can house another 8 people.
BUT, unlike the apartments up and down the lake for £600 – £1000, this Villa hires out for a WHOPPING 147,000 Euros a week!
So unless we win some stupid money on the lottery, I think this one is a little out of reach!

Right, with that on my mind, I suppose I’d better get to bed!

PROGRESS

I may have spent a lot of time in the last week playing on the computer and watching movies during my annual leave, but I did actually manage to get one thing done that I had planned to get done during my time off.

My back garden!!

As I posted a few days ago, my garden had been severely neglected over the last year as we concentrated on a huge sort out in the house and garage and apart from a HUGE hack back of shrubs when we had a skip last year, the garden didn’t get any attention at all.

I wanted to make up for it this year.
As we will be, fingers crossed, out of lockdown restrictions by the end of June, I wanted to make sure I had a garden that I could enjoy when my friends are allowed back around again.
I have 3 weeks off at the end of July and into August and I didn’t want to be wasting my time gardening!!

So, at the beginning of the week my garden looked like this…..

And now it looks like this……

CHERRY

I’ve just sat and watched a film called ‘Cherry’.
I’ve been wanting to see this film for a while now.
It stars ‘Tom Holland’, a young actor I’ve also been watching for a little while now.
I love him to bits and I’ve been waiting to see where his career takes him.

He’s given his voice to a few animated films because his voice comes across as super excited and innocent and very young. He’s also tested the water with a serious role in ‘The Devil All the Time’ with Robert Pattinson.
However, this film has really shown his acting chops!

This film has proven that he is not ‘just Spiderman’ and a ‘One hit wonder’.
This kid is going places!!

Cherry tells the story of Cherry, who drifts from college dropout to army medic in Iraq – anchored only by his true love, Emily. But after returning from the war with PTSD, his life spirals into drugs and crime as he struggles to find his place in the world.

Avengers: Endgame Directors Probably Wouldn't Have Done Cherry Without Tom  Holland

It is gritty and heart breaking and beautifully filmed.
I did not expect the fourth wall breaks as he talks to the audience and this just made the film seem so much more personal.
Tom reeled in an Oscar worthy performance and it’s such a shame it was delivered in the year of the pandemic.
I had to stream this movie to see it. It would have made so much more of an impact had it been shown on the big screen.

I will continue to watch Tom as he throws himself into playing Spiderman and has all the fun he can during the press junkets, but I look forward to seeing more of Tom as he matures as an actor, and I have no doubt, we will be seeing him for years to come.

I’VE MISSED THIS

Apart from Tenet when lockdown eased a little last summer, I haven’t seen a film in the cinema for a whole year.
It’s been a whole year since I had the anticipation and build up to a film I really want to see.
It’s been a whole year since I’ve had any real look at what Adam Driver has been up to.

Even when he completed filming for The Last Duel at the end of last year, he kept himself out of the limelight, always hidden behind a mask when not on set and then disappeared back to New York for Xmas.

The last week has seen a big change as he started filming for House of Gucci with Lady Gaga.
Paparazzi and fan photos have been flying out of Italy!
Lady Gaga herself posted this little beauty.

She must have the magic touch because getting Adam to pose for a photo during filming is unheard of!!

Looks like I’m not the only one who has missed seeing Adam over the last year because Twitter has gone crazy.
Not that I’m complaining. We’ve been getting daily looks at Adam and Gaga on set in their retro costumes as Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani.

It’s been so Long since I’ve seen that smile!
I find myself really looking forward to this film. It just remains to be seen how I will finally see it. Cinema or streaming?
Who knows?

I’m beginning to get excited about new films again.
Adam alone has one film completed and hopefully being released at Cannes this year. He has two in post production, one currently filming and one in pre-production, so after the drought of the last year, it’s looking good for a bit of a flood. Not forgetting Bond and Dune are also due this year.

With what’s been coming out of Twitter over the last few days, I will have a good idea of how the whole film will look before it’s even been released and I’m loving it…. even Adam’s blue contacts!!

MY OPINION – WON’T BE POPULAR

Sorry. It just had to be done. I couldn’t keep quiet any longer.
This is ‘MY’ opinion and I have no doubt that people will disagree with me.

I just can’t understand all the hype over the damned Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry!

I do love our royal family and they bring a hell of a lot of tourism and money into the country.
I’m not denying they don’t have their faults and scandals, but that just makes them all the more popular.
It may not seem it to many but they also do a lot of hard work bringing that tourism to the country and supporting charities and a lot of members are, or have been, serving military who have seen action.
They are also born to it, so it is not a ‘choice’ to be part of this family…… unless you ‘marry’ into it.
The queen was not actually expected to be queen until her uncle abdicated the crown and her father was thrust into the role of King. When she became queen, she committed her life to the position. She has never been ‘free’ to do as she pleases.

I have a lot of respect for Prince Harry.
I have seen this young man grow up under the spotlight during some of the most awful experiences a person can endure and he has done it with the worlds cameras watching.
Prince Harry served in the Army for ten years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. He continues to work in support of his fellow servicemen, promoting support for wounded men and women as they adapt to life post-injury. He directed his charity, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to deliver the ‘Invictus’ games in partnership with the Ministry of Defence.

I have known about Meghan Markle since I watched Suits from day one back in 2011.
I thought she was a stunning woman and enjoyed watching her in the series.
But that’s about all I can say about her.

Now, ‘that’ interview.
C’mon, really? The questions and answers all seemed a little ‘too scripted’
Oprah’s responses were never going to win an Oscar!
The thought of sitting and watching the whole thing just did not appeal to me in any way, shape or form.
I got enough from the news clips…. that we are still seeing (ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz)

Anyway, as for Meghan claiming she “didn’t understand what she’d let herself in for” by marrying Harry….
I’m definitely calling bullshit on that one!!
There is NO WAY, anyone is allowed to marry anyone in that family without having to go through some major guidance and teaching on etiquette and protocols and know exactly what is to be expected of you and what you would be giving up!!

I have no doubt at all that Meghan may have underestimated any of this and it impacted her mental health, but she definitely knew, and when she decided she didn’t like it, she threw her toys out of the pram to get exactly what she wanted.

Let’s get onto that one shall we.

“We’ve had enough of living under the spotlight, we fear for our safety and the safety of our child/children.
Let’s move to America and live a quiet life, out of the spotlight and free to live a relatively normal life”.

YEAH…….. then we’ll go on one of the biggest talk shows in history and trash the fam!

I know exactly who’s wearing the pants in this relationship and I think that one day, in the not too distant future, Harry may just wake up and smell the roses.

Watch this space.

LET’S GET GOING

I haven’t exactly found my motivation yet.
It’s just gone 11am on Monday.
Day 3 of annual leave.
I have everything I need to get going in the garden and I have been sat here since 8am procrastinating.

I have to ‘at the very least’ today, get the grass cut and a bit of weeding done.
I need to do a little bit of prep work before I give my plan a go.

The garden currently looks like this.

Watch this space.

FINDING MY MOTIVATION!!

Right! Today is the first day of 11 days of annual leave and I have really been looking forward to it, not because I had anything special planned, but because I really needed it!

Like everyone else in the country at the moment, I have had enough, but with the vaccination programme in full swing and a road map out of lockdown giving us some dates to reach for, I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

However, the last year has seen a real dip in my fitness and it wasn’t good to start with!
I have piled on the weight and I am now really feeling it in my right knee, my hips and my lower back after a long day at work.
My uniform is now very snug but I refuse to get a bigger size. I need to lose the weight.
I look really tired in my face. Just over three years ago when I went to Italy for my brother’s wedding, I had lost about 3 stone in weight and I felt great. I want to get back to ‘that’ me and there’s no reason I can’t!

I want the 2017 me back!! I was happier. I looked healthier. I didn’t have bloody great bags under my eyes and I was able to have my hair cut every 5 – 6 weeks!
Can’t remember the last time I was in the mood simply to play with filters!

Don’t think anything will be happening today though.
It started with a pretty good lay in until almost 9am…. believe it not that’s a good one for me as my body clock usually has me out of bed by 8am on a day off.

I have been sitting here pondering plans for the next week over a milky coffee (problem number 1).
I know I still have alcohol in the fridge (problem number 2)
I know I still have snackable rubbish in the cupboards (problem number 3)
I have made no meal plans (problem number 4)
I just have no motivation (problem number 5)

So, where to start?

Today I am just going to chill but it doesn’t mean I am going to do nothing.
I have decided to get organised and plan a little bit today so I don’t have to think about things too much.

Problem number 1 – Quite simple. I have just had my last cup of milky coffee. I need to think about a proper breakfast from now on and stop having milky coffee when I wake up and for my morning break at work!!

Problem number 2 – I’ll fix that one today!!

Problem number 3 – I need to sort through my cupboards and get rid of all the rubbish.

Problem number 4 – I am going to sit and make calorie counted meal plans and do some shopping around them so I don’t have to ‘think’ about food all the time.

Problem number 5 – I am hoping that sorting out problems 1 – 4 will help with number 5.

Seeing it all written down like this is actually quite motivating.

As I headed towards this annual leave, I already had a plan to get cracking on my back garden and get it all spruced up ready for summer.
It’s been really neglected over the last year and needs a lot of work but I want to try and make it easier to keep tidy in the future.
With an idea in mind, I have been getting a few bits delivered so my back garden now has 9 x 100L bags of bark, a 50m roll of weed matting, 6 galvanised steel rolls of lawn edging and a few new tools sitting it waiting for me to get cracking. I just need to make a trip to our local garden centre to choose a few nice shrubs for a bit of colour.
Looking at the weather for the next week, I need to aim to get the garden done before Weds if I want to avoid rain.
If I remember, I’ll do some before and after pictures.

Ok, this blog has wasted enough time, I’m going to get cracking.