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Sunny holibobs

Back to normalcy with a winding thrump, after a smidge over two weeks with my BFF, where we enjoy snacks, cats, stitching and bitching (as in kvetch at the idiocy of some and how their get their knotted thong wedged up their butts being mean to others), foods we normally do not have like sausage, egg and chips! We wandered out and about, even got to the seafront esplanade and had an ice cream, with a flake too!!

We both went out for pedicures and I got my hair harvested (not saying it needed it but the vacuum had to be emptied midway as the bucket was full). Jobs and errands got taken care of. And I was spoilt rotten with attention. I love my BFF time, such fun, we even kareoke-d into the wee hours remembering lyrics to songs we hadn’t heard in decades. There were a couple of times we both laughed so hard, and kept setting each other off again, until we almost ‘oops-ed’ ourselves.

Of course Mickey (#NotMyCat) and Ginge (#NotMyCat2) were in hog heaven, practically getting food on demand, well Moocher does have a penetrating stare. Ginge is still a little timid but did settle on the sofa between us on the day of rain. With windows and doors left ajar from early morning until bed time they had free range to come and go at their whim, which they did. BFF bought a brush and Mickey really seemed to enjoy stretching out on the floor and being brushed, the implement soon choked with his white fur. As for the scratch mat, it’s a work in progress.

Avoiding the football we indulged in some serious binge viewing as well as a few films and documentaries

Live & Let Die
Moonraker
The Spy Who Loved Me
Pilgrimage (bbc iPlayer)
Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Life series
Blue Planet series
Penguin Town (Netflix)
The Wizard of Oz
Moulin Rouge
Singing In The Rain
Believe Me : Abduction of Lisa McVey
Steel Magnolias
Titanic
Kedi (Cats of Istanbul)
One Chance (Paul Pott story)
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Thelma & Louise
Mona Lisa Smile
Rat Race
Frankie & Grace (Netflix series)
The Pharmacist (Netflix documentary)
FireFly Lane (Netflix series)

All too soon as always she’s packing the suitcase, putting the duvet back on the bed and we’re waiting for the taxi to whisk her away……we restart the clock for when she can return to play again.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2021 in General, Life, people

 

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June Arrives Like A March Hare

Blimey and it’s barely gone noon and the day has whirled like a dervish already!

So let’s see, so far today there were two emails from friends asking if I was available and up for a catch up this afternoon, one postponed, the other coming 2:30; there’s been a phone call from Mr Pane In The Glass about the window mechanism, they promptly appeared, wrangled banged and replaced it; BFF messaged with musing as she’ll be here on Friday; and I’m half way through a commission piece (bobble hat for a gear stick)!

I’m already exhausted!!

You may remember I decided May would be crochet month, how did I do? Welll…….. red&black blanket finished, two other blankets finished and fourth started, two mouseseses done and four fishies. All in all I did rather well, might give myself a ⭐️

BFF is arriving Friday afternoon for two weeks of natter, films, food and two cats (Ginger will undoubtedly follow his brother Mickey D’Mooch in for breakfast). We are booked in for pedicures (they might need an angle grinder for my little toe nail) and we are hoping to get out-out up the seafront for some racing sea air and sunshine.

Right then, bobble Pom Pom making to be done…… toddle peeps

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2021 in Life, Projects

 

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Just Ignore Him – Alan Davies

It was with a degree of trepidation that I began this read, a curious reason to choose to read the book at all you may think. You see, I had read many glowing reviews and critics praise, so often I find them so over hyped and the opposite to my own conclusions, and also because I enjoy Alan’s skills and abilities as a comedian, panellist and actor across many years and I was intrigued and eager to hear about his history.

Thanks to his “As Yet Untitled” series on Dave and of course QI I had gleaned a few snippets of info, I know Australia featured strongly, that his Mum had died when he was very young, that he had a turbulent relationship with school and so forth, but not the core happenings, the fundamentals that form our foundations. His journey that took him from a child to adulthood, from innocent exploration to working family man.

This memoir is not a chronological diary of life, picking out those highlights or significant events that either helped or hindered his progress through life, interspersed with whimsical anecdotes. This is an honest, touching account from a survivor of life as a sexually abused child. It is phenomenally well written, at no time is Alan portrayed as the hapless, silent victim, but the confused child, struggling to comprehend weighty issues, in an environment of isolation, by which I mean alone within his own family as well as in a crowd.

Reading and understanding how his fathers behaviour towards him across many years affected his every moment through out life was incredibly enlightening. The conflicting emotions and signals, the ‘special secret’ versus being ignored or intentionally reprimanded. The feeling of displacement and disconnection around him. At the core there is this influential figure, a father, the person you have an instinctive affection towards, who is supposed to protect you and teach you about life. Realising the perversions of this authoritative presence and the extent of them and how they still prevailed in his dotage.

It has left scars, fractured the family somewhat, still rearing its ugliness on Alan to this day. Taking the brave step of reporting his father’s behaviour to the authorities must have been such an incredibly hard thing to balance in your own mind, the tugging to and fro with the pros and cons. He has my continued admiration.

It was powerful to read about his misbehaviour, the antics that some may say was attention seeking, maybe it was, maybe not having the nurturing, caring, maternal aspect at home he was seeking it from somewhere else, in some misguided fashion to fit in a place comfortably. All children have phases of tantrums and boundary pushing, it’s a process of learning and growing, but it can also be a red flag to something not being ‘right’ there is more to this behaviour than growing pains. As adults we are incredibly blind to spotting the subtle signals of difference.

I hope Alan has found calmness within himself as his adult life has progressed, getting the support and understanding from his wife, a fresh fun zest in life as his own children grow. That he knows he has value to other people.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2021 in Books, In The News, people, Review

 

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I’m na’ casting me clout

Ne’er cast ya clout til May is out. Ha! With the great British weather as it is, I’m na’ casting out my clout regardless of the month. Soo in April there was a frost somewhere every dang night, chilly you say, well it would seem so. Friday morning as carer arrived, in the time it took her to get from car to my door there was rain-heavy rain- hail, chunks of stinging balls of ice! Mother Nature is off her meds again, or her grandkids flipped her calendar back to February.

So … how are things? Been anywhere? Looking forward to being out and about with the great unwashed? I know what you mean, it’s too peopley out there *shudder*

I scrolled back to my list, can you believe it was as far back as 20th March! Time has done it’s thing, still feeling a bit groundhog but the days are lighter for longer. Anyway, as they say, previously

  • Add crochet border to red cat blanket – started yesterday but run out of that colour.
  • Start the Alan Davies book – I’m about half way through
  • Check domain registry dates – did that, all good until next year
  • Go through iTunes genre – classified the blank, tweaked others
  • File images accumulated – mostly, sort of done ish

So my to do list is lacking the mastermind effort (I’ve started so I’ll finish). In my defence April got taken over with writing a poem everyday and reading all the other excellent, poignant, hilarious, rude, epic verses.

May, I have decided will be crochet month, each day I will do some, hopefully getting a blanket to grow across a week, maybe a toy or two across the weekend. Ohh, I wrote a poem about that…..

I'm a little hooker
Not short nor stout
Sometimes I swear
Often I pout

You mucky minded readers
Keep your trap shut
It's not what you're thinking
None of your smut

Yarn over, pull through
Yarn over, pull through two,
Front post, half double,
Twiddle deftly is what I do

Blankets for the pussy cats
Toys of fish and mice
A gift to Cats Protection
Because I'm really nice
 
11 Comments

Posted by on May 2, 2021 in Life, Projects

 

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#NaPoMo concluded

I must admit there were times went I felt myself going mildly cuckoo as I wrangled to make things rhyme or when rhyming couplets spewed forth like a native second language. Still, I have completed the challenge, a poem per day.

Last time I bored you with a few of my attempts. Well buckle in dear reader, here we go…again!

Our lovely group leader posted a picture of a fun fare, think charactered postcard, as a prompt to rhyme.

Yesterday at the funfair, There was so much to do
Throwing for coconuts, Hooking a duck or two
Crash banging on the dodgems, Screaming at the ghost
Stopped atop the Ferris wheel, Sure scared me the most
Eating hot dogs and candy floss, Galloping around the carousel
Sliding down the helter skelter, I started to feel unwell
With all that motion and excitement, The injested sugar and grease
My inside started to heave, It had to be released
Sorry Mr Tristrum I tried my very best
Apologies for spewing all down your bright striped vest.

Another bright thought in the wee hours, triggered by a podcast I was falling asleep to

I love an oxymoron they often make me laugh
Like being 'slightly pregnant', or choosing the 'larger half'

Being 'weirdly normal', when you're 'clearly misunderstood'
My 'unbiased opinion' tell me these are 'terribly good'

I feel your 'deafening silence', hear your 'dull roar'
From 'growing small' with 'intense apathy', wait I have more

How 'awfully good' was that 'crash landing'
What about a 'civil war' or being 'found missing'

It really is the 'living end' how 'seriously funny' these get
'Good grief', it is 'properly ridiculous' and yet

They're 'openly deceptive' and leave 'only choice'
Our language is ridiculous But it's our only voice

I found the challenge of haiku and fib syllable patterns quite enjoyable.

One
Nine
Thirty
Twenty six
Forty four, sixteen
Bugger, no Jackpot win, again

As for the last day, well…….

When April returns in 2022
Wanting another each day
You can if you want to
I'll be running the other way!

I’ve kept all my creations in a document, after a month or four I’ll re-read them and groan, maybe blush a little that I put them in public view.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2021 in General, Uncategorized

 

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Rhyme Time (#NaPoMo)

April is National Poetry Month, across the cyber world people attempt to grapple and wrangle with their language to conjure something of power, of poignancy, or amusement. Poetry is one of those forms that has many variations, from the syllable structure of hiaku, tanka and fib, the free form structure (isn’t that a contradiction terms, an oxymoron), limerick, sonnet, the list goes on.

Many moons ago in the blogging days of the defunct bcuk.com a group of us would game play with words, write short stories, poems, enjoy the weekly Friday fives, Wednesday wordle and alike. A few of us are in a private Facebook group and have been enticed (read cajoled) into taking part in the write a poem everyday.

Now I am no bard, I struggle enough just writing a blog. My levels of imagination swing between non-existent to fleeting sparks. Yet somehow I seem to have ended up joining in and I might admit begrudgingly that one or two of my attempts ain’t too too bad. I shall now proceed to bore you all with a few, please feel free to vacate now if you wish.

Let’s start with a light limerick

There once was a man from Nantucket 
Who was troubled by the hole in his bucket
Eliza suggested
Henry then tested
Until they conceded to chuck it

A haiku follows a syllable pattern of 5-7-5.

Procrastination 
Is my new occupation
Until tomorrow

A fib poem follows the syllable pattern 1-1-2-3-5-8, and I was attempting one when the death of HRH The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh was announced

Gone
Dead
Grieving
Such a brain
Such a character
None like him will be seen again

The acrostic style is where the first letter of each line spells something out

Nonchalant 
Openly inquisitive
Through my window creeps
Mannered and quiet
Yet expecting
Chair, blanket or lap
And caresses on head and chin
This cat of not mine

There there is the more traditional comfortable style

Fight The Rhyme, is the new rallying call
We'll storm the libraries, we'll march to Whitehall.
April has been high jacked, It's becoming quite the strain
More addictive than hippie crack, the effort quite the drain.
It's sneaky and enticing, You're teased with a simple ploy
Just a few to start with, to release those endorphins of joy.
A little harmless game, it's fun, a poem a day
Before you know it you're caught, and with headaches you pay.
I am here to make a stand, to stop this engulfing all of us
If you need help, reach out, to Poets Anonymous.

Websites like thesaurus.com, rhymezone.com and syllablecounter.net have seen their hit rate sky rocket into the stratosphere.

Right then, off to wrestle with tomorrow’s attempt.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2021 in General

 

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Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

There was a hilarious tweet recently that started me on a trip along that leafy memory lane. Someone posted “Our neighbour just put their house up for sale, couldn’t resist a snoop on Zoopla ………. that’s our bloody cat!” There quite unashamedly stretched across the purple bedspread was a very contented fluffy ginger cat. The comments had for more amusement as people across the globe were sharing ‘tails’ of having visitors. So if you’re in need of calm amusement, pop over to Twitter and search #NotMyCat.

Here’s my story.

Back in 2017 I kept my green recycling wheelie bin at the back door so I could easily lift the lid and deposit my green credentials. When Big Sis and I were cleaning house ready for BFF’s visit, Big Sis grabbed the recycling with all intent but as she entered the kitchen said “Can’t put the recycling out, there’s a cat on the bin”.

Now ‘cat’ was no stranger, he was often seen prowling around the gardens, giving cars meticulous inspections and had played with a leaf atop my sisters estate car. He had decided this was his manor and he was security. Postie became a friend to go to for a quick head scratch, bin men were glared at from a distance, window cleaner and gardeners were avoided, a suitable snooze spot in the sun found. He often featured in estate agent exterior photos.

If my front door was wide open he would cautiously approach but not venture over the threshold. His neck would stretch further and further with curiosity but his back paws remained firmly on the door step. Until one day during BFF’s visit the ultimate, irresistible inducement to be courageous was offered – sandwich ham. My fate was sealed.

After BFF had left for home, Big Sis and I were sitting in my lounge when a faint sound could be heard, just slightly, we looked at each other and chuckled. She got up and opened the front door and in sauntered Mickey, on patrol but fussing.

On BFF’s next visit (can you sense a theme here) the bedroom window was opened for air and in the wee hours a voice remarked “Oh it’s you” as a lump walked up BFF and snuggled down for a snooze. A visit to the High Street pet shop resulted in a couple of cat toys and some nip. Somehow while grocery shopping some Dreamies or Felix treat bags sort of accidentally fell in, followed by a box of pouches (well he is a large lad). He confidently strides through an open door or window, has head scritches, chin tickles, back strokes, decides whether he is going to sleep on the wooden chair, desk chair, armchair, sofa or me. Gives me the “Do you mind!” expression if I move a muscle, lightly perpetrates my thigh with his generous acupuncture treatments.

With CoVid delaying BFF’s first visit last year she was concerned that Mooch might have forgotten her (ha! As if). She arrived mid afternoon, front window was opened slightly for air and suddenly this white blob attempted to jump in the narrow gap because he had heard her voice. You could see the joy in his face at having her back again. I’ve told him, June, just 66 days, she’ll be back.

Fur forward four years and “Mickey” (because his black ears reminded me of Mickey Mouse, should have called him Oliver) still sits on the bin, sunning himself, supervising any kitchen goings on, also gently rests front paw on the door handle as a subtle hint.

A carer had a sporty car with a straight exhaust and he’d inspect the car every time, warm his paws on the bonnet, or glare at her when she came in and disturbed his snooze. He is currently working his charm on my other carers. Just last week while I was parked on the porcelain throne Carer was in the kitchen preparing my dinner when she declared “I can’t stand it”. She strode to my lounge and returned to the kitchen and I heard “Here, stop starring at me”, treats were popped on the bin to appease her guilt.

This very morning as I was wriggling into position on my bed, Carer opened the kitchen door and declared “Ohhhh, hello beautiful, do you want in?”….. I think I need to check my care plan, I don’t think it says ‘Look after cat first’.

But, well, he is handsome and charming and……..

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2021 in General, Pets

 

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CoVidVersary

How are we? Things pootling along okay? I am sort of slightly unanchored, with the days getting longer I cannot feel what time of day it is, I have no idea what day of the week it is and I am not altogether sure which month it is, especially in relation to things/events I need to remember. It’s all gone a bit groundhog. Even my three day week method has collapsed as I think it’s today when it’s actually tomorrow.

We are approaching the anniversary of the first lockdown here in the U.K. Oddly for me it wasn’t that much of a change, I can’t leave the house and there’s nowhere I want/need to go to anyway. Once I grasped the book-early book-often with the groceries, that sorted that.

Where it all impacted me was people visiting me. A work colleague (hello Joss) would visit and we’d chatter, laugh, rant, ponder and generally muse over the oddities of life and I have really missed those hours of escape. BFF had to reorganise her visits, although we were able to get together but were isolating except for food. Neph would bring my bread, ably assisted by mini-me and we’d have a brief catch-up. Then there was my bi-monthly pedicure, I really miss that. A hour of scrubbing, pampering and natter which resulted in tidy toes, shiny nails and a general happy inner well being. Plus Neph’s better half would come to harvest my hair and we could catch up on happenings at the same time.

Generally it feels like we have forgotten the seriousness and ominousness of how things were back early last year. It’s amazing the power of the unknown has, where as now, it feels like the atmosphere is a mix of weariness at the restrictions and lack of faith/trust in the information.

As we begin the steady slow progress of coming out of lockdown, I do wonder how the general populous will behave. Will it be the manic, crazy, rush akin to the Harrods January sales of old or will it be the tentative, cautious, creeping animal rehomed after rescue.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2021 in General, In The News, Life

 

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Spring Like A March Hare

I say spring, more like enthusiastically lurch……. well I say enthusiastically but it’s more like begrudgingly shuffle…….. hmm begrudgingly that’s on point and shuffle, hmm yeah, kind of outch, dawdle, mosey.

Whether it is the decline of my physical abilities, the endless endurance of the shielding lockdown, the cold fingers of winter or a mix of it all, I cannot seem to shake off the shackles of winter oppression and awaken, find the joy in things, the pleasures in purpose, everything feels exhaustingly ::sigh:: As I said to BFF I cannot be bothered to be bothered.

There are the tentative hints of improvement. Doesn’t it make the day seem nicer when there is sunshine? It has an extra energy, almost an optimism. So in that fashion one might dare to tackle a bit of a to-do list.

  • Add crochet border to red cat blanket
  • Start the Alan Davies book
  • Check domain registry dates
  • Go through iTunes genre
  • File images accumilated

A chunk of that involves my desk, which is dependent on who my carers are and the times they are due here. Plus the sitting position isn’t the most comfortable.

The ‘remote’ app on the iPad that controls iTunes on my Mac is working really well, but as I scroll about trying to decide what I feel like listening to I find I tend to choose a genre and let the device shuffle. When I am at the desk I usually select an album or artist to listen to. As I think I have mentioned before my choice can be influenced by what I am doing, classical while html coding, rock/metal while photo editing, Rhythm/blues while dealing with accounts and numbers, etc. The automated comes-when-you-upload info of a cd can be a little odd, there are a few tweaks I would like to make and there are those with no genre tagged at all. Hardly a vital necessary task but it fills the time, like finding album covers and adding those.

My original iPad (gen1) has been struggling to deal with life for a while. When I purchased my new one I repurposed the old one to the bedroom for iPlayer, radio, audiobook usage, but many of the apps need an operating system it cannot cope with so I was using the browser, but even that struggled. Anywho, I took the decision to buy a refurbished one from MusicMagPie, it came today and so far so good. I’ve spent a couple of hours setting up and logging in, tweaking to my preferences, selecting display images etc.

Must think of more to blog about so it’s not eons again before I text lyrical.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2021 in General, Music, Tech

 

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The Cecil Hotel, LA

Recently I binged the Netflix documentary series Crime Scene The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel, it was an interesting watch, if you’re into real life oddness.

It centres around the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, a 700-room hotel opened in the mid-1920’s just before the Great Depression, along with several grand hotels in the area it enjoyed a period of opulent prosperity and was aimed at the middle class traveller and business men. After World War II the area, also known as Skid Row, fell further into transience as fortunes changed, the stark increase in sex workers, drug dealing and users, along with those unable to afford rents and the increasing protocol to herd the homeless into a manageable area of the ever expanding City, increased criminal activity.

Curiously ever since the Hotel first opened it has been linked to suicides, mysteries and murders. The first documented suicide was January 22, 1927, when Percy Ormond Cook shot himself in the head while inside his hotel room after failing to reconcile with his wife and child. In 1967 “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood long-term resident, a retired telemarketer was found dead in her room, she had been raped, stabbed, beaten and her room ransacked. Her murder remains unsolved. The Press often linked the hotel to numerous serial killers. Frequently residents had died from drug overdoses or long term substance and/or alcohol abuse. There is even a Wikipedia page detailing some of them.

The documentary beds itself around the disappearance in February 2013 of young Canadian student Elisa Lam. She was an avid blogger and frequently documented her travels, fashion, life thoughts online garnering many regular followers. When away from home she called home everyday, after her parents hadn’t heard from her they called the LAPD and news started circulating about a missing person. As the Police struggled to piece together Elisa’s movements they released the elevator CCTV footage, it went viral and set in motion an interesting series of events.

An army of ‘web-sleuths’ scrutinised in meticulous details, frame by frame, the cctv sparking the beginnings of numerous conspiracy theories, many still perpetuate. Things like, why’s the time stamp jumping, the door isn’t closing, whose that shadow. Suddenly people across the globe were gathering in FaceBook groups to discuss minute anomalies, some visiting the hotel to re-enact and trace where she had been. What I found very telling as the documentary continued was how this congregation of unqualified amateurs ardently believed they could succeed where the professionals could not and that they believed every morsel of conjecture and hypothesis from a straightforward mugging gone wrong to the CIA using vanishing vaporise lasers. But there was more to come.

SPOILER ALERT :: if you don’t want to know the outcome I’d suggest ceasing here …. thank you for reading ….

……

….. Okay dear reader, I hope you’re not eating or drinking while you read on.

…….

About two to three weeks after Elisa’s vanishing a few hotel guests and residents started to complain that the water had an odd odour and taste and the water then started to change colour to a sludgy brown. A maintenance worker was sent to inspect the four roof top water tanks. Sadly one of them contained the floating bloating remains of a young girl, later identified as the missing traveller.

Now the merry band of web sleuths really had something to get overly involved with. From behind their screens and keyboards they pieced together bits of facts with leaps of notions, ignored some elements and fantasised others, to quite catastrophic levels.

Attention turned to how did Elisa get onto the roof. The access door was locked and alarmed, this meant that the hotel management had to be involved, a member of night staff had to have killed her. The design of the building meant that there was a metal fire escape on the outside, a series of stairs and platforms covering all fifteen floors, including the roof, accessed from a hallway window that was not alarmed, locked or monitored in anyway. Debris on the roof showed that it was frequently used by people to smoke, drink, take drugs, have parties etc.

The nature of her discovery caused a media frenzy as a police chief was leaving the hotel trying to get through the jostling crowd of reporters he was asked a question which he hastily replied “When Officers approached the water tank the hatch was closed”. The web brigade pounced on this to mean that she must have been dumped because no-one could close the hatch from the inside, so it must be murder. The officer was correct in his statement, because when the maintenance worker noticed the hatch was open and that’s when he discovered the grizzly contents and had closed the hatch from habit as he called for help.

Searches across the internet brought up ‘evidence’ of a Mexican death metal singer called Morbid, due to his chilling lyrics, which included a reference to a girl drowning and his dark videos addressing death (one was filmed at The Cecil), along with having stayed there, meant he must have lured her to the rooftop and killed her. He was hounded, trolled, and harassed over a period of months, received death threats and villanised as a murderer by the Court of Online Public Opinion. It caused him to suffer a breakdown and such depression that he attempted suicide. The ‘evidence’ grasped by the onliners was years old and at the time of Elisa vanishing Morbid was in Mexico but even still today eight years later he still get mail labelling him a murderer.

One aspect of Elisa’s life was, to some degree, suppressed until late on in the investigations and not readily available, she had been diagnosed as bi-polar and had a history of intentionally not taking the prescribed medication, which had caused her to experience strong psychotic episodes, along with hallucinations in the past. Armed with this knowledge, along with the Coroner’s report showing toxicology levels and there being no evidence of any assault or violence on her body, it was concluded that her death was accidental.

At the end, I felt sad that this young life had ended, that so many innocent people had been branded and abused because of tenuous links but mostly I was concerned, almost worried, about the mob mentality and power of online collectiveness. This ferocious hungry entity eagerly hurrying for instant information, affirmation and inconsequential action feels a little bit like Pandora’s box.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2021 in Films, In The News, people, Review

 

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