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Author Archives: AnneMarie

About AnneMarie

Just a corner of the wonderous web for me to post my mental meandering through the weird, unusual, funny, sad of my every day life. Please visit my web site for a more indepth biography of this nobody

Tall Ship Chronicles

A FaceBook member of a sailing group posted that the first eight episodes of this series had been released on Amazon Prime. Hmm, might be interesting to watch life aboard another ship, curiosity had me tapping play.

The premise is Andrew Younghusband (a Canadian actor and broadcaster) joins the 3-masted barque Picton Castle as volunteer crew for the 19-month around the world voyage. Along with his film crew of one, they document life on board, their fellow crew and places visited on this sail training expedition. This series covers leaving Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, heading south to the Panama Canal, and across the South Pacific to Vanuatu.

Bearing in mind it was filmed in late 2000 and across 2001 I was prepared for it to feel a bit dated and the clarity of filming not crisp, but I was not prepared for the lack of informative content and blatant lack of continuity in editing. It had an amateurish feel to what was supposed to be a professional production. You would imagine the first episode or two would tell you about the ship, it’s routine, the watch routine, the victualling and feeding the crew, maybe an introduction to some of the equipment, methods of rope handling and knots and what a job title means (Bosun, lead mate, etc). Sadly all that was missing or skimmed over in a throw away comment.

Considering they left snowy Canada in November within minutes the crew were seen clad in t-shirts and shorts. There was no way to perceive the passage of time, not even a little ‘day ?’ type logo in the corner.

By episode three you begin to recognise characters and can see that after a significant number of weeks, personalities within this isolated, confined bubble are gelling, cliquing and romances are developing. People become comfortable with each other, whilst remaining comparative strangers, many not knowing whether their fellow crew member is married or single, their day job, or much about their past, but willingly share clothing, shampoo, hugs and thoughts.

There were also one or two surprise reactions, sailing is not a democracy and cannot be done by committee, there has to be a leader and that leader is always the Captain. Living on a vessel that is moving constantly, through weather that is ever changing, people’s action or inaction can have a dramatic consequence. As learning crew you will get corrected and criticised for things not done ‘the ship’s way’, laziness or apathy along with sassy sarcasm quickly becomes not tolerated. Some people became resentful of being told how to do something they felt they are doing correctly and begrudged what felt like working in a dictatorship, especially when you’ve paid a lot of money to be there. But that’s the nature of the beast.

It was interesting to see how they all pulled together, how actions became instinctive, the perilous become normalised and whether they all realised it or not, they were learning a lot about sailing, the world and getting along with people. It reminded me of my first voyage how the ship became our complete world.

I think I was looking to come away from the eight episodes entertained by things that happened, having learnt about areas of the globe, reminded of some of the sailing language I had forgotten, and intrigued by the characters. It felt like an opportunity missed with how the programme was edited together – still it was heaps better than things like Big Brother and TOWIE.

There is one thing that has left me hanging and will likely never know the answer to, there was a twelve year old onboard (without his parents too), I wonder what life was like for Sloan when he returned home and started high school, and how is life eighteen years on.

There are another eight episodes to complete the series but with no idea when or if Amazon Prime will drop them, I might have to see if YouTube has them.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2020 in Films, Review

 

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er, again

The joy of iPlayers, across the past five months, every night I have been watching two episodes of the hospital drama, er. All 331 of them, it became a nightly joy, to see the familiar faces.

Ask anyone who was/is a fan and they’ll remember Clooney as Doug Ross yet he left after season three and Julianna Margulies as Carol Hathaway who left end of season six. Both relatively short lived characters across the fifteen seasons. Noah Wyle appeared in the most as John Carter, closely followed by Laura Innes as Carrie Weaver.

There are countless storylines of the core characters that stay with the viewer after the credits have rolled, when the helicopter crashed on Robert ‘Rocket’ Romano, the incredibly moving illness and death of Mark Green, played by Anthony Edwards, the poem recited by Abbie Lockhart (Maura Tierney) when she married Luca Kovac (Goran Visnjic) I Carry Your Heart With Me by EE Cummings. Some of the more amusing scenes, the patient magnetised to the mri scanner because the students forgot to switch gurney, a Jerry the desk clerk and the new interns getting stoned by gifted brownies. Every corner of life seemed to cross the threshold after suffering some impact, it never shied from the hard hitting issues hiv/aids, dnr and assisted suicide, domestic/sexual abuse, the complexities of religion and families.

It felt so ordinary, by which I mean unstated, not falsely acted, and that’s a testament to the writing, the dedication of the actors and the whole crew, and the attention to detail. It did lose its way a little after Michael Crichton died but thankfully pulled it back for the last two/three series.

After so enjoying revisiting this delight, the first night after watching the final episode, I was at a loss what to watch, so ended up watching various things on YouTube and was left deeply unsatisfied.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2020 in General, Review

 

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It’s Beginning…..

I can feel it ….. just beneath the surface ….. bubbling and preparing ….. it starts with a chill in the air, followed by a puffy sinus sensation, progresses with socks on feet and long-sleeved tops, outside the skies are clouded and grey and darkness creeps earlier and earlier forcing the curtains to be closed at tea time. The leaves on the trees start to turn golden and threaten to fall and that cloaking sensation of despondency begins to shroud.

The decent into winter blues feels like it is arriving early, and it likely is considering how this year has behaved, along with my continued confinement and circumstances, but really my normal is lockdown, not having the ability to go anywhere (including the loo) without prearrangement with others.

I feel a detachment and displacement, I’m not connected to anything outside my four walls, it’s a side affect of disability. My anecdotes are getting older, less relevant and more historical.

My prime occupation these past couple of weeks has been a cat bed. With my kitchen window open #NotMyCat has been in daily to claim lap rights. He’s even started ignoring my carers, he gives them an evil glare when they walk in, reluctantly moves along the sofa so I can transfer to the wheeled chair. As soon as I’m back on the sofa the lap is reclaimed.

When we had a rainy day, I had #NotMyCat2 claim snoozing rights, whilst depositing puddles of rain on my t-shirt.

Time to get back to the crochet, get the blankets edged and toys made, I’d like to get the box filled by the end of BFF’s November visit.

Sorry I haven’t been more prolific, I’m running out of ways to say what I did today.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2020 in Grumble, Life

 

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Knobble-bobble hat

Like most things it started with a throw away line.

Recently we have been having some glorious sun shine weather, which can be pleasant but can also bring other problems. Behind glass that sun is powerful and unrelenting, we all know that sensation of handling a piping hot steering wheel. My carer has a natty little sporty car and the gear stick (stick shift in some lands) is metal, it doesn’t sit in the shade of the dashboard but bakes from the direct sun through the windscreen. Throughout her shifts, even with the window cracked ever so slightly the metal heats up and up to ouch level.

So Friday I googled and found a crochet pattern for a mini coupe and began twiddling the yarn. When she returned for the tea time visit I surprised her with a half done cover and asked her to see if it fit the knob snuggly enough (it did).

By the time she (as she said, excited with anticipation) returned to throw me into bed, the cover was finished with a frilled edge, drawstring base and a Pom-Pom on top.

Her smile was a lovely satisfying reward.

It’s the little things that make the biggest impact.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2020 in General, people, Projects

 

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Intelligence Prevails

LOOK WHAT I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION!!!

Not long after my sustaining morning coffee had been supper my phone began churning for my attention. Over-Intelligent Pharmacy Lady was calling to say my high dose vitamin D had arrived and she was all primed to take my card details.

Taking care over my diction I slowly read out the long number, then the relevant details and we both held our breath as the green button was hit. Et Voila! Payment accepted, package in delivery box due out at 1pm.

Shortly after 1pm a lovely lady knocked on my door and left the package on my desk.

For the inquisitive, each tablet is 500 micrograms, I am to take a capsule twice a week for seven weeks. The average recommended daily dose is 10 micrograms and the recommended daily dose for an MD-er is 25 micrograms.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on July 20, 2020 in Life

 

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Sleeping With The Fishies

During BFF’s recent visit we tried something a little more taxing then repetitive back ‘n’ forth blanket crocheting. Google and Ravelry.com had been raided in the search for a straight forward cat toy pattern. Now you see life has taught me that words like ‘easy’ and ‘quick’ when describing patterns and methods are generally rather overstretched elements of truth, I was weary.

This time, however, after careful rereading the patterns seemed relatively uncomplicated and a great use for left over yarn (of which I have a suitcase full). So we tackled them and voila!

Of course, not every new venture goes snag free. We began crocheting a mouse and when we reached the ‘stuff’ instructions, I despatched BFF to the wardrobe for the bag of fibre fill that I remembered was hiding then. No matter how diligently she looked, no bag was found. Well, maybe my memory had mis remembered, no worries the almighty Amazon to the rescue and the next day a new bag arrived. Then when BFF went into cupboard to get out the vacuum cleaner, yes you guessed it, there sitting all proud of itself a bag of fibre fill – typical, you always find things after buying a replacement.

NotMyCat has been very obliging, he has tested one or two cat blankets in the past and has given the mouses and fishies the ‘bat and claw’ test. They passed!

Kudos and credit where it’s due, the patterns are available from

No Sew Cat Toy – Fish by Cafe del Craft

Cat Toy – Mouse by Daisy and Storm

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2020 in General, Projects

 

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Repeat the Prescription for Frustration

Dear Reader, for your delectation and delight I have for you the next thrilling instalment of ‘How to get a prescription’. If you recall, yesterday I had to and fro-ed between Pharmacy and GP to get my prescription, as of last night a second script was being pinged over to the Pharmacy.

After fuelling my motivation with a little chocolate I dialled the pharmacy and asked if they could find me on their system (yes), had my prescription been received (yes – things are looking up), how do I go about paying for it and getting it delivered – pregnant pause of ominous silence – the mighty powers that be have decreed that they cannot take payments over the phone for prescriptions and the drivers are not permitted to carry any cash, so in short, there isn’t any way a housebound cripple can pay for meds so they can be delivered. Typical, unsurprising, almost expected.

While pondering who to ask to expose themselves to the idiocy of people during this pandemic in order to collect this not exactly necessary concoction the phone rang.

A far too intelligent for her post Pharmacy lady called and put forward an option. The specific, exact same as prescribed VitD is available to purchase, over the counter, no prescription required, and it can be paid for over the phone and delivered for free, AND it’s cheaper than the current prescription charge (£9.15). Yes, we will go for that, except she has none in stock *sigh* but it will be on Monday and things can be sorted then.

So essentially if you ever fall ill, don’t need a prescription. If you do, be in a category that doesn’t pay. If you do have to pay, don’t be so ill you cannot get your carcass to the pharmacy. If you can’t, well ‘computer says no’.

We wait for Monday…..

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2020 in General, Life, people

 

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Prescription For Frustration

Remember the good old days, when a fat expensive ink pen splurged over crisp white paper, that was ripped from the pad with a confident flourish. You clutched said note to the Pharmacy, holding hope and relief as the concoction was dispensed and off you tootled with the miracles of modern science in your tender hands – the whole process taking a mere few, almost imperceptible, minutes *sigh* oh the nostalgia.

But progress brings change, advancement brings efficiency and new methods need learning. I am at the end of day two of getting a prescription sent, filled and delivered and as I type, the system does not have the drugs to my door.

My Rehab Consultant is pretty gung-ho on MD-ers taking Vitamin D, whereas my various other Consultants are non-plus about supplements, during a video conference the subject was broached but no firm action decided upon as I tend to take an over the counter one anyway (when I remember ….. which reminds me …. be right back) . Anywho, Hospital sent request for high dose VitD capsules to GP, sometime passed before I received a copy of the hospital report which had detailed under action that a prescription request sent. I had heard nothing, not surprised, my GP surgery hovers between ‘in need of improvement’ and special measures with the CQC.

I have not had a prescription for anything in around, fifteen years, but have heard many a saga from many a person about the trials and hassles of getting their drugs. Taking the bull by it’s wot nots yesterday I called my surgery and they tapped their keyboards, scratched their heads, did the do, asked questions to which my answers perplexed them further, and sent the prescription electronically within moments to the Pharmacy of my choice (in the room next door to Doctor’s reception, they could literally have shouted it across).

Today I call the Pharmacy to see how I, as a house bound crip who has to pay for and then get it delivered, get my hands on this chemical sunshine ………guess what…….. it’s gone missing in the system. (I stifle urge to say “Computer says no”).

I called the surgery and asked the question, which was met with another round of perplexed replies which eventually settled on resending the request and ‘hopefully’ the Pharmacy will call me back shortly. “Hopefully”, hmm, my cynical self thinks that is going the way of common sense and logic, I also foresee getting two scripts for the same thing and both being filled and charged for.

So here I sit ….. waiting ….. wondering whether to call the Pharmacy or wait for them to call. With my mind conjuring visions of electronic prescriptions pinging and ricochetting like ball bearings in a pinball machine around the clouds, which are looking ominously heavy as I stare out the window.

Progress ….. tis a wonderful thing.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 15, 2020 in Life, people

 

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Slow Desk Day

busy

 

There really is nothing like playing ‘name that tune’ with the random shuffle of your desktop iTunes, and there are not many places where Saint-Seans is followed by Alice Cooper, Dean Martin, Zakk Wylde, Samantha Gibb or Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band with a side of Lord Rockingham XI (eclectic you say? Maybe).

After a few weeks of procrastination I forced myself to attend to the growing clutter on the desk. I enjoy my desk, I can get on with the admin of life, I can amuse and entertain myself and I can feel like something has been achieved. My to-do lists (I have categories) is totalling 27 and I’ve whittled it down to …..drumroll….. 24 🤣

There is nothing like a new toy to get the motivation going. It may sound pretty unspectacular but I’m a bit geeky. It’s a confidentiality roller. You look perplexed. It’s just a pre-inked roller that you roll across paper and it covers any print with a pattern, ideal for scrolling across letters containing addresses, personal details, before putting it in the recycling bin.

New toys need new homes, as I was adjusting bits and bobs in the desk draw I came across the spare refill for my twisty pen, you know the one I couldn’t find but knew I had somewhere. I found it, yippee, right after opening the replacement I had bought as I couldn’t find the b-loom-ing thing. Sod’s Law is alive and wreaking havoc.

I was just finishing off a little task when my tea time carer arrived, I’d lost time and was unprepared. That’s the power of …… the desk!

Must finish off an email.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2020 in General, Life

 

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Staycation

This morning BFF flew home to Bonny Scotland after staying here to take care of me for a smidge over two weeks. After the stress and worries this year has thrown at me, the postponement of our April pj-party due to CoVid19, it was so unbelievably uplifting to have BFF walk through my door.

Our time together has three main heading, films, food and yarning. Now that might be silly chatter yarning or the more creative productive yarning. This time as well as some cat protection blankets we also tackled some rather cute cat toy mice and fish.

Previous visits have been invaded by the black and white bundle of adorability, affectionately known as Mickey #NotMyCat, this time he brought his brother Ginger #NotMyCat2. He’s a lot more timid but did like to snooze comfortably and alone either on my bedroom windowsill or the woollen blanket on my bed, he’s also very vocal and announces his arrival. Both offered their approval of the crocheted toys, plus the rubs and snooze spots, and especially the edible treats.

My BFF is multi talented, not only did I get a much needed hair cut but a pedi soak too. Mickey gave the humming, vibrating bowl of water a glare, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d decided to dip a paw in but instead he gave it the usual cat statesmanship glare of indifference crossed with that ‘stupid humans’ expression they are so adept at.

After 187 consecutive days I escaped the confines of my dusty hovel and we ventured along the High Street, suitably covered in my new denim jacket (Christmas and birthday present from BFF) and wearing a natty face mask. A few errands were ticked off the list, social distancing guidelines and hand sanitising adhered to, the find trousers task one sadly was not successful.

This visits films included

  • Spitfire
  • The ugly dachshund
  • Armstrong
  • The absentminded professor
  • Kinky boots
  • Summer in February
  • Hidden Figures
  • Broken Flowers
  • The Great Gatsby
  • First Man
  • The Parent Trap
  • Flight
  • Born On The Fourth Of July
  • A summer place
  • A single man
  • First Wives Club
  • Calamity Jane
  • The Iron Maiden
  • A map of the world
  • Capote
  • Pollyanna
  • There’s No a Business Like Show business
  • American Pastoral
  • Walk The Line
  • The Crown Seasons 1 & 2

Back to our respective routines, counting down and conjuring up, until we can get together again.

Oh the tasty treat pictured, it’s enchilasagne …. enchiladas but layered in a lasagne fashion, it is so delicious and no layer out weighs another. BFF made a second batch so there are more for me to enjoy. Did I say my wonderful BFF was multi talented???

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2020 in Films, General, Life, people

 

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