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Category Archives: General

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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The Stunned Pause

Yesterday I had one of those instances where Big Sis would have literally laughed out loud. It began with my afternoon care visit, the carer is one I do not have very regularly but has been coming here for a few Saturday afternoons, we’ve had a number of conversations about various things. How to describe her, she’s short and rounded, akin the Estelle Getty look. She has a tendency to speak as if she’s looking after a half-deaf tottery ancient oldie who starts each sentence with a croaky “I’m eighty four you know…” type vibe.

She mentioned that her brother goes to a music evening where those gathered listen to and discuss music, wondered whether that would be something of interest to me (absolutely not). I replied that not many people listen to the styles of music that I enjoy. I went on to explain that I have a very mixed musical taste, depending on what I’m doing at the time. When I am concentrating on writing the HTML for the website I tend to listen to classical music, the likes of Debussy, Bach, Saint-Saën, Rachmaninov and such, for other creative musings it might be general rock and pop of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s preferring proper good tunes to specific groups, but my absolute go to for pure enjoyment and mood uplifting and this was my driving music was…..

(When I was telling BFF this in a telephone call at this point she went “You didn’t!”, oh yes I absolutely did.)

…..heavy metal, not the main stream but the off main rib rattling proper deep metal.

And then it happened, the face freezes as the mind adjusts and computes, the eyes reveal that they had a completely different perception of you. The sweet little innocent young (not so now) ‘nice’ girl. Ohhhh Noooooo, I have a dark side. I am sarcastic, cynical, stubborn, feisty, questioning. My tastes are eclectic, I enjoy Shakespeare and Dickens, but also Red Dwarf and child animation movies; tv quizzes like Tipping Point or The Chase and will have a crack at Only Connect and University Challenge; films it’s more the grizzly horror or mystery than sweet romance. Musically it’s what takes my fancy.

In a recent online convo with my BFF about getting my hair cut, she suggested like Tinkerbell, to which I posted the suitably cute smiling face and she, knowing me exceptionally well, said no, more like…

Can you guess who posted which, lol.
 
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Posted by on June 14, 2020 in General, Life, people

 

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The Rot Set In

How are you? How are you managing in these trying of time? Have you started avoiding the news and social media reporting? Are you feeling the need to contact that friend in your phone book you haven’t seen or spoken to in decades? Have you tackled that oft put off job?

Day one-hundred-fifth-something of being at home for me … it feels like the rot has set in, I could twiddle some yarn, I should get to reading that book, I would feel better if I tackled a task or two but ……….. no excuse nor reason, just the arse cannot be bothered. I usually quarantine myself during winter, after all if there’s no need to go out in the yucky weather there’s less chance of catching cold which evolves to chest infections. The pandemic timing extended that, cancelled BFF’s visit and the high jinks we were planning, means an additional three+ months have been added.

I’ve had two letters regarding my health condition and CoVid19, one on behalf of my GP from the Clinical Commissioning Group stating I am “likely to feel unwell”, so that’s reassuring, unwell sounds light, like a hay fever sniffle. But the letter from the Neuromuscular Advisory Unit has said I am at “high risk of serious illness”, that sounds rather worrying, conjures images of tubes and machine beeps. I cannot get out, so I’m not at greater risk and my carers are diligent with their precautions.

I’ve enjoyed the access viewing, things like the Thursday night National Theatre productions being streamed on YouTube, I’d never be able to attend in person, so this opportunity has been relished. I’ve been totally engrossed in all of them, marvelling at the staging, the acting, the imagination, seeing productions I heard of but never seen, like Treasure Island, One Man Two G’vnrs, Frankenstein, Twelfth Night, Jane Ayre, Anthony & Cleopatra, Street Car Named Desire, next week The House. There has been the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Jesus Christ Superstar was outstanding. Various orchestras and musicians have been producing videos of performances, some quarantine themed, changing the words of known songs, some of performing classical pieces without the pomp and ceremony of the venues. Of course the small children or small pets interrupting has been amusing.

When this is over, what will we take away from it? There will always be selfish idiots, there will always be negative attacking media, there will always be unreported acts of kindness.

I sense a general mood change as I watch/listen to the vox poluli… an undertone of resentment and slight anger. Maybe it is the media bias but the consensus seems to be that Joe Ordinary doesn’t want his kids to go back to school but does want the pub to open … people jump in their car and drive to the beach and are shocked and surprised that five hundred or more had the exact same idea … persons in positions of knowledge and authority flout the rules and ignore the old time lead by example ethos.

As the aftermath of WW2 did for Churchill, will the aftermath do for Boris … will any politician or party truly be trusted and reliable in an era of PR and popularity over substance and commitment. Will I get out of my hovel this side of Christmas!!

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in General, In The News, Life

 

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Mask Mates

It all began when I was sat on the toilet, as things do. I had asked my carer how she was getting on with the masks and she was saying how sometimes they chaff the cheeks but soon the tie masks might be running out and they’d be using the elastic loop ones.

I remarked that I had seen how some people use paper clips or plastic holders to take the elastic from the ear and stop it cutting into the skin and that there had even been a crochet pattern for them.

The penny took a while to join the dots and add two and two together for joined up thinking. I crochet! I have a suitcase crammed with yarn! I could have a go at making them!!

Carer positively beamed at the idea and the offer of helpfulness.

I googled, I read up, I pondered, I prepped, I twiddled, I tucked ends, I attached buttons and ……. tada!

My button stash has let me down, I’ve run out of 3/4inch and 1-inch buttons. But I’ll wait and see how things go before getting any posted to me.

It’s at times like this I believe I’d be positively dangerous if my neurones were properly connected.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2020 in General, Projects

 

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Making The Cut

Across these weeks and months of having different carers in and out, regularly preparing my food, I have come to notice differences when it comes to cutting sandwiches.

Essentially there are four different ways, there is the classic horizontal and then the single diagonal, dividing the sandwich into two. Then there is the horizontal and vertical and the double diagonal, quartering the breaded munch. What I hadn’t noticed is how these different cuts affect the perception of taste.

Of course this is completely irrational and unscientific but I wonder if there is such a thing as the psychology of sandwiches. You see to my mind, the double diagonal quartered sandwich feels like there is more crust than wich, where as the horizontal single divide has decidedly less crust to wich ratio.

The diagonal single cut seems to unbalance the handling of the sandwich with the hypotenuse corners seeming to flap apart and cause the crumbled filling to escape. The horizontal and vertical quartering reminds me of children’s packed lunch boxes, or posh crustless cucumber and smoked salmon afternoon tea nibbles.

Before you think I have completely lost the plot, remember, there are people out there who firmly believe that tea should only ever be drunk from a bone China cup, that has been brewed in a pre-warmed bone China teapot.

Food is a serious business!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2020 in General, Uncategorized

 

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A Ditty For National Poetry Month

Poets are looking to rhyme corvid19

That has put us all in quarantine.

First some people act as an unruly teen

Behaving the worst I’ve ever seen.

But what can we glean

From this growing scene.

Of their stockpiled pasta and Andrex clean,

Of groups congregating, turning mean.

A few with the kind hearted gene

Volunteering to help and shop for cuisine

Deliver food and much needed caffeine

A smile and a wave through windows clean.

Perhaps there is much we can glean,

Society may not be pristine

But during times of the unforeseen

Acts of consideration are not few and far between.

©️AnneMarie2020

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2020 in General, Life, Uncategorized

 

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Lead-less

Ladies and Gentle-wotsits it is my most sad of duties to inform you that after many years of diligent, unstinting service that PaperMate NonStop has ….. stopped.

We first met sometime back in 1986 at a trade convention at ExCel London, I was at College and as members of the IQPS invited to attend. Wandering around the office administration and secretarial ‘services’ (it was the 80’s innuendo abound), marvelling at this new word processing technology that the offices of the day were moving into but our College was not, getting to play with the contraptions of reprographics and binding, there were plentiful mounds of branded freebies and persuaders.

One of the stands was PaperMate to service the secretary with all her scripting need, plus stylish pens for her executive boss as well. I remember the posters of the NonStop held in beautifully manicured figures against the crisp lined note pad and the indecipherable squiggles of Pitman Shorthand (we were taught Teeline which didn’t need lined paper or think and thin strokes). Along with their brochure and a small telephone message pad adorned with their logo and hearts was the NonStop pencil all in a small carrier bag.

As a treasured item NonStop was kept for something special, nestled beside the run of the mill pencils and a few Derwent Cumberlands (the Rolls Royce of pencil, according to Dad). After college NonStop joined the ranks in my home office, where across the past 34 years we have scribbled, ticked, crossed, shaded and drawn countless times. The natty eraser at the end sadly never reached its potential, preferring to leave a greyed smudge across the paper rather than lift the erroneous graphite. NonStop has battle scars, a few scratches and the clip broke off many years ago, but duties were carried out with out fuss or fanfare.

The young whippersnapper from the pen chest has been promoted, it will not feel the same as my old faithful friend, but during these most difficult of times, we must all learn to adapt.

Farewell my ever faithful mate to paper.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2020 in General, Uncategorized

 

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Tick Box Engineering

I’m at it again. Another customer survey has dropped on my mat. This one a lot more properly put together than the previous poorly photocopied double sided single sheet job, this is a twenty page booklet.

As you can see, the choice of options for the various questions is rather well thought out and worded, with seven levels of perception. It went on to ask how I felt about particular situations in my personal circumstances.

However, it was the next question that let it down. It was “Does the service help you to achieve this” with a yes or no answer. I had a problem with this because I wanted a third option, so I could put “sometimes” or “to some degree”. Putting no, is not justified but putting yes seemed to give the impression that all was hunky dory.

As I got to the last page, I wondered whether I had been sent the survey in error, because the question asked whether I purchased additional care independently and how this was paid for. You see folks, I self-fund, I get zero financial assistance from any Council or Benefit. So cheekily I added a box to the set and added that.

Yes, I am a rebel!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2020 in General, Review

 

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To License or Not To License…

I’ve been following the ‘debate’ on Twitter about the possible scraping of the BBC License Fee and making the BBC a subscription service. It’s been quite interesting weeding through the ignorant crap to find the intelligent comment. I have always felt that many people (myself included) don’t really know how far and where all the tendrils extend but I have also felt that like with any non-commercial cantered organisation, it is likely over staffed and mildly inefficient and archaic in its ways – and I think this is so with the BBC.

How people access their media entertainment has vastly changed, the style, genre and quality of media has dramatically changed – not all for the better. Statistics and research shows that the under 30’s are not sitting watching tv in general, or the BBC in particular, live as it airs but tending to pick and choose via the iPlayer on their smart tv’s and mobile devices. But they are still accessing BBC tv, however it is all the other branches of the organisation that are getting overlooked when people are questioned about it.

It stands to reason that people will only comment on the area of the corporation they access, that’s the only bit they know. So what of the BBC do I regularly access.

  • BBC tv, admittedly I don’t watch as much as I used to, but I do watch numerous dramas series whether it’s weekly ones like Holly City, serial dramas like Peaky Blinders, or one off dramas like the Christine Keeler story; several quiz shows fun ones like Richard Osman’s House Of Card and impossible ones like Only Connect; a lot of the tennis especially Wimbledon; and films. I watch things live as well as via the iPlayer.
  • BBC radio. I listen to The Archers each week, and often listen to panel games, comedies and dramas on BBC Sounds. I used to listen to BBC2 daily when I spent mornings at my desk but it’s a habit that has been broken. As a child it was the local BBC station we had on for news, weather, traffic, to hear if my school was closed on snow days, etc.
  • BBCNews. Generally I tend to avoid the news but I do tend to watch my local BBC programme most nights, and tend to catch the BBC headlines. I find the delivery (if not the content) less sensationalised. I will often peruse the website for info, but find the content dated compared to some news sites.

Making the BBC a commercially motivated business will have an impact on the quantity, quality and variety of out put. It was interesting to read via some tweets areas that didn’t immediately spring to mind, such as The Proms and national and local orchestra funding, children’s tv, the nature and history out put, local news and magazine interest reports both local tv and radio, the publications available, these kinds of areas that cannot stand alone as viable businesses but can collectively support each other.

What I didn’t realise until today was that about half of my license fee covers salaries and pensions – that is staggering.

What worries me is how any change would affect what’s freely available, how much content would be lost, how it will significantly narrow what is produced being lead by what cheap to make and easy to mass sell.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2020 in General, In The News

 

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