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Category Archives: General

Same Old New

As much as there is nothing about this year that many of us would want to hang on to, again I feel a tug as I do every New Year’s Eve. There are those who talk of new beginnings, fresh motivation and forward ideas but for me it feels like the things I enjoyed, that I used to do, the people I was connected to, are further in the past. Somehow that seems sad.

Once upon a few decades ago we would all gather at my parents house, have a meal, probably another box of crackers, maybe play a board game (well Big Sis and I would with audience participation) and then an evening of tv, chatter, and a feeling of everyone waiting for the clock to chime so we could all go to bed. Most likely because we were tired of all the preceding festivities.

When things changed after mum died, New Year’s Eve was likely the one night I’d be in bed early with a book and only knew the time by the ships horns and cacophony of fireworks.

There were of course a couple of exceptions, midnight 1st January 2000 I was drinking champagne and dancing on the deck of a tall ship, watching fireworks, being deafened by horns, kissing strangers, moored in Tenerife between cruise ships showing them how mighty we were (some of their passengers didn’t look like they were having a ball) – sailory types know how to par-ty 😉.

There was the year a gang of us on a message board saw the various New Years in as the time crossed the globe. Apart from the in joke of “F5 Renee!” once midnight had passed in the U.K., I could say to my American pals “You guys are sooo last year”, well it tickled me.

As I sit here in my hovel, musing and pondering, I do wonder

  • Where will I be this time next year?
  • How will I be this time next year?
  • Who will no longer be with us?

Still, wherever you are, I honestly hope we are heading toward better things and I wish you all well 🥂

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2020 in General, Life

 

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As ancient as…

You that feeling when……. you are watching a black & white movie (Carry On Regardless, 1961) and your carer arrives asks what you’re watching and questions “So when did colour tv start?”

I explained that there were colour films shown in cinemas before there was colour tv because colour over black & white was hideously expensive to make. I thought that colour tv was introduced around the late 1960’s (turns out it was a Wimbledon final 1967 on BBC2) before becoming mainstream in early 1970’s.

This branched on to the fact there were (and still are) tv licenses for either a colour tv or a black & white one, this notion seemed quite startling, along with that many homes did not have a colour TV set until the mid/end of the 1970’s.

When I went on to remark that I remember as a child being told to change the channel because there were no remotes, and there were only three channels broadcasting at set times of the day (kids tv about 3pm til shutdown 11pm), and that at close down the BBC would play the National Anthem – well my carer’s jaw dropped to the floor.

When I said channel 4 didn’t start until 1982 and Sky started 1989 she remarked that she found it hard to believe these things happened not that long before she was born (1998).

Talk about feeling ancient!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 20, 2020 in General, Life

 

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Beyond My Window

The world beyond my window
Is in a bit of a state
With pandemics, plastics and pollution,
Deforestation and nuclear waste.

The world beyond my window
Is in a state of fear
With anger, riots and violence,
Police suited in riot gear.

The world beyond my window
Is sometimes blue and green,
With life and light and untold
Beauty to be seen.

The world beyond my window
Was somewhere to explore,
Rolling on the high seas,
Rocking around a dance floor.

The world beyond my window
Is removed from me,
Years and decades have flown by
While my mind thinks it 1993.

The world beyond my window
Is somewhere I don't pursue,
It's not because of Covid
More nothing I can do.

The world beyond my window
Continues without me,
My ability has passed
To work, drive and spree.

The world beyond my window
Has become out of reach.
My access is now virtual
And that's a dreadful pastiche
 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2020 in General, Life

 

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Newer History

From time to time I surprise myself when some profound statement emerges from my fingertips and such an occurrence took place last week.

A pal had posted about the annoyance she felt at the hypocrisy she sees online, that groups while complaining about history, use history as validation and evidence for their actions. I saw her point and responded

History is history, we should learn from it, all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the triumph and the disaster, the compassionate, the whole, it’s ripples and it’s consequences. After all the shouting, breast beating and hash tagging, what will have changed for the better – very little quite possibly and that’s the saddest footnote for history to teach.

Me on Facebook

There is currently a tv advert for Persil which includes the phrase “hashtags can’t plant trees and tweets won’t clean oceans”, making reference to actions speak louder than words. Has social media turned the majority of users into outspoken criticisers, has it given the multitude a venting platform for vitriol, perhaps that’s a subject for another day.

As we move into black history month (it’s October in the UK) I agree with the thought that more perspective is needed regarding how history is taught and what history is taught. History is a subject that will keep growing, look at the past hundred years or so, what parts should be picked out to teach, the speeches of Martin Luther King Jnr alongside the riots and protests of Black Lives Matter; the horrors of the Holocaust and Russian pogroms and the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi; the nursing prowess of Mary Seagrove and the South African apartheid movement. The advances of industry and science and the violence of protests, riots and oppressive regimes. It’s sheer volume means we cannot cover it all.

The recent yelling and vandalism regarding the historical slave trade has highlighted a gaping hole in subjects covered, the actions taken have been destructive rather than constructive. I’m not sure if this programme is available worldwide but the tv series “The House History Built” is excellent, it traces the history of all who lived in one house across centuries.

Nothing is clear cut, everything exists in the grey area.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on October 1, 2020 in General, In The News, people

 

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Black & Blue Ornery

Nothing in particular just everything in general has set the black cloud of short tempered, lacking patience, general ‘meh’ness.

The sudden change in weather last week was a stinging slap in the face. We were all still merrily enjoying the comfortably warm summer sun, wearing our thin short sleeved tops and light weight bottoms, and then bam, gale force winds, lashings of rain, temperatures dropped by half. No graceful ease into Autumn.

I can’t have the window and internal doors open so no furry visitor and yes I will admit it, I miss the furrball. He might cover me in white hairs, generously, rigorously massage my thighs, command my lap for two or three hours which means I cannot crochet or mess around on the iPad, but he entertains with his asking for attention, amuses with his snores and sleeping chunter, becomes a topic of conversation with my carers (his charm is doing a number on them too). If, if, if, if, things would be different.

Time to pull up the big girl pants are knuckle down to get some stuff done, so October goals……

  • Print off business transaction reports
  • Back-up Mac
  • Upgrade OpSys software
  • Complete Blue Badge renewal
  • Purchase tv signal booster + cable
  • Update website news
  • Finish two cat blankets
  • Make one mouse toy
  • Make one fish toy

There are a few other things I could add, like chase District Nurses who still haven’t been to draw my blood since I contacted them 2nd September, or the contact Orthotics to see if they will do a new brace without any appointments but that’s a sleeping thingy I shy at poking.

I shall have to concede by Canute approach to the season change and throw another log on the radiator (that translates to turn the heating on). Brrrr, I have a feeling it’s going to feel like a long winter.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on September 30, 2020 in General, Life

 

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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.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2020 in General, Review

 

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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.

 
4 Comments

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

 

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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

 
4 Comments

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…..

 
10 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2020 in General, 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.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2020 in General, Life

 

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