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Death, Destruction & Drivel 


I make no apology for the next paragraph.

I have no interest, in fact I do not want to know anything about destructive perpetrators. I am not interested where they were born, to what parents, I am not interested in where they went to school or dropped out of university, I am not interested in the countries they visited or their family members. I am only interested in hearing one of two things, the perpetrator is dead or the perpetrators are arrested. End of. Nuff said. Anything more gives credence and advertising to groups who do not deserve my ear.

Now onto other things.

Hearing about the cowardly actions of an individual could not do anything but shock, hearing how young children and teens were fair game targets is disgusting, hearing the heroic endeavours of trained professionals, entrepid volunteers, and selfless strangers was endearing and touching. 

When there is an attack on a community, it takes that community to come together and fight back with kindness, whether a church/mosque/temple/tabernacle opens it doors for shelter, whether it is hard working taxi drivers who turn off the meter and drive people home safely, whether it is a homeless beggar who cradles a dying lady so she’s not alone, to reaffirm that there are strands of humanity around us in this busy, stressful, enclosing, faced paced times.

As for the media, stop trying so hard to be the first, find the worst, to criticise and condemn, you are swaying opinion, blackening good deeds, generalising those to be feared, and generally repeating the same thing over and over to fill the hours of broadcast.  Only on tv are crimes investigated, forensic tests done and results analysed and the bad guys questioned into a confession in around 45 minutes.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in In The News, Life

 

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Operation Cosy Cats


I’ve started a new project. Something to make purposeful use of my yarn stash of double-knit yarn.  Cats Protection are asking for knitted or crocheted blankets sizing 12×18 inches for the homeless kitties to use and take with them to their forever home.  That’s a size I can handle. So I have begun this elongated granny square using two strands of different coloured dk yarn (khaki and meadow) hopefully I will reach the required size before the 200g balls come to an end but if they do I can always edge in black.  My midnight brain is already creating other alternative patterns to try with my stash. There is a fabulous yarn shop near me and they often have sales of odd balls, I could make use of those without much financial outlay.  It’s giving me a lovely feeling of philanthropic warmth.

So my aim is to try and finish a blanket every two months and have four finished by Christmas. 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in General, Pets, Projects

 

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Listless Listeria 


Has it already been over a month? (Yeap) You sure it’s not been a couple of weeks? (Nope) Guess I should revisit my to do list then? (Yeap) ….. Hmm, this is not going to be pretty.

  • Work on the web site – phase one done, phase two being mulled over.
  • Carry on with crochet project – tedious brick wall hit, stuck.
  • Try and keep things tidier – that never lasted.
  • Research Greenwich trip – tickets bought, all ready.
  • Clear and tidy desk + draws – wellllll, should do better.
  • Chase up Neuro Consultants Letter – hmm, not even started.

Okay the web work was a big job (pages of alterations, additions and amendments), phase two is reworking the photo section. Another big job as the new photo albums need adding, each separate photo needs resizing, often © marking, as well as captioning.

Desk work has a new problem, I cannot get up from the seat. I’ve been tentatively googling disabled office chairs as I’d like one to raise me to the standing position, but they are pricey and I need to try insitu, see what other issues it throws up. Then I could spend a lot more productive and play time at my computer rather than the iPad.

I’m slightly side tracked by sourcing a mobile beautician who can come and scrub the be-heck out of my tootsies, make them happy. 

Must dash – the late evening sun shine is across my feet causing my eyes to close and mind to wander.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in General, Life, Projects, Website

 

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Running Wild

Last night Big Sis and I went to see this amazing play, an adaptation of Michael Morpergo’s 2009 novel about the Boxing Day Tsunami in Indonesia in 2004.  Lily Macready was riding Oona the 12-year old elephant along the beach, but she was behaving awkwardly, wanting to turn away from the flat calm waters, her flight or fight senses took hold and she took off deep into the rainforest as the devastating wave hit the shores taking the lives of many and destroying countless buildings.  The story details how Lily learns to understand Oona and how this majestic animal protects and guides her young charge. Stumbling into the dark dangerous world of greedy gun wielding animal hunters and bullying farmers burning the forest to plant plams to make the highly profitable palm oil (used in many products from soap and shampoo to cooking oils and convenience foods). Eventually stumbling into an animal sanctuary, sunburnt, shot, dehydrated and exhausted and being reunited with her Grandma.

I was not prepared for the play to be so dark and violent in places, something which noticeably upset the young children in the audience. The plot brought attention to the environmental plight of the region, the global zealous need for commodities and the cruel lengths the ruthless go to exploiting that market. 

Oona the elephant is mesmerising, her puppeteers seemingly effortlessly bring life to this charismatic character. The orangutans were lively, cheeky and the babies (being hunted to be sold as pets) were utterly mischievous. Even the tiny details as the fire flies were completely believable. There was a palpable gasp from the audience as the tiger was carried into the hunters camp, dead, valuable as a skin, a trophy, medicine, even though earlier we had seen the same tiger attempting to attack Lily and Oona. 

I would have liked Oona’s trumpet call to be a little louder, as compared to the volume and depth of the orangutans and forest noises it was almost overpowered. Also, we did not really get a sense of time Lily was missing, whether it was a couple of days or a couple of weeks.  But none the less it was a very engaging performance.

After coming home I took a look online to see if I could find out a bit more, and ended up confusing myself further. I thought the story was based on a true life event, although there was a story of a child being taken into the forest on the back of an elephant, Michael Morpergo’s book tells the tale of a boy called Billy, yet the play is a girl called Lily.  There was very little information about what Lily had experienced, or whether she stayed in Indonesia or returned to the UK, whether her father had died prior to the holiday and whether her Mother was killed in the Tsunami, key elements in the plot.

Never the less, I would recommend going to see the performance.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Books, Life, people, Review

 

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Granny & Death & Terry & Me


It began by chance, a book sent in error from a club, a blurb that struck a chord, that became a twenty year trek through the wit, the word play, the entendres, the sideways swipe, the unobvious parody, the literal and the Literal musings of a man’s meanderings of a fantasy land. I have no idea why Sir Terry caught my imagination, whether there’s enough reality in the fantasy to hold a ring of truth or I was just entertained.

When two of his books, Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music were made into an animated series, I practically wore the VHS out watching them over and over, the colourful characters firmly in my mind I could see and hear them as I read and reread the books. The dulcet tones of Tony Robinson reading the audiobooks often accompanied sleepless nights.  Later when tomes like Hogwatch, Going Postal and The Colour of Magic were filmed, they were top of my birthday/Christmas lists, staying close to the story, capturing much of the books comedic quality without tipping over into absurdity. 

Every one of the forty-one works has had its own flavour, often parodying cliches of religion, science, mythology, folklore, business acumen, dynasties and continents or authors like Shakespeare, Tolkein, Dicken’s and Potter.  A few of his notable characters have burrowed and set up home in my psyche, Granny Weatherwax and Death being the primary.  I can loose hours perusing numerous quotes or mini scenes. Such as (in exaggerated witchy hag voice), “When shall we three meet again”, “I can do next Tuesday” replies Nanny Ogg in her West Country tone; or “On nights such as this, witches are abroad.  Well, not actually abroad. They don’t like the food and you can’t trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs.” In this time of election decisions I’m reminded of Ankh-Morpork’s take on democracy, “Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.”

With the death of Sir Terry and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, the final novel, something had an end. I delayed reading the book as I wasn’t ready to say good bye to this comforting friend. Last week I took up the book and began. The first few chapters were pure Pratchett even if the content was the death of my favourite character, but after that the book felt disjointed and unpolished. After the epilogue Sir T’s PA Rob added a letter, he told of their working methods and how books came together, but with the last book there had not been the time to fully work on the drafts, although often the final draft had to be crowbarred from his hands as Sir T was ever quite totally ready to say it was complete and done. It’s well known that this is not his finest, but it is his last and maybe demonstrates that despite his failing mental faculties he was determined to write to the end and not leave us hanging.

Farewell Sir T, Granny and all. 

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Books, people, Review

 

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What’s my X for?


Well, a little around three hours ago Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a General Election and I am already tired of the media reporting and I’ve got another seven weeks until Election Day  (June 8th) and the harping and bemoaning after the result. Is there such a thing as election reporting fatigue?

But this does drag up a recurring question – exactly what am I voting for with my all powerful X?

  • Is it Mr(s) Somebody
  • Is it Mr(s) Somebody representing This Political Shambles Party
  • Is it This Political Party
  • Is it all of the above
  • Is it none of the above coz we don’t know

People griped about not having voted for TM to be PM, well I’ve never had a paper asking me to select a PM. I’ve also never had a tick box for a coalition so absolutely nobody ‘elected’ the Government in 2010.

So, batten down the hatches for political fliers filling up the recycling bin. Go raid the charity shops for cheap DVD’s to avoid the endless media drivel. Deactivate your social media accounts as opinionated ‘erberts get hot under the collar over trite trivialities.

Already the media reporters have nick-named this the #BrexitElection, well only if you (the media) harp on and don’t give equal time to issues such as education, NHS, social care, police and justice, defence, taxation, benefit system AND how changes can be implemented, costed and monitored. But I am a stupidly common sense semi-intelligent person, so I know that ain’t gonna happen.

*sigh* if I go missing again, I’ve gone into hiding, or hibernation, or been committed…

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Grumble, In The News

 

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When Enuff Is Enough


It doesn’t have to be a Friday thirteenth for a day to test, frustrate or just get the better of me. Major Murphy, Sargent Sod and Field-Marshall Fate must have had a conference and decided to wage war on my patience, resilience and strength.

Last weekend I sat with note pad and pencil and went through every page, paragraph and sentence of the website, noting down edits, amendments, corrections and general tidying that needed doing; I made notes about what to do for a whole new page, a significant addition to a page and a complete reconfigure of the site menu and presentation of the music bio. That came to seven pages, and I haven’t even touched the photos and videos (may not sound like it, but I enjoyed it, I was making headway and planning).  Tuesday morning I sat at the desk and worked through one page of straight forward corrections, about an hour and a half.  The cost for doing that, I couldn’t get up from the desk, no amount of umph-ing, trying, willing, wishing or expletive resulted in a successful up, so I did the chair shuffle to the sofa and get up from there.  In the afternoon I worked on my crochet project and the price for that was struggling up-ness from the sofa, loo and bed. My reserves were flat, I’d had enough, I get angry, I am not wanting to dance on tippy toes across a high wire, just stand up, not rocket science is it, but boy do I have to work at it, every, single, time. Count how many times a day you stand up, imagine having to run up strains every time, you’ll quickly start thinking “Do I need to get up and do that, can it wait and then do two or three things together”.

Wednesday I created some new graphics, another hour or so at the desk, but I cheated, Big Sis was here so she could lift me, when she arrived. Yesterday, I began the task of creating an eye catching new page sub menu, making sure the HTML I write is correct to every . > and “.  After a little more than an hour I sat back, looked hard and hit the delete button, it was crap. Great. I am sure my frame of mind is clouding my vision for this new page, so I cannot see what I want to work towards.  Again, I couldn’t get up. Again the chair shuffle to the sofa, an afternoon spent on the crochet project, and again difficulty getting upright, but hey, on the bright side it only took me an hour to get from sofa to kitchen with loo stop rather than the two hours on Tuesday.  They say finding the positive is a good thing, I hate that kind of thinking, because it does nothing to get my arse off the wooden toilet seat. I am all about the practical, it’s ingrained. 

For some time getting upright from the desk has been an issue, and I do not see a way around it. I’ve tried tweeking my method, restricting the duration at the desk (I’d prefer to be there two or three hours), it makes no difference. I think the desk height is a tad higher than the draws I use beside the bed or the sink beside the loo. Can’t change any physical aspect but I need to be able to sit at my desk, there is enjoyable work to be done, I can occupy myself and feel some satisfaction. I cannot use a laptop as I cannot hold my hands/arms over the keyboard to type. I need my desk. 

I know there are battery powered toilet seat risers. I know there are seats that rise and tilt, we see the tv ad often enough, but things that tilt will throw me to the ground. But easily useable desk chair that behaves like a dining chair, is there such a thing.

Historically I have known the work-a-rounds to manage, how equipment can help, but in this day and age, with my level of deterioration, is there an answer other than ‘you cannot do it anymore’?

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Grumble, Life, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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