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Mature Teenagers

It’s time to play the music……. It’s time to light the lights……..

BFF has arrived and plugged her phone in, rummaged to find her comfy stuff, made herself at home; groceries have been delivered to make tasty home cooked foods, the shipment of Coke Zero has been unloaded (she’s a Coke fiend, I’m a coffee one), this is our idea of a staycation…. Doors are locked, curtains may or may not be opened….. Pleasing ourselves, watch a movie or two, stitch and create, render some donkeys backlegless, laugh hysterically at something silly until our sides hurt…….it’s like being a teenager left at home. AWESOME

*insert happy big grinning smilie face here*

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Posted by on September 23, 2017 in Life, people

 

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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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AWOL now back, more rejuvenated & rebellious 


Lol, my screw literally did fall out! I use a dining chair as a walking frame (the seat also acts as a carry shelf), the seat pad is screwed from beneath but recently one of the screws was unscrewing itself and I kept tightening it but a couple of weeks or so ago there was the sound of something hitting the floor, yes my screw fell out.

I’ve had a fabulously, relaxing, fun, couple of weeks as my BFF in the whole Universe came to play I mean stay.  Lazy mornings, tasty foods, evening DVD’s, selfish indulgence galore. An obligatory visit to the local yarn store (new crochet project in progress). Whilst there a flyer was spotted on the counter about a film being shown at the Library, as part of the community cinema. Sully, is a film we have both been wanting to see, so we trotted down the street and attended. It was an excellent film, I had to remind myself I was in public and not to growl at the personage I disliked. It was totally engrossing, thoroughly watchable and seeing it on a larger screen with surround sound added to the experience.  There is always one thing each visit that crumples us both into tearful laughter. This time it was our efforts to send her Dad a video of us singing happy birthday. The snag was keeping the thumb on the go button, it slipped and the looping short video made me look like I had a nervous tic, the dang app sent it so we had to type ignore that. Then inn the second attempt after explaining our error as we took a breath to sing, thumb shifted stopping the filming. We gave up and recorded a video and then sent that in messages. Her poor Dad must have wondered what on earth was going on! Still he and we all had a good hearty laugh.

All too soon she was packing for home, already counting down to her return (168 days).  We had jested that her cats might be happy to have her home, but also cold shoulder her for leaving in the first place, her cat Hunter came running as soon as he heard her voice and was rubbing himself round her legs, so pleased to have her home.

So, yes, a change is as good as a rest.  

Oh yes, I had a birthday in there too, lots of goodies and treats. Next year is an “0-heck” number, yikes!

Back to making working lists

  • Work on the web site
  • Carry on with crochet project
  • Try and keep things tidier
  • Research Greenwich trip
  • Clear and tidy desk + draws
  • Chase up Neuro Consultants Letter

That should do for now.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in General, Life, people, Projects

 

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I Think I Am Bad For Business!


Whilst twiddling my thumbs in the wee small hours, a thought percolated in my noggin. Apart from the last place everywhere I have ever worked no longer exists!

While at school the obligatory two-week work experience was done in the admin offices at the local psychiatric hospital. Many years ago the former naval hospital was refurbished into numerous plush, sought after, town houses and apartments.  During my studies at College to get letters after my name I worked for a period of time at a fabrication business, which was taken over by a larger one and then everything moved away (also the winter snow meant College closed but I still went into work through the snow drifts).  After completing my courses (and getting those letters after my name) I went to work in a section of the Department for Education, hmm, yeah, well, that was partially disbanded and partially amalgamated with other sections.  Off to a speciality advertising agency, if you needed your logo and details printed on things, we sourced it, pens, key rings, clothing, carrier bags, travel adaptors and umbrellas, manic in a word, well it was the eighties. 

When that went to the wall, off I hopped to a temping agency, that too no longer exists, nor do the companies they sent me to, from holidays camps, to builders merchants, to security companies, to car sales, to ship chandlers, to law firms, accountants. Some were for a week or two, some were months or longer, most were where the first temp ‘upset’ things so I was the rescue party.

Next stop a Baronial Estate, the job I enjoyed the most, it had the greatest variety. I’d grown up with the family, it certainly topped up my anecdotes supply.  Recently the new 4th Baron (I worked for the third) has decided to no longer operate that area of the various businesses on the Estate, another one closed.

I’d moved on to a couple of companies contracted to work for the Ministry of Defence, both now gone and forgotten.  Finally onto another Government Department section, which is still shuffling the bureaucratic red tape even if the actual building I worked in now has a different function.

Hmm, I wonder where I could put my ‘business black widow’ skills to good use, join the Labour Party maybe or the Trump Administration, how about the banking industry ……….. then again, it might be a wise thing I am now classed as “unfit to work”, I doubt the post brexit economy could cope with me.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in General, Life, people

 

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Busy Blue Stork Deliveries


The stork has had his work cut out for him recently! On Christmas Eve he dropped off a bundle to someone I used to work with, then on 4th January BFF’s number 3 daughter had an early delivery and today a friend’s sister in law received her bundle of bony baby.

Back in October during an evening of general chit chat I showed my friend the cute booties and bonnet my BFF had crocheted and knitted (to amuse her hands) and she asked if she could buy them and ask if I felt like I could make a cot blanket.  I was in two minds, I can only stitch at most on a good day for an hour, and knew time would be tight before baby due date with Christmas inbetween, but I gave it a go. We decided on a pattern, yarn type and after creating a sample square (yarn always looks different when made up than when rolled into its ball) the mission was on.

The pattern was essentially an every growing granny square. The pattern was a cross-stitch double crochet stitch (skip a stitch, DC in next, DC in skipped stitch, repeat, 2dc chain2 2dc at the corners, fiddly bit including a turn at the joining part) round back and forth, add another ball. I deliberately did not measure the blanket as I knew this would just add unnecessary pressure and maybe fuel the negative thoughts that I won’t have time. Having a project, a new stitch, was great, it was purposeful and had meaning. But it also worried me, it had to be perfect as this was a commission piece, and I never feel my work is accurate enough.


By December the blanket had grown considerably, I was not completing all four sides within my hour slot and seemed to be adding another ball of yarn after three completed rounds. I relented and dug out the tape measure. WooHoo, I was already at thirty inches, and each completed round was adding an inch, the target measurement was thirty-six inches.  To properly finish off the piece I did the last round in plain double crochet’s and it edged it nicely.  Now the next scary bit, washing it. After tucking and snipping the ends (most hated job) I bundled it into the washing machine and added the soft care detergent, selected the cycle, hit the button and waited nervously. As it swished and swashed my mind had visions of it disintegrating like tissue paper, as the spin cycle wound itself up I had visions of a forgotten end getting caught and the item unraveling, all irrational and needless. 

Wash, dried, folded, it was ready for presentation. I will admit I had something of a ‘moment’ when thinking about the piece. I didn’t want it to be perfect, to be held in such reverence to be treated with care, kept for special days, I wanted the blanket to be used, thrown up on,  dragged around the home, shut in the car door, thrown in the washing machine, the thing that is grabbed when baby is falling asleep on the sofa, or as a toddler wants to snuggle with when feeling off colour., something used and trusted and loved. I had a lovely note from the recipient and look forward to seeing her bundle making use of the items.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in General, Life, people, Projects

 

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Does preparation breed complacency 


It was something of a surprise yesterday when I turned on the BBC1 lunchtime news to find my home town a main feature! Didn’t think the rest of the country knew anything existed east of the M1.  

Numerous warnings had been issued, plans were being implemented, preparations were unfolding as the east coast braced itself for a weather phenomenon that seems to be happening more often. A mixture of super high tides, plus full moon, plus strong gale force north/north-westerly winds were converging to push the seas at the land and cause significant flood risk damage; add winters rain, sleet, hail and snow and all things being as they are, things were rather grotty out there.  Sand bags were being filled, flood boards were being screwed into place, police were door knocking advising people to evacuate their properties and where the evacuation centres were.  TV crews were everywhere looking for that photogenic story, the housebound nonagenarian and the cute cat being housed upstairs on a warm duvet, the neighbourly community spirit, the over exaggerated precarious deathly risk. 

Back in 2013 when similar weather got together there was significant coastal and inland flooding and there were those dramatic images of bungalows falling from the crumbling cliffs into the crashing seas. Then, as yesterday, plans had been implemented but possibly too little too late; the sea enveloped the promenade and cascaded into many seafront businesses and homes, the surge along the river breached the walls turning roads into babbling brooks. In the aftermath there were calls for better protection and better warnings and these were heeded, which was a factor in yesterday’s action.

Thankfully last night the surge was not as high nor as strong as had been predicted, few areas were flooded and there was minimal damage to property. Today’s local papers have a handful of washed up debris shots. It ‘could’ have been far worse.

One thing that did strike me yesterday throughout the days numerous reports and the social media up-dates from plentiful agencies, news sources and groups, there seemed to an edge of complacency that because all the warnings had been issued, that gates and blocks were in place, with the Police, even the Army in presence, alongside Environmental Officers and Coastguard personnel, everything was going to be okay and that joe public did not need to do anything.  I’ve not seen any comment or columnists complain that yesterday’s reaction to the potential threat was overboard, but I am sure there will be. It’s a damned either way situation, prepare and its doesn’t happen it’s over reacting, under prepare and have flooding and it’s not doing its job properly. 

But I am concerned, the more often these flood preparations are implemented and no significant flooding occurs, the reaction should be “phew, it worked, we are safe” but will more likely be “they always say/do this and nothing ever happens I’m not doing this next time” which really will put people and property in danger.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2017 in General, Grumble, In The News, Life, people

 

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