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Tag Archives: Randomness

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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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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Destructive Anger Destroys

Over the past few days we’ve witnessed more and more global unrest and calls for changes along with recognition of how the black community has been systematically treated. The death of George Floyd, along with far too many other coloured people, in the USA is a tragic, horrific thing, but it has lit a fireball that might yet engulf thousands of more lives. It was a wrong action by that officer, others were wrong around him, that caused a death; and there have been similar actions by other officers in the past. Thankfully very very few in the UK compared to some educated countries, but nowhere is immune.

The Black Lives Matter movement has a wish (not using the word agenda, it has connotations) and in the twenty first century, forward thinking, prosperous West, you’d think we’d be able to get it right more than wrong.

Watching the marches, the protests, the taking the knee, it is a commendable grand gesture but how does it teach, enlighten or instruct. I am fully aware that these events contain a few hell bent on chaos and destruction and a few more who get polluted by the mob mentality, but I am yet to understand how defacing buildings, statues, plinths, memorials will teach, enlighten or educate.

Where do I learn the other side of the story without being branded a racist, a privileged white b*itch, or such like, or being shouted at “you’ll never understand coz you’re not black”. Violence, rage, destruction, aggressive language etc will not help change minds, or teach a better way, it will fuel the old assumptions and stereotypes. It will instil fear and anxiety.

There was a particular image that enraged me to utter gutteral wanton disgust … it made me so angry I wished true, long term harm upon another person. Here is that image.

This is the Cenotaph. It stands in Whitehall, London. There are only three words on it “The Glorious Dead” and we see someone trying to set fire to the Union flag. The Cenotaph is a memorial to all those who died in the World Wars, all those who enlisted, all those who volunteered, all those hundreds of thousands who were conscripted, from ALL nations of the Commonwealth (last time I checked that warmly, willingly, includes ethnic minorities). For the millions who fought, suffered, were injured, who died, defending and protecting many rights and freedoms people so quickly abuse today. This person saw fit to trample and abuse that – my cynical sarcastic mind wants to ask “Is it because the Portland stone is too white?”

So what will the consequences be, for me ….. Well, I’ll be blunt and honest, it will scare me. What if as I go to enter a door and don’t stop to let the ethnic person go first, am I about to be called racist. If I hold the door to let the ethnic person go first, am I exerting my white privilege. If I enquire for explanation or understanding about an opinion or action, am I being confrontational. I fully realise that not everyone is carrying that hair triggered chip on the shoulder but because so many do, how do I avoid getting snapped at, or flattened with a knee at my neck.

Dear World, I myself alone have no control on what happened during the past two-three hundred plus years or more. In that, I am powerless. I can only be responsible for my personal actions of the past five decades (and a smidge bit, very slim but more). I hope I have always been equally respectful and friendly to everyone I have ever encountered, for that is the best I can do.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2020 in In The News, 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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Beans anyone?

As morning carer unlocked my door I could hear her struggling, curiosity was sparked. Apparently a large heavy brown box had been left on the door step.

Into the ninth week of self-isolating shielding lockdown, I have received a Government emergency food package. The notion of ensuring that those who are confined to their homes have access to a few basic necessities, is a highly commendable one, the execution of such a project has a few gaps. What a single person uses is different to two people or a small family. The contents were intriguing.

There is a loaf of bread with a warnings its previously been frozen and is good for five days from thawing (when was that because it’s very thawed and dry, so yesterday or even the day before), the large Frey Bentos chicken pie, a bag of potatoes one spud is so big it needs two hands to hold it, a huge tin of beans (850g pictured) plus an onion also sizeable, a bag of pasta, jar of bolognese sauce, small tin of tuna, a small bag of rice, a pack of digestives, bag of oats, bag of carrots, apples and oranges, two one litre cartons of milk, two cans of chopped tomatoes and three cans of soup. A couple of instant coffee packets and a few tea bags, one loo roll, a small hand soap with five bottles of bath soap (think hotel freebies).

The enclosed note says it’s for the week (anyone got a recipe for roast-stewed-curried onion) and there are online links to get them stopped or changed (except the links don’t do that). They tell you to contact your local council if you no longer need the help, except the council website doesn’t say who to contact. The note says to simply tell your driver not to deliver, well seeing as it’s just left on the door step before my carer gets here, that’s not going to happen. In fact if it wasn’t for the carer tripping over it trying to get in, I’d have no idea it was even there.

I hope I’ve managed to make contact with the right people to stop getting these, although the idea is commendable, for me, in my circumstances, sadly the majority of contents I cannot make use of – so I’ve given my carers first dibs. I’d much prefer the good dead to go to someone in much greater need than me, I am sure there are some.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2020 in Life

 

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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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Zaberdak

In these odd days ahead I’m trying to find things that my brain wanders to and muses over. Such as, how come I know all the ‘words’ to Zaberdak by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch, although I remember seeing Marmalade perform it live.

Dave Dee wrote it to illustrate that at the time (mid 1960’s) “any garbage can get into the charts”, it means nothing, has a good melody and has been copied by others.

For those intrigued the English words over laying the made up sounds are “Look for meaning, not in words, but in the way you’re feeling. If it’s love, we’ll understand, for love is all revealing”.

Quite poetic. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2020 in Music

 

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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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