Thursday, 23 September 2021

The Duke



 I got home last night and took a rain check at the what’s app video meet I had planned with a friend.
I was all out of talk
Instead I poured myself a very large gin and sat down to watch the Prince Philip-The Royal Family Remembers 
The documentary was filled with personal memories spoken to camera by all of Philip’s Children, their spouses and his adult grandchildren. The only absentees were Kate and Meghan and of course the Queen and the only addition was one of Prince Philip’s personal secretaries who quite movingly gave the audience a stiff upper lip viewing of her boss’ private offices.

I liked the documentary 
It humanised the Duke enormously and it reeked of respect and affection for a man who didn’t suffer fools   but who had a sharp brain and a talent for leadership.
The Royals collectively came out very well too.
I was especially impressed by Anne ( wearing double denim without a care) and her children Peter and Zara who all spoke eloquently and movingly about their memories. 
The best anecdote surly came from Prince William who shared the story of when his grandfather stopped a  young man hiking on one of his own Duke of Edinburgh award challenges and asked him how he was getting on. The young hiker, irritated  with the interruption shot out with a “ Fuck off Grandad” comment which apparently amused the Duke no end.

I slept long and heavy last night and got up late this morning
Outside the back door my sister had left a bucket of sunflowers she had grown on her allotment
And I cut and arranged them in a glass vase.
They have lifted the living room with their sunny faces



Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Goats on the Orme



The patient I was fond of died peacefully today with his family round him.

I'm sitting quietly having a late lunch, alone

It's sunny and I can see the goats on the Orme

Four of them standing very still against a deep blue sky



 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

GGBO


 The Great British Bake Off contestants were introduced today and it’s a more ethnically diverse bunch than we’ve  ever seen before…. 2 Greeks, a geek, an Asian, a hairy Italian, a humourless German, one posh old lady who cries ,a  bright Liverpudlian, a Greta Thumburg lookalike, a gay Jamaican…….etc …..they are all here…. All we needed was a Jewish New York lesbian in a wheelchair and every box would have been ticked.
It feels that they’ve tried a tad too hard…..

The programme still works after eleven years because it’s about nice people doing nicely talented things in a nice way 

Holiday End

 The lecture was less about understanding violence and more about understanding and diagnosing mental illness which I thought it would be. 
It was interesting nevertheless.
I’m back in work tomorrow and I’m a little ambivalent about it. 
I’ve so enjoyed my holiday and know the patient I am close to is still with us. In some ways I was hoping he had passed away before I got back on the floor.
It will be fine, but I still has that feeling, I did have as a child the day I started secondary school after the summer holidays.

This morning, as I was messaging my friend in Korea I was cooking udon noodles with chicken for my lunch tomorrow. To give the meal a Korean twist, I use gochujang paste with soy, garlic and honey. 
I bought the gochijang in Waitrose and a jar lasts ages


I’ve only just realised that Mr Poznań caught me licking my gravy covered fingers this morning after I had put Mary’s dinner bowl onto the front lawn. 
He had distracted me with talk about the buddliea  
This isn’t such a big deal except I’m sure he thought that the bowl was full to the brim of dog food.
I must have to admit now , that it wasn’t even though It looked as though it was….a few times a week I treat Mary to some tinned stewing steak. In it I disguise a big dollop of cod liver oil which seems to be helping her coat condition. 
But Mr Poznań wasnt privy to this information and now must think, I’m an animal 

He was right about the buddliea though. My three bush/trees have lost their blooms and now look dull and brown and rather sad. The clouds of butterflies that enveloped them only a week ago have all but gone 
“Prepare yourself for autumn” Mr Poznań lamented 

Summer holidays have finished I thought 




Monday, 20 September 2021

The Walking Dead 11x05


I’ve caught up with The Walking Dead on Disney+ 
( Is it me but am I the only one who thinks it a bit odd that a violent zombie apocalypse tv show is airing on Disney?)
The last season has been somewhat variable but this episode 5 was a cracker! 
I love this little gentle scene between Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Judith (The delightfully talented Cailey Fleming )
Quite lovely

Understanding Violence

 

Zoom lectures have become some of the major benefit side effects, of the pandemic
I have enrolled in several film study lectures varying from such topics as new film noir, wind mise en scéne and horror and have dipped my toes into Opera appreciation and Welsh Folklore.
Tomorrow at noon there is a free zoom lecture run by the Chester Storyhouse in conjunction with Chester University. It’s topic should be interesting as it is a discussion by a forensic psychologist on the subject of violence .


I’ve left the link if anyone wants to give the free lecture a try.
When I was a psychiatric nurse I was never really exposed to many violent encounters. 
Sure there would be the odd moment when a sectioned patient may have needed restraining, or medication was needed to be given. But the training was good and staffing was adequate that these sort of situations were rare.
As a general nurse however, I have been involved in many more graphic and upsetting physical altercations , not everyone with patients and I must say, being of a bigger build has proved useful at these times.
I have punched only one person in my life. And that punch was meant to hurt and hurt badly, as the recipient had pulled a knife out in a drunken rage.. 
And I have also slapped someone who said something so hurtful I reacted like a pained child and lashed out.
The punch I don’t regret
The slap I did.
That is a synopsis of my brief journey into instigating violence.

I will listen to the lecture by Professor Taj Nathan with interest.
He’s somewhat easy of the eye too 

I wonder if I will see any of you there?  

Sunday, 19 September 2021

The Intern


The Intern is a sweet unassuming film
I knew it would be. 
Essentially it’s an old fashioned romcom with the friendship between 70 year old return to work Ben ( Robert DeNero) and his thirty something Internet sales company wunderkind boss Jules ( Anne Hathaway)
as the rom in the con 
The narrative meanders gently from Ben’s quiet and slightly desperate  existence without the stimulation of work to his and Jules’ acceptance that success is a balance between home and work and love life ( but only if you are successful at all three which was a tad disappointing, but it was refreshing enough to have a movie that celebrates the talents and experiences of the older population even though DeNero and Rene Russo ( who pops up briefly as a sexy something 60 year old company masseuse )scrub up nicely.

Hathaway is on her best charming form and is quite lovely in the lead role with DeNero gallantly underplaying his role nicely in support.

Light, frothy and at times kind of  moving…it was a good choice of film, on a quiet Sunday afternoon





A Quiet Rainy Sunday

 


Sunday morning.
Coffee and eggs.
The Archers.
I’ve cut flowers from the garden and set them up in dark corners of the cottage to lift the day

Then
A walk around the village 
The main road is quieter on Sundays  so Dorothy was able to negotiate our way without the usual hysterics.
Few people are about 
I waved at Nick and velvet voiced Linda who were having breakfast at their kitchen table and to gwawr out in her car. But I saw no one else.
Most of the neat gardens are still retaining their colour.
Stan’s deep maroon dahlias look marvellous, and the cheerful rubekkia at Graham’s are still a stand out on High Street…but I did notice that the garden around the hall look a little untidy and overgrown . 
I will see if I can get a few volunteers together to help me tidy it up 

The rain started as soon as we got home. 
That fine rain that soaks you immediately .
I’ve written emails in support of the Pilgrim Church and posted more on the village websites about it, but my back is aching so I can’t sit for long.

Yesterday I ordered a dvd which will, surprisingly will be delivered today ( I thought there was a shortage of delivery drivers) Its a gentle comedy drama called The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNero

An Ideal Film for a quiet rainy Sunday




Saturday, 18 September 2021

Enjoy


 

Brunch

 


I met my friend Cheryl for Brunch and a walk this morning. Both off our diets for one day 
We had the full breakfast at Bryn Williams with buckets of good conversation and strong coffee.

I’m having a quiet day tomorrow so it was a lovely way of bookending my holiday.


I’ve had a nice productive holiday.
Cheryl was impressed
I must have bored her with most of my list but she didn’t let on ..

A trip to London
A trip to Liverpool
1 art gallery visit
2 theatre visits
3 exhibition visits
1 stand up comedy night
1 evening with ( online)
2 evening meals out
2 cinema trips
I day sanding and decorating a bookcase
Afternoons at Aberfalls, Colwyn Bay, Chester and Llandudno
Brunch at Porth Eirias
An afternoon of very nice sex! Hey ho…
( that one pricked-up her ears)

I got home this afternoon to a jar of jam left anonymously which was nice 


I’m getting that strange feeling I used to get days before I went back to school at the end of summer holidays..but it’s ok…



Friday, 17 September 2021

A National Treasure

 


Miriam was interviewed by the delightful and insanely attractive Simon Callow and to be honest she started off in a rather subdued and for her persona of chat tv shocker , incredibly subdued way
But when the audience fired questions at her, she blossomed into a warm, self reflective, certainly strident   and intelligent character who , loved celebrated and adored her epithet of national treasure 
A lovely evening 
Her autobiography This Much Is True was released yesterday 

Aber Falls and Miriam

 


This afternoon the girls and I drove to the mouthful which is the village Abergwyngregyn and walked up to Aber Falls. 

The girls were buggered when we got back to the car

Tonight, instead of the cinema , I’ve treated myself to cheese and crackers and I’m going to live stream “An Evening With Miriam Margolyes “ from the Alexandra Palace 

I do hope she’s foul mouthed



Missing Julie, Bab’s Patchworks and Lilies by the back door

 


Even though Trelawnyd is so small, I can go weeks without catching up with Jason The Affable Despot .
He’s a self proclaimed hermit at times.
Last night we managed a meet and went to see the world premier of Missing Julie at Theatre Clwyd.
It’s always fun catching up with Jason. He’s bright and arch and funny and laughs easily . He also doesn’t suffer fools gladly, a trait which I like.
The play was ok. A revisiting and a rehash of the infamous Swedish 1888 novel Miss Julie now set in post World War One North Wales. 
It had a lot to say about class and sex and war and post lockdown and we couldn’t help but giggle when Jason likened one of the more dour characters to someone we both know in the village.
It’s weird cos my sister and I saw another adaptation of the novel two years ago at the Storyhouse in Chester .set in 1945 Hong Kong .
That one was unfortunately much better. 
I hate to say that.

Anyhow …..Yesterday I received some gifts 
Babs from the US, sent me two exquisite home made patchwork wall hangings which will sit beautifully on my spare room/ office walls in the East Wing of Bwthyn y Llan 

I love both of them, but adore the fact she incorporated the gay rainbow flag in her design of the star…
I am always so humbled by gifts like these.
Gifts that have been made over time with care, affection  and with skills I will never possess.
Thank you Babs….




 I took the dogs out yesterday morning only to find a large vase full of lilies sat on my patio table when I returned.
I was pondering who was responsible when a disembodied voice piped up from next door’s garden 
“ We are going away for a day or so, and didn’t want to waste the flowers……..enjoy them!” 


I will……..
Before anyone says anything , Albert never goes near the kitchen window .

Today I’ve sent out emails to organise a meeting of the “ Support the Church Campaign” 
We need to get cracking on a plan of attack ……
I can’t believe I’ve had almost two weeks off  
I’ve had a satisfying holiday 
Recharged and peaceful ….this afternoon I’m back at the cinema and tomorrow I’m meeting a dear old friend in Lancashire  for brunch and hugs and walks and big  talks 

It’s funny but before my divorce went through …and  until really  recently I felt terribly brittle and lonely at times 
But this week ….I’ve felt more empowered and ok with the brick bats thrown in my direction .



Thursday, 16 September 2021

Mowgli Chat Bombs

 


It was still sunny and warm when I got to Liverpool yesterday. I walked past Church Alley to photograph the umbrella art before mooching around John Lewis in order to touch lots of nice, fashionable and expensive items. 
I met my friend Colin at Mowgli and initiated him in the delights of the chat bomb.
Now if you get the chance try eating this delicate Indian tamarind dough balls filled with an explosion of flavour of chick peas, garbanzo beans, green chilli pickle, a cumin raita, pomegranate seeds and coriander.
You pop the whole bomb into your mouth and bite…kerrpow! BLOODY LOVELY 


Simon Amstell at the Philharmonic Hall was entertaining , in an understated Jewish Gay sort of way. I missed his enfant terrible days of Never Mind The Buzzcocks when he terrified the celebrity contestants with his waspish wit…last night he was much more reflective, and gentle .
Not a belly laugh evening, but a sweet smiling one.


As I was eating and socialising in Liverpool Cheryl R was working hard at the village bingo night
She raised 900£ For St Michael’s last night. Well done that woman.