Monday, 15 February 2021

Tit Of Yourself


 This open letter was posted on the village Facebook page today . 
A sign of the times and a kindness from a nice villager. 
And something I need to share today.
Most of my colleagues at work  now have their second covid jab appointment and I’m proud that my little country is leading the entire world with the percentage of population vaccinated 

One by one my loved ones are getting the jab and are moving one step closer to safety .

I hope to hear about my appointment in the next day or so.

I’ve just come home and although shattered I’ve lit the fire and refused to eat crap for supper.
Work has been hard but I’ve laughed regularly all day.....
Laughter is common in a hospice .

The girls were curled up on trendy Carol’s trendy conservatory sofa when I collected them and they were so happy to see me
It’s after nine and I’m catching up with the latest Line of duty download, with a chicken salad made by the chef at work.
I will leave you with this my most favourite of line of duty  put downs 
It’s a cracker


 

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Crumbs


I came home tonight and went straight to bed after walking and feeding the dogs
And giving Albert some kitikat 
I couldn’t be bothered lighting the fire and the cottage was freezing
So I shared a large bag of cheese and onion crisps 
And watched this 
under the duvet 
The crumbs got everywhere 
And I can’t be bothered removing them 
I’m so degraded 
Nite xxxx


 

Frozen

 

The lane this morning 
Thanks to a local farrier who gave me a push to work

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Sir Basil

 When I was 18, I embarked on a very short and exceedingly unsuccessful career as a bank clerk.
Banks in 1980 were still staffed by dozens of clerks, all beavering away behind counters and in machine rooms and in the hierarchy, so evident in those old beige offices, I was the lowest of the low .
Now one of my daily jobs was to fold individual statements and seal them into envelopes before franking and posting . Now Certain statements of the most special customers had to be pulled out separately and their envelopes had to be hand typed by the junior clerk and the one I always remember was Sir Basil Rathbone * 
Now Sir Rathbone had no less than twelve letters after his name and every month I somehow managed to get one of those letters wrong. The B in OBE would be in lowercase, or the K and B in KBE would be reversed: I’d forget a comma between award letters and one time I actually had the audacity to forget a full stop.
I was forever being dragged to Mr William’s, the deputy manager’s booth, stationed behind and above the counter clerks to be bollocked for getting the envelope wrong and after a year I grew to hate Sir Basil and his difficult twelve letters, even though I was the one that had done the wrong thing and he was “petty enough” to shout down the phone to complain .
I eventually started my nurse training a short while later but on my very last day, I spied Sir Basil’s statement waiting patiently for it’s typed envelope and couldn’t resist completing it myself.
Before franking and posting the letter, I read out the top line of the addressed envelope to myself
It read

Sir Basil Rathbone SOD, BUM, ARSE, HOLE, TIT

POSTSCRIPT: a few years ago I remembered Sir Basil and looked him up online 
His obituary was written in 2015 when he was in his nineties and chronicled a war hero of some renown and note a fact that made me feel almost guilty for  the typed letter.

.......almost....... 
 

* not his real name

Friday, 12 February 2021

I Rather Than We

Rachel Phillips said this in her blog of today


“ All you people who wake up in the morning and write about "we this" and "we that", spare a thought for those who it is "I this" and "I that" when they wake up and for the rest of the day“


I heard and understood her loneliness so well this morning. The loneliness of lockdown and the loneliness of living on your own is sometimes a difficult one to deal with and although I think I can speak for Rachel too when I say we are not banging on about all things singleton it’s nice to acknowledge that life is sometimes just a bit tougher when it’s only you at home when the doors are shut and the curtains are drawn.


Last night my friend Ruth popped around for a night in. We have been in each other’s bubbles since the start of lockdown and so it was her turn to organise dinner.
I was online completing my Hitchcock - The spy films lecture when she turned up laden down with food , and so, for a change she pottered around the kitchen preparing a delicious salad to have with Waitrose pizzas, wine and garlic bread as I worked away online.


Seeing someone else in the cottage, albeit in the background of my zoom box made me feel part of something a little bigger from what I have.......and to eat in companionable silence with someone after conversations of interest and light was a treat much more savoured that it ever used to be , because of its rarity .

We watched a film together and someone else but me cried “ oh no” when Dora left Josuè at the end I walked the dogs, whilst Ruth had a cigarette in the garden and this morning I made coffee and breakfast and loved the fact that two plates were on the table rather than just one.


I’m not banging on, I’m not saying poor me..I’m really not ...and nor is Rachel , or Libby, or Sue in Suffolk or Weaver or any of us singletons at home on this cold Friday in February ..but today I understood Rachel so well when she said what she did without self pity but with a certain sadness,


“spare a thought for those that have to say I rather than we”

Central Station



Fernanda Montenegro



Central Station is a film I have always adored
I’ve loved it for twenty years 
Brazilian Dora is a retired  teacher who writes letters for the illiterate at the central Station in Rio 
By chance she meets up with a young orphan Josué and the meeting allows her to find some redemption from a life of cynicism as she finds herself responsible for his future happiness 
Me and Ruth watched it last night and cried buckets at it 
It’s message about redemption and reinvention is universal and recently so pertinent 
It’s a pivotal film in my cinematic history 
I adore it

Thursday, 11 February 2021

A Lie-in


I’m doing something I have not done since I was a teenager 
Something indulgent, something certainly selfish, something just a bit wicked.
As a grown man it has taken me 38 years to revisit it again
It’s a lockdown phenomenon
It’s naughty 
And as one antipodean artist used to say
Can you tell what it is yet? 

I’m talking about the lie in.
Well if I was being totally honest it is a return to bed after a brief early morning dog walk
But you will understand the gist.  

My lie-ins are somewhat loud affairs
They are filled with bulldog snores and the unexpected purring from a cat well know for his silence. 
Occasionally Mary from the window seat will raise a sleepy eye to a passing dog walker and will let out a muffled Woof ! which will in turn illicit a brief hiatus in the purring and the snoring but it is not long before airways are compromised and feline confidence returns and the background noises of the cottage return to normal .
It’s 9.45 am 
Hummmmm.........another half hour is in order.



Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The Impossible

 I have just re watched the film The Impossible 
A story of the Boxing Day Tsunami 
This scene broke my heart just a little 


Tomorrow my bubble friend Ruth and I will be watching Central Station more sobs xxx

What Day Is it?

 






The view down from the Gop to the coastal plain was magnificent this morning. The snow covered peaks of Snowdon are clear as a bell

It’s cold in Llandudno too and the Goats are down in the town again
I’ve been busy on line shopping

New chew proof leads for Dorothy   
Underpants x 6 
Some zombie dvds
A footstool 
A hand blender 


I paid my speeding fines on line too
Spoke to an old friend who is poorly
Read some more of my book
And realised I have absolutely nothing to talk about 



Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Snowdrops


 It’s a soup day, butter bean and chicken with paprika .
After three consecutive twelve hour shifts, I had a lie in with a book this morning, then walked the dogs, shopped and photographed the churchyard snowdrops before the cold ushered me back to the cottage in order to light the fire.

Monday, 8 February 2021

Incoming


You have to be kidding”
I managed to leave out the fucking in “you have to be FUCKING kidding” 
But it really DID deserve to be inserted there as I stood for a mini second with urine in my face, urine seeping under my mask into my mouth and eyes and all across my head.
The patient and the nurse-who had forgotten that she had left the urine standing inside a covered bedpan looked at me open mouthed 
I lost my usual bouncy sense of humour and bolted to the sluice where I ripped off my sodden mask and washed my face and hair
Urine in open eyes and mouth is the equivalent to a needle stick injury and has to be taken seriously 
After a shower, a failed blood taking effort by the hospice doctor, a long talk to occupational health and cup of hot tea, my sense of humour slowly started to reappear.....just !
 
Once I nursed a psychiatric patient who would intermittently delve down his pants , grab a large and rather wet turd and fling it at the nearest nurse. 
The staff would get used to the melodramatic warning cries of “incoming !!” as turd left hand and a blob of brown hurtled through the air of the ward like a smelly hand grenade .

* photo of Dorothy tonight , sleeping in front of Trendy Carol’s log burner

 

Sunday, 7 February 2021

A Dialogue

 

My husband left back in the summer of 2018....three years this summer and I’ve been thinking for a good while now that I was still a bit stuck with the anger of how he left rather than the why he left. 
I’ve already written about my recent approach to his mother where hurts were put to bed so it only seemed   Common sense that he and I finally had a dialogue of sorts sans blame and anger.

The impetus for me to initiate the contact came from a recent video call I set up with a dear friend who has a cancer. He had lost considerable weight since our last meeting and I blurted out the fact as soon as I saw him......like a broken hearted loon . Our conversation ,as conversations always do with friends that are deeply loved, then descended into gossip and chat and laughter but the call left me with the aching reminder of the fragility of the every day and underlined the pointless nature of prolonged anger and hurt when a relationship goes south. 

The dialogue I had today with my ex husband The “ Prof” wasn’t prolonged, but it was to the point. It was honest and most importantly .....and by celebrating the good times ......it was mutually kind.

Time to swim on.........in that big river......


From Now On

Some lovely welsh voices for a Sunday
6 am and off to work
Just bumped into Mrs Trellis who was out with Blue
It is very cold and she had her usual tall babble hat on and a matching super long scarf
She told me that she missed Church so very much
The cockerel is still alive and crowing lustily from the graveyard
I told her

 

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow


Long day
Home at 9 pm
Listened to Christopher Plummer in the dark, as I ate homemade soup
.......Now Off to bed 

 

Lazy Blog today

 


I found this video
Mary is now the only survivor 
Bittersweet to watch again 

I’m working three long day shifts together so up at 5.30 making soup in the slow cooker for my supper. My “ big gay team” got fourth last night which was bloody great, not bad cos we are up to 90 participants from all over the world......mave was in my group, suffice to say the conversation was rather .....ribald 

Friday, 5 February 2021

Fancy A Chat?

 
Hello, 
Let’s have a chat.
I’ve been out for a long walk hoping for a chat but strange as it may seem, I didn’t bump into anyone I knew. 
The walk was so long that half way through Dorothy had a mini gay-man’s flounce and sat miserably  at the back door of a parked car in the blind hope that it was Bluebell.
She’s only just forgiven me now, and that was after the fact I let her lick the eggy bits from my Brunch plate.
Yes people as part of my diet I only have Brunch and Dinner now and alongside a reduction of alcohol and eating crap after 6 pm at night. It seems to be working
Well....I had to do something , my underwear drawer needed a mercy killing initiative.
Stretched to buggery and with too many holes.
Thank god for Amazon. 
As Mrs Doubtfire  would say


So in these final moments of lockdown I am polishing those tarnished bits of me, I missed when pulling up my bra straps over the last year. Something, I think we all do, when there is a whiff of spring in the air and the weak sun, warms your bones when out with the dogs.

Takes a long sip of coffee from my trusty bucket



I’m feeling happy today. Happy with my new resolve. I’ve started to read the 20 books collected and stacked on my new ( ultra trendy John Lewis) side table and I’ve started the first of my on line courses which remind me I still have a brain and the capacity to debate. 

............phone rings ...I answer

I’ve returned after a long phonecall from Nu which was as invigorating as an icy plunge in the sea. We haven’t physically met for a year and we are now making tentative plans what we will do when we can...more adventures afoot more laughter ahead.

Blogland has settled down too, with less troll activity spoiling the chatter and it’s nice to feel more kindness and less game playing around........oh and as I’m talking about blogs .....
Go visit Libby at 
https://libbysaidok.blogspot.com/ her new blog needs a few virtual hugs of welcome

I’ve just video called my friend John in Sheffield. We discuss Hitchcock at length, it’s one of those conversations we used to have over too much red wine in All Bar One. 
I miss him

Time for a coffee refill
Bloody hell it’s 2pm ....I’m working the next three days so I have jobs to do. 
Operation dog snot removal, more sooty cobwebs  to scoop up, ones I missed last week.
I’m glad We’ve had this chat.
I will leave you with a photo of the primroses I planted by the front door.
They are optimistic and cheerful and mirror my mood
Enjoy them 





Thursday, 4 February 2021

Hitchcock

 

Had my first lecture from the The City Literary Institute tonight on The Master of Suspense:Alfred  Hitchcock’s Spy Thrillers. It’s an eight week course which, from my first experience , seemed very interesting and stimulating 
It’s nice learning stuff just for my interest only and not something confined to work it’s a bit like pampering yourself with a long bubble bath and a facial 

It’s the BIG GAY QUIZ tomorrow night 

At this rate I’m going to be all zoomed out! 

Sunset Phonecall



Was it five years ago? 
I think it was. 
Sunset on a summers’ night and a phone call from a stranger.
He was sat in a car, near a beach and it was clear he had been crying.
I could tell he was young, perhaps thirty.
He had a clear English accent almost devoid of local lilt or twang.
He told me he was a teacher but refused to give me his name.

I worked so hard on that phone call. 
I kept him engaged and I listened. 
And he talked so sadly about how he felt and how much he wanted to die.
His class had scored poor marks in their A levels and he felt a failure.
He had felt a failure all of his life.

For an hour he talked and he even laughed when I asked him to share with me what music he had listened to in the car. 
He didn’t know that I was sensing I was losing him and that I was playing every trick in the book to keep him talking.
I heard him open the blister pack of tablets and he admitted he was piling them on the passenger seat

My colleague mouthed are you ok from her booth and I shook my head. She came over to listen on the spare headset and jotted down ideas to help.
They helped, the man talked a little more.

We talked about the nice things in his life, his friends, his family but he grew sad when the sunset finished and he told me it was almost dark.
I asked if we could call him at another time , to support him, to listen, but he refused politely

I listened as he took a few of the pills.
And he cried a bit more 
Before gently ending the call with a click.

My colleague blocked all further calls and brought me a coffee and a hankie and 
I ate some chocolate digestives and I cried a little

Cried in frustration and for the futility and waste of it all.

I will always remember that call

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Loyalty



There is one thing you have to know about me and that is the fact that  I am always very loyal .
Totally so.......
Loyal to romances 
Loyal to friends, to my family 
And loyal to my obsessions 
The Walking Dead returns this month for a final flourish ! 
I’m so excited 


I’m wearing my fifth  best Walking Dead  T shirt tonight in anticipation 
It has soup dripped down the front
In true form 
Carol and Daryl have almost made it to the end ....
Who would have thought?



Heaven Knows

I had my first ordinary flu jab yesterday evening and had a surprising reaction to it ( I had never had one previously) 
Last night I felt rather poorly, lots of aches and pains and a banging headache.
I had a lie in, took paracetamol and am feeling more human today.
John Huston’s  Heaven Knows Mr Allison is playing on TCM with Mr Mitchum at his sexy masculine best