Friday, 27 March 2020

QUARANTINE, HAIRY TRIBES, COVID AND CLASS

I'm trying to imagine a picture of what we will all look like once the doors are flung open and we again walk into the light.  I'm picturing a nation of ungroomed Neanderthals with mad hair, mad beards and unibrows.  I once went on a (blind) date with a guy who had inordinately hairy fingers.  Happily, it was only a one hour (lunch) date because I became fixated on them.  He was wearing a smart suit and tie, but I couldn't help thinking of the orangutan that lurked beneath.  I mention this in the unlikely event that anyone decides to stick with the unkempt lone occupant of an island look or hands covered with hair.

From what I remember, it was a long time ago, I was quite partial to a hairy chest, I come from an age where men wore tight trousers with shirts open to the waist and medallions hanging from their necks!  'Hair' the musical was big on stage, and big on the permed heads of construction workers and footballers.  We girls can laugh at the daft things we wore, but it's a lot more fun poking fun at the lads! I remember wearing ridiculously high platform shoes, a smock (prettily embroidered) and bright green velvet bellbottoms! My hair was long, wavy and parted in the middle, I was never, ever, tempted to get a mullet, ha ha.  

But I wandered, As I have mentioned several times, I am hooked on US news channels, so not surprisingly I stumbled on a Fox News segment discussing the plight of millions of American women who can't get their hair and nails done.  The tragedy behind the headlines.  The ladies who cannot now lunch.  It is at moments like these that you realise what a great leveller this global pandemic has been.  It is not (yet) aiming for the packed inner cities and the tower blocks, it is infecting, at the highest rate, the globetrotters and networkers.  

The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister, and, just now, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock.  We are moving weirdly towards the disaster movie genre where all world leaders die and the lunatics take over.  I am such a disaster movie fan that I have to categorise them, Independence Day for example, has a hero President who saves the world (from aliens).  At the moment, I feel as if I have woken up in a disaster movie and fact and fiction is becoming seriously blurred.  I don't ever think I have seen a more eerie sight than the images of the nation clapping for the NHS, such a contrast to the empty streets we have been seeing all over the world.  So many real people apart but together, filled with so much goodwill towards the NHS staff and all the key workers supplying food and medicines.  

And it was heartening to see that the nation hasn't, as yet, turned into a hairy Neanderthal tribe.  For myself I am ecstatically happy that I ditched the dye (a year ago!) so have no white lines to worry about.  The eyebrows are another story, now I know why my eyebrows have remained untouched by myself with tweezers for 30 plus years.  I'm no bleddy good at it!  I have overplucked one eyebrow and now have a permanent startled/quizzical look.  I have decided to stick with it because if I start on the other one, I could end up with a full David Bowie no brow circa 1970s.

Now, I know my enemies have reason enough to hate me, bless 'em, but I am going to go right ahead and just say it.  There is much pleasure in knowing, that people you hate, the rich ones especially cannot buy any privileges that will keep this pandemic away from them or allow them to wallow in the food, luxury and jet setting they are used to.  They have wallets full cash and nothing to spend it on. Which makes me wonder, where does BUPA etc feature in all this?  Will private health care patients get priority treatment?  Now there's  a hot potato.  You cannot help but have sympathy for all those who have paid their monthly dues for decades, only to find themselves competing with the feckless for ventilators.

To anyone out there who feels like chatting, I will be watching my blog all day and hopefully will have some interesting comments to publish and reply to.  Anyone looking for inspiration, here are some interesting topics to discuss:

1.  AMC's The Walking Dead (to be said loudly in gruff, male voice) to set the mood.

2.  If not, TWD, what disaster movie are we in?  

3.  How are we passing our time?  Keep it clean(ish)

4.  Project Runway (how I'm occupying my time) - there are 18 seasons!  I am finding it mesmerizing, not only the fashions, but the bitchiness and that knife's edge between sanity and insanity.  The craziness of the artiste, dahlinks.

5.  Netflix:  What's good, what's bad?

6.  The Tudors.  Both the real ones and the sumptuous (BBC?) one with Jonathan Rhys-Myers who I would happily sacrifice a head for.  

7.  Versailles.  All of the above, but my love here is the fabulous gowns, the palace itself and the beautiful grounds.  I had hoped to go this year, but meanwhile would love to hear from anyone who has been and can give me first hand knowledge of how it felt to be in the presence of such beauty.

8.   Did you manage to get your hair, eyebrows, nails done before lockdown?

9.  Last words.  Mine, 'I still believe in angels'.  I'm not religious but I do not scorn those who are.  Actually that's not true, I do.  I think to myself, wtf are you on?  And do you have a number? But I jest, in a way it's a good thing on the basis that it keeps millions law abiding and focused.  That they need a mythical God to tell them to honour thy fathers and mothers and not murder people, is questionable.  Would they otherwise be arseholes to their parents and murdering willy nilly?  Aside from that, whatever gets you through the night say I.  Be it sex, drugs and rock an' roll (probably in short supply just now) or down on bended knee in prayer.  With all this private time, the self flagellators are probably whipping themselves silly.  The real question to ask here is, where would the lunatics go if they weren't going to church?  Oops, too harsh, I was envisaging myself doing stand up there.

10.  Is this the end of the world?

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

QUARANTINE - WALKING DEAD AND LEARNING SPANISH



For those of you wondering why your posts have not been published, ask yourself a few simple questions.  Were your posts enlightening, entertaining or intended to stimulate discussion? Or were they intended to hurt, embarrass and demean?  I know some of you have grudges going back many years and I am sorry that I am taking up so much space in your heads, but from hereonin, you will have to get your jollies elsewhere.  Call it censorship, call it unjust, call it what you like, but I am no longer giving you a platform for your hate.  

But back to now, and back to day 7/8 or 9 of quarantine.  I have cabin fever!  Not that I am going to the shops, apart from the local one, but I hear the shelves are emptying at a batshit crazy pace.  My hope is that they will be eating rotting, unappetizing food for the next few months! This crisis is bringing out the worst in some people's natures, their true selves are being revealed and it aint pretty.  Sure, there has been a domino effect, no-one knows where the toilet roll panic buying began, and many are not being greedy, just trying to get some before it runs out.  But others are hoarding because they have gone into full blown 'every man for himself' mode.  Had they been on the Titanic they would have trampled over the women and children without a second thought.  This is society now - Gawd 'elp us.

For myself, I am getting a feeling of wartime, Churchillian morale, thinking up creative new ways to make lentils and dried pulses exciting.  Thus far, they are the only 'staples' left on the shop shelves.  As our forefathers, and mothers, learned, necessity is the mother of invention.  Mostly from having to live on minimum wartime rations - a bag of pearl barley and split peas can make a hearty stew!  

I am of course, also heavily influenced by having watched all 10 seasons of The Walking Dead.  We, a collective we, are pretty much where they were in Season 1.  One of the biggest fears right now is that the excessively greedy, those with toilet rolls from floor to ceiling, will start to form gangs to protect their stash, and take over the black market.  Happily, they are not all running to gun stores as they are in the USA, because we don't have them, but there will probably be a high demand for camouflage gear and catapults.

Meanwhile, none of us are technically alone because we have the wonders of the internet.  We are still being informed of everything that is going on.  As a lifelong fan of disaster films, the catastrophe really kicks in when the information stops.  That's the time to hook up with a Rick or a Daryl and learn lethal fighting skills should you have to take on a herd to get hold of the last pack of Andrex.

Of course we could all use this Quarantine time to learn something amazing, a new language, wartime cookery skills, lethal fighting skills.  I am presently torn between Spanish and Kung Fu.  Maybe I should do both?  I feel I am halfway there with the Kung Fu as I watched most of most of the series and have a litany of Grasshopper quotes.  Floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee might present problems, with the arthritis, though I feel I could emulate some of Michonne's (Walking Dead) fighting kills if I had a katana.  The Spanish I'm struggling with, if I could just say one sentence perfectly, I feel I could get past the wall.  

Buen dia mis amigos, or should it be amigas?  Doh!



Monday, 16 March 2020

Self- isolating, sounds good to me!

Well I'm now in Day 5 of self isolation, day 1 of not putting on full make up and false eyelashes.  I think I have cabin fever.  Of course self isolation is not new to me, I am a writer, self isolating is pretty much all we do, think Jack Nicholson in 'As Good As it Gets' every time his neighbour knocks on the door.

Tis true, all my life, all I ever wanted was a 'Room of One's Own'*, a place where I could be left alone with my thoughts and a typewriter and no interruptions.  In the old days, the only way I could achieve that was by creeping downstairs in the middle of the night.  I totally get Rene Descartes and indeed Nietzsche, their craving for solitude in order to come up with something profound.  I come out with profanities all the time, but it's getting me nowhere.  Now I just want to look pretty with a knowing smile.  

But back to this self isolation.  For the first time ever, we can say 'I want to be alone' out loud and without excuses.   Yayyyy.  Usually when I tell people I'm working, ie. writing, their mouths say 'good for you' but their eyes say 'yeah, she's dossing'.   This authorised dossing I kind of like.  I haven't hoovered in a week and my spiders are now building condominiums!  Enjoy your new homes say I, tis my theory that spiders eat flies who are the real little blood sucking disease carriers. My pantry remains stocked, I have a very small appetite, though my opened pack of day 6 pancakes were a bit ropey - cured by a dollop of maple syrup :).  

To all those greedy hoarders out there, I wish you weeks of gone off, unappetizing food.  Those of us left to depend upon food parcels from world health agencies, will be creating healthy nutritious meals out of whatever we have.  Most of us could last for months just on what we have in our store cupboards and freezers.  I know whenever I go food shopping, I'm always thinking about an end of the world situation, and indeed, a what if I can't go out for a few days situation.  

Now here I have to confess, my biggest influences on an end of the world scenario, would have to be The Walking Dead, though I have indeed always been a fan of disaster movies.  In series 1, the only pockets of survivors, were those who had isolated themselves.  Those who had cut themselves off from the 'all will be well' propaganda and taken their own precautions.  The schools may still be open but I will not walk into them just now, ergo, my English teaching is presently on hold.  A brief glance at twitter, reveals thousands of people have chosen to self isolate without a government directive.  And it's the safest way.  A map of China, shows how quickly the virus can be contained when people stop mixing.  

For me unlimited dossing time includes binge watching historic drama.  I have lost count of the number of times I have watched Versailles, I love the costumes and the splendour and the beauty of the surroundings, but also the sense of impending terror.  Of course the impending terror we now have in real life.  The Tudors I have watched so many times, I know all the lines before they are spoken.  I am of course gripped by all the costumes and splendour aforesaid, but also by the charismatic Jonathan Rhys-Myers.  The real Henry VIII was a towering man, over 6ft in an age when the average height for a man was 5ft 4ins.  And he was obese.  JRM with no physical resemblance whatsoever, managed to portray the towering, nonetheless.

But I have wandered.  I hope there are some Tudor fans out there.  Not just the divine JRM, but geeks who like all the finer details and trivia.  I am presently on the look out for good historic drama, so would welcome all and any suggestions.  I am sure other European countries have dynasties just as fascinating as our own, and yes I have watched Ekaterina.  My kindest wishes to all those self isolating and to those so selflessly persevering in their jobs to keeps the wheels turning.  They are the people who will ensure, in two weeks time when normal people run out of toilet roll, it will again be available in our shops.  Take care everyone, and do check in, we might find something profound to chat about :)



*Virgina Woolf

Saturday, 7 March 2020

JUST MUSING


Apologies for my absence, I have been having a rather pleasant sojourn from my blog, which judging by my postbox has gone off in all sorts of strange directions, none of which, I'm afraid give me any inspiration.  I am wiping the slate clean and starting anew.  

The weird veering off is probably my own fault, because I have completely given myself over to hedonism since the trauma of the last General Election. In the nicest possible way of course, hedonism to me is switching off all the worries and having green tea in a china teacup.  My present life philosophy is, 'it's beyond my control'.  My theory is, you only torment yourself with a problem because you have an innate belief that you can somehow solve it.  Accepting that you can't is like having a huge weight taken from your shoulders.  

I'm not sure 'it's beyond my control' would have worked when I was younger, because then I believed if I worked hard enough and with ambition and tenacity, I could achieve anything.  In fact, people would often say to me, what a shame you don't use your talents for good.  A bit harsh, as I always took the side of the underdog, but maybe that's what they meant.  I was way too into lost causes.

My present obsession is US politics, their anchors and reporters are way more glamorous than our own, and their villains more blatant and cartoonish.  Most particularly Donald J. Trump.  As I have said many times over the years, I have been on a lifelong quest to discover the root causes and manifestations of true evil.  Now it's as if, Satan himself has put forward a prime example.  But what's scarier still, is how many people stand by his crudity, his ignorance and his racist spite, what a cruel, cruel world this is becoming.  Our own politics, I can't even look at.  I am hoping our Government at least, is going for more honest approach to the coronavirus because our leader is held to account in Parliament once a week.  I can't say I understand US politics, but it seems to me their President isn't held accountable to anyone!  I'm hoping someone will put me right, but meanwhile, I will hit google!

Normal service, whatever that is, I am hoping will shortly be resumed.  My fingers are itching to get back to the keyboard, though not so much my depressing postbag.  I have already decided my days are numbered due to coronavirus (watched A Month in Wuhan), but strangely, that, I do not find depressing.  I have sort of decided I need to write something meaningful and significant before I'm carted off in a body bag to a mass grave.  I once wrote an 80,000 word book in 3 months, so I know I can do it.  Nothing like thoughts of dying in a massive pandemic to get the creative juices flowing.  Now would be a good time to do the whole Stephen King thing, and go isolate myself in a cabin in the woods with loads of liquor, a trusty old typewriter and one cigarette (seriously?).  Better my chances with psychos and Hill people than a ride on the London underground, though I may just kill myself if I have only the one cigarette.

On a separate note, the 'evil of Donald Trump', I would be interested to hear others' thoughts.  He doesn't appear to have come from an abusive home, it is highly unlikely he was abused as a child.  A dysfunctional home, yes absolutely, his father was almost certainly absent (making money) as he grew up.  He has siblings who are successful, and one sibling who died from alcoholism.  He himself was sent away to military school, which sounds like a last ditch attempt by his parents to curb his, err, evil.  He was probably the kind of kid who tied fireworks to puppydogs tails.  

His constant self praise and need for praise is almost childlike.  Like he is constantly shouting 'hey Dad (or mum), did you see me do that?'.  More likely Dad, because he was the moneymaker, but also highly likely he has huge 'mummy' issues.   Whenever he confronts a formidable woman, he makes sure he has a gang with him.  He is always looking towards male 'alphas' eg. Epstein to come in with him on the abuse and the joke.  In my experience, a guy, who has to prove how heterosexual he is in front of his mates, usually isn't, he's just in denial.   There is a huge difference between men who truly love women and men who don't - one day I will write a blog about it.  

On the Trump thing, I once had students of psychology following my blog, and of course people who are just as interested in human behaviour as I and I hope some might comment.  My mind is blown, what we are watching now is so far from normal, a world leader of the '1984' and 'Brave New World' variety - he has surely surpassed Hitler?  

Once more, I find myself with no-one to discuss, in the kind of depth I want, all these huge scary subjects, which I why I started a blog!  I really want to hear the opinions of others.  I rarely have the opportunity to be in the company of people who share my interests.  My dear old dad tried to tell me, as kindly as he could, that 'normal' people just weren't interested.  I had a tendency at the time to recount every detail of every book I ever read to anyone who would listen.  In retrospect, it probably was vexing.  I remember how excited I was way back in 1999 when I discovered a chat room called 'book chat' - jeez was I na├»ve!  

Did I ever find like minded people on social media?  LOL, yeah a few, once I fought my way through the myriad of psychopaths, sociopaths, zealots and altogether unstable lunatics who use social media and anonymity to act out their antisocial fantasies, it truly was like trudging through a swamp battling leeches.  But it forced me to create my own blog, something over which I would have total control.  Besides which, I was getting pissed off at being censored, suspended and banned from all the 'regulated' facebook pages and chatrooms. But I have waffled, my point was, there have been many interesting and enlightening debates and discussions on here that I have really enjoyed, ergo, yeah, a lot more like minded people than not.  

Ps.  I went out today and stocked up on longlife milk and toilet roll, the wine is already running low :(  The craziness for hand sanitizer I just don't get.  Just wash yer fffing hands!  Hand washing is one of my OCDs and no, a squidge of a foul smelling, instantly oxidising, alcohol based chemical goo just doesn't compare.