Tuesday 21 December 2021

WHAT I LEARNED THIS YEAR? - 3 gamechanging beauty tips

I haven't done much with regard to my blog this year and not sure if I will carry on next year, depends perhaps on whether I find a subject that is of interest to others.  Meanwhile, my Christmas gift to all my peers who have packed away the Max Factor powder puffs and Revlon red lipsticks, is advice.  Get 'em out again and buy more!  Old age is the best time to enjoy makeup - let's face it, we have never needed it more!  Putting on make up is like taking an upper!  It lifts not only your spirits, but your actual face.  If you have bad eyes and a dodgy mirror, you will see the face you had all those years ago...... 

Now, I'm not saying you need to go full Barbara Cartland or, God forbid, Baby Jane, though it might be fun, but it is perfectly possible to transform how you look.  That is, it is possible to wear make up and look elegant.  Think, ladies of a certain age who buy their food in M&S.  It's a look, an elegant one in my opinion, and anyone can have it.  

But, I am not going to waffle.  I have put together three beauty tip gamechangers that I wish I had known years ago.  How to get fantastic skin, at any age, how to grow your nails long and how to get full long eyelashes.  Not the highest priorities for most people right now I know, but a fun and rewarding way to switch off all the doom and gloom.  

 How to take years off your complexion

When I began my skin care journey at the start of the pandemic, my skin was kind of meh, that is not too bad because I have always moisturised, but with a fair few sunspots and age spots because I never wore sunscreen.  Not to mention the damage caused by a lifetime of excessive drinking, smoking and partying.  And, in my  sixties, wrinkles.  As usually happens with me, what began as a spark of interest, turned into an obsession. Like many women, I had for decades stuck with the same skin care products and make up, rarely venturing outside my established routine.  I may occasionally have had the inclination to try something new, but on the whole I simply didn't have time, other things took priority. 

When I did dip a toe, at the start of the pandemic, I discovered a whole new world of serums and acids that can make your skin brighter, smoother and clearer.  What new magic is this? thought I, can it be true? I was determined to find out.  It quickly turned into a quest, an obsession and soon my dressing table was looking like an apothecary's counter.  Did it work?  Sure did, but whilst I had all the time in the world to do 10 step morning and night skincare regimes, I began to tire of it and I began to muddle all the little bottles up, applying the Vitamin C before the Retinol and forgetting the niacinamide altogether and all sorts of variations thereof.  It was confusing and not as much fun as when I first began.

So I went back to the beginning, my first dabble in serums and the first time I saw a dramatic improvement in the condition of my skin.  My first purchase had a been an 'all in one' Vitamin C clearing serum I found on Amazon for £10.00*  from a company called Eva Naturals.  At the time I was trying several new products and wasn't quite sure which one was producing the amazing results.  I didn't want to credit the Eva serum because I didn't like the smell (and still don't), but time and many trials and errors later, I realised that it was the Eva serum that was making all the difference.  And I could see why.  It contains all the magic ingredients that I have found to be most effective in just one application. Vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and retinol.  Now the experts would not recommend that you apply the Vitamin and C and retinol at the same time, the vitamin C should go on in the morning and the retinol at night, but for me using this formula twice a day is working really well.  

This combination of ingredients keeps my skin clear and blemish free without the need for aggressive exfoliating.  To be honest, I hate that exfoliating word and I hate the concept of it, at my age my skin needs to be treated with extra special care.  Stripping your skin of all it's natural defences to get squeaky clean is a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.  Squeaky clean skin is so easily attainable these days without the use of a scrubbing brush!  

And yes, you are never too old to learn because I have learned all about cleansing too.  I haven't used soap and water on my face for decades, it must be said, for many years I took my makeup off with baby lotion and in more recent times make up wipes.  All wrong apparently.  And I have to agree.  Since ditching them, I haven't had any spots or breakouts.  This year I have tried the Japanese double cleansing method, oil massaging followed by foam and the hot flannel technique.  They worked beautifully, I have to say, great if you want to spend ages pampering yourself, but a pain if you just want to take your make up off and get into your jim jams.  

Most beauty and skin care experts recommend double cleansing, that is you remove your make up with an oil cleanser or a balm for the first cleanse, then a gentle foam wash for the second.  I've adapted that to what works for me, no second foam cleanse, it's way too drying.  My new found cleansing routine involves 3 steps, I know that sounds contrary to my desire to find short cuts, but the extra step is for those who want to grow and preserve their eyelashes.  Part 3, of what I have learned this year.  Step 1, I first remove my mascara.  I do this by cutting a cotton pad in half and soaking it with micellar water, I use Bioderma miscellar solution - it's the only miscellar water that doesn't sting or irritate my eyes.  I stick half the pad under my lower lashes and then put the other half on my closed top lid, making an eyelash 'sandwich'.  I let it soak in, squeezing the eyelashes between the wet pads so the mascara simply slides off.  I do this first step for two reasons.  One to preserve my eyelashes and two I don't want to be rubbing black gunge all over my face during the oil/balm stage.  Step 2, I use a big old dollop of Ponds cold cream to massage all over my face, excluding eyes, then I use a clean wet flannel to wipe it all off.  Just a regular face flannel, 30p in Wilkos, I keep a stack of them by the bathroom sink, they get one use, then washed.  It's greener than using cotton pads and the texture of the flannel gives all the exfoliating you need.  My 3rd step, which I don't always do, is  a wipe over with above Bioderma miscellar water, the chemical exfoliants in the Vitamin C clearing serum does the rest.  I use the tip of my nose to gauge how clean my skin is, that is, no tiny blackheads.  Should any dare rise up to the surface, I use the Ordinary's chemical peel, but this I use very sparingly, about once a fortnight, because I am still in two minds as to whether it is a good thing or not.  Since using nothing but the vitamin C clearing serum this past two weeks, I haven't had the need to use it.

Next moisturisers, I feel I have tried hundreds, from high end miracle creams to Aldi's to Nivea.  For decades I simply used Olay's 7 signs of aging day and night duo.  I can't say any of the creams I tried made any dramatic difference, and I discovered during my research (watching videos) that none of the beauticians and skin experts I watch ever promote the expensive high end moisturisers.  Ergo, moisturiser is moisturiser, it works for you or it doesn't, price isn't a factor in it's effectiveness.  The most recommended moisturising creams by the experts are the most basic, such as The Ordinary's Natural Moisturising Factors HD and CeraVe's moisturising cream.  I love both, but prefer the CeraVe tub because it is huge and it instantly softens dry bits everywhere!  I use it day and night on my face because I love the way it sinks deeply into my skin leaving it soft, moisturised and non shiny, so great for when I want to go make up free. I don't like moisturisers that leave a greasy film on the surface of my skin and so many do, including high end.

I discovered this year, that it is absolutely possible to transform your skin, to make it brighter, clearer and younger looking if you are prepared to take the time and put in the effort.  I know the words time and effort lead to a groan, but think of it as 'me,me,me' pampering time and enjoy it, the pay off is amazing.  I don't do it to look younger, I wear my white/blue hair with pride, I do it because I want to look the best I can, just as I always have when not in the pits of depression.  Learning about skincare and makeup this year has been a joy and I am more than happy to pass on everything I have learned.  I am toying with the idea of making videos but that would take a lot of drugs and alcohol and the result wouldn't be pretty.  

I jest, so if you are still with me thus far, I will sum up how to make your skin look as though you regularly visit a beauty salon and have facials.  All you really need is one bottle of serum (the Eva combined one) and one tub of CeraVe.  Each around the £12 mark, so a small investment for visibly noticeable results.  

How to grow long elegant nails

Step 1.  Think about your nails 24/7, put them at the forefront of everything you think and do.  Sounds excessive, but if you are serious about having long, natural nails, it will quickly become a way of life.  You will no longer chop a carrot or dash forward to save a falling child if you first ask yourself how will this affect my nails?  No more merrily opening cans of fizz or soaking in the bath without wearing rubber gloves.  Hot water is the enemy of your nails, you must never wash up without gloves and you can't wash your hair without gloves.  Hair washing is one of the worst nail tearers, a hair will sink into the tiniest split, so gloves for the shower too.  Ah, should also mention you can never go without nail varnish.  But, as I see it, another rewarding, 'me time' pampering chore.  Now I know why I was never able to grow my nails before, life got in the way.  

I began my quest for long nails by cutting all my nails to the same short length.  It was no great sacrifice, I had a mixture of long and short, weak and bendy nails and logic dictates it would be better if they all started at the same length.  First big learning curve - chuck out the emery boards!  Eek when I think of the years of damage I have done with emery boards and probably another reason I have never been able to grow my nails long.  Doh!  Buy a glass nail file, under a tenner online and worth every penny.  It is a game changer because you can file in both directions, it will last for years and it will never damage your nails. I keep mine with me all the time, ready to catch the slightest chip!  In the early days I constantly applied cuticle oils, nail hardeners, bases and top coats and I had the pleasure of watching them grow and grow.  For the first time in my life I had long, very long, elegant nails.  But as much fun as they were to have, they were annoyingly not practical.  Amongst many things, I couldn't type!  I cut them down to a wearable length and that's pretty much how I have kept them.  I discovered that, yes I can grow my nails long and only wish I had known years ago what I know now.

How to grow long, lush eyelashes

Yep, another miracle I never would have thought possible and that I wish had been available when I was younger.  I have always yearned for long fluttery eyelashes and went through a phase, an OCD trying to find and perfect the art of wearing false eyelashes.  Happily the pain of removing the glue and tugging out the few sparse lashes I had, took it's toll and I began to ask myself, do I really need to wear false lashes to take the rubbish out?  

As I mentioned, my research mostly consists of watching those wonderful talented beauty vloggers and it was through them that I learned about the miracle that is eyelash growth serum.  Again, this was a lightbulb moment, a revelation, could it be true?  Well, yes, it works, even on an old bird like me!  It works at any age, and the sellers of these serums had thousands of customer reviews with photographic evidence.  I tried it and I was not disappointed, within the allotted time, 6 weeks, my lashes were long and lush and I have kept them that way ever since.  The first one I tried UKLash worked like a dream, but on the advice of one of my favourite vloggers I tried Vie eyelash serum which is much cheaper and works just as well.  

But, as with the above growing of long nails, it takes time, patience and nurturing, every lash is precious!  No more rubbing, scrubbing or any type of glue near my eye area ever again.  Ditto waterproof mascara which takes lashes with it when it comes off.  I found the above mascara removing tip in section one, on a Lisa Eldridge (famous beautician) video and I loved it.  Not only does it treat your eyelashes gently, it also treats the delicate under eye area gently.  

On the mascara front, and in the interests of preserving eyelashes, the Maybelline Sky High mascara is my holy grail.  It is a tubing mascara, in that it comes off with warm water, or as mentioned, micellar water and there are no tugs of war.  Not to mention, it does incredible things for eyelashes.  I would credit it with curling my eyelashes upwards but I think that may be the serum.  In any event, they are twice as many as they were last year and it is a joy to finally have the lashes I always dreamed of, bit crazy at my age I know, but they give me the same delight as Santa's gifts for a 6 year old.

Well, I know I have gone completely off track and away from my usual navel gazing, but whenever I learn 'stuff', I have an uncontrollable urge to share it and my enthusiasm with others.  It stems from a sense of 'Omg, I wish I had known that years ago'.  That is, I really wish someone had told me all the things I am telling you now.  In my experience, those women at work with the long talons and blemish free complexions kept their secrets to themselves. Or they wouldn't share them with me.  Has been my misfortune in life to encounter lots of mean girls along the way.  

All my tips absolutely and positively work, I speak from personal experience and the amazing results I achieved.  But I have to admit that each commitment be it nails, skin or eyelashes, takes time, patience and care.  That is, all the things we don't have when we are leading busy lives and have more important things to worry about.  This pandemic certainly brought us an abundance of time and I wish I could say I spent it more usefully.  My conscience, presently chained up in the basement, would scold me relentlessly for my vanity, it is the remains of my catholic indoctrination, that part that tells you scrubbing doorsteps brings you closer to God and cosmetics are the work of Beelzebub.

Pah, it bothers me not, my priorities these days are enjoy life while you can, especially all those things you never really had time for in the hectic years.  I'm looking on my make up hobby in the same kindly way that I looked on my Dad's calligraphy and matchstick cathedrals.  I was happy that it made him happy and I'm fortunate that those who love me, see it the same way.  

Anyway, I wish all who pop in a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  Keep safe everyone and hold your loved ones close. My kindest wishes to  all,  Cristobell.

Sunday 24 October 2021


I have been writing a blog every week but they sit, unpublished, due to an elongated attack of timidity.  Elongated in the sense that it has gone on for months, maybe because I am too lazy to go back and edit them, or maybe because I think huh, who cares what I think, so there's a bit of 'poor me' in there too.  Cristobell timid, 'pah' I hear my critics say, but a slight timidity seems to have crept in since I let my hair go white.  Where once I would have happily led the charge, and chucked on a bit of dynamite, now I think, nah, let someone else do it.  

But I can still have a moan!  As in, Oh dear God, every nightmare I imagine when Boris Johnson when the last election is coming to fruition.  The desolation I felt that night and since stays within like constant ache.  I blame only myself, I was wrong to have put so much hope and faith into the people of this country to vote for a fairer society for all.  Jeremy Corbyn was the best leader we could have ever had.  He wanted to fight for the many, not the few, he wanted to bring about real changes, the kind of changes that would propel Great Britain back into the forefront of advanced societies.  Hard to believe the rest of the world once looked to GB as a beacon of hope because of it's NHS, Welfare State, care of it's citizens from cradle to grave.

The rise of the 'Right', and yes there has been a huge surge since Brexit, is taking this country down a very dangerous and frightening path.  Nothing good ever comes to a country who takes on an isolationist stance.  Firstly, it's a tad arrogant, as in 'right you shower of thieving bastards' (anyone outside of our island), we are shutting up shop, drawing up the gates' and will manage on our own, thank you very much'.   Any local village idiot will tell you that kind of thinking is doomed to go horribly wrong.  We are seeing the results.  Not only the daily shortages of products on our shelves, but the collapse of major industries because of a shortage of staff.  Big private industries who often deserve what they get, but also major care providers and of course the NHS.  The dim tory twits who thought getting rid of all the migrant workers would cause a huge surge in applications from the indigenous population made basic and stupid, fundamental errors.  

They have only themselves to blame.  Decades of social engineering and capitalist indoctrination has given them the voters they wanted.  Generations now have been taught to aspire to greed.  Greed is good, Greed works.  Your quarter pounder not big enough? Let me go ahead and pile another one top.  When I read 1984* (communist parody) and Brave New World** (capitalist parody) back to back, I thought Brave New World was more likely, here in the 'west' anyway, China, North Korea, more '1984'.  Honestly not sure whether to add 2021 Russia in there too.

So, we took the 'capitalist' path, and very nice it has been too.  I remember my pure joy at owning my first car, my first home, my first Charlotte Tilbury palette.  It is with immense pleasure that I remember every twinkly, sparkly object I ever set eyes on.  Still holding out for a Faberge Egg.  But the communist, marxist, socialist and tree hugger inside of me, pulls hard, as in, a little voice says 'ffs, you don't need to put on lipstick to take the rubbish out!'.  I'm sure I would be a much better feminist if I stopped trying to look so girly.  Yes, friends, enemies and curious onlookers, glitter has no age limit! I kind of sense a collective shudder there, lol.

But back to politics.  Sadly our enjoyment of all that glitters, has hidden reality.  That is the true cost of all our pleasures.  People and animals, must suffer in order to bring a momentary smile to our spoilt faces.  Capitalism exploits workers, that's it in a nutshell, no other way of interpreting it.  Capitalists strive for profit, it helps if they refer to workers as units, it takes away their humanity, they want optimum production for minimum outlay.  Now they are they are just maths figures on a whiteboard, who give a f, eh?  

The biggest mystery is how this privileged tory elite have managed to persuade the masses (mostly poor) to vote them?  Simple, and perhaps genius, they persuaded those masses to want the same things they did (without a hope in hell of getting them).  It's been a good decade for them actually, Trump opened the door to saying out loud every nasty, sadistic thought those closet racists and almighty snobs ever had and get cheered for it!  Enter GB News.  My jaw, it must be said, is still dragging on the floor after hearing that horrendous commentator (no, I can't be arsed to look her up or repeat her name) say refugees who take a chance on the channel should be left to drown.  I had a flashback to a 14 year old me reading Auschwitz and being overwhelmed with sorrow by the evil that existed in this world.  

I used to describe myself on my AOL profile as a Marxist/Feminist.  It was a hilarious introduction to social media all those years ago - so many assumed, that I was a tattooed, shaven headed, dungeree wearing throwback from Greenham Common.  Yes, my old friends who still read here, I remember lol.  Of course, I identified more with Hyacinth Bouquet (though she was far better dressed than I), but on hostessing skills, she was a woman after my own heart.  Outwardly, I have always been more Margaret Thatcher than Janice Joplin, ergo the confusion over my politics.  

But let's get back to this whole swing to the Right, disturbing as that is.  I am not really in touch with young people just now, which is a shame, but I would love to know what the general ideology is?  I was greatly heartened by the amazing young people running and participating in Momentum in the Jeremy campaign.  I hear fellow oldies complain about the young, but I am dazzled by their knowledge, their enthusiasm and their good hearts.  They are driven by love, care and duty to their families, their neighbours, their communities and of course, the wider world around us.  I was truly heartbroken when Jeremy didn't win (last time!), but I know that with the good people following in his path it will happen one day.  

Boris Johnson is Britain First Lite.  The hateful fascism of so many around us that we didn't fecking know.  So much of it hidden in so many closets, and the naive, including myself, just didn't know.  I'm always looking for the best in people, so I'm like a big kid, look for the good in them I tell myself, find common ground.  They think detention camps for aliens are a good thing, I think puppies and kittens are just adorable.  

I have spent the last year, heck, 18 months or more with my head fully imbedded in the sand.  I wanted to reach that stage where I could genuinely say, 'I couldn't care less'.  As a manic depressive it is really easy to reach that stage where my brain overloads if I think about trauma etc too much.  I have experienced it on several occasions.  Happily I seem to have developed some soothing braincells who overcome the 'yeah go wild braincells' with recommendations of 'Seinfeld' or 'Father Ted'.  Prior to that, it was the 'Odd Couple' and 'Some Like it Hot' - common denominator, Jack Lemmon, I luvvved him!  Now why couldn't I ever had met a man like that!  Arms folded in a huff smiley!  Prior to that it was gin and lots of drugs, will save that for another day.

But before I go, I will give a shout out to all those who still agree with all the principles we, the Brits, fought two world wars for. We are anti fascist, anti dictatorship, yet we are following the path of the most successful fascist in modern history.  Hitler isolated Germany, Hitler built up the arms industry, Hitler manipulated his people into a compliant voting mass.  Not my fault, everyone did it, said the voters.  

It is a social faux pas to bring up Hitler in a political argument, according to Godwins Law, but isn't it fucking scary that commentators care more about a social media law, than the facts and reality staring in their faces.  I am not one to go down the conspiracy theory road, but it would not be hard to believe that Putin is presently pulling Boris Johnson's strings.  He has lost his clown in the White House, but, just for laughs, he has an imbecile in No.10 also willing to destroy his country to hide whatever the feck Putin has on him.  (my bet would be pig head fecking).  

I was a child of the sixties!  I grew up when Engerland swung like a pendum doo, bobbies on bicycles two by two.  Carnaby Street was the grooviest place on earth!  The best and the brightest headed to the United Kingdom, just as they had in the centuries that preceded them.  Why?  Because we had dear old Harold Wilson and a socialist government.  Jeremy could have done the same and more, but the Labour party was infested with Establishment moles, fully imbedded in the right to privilege ideology.  People who were never, ever, going to allow non career politicians into their party.  Get out those who rose up through the Unions or their trades, let's make the House of Commons pretty much wholly public school educated.  Let's take away the working class voice.  Jeremy Corbyn opened all our eyes to the brighter future we could have, he exposed all those lies that kept us all so obediently poor.  He told us 'No, it doesn't have to be this way'.  The 'Establishment', not just the tories but sooo many Labour MPs, set out to destroy Jeremy.  Personally, I can never forgive them.

From a waffling perspective, please ffs, rise up rise, you young and enthusiastic.  Know if this were a superhero war, your skills and talents will be needed to prevent any holocausts ever happening again.  I bless your parents for bringing you the right way, for teaching you kindness, compassion and a sense of justice.  I chuckle at my fading abilities to be as concise and articulate as I once was, but I am cheered that there are so many talented and kind young people out there, I'm pretty sure they will do better than the previous generations.

Goodnight dear readers.  I am putting this out, unedited, please forgive me.  I'm sure I will delete it all if I do that.  Be quiet those shouting, 'quite rightly' at the back.  Sweet dreams.

Saturday 21 August 2021


 I have meant to write a blog on this subject for years, but I figured I was already hated enough, and my views on the topic might raise more than a few heckles.  Now I take on the fierce pride of the cockneys, scousers and jocks, what's wrong with speaking 'working class' they will say.  They are proud of their roots, they speak like their parents, their grandparents and all the working class generations that went before them.  I see the noble ideology behind their arguments, but let me put forward an alternative, actually I will stop pussyfooting around, let me put forward the radical thoughts of Professor Henry Higgins* together with a few of my own.  

I can see now how lucky I was to have a mother who didn't give two hoots about codes, conventions or how a mother or a woman should behave.  She was Irish, but she spoke like the Queen, her accent was the first thing she ditched when she got off the boat at Hollyhead, aged 15.  Of course, it was a different story at home, where she was more like a giggly playmate, both my brother and I were born in her teen years, but in public, out and about and on the phone, she was a loud formidable 'English' woman, no-one dared speak down to her.  As a small child, I was in awe of her powers, She had a beautiful, strong, almost melodic voice and she pronounced every word correctly. She was a huge fan of Patsy Cline and could sound just like her.  She may have been considered as mad as a box of frogs, by some, but no-one ever took her for a fool.  

My dear old mum was kind of savvy, she knew she would be treated better with an English accent than she would with an Irish accent.  Such were the times, 'no blacks, no dogs, no Irish'.  And we lived in Virginia Water, one of England's 'poshest' areas, which helpfully polished both her accent and mine.  Yes, like most daughters, I grew up sounding exactly like my mother!  I have a posh accent.  Not because I was born into millions, but by the way I was raised.  I copied my mad mum.    

Professor Higgins was right, it wasn't Eliza Doolittle's dirty face and wretched clothing that would keep her in the gutter, it was her awful strangulation of the English language.  He made a bet to turn a guttersnipe into a princess, simply by teaching her to speak properly.  Ok, the George Bernard Shaw play was set in the early 1900s, but the arguments surrounding regional and, err, uneducated dialects, still apply today.  We don't need the academic background of Professor Higgins to sum a person up, like a psychic at a fairground, we take in an awful lot with that first impression.  Where do they come from, are they rich/poor, educated/uneducated, an alpha personality or a follower, outward appearance, kempt or unkempt, happy or sad? A bit daunting to think of it like that for anyone going to an interview, but we carry so much with us that we are unaware of. 

Without a doubt, a person who speaks well, be it male or female, becomes significantly more attractive.  They have no need to tell the world they come from a long line of washer uppers.  They have worked on their voice and speech just as much as they have worked on their hair and body.  So I wonder why so many young women go to so much trouble with their appearance, yet totally neglect their voices.  It's 'Did you truly fly in from Paradise?  Nah, Luton Airport' all over again.  Where that old ad was ironic, this new trend to sound ignorant and lacking in vocabulary while dolled up to the nines, is heartfelt and done with conviction.  The few words they have they chop in half, my personal favourite is 'well gell', the result you are going for.  As in 'feck off, your eyebrows look more like caterpillars than mine, you're just well gell'.  I just don't see hedge fund managers and yacht owners lining up for a date here.  

I read an article in the Guardian many years ago, sadly I cannot remember the name of the writer, but she pointed out the importance of speaking well, especially in a face to face interview.  So many candidates fail simply by having such terrible communication skills. The point of communication is to get the message across with clarity, to everyone, not just those who speak the same dialect as yourself.    Being precious about your accent and working class roots is not a good way in which to advance, as Jane Austin might say.  I also told my sons, if you can't take her to the Ambassador's Ball, where they serve Ferrero Rocher on silver trays, think again.  Whilst it is sweet to have a limited vocabulary at 16, it is moronic past your 30's.  How to increase your vocabulary?  Read, read, read. 

Kids who go to public schools speak well from a very early age.  So even at a very early age, they have an advantage over their peers in the overcrowded State schools.  Teaching your child how to speak, how to communicate is the best gift you can ever give them.  It is lifelong, but in the early days, bad behaviour, temper tantrums, screaming and writhing on the floor, can be avoided if they can communicate exactly what it is they want.  Note.  this is not foolproof, especially in public places like supermarkets where most tots have figured out, they have their parents hostage. Their cute little faces look at you and say, 'put the bag of sweets in the cart or all hell breaks loose!  

Chatting with your kids is, I think, one of life's greatest joys, they think you are wonderful and believe everything you say.  That stops around age 11.  Try to get into them all the important things, like good manners and the advantages of being able to speak well.  It's hard with a busy life to find time just to chat.  As a young mum, I read an article that suggested quality time and I followed it to the letter.  I stopped wracking myself with guilt for working and always being busy, the designated quality time took a load off.  That aside, kids can do find other ways to torment you with guilt, it's their greatest weapon.

It saddens me to see young mums playing with their phones, while their babies are gurgling and cooing and reaching out to them for attention.  Babies think you are more wonderful than their older siblings, they never take their eyes off you, you should be singing, dancing, juggling and telling them all about the mushed up goo you are about to feed them.  Their time in the highchair is very limited, so spare them the machinations of the Labour party and the back stabbing of Jeremy Corbyn, that's better suited for your mutt, who doesn't care what you have to say, as long as it has a sausage with it.  But Boris is at least quite comical and could easily slip in alongside the telly tubbies.  Of course it matters not what you say, but how you say it and how your little bundle of cuddles has your full, undivided attention.  

I feel like I am an old voice, lost in the wilderness, when I am wincing at the dumbed down celebrities who have so much influence over the next generations.  My views probably belong in a byegone age, where speaking properly was more of a class thing along with top hats and cloth caps.  Everyone knew their place and there was an active dislike of classes outside of your own.  Speaking well was scorned and mocked unless you came from the right background. The language of the streets was territorial, no outsiders.  Ok, to tip your hat to upper classes (while despising them), but the middle classes were fair game, not far enough away from their humble births to protect them from scorn.  

There is no shame in coming from a working class background, especially if you are successful, because you got where are on your own.  Self made is more formidable than nepotism and inheritance.  But you are the result of previous generations taking steps to change their destiny, and yours.  Those who survived are those who adapted and changed, they didn't hold onto their working class roots, their hovels and backbreaking jobs.  They became educated, they ensured their children were educated, they ditched the language of the ghettos and the war zones of their neighbourhoods (unless of course they became rappers in which case they became millionaires).  I'm speaking figuratively of course, and in jest, you simply can't make a good impression on anyone, least of all an interviewer, if you tell her you are well gell of her Jimmi Choos.  

I don't demand that everyone speak in the standard English of the old BBC and 'Listen with Mother' and I don't hate (all) regional accents.  Sean Connery (Scots), Richard Burton (Welsh), Father Ted Crilly (Irish), all with voices that would make a girl swoon.  But cockney, awful, especially when exaggerated to sound like a sarf London thug or a terminally miserable actor from Eastenders.  Shudders.  Fine line between cheeky chappy and creep.  Scouser, hmmm, was mad about Paul McCartney singing, not so much when he spoke, but have never got drunk with a scouser, so will have to reserve judgment.  Elvis had me with hello.

Language I fear is disappearing, text speak, the shortening of words, the replacement of language with emojis.  Are children still being taught to write?  Have books and pens been swapped for screens and computers?  What brave new world is this?  To be fair, I don't actually fear that future generations can be dumbed down.  Each of them has on their phone, high tech computers that will give them an answer to any question they have, and within seconds.  Logic would predict they will be more enlightened than any generation that has gone before.  Ha ha, that argument sounded intelligent, until I remember the US voted for Trump and the UK voted for Boris Johnson.  

Have I turned into an old crone?  Am I out of sync with the rest of the world?  Ok, yes I am.  I want kids to speak properly, I want young girls to know how much more beautiful they would be if they fine tuned and harmonised their voices.  If they made their voices as pretty as their faces.  It is really hard not to correct the bad English of others, the old school marm in me just won't go away.  That part of me is now in the pile labelled 'beyond my control', let them speak as they wish (while quietly sobbing).  The world is full of Eliza Doolittles, beautiful young women who could increase their potential exponentially, simply by speaking properly.  And by potential, I mean, the job they want to get, the man they want to marry, the life they want to have.  

Yes, I know that does indeed sound so very last century, and I maybe watch too many historic dramas (wish bowing would come back), but I see nothing wrong with refining every part of yourself as you go through life's journey.  By refinement, I mean not just our outward appearance, but also those troubled parts of our characters (zen?) and our voices. do we sound as if we are in the middle of a mental breakdown, or totally chilled and under control.  Of course most of us learn how to manipulate our voices to get what we want during the toddler stage.  Some, sadly, keep the same tricks past 40, which is particularly creepy.  I have a pet hatred of grown women who speak with little girl voices, grr

But I have waffled on too much, I will end with a video clip, enjoy:  



Friday 13 August 2021

WHO OFFERS THE BEST HEAVEN? After 64 you need to choose, a fun look at the options


Several months ago, or it even more, I can't really remember, I decided to change my philosophy of life, whatever it may have been, after sweetness and light, wink wink.  I decided to go with, arguably the greatest philosopher, thinker and music maker and Liverpudlian, Mr.  John Lennon.  As a schoolboy he stated the purpose of life was to be happy.  His teacher scolded him and told him he didn't understand the assignment, he told her, she didn't understand life.  Quite.

It really is that simple, I just wish I had known it at the start of mine, that is before being indoctrinated with the Catholic ideology of guilt.  Took a lifetime to discover we were not actually put on this earth to suffer pain and misery for some distant reward in heaven.  That is a terrible purpose/philosophy, reason for living.  But a very good philosophy for keeping peasants subdued and working ever harder. The rich man in his castle, the poor man in the field, all things bright and beautiful for sure.  There is God telling us the way things should be, it was his will, not the will of the greedy elite, nothing to do with them.  Religion preserves the status quo, the class system, the establishment.  Blair claimed not 'to do' religion, but as soon as he left office, he got baptized and hung religious icons in all his homes.  Something scared the bejesus out of him.  The thought of bumping into that shite in the next life, heavenly as it may be, does not appeal.

It is for this reason I have now decided to follow the old religion of the Norsemen!  Yeah baby, the Vikings (still obsessed with them, red faced smiley).  To be fair, I have always hedged my bets on religion, I can go from athiest, to agnostic, to screaming 'Dear God' in the Catholic sense, on any given day.  At this end of life, I'm carefully looking at the options available at the end.  

With the Catholic route, the journey to heaven is pretty much defined, live a clean life, no sinful partying, drug taking or killing your father and mother.  Ahh, but if you do, the Good Lord loves the fallen, and if you repent the weed and lines you did before stepping in front of that bus, you're still good to go to heaven.  But, I've never really liked the idea of heaven that much on the basis that it would be full of do gooders telling you how good they were in life.  They will have big long lists of all their public do gooding and abstinence.  All the while looking down on you for smoking, drinking, partying and maybe even pushing your folks off a hill, for, well, all eternity.    

Hell meanwhile, doesn't seem that bleak.  Ok, there's the excessive heat and all that, but it is going to be full of all the heroes and anti heroes you never got to hang out with in real life.  I usually compare it to pubs these days, that is all the fun people are outside shivering under an umbrella in order to have a smoke, no flames per se but maybe an outdoor heater provided by a kindly landlord.  Smokers probably spend more at the bar.  

Buddhism I have also dabbled in, if you call a Dali Lama quote each day dabbling.  I nearly got enticed into the whole you need Buddhism in your life, in a South London pub several decades ago.  Mischievously, I took my then boyfriend into a pub where I knew my old boyfriend would be.  I knew exactly what would happen, but I was still that naughty little girl who carried a mouse in my pocket for shock value.  It was pretty much like a fight scene from the old wild west, furniture and fists flying.  I was 'rescued' by a table full of buddhists who sensed I needed a bit of peace in my life.  I was 'Ooh two men fought over me' and I couldn't wait to tell my mates.  It was pure 'mean girl', my ex used to describe me as 'Aunt Sally' to his Worzel Gummidge, always looking for an opportunity to be mean to him.  To be fair, he gave as good as he got, probably why we stayed together for so long.  Now, I think, I would just go straight for the ice pick.  I jest, have you ever tried digging a patio?

Valhalla and the Norse religion offer a pretty good deal.  Drink as much as you like, eat magic mushrooms and partake of anything edible that gets you high, covet whoever or whatever you like, dress like a gladiator (yes, girls too), die fighting (with your sword in your hand) and return to Valhalla the next day to do the same all over again.  Bliss!  OK, can't say I am enamoured of the 'fighting' every day, not with my feet, but I am hoping the long white hair might qualify me as a shield maiden.

Which leads me nicely onto the hair and the above pic.  To cut or not to cut?  All the pandemic I cussed at the tragedy of not being able to go and get my hair done.  Ergo, it has grown and grown and with my frequent use of blue shampoo, is now blue.  Strangely, the boldness of the colour has given me a new lease of life.  A kind of inner 'come on old girl, it aint over yet', there is no law that states you have to get your hair cut short and permed.  And no reason to start buying granny clothes and hobbling.  To be fair, I do have an involuntary hobble (bunion) and I lean towards 'sensible' in the clothes department.  On the clothes front I did gaze longingly at a full length pink fairy dress with layers of crinoline and puffed sleeves on a market stall, but then I thought, where am I, aged 64 with a dodgy hip, going to wear a Cinderella dress?  I then had visions of Bette Davis as Baby Jane and swiftly moved on.  I can hear the shudders at the back there, ha ha.  My memory is not great either, perhaps why I momentarily thought a pink ball gown was just what I needed. I also keep losing words, which is dashed annoying, but happily the oldy worldy ones are still imbedded, probably because they were planted there in my youth, and they are a bit more profound, 'forsooth' for example, can be worked into any conversation.

For those who care, I have not been unhappy in my long absence from my blog.  This was the first time in my adult life that I haven't been obsessed with writing.  Naturally I went through all the 'tortured artiste, writer's block stuff - writers can think up all sorts of ways in which to torment themselves, I'm an A* at it.  But eventually that particular cloud lifted, I stopped caring that I couldn't write, I started to enjoy other things, binge watching especially, oh the joy of historic drama.  But also I am having lovely days out visiting castles and stately homes and ticking boxes.

I dropped the cooking and the ridiculous grocery shopping, there's only me, and M&S make spag bol and macaroni cheese just as well I do!   I feel like one of the last people in the universe to get that you don't have to stand over a hot stove every day or prepare everything from scratch in the 21st century.  Doh!  

But back to the hair, I think I have decided I am not going to get it cut, leaving as is, feels a bit rebellious and I like that.  I'm going to enjoy it, it is the hair of a Viking queen or a Tagarean - yes was also addicted to GOT*.  On the religious front, forget Catholicism, so too Buddhism, just like the Catholics, again with the misery, all recurring lives are miserable until you get it right.  The boyfight alone will bring me back as a gnat or a toad, not a Viking queen I fear. 

I think we should be able to select which heaven we want to go to, kind of like choosing life insurance or a new car.  Ok, so what do you God, or Gods, have to offer for a lifetime of worship?  I feel they should have show houses of what you are going to get for all that praying, kneeling and sacrificing?  I mean dahlink, are there swimming pools, stables maybe, banquets, diamonds, jewels, an ocean view? A slice of chocolate cake for that time when you went to church and put 50p in the collection box.  Quid per quo, what's in it for me?

And let's be fair, has anyone ever seen the fine print, all the byelaws, outlaws and inlaws, involved in having the paperwork to get past gatekeeper St. Paul (or is St. Peter) outside those pearly gates?  God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost (never understood the Trinity) have a record of every bad deed you have ever done.  That includes running over a mouse trying to cross the road.  I honestly didn't see him until it was too late and I still weep for his little mouse family waiting for him to come home.  In my defence I did once call out an emergency vet at 2.00am for my son's sick hamster.  He didn't make it, poor Conan but we were all with him at the end, not to mention he also left with a hefty vet bill.  My treatment of humans may warrant a few Xs on the naughty list, but if there is a priest around I can get forgiveness for that by repenting.  Maybe that's what I dislike about Catholicism, you can live your life as a complete b'stard and a word in a priest's ear can get you past the post.

Today I choose the Gods of the Vikings.  I want to go Valhalla and party with Odin, Thor, Freya and that naughty old Loki.  They really know how to party and fight!  One rule is that you have to die with your sword in your hand.  I don't have a sword, but I do have a very good butter knife and wonder if that will suffice?  Hopefully the Gods are a little less particular these days.  

Tonight, I say to you all, SKOL.  My kindest wishes to all those who still look in and wonder what I am up to.  I think the writing itch is gradually creeping back and hope someone, anyone, lol, will pop on and say hello.  Please no rants or nasties, I have in my head at least, moved onto a 'happy land' and what I'd like more than anything is just a chat, especially about hair, eyelashes and nails.  That's who I am now :)

Sunday 1 August 2021

Climbing a bit further up the fence; Just musing, masks, socialists and feck Jess Phillips *unedited)

Again on social media the radical anti maskers and anti vaxxers (mostly the Far Right) are making the biggest racket about the very small inconvenience of wearing a mask and getting a vaccine.  Ok, wearing a mask is a pain, especially for we oldies as they cruelly expose all the wrinkles around the eye area and make your nose run,  but so what, science says they work.  I know science also says masks protect others from you, that is your breath and globules, but I feel they protect me too, so much so, I may just carry on wearing them forever, and wish I had had them when travelling to work on crowded trains and buses.  In those up close and personal situations, you had a constant whiff of whatever exotic meal the person breathing down your neck had the night before.  Oh garlic, I cuss you!

On the vaccine front, yeah fair dues, there is a one in a hundred zillion chance that this incompetent government led by Boris (bring back chain gangs) Johnson is trying to inject the masses with a liquid mind controlling implant developed by Bill Gates, but if you bring logic into he equation, it's just not possible.  

And on the vaccine front - think historically.  Imagine ordinary people at the height of the 1918 Spanish flu, where 50million died, being offered a free vaccine that would stop them dying?  Is it possible any of them would refuse it ?  They may have been simple people - by todays standards, but they wore masks and took precautions, ironic that they would now look on us as chimpanzees for not only refusing it but making a song and dance about it.

The pandemic in the USA, is now the pandemic of unvaccinated.  The hardest hit areas are those in 'Trump country'. That's not me being political, it's a fact that the biggest indicator of of the unvaccinated is they voted for Trump.  Traditionally, the UK follow the trends of the US, usually several years later, but more recently with our own instalment of a Trump Mini Me, Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister.  We are catching up rapidly.

But from contemporary history to present times, a very wise man, a successful double glazing salesman, I know sounds like an oxymoron, but let's just say he acquired a lot of wisdom.  'The answer to EVERY question is money' was an inspirational quote he threw out there.  I was intrigued by that statement, not sure I believed it, or if I wanted to believe it.  But time has proven, again and again, that that hardbitten DG salesman, had more of a handle on life than all the philosophers I had read.

There is no doubt, that money was/is the answer to every one of life's questions and Trump's crimes, that's how it is with greedy narcissistic people.  They need the cash and luxuries because no-one likes them.  The UK version Boris too, was spending inordinate amounts of money on takeaways, Ok, a bit of a Billy Bunter comparison, Boris was/is guilty of so much more than being a fat public schoolboy, using his obvious ineptitude as a front to cover up his slimy amassing of vast amounts of (taxpayers) cash. He, the narcissistic Boris, is soothing his fragile ego with all he stows away.  Maybe he plans a bath covered in thousand dollar notes with slaves telling him how wonderful he is - who know wtf money grabbing bastards dream about, the only constant is that history records them exactly as they were/are.

 Boris bizarrely,  is wiser (I know sounds weird) than Trump, in that he doesn't openly want to despise and blame immigrants and poor people, he gets those around him to do it for him.  He remains the kindly, jovial nation's Uncle and we all hate Priti Patel.    

Those people telling others not to wear masks and not to get vaccinated make the news for all the wrong reasons.  That maniac at last week's rally, no, can't be arsed to look her up, claiming nurses and doctors were hung following the Nuremburg Trials.  As if all those valiant NHS staff we were all applauding last year, were complicit in some sort of Dr. Evil plan.  Where tf did these people park their brains?  Or did they just toss them out when they found a new controversial leader to follow?  

I'm with Nietzsche on the whole make your own decisions, be your own self, philosophy?  Do we really need a God or a higher power? Someone 'wiser' than us to tell us how to lead our lives?  Pah, say I, that's an idea I have always scoffed at.  Probably why I had such a hard time in the convent.  I saw myself as a martyr, of the Christian variety naturally, I had very limited reading material, but for the opposite cause.  In that, what if I don't believe Jesus came back from the dead?  What if I don't believe God created the world in 7 days?  What if I believe all you holy moleys with your hands clasped in prayer and your eyes looking up to the heavens are a load of phoney shites?  Wasn't I a martyr, one who stood against the dominant ideology, and was beaten for it?  Maybe I did believe in God, maybe I thought he  (all powerful and could see the truth) would step in at any moment and protest the injustice of it all!  

The problem I have with all those 'telling us what we should do (get the vaccine ;) ) is their assumption that they know best, they know, better than we do, what is best for us, and  what direction our lives should take.  I guess if you have got that 'leadership gene' in you, it is kind of frustrating now to find a 'cause' to lead.  How do you become the new Virginia Woolf or Cristabel Pankhurst (no, not where I got my writing name from, but a virtual Nebuchadnezzar of champagne to anyone who can name the origin correctly :) )

We skoff, quite rightly, at those seeking fame at any price. but for the sake of being controversial, aren't we looking in the wrong places for heroes, heroines and role models?  It pains me, physically pains me, that we are putting the worst, the absolute worse, on pedestals as examples of how we should lead our lives.  Lack of education, lack of vocabulary is, for some fffd up reason, being celebrated and pushed to the forefront of this 'Woke' culture we are all being herded into.  

 I have long wanted to do a blog entitled 'Why can't the English teach their children how to speak'  My hesitance was down to the quote's origins?  George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, the divine Rex Harrison film version or, as it turns out Alan-Jay Lerner.  Whatever, the sentiments, I wholeheartedly agree with them.  Isn't it our duty as parents to give our children the absolute best means of communication.  Why limit their vocabulary?  Both my sons went through nursery and school relatively trauma free, due to their ability to talk their way out.  Teach your kids to fight, even to this day, is a common doctrine, tut tut tut, teach your kids to win, without being physically assaulted or physically assaulting others, those principles have longevity and, dare I say it, honour.

But returning to speech, I have to have a wee bash.  Not quite ready for a full assault on the pride of the working classes, but building myself up towards it.  Mostly because I have stood silent as 'language' as we know it, is again, being changed, unbeknown to most of us, by a malignant influence that is trying to whitewash our past and everything we learned during the enlightenment.....  Moi, who is presently really into the Renaissance, is just seeing history repeat itself over and over.  re

I love language, I love dialects, I especially love dialects that are put into a written form that we can all understand.  I hate censorship, I hate that Alex Scott was criticised for presentation.  She won her spot 'there', more fairly, some might say than  most of the tory twats who usually present the news. That's not the norm, that's not what thrust her into the spotlight.   Go her, say I.  But she has real achievements that support her success.  Sadly, and back to reality, her sisters competing in the job market and real world, need the ability to pronounce words correctly and a vast vocabulary.  I really don't get this pride in sounding as if you are mentally retarded.  See Katie Price.

This week, my Leftist, Marxist credentials are being put to the test, and I am failing expotentially, lol.  True, I don't have the energy anymore for anything radical, but I am still politically homeless.  I will love Jeremy Corbyn til the day I die, but I simply cannot support the snakes that went out of their way to make sure Jeremy Corbyn wouldn't win.  They committed the crime of the century, they enabled a government who wouldn't give a damn about a global pandemic.  How the f can I see any sort of socialist rescue of the masses, from the mememe antics of the Labour Right (yes, you Jess Phillips).  F*** the lot of you Labour 'leadership', you have betrayed oldies like me, but worse, you accursed wannabe tories, have betrayed the next generation and future generations of socialists to come.  You, yes you Jess Phillips, who agreed to doff the cap, and cuddled up with Jason Rees-Mogg. have aspired, agreed with, and embraced tory ideology to such an extent that  you actively worked against a genuine Labour (in the true sense of the word) candidate.  

Jess Phillips is the face of everything that promotes 'elevating the 'chav'.  She is so desperate to promote that her supporters are working class, that she goes out of her way to pretend she is exactly like them.  But she's not.  She went into higher education, she wrote her essays in the Queen's English, language and grammar that gave her the degree she sought.  She knows that you cannot succeed in life without being able to communicate effectively.  If she was honest, she would tell those youngsters in her constituency to speak properly and widen their vocabulary if they seek high level jobs!

OK, I can accept that Katie Price speaks like a moron to boost her followers and 'likes' presumably because it is popular, but there is something  a bit yucky about a Member of Parliament boasting they are just as thick.  Yes, Jess Phillips, I again refer to you.   

I'm psyching myself up for a 'why can't the English teach their children how to speak blog, also a feck off 'Me Too' blog and an anti 'poor me' shite blog.  Watch this space, lol.  

Sorry about the lack of pics, watch this space ha, ha.

Saturday 31 July 2021


BRAVO   the heroes and heroines of the RNLI

So good to see the huge wave of support for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) this week on social media, for me it proved that the majority support compassion, humanity and bravery, not the petty spitefulness towards immigrants of Priti Patel and Nigel Farage.  I have nothing but admiration for those poor souls, so desperate, yet so determined to find a better life.  The far Right try to portray immigrants as ne'er do wells and scroungers who will somehow lower the quality of life of the indigenous English.  Coming over here, opening new business (when did a local start a new business in his/her err, locality?), with their working every hour under the sun ethics and their crazy ideas that this is a land of opportunity, how dare they!  They must be hated and blamed for, well, everything. 

Run Harry

I don't like Meghan Markle.  There I said it.  If a man had taken a woman away from his family and friends, and indeed, taken total control of her life, we would all be saying OMG what a control freak, run.  Harry is clearly not the captain of his own ship or master of his own fate, if he were, he would not have spent his first 35 years under the control of the House of Windsor. that he now claims he hated.  He wasn't actually imprisoned in any of those castles, he had a massive fortune and an indulgent Granny with the ability to grant him any title, role or job he wanted.   Of course what he was really looking for was love, in the same way as a 'Tim, nice but dim' aristo, or more like a Bertie Wooster without a Jeeves.  Enter Meghan actively looking for a wealthy English man, poor Harry never stood a chance.

Yes, I have a soft spot for Harry and William, ever since their heart breaking walk behind their mother's coffin, I think we all have.  But it is more of a tragedy that Harry is living with someone who sees that tragic moment as a continued source of income.  Having indulged in every form of navel gazing known to man (and woman), I can safely and assuredly say, ffs let it go and move on, is the best and swiftest form of recovery.  Grown men blaming their current lives and decisions on imagined slights from their childhood, are, well pathetic.  Harry the narcissist, found someone willing to listen to all his 'poor me' stories and inner thoughts, step 2 in how to make someone love you guides.  Or something you pay a counsellor 50/100 quid an hour for.    Someone who not only listened to his inane ramblings 24/7 but someone who agreed with everything he said and saw the inane ramblings of a Prince as a 4 book deal worth $20million. 

And before anyone attacks me for being an establishment tool, as if, lol, I went right off Meghan when I saw how callously she treated (and still is), her poor old dad.  A figure who was far more constant in her life (yes, I read Lady C et al books) than her mother - the only family member invited to her wedding.  Now she has cut her husband off from his family, I don't know how anyone could be comfortable with that.  Unfortunately, now Harry really doesn't have a way out.  He is more trapped in his mansion in California than he ever was with multiple castles available to him.  Ce le vie.

Over the Garden Fence

But this is not a 'hate Meghan' blog, just me in my curlers and pinny chatting to my neighbour over the garden fence.  Or a 'if you haven't got anything nice to say, come sit beside me'.  Now was that Oscar Wilde, or Dorothy Parker?  On that I am enjoying the take down of Donald Trump and his awful family.  And that's not like me.  I'm not really into retribution, it goes against my nature, when it comes to the crunch I'm more likely to say, slap on wrist and don't it again.  Maybe because all the new revelations of his crimes and the prosecutions in motion, seem distant as if he is still untouchable.  I think the reality will kick in when an actual 'Trump' is seen in handcuffs.  Oooh Err.

On Masks and Vaccines

The eejits have been out in force this week demanding their 'rights', as if this totally incompetent tory government would have the wit to use a viral pandemic to 'control us'.  Does anyone think there is an evil genius among them (the Bullingdon Boys) capable of organising virtual control of the masses? Boris was talking about chain gangs only the other day!  One is a step forward in evolution, albeit scary, one is a step back in time, which option is a hang 'em and flog 'em' tory (most of them) likely to take?

I have had both vaccinations, and very grateful I was too.  I also continue to wear a mask in indoor public places and I hope the non maskers and non vaxxers, respect my personal choices.  I have noticed in shops, some employees wear masks, some don't.  Presumably large retailers are leaving it up to individuals.  Sadly, it is the psychotic anti maskers and anti vaxxers, we need to avoid, their demand to let people know they are not robots by making a racket about it, is providing Covid-19 with new hosts.  I read a moving account by a doctor of a Covid ICU ward, where patients being intubated were begging for the vaccine, and she had to tell them it was too late.  I urge everyone to get vaccinated and to persuade others too, those heart wrenching moments in the ICU wards don't have to occur, read and listen to the scientists and the informed, remember Boris Johnson speaks with a forked tongue!

But I will finish on a happy note.  Well done all those athletes in Tokyo, we can only imagine the work they have put into their sports to achieve such magnificent performances.  I can't just cheer for the UK, who of course I cheer for, but I am touched by the spirit of every youngster who gets up on those podiums.  Each has a story, each has a dream, I am in awe.  

Monday 19 July 2021



It's not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others (Wizard of Oz to Tin Man) and today and whole birthday weekend actually, I have really felt the love.  I feel blessed.

As can be seen I have completely transitioned from (fake) brown to white (blue) and I'm OK with it.  Ditto hitting the grand old age The Beatles sang about.  The lockdown has left me with long blue locks and I don't hate it.  I had intended to get it all cut off as the lockdown ended, into a style more fitting of a senior citizen but I watched multiple beauty vloggers my age and above (yes, they exist) who wear their long white hair with pride - that is the cauliflower perm for over 60's is not compulsory!  Phew.  Happily, I have not had to do anything to my own hair other than wash it with blue shampoo.  (Many thanks to the reader who kindly recommended Fanola 'no more yellow' so long ago.  The blue gets darker and darker, lol, I am aiming for Weimaraner (dog playing piano) blue, but I may be over doing it, SMS (smart arsed son) thought it was Halloween!

The thing about old age is that you have no idea when you are younger, what you will be like as an old person.  I can't say I had ever thought about it, but now it's here I don't have any inclination to behave differently.  I still want to paddle in a river, drive a bumper car and order an exotic cocktail in a salsa bar.  The spirit is willing and indeed, chomping at the bit, but sadly, the body wants to find a nice place to sit down and have a cup of tea.  The week in New Orleans getting high with Jack Nicholson remains on the tick list, but tis now a distant hope, neither one is getting any younger, and it won't be the same if we have to use zimmer frames.

So what have I been up to during all this time.  Sadly not writing, this has been a case of writer's block that even Kathy Bates with a sledgehammer couldn't have dislodged.   But I have changed, I have re-evaluated my priorities, most importantly I have given much more credence to the words of the great Philosopher (and Beatle) John Lennon.  Life is about being happy.  And I have been really happy to explore  and enjoy all the other interests I have, without torturing myself for not being able to write.  

In the Catholic Faith, binge watching is frowned on, actually I just made that up but I am sure it is as it involves idleness, gluttony and a lot of coveting.  I began the Pandemic totally absorbed in the 'Walking Dead' only to be left hanging on a cliff never to know how it all ends, doh!  I moved onto Project Runway, all 17 seasons, loving the creativity and quirkiness of all the competitors and of course, the fabulous fashions.  If I hadn't already chosen Edith Piaf singing 'No Regrets' for, what I hope will be a musical send off, I would have to say I do regret not paying attention in needlework class.

I then discovered Game of Thrones, a decade after everyone else, ha ha, but I was gripped.  Another blood and guts series that made me watch the episodes back to back.  I was quite taken with the Queen of Dragons, we have the same hair colour, sadly that's where the resemblance ends.  I think 'Walking Dead' had by that time desensitized me to all the slaying and killing and opened up a whole new world, catching up on good programmes I was too much of a wuss to watch.  Game of Thrones was sublime!  The characters, the costumes, the settings, each episode felt like a blockbluster, and indeed they were.

My next viewing addiction (of note) was The Vikings!  And this is where I hope Bjorn will pop his head in.  I loved the series about Ragnar Lothbrok (and sons) and I am now totally obsessed with all things 'Viking'.  All and any 'Viking' films and documentaries have me gripped.  I never knew very much about the Viking era to be honest, other than our primary school books, where vikings wore twin horned helmets.  Totally not true as I have now discovered!  And of course, being a Viking was a profession, albeit of the 'pirate' variety, not a nationality.  I was so interested to see that the Vikings, the Norsemen, came from all over Scandinavia.  I am blown away that they took off in such basic boats, braving all the elements and reaching places like Iceland, Greenland and Canada!  Of course their boats were not that basic, they were brilliantly designed and crafted, yes I am also watching 'how to build a Viking boat' programmes!  It has torn me away from the Tudors, I am finally learning about European history, Scandinavian especially and secretly hoping that I and my heirs have a drop of  Viking blood. Quite possible, they invaded Ireland and Scotland too! 

I am currently looking for programmes about Viking 'finds', UK or anywhere, I am captivated! Also hoping Bjorn can recommend a Swedish or Icelandic, or indeed any Scandinavian made Viking films and dramas.  When I went through my Russian phase, I watched all things Russian (with subtitles), not only the dramas but documentaries, Russian vloggers and travellers to Russia.  We are so lucky in this internet age that we are able to 'visit' these places, and get a feel of what life is like in these far away cities.  On the Viking front perhaps I should take virtual tours of Swedish and Norwegian museums, I would love to know what Viking related treasures they have dug up.

But going back to age, I think I probably have changed.  I spend much, much less time thinking about things that distress me and much more time on things that make me happy.  I have mellowed, 'I accept 'it is what it is' in most situations where previously I would have been passionate.  Politically, I have never got over the Jeremy Corbyn loss, for me it was that one time in history where all the stars were aligned to bring equality and fairness to all.  He of course remains a hero, but that moment has gone.  Will it come around again, I hope so.  I have a lot of faith of in the young.

Well that turned very melancholic, but it is not a reflection of how I feel.  It is still a beautiful world and striving for happiness is an altogether agreeable past time.  I have say, on the age front, I have found I am treated differently with the white (blue) hair.  People are kinder, more respectful, they don't try to rush you, young people especially, they restore my faith in human nature.  

Now I will return to my new favourite series the Medici and seeing the sites of Florence is definitely on my tick list.  Another history and costume drama, I just can't keep away from them.  I have a feeling I have watched this series before, but thanks to the dementia I can't remember any of it, I hope this happens with the Vikings, would love to watch it anew!