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...well tough. The new Pope's Argentinian. He looks like a good bloke. Lives in a one bedroom apartment, uses buses not limos, and apparently only has one lung. Not sure where the last fact came from: think it was Channel 4's Jon Snow...The fact that the Pope's not physically perfect I find endearing.
Not many people get promoted at 76, so there's hope for all of us in our 'later' middle age years.
I wonder if he's got all his own teeth?
I only ask as I nearly lost one of mine this week. NHS botch up. Bloke at the end of my street saved the day. He IS a dentist; and the chairside manner was 100 percent better than 'the other place.'
There's some work the NHS won't do, so you have to pay the full whack. I've worked out a payment plan with the private guy, and it comes in cheaper than my earlier quote. I've got 'overcrowding..' My teeth are more popular than Justin Bieber.
Get rid of the rotting molars.....
I didn't get a look at the Pope's teeth; but he had a good smile. I would say he has no need to go down the whitening route. However, his church could do with a deep clean and some of those bad and rotting molars need extracting.
.... bland action 'shooting heads off,' movies. Critics went 'mental' (bad choice of word,) over this; the reviews were great. I'm up for smashing the stigma attached to mental health; the film's definition of this illness; 'the inability to imagine a future,' will resonate.
SMALL MOVIE THEATRE FOR SIDE EFFECTS; BUT SSSSHHH - ARBITRAGE....NARCISSM IN DISGUISE?
Saw it last night (up Westlife, I know, that's just what I call it;) in the smallest theatre. Clearly the Vue bosses reckon depression ain't going to pull 'em in. Queues for Arbitrage were snaking round the block. Sub text, an examination of narcissim. The audience were going to get their mental health moment, whether they liked it or not. I got the last ticket for the former, though, having nearly had a breakdown trying to understand the ticket machine.
'I WEAR GLASSES THEREFORE I AM A DOCTOR....'
Rooney Mara, the lead, plays Emily; and all is not what it seems. I'll say no more. Catherine Zeta Jones, who in real life has bravely revealed her struggle with bi-polar depression, made me laugh. Only because she wore big black glasses. Why is it that glasses mean; 'I am a very clever scientific type person?' To be fair, she did the job. Jude Law: not sure, to be honest, though he was likeable, but was he?
'IT'S ABOUT DEPRESSION? NAH; LET'S DO TERMINATOR 215....
Ten, or even five years' ago, I cannot imagine this film getting past the pitching stage. Antidepressants are a life-saver. There should be NO stigma about taking something that lets us live our lives without an undercurrent of constant despair prompted by a chemical imbalance. But, when drug companies make big bucks out of such sadness, there is a dilemma. Thankfully, 'pull yourself together,' doesn't cut it at the doctor's anymore, or it shouldn't.
Worth seeing, whether you go out, or wait for the DVD.
....Am about to go and shout at Question Time - one of my favourite past times; but first a shock on the fragrance front.
...OH - IT'S LEAKED ONTO THE RUG....
I know that you pay extra for some scented candles - but since when did the price get hiked to 60 quid? And you BURN it...to nothing. This high priced home accessory (found in one London store) ends up a gloopy mess with bits of wax stuck in the rug due to trying to move the thing when it's on the way out. I opted for something a little lighter on the wallet.
I've also tried one of those 'put sticks in a jar of oil and your room will smell of flowers for the next 3 months,' ornamental type things. It's OK, but so STRONG. I have to keep moving it to different rooms as it makes me slightly sick. In a small flat, where rooms are scarce, the tiny 'where I put cleaning stuff' cupboard's the next best thing. I have the nicest smelling hoover in the world.
60 quid's the top price I've seen for this candlelight luxury - can you pay any more than that? ...
(Back to QT now and Nigel Farage is NOT on - someone in the audience is wearing a bright crocheted (always looks odd that word) waistcoat. Noooooo
CANDLE UPDATE: advertised in the London Evening Standard for Mother's Day - a CANDLE FOR 87 QUID. Recession, what recessioni!?
....and my scarf began to look like a car accident. It was one of the many things I did years' ago now, to try and stop smoking. I gave up in the end, but not with any help from knitting. The stress of it all, had me stumbling 'up the shop,' to get another packet.
SO, WE XXXX UP.....
The scarf, (if you can call it that,) looked slightly deranged as I missed rows, dropped stitches, needles and wool all at once. Frankly though, I LIKE a mess. The kind of 'mess' that makes us human. I like the kids who don't get straight A's, the grown ups who can laugh at their imperfections, and people who are at 'ease' with their flaws and xxxk ups.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND....
Someone mentioned 'soul retrieval,' today. The bits of us we left behind as kids so we would 'fit in' with our parents' or contemporaries' worlds. It's in mid-life that the unravelling often begins. We realise we cannot control the universe (if we were deluded enough to ever think we could;) and we may become aware that we have and are still paying too high a price in order to project an 'image,' of who we think we should be. SO draining.
It's often a divorce, redundancy, behaviour that's not funny any more, our kids not being what we thought they were, our parents getting frail and demanding; or all of these and more can prompt our unravelling.
..AND WHAT IF WE DON'T HAVE A PLAN?....WHAT HORROR....
I'm well unravelled. The bits of wool are all over my moth eaten carpet in no order, colour code or 'plan.' No plan, OH NO: no life, no control, no choices, no friends, no lovers, no partners - abandonment and death must be the outcome! Quite the opposite. This soul 'swampland,' (expression nicked from James Hollis's brilliant book on rediscovering the bits we thought we'd lost or never even known) is potentially the place of soul retrieval.
PICKING UP THE THREADS....
It hurts though. The creative, funny, childlilke soul bits have been floating around outside us, since we pushed them away and even punished ourselves for having these 'absurd' dreams and longings. As I pick up the threads, dropping wool still, I know I could still turn my back on this 'opportunity.' I could still throw bits of myself away, in order to collude with others' expectations, lifestyles and behaviour. This may bring some temporary relief; but it's not freedom. It's more like sleepwalking into a brick wall.
FETCH...GO ON ...FETCH...
The word 'retrieve,' does remind me of 'One Man and his Dog,' but is that really such a bad thing? There are still bits of wool on the carpet, (they're mainly drab coloured, though,) and I've just gone back to the beginning to get some of the dropped stitches back.
Look out for funky graph graphics (not easy to say) that 'some viewers may find completely meaningless.' Plus important people in suits talking loudly about how to 'stimulate, boost, pump up ******** .......WHAT IS THIS? AN AD FOR VIAGRA?
Negative Captain. Interest Rates.
Interest rates could go backwards, downwards, underground and do the hokey cokey.
'This would be an extraordinary thing to do and it needs to be thought through carefully...' Paul Tucker, Bank of England Dep Guv'nor. Wonder if he's in the red?
'Right I've thought about it... let's get on that downward spiral........!!!!!' (not really Paul Tucker)
Banks will be charged for keeping money in the Bank of England, rather than lending it to you and me.
Savers, poor people, rich people, people who put horsemeat in ready meals....NONE OF THEM ARE SURE ABOUT THIS AT ALL!
*********The missing word, is 'economy'. Of course. Do we still have one?
Brendan O' Carroll's 'Mrs Brown's Boys;' is so good, I'm watching it all over again. The last series has just finished and we're onto the repeat of the repeats. I don't remember the BBC promoting this show at all. Was this some kind of series snobbery?
THEY DO IT WRONG AND IT COMES OUT RIGHT...
London Evening Standard TV critic, Victor Lewis Smith, called it brilliant and Brechtian. I'd already said just the same to a friend, honest to God I had. I'm happy though for Mr. Lewis to take the credit. It's a show within a show. The audience is often in shot, the actors make mistakes, and laugh when they shouldn't.
HOLY TRUTHS - MRS B GETS STRAIGHT TO THE FECKIN' POINT...
It's not just funny. It's thoughtful, with some holy truths thrown in. She's planning a gay wedding for one of her sons. One of the others is a priest. He says that 'gay love' is not 'real love'. That's for hetrosexual couples. You love your pet and your mum and husband/wife in different ways.' 'Really?' Mrs B says, 'and what's the difference?' It's all love.' The Priest son is stumped.
'It's about relationships...always.' Another payoff. The best kind of people/faith/communities/spirituality are the same. Brendan O' Carroll's been through the mill. He lost millions, struggled to re start his career, and faced a whole host of of other challenges. His family, he says, is his rock. Most of them are in the show.
'WE'LL HAVE THE BOX SET PRONTO...' (Vatican Spokesman)
Honest, intuitive and foul mouthed; Mrs Brown's my new role model, naff cardies n' all. The Pope's probably pushing it a bit - but I say that's the Vatican's loss. Bet they Sky plus it though.
the house. To be completely accurate, the flat. That's the flat above me. They're a laugh, polite and no trouble. My home is small and the one above's the same. This means you can hear everything. When I was working nights, the guy above worked from home. I was trying to sleep and he was making calls to the States. It was only Boots' ear plugs (wax, come in a small green box, great if you've got a partner who snores) that stopped me from losing my mind.
'Sex wasn't enough for the Screamer,' says my neighbour....
Now I keep normal hours. If I'm sleeping, and upstairs gets ' jiggy,' I always find this reassuring. It means that the human race is alive and kicking and is actually enthusiastic about something. There was a woman in the flat next door who 'screamed' during sex to show off. At least that's what the tenant in the flat above her told me, while we were gossiping by the bins. 'She's just trying to make us jealous.' Apparently the Scotsman who lives next door to the shrieking woman called an ambulance once. He thought she was being attacked. He's prone to overdoing the whisky; so it could have been his imagination.
Builders...they turn up in threes....
Back to the builders. There are always three and they are usually men. I've only ever seen female builders in the States. There's the quiet one, (youngish, late teens/just started in the trade, a bit shy) the old one, (seen it all, knows all the shortcuts, stands about smoking fags and giving orders,) and the mid life cheeky 'get it done one.'
..and a bonus: we ALL love TalkSport....
So far, they've knocked down a wall, ripped out a bathroom and stripped out the carpet. When I'm working at home, it's noisy but manageable. I was bracing myself for Virgin played LOUD; but genuinely thrilled when they put on TalkSport, at a reasonable volume.
They're here for another 3 weeks and have promised to come an look at my kitchen. I fixed my collapsed shelf with Uni Bond Mega Grip (hark at me with my technical know how.) I don't want any more work doing, I just want to impress them with my DIY dexterity. OK I glued the fridge closed by mistake, but sorted that with some white spirit and Cillit Bang. I celebrated this loudly; but did NOT scream. I didn't want to give the wrong impression.
none of the above. Being freelance I do this a great deal. The 'phone call is the first challenge/hurdle/opportunity. In sales, everything is an opportunity. At least that's what I was taught when I tried to flog food processors in Selfridges 25 years' ago.
'This mixer makes fantastic peanut butter.....at the flick of a switch...oops....
Sadly, a tourist was sick in the bowl. Ken, a fellow sales assistant, who wasn't exactly light on his feet, slipped on it. He was off work with a dodgy back for 6 months. I guess he got the opportunity to have a long rest. The tourist then moved on to 'June on Tefal' who persuaded her to buy a home waxing kit. Someone's demise is always another's lucky break.
So - I'm on the 'phone and attempting not to gabble. The truth is, I like talking to people. I just have to make sure I don't talk at them. Listening is underrated and is probably the most important skill in any meeting, interview or Skype/phone call. The conversations were mostly good; one a bit starchy and old school.
Using Skype? Best not to mouth profanities at the camera....
Some people, it seems, still feel it's rather 'dirty' to pitch for work in this way. Truthfully, I get most of my work because of the quality of the relationships I have, and I work hard. Calling, though, is really being at the coal face.
Sometimes it needs to be done. Providing you're not a bank, bingo business or an ad hoc retailer trying to sell low grade double glazing; it can be relatively painless. Most people don't mind cold call from a 'reasonable' person. Emails are ok-ish, but text has no tone. Calling makes you sweat a bit, that's true. If it's Skype, that's harder. You can't mouth xxxx off or what a xxxxx. But of course, YOU wouldn't do that anyway.
Be true to you....
I''ve spent a significant amount of time, in the past, squeezing myself into a square when I'm really a diamond. Trying to be what I THINK others want me to be has got me nowhere. At midlife forget the 'age' thing and flag up the oodles of wisdom and experience . Face to face interview technique is something else altogether. Whether on the 'phone or at the first meeting, standing on your head in lurex isn't a great way to get the gig. Best to wear frayed jeans I reckon.
......Yes, you're 3 pounds more than you were two days ago. You've overindulged! You're greedy! You've got NO self control.......a LOSER..except you're NOT!
If the bathroom scales could speak, that's how they'd sound. Brutal and cruel. Or perhaps that's what goes on in our heads when we step on the things. I banned mine years ago. They would dictate my mood and ruin my day.
'The fat man of Europe!' Scream the headlines. One in four of us in the UK is obese, and the figures will get alot worse by 2050 according to a new medical report. The US has an even bigger problem.
Politicians wring their hands and exclaim: 'Why Why Why?' Health professionals all say the same thing. Exercise more, eat less of the rubbish and more of the green goodies. I've felt guilty about not eating '5 a day' for years. As if life doesn't have enough pressures.
FOOD TO FILL AN EMPTY SOUL?
It's the BRAIN that needs to change. I'd even go so far as to say, the soul. Like fags, food fills the hole that gapes when we're lonely, angry, sad, depressed and hate ourselves. Reach for the chocolate; a temporary hit that takes the pain away for a moment. This behaviour can then become addictive and the binge/starve cycle begins.
WE KNOW! WE KNOW....!
I went on an NHS smoking 'cessation' course once. We saw the pictures of the rotting lungs, and dodgy hearts; some of my fellow group members wheezed their way through each session. A 91 year old woman, who lived on the 15th floor of a high rise block smoked 90 a day. 'Disgusting,' say the men/women in suits, 'where's her self respect?' Self respect? She lost that years ago, her fags were her friend. WE KNOW BEING FAT AND SMOKING FAGS ARE BAD FOR US. WE KNOW!!!!!
Every person I've ever met and I've ever been (I used to be a smoking person so I know how hard it is to stop,) knows that being overweight is miserable. Yet still we over eat, in private, on the run (it doesn't count,) in the middle of the night and when we think no-one else is there to judge us for our lack of willpower. None of us are stupid. The relationship between food and human beings is complex. Being fat is not simply a physical state. It is, more often than not: a manifestation of PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL emptiness. I say this from real experience. Decision makers WILL YOU LISTEN?
DIETS, THE NEW RELIGION....
Lack of exercise and fast food (blah blah blah) play their part; but taxing fizzy drinks ain't going to drastically mean a dip in levels of obesity. Poverty, joblessness, lack of hope, self hatred, where we live, what relationships we're in; all the feelings that are prompted by these states contribute to what we weigh. So, diet then. All diets have their bibles, gurus, and successful slim disciples. If they worked, very few of us would be fat.
TAXING FIZZY DRINKS ....THE EXTRA MONEY WILL HELP OUR CASH STRAPPED SCHOOLS....(as if)
More often than not, diets are ineffective long term. Taxing fizzy drinks; yeah that'll work, just like taxing cigaretts. Those who are struggling the most will always find a way to spend a huge percentage of their income on things 'they shouldn't.' Of course, rich people struggle and are fat too. This has to be a brain/soul/emotional thing, not just a 'buy and eat the right food' thing.
And the food manufacturers? They're busy working on a new delicious ready meal. 'Slim the wild horse way.' The packs'll be jumping off the shelves, you mark my words.
CLICK PAGE 2 TOP LEFT TO VIEW THE FOLLOWING
BLOG PAGE 2: 17th February 2013 ..It was AWFUL. I couldn't sleep last night I was SO worried about....'protecting my lifestyle'.....Insurers, they swoop in for the pickings at mid life......BLOG PAGE 2
BLOG PAGE 2: 16th February 2013 .. It came on in Snappy Snaps....my hormones were going left, and I wanted them to stay right where they were...BLOG PAGE 2
11.09 | 00:07
Thank you! Reply only 7 years late!
16.08 | 15:34
thank, you love. Apols for late reply. Clare
30.10 | 07:01
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04.08 | 07:34
I remember watching you perform this! You 'played' with army ranks - wasn't there a Major (Scandal? Disaster? Triumph?) and a Colonel in there? Funny and thought provoking- as ever. X