My Own Little Bubble

Well. Now then. The news, nationally and globally is just so damn depressing.

The UK and lots of other countries seem to be playing Whack-a-Mole with Covid-19.

The US election campaigning is in full swing. Somebody is tweeting rubbish in all capital letters. Racism. Lies.

UK exam results are completely buggered (although our granddaughter did Very Very Well in her GCSEs this year).

I’m really struggling with pain, exhaustion and low mood ( I do know that this is selfish when there’s so much going on, so let’s add guilt to that particular little mix).

Hubby is trying to explain Modern Monetary Theory to me. I sort of get it in a very muddled way but it’s so very different from what I was taught at school 50 years ago. I also worked in a bank for 12 years, and there had to be a debit for every credit, so I’m very confused and fuzzy about it.

So I have decided I’m going to try to stop worrying about stuff I can’t change, and reach out from time to time for some chocolate/painkillers.

Meanwhile my Ab Fab rose is starting to bud like billyo again. Love it so much. It really cheers me up.

Happy Things

I’ve started watching stuff on YouTube to cheer myself up – sometimes cute animal stuff (eg huge golden labrador frightened of tiny little new kitten), mostly comedians.

My favourite comedians are, in no particular order, Aisling Bea, Frankie Boyle, Dara O’Briain, Susan Calman, Sarah Millican, Billy Connolly, and Jack Whitehall. They always, always cheer me up.

I’m also reading, as well as Manda C Scott’s Rome series (god I love these stories), a book by Dara O’Briain about his tour of the UK which is hilarious.

Tomorrow I have no chores to do so might get some knitting done. Also fancying this: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/07-origami-shawl when my hand is fixed. In this yarn: https://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/yarn/king-cole-cottonsoft-baby-crush-dk-coffees-2873-100g

Thinking of knitting it half the width and maybe 3/4 the length. I’ve ordered 4 balls of yarn (100% cotton) and there are 210 metres on each ball. So I’ll just keep going I think, making sure the pattern is symmetrical lengthways too.

In the meantime I have the Pimpelliese shawlette to finish (taking me ages because I can only do a bit at a time, and not every day), then a jumper and a jacket for LCS (who will be 6 in November), then a jumper for hubby. Always plenty on my list of knitting things to do!

 

To mask or not?

Had to go into Solihull today to the bank. Some things just can’t be done online, on the phone, or by post. Sigh.

But what struck me most is how many people are not wearing masks! I went to a knit and natter group on Saturday. Five of us all sat outside, but I was the only one wearing a mask. Am I paranoid?

In New Zealand, the advice was, when you’ve been out and about, change all your clothes and have a shower when you get home. So I did. It might be over the top, but New Zealand is in a much, much better state than the UK.

Hmph.

In the end my sister and I decided that digitising all the cine films was just too difficult and too expensive. Some had already been done, so we are assuming they were the only ones worth doing, and dumped the rest. Freecycled the Eumig projector,  the slide projector, and the screen. A lovely, lovely Polish lorry driver collected them on his way back to Poland, where he lives opposite a children’s home. He volunteers there and collects stuff just like this to help entertain them. He will fix the stuff and then donate it. The Paul Klee prints went to a lovely guy who was influenced by Klee at uni and everybody is delighted, including me.

Dressed in my “working clothes”, had a nice cup of tea after the shower, then used the “jet” setting on the hose to clean up the green wheelie bin (for garden refuse). And now it’s lunchtime.

Have been reading a lot. Had already read Fire & Fury, Siege, and Surviving Autocracy, just read Too Much and Never Enough. Now I’m back into the Boudica: Dreaming series of 4 books. It all seemed much cleaner, somehow, back then (I know it’s fictionalised), but really, honestly, I don’t think I can cope with  knowing too much more about Trump. We do have two programmes recorded which we will no doubt harrumph our way through. Also the Rupert Murdoch 3 part documentary. Oh. My. God. If you’ve watched Succession, know that it is scarily accurate.

Next up will be another book on the Trojan War from a woman’s point of view – Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon. Then hubby has a book called “Pew” which sounds great.

Have been able to knit a very small amount – half an hour about three times a week, if I’m not doing anything else. And only in the morning. Not today, too busy. And thank goodness for the gardeners. Although they haven’t turned up today . . .

Some ups, some downs.

The plumber fixed the leak in half an hour. It was the cistern. Big relief.

Slept most of today. Got up at 9 am then back to bed at 10, woke at 3 pm.

Had another go at the cine films on the Eumig projector. The plan is to go through them – there are 39 labelled ones and a dozen or so unlabelled – before deciding which ones to have digitised. However. The projector works, bulb and everything, on forward, but the take up spool is a bit squashed so you have to fiddle about with it to make sure it actually takes up the film. That’s ok. But then reverse doesn’t work at all. Now, if it’s a film you don’t care about, that’s also ok. But an added problem. The next thing is that I don’t know which are standard 8mm and which are Super 8mm.  I looked in the manual, and on the internet, and I have to say there isn’t anything which helps me much. Certainly not the reverse problem. Then I thought maybe I could hire a projector. But again, standard 8mm or Super 8mm? or one that does both? and then how would I know which was which?

Finally have almost come to the decision (checking with my sister at the moment) to just have the labelled films converted and bugger the rest. Depressing, because the technology has got the better of me. But a relief to have almost made the decision.

Then the projector (and the slide projector) can go on eBay.

Am going to try and speak to the doctor tomorrow about a couple of things, mostly the pain. We shall see.

 

Things are happening . . . . .

Finally had to give up gardening. But it’s all fine, because after some major research we have found a gardener. He gets excellent reviews. Young, wispy beard, skinny ripped jeans and big old Doc Martin style boots. Liked him instantly. They’re coming next Tuesday.

And the garden currently looks ok. A bit shaggy, but there you are.

Also managed to get some shots of the jays. I can’t post videos on this site because I use the free version, but have captured a couple of stills. That’s our washing line in the middle of the picture. The picture with two jays in is a nano-second before the bully pigeon flies in to frighten them off. It works. Hate pigeons.

No news on the steroid injections for my hands. I need to speak to the doctor next week anyway so will mention it then.

The plumber is coming today to sort out the leak in our small bathroom. Hey ho.

Also have invested in speakers and a microphone for the Zoom meetings so that hubby can join in on the same login – on a desktop screen you can see a lot more people than on a tablet screen, which has a maximum of 4. Am going to test it out today.

 

Musings

Well. Have given up knitting for now. Also gardening. The last bit I did caused so much pain I just can’t deal with it again.

So we’re investigating getting a regular gardener. It would be good if they mowed the lawn as well, because my guess is they’ll do the edging too, which hubby does not.

Getting quotes for trimming the leylandii, the willow, the lilac and the winged spindle (which has got way too big for its boots), and getting the front lawn laid to [moss] clover, not moss! The one guy has sourced [moss] clover turf, which is great, and means it won’t need to be seeded. Also a small rockery in one corner of the front to stop people reversing over the lawn. And lawn edging of some sort – the same guy suggested wood. Just waiting for the quote now.

None of this will happen until September, when the growing season is done.

Quizzing tonight. Hubby is insisting on reading out the questions, despite the fact that I’ve gone to a deal of trouble to make each round accessible via WhatsApp. I’ve told him that’s fine for his rounds, but for the ones I’ve devised, I’m not going to. Things may change before the quiz starts. Sigh.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve been noticing a great deal of white people saying stuff publicly on social media like “but we abolished slavery!” “but we’re not racist!”. It’s making me so cross. It’s as if there is no such thing as white privilege, because white people aren’t on the wrong end of it, so they don’t see it. “We abolished slavery” does NOT absolve anybody for it being a thing in the first place. A lot of the UK’s money came from slavery. It’s dreadful. It’s very uncomfortable. But we need to acknowledge it and understand it, however awful.

There’s a guy called David Olusoga, a mixed heritage historian and presenter,  who shines a light into the darkest recesses of history, gently but firmly. He’s excellent. Then there’s Akala, musician, rapper, university professor, and writer.  Also mixed heritage, and as sharp as a tack. I’ve just read his book “Natives” and it’s really excellent. Made me think. A lot. I mention the mixed heritage because it means that these guys are regarded as Black, and have been on the receiving end of all sorts of crap. So they know what it’s like. They’ve been there.

And police brutality. Hmph. Suspension is just not enough. In my (not so) humble opinion, if a police officer is deemed to have used too much force, suspension should be the start of it. The end of it should be in court. It’s not ok to just discipline them. I acknowledge and am glad that many police officers are wonderful, helpful people, with exactly the right mindset to do the job. But – and it’s a big but – some aren’t.

And as for The Trumpster, don’t even get me started. I might get a bit ranty, and that would not be a good thing. Seems to me like somebody is trying to start a civil war.

And on that happy note I’m going to stop now.

 

Not Knitting

Not knitting, not at all, but managing to get things done in the garden. Took three heathers out of their pots and planted them in the ground. Briza Media (perennial quaking oat grass) arrived and is now in its own pot. Hubby cut down intrusive tamarisk tree and we cleared the ground ready for the new bird-feeder, and put down a concrete slab so hopefully this one won’t rot.

Reading a lot. A lot. Currently three quarters of the way through Beth McColl’s book about mental health. Oh. My. Days. She’s in her twenties, but so wise. As a sufferer from mental health issues she really knows what it can be like.  And the writing style is very engaging and friendly. I’m finding it so reassuring, because the things she recommends are the things I do. But then I’m 65 and have had mental health problems all my life, even in childhood. So I would expect to have learned how to manage it, and mostly I do.

Ordered another wildlife camera – we have one, but keep missing the woodpeckers and the jay for one reason or another. A second one, I thought, would give us more chances to capture pictures of interesting things. Still awaiting delivery. Just realised I only ordered one memory card for it. Two would be much more sensible. Hm.

We are “doing” the next fam-a-lam quiz, so are busily setting up questions. It’s good fun, and we are bouncing questions off each other to see if they’re appropriate (too hard/easy), because it all depends on your knowledge and experience. Hubby seemed to think I would easily recognise something (can’t say what), but I assured him I definitely wouldn’t!

Still in lockdown, by choice, because I do believe that capitalism has become more important than human life in whatever meetings are being held. But thanks to Zoom, and the telephone, and WhatsApp, we are keeping in touch. Missing family and friends though. Mm. And now they’ve found this dexamethasone helps a lot, that’s encouraging.