Best/Worst 22 to 28 May 2017

Bank Holidays are lovely! 


Sunshine. The weather has been lovely this week. Ok it has required a lot of watering at the plot but it’s been lovely.

A little crookneck squash. Summer squash, remind me how excited I was about this in August…


Manchester. On Monday night, there was a suicide bomber and people died and everytime something happens like this, it’s just horrific.

Migraine. I thought I’d gotten away with it but it hit on Tuesday and it was not good.

The unexplained hives. Not comfortable.

Honourable mentions to gin club, getting up at 5am on Friday, pay day, the worse film I’ve seen in ages, the Pope not being happy about meeting Trump and then Macron trolling Trump at Nato,

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What did I just see?

My lovely sister in law gets free film tickets which she sometimes give to me and Ma. This week there wasn’t much on so we went to see Arthur: Legend of the Sword. We knew it would be bad, but I was hopeful that it would be good bad.

It was not.

Where to start with it’s problems. First up, it doesn’t know what story it’s trying to tell and there was too much skipping over things, Arthur’s childhood, why Mordred and Vortigen allied and wanted to overthrow the kingdom (also both Mordred and Vortigen are in the wrong generations), what happened to the mages and Merlin- they’ve been slaughtered but one pops up to help – are they in France maybe? as the mage that does turn up is French. What happened to Uther’s ‘loyal’ knights, we see two of them but how do they leave, form the resistance etc, there is a whole plot like about one of them and a vendetta with the leader of the guards which is never properly explained and as it gets the ‘heros’ into trouble at one point it should have been. Arthur’s trip through the badlands was a whole movie in itself. I personally wanted to know how the ladies of the brothel came to be running it.

There is too much going on and none of it is coherrent…

There are other troubling questions raised by the film. The time travelling Vikings for example. The size of ‘Londinium’ – yes really, Arthur’s accent which is too northern for a child raised in ‘Londinium’ but isn’t quite sure where in the north to locate itself, sometimes Manchester, sometimes Liverpool and sometimes ‘I don’t know where’. Why there is a kung fu school in London. Where the ‘badlands’ are – my best guess Wales. The distance between Camelot and ‘Londinium’, the cliffs of Camelot, the size of Camelot. The bridges in London that have houses on them (not in the dark ages). The clothes which can’t settle on any kind of internal consistency of time period. The Nazi salutes of the bad guy. The King of all England (yeah right) and an army of 100,000 (erm…)

The saddest thing about the film was that it took itself too seriously. If it had approached any of this with a lightness of touch (think Alan Rickman in Prince of Thieves) but it was trying too hard to be a Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones thing and it was funny but in all the wrong places…

So people, don’t go and see this even if it’s free. Just don’t. I haven’t been this appalled by a film since I saw the last Indiana Jones film. However, I’m pretty sure this must have been the subject of an epic Mark Kermode rant. So there is a bright side…..

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Friday Links

Happy Friday! This Friday is especially wonderfull as it marks the beginning of a Bank Holiday weekend and tonight is Gin Club!

Here are this week’s links…

I’m not keen on people emoting about parenting but this is worth reading because it’s important.

The actual termination, I was unconscious. I just remember everyone was so nice. There’s no way this isn’t political: I had a late-term abortion, and I felt so lucky. It was the actual worst thing that could have happened in my life, and I had it as easy as could be. My doctor was supportive, I was in a major city with a nice hospital, I didn’t have to cross picket lines. Nobody argued with me. I’m so angry I have to be thankful for that. It should be that easy for everybody.

A moment that changed me: Living on my own for the first time. It may be that I’ve read a couple of articles recently, by women droning on and on about how freeing living alone is. . I live on my own and yes it can be, it can also be bloody awful – falling down the stairs and spraining my ankle being my most recent terribleness. I guess that what I’m really struggling with in this article and the others I’ve read, is their naval gazing self indulgence, like they are the first person ever to experience this so it must be entirely new. It’s like how teenagers believe they are the first people ever to have sex and do drugs.

However, if you live in London, then living on your own is much harder to do because it’s so expensive. Whenever, I feel that paying over half my net income on rent is too much, I’m going to re-read this article. The great London property squeeze.

I’ve actually been talking to a couple of people this week about how this plays out in their lives.

Don’t let psychopathic murderers suppress our common humanity. I know I’m a leftie snowflake but this pretty much sums up my opinion every time there is a terrorist attack because they win if we change who we are…

The terrorists want to drive us apart, to sow suspicion and fear, to oblige us to replace liberty with security and answer them with bombs and bullets of our own. For a terrorist organisation any of this, if implemented, would mean mission accomplished. So we should do the opposite. We defy them by proving that this is not what we are

What I’m really thinking, the insomniac I had a bout of it after Stef died, I think that I’m mostly cured of it. I’ve learned to do with less and nowadays going to sleep is fine, staying asleep is more tricky!

Roger Moore died this week. Rather than talking about Bond or whatever, here is his recipe for a perfect martini. Much better than Bond’s….

Why we put things off.

10 of the UK’s best castles for a family day out. I’ve been to 3 of the ten and I prefer my castles more ruined. Although I see from the comments that you can get a steam train to Bodium Castle, which is Ma’s 70th birthday present sorted!

If we’re not reading, why do we expect our children will? Confession, I didn’t pass my English Lit GCSE first time around. I took it again and passed. I didn’t read any of the set texts the two I remember were Fahrenheit 451 and A View from the Bridge (we covered that play the year before GCSE and then I did it twice with exams and retakes and my views on Eddie, who I did not see as a tragic figure but as a creeper with a completely inappropriate fondness for his niece, didn’t go down well any of the three years that I expressed it! We also did poems Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and WB Yeats and I didn’t really enjoy it. I choose not to do English at A level because I was afraid that it would ruin reading for me.  I read quite a bit now but I read much more as a teenager and more serious books too (I had the head space!). However, I was encouraged, Ma read, my English teacher gave me books to read, our school librarian encouraged us to hang out and read (which was a sacrifice as Ruth doesn’t really like teenagers!), the library staff who let me have first pick of the new books. Reading was encouraged, there were always books. This isn’t the case for everyone.

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A couple of hours later…

I went to water and close the greenhouse and there was woodchip and a couple of things to do. Two hours later, hot and sweaty, I walked home.I regret nothing….

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Allotment Adventures: Rain almost stops play

We went to the allotment on Saturday full of good intentions and almost as soon at it was there, it started pouring down. So we had a cup of tea, which is the fulfillment of all my shed/greenhouse based dreams. So I’m not complaining about the rain at all, the plot needs it and hopefully my rhubarb will perk up.The rain stopped and we ventured out again, Ma to weed and me to sow radishes and work out what to do next. Then it rained some more. This happened twice and we decided to go home. We’d managed to lay some paving outside the greenhouse where it got really muddy, weed, sow raddishes and spray the broad beans with soap spray to deter the blackfly. I’m considering some ant killer on that bed because the little buggers are farming the aphids but I’ll soap spray them and see how it goes. I also tackled a couple of stray raspberries coming up in the raised beds.On Sunday, we started early. Ma tackled the grass on the edge of plot and weeded the rhubarb. I didn’t take a photo but I should have, she did an amazing job. I got the easier task of sowing things in big middle bed.More rocket, another row of lettuce, lambs lettuce, spinach, beetroot, nasturtiums, cosmos and stock. I have no idea if sowing flowers in the middle of a salad bed is a good idea but I’ve done it.More rocket, another row of lettuce, lambs lettuce, spinach, beetroot, nasturtiums, cosmos and stock. I have no idea if sowing flowers in the middle of a salad bed is a good idea but I’ve done it.I also planted some leeks out. I think I did it wrong but I’ve done it. If they die, the die, we did cover them with net to stop the bastard foxes digging in the bed, they’ve already killed a couple of my cucumber plants.By this point Ma was done, so she made tea and I sowed some more cucumbers and some beetroot and spinach as a back up against slugs.

There is still a list of outstanding work so next week in addition to watering  and weeding, we need to:

  • plant the strawberry runners into pots
  • plant out the winter squash
  • drill some holes in the tank we’re not growing anything in, it’s waterlogged right now
  • plant out the chives in the herb patch
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Don’t worry too much

I’m quite shortsighted, my world without glasses or contact lenses is extremely blurry. So I’m pretty realiant on my glasses and contact lenses. I’ve had lenses since I was 17 but over the years my eyes have become much less tolerant of them. Apparently it happens to women of a certain age, yours eyes get drier. This couples with the amount of time that I spend at a computer every day and that a working day would mean wearing them for more than the recommended no more than 8 hours a day. Does anyone ever stick to that rule, anyone?

This means that I wear glasses during the week and contacts at the weekend. I mainly wear these glasses. And apologies for the several bad photos of me frowning at the camera (I have resting ‘really annoyed’ face!)However, the stratch proof coating has decided to degrade and it’s annoying, because my prescription hasn’t changed, last week I wore a different pair of glasses to work every day. Now I know that my glasses are similiar but no-one noticed. Not one person, not even my mother.Most of us put a huge amount of effort into our appearance, with make-up and glasses and hairstyles. It makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves, but the truth is that hardly anyone notices.

What has this got to do with the price of fish? Well I have a wedding to go to this year and I’ve been worrying about what to wear. I saw a dress I thought would do and I looked horrendous. Ok, not horrendous but not all that good. I don’t often pay that much attention to what I look like, I look like me and get on with it but 43 has been the year I’ve stopped looking like myself. 

I’m greyer, my face seems to be changing shape, I’ve developed the exact same frown line by my right eyebrow that Ma has and wrinkles are becoming more pronounced. I’m not sure that I mind exactly, it’s just that I don’t quite recognise myself in the same way when I look in the mirror. Oh God, I’m having a mid-life crisis….Well maybe not a midlife crisis but certainly, I’m firmly middle-aged and although I’m mostly quite happy about it and not that concerned about getting old, it’s strange to not quite recognise your face.

This week, I realised that while it’s an issue for me, probably, no-one else has noticed. So there is that!

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Best/Worse 15 to 21 May 2017

Before I do a best/worst of last week, a plea, if you live in the UK and are eligible to vote and haven’t registered. Today is the last day to do it. Please do it. You can register online. I say it all the time because it’s true. Democracy won’t work if the electorate doesn’t. Please, even if you think politicians are all a bunch of lying liars, vote. People died so you could and it won’t change if you don’t participate.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The film was good but it’s more about finally having got to see it on the third attempt. Also Ma’s comment after seeing it “It was fun but a bit soppy, I like more crash bang”. She is awesome but bloodthirsty….

First crop. I love growing things to eat!

Rain. Oh thank goodness finally. We’ve had rain, lots of lovely rain.


Commuting. I don’t like it but I can normally handle it but my ankle is still really sore (this one is going to run and run) and the commute involves too many people and too much standing and not being able to read. Also on Friday morning, I got trodden on and pushed by a horrible little woman who couldn’t wait for everyone else to get off the train because she was in a hurry. People like this make life worse for everyone. She didn’t get off any faster either.

The bastard foxes. They visited and dug things and killed two tomato plants and a cucumber. Then to add insult to injury pooed on my leeks. I’m not that keen on foxes anyway but they are on the list right now.

The honourable mentions are finishing some work that I didn’t want to do ahead of time, getting out of the house on time every morning, the sunset on Tuesday night, an almost empty laundry basket, pictures of the nephew in his new big boy bed and his first encounter with Ikea meatballs, having a cup of tea in the shed while waiting for the rain to stop.

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