Tuesday, 20 October 2015

China In Your Hand

This is my final little treat to myself before Christmas saving etc. (That's if you don't count visit to the hospice shop to stock up on books and some other books I need and some mascara that it is good to get because I have a voucher and some theatre tickets oh and I will have to get a new cardi for work. Think that's it. Possibly not.) So this lovely phone case came from China which I feel a bit guilty about because of the cheap steel imports and the human rights but it is really difficult to get a Lilo and Stitch phone cover. I have read that sentence back and am thoroughly ashamed of myself. Lilo and Stitch, by the way is the best Disney cartoon EVER. (This is not a debate - this is a statement of fact) Possibly rivalled only by Mulan. Do not bother me with Frozen - full as it is of  tiny waisted insipid girlies running up and down piles of ice and bellowing songs at me. Mulan is a lady soldier who SAVES CHINA! (This blog is very oriental, I have noticed). And Lilo and Stitch has the best quote ever in it:

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten

You can also get this on a phone case but I keep crying every time I read it which is not very helpful when you are trying to answer your phone. 

I am a bit puzzled by the inclusion in the  phone cover package of a little blue jewel thing to stick up my phone's bottom. I cannot for the life of me think why anyone would want to do that. But I am old.

We moseyed on down to the cinema to see The Martian. It's very good. Probably about 20 minutes too long. There was a bit in the middle about China (good grief, there it is again) that I couldn't really see the point of but it was good. Everyone in it plays the person they normally play. Matt Damon is a decent everyman sort. Sean Bean is a gruff, Yorkshire, Lady Chatterley's Person sort. Jeff Daniels is the man he plays in the Newsroom - tough but fair. Jessica Chastain is edgy but somehow appealing. Still, they all do it very well and it was a bit jumpy at the end. Cinema does space very impressively these days and it freaks me out to see people behaving normally in a spaceship when out of the window you can see that they are a gazillion miles away from anywhere. Although, is it true that you can see the Great Wall of China from space?


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Social Media - The Revenge

One good thing about kids leaving is that you get to raid their bedrooms for, well anything you fancy really. FOW 1's room is not much good tbh because I am not that into Wolverine or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but FOW2's bedroom - that is an Aladdin's Cave of stuff. It's mostly books although there is some nice nail varnish and a couple of more than acceptable scarves. I also have a winter coat to try on as the suede one I had my eye on from Tesco is sold out unless you fancy a size 8. (I may fancy it but I will never see it again.)
Anyway - back to the books. This is a salutary tale, mainly about social media and the trolling that goes on there. It's not so much about the famous ones - you know - where people can threatened with rape because they do something terrible like wanting a picture of a Suffragette on a five pound note. It's about people who made actual mistakes - remember the girl who was disrespectful in Arlington Cemetery? She had death threats, and lost her job - couldn't leave the house. Ronson compares this to the days of the stocks when people were dragged into the town square to be publicly humiliated for whatever they had done. 
Twitter is a scary place but I have comforted myself with the knowledge that as a nobody, I am unlikely to attract any attention. It seems that this is not true. One ill-advised Tweet or one stupid photo can bring the might of the entire Internet down on your head. They can make the sort of threats that, were they made directly to you in the street, you could ring the police and they would send two burly police constables round immediately. (If there were any constables left)
This makes me sound like I am 104 but sometimes, when I hear about people planning to behead people in the street or public shaming becoming a thing again or people using children as their own personal slaves, I do wonder how far we are progressing. I mean, I rarely throw the toilet waste out of upstairs windows I know and rickets is all but eliminated in Plymouth but it seems there are sometimes when we have barely moved on at all.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Autumn Thoughts - Not from Abroad

The leaves they are a colouring, the wind, it is a gusting, the spiders they are a hanging off my windows. It must be Autumn.

Autumn is ok really. It gets a bad press because people are annoyed because Boots has got its Christmas presents out. People are wandering around muttering "It's only September" and are refusing to join in the general merriment at the Garden Centre where Christmas Joy is already full blown - if the light-up, back-flipping Santa Garden Sprite is anything to judge by. 

So Autumn is the bit between Summer when we were all quite wet for a lot of it and Winter when we are all quite wet again but need the heat on as well. It is the time when the telly bucks up a bit because we didn't need good telly in the summer when we were all rowing down rivers and drinking Pimms in the evenings. Now, the nights are closing in and we need the X Factor to bring us hope for the future. (I have never seen the X Factor - I shouldn't judge) It is therefore a time of transition and change and moving on and lots of other transitional words. 

We are transitioning a bit here at Martha Towers. We are officially "Empty Nesters" now - at least until Christmas. You are supposed to fall into one of two camps as an "Empty Nester". Either you phone your child three times a day and beg them to come home or you paint their bedroom in a neutral kind of colour and rent it out to a student called Juan. I don't think we are either. I am really pleased that they are moving on. I wouldn't want it any other way. It is their time. I enjoy lots of the new things. Small ironing piles, being able to put bacon in pasta dishes, not hearing size twelve shoes trying to creep in at 4am. HOH and I have enjoyed just thinking about us. It has been lovely. 

Yet there are friends missing from the house. There are gaps. We miss them. And, cliched as it sounds, I am wondering what I am actually for? If you get my meaning. (Please don't send anyone round. I am not balancing on a ledge or anything) But I know, I have to find the next stage. Nothing dramatic. No juggling, back packing, entering Bake Off. Just the next piece of thing. 

“When the time’s ripe, I answer you.
    When victory’s due, I help you.

Isaiah 49
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