One frustrating thing about carers…

Saturday 5 December, 2020

At the end of last year and then the beginning of this year, I went back to the social services to get more hours/more elements for my care package because my mum’s health was clearly getting worse, then she was in hospital and it was clear her role as my carer was over, as, well, at the start of her hospital admission it looked like she would be coming home in need of a full care package herself.

It took over 3 weeks for their “emergency” assessment to take place, which was an absolute farce and I can’t even be bothered to get into it, but it ruined everything I already had in place with my PA, and then it took until after we lost my mum for the new “emergency care package” with a care agency to start.

Now as well as it being frustrating because it displaced everything I had set up with my PA, which meant I had to change the set up with my PA, these tea calls, a half an hour call, was meant to be the carer comes, makes my tea, washes the dishes… and somehow helps me get changed. At half 5 in the evening. (Also, my PA was meant to come all 7 days a week and leave lunch out for 3 hours because apparently social services don’t provide dinner calls anymore. Cold beans on toast, anyone?)

With only half an hour, I was stuck only to microwave meals that could be made within 10 minutes, and had to scarf it down quickly so they could do the washing up before they left. I didn’t have time to get changed even if I wanted to. That wasn’t their fault but you could see some of them were ready to go as soon as they put the food out.

“That all, then?” they’d ask, picking up their bag and about to step out the door.
“Er, no, you have to also wash the dishes when I’m done…”

But that wasn’t the most frustrating part. (Even my acid reflux/food reflux issue being the worst it has ever been wasn’t the most frustrating part)

The most frustrating part was how much they made me feel like my… everything, was wierd and bizarre and different. I know the door situation is odd, and maybe the layout where the bathroom is, is odd… I mean, no! You know what, I don’t understand what could possibly be so difficult to understand about the instructions “Yeah it’s through that door there in the middle of the wall, and it’s the first the door on the left.” It’s the first door down a little corridor, the door to it is less than a foot away from the hallway door. Yet the amount of times people have come in, and just… gone down the hallway to the bedrooms, ignoring the big door in the middle of the wall, and ignored me correcting them, whilst heading into my parent’s bedroom. And I point!

But also, they’d come in, search around for the light switch for the kitchen- it’s right there by the kitchen door, they’d press all sorts of buttons on the microwave, changing the power percentage, and then not knowing how to turn the nob to get the times. They get too flustered to actually listen to me and i have to tell them to turn the microwave off and on again because god knows what new combination of settings they’d put the microwave to. And then they go “ahahaha oh your microwave! I’ll get the hang of it one day!” Well, maybe if you just… stopped and listened to my instructions? Maybe read the words above the buttons before just jabbing at them frantically? It’s a microwave. I’m pretty sure everyone else they go to don’t all have one specific brand and type of microwave and I’m the outlier with a strange one. Everyone must have a different microwave, and the microwaves can’t possibly be that much different from each other! But they never said they were the same with everyone else’s microwave, just mine, as if mine was some sort of strange object they’d never come across before.

I had one carer who wanted to rush through everything. I cook frozen veg in the microwave, the instructions are on the bag. I read out the instructions and I told her to stir at the time specified on the instructions. She stood right in front of the microwave, took out the veg when it pinged the first time… stood there with her back to me, and I couldn’t see what she was doing, and then she put the veg back in to the microwave and then served it up.

The middle was still frozen. “Well you read out the instructions, love” this carer said to me. “I followed what you said. I thought it should have been longer.” Other carers had been given the same instructions (Measurements and time), other carers followed the same instructions, and I had no problems. The food was cooked through just fine. Other carers also turned and talked to me whilst they stirred, and some even showed me to check I was happy.

Maybe the problem was actually she didn’t stir the veg? That’s the only thing I can think of was the problem. She just stood there with her back to me and didn’t turn around, and she rushes through everything, and more importantly, didn’t even check when she put it on the plate.

They say the attitude “If I want something doing right, i’ll do it myself” is a trauma response, because you’re continually shown that you can’t trust anyone to do things as right as you. And sadly, that’s been my experience. Things going so wrong because my parents dropped the ball. Friends letting me down. Teachers, doctors, you name it. The amount of things I have had to take control of or been left in control of so things would be done right, or the times I’ve depended on people only to be let down. I could make a really long list, really. And I really feel it with these carers.

I also feel it with my Dad, who has taken over the feeding and watering of me during the pandemic because I had to ask the carers to stop coming (one refused to wash their hands). He is the type of man who will say “No, it’s not in there” when looking for something, and then sit back down again without looking properly. And that’s that. Doesn’t matter if it’s something needed, he can’t see it so that’s that.

So I have to get up and get it myself. Which would sound like i’m just lazy if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m physically disabled and living in a flat that isn’t fully wheelchair accessible. It’s not easy for me to “Just get up and look for something myself”, if it was, I wouldn’t depend on carers in the first place.

And one time, going back to actual agency carers, I had a carer swear down she absolutely couldn’t find something I knew was in the cupboard, and I had my Dad going on that I mustn’t have bought it, I must have gotten confused, if they can’t find it then it isn’t there and I shouldn’t go on about it. Because apparently sauce with my meal isn’t a big deal. This is despite the fact that I saw my Dad put it in the cupboard the week before, when I bought it. But he couldn’t remember, and she couldn’t find it, so clearly I was wrong and mistaken.

The next day I went in to the kitchen – Again, not something easy for me – and I looked in the cupboard that I saw my Dad put the sauce in, and what do i find to the right of the door? The jar of sauce I definitely did not buy and absolutely was not there. Right there. Where I said it was. I’m a few feet lower than the cupboard. If I can see it from my height, I have no clue why the carer, at a more average height and actually able to look into the cupboard, couldn’t see it.

(The reason is she didn’t look properly, and it wasn’t important to her to find it, and so she clung on to my Dad’s explanation of me being an absent minded fool with a poor memory over my own word of telling her I definitely bought it and it was definitely in there.)

It is so frustrating that this is what I have to put up with. And I’m not looking forward to restarting the care package when the pandemic is over and I’m not at risk of carers bringing it in.

So i’ll have daily calls of people coming in, trying to put the light on from the wrong side of the wall, trying to start the microwave with the percentage button, trying to start the microwave with the deftost button, and giving me half frozen food because they don’t want to listen and don’t bother checking food on dishing it out.

And if i could do it myself, I’d do a damned better job, but I can’t, and that’s why I depend on other people in the first place.


Is it me, or am I just unlucky with the media I watch?

Sunday 22 November, 2020

After hardly watching any films almost all year, and I mean I watched three films between the months of February to November 2020, and two of them were more “On in the background whilst I was in the room and I kept turning around to look at the telly”, I finally felt curious about one film enough to get Netflix back, sit in front of the telly, and watch The Old Guard.

Because, since it’s release during the summer, it’s like everyone has seen this film, and i’ve spent the last however many months dodging meta, gifs, memes and reaction posts about it. And finally I thought, i’ve absorbed the whole story of this film through cyberetic osmosis, I really have to watch it for myself and see if it’s worth the hype.

And I did, and… I’m not sure about the latter. I really liked the film, don’t get me wrong. I like it how it is, I just don’t think it was as Amazing with a Capital A as everyone made it out to be. I do think it’s one of those films you notice more things in the more you watch it, meaning there’s more to it than meets the eye… I just think, the little moments we got that we could hyperanalyse if we wanted, should have been made a bit more of. There’s clearly a lot of story there to be written, and it would have been nice for it to be expanded. Maybe, if they get the sequel, we’ll get more of that in there. But there’s always a risk with a sequel that it’ll go forwards from there, or that it’ll not actually come to light at all. And with the virus…

But here’s the thing. I knew it was about Immortal people, and so I guessed death would be a topic too, but I suppose I didn’t realise what the driving emotions would be behind the film. We also have a character, Nile, who talks about missing her mum. That hit hard.

There was also a scene where one of the characters gets one of the henchmen in the eye whilst fighting him.

Yesterday I thought, well, if I’m watching films again, and series 3 has finally started airing in the UK (some weeks ago now), I’ll watch that. I forgot that series 2 ended with a death, leaving the viewer unsure if it’s Nic’s sister who has died or her Dad. Series 3 started with Nic attending a funeral, maybe a grave… I had to turn it off straight away.

And then I watched The Witcher. It’s something that I had plans to watch as soon as I heard about it, but then obviously life happened, and so I didn’t. And everyone was talking about The Witcher! For the first half of this year, for all through the first Lockdown, I saw poeple bingewatch The Witcher. So, I got Netflix back and it made sense to watch The Witcher.

First episode: Death. First we’ve got one guy getting an arrow to the eye, then everyone’s dying, and then a motherly figure is wounded and the girl is crying, and then it gets worse…

Second episode: People are bullying a girl with Scoliosis. I get it, I understand on multiple levels. It’s just not that great when you have scoliosis and a hump and know it could have been so much worse if circumstances had been different (but not so different i’d have died…) and watching a bodily deformity be yet another emotional plot point to make a point. I don’t know which way it will go. I’m glad she’s not evil, because that’s a tired trope. But I don’t know if she’s going to be another Rezo The Red Priest type (though he was blind, but my point still stands).

Oddly enough, the reason I had to turn it off partway through the episode was not because of any emotional turmoil caused by the plot or character interaction, but because a british-accented character said the phrase “On accident” instead of the more correct phrase of By Accident and it pissed me off to the point I had to turn it off.

Well, I suppose in a way you could say that is emotional turmoil over character interaction…

Does anyone have any recommendations of films or shows for me to watch where no mother figure dies (or nobody gets shot in the eye with an arrow) nor gets bullied because their bodies are “outside the norms of perpetuated beauty standards”? Cos if you do, answers on a post card, people!

Or comment below, that would be more efficient. Especially because you don’t have my address, but there is a handy dandy comment box you could use.


15 Years Today

Friday 16 October, 2020

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

1985 – 2005


Protected: The Lost Day

Friday 7 August, 2020

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I’ve never been to Penny Lane

Saturday 4 July, 2020

I’m a massive fan of The Beatles, and I live in Liverpool, but I’ve never been to Penny Lane. Not even on patient transport. My mum never let me!

I used to live on the bus route where I could get on just by mine and, if I was so inclined, go all the way to Penny Lane, but my mum, who lived her life to a strict shopping list and the phrase ‘we’ve got food at home’ never deviated her plans to allow this to happen. And she forbidded my dad from taking me! I never found out why. I began to suspect Penny Lane never actually existed…

It does exist. I’ve seen the photographic evidence!

The most frustrating thing is, it would have been so easy! Just get on and stay on the bus. No changing buses, no walking to another bus stop, just one bus, one route and back again. But the suggestion always went the same way.

“No you’re not going to Penny Lane.”

“why?”

“Because I said so, and that’s that!”

“We could just go, and stay on the bus and get on the next bus back.”

“You’re not going to Penny Lane, don’t go on.”

When I was a bit older and traveling on buses and trains by myself, to friends houses and a bit further afield, I thought if I planned it all out and just told my mum, like, ‘hey so on Saturday, me and this friend are gonna go to Penny Lane, okay? We’ll eat at this place at this specific time, and get this time bus back. Okay? Cool, all sorted!’ she’d have no option but to just accept it.

She did not accept it.

“You are not going to Penny Lane!! Don’t you even think about it!!”

The thing is, I got away with a few things, where I could prove my parents over protectiveness was over the top, after the fact, and some other things without mum and dad knowing, but I didn’t think I could get away with sneaking off to Penny Lane. And then just as my parents started accepting my own decisions on where I went, and what time I was getting home, my mobility worsened and I became a full time wheelchair user.

The bus route to penny lane didn’t have wheelchair access.

And then they changed all the bus routes and that bus didn’t go to Penny lane anymore. And then they dissolved that bus route altogether.

By the time I came through the other side of university the first time and being bed bound operation recovery and moving away and moving back, all the routes had changed. One good thing is wheelchair access is almost universal, but the route I’d have to take would involve changes, and getting there and back again within my social call time. Or an expensive taxi journey.

I think ive been thinking of this lately because of lockdown. I’m potentially looking at being stuck inside until there’s a vaccine, as people take more risks to get back to normality. The risk of dying from this hasn’t changed, and I worry as the death count continues to fall, it’ll go the same way as the flu, and the same attitude towards the coronavirus that has simmered under the surface from day 1: it’ll be up to the most at risk of dying from it to prevent themselves from catching it.

I feel like nobody has considered the idea that maybe the death count is falling because the virus is running out of people susceptable of dying from it, besides those of us lucky to have not caught it so far.

And the idea of having to stay indoors until there is absolutely no risk, when others are going back to work, education, visiting family, going on holiday, to the pub, not wearing a mask, not caring that they may be asymptomatic and spreading it… It’s so frustrating. So much of my life has been spent stuck inside as it is! And if I do my best to ensure I don’t catch the flu, and catch it anyway because other people aren’t ensuring they don’t spread it, then it’s obvious what the outcome will be eventually with this.

It makes me wish I’d have been able to do things when I had the opportunity to do them, cos I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to next without literally risking my life, and the life of the people around me.

I need to get over my fear of heights so I can enjoy the skyline of Liverpool properly, I need to get over my fear of water and try and swim, and I need to go to Penny Lane, and get a photo of myself by the sign!

It will be so much more difficult than twenty years ago. Why couldn’t I have gone there twenty years ago?

Maybe when I get there, I’ll find out.


Let me tell you this useless information

Friday 12 June, 2020

Some years ago I watched a cheaply made, badly put together documentary about the history/progression of the music industry. I watched it on DVD through LoveFilm, sometime between January 2013 and before Amazon took over LoveFilm completely. I can’t remember it’s name. I wish I couldn’t remember the documentary at all to be honest…

There was this snippet that talked about the music video, and the documentary narrator stated that there were three claims to the creation of the concept of the music video. Keep in mind, there was absolutely no footage or statements shown that proved these bands/artists actually made these claims, just photos/video footage as the narrator spoke.

The remit for creating the concept of the music video was that it had to be a video exclusively to work alongside the music, not on stage footage or a TV show performance repurposed for the sake of a music video.

The first was The Beatles, which seems believable.

The second is David Bowie, which, if I saw evidence of it I’d believe it, but I’m not so sure on the creation element. There are musical interludes in A Hard Day’s Night which were specifically written to show the audience that this was a real band they were watching, a purposefully directed visual element to work with the musical one. And a Hard Day’s Night predates David Bowie’s first music video.

The third was Cher.

No, I don’t understand that one either.

There was no mention of Queen, who actually have stated they created the concept of the music video with Bohemian Rhapsody. They had a director and everything!

But were they really the first? Again, A Hard Day’s Night’s Train scene where they’re singing I Should Have Known Better fits the remit too, and so do the musical interludes in Help!

The problem is, when you search for this information, you get the Queen claims, and you get forums where people are absolutely sure it was The Beatles. They’re no more informed than I am. (I don’t see any mention of Cher though, or this terrible documentary) So you have to take what you find with a pinch of salt. Is this all egos at battle, or, maybe they did all create a concept of the music video, but different ones at different times? And you put all those elements together, and it’s what you get today.

Maybe at some point in the future, a better quality documentary will cover this exact topic and put me out of my misery, because this has bugged me for years now. Hell, maybe there’s already one floating around right now waiting for me to watch it!


Underrated Duets that just worked anyway

Saturday 16 May, 2020

I was sitting here listening to what is now the first song on the list, When You’re Gone by Bryan Adams and Mel C whilst also thinking to myself, what should my next blog post be that doesn’t slip into depressive misery about the state of the world or losing my mum?

And then my mind wandered on to other songs that other members of the Spice Girls did with other artists, and this blog post was born.

1) Bryan Adams and Mel C – When You’re Gone

I know it get’s flack now, and I don’t know why. Their tones of voices just work so well together and the song is good! I know it’s got some, erm, rickity lyrics – “even food don’t taste that good” – but so what? There’s worse out there, in my opinion, that people like more. This was a good chart hit which hit number 3 in the UK.

2) True Steppers, Dane Bowers and Victoria Beckham – You’re Out of Your Mind

This was a wierd one! Nobody could really understand that it was this completely other duet’s song, True Steppers, that had Dane Bowers and Victoria Beckham on the track… Which might actually make this a quartet and inelligible for this list. Hm.

Moving on quickly. Yeah, neither of these singers were actually all that good at singing and it was very true to the time it was released in, with it’s Cher-style voice tech tuning for a futuristic sound, and the rapping. But despite those small problems, I think it’s still a good song. I liked it then, and I still like it now. It deserves some of the flack it gets, but not all of the flack it gets.

3) Mel C and Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes – Never Be The Same Again

Okay, I promise you this list isn’t going to be all Spice Girls related, but this was such a good song! And again, Mel C’s voice blends nicely with her duet partner. And Lisa’s rap really adds a good kick to a song that could have just been a samey ballad, even with Mel C’s voice. I can’t imagine this song any other way.

Unfortunately mid-promotion for this song, rumours of Mel C and Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes being an item (denied by both artists) sort of hovered around every interview I watched and heard, and it seems that anytime this song is brought up now, more people want to talk about that rumour than about the actual song.

R.I.P Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes.

4) McFly and Lulu – Shout

Does it count if half the duet is a four-membered band…? Yes. I’m making the list, we’re playing by my rules.

What I like about this, is that although McFly don’t add much, they add enough without taking anything away from the original song. It feels like they make a rounded song just a bit more fuller, if you get me.

And finally,

5) Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne – Changes

I know Kelly Osbourne’s music career flopped, but I thought she was alright! And I thought this song, sung with her father, was beautifully done. I really did. It’s made me cry on many occasions. People slate her for so many reasons, but this shouldn’t be one of them.

 

Now, i’m going to also mention Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman’s duet on Something Stupid. But I know it’s not underrated, many people like their version of the song. The thing is, although they sung it well together, I can’t actually stand the song. So I’m going to take this opportunity to ask them both to come back and sing together on a much better song, so when I do another list along these lines, I can actually add it.


Let’s have some fun on this blog!

Saturday 25 April, 2020

Life is pretty hard right now, and so blogging is even harder. So I’m going to take part in an old style blog/livejournal/xanga survey, based on music because it’s been the only thing I’ve been able to absorb for the last four months.

First 20 songs on shuffle, and your favourite line/lyric from the song.

  1. Collide by Howie Day – “Don’t stop here, I lost my place, I’m close behind”
  2. Sweets for my Sweet by The Searchers – “Darling, I would chase that bright star nightly and try to steal it from the sky”
  3. He Mele no Lilo – The Lilo and Stitch soundtrack – “He Inoa No Kalani Kalakaua Kulele”
  4. Words of Love  by The Beatles – “Words of love you whisper soft and true”
  5. My Eyes – The Doctor Horrible Soundtrack – “It’s plain to see, that evil inside of me is on the rise”
  6. Fallen in Love by McFly – “I wanna put it back together, cos it’s always better late than never”
  7. Newport Living by Deathcab for Cutie – “Just look at that social clique, do you really wanna be a part of it?”
  8. Between You and Me by The Ataris – “But everytime you hear this song you’ll know you made a mark on my heart and in my mind
  9. If You Buy This Record Your Life Will Be Better by The Temperer featuring Maya – “If you buy this record your life will be better, if you buy, if you buy, if you buy.”
  10. I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles – “And when I touch you I feel happy inside”
  11. What’s The Story, Morning Glory? by Oasis – “Tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon.”
  12. Innuendo by Queen – “Just turn yourself into anything you think you could ever be”
  13. Then I Met You by The Proclaimers – It’s a tie between “Thought the song was sung and I could never sing another” and  “And then one night I went to Morningside and you were waiting”
  14. Down and Out from The Bugsy Malone Soundtrack – “Lady luck’s a fickle bird, but a lady is allowed to change her mind”
  15. Meet You There by The Malloys – “Down the lanes that we used to take back home (oh oh), I’ll meet you there”
  16. Soak up the Sun by Sheryl Crow – “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got”
  17. Trucker Hat by Bowling for Soup – “Nothing in the world could ever make me look as good when you fit me like you do”
  18. Cruel to be Kind (Originally by Nick Lowe, this version by Letters to Cleo – “Well I do my best to understand, dear, but you still mystify and I wanna know why”
  19. Letter from America by The Proclaimers – “But you know our sense of timing; we always wait too long”
  20. World of Our Own by The Seekers – “And I know you will find there’ll be peace of mind when we live in a world of our own”

Confession: I am clearly more of a romantic than I generally admit to being.


Desert Island Discs – The Self Isolation At Home Edition

Thursday 9 April, 2020

So i’ve not been watching films, or telly, or knitting, playing games, or reading novels – fictional or otherwise, or building lego or basically doing anything really productive and I haven’t since my mum was in hospital. So what have I been doing?

Listening to music whilst flitting through social media. I mean, my friends and I have been calling each other more, which has been nice, but they can’t be on the phone all day, every day and quite frankly I wouldn’t want them to be. It’s no secret i’m an introvert at heart.

But the music… I always go back to music, whether it’s on the radio, or incessently listening to the same CD on repeat for weeks on end, playlists both sloppily put together or curated with care, it’s music. I can and have layed there with nothing to do for hours on end, just listening to music. It’s what helped me get out of my house when I was going otherwise trapped in my bedroom, between bouts of bed rest. Quite frankly if it was physically possible, I’d be going back to those live music clubs I used to go to ten years ago. But I can’t physically do that anymore, and anyway, we’re in lock down.

And I got thinking, the way you do when you’ve gone stir crazy, if I was on the show Desert Island Discs, what recordings would I choose? And then I changed the format because it’s much easier to think about 5 albums than eight single recordings, a book and a luxury item, when nothing but music is appealing right now.

1) The first album has to be a Beatles one. I can’t be a Beatles fan and not choose to take a Beatles album with me, and so I choose Magical Mystery Tour. It’s one of my three favourite albums by The Beatles. And when I was younger, me and my Dad would play chess to either that album or Sgt. Pepper’s, my other favourite album. I hardly ever won – I’m far too chaotic to be strategic, but every now and then I think my inability to strategise would throw him off and I’d get a lucky checkmate. He did not let me win. Trust me, my Dad is not the type of man to let you win just because you’re a child or his own daughter, it was a dog eat dog world when we played chess.

My favourite song on the album is Penny Lane. I love the descriptions and it’s a story of a morning in Penny Lane.

Confession: Despite being on the same bus route for many years, I have never ever been to Penny Lane.


Album 2 – KT Tunstall’s Acoustic Extravaganza. Oh let me wax poetical about how beautiful this album is. I absolutely love KT Tunstall, I think her on a half arsed day – not that she’s ever had any! – would save the world. If she turned up at my door with a washboard and only hummed at me for an hour, that would be the best hour of my life.

Her voice is just amazing, her guitar playing is perfect, she has the perfect soft tone for softer songs, and then can wrack it up for a more hard rockier sound, and she just seems like such a lovely person? This CD comes with a making of, and watching the process of her making this album was just… it was like watching a shooting star in the sky. And I got this for christmas off That Old Friend We Don’t Talk About in 2007, and I just fell in love with the album ever since.

Her first album – Eye to the Telescope – is great, do not get me wrong, she has perfect production on all her albums. But this acoustic album? It’s just so beautiful. I listened to it on repeat for weeks until I switched over to Drastic Fantastic (Given to me for Christmas off my Dad), which I then also listened to on repeat, until I just made one whole KT Tunstall Playlist of all three of her albums out at that time.

And I already loved Universe & U from Eye to the Telescope, but the acoustic version on this album? Honestly, it made me cry. I’m only a little bit embarrassed to admit that. Her and her guitar are in perfect harmony. Why would I not want that with me on a desert island?


Album 3 – A Night At The Opera by Queen.

I got given this album from my Dad, for Christmas in 2006. My Dad will claim until he’s blue in the face that he is not a Queen fan, and that this is the only album worth listening to. This is the same man who had half of their albums on records, and got them again on CD, and knows some odd details about the business side of the band that I’m sure only hardcore fans would know and bother remembering. But, he’s not a fan and doesn’t actually like their music. Okay. Sure.

My mum was the bigger fan, either way.

So when I first really got into them, not just liking what I heard when I heard it on the radio/telly/movie soundtracks, but going out of my way to listen to their albums, I borrowed my Dad’s albums and found his copy of A Night at the Opera skipped. Under the guise of wanting me to listen to The Only Queen Album Worth Listening To, he got me my own copy later that year for Christmas.

And, just like i usually do, I put it in my CD player and I listened to it on repeat for weeks. This wasn’t like Queen I or Queen II or News of the World or The Works, this was something else. I could understand what my Dad was saying about it being the best. I don’t agree that the others aren’t worth listening to (and clearly neither does he since he still has those albums on CD, and that they’ve survived multiple moves and big clear outs). The production is tied together better than their first two albums and there’s a song for every mood on that album.

But it’s not just for the musical reasons I’d want this album with me, it’s because my Dad is a ridiculous man who clearly wanted to share this album with me but for some reason wants to pretend he’s not a fan.

And choosing my favourite song is difficult, and the best I could narrow it down to is two favourite songs. And hey, this is my format and so I say it’s okay. The first is Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon. It’s so light and airy and fun! And it’s short, so it’s okay that I’ve got two favourite songs.

Just the imagery the song gives of a dapper dressed man going about his weekly business in the Edwardian Era. And the way Freddie sings “Fridays i go painting at the looooooOoOoOoOovre”. It’s just fun!

Which nicely counteracts the severe heart ache that ’39 can give me if I listen to it on the wrong day. Because that’s my other favourite – ’39. Brian May’s voice is so soft and his guitar playing goes without saying, really. And the story the song gives, it’s just so vivid. One of the first things one of my friend’s said to me, whilst we were fresh faced uni students bonding over music in our hall’s flat hallway, was that songs that tell a story always have more heart to them than generic songs that rely on cliches, and it seems obvious, but it’s true. I love The Beatles, but Love Me Do, I Wanna Hold Your Hand or Day Tripper don’t exactly tell a story, do they? But ’39 does. And it’s beautiful and yet sad at the same time.

Confession: I didn’t realise on the first few hundred or so listenings that it was about people going in to space and coming back 100 years later (i’ve got form for this). It wasn’t until about four years later that I twigged what the lyrics meant. Which beats my Dad by about 40 years because it was only just before Christmas last year when he knocked on my door and excitedly explained to me what the song was about.

But it is beautifully sung, with beautiful instrumental arrangement intertwining, and beatiful imagery. It might make me sad, but I think I’d be more sad not being able to hear that song, along with the rest on the album, ever again.


Album 4 – McFly’s RadioActive.

In all honesty, I was depressed when this album came out. My life was just on a stale mate, trapped in an inaccessible house, contained to one floor so I had access to the bathroom. I didn’t feel like I had a reason to get out of bed, or go to sleep, or exist.

This album felt alive.

I got the free one first, which I now regret because of the lack of integrity of the newspaper it was available in – And then the full album came out a few months later, after I started at Uni. I missed the McFly signing in Liverpool because I had to move into campus the same day.

There is not one bum song on the whole album. That’s not to say there’s some songs I like less than others, but there’s no downright bad song. I believe it was made with heart, and it was all of their tastes coming together to be shared with us, the fans, who all had similar tastes. It was Wonderland without the taste of Emo, it was MITO: The PHD Years.

And in 2009, it was my saving grace, as I went to see the band on their Radio:Active tour more than once.

I hear the album now and I think of pushing through hard times, and it doesn’t hurt to remember those times. I think of summer warmth, I think of friends, I think of crappy access I suffered through and came out on the other side knowing how to write strongly worded letters.

My favourite song is Everybody Knows. This was another hard decision to make, and yet not quite. It mentions ships!! I’m only half kidding about that reasoning.

I think the real favourite would have been POV, but the acoustic version, which is not on this album, is a nicer version than the full sound version that is on this album. And I love Smile, Do Ya and Going Through The Motions but not as much as Everybody Knows. (It mentions ships!!). It’s lively, it’s got good lyrics (it mentions ships!!) and good guitar. So I guess you can say, it sails above the rest!

(Also sometimes when they sung it live, they swapped ship for shit which amused me on a See No Evil, Hear No Evil level)


The 5th and Final Album – The Wizard of Oz Soundtrack.

No i’m not joking! I think a soundtrack would be a nice variety to what I’ve already chosen, and it’s a very good sountrack. The Wizard of Oz is a childhood classic that I’ve overwatched and listening to the soundtrack is like watching the film, without wacthing the film. And it has the extra tracks they didn’t use in the film!

It’s light and fun, and it’s dramatic and heart warming. And I like the idea of being on a deserted beach, sitting on a rock somewhere belting out If I Were The King of the Forest.

I got this album on a multi-buy sale from HMV, but I don’t know when. I just know that sometime, somewhere between April and May 2009, I fished it out of my CD case,  I put it on repeat and only took the occasional break from it to listen to Radioactive by McFly.

There’s nothing really deep about it, it was just a fun album from the dark days of monotony.

My favourite song from the album is Jitterbug. It was a song they filmed a scene and dance sequence for, but never used in the film itself. I don’t know what it is I like about it, because it’s jaunty but creepy and, of course because Judie Garland is carrying most of the song, it’s sung perfectly with a warm depth.


Notable albums I’ve neglected to mention:-

Breakout by Miley Cyrus – Not my album. Me and my uni flatmates listened to this almost exclusively whenever we were all in the kitchen together the first month at uni.

2 by The Calling

From Now by Rik Waller – It’s honestly never a good sign when I start listening to this album, because it means I’m stuck being nostalgic over a specific time frame in my life, and listening to it usually makes me more sad over that time. But Rik Waller, despite all of his faults that came across during his stint as a celebrity, has a lovely voice. It’s mostly a cover album, but  I believe the song From Now is an original, and that’s easily my favourite.

Unbreakable by Westlife – Don’t ask. But Bop Bop Baby is my favourite song from the album.

Space Oddity by David Bowie

Let It Go by Avril Lavigne

Justified by Justin Timberlake – Again, not my album.

The Labyrinth Soundtrack


What do you call a film buff that doesn’t watch films anymore?

Sunday 29 March, 2020

I love films. I can’t give an accurate idea how much I love films. I eat, sleep and dream films. I can analyse films, reimagine films, recast films and quote films. I have binge watched franchises, I have rewatched the same film multiple times in a week, a weekend and a day. Ask me about how I only had four DVDs for about 16 months and so just watched them, or at least had them on in the background, over and over and over again whilst I did my coursework for my GNVQ. I love the cinema! I once went to the cinema three times in one week, I once went two days on the run. I’ve seen two films in one day at the cinema at least Twice and i’ve seen the same film more than once in a run because i’ve liked it enough to go see it with two or more people, one at a time!

Except…

Except when my Mum went in to hospital, my concentration went down hill. We watched crappy films with my auntie as we waited for the phone call the first time we were told it wasn’t looking good, and that’s the last time I watched a film.

I’ve tried to watch films I like, and I just lose interest. I’ve tried to watch new films and it feels off and then I switch it off because i’m not paying enough attention to warrant ruining the movie for myself. I’ve even tried to watch crappy movies, something I won’t ruin by emotional association… and that didn’t work either.

I’ve got DVDs there that I bought around my birthday last year, that I never got around to watching because first i was saving them, then I came down sick, and then uni started up, and I fell further and further behind until I deferred, and then I spent a few days catching up on much needed sleep, and then I needed to get into Christmas mode. And then it was Christmas. And then my mum went in to hospital.

The DVDs are sitting there ready to be watched, I just can’t bring myself to watch them.

I’ve got films saved to the digital box. Some are two years old because I was waiting for my mum to be in the mood to watch them with me, they are films she liked enough to ask me to tape them for them and I didn’t have the heart to watch them without her and she always wanted to watch other things instead of these films. I can’t bring myself to watch them without her. There’s other films there that I recorded for myself. I don’t want to watch them either. It’s a mixture of “can’t be arsed”, “Mentally exhausted by the idea” and “I know I’ll lose interest ten minutes into it so what’s the point even starting?”. There’s also the fact that when I am sad, and I watch new films, I then associate the film with feelings of sadness I felt at the time. I can’t watch Lilo and Stitch anymore for that reason. I can’t bare to ruin a film I’ve not even seen yet just by watching it at the wrong time.

My netflix is mostly going unused. I’ve re-watched sections of 6 Underground a few times, but not the full film since the first/last time I watched it, which I watched with my mum and it was the last film we watched together.

I planned to go back to Cinema Paradiso before all this happened, and go back to renting DVDs from the library. I had a list, I had a system. I had all four corners covered and it optimised my viewing capabilities. Now with the corona virus, I don’t fancy receiving DVDs I have to handle, open, and send back through the post system, so that’s Cinema Paradiso out. I still have the list, it lays discarded underneath my bed. I keep picking it up and leaning it against my bedside table but it keeps sliding down. I can’t be bothered to move it elsewhere.

I let my CEA card expire and between this and the corona virus, I don’t see me renewing it any time soon.

The other year when I deferred last time, I watched at least one film a day besides during the world cup when it was just wall to wall football. I’ve not watched a single film, not properly, not taking it in from the background, since the 26th of January.  And I think, at a time like this, when I’m being forced to stay at home for my own health, some sort of entertainment would be a good idea… but it just hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know when it will.

So… What do you call a film buff who doesn’t watch films anymore?