One year ago today.
It’s not that it doesn’t exist, it’s not that it’s not possible, it’s that someone in some management office somewhere has decided it’s not worth the time and effort it would take to implement the universal access of it.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about things not being available for devices which otherwise work and brand new apps which could, in theory, work on said devices if the companies can be bothered making a compatible app.
I got Britbox a few months ago. I got the free trial of it and I paid for it for two months after that, as I wanted to watch shows that were now unavalible elsewhere. I am still sort of mentally not with it for binge watching, so I knew it would be a bit more money than it was really worth just on that fact alone, but just having it there for when I wanted it was nice… at the start. And then I realised how much a pain in the arse it was.
I’m physically disabled and if there’s one thing I need, it’s comfort. Sitting in front of my computer for an hour and a half to watch something is okay on occasion, but I’m long passed it being my first port of call to watch something with my current set up (IE, lack of a desk). I also don’t mind binge watching trash telly on my phone, because it’s trash telly and not something I want to absorb properly, and it’s no big deal if i’m in too much pain to carry on holding my phone up to my face. I, as much as I can, watch films on the telly.
Britbox has a phone app, a tablet app, apparently a telly app for a smart telly (but loads of people say it doens’t work), it can sort of work with a Roku stick (if it’s blessed by the high priestess of Fairyland on the second equinox, but ONLY if it lands of a Tuesday). For all of my other streaming needs, I use my xbox 360.
Yes, you read that right. Xbox 360. I’ve had my baby for nearly 10 years! It’s become a family relic and I don’t plan on getting rid of him anytime soon, he still works. He can play DVDs and everything. Well, not everything because there’s no Britbox app for the 360. And in fact, there’s no BritBox app for any games console! Yes, I know, very priviledged problems to have. I can also complain about my real problems if you’d like…
And the thing is… Britbox is backed by some pretty big pockets. Maybe Netflix, Amazon and NowTV are backed by bigger pockets but it doesn’t make any sense to me that they don’t have an app for games consoles. Games Consoles must account for a lot of streaming of television. It must do! And to not get into that corner of the market, it makes no sense to me.
If you look at the twitter search results for people complaining about this, for people requesting there be an app for games consoles, they are met with the same reply. There’s no plans for the future but they’ll keep it in mind. Thanks for your feedback, folks!
And now. Now, I come to watch some films I do have on DVD but which are not currently accessible to me, and I find that due to the… I don’t even know what to call it. Because it’s the oppoisite of monopolisation. The split. The war of the streaming devices, the films i want to watch are not on the streaming services i already have. They are on Disney+. I do not have Disney+. The first reason for this is when Disney+ was first released, I wasn’t watching films, and that’s pretty much been it for the whole year until about December. The second reason for this is, really??? Paying for another service?? I have Netflix and CinemaParadiso and that pretty much had me covered, and then I got Prime cos there’s more interesting shows on there (Besides Kobra Kai). And now, if I want to access “Disney” films, which include many, many other movies because of how many other companies Disney has now swallowed up, I have to get Disney+. I mean the simple answer now would be to just get all of my DVDs out of the boxes I put them in for the move that never happened, except that would require physical labour I can’t do myself and nobody wants to help me with and it would take up space I never really had in the first place and still don’t have… And you think, when streaming became the main mode of in home entertainment, people got rid of their physical stuff. Their books went cos they could read on Kindle, their DVDs went because they had Netflix and Prime, their CDs have long been gone because of Spotify and Itunes Music… and they might as well have kept them all because now they don’t have that kind of access to the films they want to watch anymore. Is it really worth the cost?
Which is veering off track a bit there, but still a valid point, I think. In my humble opinion.
I thought, well, I’ll just sign up for the free trial of Disney+. It won’t take me longer than the duration of the free trial to watch these movies, mental health and CFS permitting. And if it did, well, paying for one month isn’t too bad, I suppose… Sort of like a Disability Tax, i’m used to it.
And then I went to get it on my Xbox 360 and, well, there is no Disney+ app for the xbox 360.
Why!? Again, this can’t be a money issue! They surely have the capabilities, the resources, to make an app for the xbox! And I refuse to believe that my phone is so advanced it is capable of doing things more than my xbox! I’ve played games on my phone, trust me I know where the quality lies. I downloaded that Harry Potter game on my phone for all of a day and uninstalled it because it was no better than playing the playstation game back in 2002! And it must go two ways, surely, that if my phone is capable of streaming Netflix and so is my Xbox, then surely my Xbox is capable of streaming Disney+ if my phone is capable of streaming Disney+!
So really this feels like nothing more than enforced obselences. It’s not so much these devcies don’t work anymore, but that less and less is compatible with it, meaning your ability to use it lessens, forcing you to upgrade.
My poor little xbox is being outmoded!
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.
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.
You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead.
1985 – 2005
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.”
“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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
- Collide by Howie Day – “Don’t stop here, I lost my place, I’m close behind”
- Sweets for my Sweet by The Searchers – “Darling, I would chase that bright star nightly and try to steal it from the sky”
- He Mele no Lilo – The Lilo and Stitch soundtrack – “He Inoa No Kalani Kalakaua Kulele”
- Words of Love by The Beatles – “Words of love you whisper soft and true”
- My Eyes – The Doctor Horrible Soundtrack – “It’s plain to see, that evil inside of me is on the rise”
- Fallen in Love by McFly – “I wanna put it back together, cos it’s always better late than never”
- Newport Living by Deathcab for Cutie – “Just look at that social clique, do you really wanna be a part of it?”
- 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“
- 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.”
- I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles – “And when I touch you I feel happy inside”
- What’s The Story, Morning Glory? by Oasis – “Tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon.”
- Innuendo by Queen – “Just turn yourself into anything you think you could ever be”
- 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”
- Down and Out from The Bugsy Malone Soundtrack – “Lady luck’s a fickle bird, but a lady is allowed to change her mind”
- Meet You There by The Malloys – “Down the lanes that we used to take back home (oh oh), I’ll meet you there”
- Soak up the Sun by Sheryl Crow – “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got”
- Trucker Hat by Bowling for Soup – “Nothing in the world could ever make me look as good when you fit me like you do”
- 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”
- Letter from America by The Proclaimers – “But you know our sense of timing; we always wait too long”
- 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.