Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Monday, March 29, 2021

Wildlife Watch…

Psst! Wanna see some live lions 🦁 or elephants 🐘?  The live webcam from an African watering hole and river is great. Four cameras to choose from. 


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Census 2021 : Religion…

Last Sunday was census day. A once in a decade chance to ask us all where we are, what we are, what we do, where we put it, and what we might believe. 

But it’s that leading ‘Religion’ question which I have a problem with…

The question the Census asks is, “What is your religion?”  This is a leading question. And it is itself too inherently ‘religious’ in my view. 

In my opinion there should first be a single option of Religion / No Religion as a binary choice; not listing lots of religions and “No Religion” being one of those options. If you select Religion them you can pick from a list. 

I just don’t equate “No Religion” with a long list of Religions. Humanism/atheism is not a religion!

So should be something like:
Question 1: Do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion?
Question 2: If you answered Yes above select from which one below, if not skip to question 3.
Question 3: …

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Abney Park cemetery...

On Sunday Stuart and I went for walk around Abney Park cemetery in near-by Stokey. One of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries in London it is just a delightful place to spend the afternoon. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

My Mother - (Or Myrtle as we call her)…

For me there is only one amazing mother in my life and that is of course my own dearest mother. Myrtle, you are kind, you are generous, you are beautiful, you are an adventurer, you are an inspiration, you are loved, you are needed, you keep me sane, you keep me feeling loved, and you keep me laughing. ❤️ Happy Mother’s Day ❤️

Thursday, March 11, 2021

My Covid-19 Vaccine Experience...

The Francis Crick Institute is right by St Pancras Station. So full of excitement yesterday morning I joined the queue outside the side entrance with about half a dozen other 56-59 year olds all waiting in the rain. We were all there for our first jab.

Having booked directly with the Institute via their own web site rather than through the central NHS web site meant I, along with a few others, found myself on the 'other' list. Not the main list, the 'other list. So we few got a bit wetter than most while they searched around for the 'other' list.

Eventually the 'other' list was produced; and I was inside the building.

I was then meet by a series of people with iPads who took it in turns to check who I was, check my date of birth, check my NHS number, check I had a booking, and finally check I didn't have any Covid-19 symptoms, and I understood the 'potential risks' of the vaccine. I did. 

Finally, I got to sit in a doctor's chair for my jab.

The doctor said, "hello" and then scrolled up and down a spreadsheet on her laptop. She paused. The she scrolled some more. Then she stood up and said she'd be back in a minute. A few minutes later she reappeared with one of the iPad people I'd spoken to earlier who eyed me warily before they both leaned over the laptop and scrolled up and down some more. Finally iPad person said, "ah-ha", looked at doctor, rolled his eyes and clicked something on the spreadsheet. After he left the doctor said to me, "I'm not trained to ask questions about allergies so I needed him to click that box." "OK", I said.

The jab was quick and painless and within a few minutes, I was heading for the door thanking any and every one I could see. It all took about 30 minutes.

I've had no real side effects since apart from my arm being a little bit achy last night waking me up at 3am. So I took a couple of painkillers and I've not had to take more or had any aches or pains since.

My overwhelming feeling today is one of gratitude. Gratitude to the scientists, to manufacturers, to the logistics, to the NHS, and to all the unseen backroom boys and girls who have made that little vaccine happen.

Today I feel just that little bit safer.

Monday, March 08, 2021

Vaccine Booked!…

The Francis Crick Institute have recently opened up a big vaccine centre in Kings Cross. On Saturday morning I got a text invite for my 1st jab. “I’m borderline 60”. Bloody cheek! 🙂 Booked in for Wednesday morning. Bloody relieved!

Friday, March 05, 2021

£4,700,075.48 seemed a bit excessive for new glasses!..

I bought a new pair of glasses yesterday. Only they were rather move expensive than I had expected.

£4,700,075.48 seemed a bit excessive. (He typed the amount and the shop code all in together and didn’t hit the enter key in-between.) I didn’t notice. Luckily Amex rejected it! 😆

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché...

I was a big X-Ray Spex fan back in the day; Oh Bondage Up Yours!, Germfree Adolescents, and of course the sublime Identity. And Barbican members get to watch the film for free! Conscious Consumer indeed.
“Poly Styrene, the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band, introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion.
Poly Styrene used her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.”

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

The Pirates of Penzance @ Palace Theatre...

Just before Lockdown v3.0 Stuart and I squeezed in a trip to the theatre to see an all-male version of The Pirates of Penzance at The Palace Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

What could have been more cheering way back in 2020 than to have been in a theatre again at Christmas? A jolly bit of Gilbert and Sullivan is what! Sasha Regan's all-male Pirates of Penzance has voyaged around the world and it was great to have seen it when it dropped anchor, albeit for one of two nights only, at the Palace Theatre. It was lively and inventive, with a slightly chaotic, rough and ready vibe that was quite refreshing on a West End stage.

There was plenty to enjoy in the jaunty choreography and daft fight scenes, involving tiny swords and people standing on each other. The all-male aspect was funny but not over-egged and it was all (sadly?) very family friendly.

Having performed in all-male version of The Pirates of Penzance myself back in (gulp) 1973 I knew all the words and, no doubt to the annoyance of those sitting in the row in front, sang along - albeit through my mask.

I hope this show sets sail again when all this lockdown nonsense is well and truly over.

Monday, March 01, 2021

A woman goes to see her gynaecologist...

A woman goes to see her gynaecologist.
Doctor: Madam, you have a large vagina. Madam, you have a large vagina.
Woman: OK, OK, no need to repeat yourself.
Doctor: I didn't.