I don’t know about you but I watch a lot of TV programmes from America. Some of them I watch occasionally but others I have watched from series one through to the last series, which is fine, as these usually come to a satisfactory end; programmes, such as Beauty and the Beast, Rizzoli and Isles and Castle to name just a few.
However, I get annoyed when TV programmes are cancelled in America due to lack of audience numbers yet are still popular in this country. This means that the viewer i.e. me is left wondering what happens at the end.
Sometimes they only make one series but you only find this out after you have invested your time watching the first 5 episodes and have become interested in the characters or the storyline. Again you are left hanging; becoming frustrated as you would have liked to find out what would have happened if they had continued the storyline.
I would suggest that the programme makers, when the series is commissioned, have a ‘get-out’ programme already recorded so that all loose ends are tied up neatly even if it means doing a longer episode to gather all the strands together.
On another note some series such as, ‘Lost ‘had so many different writers that series 2 and 3 were totally out of sync with the first idea and it took series 3 and 4 to get back on track. I watched it right through to series 6 where the ending was actually the ending that they could have come up with if they had finished it in the first series!
Thought for the day: “I need to stop!” I whispered to myself as I clicked the next episode!!
In the 1950’s and 1960’s a gamer would be one who played board games such as Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Cards and Dominoes. Or they would be someone who played games outside like, ‘Two Balls, Kingie, Kick- the- ball -against -the –wall and the tennis equivalent; not forgetting Hop-scotch or ‘Tiggy-It’.
I remember skipping individually as well as in a long line. Leap Frog was also very popular as were hand stands or swinging from a bar.
Going to the park playground and enjoying the swings, the slide and the roundabout with the best of all being the spider’s web! Try to hold onto that if you dare when it was swirling a full speed! Such excitement and thrills we had! Children also played on their bikes, roller skates as well as imaginary games based on famous TV shows and simple genres like school, house and shops.
All of these activities were common place for youngsters but nowadays these activities seem tame and uninteresting to some of our young.
We have come a long way from those days, what with compute games and play stations. There are so many computer games out there at the moment that my mind boggles. You can create your own virtual realms in Sims or create new buildings in the popular Mine Craft. You can race against each other in fast cars or ski at breathtaking speeds on mountain tops. You can collect artefacts to help you on your way and move through varying levels of difficulty and strategise battles between alien or fantasy creatures.
I recently watched an episode of The Gadget Show, which took a look at the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise in America.
WOW! How games have evolved!
The ‘Call of Duty’ games are so popular now that they have their own convention; real life situations played out with fans dressing up, using paint ball guns and playing out scenes from the online game! Just looking at the number of people in the audience where the CEO of the company gave details of the new release game was staggering.
Gaming conventions have hundreds of computers lined up in rows where people of different ages play against the game and each other. There are YouTube aficionados who make a living out of playing games online, whilst commentating on how they play a particular level; with people watching how they do it and learning from them.
These people have become icons and only if you live in this world can you really appreciate the mega-stardom that they have achieved.
Yes, we really have come a long way from the games of my youth and except for the solitary status of many of the games and the isolation that this can cause for our youngsters in particular, plus the lack of outdoor exercise that is lost; they are phenomenal pieces of entertainment, which are easily accessible to the public.
I have to admit that they do fascinate me and I applaud anyone who can make sense of these games; maybe one of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to try one!! There is no doubt in my mind that I will be useless and with my special technological powers I could bring the system down!
Gamers be afraid; be very afraid! LOL
Thought for the day: You are never too old to set a new goal.
At a recent trip to a local restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see the walls displaying art work by local artists. The work was varied and interesting to look at as well as being for sale. The paintings were a conversation breaker and added to the general ambience within the restaurant.
t was refreshing to see and I commend the restaurant owners for being patrons of artists in this way. When I look at the canvases for sale in bargain stores with their horrendous starving artist quality of subjects, locations and people; my heart sinks. Customers are offered such basic TAT; when they could be buying original art work instead.
Some of these tacky prints can be up to £50, which is basically a print on a canvas board; a piece of paper which will be printed in their hundreds, whereas for maybe the same price people could buy an original piece of art that only they would own. It makes my heart weep when I see people leaving these stores with basically wallpaper art on large canvases useful only to cover gaps.
Local artists whether they are amateur or semi professional really deserve a better break and more recognition of their talent. More restaurants and cafes should be encouraged to follow this restaurant’s pioneering example. I recently visited a supermarket café, which had bland prints on the wall. They were dull in colour and added nothing to the décor or ambience of the café whereas my lovely husband’s landscapes would have brought a bright, energising atmosphere to the place; where people could enjoy looking at and appreciate someone’s talent at work.
Local artists deserve a chance to have some recognition of their work and be given some display space. Surely other businesses or offices with wall space could be encouraged to follow this example. They have large areas of wall space that they could offer to artists; they could even charge 10% commission on any sales that are made from their hangings.
Now that I come to think about it, this idea could be extended to doctor’s and dentist surgeries, newspaper offices, solicitors and business offices. It would benefit twofold; brightening up drab soulless workspaces and allowing people to work in a more colourful and vibrant atmosphere; as well as spear-heading an artist’s recognition movement.
If anyone out there would like to try this idea in their office or place of work then why not have a look at my lovely husband’s website www.philipwestcott.co.uk. You never know you might find something there that will interest you.
I really do believe regardless of my connection to Philip’s work that art galleries should really be opening their doors and art space for new artists and I believe moving back to displaying more traditional, representational art work, would be more accessible and appreciated by the viewing public. This art is just as valid in today’s society as the modern contemporary, conceptual work that is on show in many art galleries at the moment.
Thought for the day: Don’t wait for tomorrow; do it now!
Losing A House.
It keens right to the edge of feeling,
Leaving a raw wound
In frustration and anger.
A gnawing pain
Piercing nerve ends.
Curling round stomach muscles;
Drawing one’s body up
In a defensive, foetal position.
The brain rages
Against the perpetrator;
To no avail.
For nothing can be done
Except to continue suffering.
Thought for the day: Sometimes things just happen for a reason!
Buying a house sucks! It’s right up there in a pain threshold with labour, child birth; being kicked in the balls and root canal!
Yet the pain is not of your own making; the frustration of bureaucracy and paperwork is so intense that stress oozes out of your pores liquefying your brain and intellect.
Unbelievable thoughts fill your mind, as to the lay person, things seem so simple, logical and yes you could do better.
Dear Daughter Mine has bought a house and without the input from my lovely husband she would still be waiting and waiting for the transfer to go through.
Questions about searches arose first of all. She had been waiting for these for what seemed like ages and my lovely husband made one phone call to the council offices to be told that they had been sent to her legal team ten days ago. He then phoned them and surprise and what joy- they had just arrived in their e –mail in box!
Then there was the money from the mortgage people; the deposit was all set to go when it was discovered that part of the deposit had been given to her as a gift. This meant that there was another three to four days delay; all for the want of being asked a simple question in the first place.
Then when Dear Daughter Mine is ready to exchange contracts, the mortgage people are ready and the lady who is selling the house is ready; her solicitor (belonging to the lady selling the house) goes on holiday and she was delayed again!
I understand that the legal firms have other clients to deal with and Dear Daughter Mine‘s purchase is one of many and the seller’s sale is too but I wonder do any of these professionals actually think of their clients as people in the real world who have to juggle work and everyday life as well as waiting for the deal to go through.
Not only did Dear Daughter Mine have to suffer but this had a knock on effect for family members, namely me and my lovely husband, who began to sprout spots, started comfort eating all the wrong things, as well as not sleeping because they were not in a position to take control and get things done!
Then there was the extra cost on top of the exorbitant legal fees; Dear Daughter Mine had to hire a storage unit and stay and pay for B&B accommodation whilst waiting, as her flat contract had run out by this time.
Also the seller, due to the delay, had to pay an extra month’s mortgage on the property that she was selling when obviously she thought that the sale would have proceeded on time.
Buying a house for anyone, let alone a first time buyer who is looking forward to building a future, should be an exciting and happy time.
Fortunately when Dear Daughter Mine received her keys and opened HER front door for the first time; it was!!
Thought for the day: New home, new adventures, new memories!
My next three blogs all have a similar theme. Here's the first one. They might strike a chord!
The Estate Agent
He arrived looking like an estate agent.
No secrets here, I thought.
Trench coat, dark; fully belted against the cold,
Trying to look French?
Underneath, I imagined,
the inevitable woolly jumper, warm and tight;
a tweed jacket pulling across a barrelled chest.
Small and short.
One could almost say,
“Compactly built with no special features!”
Under a mop of unruly hair,
a self – depreciating face
neatly framed by a trimmed beard.
May be, not quite so controlled after all.
He was armed, for all the world to see
with a science fiction space gun, claxon shaped;
alongside his regulation clip board and calculator.
Muttering, mumbling and scribbling
he toured our house;
inside and out, trying to make conversation
Oh -pleasant and flattering
with knowledgeable grunts.
Finally resting -still belted up.
Image intact. Status upheld.
He calculated furiously, stabbing numbers viciously.
Seemingly, expertly he arrived at his valuation.
“Well,” he says “My basic would be...”
“However, you could ask maybe...”
But then again, if you are prepared to wait...”
On the other hand, if you want a quick sale, you might get...”
As you can imagine I’m so glad I called in a professional!
Thought for the day: Selling your own home can be like removing your
own appendix; very painful!
A group of ramblers were waiting for their coach. All were dressed correctly. Good stout walking boots, thick woolly socks spilling over the top of them. Khaki trousers, brushed soft cotton and green zip up to the neck fleeces.
Underneath layers for when the sun heated up and scarves to protect their necks; with hats ranging from seaside floppy canvas to cowboy replicas. Bursting back packs and a few well handled walking sticks were on show as well.
The age ranges were a little worrying though especially to a lay person in walking terms. Some of them looked as if they wouldn’t be able to make it up two flights of stairs let alone a hike; however they were enthusiastic and excited.
They were going on a day hike to Haworth in Yorkshire that is until they realised that they were waiting in the wrong place for their coach! Fortunately Crocodile Dundee arrived to explain where they had gone wrong.
"You need to go left, then right and then left again" he told them pointing vaguely into the distance. Then he set off at a spanking pace with the muted words, “Just going to use the facilities at the bus station.”
Hopefully they didn’t follow him there!
So armed with these new instructions they had to hot foot it to the correct meeting place a few blocks away. Not a good advertisement for ‘wanna’ be ramblers! I hope they made it!
Thought for the day: If you are facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep on walking!
Saturday arrived and by this time everyone was ready for home. All the mobility scooters, which had grown in number over the week, had been returned and everyone was sitting in their correct seat for the long journey home. Mr D. River appeared and was quite relaxed; making jokes about our hotel by referring to it as Fawlty Towers and so we set off.
There was nothing spectacular about the journey. It was raining and my lovely husband and I listened to music on our headphones and dozed. We stopped off to collect rations for the rest of the journey and soon we made it back to the first coach swap over.
Here we left Gregor and some of our travel friends to board the coach that would take us to Manchester. Other coaches were heading off towards Liverpool and one as far as Grimsby. Actually Gregor or Mr Grumpy was driving this particular coach, which as you can imagine had us both in fits of giggles; an appropriate destination for an appropriate disposition!
Anyway we made our way again with our first driver Olaf, who was pleasant and friendly all the way to Lymm service station, where we transferred yet again to a mini bus which was to take us to Stockport and then Manchester.
Again nothing happened on this journey worthy of comment, just that we were tired and wanted to get home; which we did by about 6.30 in the evening after setting off at 8.30 in the morning. A journey of about 10 hours, which made us realise that we could have been to Lanzarote and back in the same time but obviously at a greater expense!
Would we do one of these coach trips again? Yes, we would but only if we did more research on the hotel being offered and the prices were on the right side of a bargain!
Overall we enjoyed the experience and we did meet some genuinely nice people, which was a bonus in itself.
Since writing up this diary of events, we have been on another coach trip but this time with another company and to the USA. Watch out, for you never know, I might write another report about that experience sometime in the future!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Well that was a night to remember! First off, the film, that we had planned to see - Suicide Squad, had finished last night and the choice of three films was limited. We elected to see Bad Moms in the hope of some humour and light relief.
But first the cinema itself; it was housed in an old beautiful art deco theatre with faded elegance running right through it. We tried hard to over look the rack and ruin that it had been left in, as well as trying hard not to gag at the musty mould smell, which permeated the whole building.
I tried to forgive the dirt and litter in the ladies; maybe the cleaner hadn’t been able to get to them before this showing and I also tried to ignore the ripped velvet plush seats and refuse in the seating aisles.
We decided to see how long we could manage in this state of disrepair before we decided to leave but then things began to happen.
First, as a joke, I had stated that the cinema had the distinct look of a seedy, SOHO joint that housed gentlemen who watched a certain type of film and took part in certain types of activities! This made my lovely husband laugh until I noticed at the side of me one of the owners/ workers, who was dressed so smartly in a suit, with shirt and tie, was busy doing up his flies as I spoke!
We were the only customers in the cinema at this time but then the doors opened and in walked five young Asian ladies complete with popcorn and drinks. They were soon followed by another five and then another until the cinema was nearly full with young ladies and girls from the ages of about 12 to 17. They sat and waited for the film to start. By this time their chatter had relaxed us and we decided to stay and watch the film as well.
The young man whom I’d seen previously at the back of the theatre made his way to the front to speak to the girls. He made them laugh and then pirouetted and basically preened himself so that their nervous giggles filled the room. It was highly embarrassing as I think that he had forgotten that we were sitting there as well. However, the film started and it was amusing in the Bridesmaid/ Hangover genre way.
We left the cinema and decide to treat ourselves to a supper at one of the cafes still open. We surprised our waitress with our order, of hot apple pie and custard. She returned with it and true to the spirit of this holiday –it was cold! We tried again and it came back hot but what was more interesting was the altercation between the manageress and one of the customers that had been developing as we waited.
He was on his mobile phone eating his meal but he had it on speaker phone so he shouted down the phone and the person on the other end responded in kind. It was quite loud and a few raised heads began to show. The manageress asked the man to turn it down as people on the other side of the cafe could hear everything and were disturbed by his conversation. This caused an instant negative reaction and a full out argument ensued.
Eventually he did turn the phone off and the manageress tried to make amends by talking to him about his evening and soon all was smoothed over.
Who says you can’t enjoy yourself in Eastbourne.
We made our way back to the hotel to pack and get ready for our journey home the next day.
Thought for the day: When it is dark look for stars.
Last day today and guess what greeted us this morning? All the lifts in the hotel were not working, which meant that some of our tour party again had great difficulty getting up and downstairs. My lovely husband and I tried to unblock one of the lifts but to no avail.
When we reported them, the look on the face of the receptionist said it all- I tell you if I had been her after this week, I would have been looking for another job; in fact there is a hotel further along the promenade advertising for staff at the moment!
I know that I’ve said it once but it really isn’t acceptable to place so many guests with walking problems, in a hotel with steep stairs and wonky lifts that don’t work. Even one of the cleaners looked decidedly unhappy when she realised that she would have to trudge up three flights of stairs with her bundle of clean bedding and cleaning materials.
To add insult to injury two of our party who had managed the dangerous descent into the basement restaurant found that their usual table was already occupied- their look said this is just another nail in the coffin!!
But hey ho it was the last day and we had decided not to go on the coach trip offered today. We decided to stay and explore Eastbourne; and as with all holidays taken in the UK our days of sunshine came to an end, as clouds and a grey sky greeted us.
We mooched around the shops, walked to the far end of the promenade, shared a ham sandwich costing £6.95 and when the rain finally fell, we sheltered in the ice cream shop and spent £8 on two ice creams! Madness!
A quick couple of geo – caches got us back to the hotel to find our two intrepid travellers who had struggled to use the stairs, due to the breakdown of the lifts were waiting in the lounge area. They told us that they were waiting for the lifts to be repaired. As we had seen someone walk out of the lift when we arrived at the hotel, we were surprised that they were still waiting!
When we informed them that the lifts were now working, they were delighted but we were angry on their behalf as they had been sitting there for quite some time. They hadn’t been informed by the staff and had been left hanging around. But with a hop, skip and jump, (metaphorically speaking of course) they were soon ascending back to their room for a hot drink and an afternoon nap.
We followed soon after and finished our lacklustre day with a snooze.
As I’m writing this I’m thinking about shredded beef; which we have ordered for our evening meal tonight. Can you shred beef? I thought that it was only pork that you could shred; you know -the seemingly new and trendy way to cook pork nowadays! Maybe the chef has decided to surprise us all with his culinary talents. Not sure about a change in vegetables though!
After a shower and the dreaded shredded beef, (which my lovely husband liked - there's no accounting for taste!) we’ll hopefully head off to the cinema for a night out on the town.
Thought for the day: When it rains look for rainbows!